Follow TV Tropes


Last Day of Normalcy

Go To

"Imagine a day like any other. The children are fighting. The refrigerator is humming. Highways are jammed, playgrounds are filled. Everything is perfectly normal... for the very last time."
— Tagline of Testament

A writer wants to establish characters and their traits before plunging them into the action. But how to do that?

Well, they can use The Last Day of Normalcy. We're shown our hero(s)/heroine(s) in their casual day to day settings right before the events that will forever change their lives. They may be thrown into a war. They may have someone pull back the veil of The Masquerade. They might be spirited off to some unknown place. Whatever the case, we are shown their last peaceful moments in their regular lives.

While this can be used for a singular hero/heroine, it is more common for a story that involves a group, allowing the author to showcase their relationship dynamics, good and bad, prior to putting them into the thick of danger, where those characteristics might come out of left field because they weren't previously established, including Chekhov's Skill, or showing the audience who is The Leader, The Heart, The Lancer, The Spock, and even the Dirty Coward or The So-Called Coward.

While it might overlap with Doomed Hometown, it need not necessarily do so. The events that involve our hero(s)/heroine(s) might not come to the attention of the entire town, let alone destroy it. The adventure could sweep our protagonist(s) out of their home without ever touching it.

That isn't to say that the audience might not be made aware of the coming danger first. Showing a destructive menace, and then showing the idyllic scenery that will soon be under threat is a good way to build sympathy for our characters before the foreshadowed plight befalls them. The key is that we ARE shown the characters in their ordinary lives BEFORE the danger reaches them. The timeframe need not be a single day before the danger arrives, but it doesn't tend to be a particularly long time, as the job of a writer is to move the story along, even as they show us our main characters.

The main thrust of the trope, however, will be to establish character traits and quirks, interpersonal relationships, or the idyllic setting that will soon be disrupted, or all of the above. While this trope is commonly used at the beginning of a work, it is not unheard of to have a Whole Episode Flashback to show how the situation started, or, in an episodic work like a TV series or a comic book, be part of the introduction of a new character. It may also occur after a Time Skip to show that the new normalcy was too fragile to last.

Characters who aren't Genre Savvy might tempt fate by declaring Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here.

Compare and contrast Jumped at the Call, Refused the Call, and The Call Knows Where You Live.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ah! My Goddess: The first season of the anime greatly expands on showing Keiichi Morisato as an Unlucky Everyman who, despite being The Chew Toy for the universe in general, is still kind, earnest, and dilligent. Then a wrong number while trying to order takeout brings a literal goddess, Belldandy, into his life.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Half part of the first episode shows Sakura's daily life. She takes the breakfast made by her father Fujitaka as her brother Toya teases her, while Sakura's voice presents them and explains her mother died long ago; she goes to school on skates, has a crush on Toya's best friend Yukito and, on her turn, is idolized by her own friend Tomoyo. When she comes back home, her family still hasn't come, and Sakura is frightened of a weird som at Fujitaka's library. She doesn't find anyone there, but sees a shining book and accidentaly liberates the cards kept inside it.
  • Code Geass: The first episode shows Lelouch Lamperouge, an exiled Britannian prince who is presumed dead, having a chess match with Britannian nobles. While returning to school, he encounters a vehicular accident caused by the Japanese rebels and tries to see if the driver is all right, only to fall down and get trapped inside the truck which is being pursued by the Britannian military. Then, he reunites with his childhood friend, Suzaku Kururugi, who is now a Britannian soldier. They both meet a mysterious green-haired girl who came out of the truck container. However, Suzaku is reprimanded and shot by his superior for disobeying his orders and Lelouch and the girl flee from the scene. When cornered by the military, the girl is shot but she bestows Lelouch the power of the Geass, which gives him the ability to mind control his targets.
  • Inuyasha: Kagome is introduced the day before her Dangerous 16th Birthday, listening to her grandfather tell the story of the Shikon Jewel with visible boredom and gives her gift of a "kappa's foot" to her cat after examining it with incredulity. It would not be long, however, before she would fall down the cursed well and find herself battling demons in feudal Japan.
  • INVADERS of the ROKUJYOUMA!?: Kotaro is shown going to school, chatting with his landlady, who is also a classmate, and with his Love Interest in the Knitting Club before a terrible fall leaves him with a knock on the head and a bunch of strange girls, from a Subterranean priestess to an Alien Princess to a Magical Girl (who no one believes is a Magical Girl), to a Cute Ghost Girl haunting the apartment introduce themselves to him.
  • Both Nadia and Jean in Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water experimente this in the first episode: Jean came to the 1890 Paris World's Fair to see his uncle's planes and Nadia worked as circus acrobat. Both will meet Gladys and her henchmen wanting her blue stone and have to flee her, thereby starting the whole story.
  • Steins;Gate: The first episode introduces us to the characters of the Future Gadgets Lab, Okabe with his Chuunibyou personality quirks, Daru with his lecherous tendencies as well as his computer skills, and sweet and spacy Mayuri Shiina, all quietly killing time in the lab space. We also get to meet Kurisu Makise as she cooly and systematically destroys all of Okabe's theories on time travel, right before she's brutally murdered. Okabe makes a frantic text message that unwittingly alters the entire timeline at the end of the episode.

