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"Look, sorry, I've got a bit of a complex life. Things don't always happen to me in quite the right order. Gets a bit confusing at times, especially at weddings. I'm rubbish at weddings, especially my own."
The Doctor, Doctor Who, "Blink"

Bob the Time Master meets Alice, the time-stream's Chosen One, or perhaps just a random Magnetic Hero. He greets them with an air of familiarity, something along the lines of "Alice, how've you been? Long time no see!", and upon seeing the look of confusion on Alice's face asks "Oh, wait, have we 'met' yet?"

This is most common in series with Stable Time Loop style Time Travel, since it makes the most sense if the future meeting is already predetermined.

Often, the Bob will have to prove he knows or will know Alice, either by revealing a secret he knows about Alice, or telling Alice something about her.

Related to Time-Travel Tense Trouble, the difference being that rather than confusion over what he will have done, Bob doesn't remember the "first" time he met Alice. If the timeline has been changed to them never having met, one may comment that the other seems familiar, but it must be their imagination.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Fairy Tail: Wendy and the others meet the ghost of the dragon Zirconis and they part ways on somewhat friendly terms. Later, the bad guy summons several dragons from the past, including Zirconis, to attack the land. Wendy tries to get Zirconis to stop by reminding him of their last encounter, but he's never met her before. Carla berates her for thinking that would work.
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • The first time Kyon meets Haruhi, she asks if they've met somewhere. At that point Kyon doesn't know Time Travel is real, so he dismisses it, and so does she. Actually, Haruhi had met Kyon three years before (and three months in the future for him), but it was fairly dark so she couldn't get a good glimpse of his face.
    • Monkeyed with again when Kyon recognizes Future Mikuru when she accosts him, but she insists on "proving" her identity anyway: by revealing a mole on her breast he didn't know was there. Kyon then completes the Stable Time Loop by pointing it out to Present Mikuru after the encounter.
    • In the light novels, Fujiwara appears to have previously met Kyon when Kyon first meets him. Cue a confused look on Kyon's face.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: In the first episode, Judai Yuki runs into the grownup Yugi Muto from the original Yu-Gi-Oh!, who gives him the card Winged Kuriboh and wishes him luck. In the second to last episode, Judai gets sent back in time and meets the teenage Yugi. Judai, who is an Idiot Hero, gets confused when Yugi doesn't recognize him and tries to show Yugi his Winged Kuriboh to remind him of their first meeting. Of course, Yugi has no idea what he is talking about and at this point has never heard of Winged Kuriboh; he merely gets curious and compares it to his regular Kuriboh. Yugi is good-natured about it and agrees to duel him.

    Audio Drama 
  • The Big Finish Doctor Who audioplay The Crimes of Thomas Brewster is the third appearance of DI Patricia Menzies in the Sixth Doctor audios and, from her perspective, comes after the previous two. However, the Doctor has no idea who she is. She realises that their earlier meetings came later in his timeline, he feigned not knowing her to avoid revealing the future, and she now needs to do likewise.

    Comic Books 
  • The situation comes up with Robin and Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 8 comics.
  • In the Doctor Who (Titan) comics:
    • The Eleventh Doctor encounters Sociopathic Soldier August Hart twice, in opposite mutual order, during Year One. He's puzzled when he first meets Hart, and Hart instantly recognises him and accuses him of destroying his career.
    • Used less prominently as a gag in the Twelfth Doctor comics, where the Doctor encounters a Space Pirate named Lucifer van Volk, who recognises him but who the Doctor has never met before.
  • Monstress: In Issue 18, Maika has a vision wherein she communes with the spirit of her ancestor, the Shaman-Empress, who claims to have previously had another conversation with an older version of Maika.
  • Post-Crisis Superman had an encounter with a mysterious man named Mr. Z, who claimed that they have met before, although this was Superman's first time meeting him. In Time and Time Again, it is during World War II that Mr. Z (as General Zeiten) first met Superman, who was now aware of Mr. Z's spirit crystal and didn't fall for being trapped inside it like he did the last time.
