Follow TV Tropes


Love Transcends Spacetime

Go To

In some stories, a Flash Sideways—or even outright Time Travel—can be caused by The Power of Love. Not just motivated by it: Caused by it.

So strong is their love that no boundaries are capable of keeping these lovers apart. Not even the boundaries of space, time, fourdimensional spacetime, or even The Barrier between different universes.

Not limited to Time Travel and timelines, the trope also applies to certain cases of targeted reincarnation, long-range telepathy et cetera.

Contrast Star-Crossed Lovers. See also Time-Travel Romance.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Inuyasha:
    • The first movie had the subtitle Toki wo Koeru Omoi / Affections Touching Across Time, which referred to a scene where Kagome (in the present) and Inuyasha (in the past) both touch the goshinboku tree and then can communicate telepathically. (They did this because the Bone-Eaters' Well was out of order.)
    • The ending of the series proper features Kagome's love for Inuyasha allowing her to travel to the past through the Bone-Eaters' Well, after it had stopped working for three years following her destruction of the Shikon Jewel.
  • Future Diary: The original incarnation of Yuno Gasai dies at the end of the series, but in the Redial OVA, her Alternate Self feels incomplete even though her life seems to be going well. She ultimately feels pulled to go find the Second Word Yukiteru despite the fact that that version of her had never even met him; this results in her recovering the memories of her First World self and finding Yukki in the Second World.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: By the second part of the series, love renders you capable of teleportation, and it's weaponised so Simon can Bright Slap Rossiu out of commiting suicide. Although that worked because of Kinon's romantic love for Rossiu and Simon both supporting her love and still considering Rossiu enough of a friend to go Interrupted Suicide on him even after he condemned him to death. Love is, of course, far from the only thing in the setting that transcends spacetime, and not to mention there are many kinds of love aside of romance.
    • Also, Nia should have vanished when the Anti-Spiral was destroyed. She managed to hold on for at least a week after that, because of her love for Simon, and only faded away after they got married and she gave him a Last Kiss.
  • In the Book of Bantorra, Colio Tonies falls in love with the centuries-dead "Ever-Laughing Witch" Shiron Byacornaise when he reads her "book" (in this series, a stone tablet in which the memories of a person's lifetime crystallize upon their death) and finds that she had visions of him loving her in the future.
  • An episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire had May and Meowth hurled back in time for no discernible reason but to get a couple to hook up. This was before Dialga was introduced to the canon.
  • Noelle and Yusuke from I'm Gonna Be an Angel!- in the final episode their love for each other makes them able to touch each other again, after Noelle became full angel. Also, strongly hinted to be basis of Raphael and Mikael's relationship
  • In the penultimate episode of The Vision of Escaflowne, Van's love for Hitomi (and vice-versa) is enough to allow the Escaflowne, which had up until this point been capable only of atmospheric flight, to make an interplanetary journey from Gaia to pick Hitomi up from Earth in a matter of minutes. Hitomi being a low-grade Reality Warper and Van being the descendant of Atlanteans with similar powers doesn't hurt one bit, of course.

    Comic Books 
  • One old storyline in X-Men is that Professor X had a long distance relationship with the empress of another galaxy. Having never even visited each other's galaxies before, their minds nonetheless touched telepathically by the virtue of being soulmates.
  • The Flash:
    • Near the end of his Flash run, Barry Allen learns that his wife Iris West (killed halfway into his tenure) is actually from the future, and her biological parents from that era revived her using cloning technology. Barry's series ended with Barry retiring to the future to reunite with Iris.
    • Speedsters in general use their loved ones as an emotional lightning rod to avoid bouncing uncontrollably through time or being absorbed by the Speed Force their powers draw upon. Specifically, the couple whose love is demonstrably the strongest is Wally West (Barry's apprentice and the third Flash) and Linda Park. When Abra Kadabra retcons Linda from existence, Wally has nothing to ground him and falls into the Speed Force after running too fast. He still ends up being pulled out of it by Linda.
  • In City of Dreams, the prince and the queens appear to be visitors in the waking world, coming there only for the protagonist.
  • In Scott Pilgrim, when Gideon KILLS Scott on volume 6 we see more than half a page full with reaction shots... including Kim Pine, who isn't even remotely near the scene, but still felt it. It's only a panel, casually sneaked in, but it's colored darker than the rest, drawing attention to itself.
  • In Astro City there was a story about a man who keeps having memories of a woman he never met but was madly in love with. After calling up everyone he knows to see if they remember her, the man is eventually visited by The Hanged Man, who explains that the woman he remembers being in love with was his wife, who was accidentally erased from existence in a Crisis Crossover event. The Hanged Man offers to erase the memories for him, but he refuses. Before leaving The Hanged Man reveals that he's offered this service to numerous people who suffered similar losses, and that so far no one has taken him up on his offer.

