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"Groundhog Day" Loop

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Somewhere, Bill Murray wakes up in a cold sweat.
"Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today!"
Phil Connors, Groundhog Day

A plot in which the character is caught in a time loop, doomed to repeat a period of time (often exactly one day) over and over, until something is corrected. Usually, only one character or group of characters realizes what's going on, or at least has an odd sense of Déjà Vu — everyone and everything else undergoes a complete Snap Back, and if not interfered with will do the exact same things every time, right down to dialogue.

Once the character realizes this, two things happen, usually in this order:

  1. The character starts experimenting, then playing around with the people around them, confessing or acting on their feelings for another character, telling off their boss, getting themselves killed in interesting ways, and other things, in a form of Save Scumming.
  2. The character finally gets down to the business of what's causing the loop, and finds out how to stop it, often using the information learned in all the previous iterations to make sure this one last loop goes perfectly.

A common variation is that the looper is deliberately repeating the time period to Set Right What Once Went Wrong (and because they keep failing, they repeat it again, and again, and again, and again, and...) In such cases, the looper has control of the loop and can stop it at any time — if they just give up and accept failure.

A different variation has the loop actually be a fake, and time isn't repeating — people are just acting out their routines identically, with characters left out of the loop (No Pun Intended) in a sort of elaborate scheme or prank to make them think it is.

A Groundhog Day Loop episode can often be identified by the presence of several odd little events that are given full camera focus, yet don't have any apparent significance or relation to anything else. These are, of course, the events that will later be replayed in exactly the same order to emphasize that the day is, in fact, repeating in every particular. (Almost invariably, the looping character will at some point demonstrate his or her "prescience" by offhandedly predicting these events one after another.)

Since this plot requires constantly revisiting handful of sets for the entire length of the episode(s), re-using some of the same footage over and over and generally no outside characters will act on the plot, this can be considered a form of Bottle Episode.

Though not the earliest example, this trope is named after the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which established the trope in Western popular culture. The Ur-Example of the trope is The Defence of Duffer's Drift from 1904, although in that case the loop traversals are dreams of Lieutenant Backsight Forethought which permit him (and the reader) to learn which general tactical mistakes to avoid.

Compare New Game Plus and Endgame+ for Video Games.

Requires Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory to be in play for any meaningful plot to take place.

Not to be confused with a Stable Time Loop.

See also:

  • Christmas Every Day: In some cases, a loop will reset around Christmas.
  • Groundhog Peggy Sue, a subtrope where the looping encompasses a substantial fraction of the character's life and the character may be able to skip over some of the intervening bits.
  • Mental Time Travel, because it's usually that.
  • Out of Time, Out of Mind, for when this looping does not affect the character's personality.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory, since the character remembers the events that apparently never happened as far as everyone else in the universe is concerned.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong, which includes a description of the distinction between the two.
  • Fix Fic for the general category of fanfics where things that went wrong are set right.
  • The Story That Never Was: In cases where the solution is to undo whatever started the loop, rather than going through the correct iteration of it.
  • Sudden Game Interfaces may pop up as the means by which the main characters control their time loops and their efforts to fix things.
  • Dream Within a Dream, if they keep waking up.
  • Eternal Recurrence, this on a universal scale.
  • Time Loop Trap, when this is used for deliberate imprisonment.
  • Karma Houdini, when the character stuck in the loop gets no punishment for their actions after the day loops (especially when the punishment takes place "tomorrow").
  • Time Loop Fatigue, when the character in the loop suffers physical or mental exhaustion due to the loop.

See also Temporal Paradox, You Can't Fight Fate, Timey-Wimey Ball. Compare Amnesia Loop. Note that explicit Time Travel is not always involved, and in fact creates an entropy paradox.

Be wary of spoilers, too: the very existence of a "Groundhog Day" Loop can be a spoiler in itself.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: Mayuri invents a drug that forces his enemy to fight Mayuri over and over again. Every time the enemy kills Mayuri, he's sent back to the beginning of the fight to fight all over again while retaining memories of the previous loops. After ten loops, the enemy's body becomes paralysed. While the drug is actually manipulating memory and spatial awareness, rather than causing real time travel, the paralysis it causes is genuine. The "enemy" he uses this drug on is Hitsugaya when Hitsugaya is being controlled by Zombie-master Giselle.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, the Time card keeps the same day repeating indefinitely. It takes Sakura quite a while to notice it, and then she and Syaoran go hunting for it — with Syaoran being successful.
  • Day Break Illusion has this happen in the final few episodes, when Cerebrum traps Akari inside the Clessidra and forces her to relive the day she accidentally killed the Daemonia-possessed Fuyuna. However, instead of breaking her spirit, it allows her to learn Fuyuna's true feelings, and that gives her the courage to break free.
  • In D.Gray-Man 's rather adequately named "Rewinding Town" arc, a small German town repeats October 28th over and over, until Allen and Lenalee (not previously caught in the loop, which was a localized phenomenon caused by Innocence) find a way to fix it with the help of a local woman named Miranda Lotto who then claims said Innocence for herself. Note that only the people of that town are in the loop—time is passing as usual for the outside world, and people on the outside are wondering why the heck they keep getting the same phone call every day ordering the same things for the same business. Which is what initially drew the attention of the Black Order.
  • In the Dragon Ball spin-off manga, Dragon Ball: That Time I Got Reincarnated as Yamcha!, if "Yamcha" dies, he would have to go back to the moment he reincarnated and try again. He never gets to do so since he does fine the first time around, but the guy that reincarnated as Chiaotzu has had to go through the same thing dozens of times.
  • Girls Go Around:
    • The premise of the manga. One of the girls heavily regrets something and causes a time-loop, until Kyousuke and the girl figure out what the exact reason for their regret is, ending the loop. These are pretty simple, with the longest being Hiyori Izumi's, which lasted for 4 days.
    • The beginning of the manga turns out to be one itself. And this one's actually the complicated one, as it's not only the longest, but spans the entire plot and its background. It was created by Chihiro, resulting in a stable-time loop.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Diamond is Unbreakable: Yoshikage Kira gains an ability called "Bites The Dust" into his Killer Queen. It causes a "Groundhog Day" Loop when someone finds out he's not Kosaku Kawajiri, the man he killed to hide his identity by blowing said person up and resetting time from the start of the day. Unlike other "Groundhog Day" Loops, however, this one has the benefit of making sure the person who found out his identity still explodes at the same time they initially died in even if the events that lead up to that death no longer occur, thus allowing Kira to kill one of his enemies without ever fighting them. However, it has several limitations: "Bites the Dust" has to first bind to a specific target, who is the only person fully aware of the looping time (thus forcing Kira to realize time is looping with each iteration himself). Second, Kira can't use Killer Queen while "Bites the Dust" is activated, meaning he has to recall it and end the loop should he be forced into a situation where he needs it (like being attacked by another Stand User). Third, if Kira ends the current loop before anyone's time is up and they explode, their deaths are canceled and avoided. Fourth and most critically, people only explode if they learn his identity whether directly or indirectly via the person he attached "Bites the Dust" to, so if Kira is tricked into revealing his identity, "Bites the Dust" won't activate.
    • Golden Wind: Giorno's Gold Experience Requiem has the ability to reset things to zero, i.e. return them to what they were at the beginning. In addition to having such effects as reverting any attempt at attacking the Stand (such as by covering its eyes with blood; the blood simply returns to its source). Upon delivering the finishing strike to Diavolo, it causes him to constantly relive a Resurrection/Death Loop with no way to ever escape it.
    • Steel Ball Run: Ringo Roadagain, whose Stand, Mandom, creates six-second loops. The catch is that it doesn't erase anyone's memories, and only Ringo is implicitly aware of the loop being rewound, which can generate additional confusion in others. The ability has little in the way of cooldown, so the heroes beat him by setting up a longer chain of events that he couldn't get out within those six seconds.
  • The Kagerou Project is built on this:
    • Every single one of the main characters has experienced one of these in the form of the Never-ending world, where they are sent after dying on August 15th and are eventually spat back out with a super-power. In fact, the series receives its name from the most famous example, Kagerou Daze, as mentioned in Music Videos below.
    • On a much larger scale, the Big Bad's plan of living forever runs on one of these; he possesses Konoha, kills all of Mary's friends, and she resets time to be with them again. When and how this happens varies, but it all unfolds the same every time.
  • In a Christmas Episode of Kimagure Orange Road (1987), Kyosuke repeats this holiday because he isn't able to decide if he should go to the party with Madoka and/or Hikaru, and his Psychic Powers act up.
  • Magu-chan: God of Destruction: Yupisusu, the last of the Six Pillars, makes their entrance by fulfilling Ruru’s wish to continue peaceful everyday life, causing the same day to repeat with only other Gods of Chaos retaining their memories of the repeated days.
  • The Nue arc (episodes 8 and 9) of Mononoke has an interesting example, wherein a mononoke has a group of ghosts (who don't realise they're dead) relive the same sequence of events over and over.
  • In one story of Mushishi a character goes through his entire life with a surreal sense of déjà vu. His entire life is shown multiple times with no significant variations until the conversation changes in a repeat encounter with Ginko. It turns out that at the end of every loop he enters a tunnel-like mushi that resets his life. He decides not to enter the tunnel this time, but later when his wife is mortally wounded he enters the tunnel with her causing her to experience the déjà vu the next time.
  • Naruto introduced a genjutsu used by the Uchiha clan: Izanami, an ability meant to punish others for misuse of Izanagi. The victim is caught in an endless loop of time they cannot escape until they finally learn to accept reality and to not try to escape it with Izanagi. Itachi uses this to defeat Kabuto and control him to end Edo Tensei, and much later, Kabuto rejoins the fray as a good guy, learning his true nature through imprisonment by the spell.
  • In an early chapter of Nightmare Inspector, a woman seems to be suffering from a somewhat self-inflicted version of this: in her dreams, she writes "tomorrow will be exactly the same" on a piece of paper, and it is. She tries to stop the cycle and write something different in her dream, but the "something different" is "tomorrow I will stab someone to death". Freaking out, she goes to Hiruko... and it turns out he's been the one writing "every day is exactly the same" for her every time, and it's all part of the loop. The customer, as far as we see, never gets out.
  • Midway through the final episode of Persona 4: The Animation Yu realizes that he's become trapped in one of these by the Big Bad. Actually, he remembers that he put himself in it on purpose as the result of a massive Heroic BSoD brought on by the apparent death of his friends at the hands of the Big Bad.
  • At the beginning of Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior, Dialga, the temporal Pokémon, traps Giratina in this so it can escape the Reverse World it was dragged into by Giratina. The time loop keeps Giratina from leaving the Reverse World because every time it tries using its own power, it gets warped back a short distance from the portal it created. The time loop is broken when Shaymin creates a portal Giratina can escape through.
  • Caused by Homura Akemi in Puella Magi Madoka Magica after she resets the past month countless times, of which we see five, in her attempt to prevent Madoka from becoming a magical girl and meeting a bad fate. However, by resetting time, she layers multiple realities where Madoka is the focal point, causing Madoka's potential as a magical girl to increase exponentially, making Homura's quest all the more urgent and difficult. Though Homura memorizes the events of the loop and gains tremendous experience from it, it's shown that little details change from time to time — but of course they would, since she herself must be doing things differently in her attempt to change the outcome.
  • Punch Line is entirely based on this. Well, and asteroids, ghosts, and panty shots.
  • In episode 7 of Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight, there is a huge reveal that Daiba Nana actually won Giraffe's audittions a long time ago and became the Top Star, which gave her the power to create any stage she wishes for. Nana wished to perform Starlight again in the exact same way her class did last year. She was sent back one year when they had just arrived at school so her wish could come true. She kept repeating time again and again by winning Giraffe's audittions and making the same wish to go back in time.
  • Episode 10 of Space☆Dandy. A huge blast of Pyonium hits the July 8 page of Meow's calendar, stranding the crew in a Mobius loop on Meow's home planet. They fail to notice anything out of the ordinary until QT brings it up on loop 88, but Dandy dismisses the question. It isn't until loop 108 that they finally realize that they know what's going to happen... so they assume they've developed superpowers. At that point the the Narrator gets fed up and yells at them to get on with the story. The only way to break it was by removing the calendar page, which can only be done by Meow learning An Aesop and working with his dad, using his dad's metalworking equipment.
  • In episode 213 of Sgt. Frog, Momoka is trapped in one, one day before finishing the theme park she ordered to be made for her crush Fuyuki. She requests the Keroro platoon's help, but Kururu warns her that if she has any doubts, she will be unable to escape — and, worried about the future, Momoka decides she wishes to stay. Eventually she decides to help finish the theme park a day early, and she spends the evening with Fuyuki. As a result, she finally escapes the time loop and learns An Aesop about making the most of today.
  • Shin Mazinger Zero has this sort of plot, with Minerva X resetting the universe each time Kouji becomes a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds and Mazinger turns into a demon, hoping that the next loop will be the last and definitive one. By the time she finally manages to pull a mildly good scenario, more than 2000 time loops have already taken place, and poor Minerva is just about to lose all her remaining hopes.
  • Star Driver uses this to keep the maidens from leaving the island. Poor Mizuno finds out the hard way after 4 fruitless attempts to leave the island.
  • In the Steins;Gate anime, Okabe uses a Mental Time Travel device to repeat the same few hours in an attempt to prevent Mayuri's death. In an variation on the trope, after Okabe fails numerous loops, Kurisu points out that he's only been jumping back a few hours because the device didn't exist before then and he didn't want to remove it from existence, but that he can now build it exactly to spec at whatever point he needs. From then on, he's able to stretch out the loop cycle for days.
  • Summer Time Rendering: The main plot follows Shinpei, a boy stuck in a time loop while investigating the strange death of his childhood friend. There are quite a few caveats to this example though: 1) Each time the loop repeats later, eamning actions taken before a certain time become permanent and immutable, and dying too soon after a loop restart actually kills him, and 2) when the villain learns of it, she starts looping with him and also maintains her memories.
  • The Tatami Galaxy is all about this kind of plot, but the episodes vary on how it plays out. In the first half of the series, each episode is the protagonist choosing to join a club, things going wrong, and it resetting at the end, and in each episode, it's a different club. Later, the protagonist chooses to reset the span of an evening, as he tries to choose the right romantic interest. Then, it gets weirder. Despite the various resets, there is ultimately continuity between the episodes, so it works as a Jigsaw Puzzle Plot.
  • In the manga Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, the main characters find themselves trapped in the exact same day in a Story Arc.
  • It only had one loop, but this was episode 11 of Wedding Peach. Hinagiku's Saint Pendule (her magic wristwatch) sends her back in time one day in order to stop the Monster of the Week, who was "stealing people's time". About 12 time-traveling Ass Pulls later, the monster is purified.
  • Zegapain plays with this trope. Which leads to a massive plot twist, it turns out that the entire city of Maihara and all of its residents occupy a computer server that has to reset the memories of every resident, except the main cast, after five months because limitations keep it from exceeding this length. It is revealed to the main character that the server has reset over a hundred times by this point of the series.

    Asian Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy Galaxy: In "Looping Loopa": The power sphera Loopbot causes the day to loop back to when BoBoiBoy wakes up after having a strange dream, which he later realises is a vision of a memory from past loops as Loopbot is evading capture from Adu Du and telling BoBoiBoy to remember. By the fourth loop, BoBoiBoy leaps out of bed to tell the others of what's been happening with a plan to save Loopbot.
  • Flower Fairy: One of the fairies An'an faces late into Season 1 causes this effect, forcing An'an to constantly relive going to the movie theater with her friends to watch a Mole's World movie before having to deal with her father's horrible cooking at dinnertime, along with Kukuru reliving a run-in he has with An'an's pet cat that leaves him scratched up.

    Comic Books 
  • At the end of 52, Booster Gold imprisons Mister Mind in one of these, sending him back to the start of the year to be captured by Dr. Sivana, who inadvertently lampshades how trapped the worm is.
  • Darkseid is able to invoke these at will by trapping the victims of his Omega Beams inside the Omega Sanction, where they're forced to live out countless lives that get progressively worse, including the manner of death. Both Batman and Superman have experienced this, but nobody had it worse than Mr. Miracle in Seven Soldiers who was beaten, burned, mutilated, and castrated in just his first life within it. Batman simply had to relive his Dark and Troubled Past over and over.
  • In the Disney Ducks Comic Universe story "Again and Again..." (Donald Duck 336, 2006), Donald is forced to relive the same day over and over until he discovers what he did "wrong" on that day. The story spoofs elements of both Groundhog Day and The Hudsucker Proxy—with mouse-eared "Daddy Time" (i. e. Moses) being wise to the time loop, and a Phil-like character reliving a similar time loop in a movie on Donald's TV.
  • Fantastic Four: Originally, the Sphinx was a powerful sorcerer who nearly wiped out Earth. To stop him, Reed Richards was forced to ask Galactus for aid. After defeating the Sphinx, Galactus decided to dish out a punishment by sending the man back in time to ancient Egypt just before he gained his powers and force him to live out his entire life over again. It's hinted the Sphinx was trapped in this loop, unable to tell anyone what was happening and, despite all his attempts, unable to alter his fate. That is, until a woman's attempt to rewrite reality managed to break him free of the loop.
  • Time traveling hero Hourman was once trapped in one of these by one of his enemies. The loop was known as the Timepoint and was specifically designed as the ultimate prison. It forced Hourman and his friends to relive the same five minutes on the day John F. Kennedy was shot. Though they were aware of the time loop, no matter what they did, at the end of five minutes they would always end up standing on the same street corner.
  • In Immortal X-Men, we find out that Mr. Sinister has cloned a bunch of Morias after the Quiet Council learned of Moria and is essentially doing this to make sure his plans go right.
  • Invader Zim (Oni): The final issue of the series sees Zim and Dib trapped in a time loop, reliving the same day over and over, caused by Zim trying to harness the time manipulation energy of an Eldritch Abomination's waste matter, only for GIR to inadvertently sabotage it. By the time Dib becomes aware of the loop (implied to be because of some random machinery Gaz stuck in the back of his head), it has recurred countless times, to the point that Zim (who is aware of the loop thanks to a specially designed hat) has come to the conclusion that it can't be broken and is now using the loop to pursue hobbies he didn't use to have the spare time for. Dib decides that he's been driven insane by the loop and takes over trying to break it. He ultimately fails, and the issue ends with them still stuck in the loop.
  • Justice Society of America:
    • The villain Per Degaton is caught in one (or, rather, one of the two versions of him is). In 1947, he tried to steal a Time Machine and was split in two: one version is left behind and takes The Slow Path to reconnect with the time machine when it arrives in the '80s, while the other leaves with the machine and becomes a Conqueror from the Future but, because the time machine comes with a Reset Button, ends every criminal escapade back in 1947 again with no memory of what happened...until he has a psychic dream filling him in on his criminal escapades the night before the time machine test, at which point it starts all over again.
    • The team itself would be caught in one in Last Days of the Justice Society, where winning the battle of Ragnarok means that they must fight the same battle over and over to prevent the destruction of the universe. Waverider and the Spectre freed the team from this during Armageddon: Inferno, transporting Abraxas' "daemen" to take the JSA's place in that neverending cycle.
  • Self inflicted in one of the short stories published on Paperinik New Adventures: Trip, the son of the time-traveling criminal the Raider, uses his chronosail to cheat at a hockey game, then decides to do it again with his eyes closed... And his father, who was at the game in disguise, makes him lose to teach him a lesson and confiscates his time machine.
  • Justice League of America (Rebirth): Issue #20. Bonus points for Flash directly invoking the trope.
  • The Sandman: Endless Nights: In "Death and Venice", a nobleman has intentionally created a loop which includes an entire island and all its inhabitants (including the nobleman himself), in which a decadent consequence-free party has repeated every day for hundreds of years. It's warded to be beyond Death's reach, but she eventually persuades a random human passing by to force open the entrance, letting her slip inside, break the loop, and return everyone to their proper timeline.
  • One issue of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) had Sonic stuck in a loop when a party in his honor gets ruined when he breaks a foot trying to avoid the press. He ultimately fixes it by waking up three hours earlier and parking his kiester on a chair and waiting.
  • Strontium Dog: When Johnny is contracted to bring his abusive Nazi-esque father Nelson Kreelman to justice, he decides not to collect on the bounty and instead traps him in a temporal loop where he's forever reliving his final moments, pathetically begging Johnny to spare his life.
  • Superman:
    • In A Mind-Switch in Time, Clark Kent gets stuck into his own past body, reliving the same Thanksgiving Day over and again until he figures out how he can break the time loop.
    • In Way of the World, Supergirl fails to save a child's life, but she intends to hand a time-travelling gadget over to his parents, reasoning that they can relive their time together over and again.
  • X-Men (2019): In House of X #2, we learn that this is essentially Moira MacTaggert's mutant power, to be reborn "in utero" after dying, reliving her life all over again. She uses these lives to attempt to give mutantkind a Golden Ending. Her Houseof XCII counterpart, Jubilee, has the same ability.