  • Teen Titans: When Redwing, a Titan from the future, sees the present Titans, she recognises her former leader Nightwing. However, the present-day Nightwing hasn't met her yet.
  • In an issue of JLA, Kyle Rayner meets the Hourman from the 853rd century a few months before the entire Justice Legion-A appears before the JLA. The Hourman from the earlier encounter is slightly older, so he claims to have met Kyle. Kyle is completely confused. Later on, Kyle claims this to (the now younger) Hourman. Being a time-traveller, Hourman understands the situation much faster.
  • In an issue of The Transformers: Robots in Disguise, one of the first hints that Optimus Prime has found himself in a Time Crash is when he runs into Bludgeon, who attacks him whilst ranting about some fight between them that never happened; Optimus realizes what’s going a short time later when he experiences said fight from his own perspective.
  • Partway into Al Ewing's Venom run, a temporally displaced Eddie finds himself bouncing through time until he ends up in the far future. There, he runs into Kang the Conqueror, who warmly greets him as if they're old friends. When Eddie points out that he and Kang have never met, and that Eddie doesn't even know who he is beyond "some bad guy The Avengers fight sometimes", a bemused Kang chuckles that this must be their first meeting from Eddie's perspective and apologizes for the confusion; from Kang's perspective, they've known one another for years.

    Fan Works 
  • Katherine, a.k.a. Kit Bennett, in Children of Time. When the Doctor, Sherlock Holmes, and Dr. John Watson meet her for the first time, she already knows all three very well. Her words and behavior as they exchange goodbyes at the end of her episode implies that she will never see Holmes and Watson again. (The story takes place during World War II, so both men would most likely be dead already.)
  • The first episode of Doctor Who Regenerated, being a Doctor Who Fan Webcomic, is very timey-wimey, consisting of several Stable Time Loops that include the Doctor and his new companion meeting out of synch.
  • In Memento Vivere, a Final Fantasy X fanfiction, Rikku's first greeting and subsequent intereactions with Jecht display this trope behavior.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • Rancor thanks Twilight for the ribbon she keeps tied to her spear, much to Twilight's surprise, as this was the first time (from her perspective) that she'd met Rancor.
    • Twilight's final test to become an Alicorn requires her to battle a past version of Cadence. This Cadence doesn't know her, but poor Twilight doesn't seem to comprehend this and wastes a lot of time trying to "remind" her of their friendship.
  • In Twist of Fate, the mysterious time traveler Moses constantly forgets that Touma and the others have just met him and greets them as old friends.
  • Lost in Camelot sees Bo (Lost Girl) sent back in time to Camelot (Merlin), where she eventually meets a younger version of Dyson.
  • In The Chaotic Three, after finding herself back in time, Rey has this moment when she meets the younger version of R2-D2 while on the Naboo Queen’s starship, as she spent time with the future Artoo while training with Luke, although she is fully aware that this version of Artoo hasn’t met her yet.
  • In Of Quirks and Magic, Logan is surprised to see Izuku and asks him what he's doing in a bar. Izuku is confused, as he's never met Logan before, prompting Logan to mutter "This must be you from before that time." Later on, the two introduce themselves properly, but Logan says he already knows Izuku's name.
  • Born of the Same Impulse, a Peggy Sue fanfic based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe has Stephen Strange using the Time Stone to send himself and Tony Stark back to the time before Age of Ultron. There, he encounters the Ancient One, who wonders how he knows so much about her, when she—the wise Sorceress Supreme—knows nothing about him.

    Films - Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Shortly after first traveling to the past in Back to the Future, Marty seeks out his friend Doc. Doc of course has no idea who this young man is. It takes Marty telling him exactly how he (Doc) got that recent bump on his head to convince Doc that they really do/will know each other.
  • In Millennium (1989), time-traveler Louise Baltimore tries to keep Bill Smith from unknowingly changing the future by meeting, seducing, and sleeping with him. Unfortunately, the next time Bill encounters Louise, its actually the first time she's ever met him, so she rebuffs his affectionate approach. The fact that during their (to Bill, anyway) second meeting she treats him like a complete stranger confuses Bill just enough to cause the disruption in the time stream Louise was trying to prevent in the first place.