    Comic Books 
  • Maus: The first few chapters of Maus feature Vladek's life in interwar Poland, his courtship with Anja, and his early family life with Richieu.

    Films — Animation 
  • Arlo the Alligator Boy: Following A Minor Kidroduction showing how Arlo arrived in the swamp as a newborn infant, the movie opens with the now 15-year-old Arlo going through his usual day in the swamp, being disliked by the animals and hoping he'd explore the outside world and have a lot of friends. After this, he receives the ID tag from his birth from Edmée as a birthday gift, causing him to realize his true identity which kickstarts his journey from the swamp to New York City the very next day.
  • Beauty and the Beast starts with Belle going to the village to return a book to the bookshop and pick a new one. We follow her routine, as she daydreams to distract herself from boredom and the villages make fun of her. She stops to buy some food, then she is harassed by Gaston, making it obvious that has happened before, and a lot. When Belle goes back home and Maurice complains that he'll never make his invention work, she replies that "he always says that," hinting that he has been working on the wood chopping device for a while with Belle's encouragement.
  • The LEGO Movie: After the prologue, the film opens with Emmet's daily routine, where he follows his instructions as he gets dressed in his apartment, greets his neighbors, orders overpriced coffee, and works at the construction site. Later that night, he falls down the hole where he finds the Piece of Resistance, everyone thinks he's the Special, he learns about President Business's plan to use the Kragle to end the world in 3 days, and he gets dragged into an adventure by Wyldstyle after she rescues him.
  • A Monster in Paris: The first part shows the lives of Émile and Raoul, respectively a cinema operator and a delivery guy/inventor, until the accident that gives rise to Francœur, the star of the film. After that, we also see the life of the singer Lucille, who has a lot of stress because of her aunt Carlotta's pressuring her to accept the court of Commissioner Maynott and also because they must find a new musician for the show. (She is actually more important for the plot than Raoul and Émile, because it's she whom interacts with Francœur the most and convinces the others to help save him from the police.)
  • Monsters vs. Aliens opens on Susan Murphy's wedding day, as she prepares for the big day and suffers some anxiety over it. As she stands outside to clear her head, she is hit by a meteorite full of Unobtanium that turns her into a Giant Woman during the ceremony. The government captures her and sends her to a secret facility for imprisoning monsters, despite her insistence that she isn't one. There, she makes friends with the other monsters, who are all then freed to fight an Alien Invasion.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: We're introduced to Miles Morales as he prepares for his first day at Visions Academy, introduced to his father, with whom he has a loving if difficult relationship, his desire not to be in Visions in the first place (trying to fail a test on purpose, and his teacher catching him at it), and his friendly relationship with his Uncle, who encourages him with his street art. Then Miles gets bitten by a radioactive spider, and well...