    Fan Works 
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs: "What if they were in a time loop?" is about Jake being stuck repeating the same day over and over again. Turns out Tom's Yeerk is in the loop too (it's unclear if the real Tom is), and Jake figures out that it's a trap by Crayak to get him to kill his brother.
  • In All Our Yesterdays Harry repeats the same day due to having a time-turner shard stuck under his shoulderblade. The loop doesn't end until he has it removed and destroys the unstable ward which made the time-turner explode in the first place.
  • And Somebody Spoke And I Went Into A Dream is a Beatles fanfic that places Paul in one of these. It's left open-ended in the fic itself, but the author states that they believe that Paul sacrificing himself to save John at the end of the fic ends the loop.
  • The Best Night Ever revolves around Prince Blueblood being trapped on the day of the disastrous Grand Galloping Gala until he ensures that the bearers of the Elements of Harmony actually enjoy themselves at the event. At one point, he thinks he's pulled it off... but he has everything so rigidly planned and nailed down that nobody, not even him, has any real fun. When the loop starts again after that one, he goes out to the garden and considers freeing Discord. Notably, although Pinkie Pie is unaware of the loop, she's so erratic that she always does something different.
  • The Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles fic "Born to Fight" ultimately reveals that Cameron is basically in one; after the events of the series, once John travels to the future to retrieve her chip, he uploads her memories into the version of her that has just been created by Skynet, and ultimately sends her back into the past to meet his younger self as originally happened, aware that she will relive events over and over. However, the epilogue reveals that Cameron was sent back to 1989 rather than 1999, allowing John to follow her into the past and live with Cameron for ten years of peace until she has to meet his younger self, John speculating that the two will share what moments they can in 2007 while his younger self is asleep until she has to compelte her part of the loop.
  • In DOOM Day Harry repeats the day Sirius died after wishing that he could do it over and over until everything was perfect.
  • In Early One Morning, Rainbow Dash has been stuck in one for some time, Twilight ends up joining her.
  • Ron Stoppable ends up in one such loop in Endless Summer Days. Unlike most such loops, Ron has an easy way to convince others due to GJ being Crazy-Prepared and having a code for time travel. On his fifth (or sixth, he's not sure) loop, Betty Director basically orders Ron to do whatever he wants because 1) They don't know what the trigger is to end the loop, so it could very well be something ridiculous like making the President moon Congress, and 2) Such actions will keep Ron from snapping from the stress of his situation.
  • Epiphany: Sephiroth finds himself reliving the events of Final Fantasy VII over and over again. He's gone through the original game, the Remake, and now we're somewhere past that. The thrust of the story is him trying to determine why he's in the loop in the first place.
  • The Sailor Moon fanfic, Everyday Is Exactly The Same, which takes place in the first season of the anime and involves Usagi and Mamoru trapped together on the day of Tuxedo Mask's duel with Zoisite. It ends when Mamoru decides to allow the Negaverse to take him, as in the canon universe. Him and Usagi have bonded and fallen in love at this point, making it quite the Bittersweet Ending.
  • The Flash Sentry Chronicles: Referred to as a Hedgehog Day in the series. Springer finds himself trapped in one, where he keeps reliving the exact same hour over and over again, with Ponyville being destroyed by an explosion at the end of the hour and killing everyone, including him. He relives the same hour countless times trying to find out who caused the explosion, then just relaxing and leaning more about everyone in town when he gets stressed after failing to stop the explosion. He and the others eventually stop the loop by destroying a time loop scroll Trixie cast, then stop the town from being destroyed by the explosion with Springer trying to pull a Heroic Sacrifice. The experience is slightly downplayed with The Reveal that everything was just a dream Springer had on a "Vision Quest" and only two hours passed in the real world, but everything he learned about everyone in town was true and he kept the skills he developed while in the loop.
  • Getting The Hang of Thursdays is an incredibly well-thought-out and novel-length Harry Potter fic featuring Severus Snape and Hermione Granger. Not your usual time-loop story, in large part because, as the author notes, the effect is a physical response to a magical accident, and not an attempt to dispense cosmic justice or teach a lesson.
  • Good Day Sunshine (Good Day Sunshine Good Day Sunshine Good Day Sunshine...) places Antoine Triplett in one of these, endlessly repeating the day of his death and unable to avoid his fate no matter what he does in a way reminiscent of the Supernatural example below. Eventually, FitzSimmons help him realise that the way to break the loop is to kiss Skye.
  • In Ground Hog Day after an accident in Potions, Harry, Hermione and Snape repeat the same day until Snape comes up with an antidote.
  • had we but world enough and time is a Futurama fanfic in which Fry dies from a brain pathogen and Leela gets caught in a bubble of time repeating the day of his death, trying hard to figure out how to save him. Unlike most examples, Leela never actually gets out of the loop - it's explained that the time loop is because she's in a bubble universe, and ending it would simply wipe her from existence. At the very least, Fry manages to become aware of being in a loop as well and gets to be with Leela.
  • Hard Reset involves Twilight attempting to thwart a changeling invasion, only to get warped back to the same point in time whenever she dies. Which she does. Repeatedly. She eventually succeeds after having experienced hundreds of loops over the course of a month or so, and having become a battle-hardened warrior and a changeling's worst nightmare, as well as a PTSD-psychological wreck from the whole experience.
  • In Harry Potter and the Resurrection Veil Harry finds himself repeating the day he used Snape's Sectumsempra curse on Draco.
  • The main premise of the My Hero Academia fic Here we go Loopty Loo is that Class 1-A, Eraserhead, and All Might and later the UA Big Three, Toga, Dabi, and Shigaraki have been repeating about three years each loop for upwards of one hundred loops, with the loop typically starting just before the Quirk assessment and inevitably ending just before graduation or with the death of all the loopers. The loops often have differences from the original timeline, ranging from Gender Bender shenanigans or mild shuffling of class assignments to full AUs set in various other series like Among Us or Danganronpa. The loops are happening because a dying Deku passed One for All onto Eri as a last-minute attempt to save her in the original timeline. It combined with her own Rewind quirk to create the loops that will continue until all the loopers survive the loop.
  • Heroes Never Die: How Izuku's Quirk works. Every once in a while he gets caught in a loop, and has to figure out what he has to do to escape it. The loops are usually only a few minutes long, and are reset by his brutal death. He puts a suicide pill on his hero uniform so that he can reset at will.
  • The Infinite Loops:
    • The fic 'verse is a fairly well-developed genre that covers a wide variety of series, with some of the most well-known being centered on the universes of Naruto, Harry Potter, Disney, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and Pokémon. The backstory of this shared universe is that something happened to the multiverse-controlling supercomputer of Yggdrasil in the Ah! My Goddess universe, causing every universe to begin "skipping" like a record, with the goddesses trying to fix things in the background. Each universe that is looping (and more and more start to loop) will have an "Anchor" to keep them stable, this anchor being a single individual who loops more than anyone else and is always "awake" in the loops, remembering everything. But those they have close connections to will eventually start looping as well. The loopers retain memories (and usually powers and even items via Hammerspace) from previous loops, with a loop usually stretching from a significant early event within that series to their eventual death. Most of these fics take a comedic route, wherein the characters spend most of the time messing around with canon, especially when they learn that fixing the loop is completely out of their hands. What if we try beating the villain with a surprise party? Or just refuse to save the world and watch movies instead? And some loops are oddly non-standard from the start, with characters switching places, turning into other creatures, or crossing over with a completely different series.
    • When it isn't being silly fun, the genre also looks at some of the negative consequences of looping through time. The most prevalent example is what is known as "Sakura Syndrome," named after Sakura from the Naruto universe, where a looper starts abusing the infinite resets the Loops offer to torture or otherwise abuse non-Loopers. There's also its near-inverse, Setsuna Syndrome, where a Looper believes that the canon or "Baseline" timeline is sacrosanct and must be preserved (which is not only pointless, but often completely impossible since many loops go Off the Rails before the Looper ever wakes up). There's also a restriction against having children in the loops, with the Goddesses going out of their way to meddle in the loopers lives to prevent this. The obvious reason being that said child will just cease to be as soon as the loop is done, and that's unneeded psychological stress for the parent.
    • In one notable instance, the Groundhog Day universe itself started looping. Phil would Awaken the day before the infamous day; if he did everything exactly perfect, he got a third day before looping again. This went on for quite a while before anyone noticed the glitch—his universe was never supposed to start looping at all. The Admins patch things so that he'll spend most of his time in variants and other longer loops, unlike most universes, where baseline is by far the most common.
  • In It's All in the Details, the events of "Mystery Spot" are ended after only a few dozen loops when Castiel senses Dean's contract completing and resetting itself, prompting him to step in and encourage Loki to end the loop early with the threat that he will start using Loki's true name so that his older brother can hear it.
  • In the Invader Zim fic The Karma Circle: Chances on Top of Chances, Gaz is smothered while healing from a stomach bug in the hospital by someone with a grudge against her. Fortunately for her, the Entity of Death and Judgement sticks her in a loop with 30 resets, giving her a chance to prevent her death, if she can figure out who's responsible and how to stop them.
  • Kazuichi Strangelove: Kazuichi Souda finds himself in one when he and the other survivors attempt to go through the events of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair once more to save their deceased classmates. His attempts to save his classmates usually lead to either unexpected Butterfly of Doom deaths or Monokuma starting new motives to guarantee a murder.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball has a fanfic titled The Loop where Gumball had a very bad day but for some reason, it keeps repeating over and over and he must find a way to break the loop while making the most out of the predicament. The elements of the day include:
    • Larry having a bike accident in front of the Wattersons' house.
    • Nicole getting upset at Gumball for breaking a plate of China that a deceased relative gave to her since he used it as a plate to eat a cookie off of.
    • Richard getting a new tie and everyone commenting on it.
    • Anais getting mad at Gumball for not listening to her about coming clean to Nicole about the plate.
    • Gumball forgetting to put Darwin's name on their science project for class.
    • Gumball being called up by Ms. Simian to answer a science question.
    • The Pep Fest, which is a rally about the school cheerleaders putting on a show.
  • In Loop in Time Harry casts a spell on Snape which forces the victim to repeat the same day until they make it perfect for the caster. Harry being the typical horny teenager, this involves having sex.
  • The Suite on Deck story The Mirror Has Two Faces has a chapter based on International Dateline episode of the series but with Bailey stuck in the loop instead of Cody, she thinks that going to dance as a girl (she had been dressing as boy) is the way out but just like the show, she needs to slow down the ship.
  • Fan fiction for Naruto:
    • The most widely known example is the controversial work Chunin Exam Day, in which Naruto repeats the same month over and over again in a time-loop for decades, before learning how to bring others in to the time loop and establishing a harem. It's mainly level grind plus humor and action.
    • A probably better story that may have been inspired by CED is Time Braid, in which Sakura engages in level grinding, romance, and investigating who caused time to loop and why they did so. Madness abounds, due to both issues inherent in a time loop and bad actors.
    • All is Relative Except the Stubbornness of a Demon starts with Naruto having done so many loops that he's the oldest thing on the planet except for the Kyuubi. Unlike most examples, there is no escape condition and Naruto has long since accepted that he'll be repeating his life forever. While exactly how long the loop has been going on is never stated, Naruto notes that he married a particular waitress in seven different loops.
    • Do You Remember Love, a One-Shot Fic inspired by Ken Grimwood's Replay. Naruto's signature Shadow Clone jutsu duplicates his soul with each use so that every time he dies, he cycles back to being 12 years old. At the start of the story, he's lived the same cycle for at least 3000 years and has taken the time to master various skills such as carpentry, cooking, painting, playing instruments and writing literature. He's also realized there are long-term consequences when he tries to make drastic changes in each loop and is resigned to letting events run their course. After hearing his story, Sakura learns the Shadow Clone jutsu so she can be with him too (until his stockpile of souls finally runs out).
    • Parodied in the mockfic What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Each loop only lasts 10 seconds and Naruto quickly finds it boring.
  • In Once, Twice, I Lost Count Harry, Ron, Hermione and Harry's boyfriend Terence keep repeating the Final Battle until Voldemort dies and Terence lives.
  • In the Pony POV Series, the final confrontation with Dark World!Discord strongly suggests that he's somehow stuck in one that repeatedly ends with the Elements of Harmony defeating him.
    • It eventually turns out that Nightmare Paradox, Twilight's potential Nightmare self, has been forcing this on Discord in order to eternally torment him. . He's long since had a Heel Realization and doesn't even want to be a villain anymore, but she just resets the loop anytime Discord does something he's not "supposed" to do. The loop is finally broken with Paradox's defeat.
    • Princess Fidelitas AKA, the Alicorn Rainbow Dash born from Eclipse's purified Nightmare Manacle is the literal antithesis of this trope. One of her domains is Breaking Cycles, which effectively translates to being able to instantly end timeloops. She's also able to strip a person aware of the loops of all the gains they obtained via it, reverting them to their original form in terms of power and experience. All this is, according to Word of God, a cosmic 'rule patch' for the above event by the Elders and she's essentially a custom made Eclipse killer.
  • Purple Days is a Game of Thrones fanfic where the hated prince/king Joffrey Baratheon is run through a time loop. It begins with Black Comedy at his many deaths, but ultimately leads to Character Development slowly leading The Caligula into becoming The Good King.
  • In Recursion Harry repeats the same day until he gets together with Hermione.
  • In Repeat After Me Draco keeps repeating the same day after a Potions accident until he admits his feelings for Hermione.
  • The Danny Phantom fanfic Rewrite Clean Lenins is a variation on this. Danny is forced to relive his first day of junior year over and over again, though every loop is a little different and he doesn't have Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory. Turns out the loops were rough drafts written in a strange notebook by the Ghost Writer, who didn't realize they were being published as reality until Danny confronted him.
  • Episode Six of RWBY: ABRG (RWBY Abridged) has Weiss getting stuck in one after throwing a fit over having Ruby chosen as her team leader over her, among other grievances, until she makes peace with her.
  • Lelouch in Screw You Fate, I'm Going Home is permanently stuck in a loop where each time he dies, he revives with all his memories at a random point in the original timeline. The first time, he Set Right What Once Went Wrong and lived to be over one hundred years old. After two thousand years of loops, Lelouch has given up on ever breaking free.
  • Happens in The Sweetie Chronicles: Fragments, when Sweetie Belle lands in the aforementioned setting and gets caught up in the loops. Rather heartwarming, as Blueblood is happy to have some companionship who doesn't forget everything each morning, and he puts his plans on hold just to help her. And rather heartbreaking when she eventually moves on, and he realizes that the original Sweetie Belle remembers nothing.
  • In Time Magic Is For All Intents And Purposes A Useless And Dangerous Magecraft, Waver finds himself repeating the same day over and over again and wonders why, given that no rational magus would do something so reckless as to reverse time, and the only thing that really happens to him that day is a budget meeting. He eventually realizes that there's only one person out there with the magical talent to reverse time and the lack of sense to actually do it — Flat, who needed an extra day to complete a homework assignment. But since he isn't the one who remembered the repeated day, he procrastinates again, fails to do the assignment, and then needs to reset the day again. The loop ends when Waver sits on Flat until he does his homework.
  • Fan fiction set in Middle-earth from Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Some fans of The Lord of the Rings believe that a loo explains all those Tenth Walker stories. After Frodo and company finish the quest, time loops back, and they must do the quest again, but with a new Tenth Walker in the company. The characters forget about the loop as time resets their memories. This time loop appears in both I am NOT a MarySue and MagnoliaCinderellaCupcake.
    • Groundhog GDIME takes its name from this trope. Charlize from England falls into Middle-earth, multiple times. After each visit, Middle-earth seems to reset itself. The loop continues as Charlize tries again, but she always fails to seduce Legolas.
    • A Thread Unraveled involves Maedhros reliving the Battle of Unnumbered Tears over and over until they can turn the crushing defeat into a victory.
  • In Tomorrow is for Never, Gadget finds herself stuck in a time loop after a plane crash kills the rest of the team while they're at a hockey game while she was distracted with her inventions. The first time the day repeats itself, Gadget saves the others from the initial accident, but their attempts to help in the rescue leave Monterey Jack paralysed apart from his head and right arm while Chip becomes a colder individual who uses Gadget to psychologically manipulate a depressed Dale in the name of 'the big picture', and the second loop sees Gadget inadvertently leave Chip and Dale the impression that they're holding her back while simultaneously making Gadget perceive herself as a monster for stringing them along for so long. After an unspecified number of 'practice loops', Gadget is eventually able to prevent the original plane crash by leading the other Rangers in a rapid bit of repair-work on the plane's subtly damaged wing, allowing her to move on to the next day. It is suggested at the end that the loop was created by the spirit of her deceased father to give her new insight into her life.
  • In Valentine's Day Repeated Draco repeats the same Valentine's Day until he accepts Harry's feelings for him.
  • Velma Meets the Original Velma plays this fairly differently; after Velma and the gang started to recognize the more nonsensical elements of her universe, such as Scooby's ability to talk, Scooby went on a rampage and killed Mystery Inc, before rebuilding the entire world and his friends so that they could continue their adventures. However, every time Velma would remember what happened before, and Scooby would have to kill her and everybody else before rebuilding again. He laments that each time is fairly different from the last and veers ever further from the original world, the most recent being the furthest from capturing the essence of the original. The video ends with Scooby announcing that he will get it right next time, before killing Velma.
  • The Perry/Doof plot in Visions of the Future involves a Try-It-Again-Inator, which lets Doof retry their encounter until he manages to stop Perry. Thirty-five times later, Perry finds a way out of it before Doof finds a way to stop him; the reflected beam instead hits Phineas and Ferb and their friends, giving Ferb a chance to prevent Isabella (and later Phineas) from using the Chronoscope to look forward in time.

    Films — Animation 
  • The first segment of Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas has Huey, Dewey and Louie stuck repeating Christmas Day over and over after they wish for it.
  • In the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls special Sunset's Backstage Pass, the main source of conflict is Sunset Shimmer being stuck in a time loop. After missing the Postcrush concert due to Pinkie Pie, Sunset wishes she had another chance to see them. Equestrian magic promptly sticks Sunset back at the beginning of the first day, letting her have another chance. It turns out to be Postcrush members K-Lo and Su-Z using a device called the Time Twirler to relive the same day over and over until they get their performance right.
  • Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer (1984) follows one for the early part of the film. This anime film was directed and written by Mamoru Oshii, later known for creating Ghost in the Shell (1995).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 1973 short story "12:01 PM" (mentioned below) was adapted for film twice:
    • The 1990 short film, also titled 12:01 PM, is the more direct, and much darker than most time-loop stories: Myron Castleman's loop only lasts an hour (greatly limiting what he can do during it), and he starts each iteration standing on a traffic island in the middle of crossing a busy street, hungry, carrying his lunch in his briefcase, and the film ends with Myron learning that nothing can stop the loop, and that even death is no escape.
    • The 1993 made-for-cable movie is a looser adaptation using a 24-hour loop: the hero was given an electric shock at exactly 12:01, just as a nuclear device comes on line that causes time to loop. He's the only one who realizes this, and when he's not being killed each day, he tries to figure a way to prevent the nuclear device from going on-line.
  • In the movie version of 1408, the evil room tortures its victims for an hour. If at the end of that hour they still haven't killed themselves, it begins all over again. "You can choose to repeat this hour over and over again, or you can take advantage of our express checkout system".
  • About Time: While the setup would lend itself to this, Tim doesn't replay many events repeatedly. But he does loop over his choice of best man quite a few times, with each candidate giving a worse speech than the last.
  • An American independent film, And Then Came Lola, takes the Groundhog Day Loop concept and toys with the For Want Of A Nail aspect. In this one, Lola has to rush a folder of photos to her girlfriend, Casey, to secure Casey's promotion; unfortunately, the photos are being developed by Lola's ex, and Casey is wining and dining with an old flame in the meantime.
  • The Egyptian comedy film "Alf Mabrook الف مبروك" is about a man who dies on his wedding day at exactly 12:00 A.M. and has to relive the day all over again.
  • ARQ has one being generated by the titular ARQ device, which was designed as a source of unlimited energy and accidentally traps its creator and the home invaders assaulting his house in a series of time loops. Complicated somewhat when the home invaders begin to remember the time loops too. Eventually, the creator realizes that the source of unlimited energy is actually the machine discharging itself — it's not unlimited energy, but rather the same energy used over and over. The loop began when one of the invaders accidentally killed themselves by touching the machine and ended when he was first killed, falling onto the machine.
  • The film Before I Fall, as in the novel, deals with a teenage girl stuck in one for seven days after she is killed in a car accident.
  • The movie Boris and Natasha, a live-action Rocky and Bullwinkle movie, has a device which prevents accidents by reversing time by a few seconds any time it is destroyed. This allows sequences in the movie to be repeated until things change. The film ends with several hundred being activated at once. As Natasha notes, "Boris, ve haf been blown back to beginink of movie!"
  • Boss Level: The film is about an ex-special forces soldier who is stuck in a time loop where assassins are trying to kill him from the very moment he wakes up in the morning. He has to survive the assassins, figure out why they're trying to kill him, stop the time loop and save his family in the process.
  • In Camp Slaughter, the protagonists from 2005 find themselves stuck in a summer camp straight from 80s which itself is stuck repeating the same day in 1981 when a mysterious killer murdered everyone, over and over again.
  • The film A Chinese Odyssey has a sequence where a bandit discovers the magic words of the Monkey King which allow him to travel a short distance backwards in time. He uses them to go back and try to avert the multiple tragedies that have befallen himself and his friends. He winds up having to make multiple trips and run around like mad to keep everyone alive.
  • Christmas...Again?! features the protagonist Ro not having the perfect Christmas as she hoped and wishing to a Mall Santa that she could "have Christmas again", stranding her in a time loop where she relives Christmas Day over and over until she learns the True Meaning of Christmas.
  • Despite pre-dating Groundhog Day by five decades, the British horror Anthology Film Dead of Night (1945), starring Mervyn Johns and Michael Redgrave, uses this trope. The main character, Craig, is stuck in a country house with people he recognises from his nightmares and is compelled to kill everyone, just like he does every time in the nightmares. He then wakes up, relieved that this was All Just a Dream, but receives a phone call from one of the persons in his nightmare to drive over to the very same country house, where the same sequence of events starts to play out once again.
  • Edge of Tomorrow (based on the light novel All You Need Is Kill) has Cage, an Army media relations officer who has never seen combat, get stuck in a loop during a hopeless battle against invading aliens. During one iteration of the loop, Cage meets Rita, a famous soldier known as "the Angel of Verdun", who is aware of what's happening and is willing to train him. This leads to moments of Black Comedy because if the Training from Hell or the aliens don't kill Cage outright, Rita shoots him in the head in order to reset the loop. It's revealed that the time loops are caused by the alien Mimics and that they have weaponized this trope: their "Alphas" reset to the previous day whenever they are killed and use their foreknowledge to defeat the humans when they replay the battle, which explains the Mimics' string of unstoppable victories against humanity. Cage killed an Alpha in his first iteration of the battle and accidentally absorbed the time looping ability. Rita once went through a similar experience and had the same ability, but lost it after she was wounded and received a blood transfusion; she refuses to let Cage cure himself, instead training him to destroy the nexus of the aliens' Hive Mind and end the war.
  • The Italian film È già ieri (Stork Day) is adapted from Groundhog Day, though as there is no Italian Groundhog Day, the loop is set during an ordinary day (August 13, in this case). The main character is still a jerkass, the location is still (to him) a backwater, and pretty much the same issues are covered, almost scene for scene.
  • The Endless: Two brothers who escaped from a "UFO death cult" a few years previously decide to pay a return visit after receiving evidence that the members had not all killed themselves. The cultists all look remarkably unchanged. We gradually find out that the commune is in a loop of unstated length, probably a few weeks, and that the members know and accept this. Some people on the fringes of the zone, however, are in much shorter loops, and are not happy about it.
  • 2017 Horror Comedy short film Great Choice is framed around a looping 30-second-long Red Lobster commercial, with one of the women in it becoming increasingly aware that she's in a loop. She becomes increasingly frightened of not knowing how she got there and why, and things go off the rails violently once she stops sticking to the script. She eventually manages to escape by attacking the increasingly hostile waiter, suddenly finding herself in the space of a support group for recovering addicts, who all congratulate her on her recovery... all while the waiter is still banging outside the windows, screaming at her to make a "great choice!"
  • The trope-naming Bill Murray comedy Groundhog Day is the most commonly known version of this trope, in which Jerkass weatherman Phil Connors (Murray) wakes up every day at 6 A.M. on 2nd February (Groundhog Day) in Punxatawney, PA. One thing not noticed by most people is just how long the time loop goes on for — when he eventually stops using the loop as a means to jerk around in a consequence-free environment, Phil has time to learn the complete backstory of every person in the town, learn to speak French, become an accomplished pianist and ice sculptor, and go from being a self-centered ass to universally beloved... all this with only 24-hour increments to work with before everything resets to square one again. An early version of the script suggested that the loop runs for 10,000 years, but in a DVD special feature the director states it's closer to ten years, which then got amended to a general estimate of between 30 to 40 years given the amount of time needed to accomplish just one of Phil's feats.
  • In Happy Death Day, a college student named Theresa "Tree" Gelbman keeps reliving her birthday where she is murdered by a masked stranger. She attempts to use this to counter him and survive, but he keeps killing her in a different way. Notably, her injuries transfer between loops, and she's soon totally exhausted with internal damage. She finally breaks the loop by defeating her killer, but the next morning, her boyfriend (who she was able to convince her story was true) trolls her by repeating his dialogue to make her think she's still in the loop, causing her to hit him when he reveals the joke. It's never explained what caused the loop...
  • Happy Death Day 2U reveals that the loop from the first film was caused by time-space continuum. experiments done by a group that includes Tree's boyfriend. The reactor responsible ends up sending Tree to an alternate timeline where she is caught in a loop of being killed by a different killer. Like before, she breaks the loop by defeating the killer, then manages to use the reactor to return to her own timeline. However, angry at her classmate Danielle for being a bitch, Tree volunteers her as a test subject for the reactor, trapping her in a time loop.
  • Haunter: The movie begins with Lisa repeating the same day in her house. It's soon revealed to be because Lisa is stuck in the afterlife by the evil ghost who killed her and her family.
  • It's implied at the end of Hellraiser: Inferno that this happens to Joseph, forced to relive the same sequence of events forever.
  • In High Spirits, a comedy by Neil Jordan, two ghosts, Mary Plunkett and Martin Brogan (played by Daryl Hannah and Liam Neeson), suffer through this: Martin repeatedly killing his wife, Mary, because he believes her to have cheated on him because she doesn't love him and thus, doesn't show any affection towards her. Making it even worse is the fact that she didn't cheat on him when she was alive.
  • I Do I Do I Do, a Hallmark Original Movie, has an architect repeating her disastrous wedding day over and over until she discovers what she really wants in life.
  • In the Mouth of Madness: When Hobb's End really goes to hell and people start mutating into monsters all around John Trent, he decides to get the hell out of dodge and jumps in his car. Each time he tries to leave town, however, the godlike horror writer Sutter Cane resets Trent to just before he left. The only option left to him is to go right through the ax-wielding mob of townspeople.
  • Jagged Mind: Alex can do this using magic, resetting the day briefly to change things so she can manipulate Bille to be/stay with her. This causes increasing harm to Billie.
  • The Nickelodeon film The Last Day Of Summer has a plot like this. The main character, scared of his first year of middle school, wishes it could be summer forever. He then ends up repeating the last day of summer over and over again. Each reset is actually set off by him getting hit in the head and losing consciousness. Memorizing the day doesn't do him any good, as something else hits him, culminating in him avoiding everything possible, only to be struck by a meteor.
  • The German Made-for-TV film Liebe in der Warteschleife is about a guy with not much of a life who inherits a house but ends up arguing with his girlfriend about what to do with it. The next day is mostly just terrible, starting with his girlfriend having moved out. And this day repeats over and over for the protagonist. However, he knows Groundhog Day (which doesn't even seem to exist in most time loop stories), so he's Genre Savvy enough to at least believe he knows how to handle a personal time loop. His creativity is at least on par with Phil Connors': One day, for example, he ends up in a robbery while at a jewellery. A few rounds later, he brings a 2x4 to the jewellery and knocks the robber over the head as soon as the latter enters the bank — because he needs the robber's gun.
  • In the Australian indie horror Lost Things, Gary, Tracey, Brad and Emily are doomed to endlessly relive their fateful camping trip to the beach and subsequent murder by Zippo.
  • The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things features a teenager who keeps repeating the same day who finally meets a girl going through the same thing. They end up trying to find all the perfect little moments that particular day has to offer.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Weaponized by the title character in Doctor Strange, where he traps Dormammu in an infinite time loop of him killing Strange in all manner of ways that only get more brutal and creative as his patience wears thin until he finally gets sick of the stalemate and agrees to a bargain.
    • Implied in Avengers: Infinity War. Dr. Strange uses the Time Stone to relive the battle against Thanos more than 14 million times in an attempt to discern a path to victory. He finds only one, which is implied to be the thread that carries on to Avengers: Endgame.
  • Meet Cute: Enforced by Sheila, who uses a time machine to return to the same day over and over again to play out the same first date with Gary. She goes through a straight year of that day before she starts to experience Time Loop Fatigue.
  • Naked 2017 is Netflix remake of the 2000 Swedish film Naken about a man who gets blackout drunk the night before his wedding and is then trapped in an hour-long loop in which he wakes up the next day naked in an elevator in the wrong hotel, already late for the wedding.
  • Freddy Krueger traps Alice and Dan in a looping dream in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master so that he can kill their friend Debbie undisturbed. They eventually catch on, but it's already too late by then.
  • The Italian sci-fi movie Nirvana revolves around Solo, the character of a video game which goes through the same events again and again each time he dies. His creator Jimi eventually puts him out of his misery by hacking and deleting the whole game.
  • Open Graves is a film about a group of friends who obtain a cursed board game in which that if you lose in the game, you die in the fashion determined by the card you drew, whilst the victors are entitled to one wish. The game's sole victor at the end wishes that he could go back in time a week before this all happened, and he is sent back — but the irony is that he has no memory of what happened, so he and his friends are forever doomed to be stuck in that passage of time.
  • Palm Springs: A Romcom that sees two people get stuck in a loop together. While at her sister's wedding, the main character enters the loop by accident, to find another person already in there, and who has been looping for quite a long time. After her initial attempts to break the loop fail, she becomes as disaffected as he is.
  • Premature features a high school student in a time loop in which he wakes up in the morning in his bed after he (prematurely) ejaculates.
  • Repeaters is about three recovering addicts whose "Groundhog Day" Loop happens to occur on the day that they're given a day pass out of rehab to do the "make amends" step.
  • Run Lola Run has a meta example: the eponymous Lola runs through a madcap twenty minutes, attempting to get 100,000 marks to her boyfriend before the mob kills him. We the viewer see three possible ways these twenty minutes can play out, which diverge from each other depending on whether her start is fractionally delayed or fractionally faster, with her displaying minor recollections of the previous times (for example, her boyfriend has to show her how to turn the safety off when he gives her a gun in the first loop, then in the second loop when she gets a gun a different way she turns the safety off by herself). The third and final iteration is the happy one.
  • Salvage has Claire reliving, in variations, her death at the hand of Duke Desmond, with every change just resulting in a different death, bringing her closer and closer to the truth, that she is Duke Desmond, suffering in Hell for Claire's murder.
  • Source Code has an eight-minute-long loop. It's simulations of the last eight minutes of a dead person's life, repeated as necessary until the person experiencing them manages to complete his mission to find certain information. Actually, that's what the creators of the system believe, but it's really an Alternate Universe.
  • Following multiple Real Life instances of police brutality, a subgenre of Groundhog Day Loop stories was created in which black protagonists must repeat a day which always ends in them being killed by police. In addition to the The Twilight Zone (2019) entry below, these include:
    • Groundhog Day For A Black Man: A nameless black guy is trapped in a loop in which, every time he leaves his apartment, he is killed by police for no apparent reason. (Notably, in one of the loops where he just decides to stay home all day, he lives through the day... but he's still stuck in the loop, so it's not a permanent solution).
    • Two Distant Strangers: Carter, a young black man in New York City, is stuck in a particularly horrifying version of this trope in which, every time he leaves the apartment of the young lady he just had sex with, he is murdered by the NYPD beat cop on the street outside. Unlike the previous example, Carter is killed even when he decides to stay inside all day. It is eventually revealed that Merk, the violence-prone cop in question, is also stuck in the loop… and he couldn't be happier.
  • The psychological horror movie Triangle features a variation with overlapping loops-within-loops, complete with disturbing reminders to the protagonist that she has been doing — and causing — this way more times than she is aware of.