  • Avengers: Endgame: The Thanos of 2014 is left understandably confused when Scarlet Witch attacks him screaming about how he murdered the man she loved; he has no idea who she is yet and hasn’t even killed the person she’s avenging by this point in his timeline. Earlier in the movie, a time-traveling Tony Stark ends up having a moving heart-to-heart and hug with a past version of his father, Howard Stark... who obviously has no clue who Tony is and starts wondering if he was some kind of drugged up beatnik the second Tony’s out of earshot.
  • Tenet: Neil has had a long friendship with the Protagonist from his perspective and dies in the climax, but they had/will have their first meeting later in the Protagonist's timeline.

  • "Are we inverted?" is a common question in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls.
  • In the Doctor Who short story "Root of Evil", the Fourth Doctor and Leela visit a living space station whose inhabitants hate the Doctor to the point that their names are shortened versions of descriptions of pain they will inflict upon the Doctor on their vengeance. This confuses the Doctor, since he hasn't met these people yet. It's not until he's shown a giant statue of the Eleventh Doctor that he realizes this trope is in effect.
  • Past Doctor Adventures;
    • A minor version in "The Murder Game"; the Second Doctor (from a point shortly after his regeneration) is drawn to a space station in 2136 by a message from an organisation that is tentatively identified as a descendant of UNIT, which the Doctor makes clear he is unware of at this point in his life.
    • In "Deep Blue", Tegan and Turlough meet the Brigadier in the 1970s, nearly a decade before their first meeting in "Mawdryn Undead". Thanks to some convenient Easy Amnesia at the end, this isn't as much of a threat to the timelines as it could have been.
    • In "The Colony of Lies", the Second Doctor meets a woman who greets him as an old friend even though he's never met her himself; she explains that she met a future version of him in her relative past (later identified as the Seventh Doctor), as the older Doctor reasoned that she needed to be able to trust his past self quickly.
  • Hexwood opens this way; when young Hume asks Yam if they've met before, Yam happily informs him that yes, yes they have, many times. And they have, kinda. The book's Mind Screw designation in its entry is aptly earned.
  • Incarnations of Immortality by Piers Anthony has this trope as a common affliction for Chronos, the Anthropomorphic Personification of time, who lives backwards through his original mortal lifespan.
  • Played with in Roger Zelazny's time travel novel Roadmarks; on several occasions, people reminisce about a previous meeting with the protagonist then add that they're not sure if it's happened to him yet, because he looked older then. It turns out that he's growing younger instead of older as time goes on.
  • Thursday Next twists this trope in bizarre ways, as Thursday's encounters with her father take place in a completely random order from his perspective.
  • In Secret of the Knights from the gamebook series Time Machine Series, one of the first things you can do upon traveling to the past is become an apprentice to a smith who makes and repairs armor. Shortly after you do, a knight named Sir Nigel comes into the shop and is startled when he sees you, since you bear an uncanny resemblance to a friend of his from his youth, although he says that obviously you're too young to be the same man as his friend. Sure enough, later in the book you'll travel a little further back in time and befriend the future Sir Nigel when he was still a squire, and later still you'll fight beside him during the famous Battle of Crécy.
  • Both used and averted in The Time Traveler's Wife.
    • Henry is well aware that Clare is meeting him for the first time when he goes back and she's six, and behaves accordingly. Ditto for anyone else he meets on his time travels. The "oh, we haven't met yet" scenario tends to arrive when he meets people he will time-travel to, but hasn't yet — Clare at the beginning of the novel, and Alba right before she's born and at the very end.
    • The first time Henry meets Clare, she seems to know him. After the initial confusion, he is overjoyed to meet someone from his future.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 12 Monkeys: Leland Goines, as well as the Pallid Man, have already encountered future versions of Cole at the time Cole first meets them. Cole is understandably confused by their familiarity with him. Jones has to remind him that he is "experiencing time out of order". And then as the series goes on, and more characters start time traveling as well, this happens a lot more, with people experiencing events in different sequences from each other.