    Fan Works 
  • An interesting case happens in the Glee fanfic But A Whimper. The premise is that everyone is born with their soulmate's name on their hand. Soul mates can be born in a different time though. And then the story averts this trope. Quinn's soul mate ends up being a singer from somewhere around the 1920s. He obviously died and she has to deal with a heart that's broken to smithereens.
  • In the Blood Bond, Blood Omen Series of fanfics for Kim Possible, Kim and Ron have been kept apart in all their previous incarnations by a curse. When they finally break it, they achieve this trope.
  • The Star Trek (2009) fanfic Written in the Stars takes this trope and runs away with it. Spock and Fem!Kirk end up together in four different realities, no matter what happens.
  • The Doctor Who fic "A Long History" basically states that the Doctor and Rose Tyler are this; the central plot of the story is that the Doctor and Rose met while they were teenagers (or at least the cultural equivalent of teenagers since the Doctor is still a century or so old), with the Doctor feeling such a strong bond to Rose that various men are observed throughout the fic that are clearly the Doctor's future selves responding to Rose being in danger even though they no longer remember this meeting; at one point two men who are clearly the Ninth Doctor and Jack Harkness have to stop someone else coming into a cafe, almost certainly acting to prevent "their" Rose witnessing her younger self.
  • Played with in And All the Stars Burned Bright. Destiny quite explicitly throws Barbara Havers and Thomas Lynley together in every single reality, but it can't compel them to fall in love with each other. Barbara rather wryly notes that in their case, Destiny doesn't have to do a damn thing about their feelings because they fall in love with each other in every reality anyway — all it has to do is make sure their paths cross, and they take it from there.
  • crawlersout: It seems Tom Riddle will always be drawn to Harry Potter, no matter the time or place. The summary even outright states that he will let nothing stand between him and Harry, be it time, space, or even Dark Lords.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Voices of a Distant Star, junior-high sweethearts Mikako and Noboru are separated when Mikako is selected as a Humongous Mecha pilot and sent with the fleet into space. As the fleet does not have FTL communications technology, the only means of contact the two have is email, with increasingly long delays in transmission - first six months, then a year, until finally Mikako ends up eight and a half lightyears from Earth. The anime does some deconstructing as both Mikako and Noboru struggle to cope with the separation - Noboru at one point even makes up his mind to give up on Mikako, saying that "a distance that takes eight years at the speed of light is no different than saying 'forever'," - but ultimately plays the trope straight in its final scenes.
    "I am here."
  • In Your Name (which shares Makoto Shinkai as director with Voices of a Distant Star) Mitsuha and Taki connect even though Taki is from a timeline three years ahead of Mitsuha's, and one in which she is already dead at that.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Played straight in Just Like Heaven. The main character David sees a ghost Elizabeth, who believes she still lives in her old apartment. Over the course of the movie, they genuinely start to love each other, when he finds out Elizabeth is in a coma. He races to prevent her death, and succeeds. Once this happens, their love transcends her re-entering her body, forgetting him completely.