By Author

  • F. M. Busby wrote a series of short stories which ran on this; the deuteragonist invented a "backspacer" which reset the world to a previous state, and often used it to rerun days until a variation occurred which didn't include some undesirable event, such as the start of World War 3. The protagonist was once allowed to use the device himself, and thereafter had Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory.
  • Keith Laumer has written many stories that involve time travel and/or alternate realities, so it's almost inevitable that some time loops would appear. For part of Time Trap the protagonist is in a "Groundhog Day" Loop that includes a Middle-of-Nowhere Street. Though all the characters remain aware and remember previous loops, physically the world is reset once a day, including the dead returning to life — except the protagonist, who retains any wear and tear from the day before.
  • In a Sakyo Komatsu short story a businessman who is going bankrupt tomorrow makes a Deal with the Devil and asks the Devil "to do something with tomorrow". Guess what happens to the businessman.

By Title

  • In the book 11 Birthdays, the heroine, Amanda, relives her eleventh birthday over and over again, along with her ex-best-friend, Leo (also his eleventh birthday). One of the things about this loop is that they realize Amanda still has blisters from some uncomfortable shoes worn the last cycle, so their bodies and anything they keep on themselves remains. Then they quickly realize that this means they will keep aging in the loop.
  • Richard A. Lupoff's 1973 story "12:01 PM" is a possible candidate for Trope Maker: its protagonist experiences time endlessly resetting from 1:00 PM to 12:01, while everyone else is oblivious. At the end of the story he frantically rushes to meet a scientist with whom he can discuss the phenomenon before 1:00 arrives, but suffers a heart attack and dies. And then it's 12:01 and he's alive again. (The makers of a short film adaptation attempted to sue the makers of Groundhog Day but were forced to drop the case.)
  • In Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, the train is this with a twist — people disappear with every loop.
  • All You Need Is Kill (which was adapted into the movie Edge of Tomorrow, see above) is about a young Japanese rookie soldier called Keiji Kiriya who dies during his first, disastrous deployment against the aliens who are wiping out mankind, only to reset back to the same point on the day before the battle, and continually do so every time he dies. Using the endless loops to train himself into an almost-unstoppable badass, he finds it still isn't enough to win the battle, until he meets Rita Vritraski, "the Full Metal Bitch", a young female war hero who, it turns out, became a hero after using the same power he has to win a decisive battle for mankind and she explains that Keiji accidentally stole the time loop power from the aliens, who are abusing their ability to reset time to outmaneuver humanity. The two team up to try and defeat the aliens. Then things go screwy when it turns out the loop will never end unless one of them personally kills the other and Keiji kills Rita to go on alone and win the battle.
  • The short story "Absent Thee From Felicity Awhile" by Somtow Sucharitkul has aliens grant humanity the gift of immortality—at a price; everyone must relive the day before the aliens came—for a million years.
  • Lauren Oliver's first novel Before I Fall is about a teenage girl who repeats February 12 — the day of her death.
  • "The Cookie Monster"note  by Vernor Vinge is a particularly unusual example — the protagonists don't have Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory, but two of them have figured out how to preserve information — they're personality uploads of real people that retained their human sentience, and they can store information in the computer and send it out just before their cycle reset. This means that every single day they're confronted with the Tomato in the Mirror. Not to worry, though — they're not Three Laws-Compliant, and they're the "cookie monsters" of the title (a reference to a "cookie" on the Internet). A.I. Is a Crapshoot, and they're preparing for revenge...
  • In the book Ctrl-Z, the protagonist, Alex, has a computer that resets time a certain amount if you press Ctrl-Z. The protagonist's friend Callum knows about it, but only Alex has Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory. So in one story arc, Callum accidentally hits his father in the foot with a dart, so he rushes over to Alex's house to press Ctrl-Z, and finds himself back at his house before he threw the dart...but since he has no memory of what happened he does the same thing, and presses Ctrl-Z over and over, leaving Alex trying to figure out why time is resetting every few minutes.
  • In The Dark Tower, the entire plot of all seven novels (excepting a few flash backs) is revealed at the very end to be a cycle. Roland finally reaches the Tower he has been trying to reach all this time, but as he enters it and climb the stairs, he notices several strangely familiar signs and sigils on the walls. When he then reaches the top, he sees a door with his name on it and realizes to his horror that he has reached and climbed the Tower countless times before. Roland is then forced through the door by the hands of Gan and transported back in time, he then wakes up in the Mohaine desert, back to where he was at the very beginning with his memory reset. How long the cycle has been repeating, and how long it will continue, is left to the reader's imagination. Notably though, this particular new iteration is implied to at least be somewhat different as Roland this time possesses the Horn of Eld from the very beginning.
  • The Defence of Duffer's Drift uses the dream variant as a framing device—not dreams within dreams, but a sequence of dreams all depicting the same scenario where the protagonist must command his platoon of fifty men to defend a strategic riverbed crossing in The Second Boer War. To prevent him from "cheating", the protagonist cannot remember the exact circumstances from dream to dream (enemy force composition and direction, et cetera), but he can and does learn general tactical lessons.
  • In Tears of a Dragon, the final book of Bryan Davis’ Dragons in Our Midst series, the protagonists visit an alternate dimension where all the former dragons are trapped in a time loop of a single day with no memories outside their present experience of that single day. They eat the same food, go to the same town meeting, go on the same dates—by the time of the story, they have been doing this for years on end without realizing it. Since they are the only ones who realize what is happening, it is the main characters’ goal to rescue the inhabitants of the somewhat misnamed "Dragons' Rest".
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, a 1965 Japanese novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui, is one of the earliest examples of this trope in Japanese media. It is about a high-school girl who gains the ability to time-travel and repeatedly relives the same day. It is also the Trope Maker in Japanese popular culture, where the novel is popular, was adapted into a 1972 television series and a hit 1983 film, and inspired numerous Japanese works (such as anime and manga) that use this trope. However, the story did not reach a wide Western audience until the 2006 anime film adaptation The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
  • Occurs during the short story "Endless Eight" in Haruhi Suzumiya. Haruhi, who has godlike powers, (though she is kept forcefully unaware, due to others fearing what a person like her would do should she realize she has such abilities) wishes at the end of the summer break that summer would never end. This accidentally causes a continuous loop of the previous two weeks every time she makes the wish. Which she ends up doing 15,532 times. Each time, only Yuki completely retains total memory of the previous loops, while the others, except for Haruhi, suffer from déjà vu, eventually all figuring it out the situation, except for (obviously) Haruhi. Only by forcing everyone to finish their summer homework does Kyon manage to make her not wish for summer to continue, finally ending the loop. When this story was adapted for the second season of the anime, Kyoto Animation, in order to have the audience empathize with the extreme boredom and tediousness the characters had to go through, stretched the story out significantly by animating the same episode eight times, with only minor differences for each one.
  • In The Hazel Wood, stories in the Hinterland (a realm of fairy tales) repeat themselves in a continuous loop, even though time moves normally for everyone else. Those who break the loop are called ex-story.
  • The young adult novel Heir Apparent, by Vivian Vande Velde, is about a girl trapped in a full-immersion virtual reality game; every time she dies in the game, the game starts over.
  • Two books in the Help! I'm Trapped in _____'s Body! series had the character repeating either the first day of school or of summer camp, until he stopped acting like a jerk. The second of the two is more or less a deconstruction of this trope, and it turns out that the reason he was going through this was... because he didn't brush his teeth.
  • This happens in the fourth arc of Humanity Has Declined as part of a fairy plot to get several instance of the main character in a Place Beyond Time, so they can make a lot of sweets.
  • R. L. Stine's It's the First Day of School...Forever! centers around a kid who finds himself repeating a disasterous first at school, which only gets worse with each loop. In the end it turns out that the whole thing was a video game someone is playing, the loops are a result of the game being reset.
  • In Jo Walton's novel Lent, a Groundhog Day-like form of reincarnation known as metempsychosis is an essential part of the damnation and punishment of demons, although some have more Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory than others.
  • Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick involves the protagonist reliving the same day over and over again, each time more bizarre than the last. After the day is over, he can't even remember it.
  • In master of the heavenly yard, this is the fate of Adam, Eve, Irina and Gammon due to a prematurely initiated Court Ending.
  • It's eventually revealed in "Middlegame" by Seanan McGuire that Rodger and Dodger have the ability to induce this for the entire universe. Everytime they've inevitably gotten things wrong and gotten themselves killed, they reset things. Each loop generally only has a few minor changes to try and push things forward and unlike most examples the starting point for the reset changes each time. It's the endpoint that remains constant. Without Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory, the two are bumbling their way through to a golden ending they have no clue even exists let alone how to achieve. By the time the novel ends, they've been in what amounts to a 30 year loop for 13,000 repetitions, and have unknowingly reset the universe almost half-a-million years.
  • Such a loop has apparently occurred at least a few times in Robert Rankin's book The Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived; by the time the plot begins, Hugo Rune, the self-proclaimed "amazing man", had worked out the secret of pre-incarnation, allowing him to be reborn on his original birth date with all of his memories intact, to the extent that he has now arranged for himself to be born as quintuplets using their advanced knowledge as part of a plan for four of them to take over the world (the fifth, original Rune is focused on more philanthropic matters).
  • Mother of Learning involves a repeating month. Somewhat like All You Need Is Kill, the loop has been repeating for a while by the time the protagonist gets accidentally pulled into it. Unlike that one, however, time isn't actually going backward; rather, the entire world is a copy, regularly destroyed and recreated inside a pocket dimension, to train the true Controller of the loop and help him find a way to stop an Eldritch Abomination from being released at the end of the month. The protagonist is just one of the copies of the original Zorian, and the loop Guardian doesn't intend to let him out into the real world.
  • Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation:
    • Orsted reveals that due to a curse he repeats the same two hundred years of history over and over again until he kills Hitogami. Having repeated this one hundred times he has roughly 20,000 years of experience and can identify potential allies, enemies and resources from experience in previous loops.
    • The Rewind Miko's ability has the side effect of allowing her to remember her lives in Orsted's previous loops. Each one of those lives was short and ended horrifically despite her attempts to escape, with the resulting mental trauma rendering her near catatonic.
  • The premise of Neverday by Carlton Mellick III is that not just one or a few people, but a large and ever-growing part of humanity is stuck in one, waking up on the same day whenever they go to sleep or die. A new society has emerged that tries to solve such problems as how to punish criminals and how to provide incentives for people to still perform such jobs as are still necessary. Oh, and there's rumours of what happens if you manage to stay awake for long enough to make it into the Neverday, the next day that most people never see...
  • In Pact, a chronomancer uses his abilities to create one of these for his enemies. Or so it seems. In actuality, Duncan Behaim uses his magic to fake a time loop, forcing Blake, Rose, Evan, and the rest of the people in the Jacob's Bell police station to forget the last few hours and reset themselves to where and what they were doing at the beginning of the affected period three times. Our protagonists figure out what is going on when they notice that the sun is in a different position than it should be for how long they'd been at the station. It turns out real time magic takes more power than Duncan has at hand...
  • The Doctor Who Past Doctor Adventures novel Festival of Death features a race with this as their hat; after they die, they loop around back to the start and remember exactly how they screwed up. Because everybody has it, they're not limited to fixing the errors of a single day, or a single lifetime: they can adjust the course of their entire history. (If fixing a screw-up requires action more than one lifetime ago, a message can be passed back by a newborn child telling an adult, who waits to be reborn then passes the message on in the same way.) Fortunately for everyone else, they're not interested in using their abilities to conquer other planets, or anything petty like that; the messages that have been passed back from the end of their history have given them something far more important to worry about.
  • In Permutation City, one character inflicts this on a simulated copy of himself out of guilt as a kind of Self-Inflicted Hell, making the copy endlessly relive the worst moment of his life (in which he committed the crime he's punishing himself for).
  • Re:Zero starts out as a Deconstruction of the kind of Wish-Fulfillment plots common in isekai Light Novels, featuring a Wrong Genre Savvy protagonist with No Social Skills who struggles to get by as a normal human with no connections in a World of Badass. Things go so badly wrong that Subaru is murdered... and wakes up at where he was a few hours ago. Turns out he has a "power" that allows him to go back in time after he dies, with his memories still intact. Unfortunately, the checkpoints for "Return by Death" are beyond his control (often coming at the worst possible moments), retaining his memories means he retains his many traumas, and each time he returns he can feel a sinister force digging deeper into his soul. For extra Blessed with Suck, this force also harms Subaru or his loved ones if he tries to tell anyone about his abilities, and generates an aura sinister enough that magically-sensitive people sometimes mistake Subaru for an Evil Sorcerer and attack him.
  • In Ken Grimwood's novel Replay, the protagonist lives large chunks of his life repeatedly (as do a couple of other characters), waking after dying to find himself back in his college days. However, with each subsequent cycle of death and reawakening, the cycle gets shorter as he wakes up at a later points in his original lifetime.
  • "Showdown" by Shirley Jackson, which was probably written before her deathnote  in 1965, but not published until the 2015 collection Let Me Tell You, would have been another trope maker. On July 16, 1932, Billy suspects that his town is haunted. He witnesses the in-plain-sight murder of young Tom Harper by brutal Thad Ruskin, whose daughter Susy was engaged to Tom. Tom asks Susy to never forget him, and she and all the witnesses vow to remember. Billy skips his chores to go fishing, and is sent to bed without supper. The next day and the next he goes through the same set of events and it's still July 16, 1932. He catches on and begins to try to change things; can he get across the street faster, can he stand closer to Tom when Thad pulls out the knife? Then he, and you, finally figure out what he should do, and what has already happened.
  • In SOPHIE, this is part of The Ending Changes Everything that is not involved in the fantastical or anything. Matthew has forced multiple women to re-enact this single night in every detail, pretended to be recovered, and ultimately killed them or left them to die in a locked bunker.
  • In Sunday Without God, the students Class 3-4 trap themselves in one when they wish to reset time to prevent a classmate's death. They repeat the same year fourteen times, and it's only when Alice enlists the help of Ai that the seal over them starts to break.
  • Tales for the Midnight Hour has one story called "The Old Plantation", which tells about a northern real estate agent spending the night in a house, despite being warned of its strangeness. Among other things, he finds a book called The Old Plantation, which echoes his own life. The book ends with the in-story avatar realizing something horrifying and just stopping and waiting. As the protagonist tries to figure it out, he realizes he's waiting for himself to arrive and start the evening all over again.
  • In This Used To Be About Dungeons chrononauts have an innate ability to go back a day and reset time, although with a few caveats. While they are only aware of the times they personally reset, the guild communication system can be used to pass short messages between individual timelines. The exact number of times one of them can repeat a day is dependent on the individual, with 12 being noted as extraordinary, and there is a complex order of precedence that governs the order the resets apply when multiple chrononauts are involved. Generally they'll try to stay out of each other's way so they don't have to worry about it, but when they coordinate their efforts and pass messages between lower-priority and higher-priority chrononauts, they can potentially keep the same day playing out for years.
  • In the Time Machine gamebook series, there exist "rules of time travel"; supposedly, if you break them you're in danger of being caught in a time loop. You get the opportunity to break such a rule in one of the books, and all it does is to send you back to page one. Also note that since bad choices make you re-read pages you've read already, the protagonist technically falls into a few short loops (with two or three iterations, tops) on his every adventure. (Since some of them involve arduous weeks- or even months-long trips, it's probably not pleasant...)
  • In Alex Scarrow's TimeRiders, the station from which the heroes monitor time is a railway arch under the Williamsburg Bridge, New York, on a GDL of the 10th and 11th of September, 2001. This was done intentionally; In the wake of 9-11, no-one would pay them any mind, or at least, would forget about them completely. Thus, the heroes' presence would never contaminate the future in any significant way.
  • In The Tunnel Under the World, by Frederik Pohl, Guy Burckhardt lives in a town where June 15th is repeated every day, but the inhabitants don't realize. It is later revealed that everyone in the town is a miniature robot who was imprinted with the mind-pattern of a citizen of the real town, which was destroyed on June 14th. Advertising executives then used them to test various advertising techniques. It makes much more sense than it seems.
  • The world of The Wheel of Time is in a Groundhog eternity loop. There are seven Ages, with the first always following the seventh. By the time an Age comes again, even the faintest legend of its previous existence has been forgotten. One of the ages is ours.
  • This is weaponized in A World of Wonder. The maximum penalty in Wonderland is to be "given pause," and forced to live your last hours of freedom over and over until the sentence is up.