  • Angel. The time-traveling demon Sahjhan runs into Angel and immediately starts blustering and making threats. This turns out to be Saying Too Much as Angel has no idea who Sahjhan is, but now knows who's been creating problems for him recently.
  • A Bit of Fry and Laurie: Spoofed in a Fry & Laurie sketch about time travel, in which Stephen Fry is visited three times in succession by Hugh Laurie as first a time traveler from five minutes into the future, then a time traveler from five minutes into the past, and finally a present-day scientist working on a device that will certainly not cause time travel as a side effect, all of whom claim not to have met him before. After Laurie leaves the third time, Fry remarks to the audience: "I'm sure, logically, something weird should happen now, but I can't work out what."
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Power of the Daleks": A Dalek visibly recognises the newly regenerated Second Doctor. Expanded universe sources take this as an indicator that, for the Daleks, this takes place after their later appearance in "The Evil of the Daleks".
    • "Battlefield": The combatants on both sides of the eponymous battle immediately recognize the Doctor from an earlier visit to their world — much to his confusion, since it's still in his future (specifically a later, unspecified regeneration, indicated by Morgaine's remark that his face is different, but his spirit remains the same).
    • "Smith and Jones": Martha's first encounter with the Doctor consists of him walking up to her, removing his tie and saying "Like so, see?" She later meets him "again" in the hospital, and when she asks him about why he did that, he denies having done so. At the end of the episode, he goes off in the TARDIS and returns with his tie undone, proving to Martha that the TARDIS is a time machine.
    • "The Shakespeare Code" has this exchange with the Doctor and Queen Elizabeth I.
      The Doctor: Queen Elizabeth the First!
      Queen Elizabeth: DOCTOR!
      The Doctor: What?
      Queen Elizabeth: My sworn enemy!
      The Doctor: What?!
      Queen Elizabeth: Off with his head!
      The Doctor: WHAT?!
      Queen Elizabeth: Stop that pernicious Doctor!
      Pikeman: Stop in the name of the Queen!
      Martha (running): What have you done to upset her?
      The Doctor (running): How should I know? Haven't even met her yet! That's time travel for you! Still, can't wait to find out! Something to look forward to. (Arrow hits TARDIS door as he closes it.)
      • Answered by an off-hand remark in "The End of Time": he marries her (and, it is implied, removes her of the right to go by the title of "Virgin Queen", wink wink nudge nudge). "The Day of the Doctor" reveals there was a bit more to it.
    • "Blink": Sally Sparrow spends the entire episode receiving messages from the Doctor, who's been trapped in 1969 by the touch of a Weeping Angel. At the end of the episode, she finally finds him but he claims he never met her. Sally then realizes that he hasn't been trapped "yet" and then gives him all the means possible to send the messages, thus creating a Stable Time Loop.
    • River Song is a study in this unto herself:
      • In "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead", River Song has known the Doctor for years, but when she calls him for help her message is received by his past self, who has no idea who she is or what she's talking about.
      • In her second appearance (although probably not their second meeting), "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone", it's earlier in her timeline (she doesn't know she will become a Professor "Spoilers!"), but still not her first meeting.
      • And in her third, "The Pandorica Opens"/"The Big Bang", it's earlier again for her, but still not her first meeting. Amy mentions that River warned them about the Pandorica and gets the response "Maybe I did. But I haven't yet. But I will have." She recognizes both the Doctor and Amy, but apparently not Rory, whom she calls "that centurion", although later episodes suggest this was just because he technically didn't exist at this point, and his memory was lost to those close to him. Rory is definitely close to River because he's her father. Or she was just pretending not to know who he was; River admits she lies all the time to preserve the timeline.