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Back to the Future spends its first twenty minutes or so recounting an average day in the life of Marty McFly. He's Late for School for the fourth day in a row, hangs out with his girlfriend Jennifer, rocks out with his band, and comes home to his pathetic family. Not only do these scenes establish Marty's normal routine, they are filled with plot points that will be significant once he's gone back to 1955.
  • Critters: Even as we're shown that the titular alien monsters have escaped their interstellar prison ship, we're introduced to the Brown Family in the almost pastoral setting of their farmhouse, including young son Brad's mischievous streak, which serves him well against the alien menace.
  • Ghostbusters:
    • Ghostbusters opens with Dr. Peter Venkman performing an experiment with his Columbia University parapsychology students before he joins his colleagues, Drs. Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler, in tracking a ghost at the New York Public Library, after which they go back to the university, where they're told by Dean Yeager that their research grant has been terminated and they're being dismissed, leading to them establishing their business as paranormal investigators and exterminators.
    • Ghostbusters: Afterlife: We're introduced to Callie, Trevor, and Pheobe Spengler in their Chicago apartment before circumstances would force them to move to a small Oklahoma town to inherit their grandfather's farm. The scene shows us Callie's resentment of her late father, Trevor's snarky wit, and Pheobe's skill and affinity for science.
  • Independence Day: As July 2 starts, we see an ordinary day for several of the characters before the aliens arrive...
    • David Levinson plays chess with his father, then goes to work where the satellite systems have gone down.
    • Russell Casse is trying ot earn a living as a crop duster.
    • Steve Hiller and Jasmine Dubrow are in bed, hungover, after a night out before having breakfast and getting the paper.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Bilbo's birthday party introduces us to all the characters of Hobbiton prior to their being thrust into their adventure, from gentle and thoughtful Frodo to loyal and simple Samwise, to the mischievous pair of Merry and Pippin (their role changed somewhat from the books, where they were more savvy to Bilbo's magic ring). This is a downplayed example, though, as while it does serve the purpose of showing the tranquility of Hobbiton, it isn't until Gandalf returns with confirmation of the nature of Bilbo's ring that Frodo is thrust out the door on an adventure. In the extended edition, we see that Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin were all enjoying themselves at The Green Dragon Inn the night Gandalf came back.
  • RoboCop: Alex Murphy is transferred to the Detroit Metro West precinct, and thinks he will take his new partner, Anne Lewis, on a routine patrol, where they run afoul of notorious crime lord, Clarence Bodicker. However, Murphy is cornered by Bodicker and Lewis witnesses Bodicker and his men, and execute Murphy using shotguns at short range. Murphy then wakes up a year later as Robo-Cop.
  • Star Wars: A New Hope: We're introduced to Luke Skywalker on Tatooine as a bored kid working on his Uncle Owen's moisture farm, who "wastes time with his friends" at Tosche Station and has dreams of leaving. Then his Uncle buys two used droids with a bit of a history, and one with a mission to find Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • The Terminator: Even as we're shown the titular Terminator systematically eliminating everyone who shares the name of our heroine, the audience is shown the life of Sarah Connor, waitress, as she goes about her daily life, interacting with customers and co-workers, chatting with her roommate, and playing a mild prank of said roommate's boyfriend when he tries to do a bit of foreplay over the phone. Then she has a close call with the T-800, and her life is never the same again.
  • The Thing: At the start of the movie the personnel of Outpost 31 are introduced doing various activities like playing ping pong in the rec room or competing against a computer in a round of virtual chess before a Norwegian helicopter arrives shooting at a dog with the intent to try and kill it.
  • Transformers: In the Mid-East, William Lenox and his Special forces squad enjoy some time off on their base, and on the other side of Earth, Sam Withwicky worked hard to get good grades so his dad could help buy him a car. They're then thrown into the middle of an interplanetary war between the Autobots and the Decepticons when Lenox's base is leveled by the Decepticon Blackout, while Sam discovers his new car is the Autobot Bumble-Bee, who was sent to protect him.
  • The Truman Show: 10,090 started like any other day for Truman, the cast and crew of the eponymous show, and the (In-Universe) audience. However, after seeing a homeless man that resembled his father, and hearing some radio chatter that sounded like instruction to follow him around, Truman starts to notice that there's something wrong with the world, which leads to day 10,913, when he manages to avoid the search party looking for him when he enacted his escape plan, and leads to show's cancellation when Christoff couldn't convince him to go back to his old life, and he exits the set.