    Live-Action TV 

In General:

  • There was a Straight-To-TV documentary about (natural) disasters following a scientists life that plays with this trope. He of course is stuck in a loop, but he doesn't actually remember it, "nature" does though. He is trying to get to work, but one thing is always different from the previous loop, causing him to die (from small things such as getting electrocuted because of lighting to big things such as a sudden tornado or tsunami hitting the city) with the narrator at one point cheerfully implying that "the world" doesn't seem to want him to reach his workplace. With each loop he gets closer to work though, only to finally reach it at the end. It is then revealed that he is a scientist working on creating a black hole. He succeeds in doing so and it sucks him and everything up. Which is the ''cause'' of the "Groundhog Day" Loop, with the documentary ending as he dies at the very beginning again, revealing that "the world" is trying to kill him permanently to try stopping the loop.


  • 7 Days (1998) does this twice.
    • The fourth episode featured an 8-hour time loop caused by Dr. Ballard messing with the device somehow. Frank went back over the events several times, finally calling Dr. Ballard just before the reset point and telling him NOT to do the fix they had discussed, because Olga had just been killed and he wanted to do it again and save her.
    • The episode Déjà Vu All Over Again mixed this with Cuckoo Nest, as Frank was repeatedly sent back to the same series of events by another version of himself until he could save one of his friends without innocents dying in the process. Once again, the episode is a blatant Run Lola Run reference (if not rip-off), and a minor character of a psychologist is revealed in the credits to have the name: Dr. Lola Manson.
  • 12 Monkeys: In the episode "Lullaby", a post-Despair Event Horizon Katarina sends an equally despondent Cassandra back in time to kill Katarina's own younger self before she can create time travel in response to her daughter Hannah's death, having come to believe that time travel is more dangerous than it's worth (given that it's been key to the 12 Monkeys' plans), with Cole chasing after Cassandra to stop her. However, time itself is conscious and needs Katarina's work to exist, so when Cassandra kills the young Katarina, she and Cole find themselves starting over back at the point they arrived in the past in. And, no matter what they do in each loop — saving Hannah's life, even avoiding doing anything at all — it keeps resetting. Ultimately, they find that the proper way out is to fake Hannah's death, then get her to someplace where she can be saved and raised in secret; this gives the young Katarina the drive to invent time travel, and the reveal that Hannah's still alive gives the old Katarina a renewed sense of hope.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Season 7 episode "As I Have Always Been" involves a time loop as the team tries to escape a time storm. Unusually, the episode starts after many loops have already happened, but Daisy doesn't remember them because even though she has Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory, she loses it when she dies. Which she has done fourteen times. The only other person who remembers the loops is LMD Coulson, who starts every loop powered down, so he only remembers the loops where Daisy wakes him up. Also, even though every loop is the same, every loop also brings them closer to the event horizon of a time vortex, which means that they are on a timer.
  • Angel:
    • The episode "Time Bomb" stuck Illyria in a chaotic version (time is repeating but not in a fixed sequence). Each time it ends with her exploding. Unusually, Illyria is not the perspective character, and we see only a few bits and pieces of loop.
    • Lindsey and later Gunn are held in a prison dimension in the form of a Stepford Suburbia; every day they get tortured and have their heart cut out by a demon in the Creepy Basement — the injuries repair themselves, their memories of the torture disappear and the next day it all begins again.
  • The entire first season of The Aquabats! Super Show! is designed like this. At the end of Episode 13, "Showtime!", Space Monster M flings the Battletram with the Aquabats inside it to space, on a course to the moon. The first cartoon segment of the show also began with the Aquabats helplessly drifting through space. It comes full circle when the Bat Commander watches the cartoon segment of "Showtime!" in which the Aquabats are sent back to the events of the very first episode. Thankfully, season two fixes this loop.
  • Being Erica Season 3 has this where Erica has to relive the same day over and over after Kai comes back from the future to tell her that he tried to find her in 9 years time and couldn't. Also that there will be a terrible disaster in a few years time in that area. Erica then spends her day panicking that she only has a few years left to live. Dr Tom decides to make her relive this day over and over to teach her to value the here and now.
  • Black Hole High, a.k.a. Strange Days at Blake Holsey High, used this one with the twist that time will actively oppose any attempts to change the loop: if you decide to avoid bumping into someone by taking a different route, the other person will change their route to counteract this.
  • In the Black Mirror episode "White Bear", Victoria is eventually revealed to be a convicted child murderer sentenced to be every day hunted and tormented in front of watching passers-by. In this episode, it was actually the 18th time she went through this.
  • An episode of Blindspot has Patterson reliving the same day over and over while investigating the deaths of three soldiers. Each day is cut short by an exploding centrifuge. In a variation from the norm, the first run through is the real one and the rest take place in her mind after the centrifuge explosion leaves her near death.
  • The Blood Ties (2007) episode "5:55"; private eye Vicki Nelson is hired to retrieve Pandora's box, which compels whoever holds it to open it and release the demons that will destroy the world, only for tattoos Vicki received from an old demon adversary to 'reset' her back to the beginning of the day so that her other enemy can kill her himself, the loop finally ending when she gives the box to her vampire ally Henry Fitzroy (reasoning that the box only compels the living to open it and Henry's biologically dead).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Life Serial" the Trio use a spell to trap Buffy in one of these. They specifically mention the Star Trek: TNG and X-Files episodes, but not Groundhog Day itself.
    • The same premise but without time travel occurs in "I Only Have Eyes For You". The ghosts of two lovers who died in a Murder-Suicide force others to reenact the same fatal events; the loop is broken when one inhabits Angel, who can't be killed by the gunshot and so survives to grant forgiveness and enable the ghosts to move on.
  • Charmed (1998):
    • The episode "Déjà Vu All Over Again" where a demon repeats the plan of attack every day until it is perfected so he can finally kill the sisters. One of the sisters has the power of premonition which somehow allows her to have some recollection of what happened/will happen which gets stronger with each additional loop. Unfortunately, they fail to stop Andy Trudeau's death.
    • An Alternate Plane of Existence was used to force an old west town to relive a tradgedy of thug murdering a local Native American, and said plane was cursed into a time loop. Prue and Cole insert themselves into this plane and help the townspeople stop the thug from murdering, break the loop, and are allowed to move on to their respective afterlives.
  • Cloak & Dagger (2018): In the sixth episode, Tandy and Tyrone enter the mind of a catatonic Ivan Hess and discover that he has been reliving the two minutes before the rig explosion for the past eight years. By the time they get there, he's forgotten his name and the simple fact that there is anything outside the rig. Worse, it's a Year Inside, Hour Outside situation; when Tyrone pops out for thirty seconds and then pops back in, Tandy has already gone through at least two hundred loops, meaning Ivan Hess has been trapped for subjectively eight thousand years. They finally end the loop by escorting him to the core room and having him reset the rig to keep it from exploding; Tyrone had done it earlier, but it had to be Ivan because it was his mind.
  • An episode of Community has Chang claim to be undergoing a 24-hour version of one of these. Of course, this is post-Season-4, so Chang is only marginally tolerated.
  • Dark Matter (2015) has Three trapped in one in "All the Time in the World". Eventually, two other characters are also trapped in the loop, which helps them work out what's causing it. In a deviation from the typical pattern, the episode starts after Three has already experienced several dozen iterations of the day. As a result, he is already in the middle of both exploring the possibilities the loop offers and looking for a way out. Interestingly, when the Android attempts to fix it by recalibrating the clock thing that the looping characters touched, she ends up randomly jumping to points in time outside the loop, and just destroys it when she comes back to when she started.
  • Day Break (2006) centers around this trope — the hero repeats the same day while getting repeatedly framed for the murder of a lawyer, and of course his girlfriend gets caught up in it. His injuries carry over from one repeat to the next. Also, "psychological breakthroughs" were also apparently carried across. I.e., if someone had made an exceptional hard choice or had an epiphany, they would actually alter their behavior the next loop, and all subsequent loops, with no outside interference. This mostly keeps the protagonist from having to solve everyone's problems every day, but sometimes ends up making things worse for him when someone doesn't do something he expects.
  • The Dead Zone, by way of Self-Defeating Prophecy. Smith keeps seeing visions of future disasters until his plan to make them go properly is destined to succeed. He sometimes experiences this as "if this ends badly, it's a vision. If it doesn't, it's real." In particular, the episode Deja Voodoo is structured entirely as a "Groundhog Day" Loop.
  • A time loop is often employed in Doctor Who as a weapon (to trap people, ships and sometimes entire planets) as opposed to the effect being a naturally occurring phenomenon that characters stumble into.
    • In the climax of "The Claws of Axos", the Third Doctor traps the Axons in a time loop to keep them imprisoned and away from Earth. He barely manages to avoid getting caught in the loop himself.
    • "Carnival of Monsters" has a variation used for commercial reasons. A ship bound for India was taken, shrunk down, and put in a miniature People Zoo. The memories of the passengers and crew are then altered to reset after ten minutes so they don't realize that they are never reaching their destination. Unfortunately, the Doctor and Jo Grant are not part of the original loop, leading to them being "discovered" and arrested repeatedly as stowaways.
    • In "Meglos", the Doctor and Romana are caught in a time loop (called a chronic hysteresis) that repeats after only a couple of minutes. Being Time Lords, they fix the loop within 10 minutes and then get on with the rest of that adventure.
      [The Doctor stumbles]
      Romana: Blast! Here we go again!
      The Doctor: What's the matter?
      Romana: Now his probe circuit's jammed!
      The Doctor: That's easy, just waggle his tail!
      Romana: Alright, I've tried everything else... [waggles K9's tail]
      K9: Thank you mistress, repairs complete!
      The Doctor: [concerned] That's the third time.
    • In order to prevent a war monger from launching his atomic bombs against an enemy planet, the Fourth Doctor uses the Key to Time to create a temporary time loop, buying him enough time to solve the crisis at hand. He also uses one to defeat the Vardans when they try to conquer Gallifrey, by tracing their homeworld and time-looping it.
    • In "The Big Bang", River is stuck in a loop to prevent her from dying in the exploding TARDIS. It's a relatively short loop, around 10 seconds long, if that.
    • In "Heaven Sent", The Doctor is teleported to an ever-shifting maze that resets portions of itself, pursued by a creature that attempts to kill him unless he confesses something. He eventually discovers an exit, but getting through it requires getting through a barrier of a substance ten times harder than diamond. The monster catches up with him and burns him too badly to regenerate, so he crawls back to the teleporter room he started in... and activates it as he burns up, releasing a brand new Doctor into the situation. This loop continues until the Doctor punches a hole through the azbantium barrier... a process that occurs one punch at a time over the course of four and a half billion years.
    • In "Eve of the Daleks", a time loop is initiated by the TARDIS resetting just before midnight on New Year's Eve during a Dalek attack, with the Snap Back trigger occurring at midnight. On the bright side, exterminations only last until the start of the next loop, and everyone in the building has a Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory, so they can learn from past mistakes. On the not-so-bright-side, the Daleks also have a Ripple Effect Proof Memory and each loop begins one minute later than the last, with the the last loop being permanent. Companion Dan even namedrops the trope.
  • An episode of Eureka featured the main character Carter repeating the wedding day of Allison to Jerkass Stark. The day is eventually saved after a Heroic Sacrifice from Stark himself.
    • Unusually, time was very much not on Jack's side in this episode. The time loop was unstable and every time it happened Jack arrived in the past with worse and worse physical injuries caused by the backlash. It's a good thing he got down to business right away, because it only even went on for five loops or so but by the last he was arriving in the past with broken ribs and the scientists who had some idea what was going on predicted the universe would probably end if it looped one more time.
  • An episode of The Famous Jett Jackson has the titular character experience a bad day where everyone gets mad at him: his father, whom he stood up for their fishing trip, his great-grandmother, whose oatmeal he complained about, his friend Kayla, whose new Anime Hair he laughed at, his English teacher, when Jett tried to read Poe's The Raven to a rap beat in class. The next day, he realizes that he's in a loop and tries to make things better. He fails. The day after that, he gets things perfect. However, it turns out to have been All Just a Dream. Only the first day was real. But Jett finds out that things actually turned out better than he thought. His dad not getting on their bus meant that he saved a baby from being run over, his great-grandmother calmed down after his oatmeal comment, Kayla decided that her new hair really was ridiculous and Jett was right to laugh, and the English teacher commending Jett on getting his students excited about poetry by combining it with the new "urban poetry".
  • Farscape episode "Back and Back and Back to the Future".
    • The episode "Thank God It's Friday...Again" features a variation in which the characters aren't actually repeating the same day, but they are drugged into constantly believing that the current day is the end of the workweek and they get a day off tomorrow...except that day off never comes.
  • An episode of First Wave shows Joshua's punishment for having aided Cade against his own people. Having experimented with quantum pockets before, the Gua have grown adept at them. Joshua is punished by being trapped in a quantum pocket he calls a gulag. It's essentially a computer simulation where Joshua has less than an hour to stop the Gua from destroying Earth in a scenario where the invasion failed, and where human authorities kill all Gua on sight. The simulation is designed to always end in failure, and always resets to the same point after Joshua's death or Earth's destruction with Joshua's memory also resetting. The loop works perfectly for countless cycles until Cade finds the gulag and enters it, also becoming trapped by the loop. However, the presence of two people causes the system to glitch and occasionally show echoes from previous loops that, eventually, help Joshua and Cade figure out a way to break out of the loop. Things get even more complicated when Cain (another Gua using a husk identical to Joshua's) follows Cade into the gulag and tries to restore the loop to normal. After Cade and Joshua manage to stop the Gua superweapon, they are kicked out of the quantum pocket, while Cain remains there as the new prisoner, with the scenario slightly modified to suit him (he has to keep trying to catch Cade and fail every time).
  • An episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has Will being hexed by a psychic. The end of the episode has him waking up from the events as if they were a dream to the morning before in which the dialogue from the beginning of the episode is heard.
  • In the Fringe episode "White Tulip", the Fringe team has to start a case over three times as the mad scientist trying to save his wife goes back in time multiple times. None of them realize it, but it does make for quite the tearjerker at the end of the episode.
  • Give My Head Peace also has such an episode. Uncle Andy has a drunken 11th Night and wakes up on the 12th only to find that a precious Orange Banner depicting the Battle of the Boyne has been destroyed, presumably by the thuggish Scottish bandsmen who drunkenly slept the night off in his house.
  • The Haunting Hour episode "Lovecraft's Woods" focuses on a group of teenagers taking a shortcut to a party through a group of woods, only to discover that they're not alone: There's a horrific creature lurking in the woods with them. The climax of the episode reveals that the creature is one of them, Erica, from a short while into the future and the present version of her has been infected, triggering her transformation into the creature. As soon as this is revealed, the episode starts over again from the beginning, implying that this trope is in effect.
  • In the Haven episode "Audrey Parker's Day off", Audrey has to relive the same day over and over. She could notice the loop because she is immune to the Troubles. Significantly, her injuries transfer between loops so by day 5 she is injured and extremely tired. She also apparently does not get much sleep between loops. Fortunately since this is Haven, Nathan believes her when she says she's reliving the day, and they learn a little more with each loop.
    Nathan: You're stuck in my second favorite Bill Murray movie.
    • They eventually realize the first time around, the daughter of a man with OCD was killed in a hit-and-run. His OCD combined with his "Trouble" made the day restart, with a new person always dying. The man was unaware of the loop until Audrey convinced him. Eventually they save the daughter and he sacrifices himself to end it.
  • In the slightly odd British show Hounded, the entire series is a "Groundhog Day" Loop. At the end of every episode, after his plans have been foiled by Rufus, the evil Dr. Muhahaha hits a literal Reset Button, resetting things back to the start of the day so he can try again with a different plan. The presence of Rufus' future (and clearly aged) self strongly implies that Rufus does eventually break the loop, although he never quite manages it during the series' run.
  • Kamen Rider Double has a unique twist with the Yesterday Dopant, which can make people do whatever they did exactly 24 hours ago regardless of other factors. We first see it being used to make a man jump off a building, since yesterday he dived into a swimming pool.
  • Let's Make a Deal did this on a Groundhog Day episode, no less. After every commercial break, the opening spiels were repeated, and the exact same contestant was brought down to play the exact same deal. However, the deal went farther every time it was played.
  • In the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Here I Go Again", a malfunction on the Waverider results in Zari experiencing the same hour over and over, ending with the ship exploding. The Trope Namer is mentioned several times and serves as a code word to Nate, who immediately believes her. He gives her plenty of Genre Savvy advice, even telling her to do a "fun no consequences montage" when things get boring. It is eventually revealed to have been caused by the fact that she was sprayed with a fluid from their timeship's engines. And then subverted in that the whole thing was a simulation Gideon put Zari through in order to convince her to stay with the Legends while she recovers in the medical bay. Turns out, being sprayed with a fluid that powers a timeship is bad for your health.
  • The Librarians "...And the Point of Salvation" has one activated by a Magitek quantum computer, with Ezekiel remembering previous loops. It turns out the computer was running a Half-Life-like video game, and Ezekiel is now the player character. He lampshades the trope in the second go round.
    Ezekiel: It's a time loop! Like in that movie. Groundhog Day! Or Star Trek, Buffy, The X-Files...
  • The Mindy Project, when it moved to hulu, dabbled in fantastical plot lines. One of which was the season 5 episode "Hot Mess Time Machine", in which Mindy ends up reliving the same day over and over, and uses it to make things right with Ben.
  • Lost has Desmond, whose consciousness has been sent back and forward through time. He essentially relives parts of his entire life, implying that he can predict what will happen. The tragedy is that any drastic changes he tries to make, such as saving Charlie's life, are smoothed out or "course-corrected" by time.
  • In Lucifer (2016), it's revealed that this is how everyone is punished in Hell, with the people who go there getting trapped in loops of their most shameful moments with all the other roles played by demons. So far, we've seen four examples, two in season two's "A Good Day to Die", one in season three's "Off The Record", and another in season five's "Really Sad Devil Guy".
  • The Magicians (2016):
    • The entire first season is the fortieth iteration of a time loop created by a woman trying to find a way to stop the Beast, an extremely powerful wizard. Whenever the main characters fail, she resets the loop and alters events slightly to see if she can get a better outcome. The problem is, powerful wizards — the Beast included — can perceive the loop even if they can't break free of it. Succeeding this time becomes important when the Beast finally catches and kills her, meaning there won't be any more resets.
    • The episode "Oops, I Did it Again" features Eliot and Margo trapped in a time loop twelve hours before the end of the world. Discussed by Josh when he finds out, too.
      Josh: Like, uh, Groundhog Day? Or Russian Doll? Or Happy Death Day or Happy Death Day 2U? Or Source Code? Oh, that The X-Files. The Star Trek. Edge of Tomorrow but really All You Need Is Kill and it's, like, why change the title like that, right?
      Eliot: Wow. You really love time loop stories, don't you?
  • Mashin Sentai Kiramager: Reset Button Jamenshi weaponized this trope. He has the power to rewind time and he uses it every time he's defeated by the heroes so he can back to try again knowing everything that happened until he emerges victorious. The heroes turn his power against him by forcing him to reset before he can learn anything. Driven insane after countless resets, the Jamenshi simply surrenders and hands over his reset button to the protagonists while storming off. He runs into his boss Galza to whom he admits there's no way for him to defeat the heroes. Galza promptly destroy him for failing his mission.
  • In the Mutant X episode "Possibilities", a mutant with the power to travel back a short period of time is trying to stop a bomb from being detonated. When Brennan is caught in the explosion with her, he is sent back as well.
  • My Name Is Earl gave us an inversion. One guy on Earl's list was a stuntman named Sweet Johnny whose girlfriend cheated on him with Earl. When Earl went to meet Johnny, it turned out Johnny hit his head so many times, that "his brain can't make anymore memories," meaning he's stuck in one of these, but he's the only one who isn't aware of it. When Earl informed him of this, he didn't take it too well. Earl then decided maybe it would be better if he didn't cross Sweet Johnny on his list yet.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Mike's tripping!
  • The New Adventures of Robin Hood: In "Day After Day", an evil warlock curses a village to live the same day over and over until the woman he obsesses over agrees to marry him.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Storybrooke worked this way before Emma arrived. Every day everyone did the exact same thing, with no one except Regina (and later Henry) noticing. The reason it's in the "variant" section is because outside stimulus could cause the loop to edit itself. For example, on the first day of the loop, Mary Margaret went straight home after teaching class. After Regina shows her a John Doe coma patient in the hospital (actually Mary Margaret's husband, though she doesn't know that), she goes to the hospital every day after class. Regina initially liked it, as she had won, but the tedium of it got to her fast. Henry, having been born outside of Storybrooke, is the only one who ages within the loop.
  • In an episode of The Outer Limits (1995) titled "Déjà Vu", a time loop occurs due to a failed wormhole experiment. It takes the third loop for one scientist to realize what's going on. However, at each round the loop gets shorter and shorter, with less time to prevent the impending disaster. On the fourth go-around, the scientist is able to pull a co-worker into the loop with him so she can help him figure out what's happening. The protagonists succeed, with the General Ripper who sabotaged the experiment becoming trapped in a seconds-long version, just enough time for him to see that the triggering explosion is about to happen and cover his face. The Control Voice's opening and closing narration for this episode were identical.
  • In Painkiller Jane, the Neuro of the episode "Playback" could reset time for a day while trying to kill a Chinese diplomat, and would do so whenever the team prevent him from carrying it out. While he (initially) was the only one completely aware of it, Jane started realizing it as well. Once he realized the team would show up to stop him, he started leaving behind various traps to delay them. When that failed, he set a trap and changed his method (from sniper to drive by shooting) allowing him to successfully kill the diplomat. The team then killed his mother to force him to go back a day, Jane tackled him when he did which meant she went back as well, and then she took him down. Notably, this episode showed that it was possible for Jane to die, if the Chunky Salsa Rule was employed. However, this trope then took over, and she was fine in the next loop.
  • An episode in Person of Interest is presented through the Machine running several simulations of how events will play out based on what it tells Root to do, with it "resetting" back to real-time events every time the outcome is unfavorable.
  • In the Pixelface episode "Reset", Claireparker causes this by using a literal Reset Button in an attempt to create 'the perfect day'.
  • Used in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue episode "Yesterday Again", in which Carter accidentally loops to prevent the other four Rangers from dying when Olympius nabs their BFG.
    • Although in this case he actually traveled back in time; how he did so is never revealed.
  • In the Power Rangers Zeo episode "A Brief Mystery of Time", Prince Gasket traps the people of Earth in one of these so as to set up an attack to seize the world in one swift stroke that the Power Rangers would be unable to counter. Unfortunately for Gasket, his earlier tampering with Tommy's brain allowed Tommy to notice the loop and Zordon was able to track down the device causing it once made aware.
  • In the Preacher version of Hell, sinners are forced to relive the worst days of their lives, over and over again, forever.
  • This is the premise of the go90 series, Replay. An aspiring DJ is granted her wish to re-live her disastrous 25th birthday 25 times until she gets it right.
  • The Netflix series Russian Doll has this as a premise with the main character dying and restarting at her birthday party. Even when she makes it to the next day, if she dies, she ends up back at the party.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • The episode "Window of Opportunity". In the episode, the term "Groundhog Day" is used at one point in a partial Lampshade Hanging that implies the characters are aware of the film and its premise, even though the similarity was not actually discussed within the episode. When the episode was originally written, apparently one of the writers worried that they would be seen as ripping off "Cause and Effect" (see below), to which another retorted "we're not, we're ripping off Groundhog Day." Only O'Neill and Teal'c remember the events of previous loops — every 10 hours — and have to partially learn Latin in order to figure out how to stop the loops. In a slight variation it turns out the device causing this affects 14 worlds at once. Due to time running normally everywhere else the rest of the galaxy was out of sync for the duration of the time loops. When a character wonders how long they had been stuck in the loops it is mentioned that one of Earth's off-world allies had been trying to contact the SGC for "three months" — they don't try to communicate all that often so who knows how long the loop was going on before they called the first time. At one point they turn to Daniel in the hope of him helping translating the writing on the device causing this, but this is so slow that the loop happens before he can finish. Only for Daniel to start taking a Double Take when O'Neill "updates" Daniel on what he's done in the previous loops so the translation can go faster. Also, when Daniel casually points out that O'Neill and Teal'c can pretty much do anything they want without fear of consequences, Hilarity Ensues. Especially since they're trying to stave off going crazy from going through the loops. For years, this was voted SG-1's best episode. Ever.
      (O'Neill is standing in the Gate Room hitting golfballs through the Stargate, presumably with the intention of breaking the world's longest shot record)
      Hammond: Colonel O'Neill, what the hell are you doing?!
      O'Neill: (pauses, turns around) Right in the middle of my backswing?!
    • Also used (although much less humorously) in the episode "The Gamekeeper", in which Daniel and Jack (the others are immune because they have naquada in their blood, and the writers couldn't think up an appropriately angsty backstory for them... yet) have to repeat a specific day/moment of their lives over and over. For Jack, it's a particular covert op in his pre-Stargate days gone wrong; for Daniel, it's his parents' deaths. When it's revealed that they are basically being used as entertainment for a bunch of bored aliens, Daniel and Jack independently choose not to participate as they realize they can't actually change things.
    • "Avatar" has another virtual-reality version in which Teal'c is trapped in a training simulation that resets each time he "dies", and ramps up the difficulty whenever he gets close to winning.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • The episode "Cause and Effect", in which the ship keeps exploding but also sends the crew back in time a few hours until they figure out how to prevent it. This is an example that predates the film; "Cause and Effect" aired March 23, 1992, while Groundhog Day premiered February 12, 1993. Some airings of the episode also looped the commercial breaks; you've got to wonder how much money the station was giving up to do that... None of the characters retained full memory from loop to loop. It was only over time that various members of the crew started to feel like the day was a little too familiar. Having one character (or a few characters) be aware of the loop was a part of the trope that was later popularized by Groundhog Day and is now a standard part of it. Note that the loop was only internal. In other words, the universe around the Enterprise and the Bozeman kept moving while they looped (The D was stuck for 17 and a half days, the Bozeman was stuck for 90 years). "Cause and Effect" also reused as little footage as possible during the loops; each iteration had to be shot slightly differently, in order to make it more visually interesting. A lot of shows would later reuse shots where possible in order to save money.
      • Also, "Time Squared". "There is the theory of the Moebius, a twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop..."
    • The first part of the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Coda" has a constant reset of Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay appearing in the shuttlecraft, with each loop beginning after Janeway dies in the previous loop. It turns out the entire thing is an illusion; after Janeway was injured in a shuttle crash, a creature invaded her mind. It wanted to feed on her energy, but it could only do so if she was dead and it lacked the ability to kill her outright, so it created scenarios with the intention that she would give up and accept death. Because she remained Defiant to the End every time, the creature kept having to create new scenarios to induce her to give up. It fails when, in the final loop, she becomes aware that it's an illusion and is subsequently able to break it.
    • The Star Trek: Discovery episode "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad" has Harry Mudd infiltrate the Discovery and use an alien device to keep looping the same half-hour period dozens of times in order to Save Scum his way into learning everything about the ship in order to take it over and sell it to the Klingons. He also uses it as an opportunity to exact his revenge against Lorca by killing him in various ways at least 54 times. The only one (besides Mudd himself) with Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory is Stamets, thanks to injecting himself with "tardigrade" DNA a few episodes prior. It's mentioned that Mudd previously robbed a Betazoid bank using the same method (doubly impressive, considering Betazoids can read minds).
  • An episode of The Suite Life on Deck had Cody trying to impress Bailey at the school dance yet failing, and suddenly getting stuck in a time loop because of lightning striking the ship as it crossed the International Dateline. The loop is solved when Cody manages to slow down the ship's speed.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Mystery Spot", Sam replays the Tuesday Dean dies over and over. The Snap Back trigger is Dean's death. When Sam tries to explain, Dean responds, "like Groundhog Day." Every. Single. Time. It's entirely likely the loop repeated roughly several thousand times, when asked, Sam says that he lost count after "about a hundred and fifteen". And, as we see in the Death Montage, Dean's deaths become exponentially more comical. Sam's efforts to save Dean reach a level of paranoia and desperation that causes him to accidentally directly kill Dean himself at least once. And indirectly many more times. The kicker? The Trickster is "preparing" Sam for Dean's untimely death in the season finale so he doesn't go off the rails. The Trickster's goal — to teach Sam that "you Winchester boys are so eager to die for each other... and the thing is, the bad guys know it too" — was thoroughly ignored and sidestepped by Sam, who instead learned just how much life without Dean would suck. The second montage shows Sam becoming a death-seeking recluse, hunting anything in his path, slipping where morals are concerned, and generally appearing to have crossed a horizon. And as far as the real goal of the fiasco, Sam is more angsty, just a bit more unstable, and even more desperate to find a loophole. The Trickster lampshades this effect, telling Sam that "whoever said Dean was the dysfunctional one has never seen you with a sharp object in your hands. Holy Full Metal Jacket." And next season when Dean finally returns from Hell, one of the first things Sam says is that he tried everything to save Dean, including trying to make deals with demons, but no one would deal.
  • Happens in the penultimate episode of The Thundermans. Max and Phoebe relive day before they find out if they will get into the finals for the Z-Force over and over. No matter what changes they make, nothing gets them out of the loop, which goes on for nearly a month. It is finally revealed that Max had created a gadget that made the same day repeat as he was nervous about whether or not he and Phoebe actually got into the finals and just wanted to prolong the wait. The end of this episode directly led to the finale.
  • In Torchwood, it is mentioned that Jack Harkness and John Hart were stuck in a two-week time loop together for 5 years.
  • This is the premise for the series Tru Calling:
    • Recently-deceased people being processed by Tru (a coroner's assistant) suddenly animate and ask for her help. Tru's day immediately resets to the point where she awoke that morning and she relives the day so she can fix something for the dead person (usually, but not always, preventing their death). In a few episodes it was shown that if Tru fixes things "wrong" she will continue to relive the day until she gets it right.
    • There is also an inversion of the normal loop in Tru's nemesis Jack, whose "calling" is to relive the same days that Tru does, but ensure that things play out as fated—the same way they did the first time.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "Shadow Play", Adam Grant who has the same dream every night, about being convicted for a heinous murder and being executed for it. The difference here is that it's told from the perspective of the other characters. They eventually grow to realize that if Grant is put to death, he'll wake up and they will cease to exist. They do it anyway.
    • "Judgement Night" is set on a passenger liner on the Atlantic in 1942. One of the passengers, Carl Lanser, has no memory of how he got on board but realizes the ship will be sunk by a German U-boat. He tries to warn the crew but they don't believe him. The ship is torpedoed and everyone on board is killed. It is revealed Lanser was the captain of the U-boat and that he is now doomed to spend the last night on the ship and share the same fate as the people he killed over and over again.
  • The Twilight Zone (2019) has two variations.
    • In "Replay", the protagonist is actually in full control of the loop, but continues to repeat it until she can get the outcome she wants.
    • In "Try Try", this is the main plot. Mark has been stuck in one for around a thousand days. Unusually, however the episode does not take place from his perspective, but from that of the woman he has been continually trying to seduce during that period.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • In season 6, The Gemini Coven traps Kai Parker in a prison world after he kills his family on May 10, 1994. He is cursed to live May 10th over and over again until he meets Bonnie and Damon and finds a way to escape.
  • Weird Science: "Universal Remote" did this at the end with the "remote control that controls the world" trope later made famous by the movie Click. Gary and Wyatt wish up a remote that allows them to affect the flow of time, and Gary sees it as a way of "skipping the dull parts" of a dating to get to the kissing part. It seems to be working with the Girl of the Week, until she realizes he knows absolutely nothing about her. She's so frustrated that she throws the remote control aside, and it hitting the floor causes time to skip back a few minutes. With each loop, Gary tries and fails to get the remote back, getting continually yelled at by the girl for his behavior and hassled by a Jerk Jock for good measure. Due to being in on the wish, Wyatt notices his French class constantly looping, and he eventually gets in position to catch the remote before it breaks, thus ending the loops. (Incidentally, Wyatt refuses to use the remote to bail Gary out any further, saying he has to actually talk to the girl for a change.)
  • In the Westworld series, the hosts are programmed to repeat the same behaviours day in, day out, with the only variations being the actions of the guests and Lee's "special events", and their memories are wiped at the end of each day. The pilot episode illustrates this by showing Dolores going through four separate loops; the first two start identically, the third is thrown off-track by her father malfunctioning, and the fourth is identical to the first two except that her father has been replaced by a completely different host.
  • In The Worst Year of My Life, Again, Alex inexplicably finds himself reliving a year of his life. The plot revolves around him trying to change things for the better this time.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess:
    • Season 3 Episode 2, called "Been There, Done That", where the male half of two Star-Crossed Lovers—classic Romeo and Juliet complete with rival houses—makes a deal with Cupid to have the day repeat itself until he finds a way to keep his lover from killing herself and their families from killing each other; until a "Hero would come along to save [the girl], make peace between the houses and end the loop."
    Star-Crossed Male: I was expecting Hercules, or at least Sinbad.
    • Xena — resident hero — is the only other person who realizes they are repeating the day and it nearly drives her crazy before she figures out how to end it. Largely a Comedy episode with MAJOR Angst thrown in.
      Gabrielle: We've repeated the day that many times.
      Xena: [visibly frustrated] Yes.
      Gabrielle: Then I d—
      Xena: [looking from Gabrielle to Joxer and back] No, no, yes, no, I tried that, yes both ways, no, I don't know, no again. Are there any more questions? Good.
    • Punch line? Eventually ends with Xena sorting out all of the local problems—with the use of her trusty chakram—just in the nick of time, having spent several loops calculating the exact way to do so. The loop-breaker event that she had to intervene in happened just moments after she wakes up each time, so the final loop has her bolting awake and immediately letting fly with her chakram.
    • The Elysian Fields is an afterlife in which the dead separately live out a day in which they believe they are to be reunited with their loved ones the next day, only for the day to repeat ad infinitum without their knowledge. Xena's son Solan is informed of this and refuses to enter, unaware that the alternative is much worse, and is eventually rescued by Xena and taken back to the fields.
  • In The X-Files episode "Monday", Mulder and Scully keep finding themselves in the middle of a bank robbery, but the robber has explosives strapped to his body and always ends up killing them all. The only person who is aware of the loop is the robber's girlfriend, who's repeated the day more times than she can remember—she keeps trying to warn people, Mulder especially, but it never works. It turns out that her death is what breaks the cycle—her boyfriend accidentally shoots her during the robbery, and he's so stunned and despondent that he doesn't even care about the bomb anymore, finally allowing Mulder and Scully to disarm it. Before she dies, she looks at Mulder, smiles, and says, "This has never happened before." It subverted the standard format of this trope by having the characters act slightly differently in each repetition. This was said to be due to quantum uncertainty. In filming it also meant that the actors had some leeway and didn't have to get absolutely everything right each take. Also interesting was how Mulder managed to invoke the Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory trope—the woman warns him about the explosion, as she always does, but this time, when he sees it, he repeats to himself over and over that the man in the bank has a bomb right before the explosion—when the next loop comes, he remembers the mental note he left for himself and knows that he's in danger before it's too late.