      • In her fourth appearance, "The Impossible Astronaut"/"Day of the Moon", River claims that her and the Doctor's personal timelines are not just out of whack, they're going in completely opposite directions: (nearly) every time the Doctor meets River, it will be earlier still for her, until eventually the last time he meets her will be the first time she meets him. (This can't be entirely true. If it was, comparing diaries would be pointless.) All of which sets up a heartbreaking First Kiss / Last Kiss.
      • "A Good Man Goes to War" makes the timey-wimey-ness fifteen times more confusing with the reveal that River is Amy and Rory's daughter Melody Pond, part-Time Lord due to being conceived on the TARDIS. This means the Doctor met her as a baby, and she's been interacting with parents who don't know who she is for ages.
        A heartbreaking example from this episode occurs when Lorna, who joined the army in the hopes of meeting the Doctor again, finally sees him at the end of the episode, while she's dying. He has no idea who she is, but he pretends that he remembers her to provide comfort for her final moments.
      • In the next episode, "Let's Kill Hitler", it gets even more complicated as it turns out that River has been interacting with her unknowing parents longer than we thought — her second incarnation (the one known as River Song is the third) was as their lifelong best friend Melody "Mels" Zucker, and Amy named her after herself.
      • And again in "The Wedding of River Song", where the Doctor shouldn't meet River anymore — the last time they met was at her birth, which is her first meeting, therefore his last — but he does. And they get married.
      • Then, in "The Angels Take Manhattan", they seem to be roughly in sync, with River now a professor and the Doctor knowing full well who she is and who she is to him. They act very much like a married couple in this episode.
      • The timelines of the Doctor and River aren't exactly one-to-one forwards/backwards, which makes it even more confusing for the viewer when he or she tries to work out River's life in her order. Someone made a chart.
      • "The Husbands of River Song" has what from her point of view is either their next-to-last meeting or their antepenultimate meeting, depending on whether one counts virtual post-mortem library copies. It's the Doctor's last encounter with her — so far, at least. The Doctor jokes that they're going to need a much bigger flow chart.
    • Clara Oswald is another more complicated example — basically, at one point after she has been travelling for him for a few months at least, she stops a villain's attempt to rewrite the Doctor's entire timeline in a way that involves scattering countless alternate versions of herself everywhere he had gone. These echoes each meet him for the first time, but are more like the more forward, confident (and quite enamored) Clara from later in series 7 than the more cautious original Clara from when she first met him, after he eventually notices these conspicuously identical women he keeps running into and tracks the original down, happy to see her again, but also somewhat suspicious since he has yet to find out how her alternate selves came to be.
      • Long story short, the Doctor meets the echoes of Clara before he meets the original Clara, who hasn't yet created said echoes when she meets him. Clara and the Doctor also have each had various encounters with the other's oblivious younger self.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • When Barry first confronts the Reverse-Flash face to face, the latter's part of the conversation is from the point of view of a time-traveling villain who has faced off against the Flash many, many times.
    • This is reversed (pun intended) in the second season episode "The Reverse Flash Returns", where Barry and the rest of the team encounter an earlier version of the Reverse-Flash. He is unfamiliar with them, but they are all too familiar with him. It is stated at the end of the episode that this encounter was how the Reverse-Flash first learned about the crew at STAR Labs, setting up the earlier (from their point of view) encounters they'd had with the villain last season.
    • In season three, Savitar hates Barry and wants revenge on him, because Barry's future counterpart had managed to defeat and trap him. It turns out to be a lie. Savitar is, in fact, Barry's future time remnant.
    • Also in Season Three, Barry first encounters the villain Abra Kadabra, who comes from the future, and who claims to have had many battles with the Flash in his past and the hero's future.
  • Lois & Clark: In "Tempus Fugitive", Clark Kent time travels back to the 60s to help his parents (who don't recognize him) discover and subsequently adopt his infant self.
  • Lost: Desmond and Daniel manage to meet three times, despite there only being two of them. In "Because You Left," Locke and Ethan meet in the past, with Ethan confused as to how Locke knows his name. Later that episode, Richard warns Locke that next time they see each other, Richard won't recognize Locke, and gives him a compass as proof they know each other.