    • On top of that, it's revealed that on the night Elizabeth was in the car accident that put her in the coma, she and David had been on their way to have a blind date with each other, hinting that the two were somehow always connected.
  • In Run Lola Run, love alone appears to allow the protagonist to reload the day and try again.
  • In Interstellar after getting into the Negative Space Wedgie, Cooper's love for his daughter enables him to transcend time and space to give her younger self the information required to save humanity.
  • Played straight in Déjà Vu (2006). Doug regularly gets feelings of "déjà vu" where he feels as though he has experienced similar events before such as when he is in the time machine or in the car listening to the radio. Unbeknownst to him these events actually happened in previously altered timelines to alternate versions of himself. It can be imagined that this is due to the power of his love for Claire or fate dictating that they be together.
    Claire What if you had to tell someone the most important thing in the world, but you knew they'd never believe you?
    Doug: I'd try.
  • In Sliding Doors, the main character finds her true love in one of the timelines. She eventually finds him in the other timeline as well, because she recognizes him from the Deja Vu kind of Flash Sideways she gets from loving him in the first timeline.
  • In the movie Made in Heaven (1987), when Annie incarnates for the first time (leaving Heaven in the process), Elmo reincarnates to be with her even though Emmett (a stand-in for God) warns him that they only have 30 years to meet. The searching is the basis for the entire movie. Eventually, when they see each other on the street, they remember their past in Heaven, including their love.
  • There's The Fountain, where a couple are seemingly re-incarnated and fall in love again and again.
  • Dead Again, where The Boy and The Girl are reincarnations of a previous pair of lovers. Except in their previous lives The Boy was The Girl and The Girl was The Boy.
  • In Somewhere in Time, Richard wills himself to teleport backwards in time so he can be with his true love Elise. Then, they're separated forever. And then, they're reunited when he ACTUALLY dies.
  • The film For All Time - based off the classic The Twilight Zone episode "A Stop At Willoughby" - heavily implies that this is what keeps pulling the protagonist back into the past. (Incidentally, the lovers are played by Mark Harmon and Mary McDonnell.)
  • In Happy Accidents, time travel itself is done via technology, but the protagonist says that the past can only be changed through an extreme amount of emotional energy. This leads him to think that he can save the life of a woman whose photograph he fell in love with in the future. It works.
  • At the end of Day Watch, Anton uses the chalk of fate to alter something he did twelve years prior. As a result he never met or fell in love with Sveta. As he passes her on a walk through the park, Zavulon and Gesser argue over whether or not he will recognize her. He does.
  • In Star Trek: Insurrection, Picard's girlfriend can slow down time, but only when doing so makes it really really romantic.
  • Sadly subverted in Jackie Chan's The Myth. Jack is not really Meng Yi, and the princess who had been waiting for Meng Yi, floats away from him to die in the tomb.
  • The 2006 Filipino film Moments of Love has this premise with a photographer in The Present Day falling for a haciendera half a century apart.
  • In full play in the 2016 South Korean thriller film Time Renegades (Korean title: 시간이탈자, or Let's Turn Back Time). The male and female leads of both the 1983 timeline and the 2015 timeline are reincarnations of each other.