  • The first novel in the Animorphs series begins with the future team-members wasting time at the local mall, playing arcade games, talking trash, and generally being completely unconcerned with anything out of the ordinary; Jake in particular is bummed over failing to make the basketball team, and is worried about breaking the news to his brother. However, everything changes when the five of them decide to take a shortcut through an abandoned construction site and happen to witness an Andalite ship landing there, resulting in them being given the power to morph and becoming a resistance movement against the Yeerk invasion.
  • The Fireman: The story begins with Harper working her job as a school nurse, treating a child's minor injury, just before the Dragonscale disease enters her life (via a man spontaneously combusting on the school playground). Later, a flashback shows John Rookwood and his lover's family enjoying a backyard barbecue and swimming the day of an ash fall that infects almost all of them with Dragonscale.
  • The Magicians begins with Quentin Coldwater making his way to a college interview for Princeton, the next logical step in his life as a Teen Genius. Along the way, he's established as a slightly depressed guy who is Aimlessly Seeking Happiness and compulsively performs coin tricks to bring the illusion of magic to his life. However, the predictable routine of the day goes awry when the interviewer unexpectedly turns up dead; soon after, Quentin finds himself stumbling off the street and into the entrance exam for a Wizarding School.
  • The Supernaturals Series: In book 1 (The Earth Titan), the first four chapters focus on each of the main characters and how normal their lives were before each one became supernatural.
  • The War of the Worlds: The Narrator describes going for a walk with his wife on a warm night just before the first cylinder arrived, pointing out the stars and Mars to her, being passed by a happy group of day-trippers, seeing upstairs lights as people went to bed and hearing the distant sounds of trains.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Boys begins with Hughie overhearing of a news broadcast of Homelander and Queen Maeve, two members of The Seven stopping a gang of bank robbers. A few minutes later, Hughie asks his girlfriend, Robyn, to move in together to show he doesn't have a fear of commitment, and wants to have a future with her. Just as she's about to answer him, A-Train, another member of The Seven smashes into Robyn at Super-Speed, reducing her to a bloody pulp, and traumatizing Hughie. When Billy Butcher gets in contact with Hughie, Butcher convinces him to join his crusade to take down The Seven.
  • Claws: The first episode spends a lot of time explaining how the main characters launder money and establishing their relationships with each other, particularly Desna and Roller's volatile romance. The inciting incident — Desna trying to kill Roller over money and his mistreatment of her — occurs at the end of the episode.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Rose" opens on Rose Tyler waking up to her alarm, saying goodbye to her mother, and going to work at Henrik's department store like any other day. It's all well and good (if a little boring) for Rose, until the mannequins in the basement try to kill her and a man called the Doctor saves her before blowing up her workplace.
    • In "Fires of Pompeii", the Doctor and Donna show up on an ordinary day in ancient Pompeii... that just so happens to be the day the volcano is set to go off and destroy it all.
    • "Fugitive of The Judoon": It's Ruth Clayton's birthday, but is otherwise a very normal day for her... until a squad of Judoon space police descend on the city of Gloucester and place it under lockdown in pursuit of a dangerous intergalactic fugitive. By the close of the episode, her partner is dead, and she's discovered that she herself isn't human, but actually a Time-Lord... specifically, an incarnation of The Doctor, and was the fugitive the Judoon were hunting.
  • Game of Thrones: The first episode, "Winter is Coming", shows the normal life of the Stark family where Robb and Jon train their little brother Bran in archery, Catelyn combs the hair of her daughter Sansa, Arya teases her siblings. Then, King Robert Baratheon visits the Starks' home castle, Winterfell, to meet his best friend Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark, and requests him to be his Hand of the King. While Ned is reluctant into accepting the offer, everything changes when his son Bran got pushed from the tower after witnessing Robert's wife, Cersei Lannister, having an incestuous affair with her brother, Jaime.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: The first episode, "Metamorphosis", introduces the three heroines (Emma, Cleo, and Rikki), shows them going through a life as Ordinary Highschool Students, and has them shipwrecked to Mako Island where they first discover the moon pool, and coming into contact with it once a full moon passes over grants them the ability to turn into mermaids whenever they touch water.
  • House of Anubis: In the first episode, we see scenes of the original Anubis House students living their normal lives and goofing around, with Establishing Character Moments abound. It changes gears as soon as Joy is removed from the school without warning and Patricia finds Nina on her friend's old bed, kicking off one of the main mysteries of the first season and shaking up the house's dynamic forever.
  • One episode of the 2006 series Series/Jericho was a flashback covering what everyone was doing in the 24 hours before nuclear war broke out.
  • The Leftovers: Via Whole Episode Flashback, "The Garveys At Their Best" flashes back to show the characters in their final twenty four-hours before the Departure. There are some hints that something is coming: Patti, now a damaged psychiatric patient of Laurie's, is convinced that some unspecified calamity is about to happen; a drain lid blows off in front of Kevin; and a stranger asks him if he's "ready". Other than that, everything is very normal: Laurie and Kevin are still married (and Laurie is hiding her pregnancy from him), Chris is in college, not affiliated to any cult and is fighting with his birth father, Jill is a perky and happy teenager, Matt is celebrating his birthday with his not-yet disabled wife, and Nora is dissatisfied with her home life and suspects that her husband is cheating on her. Then the Sudden Departure happens, and nothing is the same again.
  • Red Dwarf: The very first episode gives us a glimpse of a normal day at Rimmer and Lister's jobs, where we see them bickering over their jobs, as well as seeing how Rimmer fares against the Officer's exams (badly) and both Lister's relationship with Kochanski and his Dream of starting a farm in Fiji. Whilst a crew member's funeral occurs that day, he is promptly resurrected as a Virtual Ghost and it's treated as nothing too serious. Then, Lister is found to have an illegal cat on board, is forced into stasis, and wakes up 3 million years into the future to find that Everybody's Dead, Dave.
  • Squid Game: Much of the first episode is spend conveying how miserable and hopeless Gi-hun's life is to explain why he would agree to partake in the games.
  • Played with in the pilot of Yellowjackets. The Distant Prologue shows the girls turning to a Cannibal Clan in the wilderness, while half of the pilot is also set in the present day (showing the known survivors). The main 1990s timeline, however, shows the Yellowjackets having their last normal day. It ends with them boarding the plane that will crash and strand them in the Canadian wilderness.