  • In Misfits, when Curtis re-winds time to undo the event that ruined his life, he has a few memorable meetings with his "present-day" companions, all of whom have no idea who he is. He realizes this when he bumps into Nathan and makes the mistake of asking him for help, and Nathan is about as rude an unhelpful as it's possible to be (partly because he had no memory of Curtis, and partly because he's a giant jerkass in general). Curtis also gets puked on by a drunk Kelly, and has this exchange with his (soon to-be) girlfriend Alisha:
    Alisha: What are you smiling about? What... is it a secret?
    Curtis: I just changed history — I changed the future.
    Alisha: Just so you know, yeah, saying weird things like that is a real turn-off.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Time's Arrow", Captain Picard goes back to 1893 and meets Guinan for her first time. He, of course, will have known her for a long time in her future and his past.
  • In the pilot of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Jennifer has exactly this response when Sisko opens the Orb and finds himself in the past reliving their Meet Cute. A less pleasant version of this trope happens earlier in the episode when Sisko greets Captain Picard as if he knows him. Which he does, having fought a Borg-assimilated Picard in the battle where Jennifer was killed.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. In "Relativity", Captain Janeway is confused when she encounters the Villain of the Week, a rogue temporal agent who has a grudge against her for all the times she's going to become involved in temporal paradoxes.
    Braxton: Janeway!
    Janeway: Have we met?
    Braxton: Too many times! But you wouldn't remember, they haven't occurred yet.
  • Van Helsing (2016): In the Season 5 premiere, Jack is sent back in time to medieval Transylvania to prevent the rise of the Dark One. Along the way, she encounters the local versions of Bathory and Mikaela, both of whom are confused at how she knows them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Madame Eva, a mysterious Vistani elder from the Ravenloft setting, seems freely capable of traveling through time as well as space via the Mists. Another NPC, Jacqueline Montarri, murdered the old woman at their first meeting and was cursed for it; she's since encountered the still-living Madame Eva several times, earlier in her victim's life. A subversion, as Eva knows what fate awaits her due to her fortune-telling powers, and is getting her payback in before it happens, spitefully taunting Jacqueline about her cursed status each time they encounter one another.
  • In Sentinels of the Multiverse lore, La Capitan runs into this with her Nemeses, The Southwest Sentinels. The first time they encounter her is not the first time she encounters them thanks to her time-traveling shenanigans, during that encounter she sees them and exclaims, "You again?!" to their confusion. The next time they fight, it's a younger version of La Capitan and the situation is reversed.

    Video Games 
  • In Astro Boy: Omega Factor, Pook is introduced this way. Astro doesn't know him but he later on goes back to the past where Pook is from, thus explaining Pook knowing who he is. In a curious twist, you later go back in time to that "first meeting" and they recognize each other.
  • In the original Bard's Tale III, you meet Hawkslayer early in the game. He remembers you, and gives you the password you gave him a long time ago (from his perspective). Later, you have to give the password back to his younger self to get him to join you then.
  • Common in Castlevania: Judgment due to characters having been pulled from various points in time, particularly with the cast of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. Trevor uses the trope name almost verbatim when he meets Alucard, and both he and Grant take advantage of Sypha's lack of knowledge of them. Alucard briefly finds relief when Maria turns out to have not met him yet.
  • In Chrono Trigger the main characters discover that the Guru of Life trapped on Mt. Woe is actually Melchior, whom they met in the present. Naturally, they recognize him but not vice versa. Curiously, the Melchior in the present era never gave any indication that he already knew them beforehand... Because in the original timeline Melchior was never imprisoned on Mt. Woe. Until Crono & co accidentally sent Magus back to the Dark Ages, Melcior really had never met Crono until the Present Age. Time travel is confusing.
  • In City of Heroes, Mender Lazarus greets you with familiarity the first time you meet him, talking about all your past adventures, and doesn't recognize you the third time, due to time travel being funny that way. Even better, he thanks you for figuring out how to solve the crisis he was then due to in the first place.