  • Played with in the short story "Bad Timing". A man from the future reads a story in an old magazine about a woman who falls in love with a time traveler, who traveled to her time because he read a story she wrote about him. The man in the story is obviously him, and he sees a picture of the author and falls in love, so he steals an experimental time machine and goes to find her in the past. However, he doesn't have all of the manual for the time machine, and instead of creating the expected Stable Time Loop, he keeps arriving at all the wrong parts of her life—like when she's five years old... or when she's about to die... or just after she's married someone else...
  • In Beastly, when Kyle looks in the magic mirror and sees Lindy being abducted, he can somehow hear her her screaming for him, even though the mirror doesn't provide sound for what it shows. It's chalked up to Lindy and Kyle sharing a connection like Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester, and it's revealed that Lindy had been trying to invoke that connection to find him as well.
  • Early on in Black Dawn, Maggie has a dream in which a handsome boy with golden eyes is looking for her, tells her she has to escape and shows her how to find the mountain pass. He also tells her that he loves her and Maggie genuinely feels a connection between them, even though she's never seen the boy before. Then she meets him in person and learns he's Prince Delos; she also figures out they're soulmates, though Delos isn't too impressed at first. It's later revealed that Delos had somehow managed to send his consciousness back in time to contact Maggie in her dream (which is an unusual occurrence even in this series), in a futile attempt to get her to leave before she was captured. This only made Maggie more determined to stay and find out who Delos is, as well as convincing her of his goodness. Delos also believes it only worked because of their soulmate bond.
  • Mercedes Lackey's By the Sword plays with the trope a bit with Kerowyn and Eldan - the beginning of the last third of the book shows that Kero has had recurring dreams about Eldan over the ten years since they met, fell in love, and parted. Only when they are reunited some chapters later does Kero discover that the dreams were not just dreams: the two of them were communicating telepathically the whole time, from completely different countries, a fact that gives her a considerable shock when she realizes it. (Eldan, who'd already figured it out, is rather sheepish.)
  • Discworld: Subverted with Mellius and Gretelina, who were destined to have the greatest love affair in Discworld history, were born several centuries apart on different continents ... and, as far as we know, stayed there.
  • The Divine Comedy puts great emphasize on the Trinitarian belief that "God is love," meaning that time has been created by the perfect love between an inseparable Father and Son that themselves live beyond time and space. As a result, Dante's quest ends with him leaving even the world of spirits to dwell only in the Love called God.
  • In the Dragonriders of Pern novel Dragonquest, Brekke's love for F'nor is apparently enough to telepathically reach out to the Red Star and cause Canth to teleport them home, despite being unconscious at the time. Although there is occasional mention of "empathy," no human character in the series had ever evidenced the ability to telepathically communicate across interplanetary distances before (or after).
  • The Impossible Us: One explanation floated for how Bee and Nick are able to communicate, despite them and their electronic mail addresses existing in parallel universes.
  • Near the end of E. E. "Doc" Smith's last Lensman novel Children of the Lens, Kimball Kinnison is thrown outside the space-time continuum. His wife Clarrissa, his children and Mentor of Arisia use The Power of Love to find him and bring him back.
  • My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! provides a platonic example with Atsuko Sasaki, whose greatest wish after their best friend is tragically killed in a traffic accident is to be reunited with her in their next life, and eventually follows her into the world of Fortune Lover upon her own death.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion has his most famous love story, Beren and Luthien. He's a mortal man, she's an immortal elf. Her father couldn't keep them apart. Sauron couldn't keep them apart. Morgoth couldn't keep them apart. Not even death itself and the Valar could keep them apart. In Tolkien's work, elves and men had different fates after death; elves would go to a Hall in the Undying Lands and eventually be resurrected, while men would leave the world entirely to places unknown. When Beren died, Luthien died of grief soon after and sang a song of such sorrow that Mandos, who judges over the souls who come to his Halls, was moved to pity for the first time in his life. So he gave Luthien a choice; be resurrected and live among the Valar, forgetting Beren and her grief, or she and Beren can return to life and live together, but she will become mortal and leave the world with Beren when she dies, separated from her family forever. She chose the latter.
  • In Caroline B. Cooney's Time Travelers Quartet, members of the Lockwood and Stratton families keep being pulled across hundreds of years to each other's sides, the implication being that they're meant to be together.