  • In the "New Year Song" by the Russian avant-garde rock group AuktYon the whole world is trapped in the endless New Year loop. The protagonist seems to be the only one who is bothered by this. It's quite depressing.
  • One for the Vine by Genesis has a Moebius-strip structure: it starts with a primitive mountain tribe preparing for battle under a charismatic leader. One of the many who don't believe in this leader deserts, loses his way, and ends up amongst a similar tribe, who hail him as their new warlord... The song (but not the story) ends with him seeing a deserter in the distance suddenly vanish.
  • The "Night ∞" Vocaloid series could possibly take place on a day like this. The events that play out through the night are roughly the same, and the characters try doing things differently to receive a good "ending" to the night, possibly for time to advance normally. The residents of the mansion try following their "script" more strictly and the lost villager tries murdering the residents in more exciting ways, for example.
    • The story's ending is seen in 'Everlasting Night'. The lost villager finally finds a way to break the "Groundhog Day" Loop. How? It's revealed that the 'lead role' must die for the 'play' to end. The girl pulls a Heroic Sacrifice by stabbing herself and saves everyone else. Talk about a Bittersweet Ending.
  • A more low-key example occurs with country A Cappella group Home Free in their music video cover of Andy Grammar's "Honey, I'm Good". The group is having a bar night, but every time the song lead Rob takes a drink (even accidentally), he, and only he, has to start the night all over again.
  • The protagonist of Aurora Borealis by Lemon Demon appears to be trapped in a time loop that lasts a year and ends during a nuclear apocalypse during Christmas.

    Music Videos 
  • The music video for Craig David's "Seven Days" uses a standard version until the final loop: After finally getting the day right, he spills a drink on his date. Rather than go through another loop, he breaks the fourth wall and rewinds the video about 30 seconds and just picks up from there.
  • The Vocaloid song "Heat Haze Daze" uses this trope as the story. It seems that the two children really are left to repeat the loop forever, implied by the girl's last line, "I've failed again." According to the Kagerou Project, the loop is eventually broken — but the girl stays behind in the Daze.
    • In Outer Science it has also been implied that Mary has repeated the same time of her life over and over again, trying to prevent her friends from dying by Kuroha's hand
  • Smash Mouth has the music video "Then The Morning Comes". When their lead singer Steve finally gets the day right (and wakes up with the girl), he quickly smashes his alarm clock.
  • The music video for Yellowcard's "Ocean Avenue" finds the lead singer having to suffer some terrible fates, each one forcing him to repeat the same day, until he gets it right, in a similar reference to the German film Run Lola Run.
  • Home Free's cover of ''Honey I'm Good'' has the main character being rewound to the beginning of his evening out with his friends every time he takes a drink. In true Groundhog Day form, he's the only one who notices.
  • Vic Mensa's "Down on My Luck" starts with the rapper at a club when he gets a text from his girl. It rewinds back to that part whenever something goes wrong.
  • The story of the BTS Universe is about a young boy who is given the chance to save his six friends from their tragic fates by being stuck on a time loop. Whenever he fails (if one of the other boys dies, gets harmed irreversibly, etc.), he immediately wakes up on his bed on April 11th, no matter how much time had passed since then.
  • Tessa Violet's "Bored" has several references to looping, for example she takes a framed poster from the wall and breaks it and when she turns around it's back up on the wall.
  • The video for Arizona Zervas' viral hit "Roxanne" has a basic example.

    Myths & Religion 
  • According to some esoteric teachings (refer to A New Model of the Universe by Peter Ouspensky), this is what the Reincarnation and the Eternal Recurrence are actually all about: when you die, you are not reborn in some other body, you are reborn in your own at the moment of your own birth, destined to relive your own life in an endless cycle. This is also the purported explanation of the déjà vu.
  • There is a Japanese version of hell called Naraku where you are doomed to constantly repeat your sins for all eternity.
  • President Brigham Young of the Latter-day Saints, speculated this was the final and ultimate punishment for the sons of perdition for rejecting the Holy Spirit. Cast into outer darkness for an inconceivably long time, the duration they spend there begins to outweigh all God's love of the ages of pre-existence and mortal years on Earth. They're decomposing, soul and body, and about to thwart the will of God and his plan for salvation (impossible). This causes a Time Crash for them, and they're sent straight back to the very beginning of time to start all over again, in the creator's hope of securing some form of communion and glory with them. Most will be stuck in this cycle for time unfathomable; others like Satan and Cain, will probably be trapped in this eternal loop forever.

  • Zig-Zagged in the Alice Isn't Dead episode "Alice," where the truck-driving Character Narrator repeatedly encounters the mobile, looping Vanishing Village of Charlatan, where residents are perpetually reenacting the same motions, but in increasingly bizarre and disturbing contexts. First they behave normally, then stay frozen in their places while covered in muck, then exist in a total inferno while burning to death, then finally compulsively weep in a normal environment, but in the final visit, one of the townsfolk attempts to escape. In a peculiar variation, the Narrator isn't able to make sense of the loop's cause, or understand what triggered her own escape.
    Narrator: I don't know what this meant. I only know that its meaning does not include me. I am not necessary to it.
  • The Adventure Zone: Balance's fifth arc, "The Eleventh Hour", has the party travel to a bubble of time in order to retrieve the Temporal Chalice. When they get there, they find themselves in the town of Refuge, which is repeating the same hour over and over again. At noon in each loop, the entire town is inexplicably destroyed, with only the party remembering what happened in the previous loops. In order to retrieve the Chalice, they have to figure out how to break the loop and stop the town from being destroyed at noon.
  • Find Us Alive has an unusual, complex example: The loop lasts just over 32 days, with the BC2 wing re-collapsing every time the loop resets. However, the loop doesn't affect organic matter (or SCP-6320-related effects); plants continue to grow, memories and injuries persist over resets, and all deaths are final. Later, Harley discovers that tattoos persist across resets too.

  • One episode of Adventures in Odyssey featured Liz wishing as she was going to bed that it could be her birthday every day. When she wakes up the next morning, she finds that her wish has come true. She spends the next half of a week living out a nearly-identical version of the same day over and over, with perfect memories of each reoccurring day, growing more and more frustrated with each repetition. It turns out in the end that she was in the Room of Consequences all along, and the time loop was a setup designed by Eugene to warn her to Be Careful What You Wish For—especially hard-hitting because Liz was one of the show’s more mouthy characters.
  • Dead Ringers: Spoofed when the hosts of BBC News figure they are stuck in one, with the constant, changeless repetition of Brexit news coverage. Having studied such things, they know the only way out is if the protagonist experiences Character Development. Since they figure the 'protagonist' is Boris Johnson, they realise they're screwed.
  • "The Man Who Murdered Time", an episode of the old radio show The Shadow, originally airing on January 1, 1939. A mad scientist, dying from an incurable heart disease, builds a time machine. It causes time to bend backwards and the world to repeat the same day. He then relives December 31 over and over again so that he can repeatedly kill his cousin, whom he has always resented. Lamont Cranston (The Shadow) is immune due to his powers and so is his companion, Margo Lane, when she is in physical contact with him. The Shadow thwarts the villain's evil plot and destroys the machine. If one does not count The Defense of Duffer's Drift, this is probably the Trope Maker.
  • The BBC radio play Time After Time features a man with amnesia who keeps reliving the same moments in a strange hotel and tries to escape. The reliving always begins with him hearing the eponymous Frank Sinatra song on a radio. It is revealed at the end that he is in fact dying and it was all his mind processing his final moments.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The basic premise of the Japanese board game Tragedy Looper is that 1-3 protagonists repeat a loop in their attempts to stop a murderer.
  • A variant of this happens in the Curse of Strahd. The adventure's main villain, Strahd vod Zarovich is trapped in the demiplane of Barovia. He could leave at anytime, but he stays, because he is obsessed with attaining the love of Tatyana, the bride of his brother Sergei. Strahd became a vampire and murdered his brother, but then the distraught Tatyana jumped off the cliff. The Strahd's curse is that Tatyana keeps on being born again and again, so Strahd tries to gain her love in an endless loop. The Dark Powers which created the demiplane ensure that Tatyana's incarnation keeps on dying just as he is about to succeed. The curse preys on Strahd's pride. He believes that he cannot possibly fail, because the incarnations give him infinite chances to attain her love, if he can just hatch the right he is trapped forever.
  • A rare positive example of this happens in a "mythic parallel" alternate universe in Infinite Worlds. The world of Burton exists in an infinite loop of the "Arabian Nights" Days centered around the height of the Islamic Golden Age during the reign of Caliph Harun al-Rashid (786-809), and all the stories of The Arabian Nights are true and endlessly repeated, the main characters being immortal. Thus, when 809 ends and Sinbad is on his final voyage, it becomes 786 and he's just returning from his first. Despite this, everyone is happy and able to live, age and die normally, hoping that they can do something memorable enough to become part of the story themselves.

  • The Musical Groundhog Day, by necessity, shares the same premise as the Trope Namer film. Notably, the Broadway staging utilized circular turntables to represent the cyclical nature of events, and many of the songs were composed with the knowledge that in traditional western music theory, there are 12 semitones per octave, corresponding symbolically with with the 12 hours Phil experiences per day. Since a full octave ends and starts in the same note simultaneously, Tim Minchin composed "circular" melodies that begin as soon as they end and usually on dissonant, "unresolved" notes, much like the "Groundhog Day" loop itself.
  • Not exactly, but ... in Noises Off, due to errors in the Play Within A Play taking place "onstage", the cue for the entrance of a certain character is given three times. The first time the actor who is supposed to play the character is nowhere to be found, so the stage manager comes on and starts doing the part. The second time the actor actually playing the part comes on, and uneasily also starts doing the part. The third time the director (who was too distracted to notice there are already two of that character onstage) comes on, and for a bit all three of them are following each other around the stage, saying the same lines in unison.