  • In the first Ecco the Dolphin game, the very first thing the Asterite says to Ecco (from Ecco's perspective) is "I remember you! ...Of course it was you... and it was I who sent you... Now it is clear." The Asterite remembers him because it sent Ecco back in time to steal one of its globes, causing a Stable Time Loop.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion add-on The Shivering Isles, you can talk to a character called Tove the Unrestful who seems to have an odd understanding of time...
  • Fate/Grand Order: It's been long established that the Throne of Heroes exists outside of space and time, so these make perfect sense.
    • If Ishtar is summoned before the Babylonia chapter, she greets the protagonists like old friends and gets confused that they don't recognize her. During the Babylonia chapter, the protagonists greet her like an old friend while she is meeting them for the first time.
    • During Hokusai's event, Randolph Carter meets her and comments how while the events of Salem are the future for him; they're the past for Chaldea.
    • If Yu Mei-ren or Qin Shi Huang are summoned before the SIN chapter, they will recognize the heroes, but refuse to reveal the future.
    • Habetrot immediately recognizes Mash Kyrielight when they meet, though since Mash has amnesia at the time, she doesn't realize they haven't met before. Later, Mash travels back in time and meets Habetrot's past self, explaining how she recognized her.
  • Fire Emblem Heroes: During Chapter 7 in Book VII, when the Order first meet Nerþuz, she appears pained and confused at their appearance, but soon ends up gushing over how cute the humans are. After seemingly refusing to aid them in saving their world, Nerþuz reveals that she's actually already met them in her past, but that for the Order, it's their first time meeting her, and agrees to help them.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle has this come up in the pre-fight intros for multiple characters. Since the first six parts of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure take place in the same universe, characters from one part are likely to show up in another; as such, characters from a later part may recognize characters from an earlier part who showed up in their storyline, but it might not work the other way around. In particular, the cast of Stardust Crusaders react very badly to seeing the Phantom Blood version of Dio Brando, since he's the Big Bad of their part, but PB Dio has no idea who these lunatics are because they're from over a century in his future.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable The Gears Of Destiny: Vivio, Einhart, Thoma, and Lily are all from the future, but the latter two are from two years further down the timeline. Vivio and Einhart thus have no idea who Lily is and Vivio only barely recognizes Thoma due to him suddenly appearing older and with a different hair color (Thoma and Lily have no problem telling who Vivio and Einhart are since they're both in their Adult Modes). It leads to them initially mistaking each other for Dark Pieces. This also causes confusion when Thoma and Lily run into the Wolkenritter, since they look exactly the same as they will in fifteen years.
  • Aoko Aozaki does this a couple times in Melty Blood, such as claiming to Roa that if he keeps being alive they might have already met sometime in the future. And then she mocks the idea of asking a True Magician 'Have we met?', and notes that he's exactly as creepy now as he will have been in the future.
  • In Neverwinter Nights you meet a time traveller who doesn't know if you have met yet and is unsure what they have told you.
  • Twice in Ōkamiden, with the same characters. When Nanami the mermaid first meets Chibiterasu in Agata forest, she greets him as an old friend, but Chibi acts all confused and does not seem to remember her. This is explained later in the game when Chibi travels nine months into the past and meets Nanami again, and he greets her like a friend but she does not remember him, because for her that was the first time they met.
  • Prince of Persia: Warrior Within undoes all the events of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, meaning that the Prince's experiences were his alone. When he meets Farah in Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, he calls to her with familiarity, then explains it away by saying her reputation precedes her.
  • Happens in Shin Megami Tensei IV if one begins certain DLC quests before visiting specific locations through the main quest. Dialogue from locals implies these DLC missions take place some time after you've dealt with the problems that crop up during the main quest.
  • In Super Robot Wars Reversal, Raul/Fiona will talk to the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam-era Amuro and Char or the Martian Successor Nadesico-era Akito and Yurika with familiarity as they had met their future selves. Amuro, Yurika and Akito will be incredibly stunned by these people knowing who they are.