  • In The Wheel of Time, Rand is the reincarnation of Lews Therin Telamon. One of his love interests, Elayne, is heavily implied to be the reincarnation of Illena, Lews Therin's wife. Birgitte and Gaidal Cain also meet and fall in love every time they are reincarnated.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: During Season 5, when the rest of the team is whisked off to a Bad Future, Fitz is left behind. But he's not going to let a divide of several decades keep him away from Jemma Simmons.
    "I spent six months locked up in an off-the-books military prison, not to mention 80 years frozen in space, all just hoping to find you. But here you are. You know, I realized something: the universe can’t stop us, because we have crossed galaxies, we have traveled through time, we survived the bottom of the Atlantic just so we could be together. And a love like that, that is stronger than any curse."
  • Babylon 5: The canon novel To Dream in the City of Sorrows implies that Catherine Sakai, pulled through the time rift, finds Valen (aka her love Jeffrey Sinclair) in the past, and that the power of their love had something to do with it.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Averted in "The Wish" where the Scooby Gang — split between vampire and human vigilante "White Hats" — brutally slaughter each other without remorse. Most notably Wishverse!Buffy meets her Star Crossed Lover Angel and is unimpressed, not even reacting when he gives his life to save her from Vampire!Xander.
  • Dark Shadows: In a storyline spanning April to December 1968, Peter Bradford follows time-traveling governess Victoria Winters from 1795 back to the present day. Returning to 1968, Vicki is heartbroken to leave her 18th-century lover behind. A couple weeks later, she meets "Jeff Clark", a mysterious amnesiac who looks just like Peter. After months of speculation, it's finally revealed that Peter loved Vicki so much that he was able to transcend death and time to see her again. Immediately following their wedding, Peter and Vicki both disappeared, returning to the 1790s for an off-screen life together.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Between Rory's death and his revival, Amy's love helped her remember Rory on some subconscious level, even though he'd been completely erased from existence and thus have nothing left to be remembered.
    • "The Big Bang": Amy's love brings back, first Rory, then her Parents, and finally the Doctor himself from nonexistence.
    • Furthermore, this is the nature of the love between the Doctor and River Song, which is perhaps the most convoluted romance in existence. How convoluted? He met her when she was a month-old baby; he was almost romantically engaged with her mum, Amy; she was raised to kill him; their time lines are roughly back-to-front so his first meeting was her last, etc . . . It worked out pretty well, all things considered: The second-to-last meeting she has with him, a night he puts off for a long time due to his foreknowledge but ultimately cannot avoid, turns out to be on a planet where a single night lasts twenty-four years.
    • The love that exists between the Doctor and Clara Oswald reaches its climax in Series 9 when after her death, the Doctor spends 4.5 billion years on a universe-risking gambit to get his people, the Time Lords, to save her and change history. Later, when she is extracted from her timeline, the Doctor races literally to the end moments of the universe in the hopes of keeping her alive. The ending is extremely bittersweet, but it's an uber-example of the trope nonetheless!
  • The Flash (2014): Barry Allen and Iris West are, without a doubt, each other's One True Love. Married on alternate earths, falling in love immediately when meeting for the first time in an alternate timeline — it will always be the two of them, in the end.
    Iris: In my mind, wherever you go, you'll always be Barry, and I'll always be Iris. And we always find each other.
  • Fringe has Peter and Olivia. They cross universes, rewrite time lines and change the future.
    • And now as of episode 4x20, we have Lincoln Lee crossing universes permanently to be with Fauxlivia. Fringe runs on this trope.
  • Lois & Clark had an episode where it was revealed they were lovers in past lives and that Tempus's lives in those times hated Clark as much as the mainstream Tempus hates Clark/Superman.
    • Originally, Lex Luthor would be that episode's villain, but the actor who portrayed him in that series wasn't available when they filmed the episode.
  • Lost: Desmond has a history of mental time-travel in which his girlfriend Penny serves as his Constant (also Trope Namer): his first time-traveling experience is at least partially triggered by him proclaiming his life to her, his second one is stopped when he makes contact with her in both time periods.
    • And then later the Flash Sideways allows all principal characters to reunite with their love interest regardless of the mistakes they made in the original timeline.
  • Outlander: Claire Beauchamp Randall is inexplicably transported through the stones of Craigh Na Dunh to the 18th century where she falls in love with Highlander Jamie Fraser. When forced to separate, with Claire returning to the 20th century for her safety and that of their unborn child, the strength of their devotion to each other never lessens, leading Claire to travel back as soon as she is able. It is heavily implied in canon that their status as soulmates is what allows Claire the ability to time travel with Jamie's soul calling to her's through the stones.