    Video Games 
  • In 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, Nenji Ogata is put through this as a form of Virtual-Reality Interrogation, in which he must relive the same afternoon repeatedly until he finds a certain key within the simulation.
    • Essentially, this is also the case for the entire 'world' on a much longer scale. The world shown in the game is a learning simulation, with the aim that after eighteen years the subjects of the simulation have grown up sufficient enough to leave and enter the real world. However, prior events outside the simulation cause an apocalypse after sixteen years and force the simulation to reset, leading to a sixteen-year-long loop. To the people who first travel over the gap between one loop and the next, it appears they've travelled sixteen years back in time, though they do later start referring to it as a loop. Towards the end of the game, it becomes apparent that the external equipment generating the simulation is on the verge of failure, making it a race to break out of the loop before it ends for good with the subjects still inside.
  • The 7th Guest, after nearly all of the 6 guests that Stauf invited to his house murdered each other in an attempt to capture the seventh, a boy named Tad, and bring him to Stauf, one of them succeeded and thus the boy's soul was doomed to repeat the same night for eternity, along with the others. None of them remembered the loop being in effect, and this gave Stauf the upshot of letting the guests die AGAIN in more twisted and supernatural ways. Tad grew older and forgot who he was, but when the game takes place, he manages to break the cycle and save himself and his past self. This is at least one interpretation of the events that took place.
  • This happens to Tasuku and Tsumugi in A3, due to the cursed doll (which looks like a cute blue cat plushie). It causes them constantly to rewind the 12th, the day before the decision whether they accept Reni's challenge or not. Tsumugi first starts noticing something's up when Homare reads him the same poem twice, and when he says that he just read the same darn poem the previous day, Azuma says he doesn't know what he's talking about. Soon it appears that Misumi is caught in the loop as well, but he is aware of it too and pleads them to end the loop by saying how they really feel to eachother (because everytime the loop starts, he loses his triangles he searched for).
    • In the past, the doll trapped Reni and Yukio in the loop as well. Unlike the present day, where it was already known how to get out of the loop, Reni had to figure out the solution by himself: try making a different choice each time.
  • In keeping with the major role time travel plays in Achron, in the epilogue we learn that the 13000 year time jump that occurred halfway through the campaign is just part of a large time loop, one which has been going on 76013 times by the end of the game, ending each time with Lachesis becoming the Coremind after having killed it in the future. Only Jormun/Echo knows about the loop, but he seems dead-set on keeping Lachesis stuck in it. It's also hinted that the Vecgir are only a product of that loop, and that they would otherwise not exist as a species.
  • The Game Boy Advance game Astro Boy: Omega Factor invokes this when, during your first completion of the main story, you fail to prevent The End of the World as We Know It and wind up dead. However, the time-transcending creature known as Phoenix saves you, putting you back to the beginning of the game, and giving you the ability to jump freely through time to the various stages (once you've beaten them a second time, mind). Not everything is exactly the same, however, because the Big Bad is also time-traveling and attempting to sabotage your efforts. Your purpose is to reshape events so that the final doom does not occur. Of course, your foreknowledge leads to a number of amusing incidents when you recognize characters who haven't met you yet, or simply preempt what they're about to say.
  • In Bastion, while never clearly stated, there are enough clues in the plot and the narration to indicate that the whole world is stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop that leads to an inevitable apocalypse called the Calamity for as long as the Kid chooses to use the Restoration option of the Bastion at the end, which works as a Stable Time Loop, even though Rucks cannot find this out.
  • The Binding of Isaac makes the Feburary 2nd daily run the exact same as yesterday's.
  • In Bioshock Infinite, the first time Booker DeWitt meets the Lutece twins on the flying city of Columbia, he has already tried to get to Elizabeth Comstock/Anna DeWitt 122 times.
  • In BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, the first game of the BlazBlue franchise, it's revealed that all of the multiple endings are canon due to a hundred-year time loop, with each "ending" being one iteration of the loop. The cycle is eventually broken in the game's True End, and it is the villains' main goal over the course of the remainder of the series to ensure that the source of the loops, the Master Unit Amaterasu is destroyed to keep the loops from starting again.
  • In Bravely Default, there is a variation: the characters don't technically travel through time, but through worlds: each time they awaken the crystals and open the Holy Pillar, they end up at the same point in time as when they started their journey (at the Caldisla inn following Norende's destruction), but in a different world.
  • Call of Duty: Zombies:
    • Shangri-La has two scientists trapped in a loop.
    • Mob of the Dead has four mobsters trying to escape Alcatraz while fighting zombies who, when taking off on their makeshift plane, crash into the Golden Gate bridge, where the only thing awaiting them are four electric chairs with "No One escapes alive" written in blood over them. Sitting in the chairs electrocutes them and brings them back to the same place where the map began, with the number of rounds, weapons and points conserved but with their memories of the previous loop seemingly erased. Justified as they're in Hell and completing the Easter Egg allows either just Weasel or none of them to break the circle.
  • Confess My Love: The game keeps on repeating, with Willie trying every single day to win Liza's heart. This is a result of Willie's being dead.
  • In the final Wrong End of Corpse Party Blood Covered, Satoshi finds himself about to relive the horror again, and is unable to keep it from starting.
  • While not referenced in game, the manual of Dead by Daylight makes note that the Entity traps the survivors into repeating its game of escape again and again, whether they had lived or died in the previous attempt, for seemingly no other reason than its own amusement and collecting their soul piece by piece.
  • Deathloop is about "two rival assassins caught in a time loop"; the Aeon Project causes time to rewind in exactly 24 hours, and nobody has perfect Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory. The time loop itself is unstable, but eight of the island's inhabitants have turned themselves into living stabilizers. The catch is that they'll all resurrect at the end of the day and have isolated themselves on the ass-ends of the island, meaning you'll never be fast enough to hunt them down one-by-one, so your job is to investigate through the iterations and deduce a way to lure them to their multi-deaths in just 24 hours.
  • It happens in Detention in-game. Ray has killed herself out of guilt for having sentenced her loved teacher and multiple classmates to get executed, dooming her to repeat her crime and her death again and again. It is implied though that this circle might have been broken when Wei comes back to school after getting released from prison.
  • In Dissidia Final Fantasy, the cycle of war has been going on for a long time now. Every time the war reaches its end, Shinryu, who along with Cid of the Lufaine also watches over the cycles as a spectator, resets everything to the way it use to be, setting the stage for the war to begin again. The game is a bit vague on the specifics of how the loop actually works, but in general that's how it goes. Most of the villains have figured out the loop and are banking on trying to end it with their victory this time around. The heroes have no clue and just fight on hoping that if they beat Chaos the war will end and they can go home. Eventually the loop is broken and the heroes get to return home with the knowledge they broke the cycle. Word of God says that the next cycle will be the last. No, really, there's a conversation between Cid and Cosmos that the cycle ended with the 13th.
  • One quest in Dragon Quest VII sends the heroes to a town that is stuck in an infinite time loop. The heroes themselves are not affected, and have to find the source of the curse. This is also a surprisingly effective justification for Broken Bridge — the bridge will be fixed tomorrow, but tomorrow won't happen until you fix this.
  • A mission in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion has a bunch of ghosts who failed to defend their castle due to various personal flaws or issues be condemned by Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness, to re-live the battle that destroyed the castle, 24/7, until they can get it right and successfully repel the invaders. However, the twist is that they are unable to make the necessary changes, thus they have to "act" their parts, knowing all too well how it'll end, while being aware of the constant loop. The player has to go around the castle and do whatever he can to break the cycle by finding the cause of each character's failure (usually an item the character needs or that should be destroyed). The arrogant mage ran out of mana, so you have to make sure he gets a dagger that will let him replenish it, or a Varla Stone. One knight was too worried about his lover (actually a doll), so you have to either plant the doll on one of the invaders or destroy it to inspire him to fight out of valor or revenge (simply giving him the doll causes him to retreat to put it somewhere safe). The archer ran out of arrows because the quartermaster was a miserly bastard about giving out proper equipment, so you need to steal some arrows from his armory and give them to the archer. You then have to take the place of the Castle's count, who was too cowardly to join the battle himself, so that the last invader can be slain and the cycle can be broken.
  • The indie adventure game Elsinore is a retelling of Hamlet which casts the player as Ophelia, who's in a time loop trying to change the events of the play.
  • The main story of Ephemeral Fantasia. The hero is initially the only one known to be unaffected, but he gradually frees others (who become playable) from the cycle by changing the way events play out.
  • Eternal City, also known as Forever 7 Days Capital, is an Action RPG slash Visual Novel in which after seven days of one part XCOM-style management, one part Action RPG, and one part Visual Novel, there will be an ending, and after that, the cycle will be reset, allowing the player to see or achieve different outcomes.
  • In Eternal Poison, all five character storylines are revealed to be canon upon unlocking Duphaston's tale; the order in which the several iterations took place somewhat tangible with a bit of thinking. The time loop is also broken in Duphaston's story with the completed Librum Aurora, the death of Lenarshe, and the revival of Izel. The true ending culminates in a final battle between the five main leads and Izel.
  • No time travel is involved, but near the end of the first Exmortis game, this is what happens if you refuse to follow Vlaew's request to "Become the Hand of Exmortis".
  • The time loop in Final Fantasy might be this, maybe. Garland certainly seems to anticipate killing the Warriors of Light over, and over, and over again, so maybe it's just a conscious loop for him and the Light Warriors. As best as anyone can figure: The Four Fiends start to destroy the world, causing the Warriors of Light to start adventuring. The Warriors of Light kill Garland as an early part of their adventure. The Four Fiends send the near-death Garland back in time. Garland, back in the Temple Of Chaos (past), becomes Chaos. The Warriors of Light go back in time after defeating the Four Fiends, and die at Chaos's hand. Chaos sends the Four Fiends of the past forward in time to destroy the world. The Four Fiends start to destroy the world, causing the Warriors of Light to start adventuring. Loop repeats. During one of the cycles, the Warriors of Light become strong enough to defeat Chaos, bringing an end to the cycle. If Garland kills them in the present or the Warriors of Light kill Chaos in the past, the loop breaks. Only Garland appears to know this is the case. When the loop is broken, it erases itself, and no one remembers it.
  • Flower, Sun and Rain involves one of these... however, the way the day plays out each time is so different that the main character initially doesn't realize it, and writes off the one repeating element as a bad dream. Though it ultimately turns out this isn't what's happening. It's something entirely different that superficially looks like this.
  • Garbage Day is an indie open world sandbox game in which an incident at a small town's nuclear power plant causes a time loop. The protagonist has to investigate and find a way to break the loop... or he can just screw with or straight-up murder his neighbors.
  • Genshin Impact: In the Archon Quest in Sumeru, A Morn a Thousand Roses Brings, the Traveler and Paimon are caught in a "Groundhog Day" loop which involves the Sabzeruz Festival and they and Nahida try to work out how it started and how to get out of it.
  • Ghosts 'n Goblins in 1985 was the first video game (and one of the earliest examples in general) to use this trope as part of its plot. Upon reaching the final boss, if the player does not have the cross weapon, they will be prompted that it is needed to defeat the boss and restart at the beginning of level 5 and must repeat round 5 and 6 again. When the final boss is defeated for the first time, using the cross weapon, the player is informed that the battle was "a trap devised by Satan". The player is then forced to replay the entire game on a higher difficulty level before finally reaching the genuine final battle. This title is regarded as one of the most difficult Arcade Games of all time.
  • The main story of GrimGrimoire is also based on this trope. The same five days are repeated several times throughout the story, but only Lillet Blan seems to notice (and also seems to be the only one powerful enough to stop it). And then you find out that the loop has been going on much longer than you think...
  • Hadean Lands uses this as a fundamental element of gameplay. You can restart a loop at any point with 'RESET', or by entering one of the dark doorways that are available around the map. Many puzzles require this — to do X you need information that you can only obtain by doing something that prevents you from doing X (due to finite resources, for example).
  • Invoked by the main character of HetaOni; Italy traps the entire mansion of people in a "Groundhog Day" Loop by continuously rewinding time, with the hopes of eventually creating a time loop where everybody survives. Unfortunately, he proves horrifically inept at this, and instead spends the game watching the gristly results of his own inability to change fate.
  • In I=MGCM, every time one or more heroines die and in some cases, are corrupted into demon(s) after they're slain by demons, the time resets into the moment before the unwinnable battle and all the heroines are alive and intact. However, it's revealed that Tobio's Mentor Mascot avatar Omnis' ability isn't rewinding the time. Technically it still has time-loop elements. But actually, Omnis uses his special ability to create new realities based on his possibilities he wants and then merges the universes where he previously screwed-up with new ones. All the heroines, both alive and dead, are merged with the copies from universes/realities he recently created, resulting their deaths undone. Unfortunately, the ones who are subsequently corrupted into demon after they died cannot be merged due to certain immunity or conditions. Instead, they're replaced by new copies from universes he recently created.
  • In The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker, one of the psychological patients you interview experiences several of these.
  • Kindergarten and its sequel runs on this mechanic. The game takes place over the course of a single repeating Monday (Tuesday in the sequel) and the player can choose which character's route they want to spend the day following. If you manage to complete the route, the character gives you an item which is necessary to complete certain other characters' routes. After the day is over, everything resets, with the player keeping only the item, any Monstermon cards they've collected, any money they've earned or spent (in the first game), and any outfits they've collected (in the second game). This is just as well, considering by the end of most routes, at least one character will have been horribly killed in some way. However, the Omega Ending of the first game does carry over into the sequel (and some more minor developments that don't happen in that route). Interestingly, the final route of the sequel implies that not even the main character remembers the loops, as after you stab Ms. Applegate, something done in one of the routes of the first game, he'll just remark that it feels like it's not the first time he's done that.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The plot revolves around the fact that the moon will crash into Termina and destroy everything at dawn on the fourth day. Thus, Link uses the Song of Time to repeatedly turn the clock back to dawn of the first day, buying him time to free the guardians who can stop the moon and, in the meantime, solving puzzles by use of the daily schedules of the NPCs. Strangely, once you actually beat the game, everything you've done seems to have happened (everyone's problems are permanently fixed) despite it usually not being the case — there's not enough time to do everything in the game in a single pass, at least two sidequests are mutually exclusive to each other (i.e. completing one makes finishing the other impossible until you reset), and there are no duplicate Links running around, so one would assume events from the last cycle would be the only ones to persist. Possibly the Goddess of Time stitches all the best events together.
  • Little Misfortune: Near the end of the game, when Misfortune refuses to go along with the narrator's game to find her Eternal Happiness, he performs one of these and replays the beginning of the game. But Misfortune realizes what he's doing and interrupts his narration, making him angry by going off-script. There's also implication that the entire game was a Groundhog Day Loop to begin with, meaning that Misfortune was in a Loop that was inside of its own Loop, reliving the day that she was said to die on.
  • In Lord of Heroes, Emperor Kartis turns out to be a "Returner" who has lived the same lifetime over and over again in an attempt to prevent a devastating future calamity. Following their defeat at Kartis' hands, the Monarch of Avillon enters into their own loop and returns to the day the game's events began in order to re-do the whole conflict in hopes of defeating Kartis and finding a way to stop the calamity where he has failed. However, they are warned that they can only loop a limited number of times. At the end of the Monarch's second loop, they learn that Kartis has been looping indefinitely because of the interference of an outside force, which has doomed him to be trapped forever in a cycle of events he can't meaningfully change.
  • Lunarosse: At one point late in the game, Channing wakes up to find himself back at his house the day he was hired into the guild, caused by Corlia sticking him in a Lotus-Eater Machine and thinking he'd be happier if he never had his adventure. Going to bed causes the day to repeat. By finding the people in the town who shouldn't be there, Channing eventually learns what happened and is able to break out.
  • Charon's game, Makoto Mobius, involves Watarou being stuck in one to save Makoto. Any time he fails, he gets sent back to the night of Makoto's death. It's implied that when Watarou escapes the loop by killing himself, the roles will be reversed where Makoto has to save Watarou by doing the exact same thing.
  • Marathon: Infinity has the potential for getting stuck in a loop. The game is non-linear: Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, Time Travel, and monsters are involved, and thanks to their influence, the protagonist finds himself frequently being shipped off to different points in the story (and, sometimes, different realities) based on how he completes any given level. Cycles are one possible outcome: you can find yourself running through the same series of levels over and over again, trying to figure out what you have to do differently to get out. Note that this is only the most reasonable and most commonly accepted theory out of the many, many possible interpretations of just what the hell is going on in that game.
  • In no-one has to die., the structure of the game is a variation of this trope, where the player iterates through copies of the same timeline, doing things differently on each one to get different endings. The final iteration is a Merged Reality containing the survivors of all the previous iterations that had a survivor, which only collectively know enough info to make this iteration go well enough that it will be the last. Even then, one of the survivors of the final iteration, where no one has to die, is still discontent with the outcome of the story, and goes into the time machine that links all the iterations of the multiple universes in hopes of fixing an event earlier in the timeline than the game directly included.
  • In Omensight, the player is a being called The Harbinger, a being fabled to appear on the day the world will end. In fact, while the Harbinger is summoned because of the end of the world, they are on a mission to prevent it. Not having enough time to work out anything that is going on or even why the world was ending the first time around, their ally — The Witch — sets up a time loop. This allows the Harbinger to repeatedly go back to the start the day, making different choices and allying with different characters on either side of a war each time to slowly unlock the mystery of how the world ends, who caused the apocalypse and how to stop it.
  • In Outer Wilds, after 22 minutes have passed, the sun goes supernova and the player is sent back to the beginning of the game and must relive the same 22-minute period again. Dying can reset the loop early. In order to start the endgame sequence you have to find the device causing this and retreive its power core. After that, dying means Game Over.
  • The ghosts in Oxenfree have been stuck in one for decades and claim to have seen the universe itself be destroyed and reformed many times over. This has given them control over space and time, at least on the island. In the end, the human protagonists are implied to get stuck in it as well, with Alex's narration of the events of the year following the party suddenly switching to wonder at what will happen at the party. This is made more noticeable with the New Game Plus.
  • In Paper Mario: Color Splash, Dark Bloo Inn has been caught in a time loop of only a little over 3 hours, with only Mario and Huey being aware of it. The cause of the time loop is the ghosts of six Toads who died in the hotel, who will break the loop once Mario reunites them.
  • Implied at the end of Penumbra: Requiem if Philip chooses to leave the incinerator room through the door. He ends up back on the boat, and if you look closely, it's the version shown from the out-of-body experience he had when the infection started. The ringing in his ears and the fade to white is most likely the start of an infinite loop of his entire adventure, with no chance of death. Or it could be simply Philip waking up.
    Red: Would you return to the world from which you came? Drown in the chitter-chatter? For Red's answer is no. Better to have a story and end it, than never to realize it has begun.
  • This forms the premise of The Answer, the epilogue scenario of Updated Re-release Persona 3: FES. The main characters find themselves trapped inside their dorm house in a one-day time loop, endlessly reliving March the 31st. This is caused by (and representative of) the cast's inability to move on after the death of the Main Character of The Journey, who sacrificed himself to prevent The End of the World as We Know It.
  • In Randal's Monday, the title character is cursed to repeat the same Monday until he fixes the events which resulted in his best friend's suicide. Thanks to Randal stealing Matt's ring, the same Monday repeats over and over... sort of. Inverted Trope, as Randal's actions cause the next Monday to adapt to what he did. The loop simply rewrites details and memories to make it seem like this was always the way things were to everyone else besides Randal and the Business Bum.
  • Rematch, a TADS text adventure, is based around this idea — the aim of the game is to find the one single command that will prevent you from being killed and break the time loop. Just be warned, it's a multipart command and some of it is randomized, so you will have to die many times before you can win. There are many IF games like this, in fact: Moebius and All Things Devours are two more. In some cases, they go on about "top secret devices" so the fact that you're facing a time loop puzzle is not immediately obvious.
  • In Returnal, the astronaut Selene has crashed on an alien world and is doomed to loop back to the crash after each and every death. The idea is quickly subverted, however. It doesn't take long for Selene and the player to encounter evidence that her actions leave lasting changes on Atropos. Then there is the fact that she will occasionally run into a corpse of one of her previous selves, still lying where she fell, though showing obvious signs of decay and exposure to the elements. Turns that whatever is happening on Atropos is not truly a "Groundhog Day" Loop. Selene might die and get resurrected over and over, but time on Atropos keeps on moving along independent of whatever is happening to her.
  • RuneScape: The quest "The Needle Skips" sees a woman called Megan, with the help of a strange being named Gail, continuously travel back in time to experience the same 30 days before her terminally ill daughter's condition starts to worsen. On one of the loops, the daughter, Primrose, learns of the time travelling and secretly joins in resulting in her condition worsening again from Megan's perspective. After a few more loops, Primrose grows so weak that she faints. Believing her dead and Gail responsible, Megan stabs Gail who subsequently freezes time so that someone (the player) will learn what had happened and break the loop.
  • In Secret Files 3, Nina dreams about following an Arab merchant to his buyer's home in Florence so she can find out what's in the amphora he's selling, but keeps losing his trail, resulting in time being repeatedly rewound so she can perform the necessary actions to track him one screen further.
  • The basis for the The Sexy Brutale. The murderous events of a mask ball on a Saturday loop over and over again. Each day starting from noon, the staff murders the guests, who have no idea they are in danger, and time resets exactly on midnight. Lafcadio Boone is one of the few people aware of what is happening, and free to move through the mansion to a degree. He also gains the power to control time, although he is limited to resetting the day completely or jumping to certain points. He needs to save the guests one by one to find out just what is causing the loop and stop it. Lafcadio can't intervene directly with the murders, however, because none of the staff or guests can see him, and he can't interact with the guests until he saves them. Even then, time resets immediately afterwards and the loop continues without change to the events.
  • Shadow of Destiny. The whole premise is that the main character is trying to change history so that he doesn't die; being killed results in living through the events prior to his death again until he gets it right and survives. Amusingly, in one part of the game it's possible to go through the same conversation for a third time, which results in the main character pre-empting what he knows the NPC he's talking with is about to say.
  • The Silent Hill franchise:
    • In Silent Hill: Downpour, one of the bad endings has this happen to Murphy.
    • While the P.T. for Silent Hills likely wouldn't have had this in the full version, the teaser made excellent use of it by having the player loop through the same section of hallway repeatedly, with changes each time.
  • Singularity has fun with this; the plot uses Stable Time Loop as a Red Herring very successfully, because one of those is going on too, it's just not as important, but the "Groundhog Day" Loop is the larger issue. It's implied to have been going on for quite a while, because you find messages scribbled on walls, written by some person (probably yourself) who has apparently been stuck in the loop for many cycles, each time trying to escape it. It seems that you do escape the loop in the end, but only by killing your past self before you can muck up the timeline in the first place, and not even that changes the timeline back.
  • It's implied that Siren takes place in one of these, and the gameplay also bears this out — you can only fully complete a stage in at least two playthroughs, and a sequence of stages from the start to one of the endpoints is referred to as a "loop" by the game. In the true ending, the loop is seemingly broken and events resolved. In the remake Siren Blood Curse it is more direct, with one character literally rewinding time. Only that character knows about it, but all other characters have deja vu's and in general realize that something is wrong. The game ends with one character ending up in a time loop hell where he will forever fight while another character sends a letter into the past to start the time loop again since he wasn't satisfied with how it ended, dooming everyone to forever be stuck.
  • A twist on the common Interactive Fiction time loop puzzle is seen in Slouching Towards Bedlam. There is an in-game explanation for why your character has the unique ability to save, reset, and go through the day over and over. The game won't end until you stop playing it or take drastic action.
  • The Spectrum Retreat has this on two different levels:
    • Cooper and the manager both imply that prior to the former's phone call, every day at the Penrose was exactly the same for you, from the way you wake up and your interactions with the staff to the dish you eat for breakfast.
    • The entire game is one, as the manager reveals Alex has reached the roof several times in the past, and each time he chose to return and wipe his memories. You can choose to continue the loop or break it.
  • One of the central features of The Stanley Parable; the game has over twenty endings, each of which ultimately resets Stanley back to the beginning of the game, with subtle differences each time depending on what the player has done previously. Of course, in the end, though Stanley can superficially make different choices each time, he's ultimately part of a story where every path has been mapped out for him and has the same conclusion — the point of the parable being that You Can't Fight Fate.
  • START AGAIN START AGAIN START AGAIN: a prologue: Siffrin the Traveler finds himself stuck in one for no immediately discernable reason, and strives to keep his companions unaware of his plight. How successful he is at this naturally depends upon the player's actions.
  • In Suikoden Tierkreis, the Order of the One True Way can not only predict the future, but promises eternal universal happiness in the One True Way. What is this One True Way? Each individual's favorite day repeated eternally.
  • Sunless Skies: Perdurance is stuck in one as a reward to the people within it: the sons, daughters, and servants of courtiers Her Enduring Majesty is particularly fond of. Every day is the same, single perfect day, ending with the Half-Light Masque, and at the end it is spun anew and restarted exactly the same way with no one aging a single day, despite remembering everything. Most insist they're perfectly happy in there, but new visitors are brought in every now and then to keep it from getting stale and it's still a tedium for some of the folks inside, who think of it as a heavily reinforced Gilded Cage. And the only way out is for the courtier in question to fall out of favor.
  • Most of the Super Robot Wars UX plot stems from being trapped in a time loop (based on the Demonbane and Linebarrels of Iron storylines). When the heroes successfully end the loop, they inadvertently trigger the apocalypse, which was what the time loop protected them against.
  • The (Japan only) video game, Suzumiya Haruhi no Heiretsu, explores the Endless Eight arc in a similar way to the anime adaptation.
  • The Talos Principle: Of a sort. If you collect all the main sigils, then Elohim offers you enlightenment by passing through a set of doors in World C. Doing this puts you right back to square one, where you have to complete all the puzzles again. In the sense of the story, the concept is that this program is effectively a giant genetic algorithm, continuing to take those versions of intelligence instances that have solved the puzzles but did not doubt Elohim by climbing the tower, and return them back to the start hoping they will be improved on subsequent iterations, all eventually to find one iteration that has the intelligence but also the self-awareness to survive in the real world to extend life on Earth. To the player, this would seem like repeating the same events over and over, but with awareness of what they did last time. The most important part to note about this particular ending is the words "Independence check........FAILED!", indicating that obedience to Elohim is not the sort of intelligence expected of the programs.
  • An even shorter one than usual form the premise of Twelve Minutes. The protagonist has ten to twelve minutes to interact with his apartment, wife, and their eventual assailant before the evening completely resets outside his Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory.
  • The nature of Save Scumming and its similarities to a "Groundhog Day" Loop is an extensive theme in Undertale:
    • The game is about a human child trapped in a world of monsters. As a human, they possess a power the monsters do not — Determination. Through sheer force of will, they are able to make "save points", which let them repeat things again and again until it goes the way they want. This makes them one of the most powerful beings in the entire game, since they can effectively use that Determination to ensure the happiest ending for all characters... or, murder them all, using their limitless lives to bypass all obstacles.
    • One of the main villains of the game, Flowey, also used to have the power of Determination. At first, they used their powers to try and make all the characters happy, but soon became bored, and began pushing the time-streams to worse and worse extremes, until they literally ran out of anything new to do. Their entire plan is to harvest the power of every single soul in the underground so they can break through the Barrier and get to play in the human world, which has far more possibilities.
    • In general, no one besides the player character and Flowey possesses memories of alternate time-lines. However, they do maintain impressions; for example, in subsequent play-throughs, characters will remark about things seeming "familiar". Sans is unable to remember alternate time-lines, but he DOES know that they exist. The understanding that everything he does can, and has, been instantly wiped out and changed has made him lazy and apathetic. The only thing that *really* kicks him into high gear is if the player goes for a Genocide run, attempting to kill every single character — an ending which permanently ends the loop, and taints all alternate time-lines.
  • Warthogs, an adventure game where a Harry Potter expy has to roll back time repeatedly in order to pass his magic exams.
  • The indie horror game the white chamber uses this as the plot, although it is not explained to the player until the very end. It turns out that the main character is something of a bitch and went around slaughtering all of the other crew on the ship, one by one. She is forced to walk the horror- and abomination-filled wreckage of the ship until she shows enough remorse and compassion to warrant her "redemption". If you do not get enough good points, the game ends with her starting over, again and again and again and again...
  • A beneficial timeloop makes the finale of Wolcen possible. At the beginning of Act 4, the player is thrown into a Hopeless Boss Fight, but is pulled back in time a few weeks prior to the battle. They are then able to use the time before this battle to improve their character and fortify the town to try and succeed next time, with the timeloop continuing until they win. This is invoked further in the post-game content, where time resets again even if they win so the final encounter can be endlessly re-played, but given that the main game has a definitive conclusion following the victory, it can be assumed that the player character can leave the loop at any time after this.
  • World of Warcraft has one of these for the last boss of End Time. As Deathwing destroys the world in the second Cataclysm, Nozdormu turns back time again and again trying to find a timeline where Azeroth remains intact. Nozdormu eventually goes insane and declares the "End Time", which is bleak and lifeless but intact, the best possible outcome, then tries to thwart the players' efforts to retrieve the Dragon Soul from the Well of Eternity to make a better one.
    • Another timeloop is explored in the Deaths of Chromie scenario, in which you need to interfere with eight separate attempts on the life of a time-manipulating dragon within the span of 15 minutes. The aspect of using past knowledge of previous loops manifests in two ways - Through permanently unlocking the ability to skip to the end of some of the encounters, and through the player learning of locations to obtain items that open further shortcuts or provide additional time to complete the challenge.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: The game takes place in a world where time doesn’t flow properly. When people die, they are reborn and repurposed in a way that makes them doomed to re-live the exact same lives over and over again. For example, Joran is always destined to make friends, slow them down in battle, and then eventually die at a young age. Before they became Moebius, N and M were always destined to meet and fall in love, join Lost Numbers, and then die shortly afterwards. The main goal of the heroes is to break people free from the curse so that they can live their lives how they want.
  • Though not an exact example, in Episode III of Xenosaga, Wilhelm's plan is revealed to involve preventing the impending collapse of the universe by enacting Eternal Recurrence, which would reset everything in the Lower Domain all the way back to the beginning of time, then repeating the process over and over. It's implied that not everything plays out in exactly the same way each time, since the post-game Database updates say that Wilhelm has successfully enacted Eternal Recurrence before, whereas in the game proper, Shion and co. reject his plan and stop him, electing to find a better way.