  • Falsettoland (and ''Falsettos, of which Falsettoland is the second act) presents "A Day in Falsettoland," showing Mendel's day at work, Trina exercising, Marvin and Whizzer playing racquetball, and Cordelia and Dr. Charlotte lovingly bickering over their jobs. Almost immediately afterward, Dr. Charlotte begins to notice a trend in young bachelors getting sick without explanation, when, meanwhile, Whizzer suddenly collapses.

    Video Games 
  • Chrono Trigger: The game opens at the Millennial Fair, which introduces Crono, Lucca, and Marle in the peaceful present day (1000AD in the game's calendar). While the present day remains peaceful, our heroes accidentally discover Time Travel and the Bad Future that Lavos will create in 1999AD, and set off on a quest through time itself to change that future.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: All six origin stories provide a glimpse into what that character's daily life was like before the story's events lead to them becoming a Grey Warden.
  • Fallout 4 begins with the Player Character, their Happily Married spouse, their baby son Shaun and Robot Butler Codsworth, going through the motions on a typical morning for a suburban American family. The morning in question is October 23rd 2077, the day the People's Republic of China declared war on America with a massive co-ordinated nuclear bombardment.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a downplayed example; strange things had already been going on around the academy and an entire Village went berserk at the hands of Tomas, but the feeling of normalcy wasn't entirely shattered until Edelgard declared war on the Church of Seiros and launched a full-scale assault after her invasion of the Holy Tomb.
  • Half-Life begins with a regular day on Gordon Freeman's life on the day the events that led to the Resonance Cascade, which changed the entire world of the franchise, and whose after effects can be felt several years later, took place.
  • Heavy Rain opens with a regular, saccharine-sweet day of Ethan Mars, a happy husband and proud father of two boys. Unfortunately, this just happens to be a flashback to the day when one of his sons was killed by traffic, leading to his divorce and eventually to the kidnapping of his other son by a serial killer, kicking off the main plot.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts starts with Sora, Riku, and Kairi playing around with their friends and each other in their hometown of Destiny Islands, while building a raft to set out at sea. There were signs that something is wrong, like Sora's Mind Screwy dream or the mysterious stranger that showed up out of thin air, but nothing indicated that Destiny Islands would get destroyed and the whole world would fall into darkness.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep starts with Ventus, Aqua and Terra at their home, admiring a meteor shower, sparring against each other and wishing Aqua and Terra good luck with their Mark of Mastery exam the next day. As soon as the intro ends, you hear Ventus, Aqua and Terra's voices simultaneously saying that this would be their last night together under the same sky. Sure enough, everything goes to hell after that.
  • The Lost Vikings begins with the three Vikings leaving their village to go on a hunting trip, with each being given the chance the display their particular expertise: Erik the Swift's talent for running and jumping, Baleog the Fierce's swordsmanship and archery and Olaf the Stout's mastery of the shield. As the trio return home that afternoon, Erik declares how much he loves life in the village and hopes he never has to leave. That night, a Flying Saucer appears over the village and abducts the three heroes...
  • Mass Effect opens with the crew of the Normandy doing a "shakedown run" to retrieve an artifact from Eden Prime, which just happens to occur on the same day the Reapers attacked the colony, kicking off the events of the trilogy.
  • NEO: The World Ends with You: The game starts with Rindo and Fret hanging out in Shibuya talking about innocuous stuff like games. Then Rindo gets a vision of Fret being ran over by a truck, and the two get caught up in the Reapers' Game.
  • Persona:
    • Persona starts with a group of friends from class 2A making preparations for the school festival, and then going to the hospital to visit a friend of theirs. They make remarks like "I have to get off in time for my part-time job" and stuff. And then they reach the hospital and the apocalypse strikes.
    • Persona 2:
      • Innocent Sin: While it was obvious from the beginning that something was off and has been that way for a while now, the intro starts fairly normal — Tatsuya is looking for his teacher so they can get this "post-graduation advice meeting" out of the way. Then he gets news that a classmate has been kidnapped (it turned out to be innocent, it was some guys from another school trying to recruit him in their rock band)... And that is when the Joker shows up and tries to kill everyone.
      • Eternal Punishment starts in a very similar vein, following Maya at her work as a reporter for a teen magazine, but then while she's interviewing the students a serial killer appears and kills the Principal. Then he sets his sights on her. Long story short, she never turned in those interviews at her work.
    • Persona 5: Played with, given that the game starts In Medias Res before jumping back to Joker coming to Tokyo as a Transfer Student and visiting his new school the day before classes start. The next day, a mysterious app appears on his phone that keeps reappearing no matter how many times he deletes it, and inadvertently triggering it causes him and another student to be transported to the Metaverse.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne begins with 3 Ordinary High School Students from Tokyo going to visit their favorite teacher in hospital, at the end of what's implied to be a fairly normal school day for them... only to discover the hospital completely devoid of patients or medical personnel, and is actually the base of operations for an Apocalypse Cult. The cult leader completes a ritual that triggers The End of the World as We Know It, and as the chaos unfolds, one of the teens meets a mysterious young boy, who "gifts" him with a parasite called a Magatama that burrows into his body and turns him into a demon...