    Music Videos 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In KULT, passion can be strong enough to make people even return from the dead, and this trope is even less a problem.

  • The end of Brigadoon. Tommy turned down joining Brigadoon, but magically gets let in anyway 4 months later.
  • If/Then: Elizabeth's life as "Liz" has her fall in love and start a family with an army doctor named Josh coming back from his second tour, though he tragically passes away while on duty. The "Beth" timeline has Elizabeth never come across Josh, leading to her focusing on her career. However, in the final scene of the show, Beth meets Josh in the park, as he just got back from his third tour (something foreshadowed in Elizabeth's first speech in the show), and it's implied they fall in love all over again.

    Video Games 
  • Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love. A flashback reveals that 500 years ago, a previous incarnation of the main character Shinjirou battled the Demon Lord Oda Nobunaga along with several comrades, including one mysterious foreign nun. They fall in love, but she has to perform a Heroic Sacrifice in order to seal the Demon Lord. Before she dies, she assures him that their souls will find their way together again someday. Whichever of the main girls you choose at the end of the game turns out to be a reincarnation of said nun.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Beast was able to travel to Hollow Bastion to save Belle by sheer willpower.
  • In Fire Emblem: Awakening, this is played straight if you choose the Sacrifice Ending (having the Avatar kill Grima knowing that s/he will be erased from existence if s/he does so) with a married Avatar. S/he is erased as the price for eliminating Grima forever, but ultimately returns to his/her friends and spouse/children. Though if you include other kinds of love aside from romance, like friendship or love for the continents/countries or familial love (Mom or Dad Avatar to any of his/her possible children), then it's always played straight.
  • Nasuverse:
    • Heroic Spirits are copies of souls stored in the Throne of Heroes, and therefore have no memories of any previous times they were summoned as a Servant for a Holy Grail War. However, Fate/Grand Order reveals that the prime version stored in the Throne of Heroes does in fact remember everything; it's just that whenever a new version is summoned from the Throne, their memories are "filtered" to ensure conflicting memories don't affect their performance. That said, particularly powerful memories tied to different emotions (especially love) are more likely to stay intact.
    • Fate/stay night: While Saber isn't quite a normal Heroic Spirit and thus still remembers her previous summoning from Fate/Zero, she counts in a different way. At the end of the first storyline, she is sent back to the moment of her death, where she is informed that if she never stops waiting for Shiro and he never stops seeking her, they will eventually be together in the afterlife—even though this is explicitly not how the afterlife works. It's implied that this worked, and after they both die they find each other in Avalon.
    • Nero and Tamamo from Fate/EXTRA clearly remember and are still in love with their Master Hakuno, Tamamo specifically.
    • Quetzalcoatl loves lucha libre because she immediately fell in love with the sport in the past when she was summoned as a Servant and witnessed it for the first time. This broke through the normal filtering effect, so every version of her summoned after that moment remembers her love of the sport.
  • In Toukiden, Oni are monstrous creatures that devour human souls. They are able to travel through time by harnessing these souls' desire to be reunited with loved ones.

    Visual Novels 
  • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors has this as its main premise: Morphogenetic fields work across large distances and even through time between two persons who are close to each other (not necessarily in a romantic way), allowing Akane to contact Junpei 9 years in the future.
  • This is revealed to be the cause of much of the plot of Muv-Luv Alternative. Sumika's desire to see Takeru again, combined with the dimensional distortions caused by G-Bombs, is what leads to him being drawn to her universe.

  • In The Dreamer, Alan and Beatrice have a rather complicated relationship, to say the least. Bea can only see Alan in her dreams.
  • Played with in Relativity. When Irina Novak finishes a successful light speed space mission and returns to an alternate Earth instead of her own, she's more than happy to reunite with that Earth's version of Anne, and that Anne is more than happy to reunite with her. However, Anne and that universe's version of Irina Novak were in the process of getting divorced, and Anne hopes that the other Irina could bring their relationship back to the way it used to be.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: It appears nearly every incarnation of Fry and Leela are destined to fall in love, and have fought time and space itself to ensure this happens. Their alternate universe selves in "The Farnsworth Parabox" end up getting married all because of the flip of a coin, which convinces the canon universe's Leela to give Fry a chance. Bender's Big Score has Leela fall in love with another man named Lars, provoking Fry's jealousy, until the end of the movie reveals Lars was the time paradox clone split off from Fry when he went back to live in the 21st century, who only returned to the future to complete the Stable Time Loop where he and Leela fall in love. Unfortunately, said loop also means he was always doomed to die. In "The Late Philip J. Fry," when Fry accidentally jumps millions of years into the future, Leela believes he abandoned her and then died at a party, yet still holds a candle for him and uses Cubert as a Replacement Goldfish. When she learns the truth, she leaves a touching message for him in a cave that he manages to see a billion years into the future. Luckily, he gets back to her by going far enough into the future that the universe resets again. The Stable Time Loop that ensures Fry even goes to the future in the first place happens because Nibbler tells Fry he must go to the future specifically to save Leela, so Fry ensures his past self falls into the cryogenic chamber.