  • In Timesplitters Future Perfect, there are several missed opportunities for this with the heroes, due to there being three different time travel variants being used. However it's played completely straight when the main hero meets the Villain for the third time, except the villain has no idea what his evil scheme is until the hero explains it... The Villain then manages to apply this to Himself upon traveling back in time and meeting his younger self and explaining the scheme while the hero can hear it. His younger self's response? "Grandpa?"
  • In World of Warcraft, when you speak with Chromie, a time-traveling dragon in humanoid form, she says "Good to see you! Or is this the first time that we've met? I'm in so many places and times right now I sometimes have a hard time keeping track of all of it!" Which is used to justify the fact that you may or may not have met her while leveling up, depending on where you chose to go.

  • Beyond Reality: This is how Orion first meets his girlfriend, due to problems with inter-dimensional time flow.
  • Homestuck:
    • The trolls, who contact the kids at seemingly random points in their timeline. This leads to some incredibly weird conversations.
    • Karkat, upon having a disastrously embarrassing first conversation with John, resolved to progress linearly backwards through John's timeline, which is hardly less confusing than the random method.
    • The most tragic example turns out to be Gamzee. When he randomly contacts Dave, the latter remembers the "oblivious juggalo" troll and innocuously sends him an ICP video. Said video contributes to Gamzee going Ax-Crazy and after comitting some horrifying actions and setting other disastrous events into motion, he contacts a younger Dave, the meeting he later remembers, closing the Stable Time Loop.
  • Played with in L's Empire. Void first met Reco when he was sent 700 years into the future. Then he gets back to the present and Reco recognizes him since gods can see things from the perspective of the readers (and thus remembers what happened in the future).

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: Alien Force has the aptly named Paradox, who already knows Ben quite well when they (from Ben's perspective) meet for the first time, due to them working together several times in the future. A Running Gag of sorts with the following quote is that every time Paradox appears in an episode, Ben will use Swampfire at some point.
    Paradox: Swampfire, that takes me back. Or is it forward? It's so hard to tell, isn't it, Ben? Have we met yet?
  • A Foreshadowing variant in the first Futurama movie, Bender's Big Score. When Lars first meets Leela and quickly begins flirting with her, she asks "Do I know you?" to which he replies "Apparently not." The end of the movie recontextualizes this: Lars is a duplicate of Fry who spent twelve more years in the 21st century before re-freezing himself, and has spent a long time waiting to meet Leela again knowing they would fall in love.
  • An episode of Gargoyles has Goliath running into the London clan. Though he swears he's never met them before, they certainly remember him, and blame him for the death of Griff, one of their members, during The Blitz. Seeking to figure things out and clear his name with the Londoners, Goliath heads back in time via the Phoenix Gate, and repeatedly saves Griff's life. After several close calls, Goliath decides history apparently wants Griff dead, so sidesteps fate by pulling him into the future with him, closing the time loop.
  • Played with in the season one finale of Justice League Unlimited, the time-traveling John Stewart, Batman and Wonder Woman end up in the timeframe of Batman Beyond. After escaping the Jokerz, the modern day League and the remnants of the future League (comprised of Warhawk, Static and Terry McGinnis) escape to future League's base, where they meet the future Bruce Wayne. Once the two Bruces meet, Terry goes "Bruce Wayne, Batman. Batman, Bruce Wayne. Or have you already met?" The Bruces' response? "Not now!"
    • At the end of the same episode, Warhawk meets Green Lantern John Stewart:
      Warhawk: Dad?
  • Looney Tunes: Tweety (in his earliest days) in "A Gruesome Twosome" is surrounded in his nest by the two cats vying to be a girl cat's boyfriend. Tweety to the cats: "Have you two putty tats met?"
  • In X-Men: The Animated Series, this was the source of some hilarity in the first time-travel episode. Bishop meets Wolverine for the first time in the Bad Future, and then he travels back to the past (or rather, the normal Present-time of the series) to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. Upon meeting the Wolverine of that time period, Bishop is somehow surprised that Wolvie doesn't remember him.