    Visual Novels 
  • Sara Chidouin oversleeps at school and ends up having to be escorted home by her best friend Joe Tazuna. They find her mother unconscious on the floor, and both black out as they seek for help. They wake up in the middle of a Deadly Game. Welcome to Your Turn to Die.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: The first episode gives not only a glimpse of Ben's regular life (playing soccer at school), but also of Grandpa Max, Gwen and Kevin's. Ben goes to visit his grandfather at the trailer camp Max is living now to find a weird alien there and his grandpa's message about the Omnitrix. He goes to see Gwen in a karate competition, showing they became a lot closer; that's when they meet Magister Labrid, whom (after a short misunderstanding) asks their help to solve the case Max has been working on. They find out that Kevin (who is human again), is still involved in shady schemes, as when they were children.
  • Futurama: In the first episode, Phillip J. Fry is working as a pizza delivery boy on New Year's Eve. His last day of normalcy ends when he's accidentally frozen for a thousand years and revived in the future.
  • Family Guy: In the episode "Road to Germany", Mort, Brian, and Stewie unwittingly travel back in time to 1939 Poland. The three get to see and enjoy the wedding of Mort's grandparents...only for the German invasion to start.
  • The first episode of LoliRock begins with Iris going through her ordinary life prior to auditioning for the eponymous band, where she inadvertently discovers her magical powers and soon learns that she, as well as her bandmates, are warrior princesses destined to protect the universe from destruction.
  • The Owl House: The series opens with Luz and her mother Camila at the principal's office, because of trouble caused by Luz' wild creativity (she put living spiders in a school project and used fake guts — sausage — in a production of Romeo and Juliet). She is forced to go a reform camp to learn to be "normal", and it's shown that Camila means well but is worried because Luz' excessive imagination keeps her from making friends. After her mom leaves her at the bus stop, Luz runs to get back her favourite book (of fantasy, of course) she put on the trash bin, but it's taken by an owl that goes through a magic portal. Then Luz meets Eda, who sells human trash in a market, and King, a cute but self-centered creature that believes he is a real king who had his throne stolen, and has an "army" of plushies.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power starts with Adora having a regular day as a cadet of the Horde. Obedient and strictly by the book, she is promoted to Force Captain by her foster mother Shadow Weaver, but is also told she'll be separated from her friends. That includes Catra, her foster sister and best friend, who is the complete opposite of Adora and also wanted that promotion. To comfort her, Adora takes Catra to a joyride by skiff, but the latter insists on driving to the Whispering Woods, accidentally knocking Adora off. The girl hears a voice and sees a strange sword in the woods; late at night, she goes back after the sword, meeting Glimmer and Bow, who are fighting the Horde.
  • Winx Club: The first episode begins with Bloom having a normal morning in her hometown before discovering that she's a fairy and deciding to study magic at Alfea. The opening scenes establish her dissatisfaction with her boring, average life in contrast to the magical adventures she'll later have.