    Visual Novels 
  • The game 3days ~Michiteyuku Toki no Kanata de~ (3 days ~Till Death Do Us A Part~) revolves around the main character's 3 days repeating over and over again, where he is constantly being killed on the third day of the story (in various ways) but magically being brought back to life in the first day to repeat his 3 days.
  • In CLANNAD, in order to get the true ending, the protagonist must play through parts of the game again and help attain happiness for the various characters, obtaining an orb each time. After gathering enough orbs, the player can then achieve the true ending.
  • In CROSS†CHANNEL, the game starts with a week where you briefly meet all the cast and the radio is completed, ending with a plea to any other survivors. Then the 'first' week starts, then the second. The third time, Taichi figures out what's going on and plays with the situation a little and manages to reconcile with Kiri instead of having her go crazy and Youko kill everyone. Then the fourth week starts and it turns out that during one week, Miki discovered the 'safe spot' where the journals are kept and has been avoiding the reset ever since. She's the truest example of ripple effect proof memory in the game. Oh, and Nanaka clearly knows what's going on. The resolution is rather bittersweet.
  • Actually completing Doki Doki Literature Club! requires starting it from the beginning more than once, leading to different versions of the same events starting from the day the Player Character joins the Literature Club. This relies on the player effectively having Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory compared to the characters, including the oblivious player character — and somebody else also...
  • Extra Case: My Girlfriend's Secrets: Every time Marty uncovers one of Sally's secrets and gets killed for it, or otherwise experiences an unsatisfactory outcome, he awakens earlier that day, retaining the knowledge of past loops in order to uncover even more secrets. However, his memories of each loop is hazy and he often has to review old information when he finds it again. For the final loop, Nya gives Marty all his memories back.
  • her tears were my light exploits the rollback and persistent data mechanics of the Ren'Py game engine to achieve this. The character Time can rewind during conversations or warp to previously saved time points while retaining new memories, allowing her to change the outcomes of various events.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry, the entire story is ultimately a mystery version of this trope, with Rika going through the same time period over and over, always ending with horrendous tragedy that forces her to go back and try again as she tries to find the root cause and put an end to it.
  • a letter of challenge: Every time the mysterious girl casts her spell, time resets back to when the protagonist was returning from school, right before she found the letter.
  • In Little Busters!, if the player starts each route from the beginning as opposed to cleverly manipulating saves at critical points, they will quickly notice that Riki (the protagonist) and Rin (one of the heroines) comes with improved starting stats after each playthrough. Also, unless you leave a save file at the proper points Riki will be unwilling to take the crucial route branch choices apart from Komari's, thinking to himself things like 'something sad will happen if I go there' while at the same time the girl from the route in question will no longer appear after a certain date until you've completed the entire story. All of the Little Busters are in a dream world created by Kyousuke, knowingly maintained by Kengo and Masato with the girls all playing more minor roles, apparently oblivious to the looping dream they're in. Kyousuke intends to keep the world going until Riki and Rin can face the truth without cracking: There's been a horrible bus crash and everyone other than Rin and Riki is on the verge of death with no hope of rescue. The improved stats show them growing while the girls disappear because they no longer have a role to play, but Komari just can't stay away.
  • In Muv-Luv Alternative, the final thing that Takeru Shirogane learns before he ceases to exist is that the Unlimited/Alternative world's Sumika subconsciously kept him looping back to October 22nd of the Unlimited world upon his death (similar to the case of Higurashi: When They Cry) each time he falls in love with some other heroine and thus never reaches her, wiping Takeru's memories in the process. She lost that power when she and Takeru finally became one late into Alternative, which is the final Unlimited loop.
  • The Patient S Remedy: The big twist of the game is that the protagonist and the doctor are apparently the only ones aware of being stuck in some sort of time loop.
  • In Raging Loop, this is a key aspect of the premise, with protagonist Haruaki trapped endlessly repeating the Feast of the Yomi-Purge. He's not the only participant in the game aware of it.
  • In Remember11, the player is caught in a "Groundhog Day" Loop by the characters. To elaborate: every time "Self" reaches the end of the seventh day (Satoru's epilogue), it's transported to 7 days (and 1 year) ago, to the beginning of the game.
  • In Shira Oka: Second Chances the main character, a friendless 20-something loser in a dead-end job, is given the chance by the angel Satsuko to become a high school student again and turn his life around. And every time he fails — or even when he succeeds — she keeps sending him back to do it again...
  • In Slay the Princess, regardless of what you do in Chapter I, Chapter II loops back to the beginning and puts you back in the woods where you started. You and the Princess still remember your previous encounter, and both the Princess and her basement evolved in reaction, along with the Princess treating you accordingly, which unlocks one of the game's Multiple Endings. The Narrator either doesn't remember what happened, or pretends not to. Either way, this also gets you a new voice in your head, which also remembers the events of Chapter I, along with the Voice of the Hero in all endings, which expresses confusion about how he keeps coming back to the forest.
  • Steins;Gate invokes this in a dark tone. At a long-awaited, crucial point in the progress of the time machine, Mayuri dies at the hands of a secret organization, and no matter how many times Okabe travels back, Mayuri loses her life one way or another. It's an unavoidable fate literally dependent on the arms of the clock that Okabe is hellbent on stopping. Going through the story properly has Okabe slowly adjusting the timeline back to fix everything and avoid this fate, but the first time he tries to readjust the world he freezes. If you don't do it, he puts himself through an even worse loop that slowly causes him to break down.
  • Type-Moon must like this trope with the Nasuverse:
    • The Tsukihime sequel game Kagetsu Tohya exists in a dream world of a single day that Shiki loops through. But what sort of day is it? Is it a school day? A holiday? The day of the culture festival? A day where, for whatever reason, Shiki wakes up as a cat?
    • In the Fate/stay night sequel Fate/hollow ataraxia. This time it's the Holy Grail War that keeps repeating, allowing even characters who died in all three routes to reappear. The cause is revealed to be Avenger/Angra Mainyu, the Greater-Scope Villain of Fate/stay night that found a dying Bazett and used his powers to create a time loop where he spent his time living the life of Shirou Emiya and acting as her Servant. In the end, the Masters and Servants aid Avenger in fighting the manifestation of the Holy Grail's curse to end the loop with his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • YU-NO from 1996 is the Trope Codifier for this in visual novels. After delinquent student Takuya Arima receives a Time Machine/Interdimensional Travel Device dubbed the Reflector Device, he gets stuck in a time loop consisting of roughly two days. In this part of the game, the story splits into several routes that reveal separate parts of the overall plot. Each time a route is completed, he is unwillingly sent back to the starting point by a phenomenon known as Chaos Correction. All routes contain Plot Coupons that must be collected in order to unlock the final route and escape the loop. This structure was specifically designed with in-depth sci-fi justifications for YU-NO, although now common in visual novels. Notably, the aforementioned Plot Coupons look like small glowing orbs, which CLANNAD blatantly copied.

    Web Animation 
  • Ability No. X: Eiji manifests an ability to turn back time during his wedding. He formed a city so everyone who lives there can relive the same day over and over with slight variations. Eiji's wife eventually gets tired of the time loop, wanting to have kids and left him.
  • Breath of the Wild: Rage! Die! Repeat? tells a story of a Bokoblin from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild stuck in one of these due to the game's monster respawn mechanic.
  • Magical Girls Of Amazing Rainbow: In "Impossible ! Can I rescue my friends from the infinite loop world" [sic]: Ai gets stuck in a time loop which resets with Akari's death. When Ai decides to put herself in the truck's way to die in place of Akari, it doesn't end the loop, which instead starts to target Ai instead. Not even an assailant killing both Ai and Akari ends the loop, but it turns out that the loop is the work of a demon, who trapped the girls in a world of his creation.
  • In the machinima series Red vs. Blue, the antagonistic mercenary Wyoming has the ability to rewind little segments of time, essentially making him impossible to defeat: whenever something doesn't go to plan, he simply backtracks a few moments into the past and takes steps to avoid being beaten down by the protagonists. He's only foiled when one character's Deus ex Machina allows him to keep his memory during rewinds and kills him before he has a chance to activate his power.
  • Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers:
    • Mario ends up entering a time loop during his failed attempts to save his brother, eventually destroying the time-space continuum.
    • In Wario Tries To Stop Himself From Dying, Wario gets cursed by Death to die and relive the same day over and over again. Why? Because Wario got the last of the choc mint!
    • SMG4 Movie: Western Spaghetti has a much darker take on the trope. To keep Meggy from exposing his Lotus-Eater Machine, One-Shot Wren constantly shoots Meggy every single day, slowing making her more unnerved to the point that by the time a whole month passes, she's completely broken and constantly traumatized about his constant presence.
  • Kind of happens in The Vicious Cycle of _________ videos. In Ridiculous Loop of Turf War, loop the video. At the end, the Inkling girl submerges back into the paint. Then, it goes back to the ending picture as she rises up again before getting shot and madness occurs again. Cut back to her shooting someone else and she dives back into the ink, the cycle repeats until you change the video you watch...

  • Used in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja to defeat the villain Sparklelord, who is sent back in time and doomed to repeat the sequence of events leading him to be sent back, ad infinitum. Distinct from typical versions of this trope in that his memory also undergoes a Snap Back, making it impossible for him to escape. Might also be a Stable Time Loop, given that the removal of his memory is what prompts the repeat of events.
  • City of Reality features a device smuggled in from Magic World that acts as a Reset Button for the story, rewinding time but preserving the memory of the person who activates it, and only that person. In its first appearance, it's used by a villain to defeat all of the heroes who oppose him, since all he has to do is rewind time to know exactly how they will attack him, and counter those attacks. He's tricked into losing it by a character who figures out a way to Batman Gambit him. Later, the device nearly causes a catastrophe in Reality by its mere existence, and the heroes figure out that the only way to stop it is to run its battery out, which is accomplished by dropping it on the floor button-down. (Note: Flash required to view the linked page.)
  • This Dig Dug related ShiftyLook comic puts this in motion. Dig Dug finds a time machine while digging, and then is sent back to when he found it. note  The comic is even named "Loop-De-Loop".
  • The Ends is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where a massive nuclear explosion has apparently distorted time, forcing the survivors into an endless cycle of death and rebirth.
  • The Maze of Many in Goblins. The characters from several alternate realities race for the MacGuffin. Each time they die, they are reset to the beginning of the dungeon. The maze is also reset when one team reaches the treasure, only without the winning team (who get to go home). They don't remember their previous attempts though, only a counter is shown how many times they failed.
  • Neil Gaiman's short story, "Goliath" was written prior to the release of the first Matrix film as a promotional effort, and later made into a comic book and included in one of Gaiman's short story anthologies. It uses varying interpretations of this trope, by depicting a very tall, Robert Wadlow-esque man who keeps reliving moments of his life, having them speed up, rewound, looped with him remembering elements of his past differently, as he made different life choices along the way. Eventually he is met by an Agent, who explains that he's actually in a simulation, and aliens are attacking the Earth (we sent something out, something followed us back) by throwing asteroids into impact orbits. Gaiman's premise for the story (and part of the original Wachowski interpretation) views humans not as energy sources but as living parallel-processing computer nodes, and the protagonist was specially "engineered" to pilot a spaceship to destroy the aliens; the Agents are "reloading" and "overclocking" parts of the Matrix to help calculate a defensive/offensive strategy to destroy the aliens before they take out too many CPU farms. Unfortunately even though the protagonist succeeds in destroying the aliens, the ship was designed as a one-way trip. The character pleads with the Agent — in the hour of oxygen he has remaining — to plug him back into the Matrix so he can write a goodbye note., and he again relives his life in the way he wanted to.
  • In the National Novel Writer's Month arc of Help Desk, the character trying to write a story for NaNoWriMo loses a week of writing time because of a new video game, then gets back on track by adding a time loop to his story, allowing him to copy paste the same chapter into the story multiple times.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: It's increasingly heavily implied that the whole series is just one more iteration of an Eternal Recurrence, with Zoss endlessly resetting time to find a worthy successor and get the Golden Ending where the Seven are defeated and Throne restored to glory. Some characters, such as 6 Juggernaut, have a Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory, allowing them to notice this loop... and go completely insane from it.
  • Subverted in League of Super Redundant Heroes #739: "Groundhog". Keith's coworker has a bit of deja vu and becomes convinced that they've become trapped in a time loop (which, given this is Shitropolis, isn't normally that bad of a guess).
    Keith: You're not in a time loop.
    Coworker: Then explain to me why every day is the same!
    Keith: This job just reaaaally sucks.
  • Legostar Galactica parodies this when the USS Muffin enters a time loop, with first officer Marty pointing out that to preserve it they ought to go back, while the Captain just wants to get out, getting sufficiently annoyed by the third repetition to smack Marty in the mouth when he suggests going back in.
  • The Story "Back To Mornau" in Melvina's Therapy centers around a loop affecting a single town. The protagonist goes to his therapist Melvina and talks about leaving his hometown and the lack of closure he feels about as he cannot remember why he left. Melvina convinces him to return home to seek closure and he does. After he arrives the town descends into chaos as residents start becoming trapped repeating the same actions or start warping into fractal shapes. The protagonist eventually escapes through the abandoned mines where he discovers an Eldritch Abomination responsible for the destruction. He realizes that it did all this to lure him here because he accidentally hatched it and because of Imprinting it thinks he is its parent. Given the choice between confronting it while its guard is down to save the town or escaping, the protagonist chooses to save himself. The monster resets the town to how it was before while he represses his memories to cope with the guilt of abandoning the town. Which in turn leads to him seeking therapy starting the cycle all over again. Notably the outside world continues on throughout this loop.
  • Nenshe of Rumors of War experiences something between a "Groundhog Day" Loop and a Dream Within a Dream, returning to a particular sequence of thoughts again and again until the voices in his head (in the form of his teammates) help him escape.
  • In SAVE ME, Kendall is given the chance to save his estranged friends/former classmates from their tragic fates, waking up again on April 11th whenever he fails.
  • The "Choose" plotline of Skin Horse has a time loop that resets whenever Jonah dies over the course of a very complicated day. Since he falls into the loop while in Anasigma headquarters, where Everything Is Trying to Kill You, this quickly leads to him taking several levels in badass. Also, it doesn't appear to have been stopped as such, he just stopped dying.
  • Used hilariously in a series of Sluggy Freelance strips, starting here.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Emil having Recurring Dreams translates into his dreamscape safe area running on a "groundhog day" loop. When Lalli gets stuck in it, he sees the recurring dream "reset" to its beginning when Emil falls asleep.
  • Surviving Romance: Protagonist Chaerin is trapped in one, waking up on the day of the virus outbreak every time she dies. Some physical marks will persist across loops and she can even take objects with her by placing them in her mouth.
  • Tales of Greed: "1 Minute" is about a watch that can turn time back by one minute. However, after three rewinds, the minute will repeat itself until the wearer takes off the watch. The protagonist takes advantage of this mechanism to perfect a skill within the loop and become an accomplished baseball player and fighter. He is then kidnapped and bound by the watch's previous owner, who kills him and glitches out the watch while he's wearing it. The protagonist is trapped in one minute of being killed over and over again.
  • Wapsi Square features a plotline where an ancient Mayan calendar is in reality a broken Time Machine. In 2012, this machine will reset all of time back to when the machine was first activated. Only one immortal character, Jin, retains memories of this event. She has lived about 81,200 years (56 iterations of the loop), living through the same looping time period, trying to fix the machine and end the loop. All the other characters in the comic are known to her, and she has been friends, enemies, maybe even lovers with each of them during the endless cycles of time she has lived through.
  • Wicked Powered ends with the villain trapping the main characters in an infinite "Groundhog Day" Loop, dooming them to relive the events of the entire comic over and over for eternity, unable to change any of it.
  • xkcd presents a...shall we say, interesting theory of what really happened to Phil and Rita at the end of the original movie.

    Web Original 
  • In Curveball, the entire island of Esperanza was magically erased from history. However, due to the interaction between two different, very powerful spells, a remnant of the island still exists, acting out the last day of the island's existence over and over again, forever.
  • Mother of Learning (as in "repetition is the mother of learning") is a fantasy story following Zorian, a mage-in-training, who is entrapped in a month-long loop that covers the beginning of his third year at his magical academy. Interestingly, he's not the central character — he was brought into his classmate's loop by accident.
  • A few of the Practitioners in Pact specialize in manipulation of time. When Blake Thorburn is close to legally getting himself out of jail after many of the officers have been manipulated to keep him there, Duncan Behaim sends Blake back to the beginning of the day, undoing most of Blake's efforts but leaving him with his memory of the events.
  • Scarfolk Council: The small English town of Scarfolk is trapped in the 1970s. The clock hits midnight on December 31st 1979 and starts ticking off the seconds of January 1st 1970. And the '70s were hard enough in Britain, before you add in the totalitarian government and paranormal activity of Scarfolk.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-1733 is a videotape that is a recording of a specific basketball game from 2010. While everyone in the tape has gone on to lead totally normal lives, the recording itself displays unusual behavior. Every time the video is rewound and replayed, the individuals on the tape appear to be conscious that they keep resetting back to a specific point, and any attempts to either leave the stadium or end the curse have resulted in absolute failure. After several dozen plays of the tape, the people on the tape have resorted to sacrificing people, players, and other bizarre decisions. The research staff decided to stop replaying the tape when the people on it suggested child sacrifice.
    • SCP-2265 is a heartwarming example. It's a localized time loop trapping two history professors (designated SCP-2265-A and SCP-2265-B) in a section of the restaurant they're eating at, forcing them to repeat the same two hours and unable to react with the outer world. SCP-2265-A retained his memories of each iteration whereas SCP-2265-B did not. While SCP-2265-A initially panicked, he eventually learned to make the best out of the situation by engaging in countless conversations with SCP-2265-B on numerous subjects for two decades until the time loop ended. In an interview with Foundation personnel following the event, SCP-2265-A claimed he didn't regret his experience.
  • Played with in a creepypasta titled Sim Albert, wherein a mysterious family appears on some peoples' games, containing a child sim named "Albert", his father, a young adult named Kaitlin, and three psychotic sims named Will, Pamela, and Robert. When left alone, Will, lights the house on fire, killing him, Pamela, Robert, and Albert. The narrator sees the broken life Albert lives in, and moves him out with Kaitlin, breaking the cycle and giving Albert's ghost the life he never got to live.
  • Mssrs Marshall and Carter, a story from The Wanderer's Library shows that Marshall and Carter of Marshall, Carter, and Dark, are caught in something similar, where Marshall kills Carter every day, forever.
  • Played with for the April Fools' Day 2021 joke on Wikipedia. The featured article was Groundhog Day, with the paragraph-long blurb consisting of the same two sentences repeated three times. Even the "recently featured articles" were repeated links to the Groundhog Day article!

    Web Videos 
  • In the Ground Beef Day of The Annoying Orange, this occurs to Orange every time he annoys someone.
  • Don't Hug Me I'm Scared features one with shocking implications on the series. The series ends with one, with Red Guy resetting the events of the series by pulling the plug on the machine controlling the teachers, which reverts all of the main characters back to the first episode. The last (and, by extent, first) line of the series is the Notepad saying "What's your favorite idea?".
  • Doc Brown vs. Doctor Who of Epic Rap Battles of History has one — the battle looping as the announcer yells the title, the famous ending Title Drop overlapping into the beginning of the battle. The battle abruptly ends after The Tenth Doctor uses his Sonic Screwdriver to end the time loop and corrects the announcer a second time. A scrapped idea for the battle has the loop existing long enough for the video to be ten minutes long.
  • This happens in the Hitler Rants video "Hitler's Time Loop Tantrum", in which Hitler accidentally pushes a button that traps himself and his generals in a time loop.
  • A particular variation plays out in the LoadingReadyRun Friday Nights video "Time Walking". Here, the time loop is controlled by the use of a Time Walk card (an infamous Magic card that lets you take an extra turn and is considered among the most broken cards in the history of the game), sending the user back to the beginning of the day when they first woke up. The time loop is ultimately broken by choosing not to use the card. However, the card is then traded, and the new owner of the card winds up getting caught in a time loop of his own when they use the card, without even actually playing the game itself; however he only uses it accidentally to get more sleep and never notices. In a later episode the new owner tries to make it work again to explore alternate timelines, but it does nothing.
  • In Mind My Gap, The Ugliest Man in the World is doomed to repeat a time loop of no longer than 10 minutes for the rest of eternity. The experience has left him with a loose sense of time, and a very bad memory ensuring that each time the events live out, he is completely unable to change the outcome.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a short movie, "Reach Out with Love", about a young Mormon named Guillermo who is asked by his bishop (priest) to invite his friend Steve to church and becomes trapped in a time loop until he can accomplish the task.
  • In "Rope A Dope", the titular Dope keeps reliving the same sequence of events wherein he accidentally antagonizes a gang of punks and gets knocked unconscious. He soon uses the loop to train in martial arts to stop their reign of terror.
  • In "Rope A Dope 2", the same thing happens again as the Dope bumps into Den, the lead punk from the first video, and the Dope starts trying to exploit the loop to beat Den and his gang. The twist this time around is Den is looping as well, every time he gets knocked out by the Dope. By the end of the video, they've earned each other's respect, just in time for them to realize that the Martial Arts Mafia is coming for them both. The video ends as they both knock each other out to reset the loop again.
  • One take on the "Steamed Hams" scene from The Simpsons episode "22 Short Films About Springfield" shows time resetting every time Principal Skinner tells a lie with Superintendent Chalmers being aware of it.
  • UrinatingTree compares a couple of teams that seem to repeat postseason failures year after year in similar manmers to the Trope Namer:

    Western Animation 
  • 3Below: A troll trickster finds a piece of Akiridian tech and uses his magic on it, causing the day to loop. Aja only finds this out when she uses her serrator shield to protect herself from the blast; she retains her memories, but not her location. As it turns out, this was loop thirty-three. Jim, the protagonist of Trollhunters, was fighting it by himself the whole time because his amulet let him keep his memories. It was only when he accidentally bumped into Aja, causing her to stay in the building a bit longer and see the troll arrive and therefore able to defend herself, that anyone else realized what was happening. In the end, after both teams have accidentally revealed their identities to the entire town, Krel reprograms the tech to self-destruct in the past, before the troll found it, so that the whole mess never happens in the first place. Their memories are not preserved this time.
  • Adventure Time: In the episode "The Hall of Egress", Finn gets trapped in a cursed dungeon that transports him right back to the same room at the same time if he opens his eyes at any point without solving the dungeon the right way, even if he leaves. It takes a very long time (implied to be years), and many, many attempts, but Finn is able to navigate his way out, back home, and back to the dungeon, where he finds the interior is different this time. Somehow, this allows him access to the actual exit of the dungeon and he's finally able to open his eyes and escape at the end for real.
  • One episode of Disney's Aladdin: The Series has the main characters getting stuck, one by one, in a constantly repeating showdown between a band of adventurers and a gang of rogues, until they managed to prevent the crystal the adventurers were carrying from breaking and thus acting as a Reset Button.
  • American Dad!:
    • The episode "Father's Daze". Unlike other examples, there's no supernatural or scientific reason. Stan simply wipes the memories of the family every day, forcing them to redo Father's Day. When he's finally confronted on this, it's already well past Christmas.
    • In the Christmas Episode "Yule. Tide. Repeat.", Stan takes his family to a new outdoor mall, where the lighting of a dry and badly-wired Christmas tree results in a cataclysmic explosion and the death of everyone but Stan. A magic fortune cookie sends Stan back to right before a janitor pulled him out of the way of a train and gives him five minutes to either find and evacuate his family or prevent the explosion. When that fails, he finds that he only has a finite number of do-overs and decides to spend his last three with his family, and the loop is broken when a video of Steve masturbating gets uploaded to every screen in the mall and the celebration is called off.
  • Featured in an episode of The Angry Beavers, "Same Time Last Week", where Dagget keeps getting literally knocked into last week by Norbert for annoying him all week.
  • Animaniacs (2020):
    • In "Run Pinky Run!" Pinky is stuck in a loop where he must acquire money to pay off some gangsters who have kidnapped Brain.
    • The episode "Groundmouse Day" has Brain repeatedly trying to take over the world by co-opting a Groundhog Day ceremony, while stuck in a time loop, in a parody of Groundhog Day.
  • The Batman has Francis Grey in the episode "Seconds", who can "rewind" time by a few seconds whenever he wants, without anyone else aware of it. He still can't be in two places at once, of course, which is how he's defeated... and the end result is that, when it really counts, he finally manages to rewind time all the way back to when he first became a criminal, but he chooses differently and instead becomes an ordinary repairman.
  • The Breadwinners episode "Yeasterday" has Buhdeuce using a type of bread to give SwaySway a better day after he has a horrible day of work. Unfortunately, Failure Is the Only Option because each time the day repeats SwaySway gets maimed or eaten, so Buhdeuce tries to make everything go the way it originally did until he inadvertently saves SwaySway from the pond monster that ate him during the first repeat.
  • Chowder has one in the episode "Grubble Gum". The episode starts with Chowder taking a pink bubble gum from a store and when he puts in his mouth, he hears some faded screams. He buys all the gums and accidentally eats all of them, including the one he bought for Truffles. Due to fearing Truffles, Chowder swallows all the gum he has been chewing, which leads to a very messy situation where everybody gets stuck in the gum, until it becomes a huge pink ball that seemingly swallows the whole planet. When the camera zooms out, it's revealed the ball of gum arrived at the exact spot from which Chowder bought the gum at the beginning of the episode and he hears the same screams when he puts it in his mouth, seemingly relieving the same events.
  • Code Lyoko:
    • Invoked by the heroes in most episodes: after XANA's plot is foiled, they use the supercomputer's Return to the Past program to turn back time to the previous day to undo whatever chaos came from the latest attack. Ulrich even has the "tired of doing this all over again" feelings when XANA makes an attack every day for a week.
    • In episode "A Great Day", XANA takes control of the program and continues to turn back time to the start of the same day until the heroes can regain control; from then on, the heroes use the program less often, now aware that each use amplifies XANA's power.
    • The series also features evidence that Franz Hopper intentionally relived the same day over two thousand times to give him the time he needed to program Lyoko and XANA before the The Men in Black came for him and his daughter. He might have also lost his marbles during this scenario.
  • In the Danger Mouse episode "Groundmouse Day", Count Duckula has a machine he can use to freeze and edit reality, which he uses to frame Danger Mouse. Just as DM gets arrested, Penfold hits the machine and rewinds back to the beginning, just before Duckula's first edit. There's about four loops in which Penfold tries to explain what's going on or change things, but they all still end with DM getting arrested, until Penfold realises he needs to rewind further, and manages to defeat Duckula during the opening credits.
  • In the 2014 Frozen in Time Christmas special, as Patty and Eric Purtle are preparing for Christmas at their grandpa's place, numerous mishaps occur, with their parents sending them to their room. When they wake up, the loop occurs, with Patty and Eric smuggling the dog into the car, the presents getting knocked off the car roof, and Grandpa's cookie baking machine and magic clock get wrecked. Each time they think a problem is fixed, a new one arises, and they start working on improving their family relationships, and once the clock is fixed, the Chrstmas loop will end and time can continue as usual.
  • Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh episode "Garbage Day" has Oh invent a do-over machine to let Tip try and fix her extremely bad day. Unfortunately, she becomes trapped in a loop due to her determination to make the day perfect, and keeps resetting over and over each time any minor inconvenience occurs until the machine begins to damage space-time.
  • Jacob Two-Two: "Jacob Two-Two's Time Trials" features a willing groundhog day loop, where Jacob uses a time machine to actively reset time in an attempt to stop himself from breaking his brother's Beatles record, and causing other disasters in the process. Another twist here is that the other characters are vaguely aware of the resets by experiencing Déjà Vu moments.
  • The Johnny Test episode "Saturday Night's Alright for Johnny" features a self-inflicted loop. After wasting a whole Saturday being forced to watch ballet on TV with Sissy and Missy, Johnny and Dukey get a device from Mary and Susan that will allow them to repeat the day as many times as they wish. They try to avoid watching the ballet with Sissy by force, but when that repeatedly fails to work, they decide to be nice to Sissy and Missy to see if that will work. This results in them all having the best Saturday ever. In most instances, this would mean the end of the loop, but instead the trope is subverted when Johnny's dad points out that Johnny is falling in love with Sissy. Wanting to have nothing to do with that, Johnny presses the reset button again and proceeds to be mean to Sissy the next time around.
  • A similar situation to that of the Supernatural episode above happens in the Jumanji animated series: Alan is suddenly killed near the beginning of the episode, but the boys manage to rescue him thanks to the "Slickomatic Chrono Repeater", a device obtained from Trader Slick capable of sending them back in time to the moment they last entered Jumanji. Unfortunately, this seems to be a rather unlucky day for Alan, seeing as he keeps dying in several ways, only for Judy and Peter to keep rescuing him until the device breaks, though they manage to survive the final crisis of the day. Although this may seem like a Set Right What Once Went Wrong plot, it has several Groundhog Day elements, such as the repeated lines and footage, as well as the characters' growing frustration with all the repetition (the most visible example being the beginning of the "loop", where they are suddenly confronted with a swarm of giant ants heading towards them: though they were pretty scared at first, they start dealing with the problem with increased apathy as the "loop" repeats, culminating in the last repetition where, when faced with the ants, they simply sidestep out of the way with the most deadpan expression on their faces).
  • This was how the Justice League gets rid of Chronos in the end of the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Once and Future Thing: Time, Warped". The villain tries to turn himself into a god by escaping to the beginning of time, but due to Green Lantern and Batman altering his belt's programming, he's put in the moments where his wife yells at him at the start of the episodes, and the belt's function is only to rewind time by ten seconds. It would be a Fate Worse than Death if it weren't for him being unaware of it.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series had an example of a willing groundhog day loop in the episode "Melty", in which Lilo kept going back to change the past so she could simultaneously catch the experiment and impress her crush Kioni, but kept on setting off disastrous chains of events. After almost trapping them in a Bad Future, she was forced to relive the original humiliating future to avoid any greater trouble.
  • The Little Charmers episode "A Charming Do Over" has Hazel casting a spell to repeat a day at a magic carnival in an attempt to win a crystal ball, which repeats until the other Charmers get sick of it.
  • The Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "In the Loop" sees Russell stuck in one. And the guest in the daycamp for that repeated day is a groundhog.
  • The entire premise of Looped. An experiment gone wrong causes two kids to repeat the same day over and over for a really long time. As a result, they start mucking around and changing things, partly out of boredom. Then again, sometimes other things escape the loop...
  • The Animated Adaptation of The Mask has Stanley Ipkiss trapped in a loop of a few hours by time-manipulating villainess Amelia Chronos. After the first few loops, he starts running to his apartment and getting the Mask on in order to hunt for her. Eventually, he discovers it's because of a watch-like device on his arm. The villainess is using the loops to put herself in a different spot each time, forming a geomantric array that will let her control time. During their final battle, the Mask gets the device off of himself, resets it, and slaps it on her. Then he drops a grandfather clock on her face. The loop was changed to a few seconds, so it happens over and over and over... When the villainess reappears later, she reveals that subjectively, it took a thousand years for her to get out.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The Snake Bracelet has the power of Second Chance: once activated and within five minutes after that, it can rewind time back to the moment of activation, as many times as needed, and the user remembers everything they did so they can try to work out a different tactic.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In episode "Bloom and Gloom", Apple Bloom is caught in a nightmare sequence where she keeps waking up with a new cutie mark, goes to breakfast and has her sister Applejack react to it with surprise.
    • In "The Cutie Re-Mark" two-parter, the time loops Twilight, Spike and Starlight are stuck in resemble this trope the most rather than other type of temporal travel. They never encounter themselves in the past, despite using the spell several times; instead they always arrive before the race between Rainbow Dash and the bullies, and Starlight can interrupt it in several different manners, while Twilight tries various tactics to stop her. It also shares the common element of finding the "right" way to stop it, in this case convincing Starlight to renounce her revenge.
  • Pantheon: Chanda ends up imprisoned in one after his successful uploading, where he relives the same boring day over and over, completely unaware what's really happening. But he breaks out when the failed uploads show him the truth and he slips out of his virtual prison unnoticed.
  • Happens in the Pepper Ann episode "T.G.I.F.", where the titular character fakes sick in order to avoid a history test she didn't study for. The loop stops happening when she finally takes the test, but when circumstances make it look like it's still repeating, she reaches her Rage Breaking Point and snaps at everyone. Only then does she realize the loop ended and she has to make amends with everyone she yelled at. Unfortunately, a new loop ensues after that.
  • The Pet Alien episode "The Day that Wouldn't End" had Tommy and the aliens repeating a day where Tommy went through a Humiliation Conga and always ended with Dinko blowing up the lighthouse, the first few times with a self-destruct button, then a self-destruct lever, and then the lighthouse exploded on its own. The loop ended when Tommy tried to avoid repeating his actions and another location exploded when Dinko pressed the button.
  • A self-inflicted example in Phineas and Ferb's Grand Finale "Last Day of Summer" when Candace and Dr. Doofenshmirtz use the latter's Do-Over-Inator in an attempt to thwart their respective cases of Failure Is the Only Option. (Of course, there is a song.) Eventually, the machine takes its toll on the space-time continuum and starts Ret Goning random things and people to another dimension, with the threat of destroying the whole universe if they don't stop it in time.
  • Happens in the Ready Jet Go! episode "Jet's Time Machine", where the kids go back in time to watch a meteor shower that they missed, but are stuck in an endless loop and keep missing the meteor shower. However, once they correct their mistakes, they break out of the loop and are able to watch the meteor shower.
  • In the Robot Chicken Halloween Episode "Happy Russian Deathdog Dolloween 2 U", the Nerd gets himself caught in a time loop where he continually heads to a Halloween party and is killed in gruesome ways from a killer with an oversized peach as its head. When he attempts to get revenge, the Nerd is constantly thwarted by his own undoing until he finally gets it right and gets into a big battle. Finally, it turns out that the killer is Loopy the Time Loop Toucan and the Halloween party ensues until plane parts come in crashing through the ceiling.
  • Rolie Polie Olie had Olie trying to clean up the garage. Unfortunately, while he did attempt to do so, it always fell apart, falling on a device that his father was working on that resets time, sticking him in a time loop.
  • In the Rollbots episode "Crontab Trouble", a renegade Tensai named Reboot teams up with Vertex and attempts to put the city into stasis using the Crontab, a device that distorts time. Spin intervenes, of course, and Reboot uses the Crontab to reset the whole thing by about five minutes. Spin starts to catch on to the time loop, and explains it to the others as he gradually figures it out (Daso also seems to know what's going on). No one else remembers the events, not even Captain Pounder, who sees concrete proof of Vertex's true identity.
  • Ruby Gloom has an episode where Ruby is in charge of the Gloomsville World's Fair. The day doesn't stop repeating until the World's Fair goes right. Played with when Ruby forgets something she was going to say and leaves to take a short nap in order to remember. No one remembers her leaving.
  • The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XXXI segment "Be Nine, Rewind" has Lisa and Nelson stuck in a time loop on Lisa's birthday.
  • In the Sofia the First episode "The Birthday Wish", Sofia's birthday ends up going not so great like she intended, and wishes to relive her birthday and make it a good one. Her friend Ruby's fairy godmother Tizzy grants the wish — she is now forced to relive the exact same day over and over until she has a "truly, happy birthday". After 37 tries, she finally learns to look on the bright side and have fun, which ends the loop.
  • The Sonic Boom episode "Hedgehog Day" revolves around Dr. Eggman attempting to escape a time loop he inadvertently caused during a battle with Sonic and his friends.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil:
    • In "Mathmagic", Star tries to get out of trying to solve a problem in math class, but keeps going back in a time loop. She thinks her wand might have something to do with it, but as Omnitraxus Prime explains, it's actually because out of all the alternate universe versions of herself she's the only one who hasn't tried to solve the problem, and it's about to cause a catastrophic time paradox.
    • In The Magic Book of Spells, Star's ancestor Queen Skywynne accidentally invented a time-loop spell when trying to banish her mother and the unwanted suitor she had in tow. It took her several iterations before she realized what was going on and managed to undo it, but then she figured out how to use the spell to get the citizens of Mewni to build a new castle, fitting five years' worth of labor into a single day.
  • Steven Universe: Subverted in "Winter Forecast", Steven and Connie's goofing off keeps causing problems, with worse results when Steven inexplicably loops back and tries to prevent them. Ultimately it turns out not to be a literal time warp, but various possible futures that he's seeing from Garnet sharing her Future Vision with him. He uses them to avoid any goofing off and thus gets the best possible ending.
  • In Stickin' Around, Stacy and Bradley keep getting sent back 15 minutes whenever gym class ends, until Bradley takes full blame for something he did instead of letting everyone share the punishment. Then again...
  • Totally Spies! has "Déjà Cruise". In the episode, the girls take a vacation on the WOOHP cruise ship, which gets hijacked by bad guys and eventually ends up sinking somehow, after which the girls wake up in their room and start the loop over. They break the loop by learning to co-operate with their fellow agents on board instead of telling everyone to stand back while they handle it. The whole thing is, of course, a training exercise set up by Jerry, and the entire ship is in on it.
  • In the Viva Piñata episode "Too Many Fergys", Les accidentally drops a time machine near Fergy's house, causing the next day to loop and Fergy to multiply until he turns it off.

    Real Life 
  • Improv Everywhere's "The Moebius". A group of improv agents acted out a moebius loop in a Starbucks. Every five minutes they repeated their actions, for an hour. A couple argues, a guy spills coffee, another guy dances through with his own boombox. To the patrons of the Starbucks, it at first looked like a really clumsy guy and a couple fighting and making back up, but by the third loop they began to realize all was not what it seemed.
  • In a straightforward example, some TV channels have aired all-day marathons of Groundhog Day on Groundhog Day, such as Sky Movies and AMC. Many TV showings of the trope-naming film also air the same commercial multiple times in a row or have every break consist of the same commercials in the same order.
  • It's a common radio station prank to play "I Got You Babe" twice in a row in the morning on February 2 — it's the song Bill Murray always wakes up to every morning in Groundhog Day.
  • The Poincaré recurrence theorem works similarly to this. It states that certain systems, after a finite period of time, will return to a state close to the original state. The time elapsed until the recurrence is called the Poincaré recurrence time. Numberphile goes into detail on it here.
  • The Pythagoreans of ancient Greece were notorious for their belief that the entire universe constitutes a time loop from its beginning to its end. Once, a member of their audience stood up during a public lecture and loudly exclaimed, "You are seriously suggesting that one day I will sit here another time and listen to all that crap all over again?"
  • John Mulaney has a famous stand-up routine where he describes replicating this trope with a prank he and his friends pulled; they went into a diner, poured a lot of money into the jukebox, set it to play “What’s New Pussycat” by Tom Jones on repeat for hours, and then sat down to watch what happened. By the third or fourth replay, people in the diner starting noticing something was up. By the sixth, they were starting to get either seriously pissed or extremely confused. And just to make it worse, Mulaney and his friends had “Its Not Unusual” play once between the seventh and eighth replays to create a Hope Spot where it seemed like the loop had ended; Mulaney notes that when the eighth replay began, the entire diner nearly exploded into a riot. He also noted that the diner’s staff did nothing to stop any of this until the customers begged them to unplug the machine, and never really responded to the Pussycat loop either.

"Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today!"
Phil Connors, Groundhog Day

A plot in which the character is caught in a time loop... ...wait...


Alternative Title(s): Endless Recursion Of Time


Bites the Dust

Kira's new power resets time everytime it kills someone.

How well does it match the trope?

4.94 (32 votes)

Example of:

Main / GroundhogDayLoop

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