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My Future Self and Me

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"Huh, apparently I like short-shorts!"
Art by Addiefuj

"When you travel around as much as I do, you're bound to run into yourself at some point."

A trope in which a character using Time Travel encounters themself in the future or the past, and goes to introduce themself. It is the opposite of Never the Selves Shall Meet in that the situation has no disastrous effects (at least not from the fact that the meeting occurred at all).

There are several reasons this could happen:

  • A horrible event happens, resulting in a time traveling character going back in time to warn the past version of himself about the disaster, hoping that his past self will listen and thus Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • The character, after discovering time travel, will go into the future, possibly to Help Yourself in the Future, or just to see what it's like.

It is often accompanied with the line "I'm you from the future" or "I'm you from the past." Confirmation might happen with the help of a Trust Password or God Test. The realization can often come from a Future Self Reveal.

If the future version of the character remembers the meeting from the past, this could result in a Stable Time Loop, which means that the meeting was destined to happen since it, um, already did.

Might result in I Hate Past Me, Other Me Annoys Me, or a case of Future Me Scares Me. Compare Which Me?, Help Yourself in the Future, Alternate Self, or (gulp) Screwing Yourself. Contrast with Never the Selves Shall Meet and Temporal Duplication.


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  • NBA player Blake Griffin appears in Kia Optima commercials where he travels back in time (to 1995, 1997, and 1999) to advise his childhood self about how awesome Kia is and that he should continue playing basketball.
  • A one-sided variant in a Nerdwallet commercial, in which characters representing the viewers' 103-year-old serves chastise the viewer for their bad present-day financial decisions, which resulted in the elderly selves never being able to retire.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Fresh Pretty Cure!: In Episode 12, a short sequence has Love's younger self come to tell her teen self that her father and his job (making wigs) is weird.
  • Hime-chan's Ribbon: The Himeko Nonohara of 1994 goes to meet the Himeko Nonohara of 1997 to find out how she's doing. She doesn't find out anything immediately useful.
  • The premise of Noein: To Your Other Self. Two alternate future dimensions are fighting for Haruka, and most of the fighters are older versions of Haruka's childhood friends. At the end of the series it's revealed that one version of her friend Yuu went through every single dimension trying to find one where Haruka doesn't die. At least, that's what we think happened.
  • In the second arc of Sailor Moon R, Mamoru gets nightmares that staying close to Usagi will kill her. After a multi-episode arc in which he breaks up with her while secretly trying to find out the source, they get back together anyway and decide to fight whatever's coming. When they finally travel to Chibi-Usa's time period, the 30th century, Mamoru meets the source of the nightmares - his future self, King Endymion, trying to ensure their love was strong enough to survive the trials of the Black Moon. Mamoru's first reaction on just seeing the guy is to try and beat him up. In the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal, despite believing it impossible for past and future selves to meet, Sailor Moon and Neo Queen Serenity do manage to briefly meet one another and thank each other for everything.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Future Trunks has a couple of meetings with his infant self - once saving his own life as well as his mother's and the second time pulling his own hair while holding himself - but never actually has dialogue that could be confused for an introduction (probably because his past self wouldn't understand him anyway). Interestingly enough, in one of the video games, Future Trunks DOES meet up with his past self as a young boy and, taken aback that he has become such a spoiled brat in the main timeline, challenges himself to a duel. After witnessing said spoiled brat's strength, the Future Badass retracts his earlier disappointment.
    • The two Trunkses meet for real in Dragon Ball Super, when a new enemy appears in Future Trunks' timeline and he comes back to ask Goku and Vegeta for help. After some initial confusion caused by Pilaf making wild claims about this new guy being the result of either Bulma or Vegeta having an affair, Bulma sorts things out and everyone's cool. The only snag is that Mai, Kid Trunks' Love Interest, has developed a crush on Future Trunks (thanks in part to his revealing that he's good friends — and maybe more — with Future Mai), and Kid Trunks is desperately trying to win her attention back. The funny part is at the very end of the saga the roles reverse: Future Mai meets her past self and Kid Trunks is the one with a crush.
    • Also from Super, it turns out that Goku Black is an alternate timeline Zamasu who stole Goku's body and teamed up with Future Zamasu, who is immortal. The two eventually perform Potara Fusion to form Merged Zamasu.
    • At the end of the Zamasu arc Future Trunks and Mai move off to a Close-Enough Timeline and it's said they'll have to coexist with other versions of themselves living there.
    • After an alternate version of Zen'o erases the whole timeline Future Trunks came from in order to get rid of Zamasu's influence, Goku takes him to meet his present self. Since they're literally equals, the two otherwise lonely Zen'os become fast friends.
    • An original animation made for an interactive children's toy features most of the gang going on a trip through time in Future Trunks' time machine. When they arrive in the era of the original Dragon Ball, Goku heartily gets out and attempts to happily introduce himself to his younger counterpart, forcing Trunks to tackle the adult Goku before he completely mucks up the timeline.
  • Doraemon has at least three noteworthy short stories in which Nobita Nobi visits his future self to check out his future relationship with his Love Interest. These chapters are compiled into the CGI movie, Stand by Me Doraemon.
  • In Fairy Tail, we have two of these AT THE SAME TIME:
    • Rogue is a nice guy but the death of his best friend changed him into the one called Future Rogue, a guy that came back to create an alternate future where he will end up wiping out most of mankind.
    • Also Future Lucy who came back to warn everyone of a dragon invasion...that Future Rogue was at the same time trying to, amongst other things, killing Lucy.
  • In Fate/strange Fake, the True Caster's real identity is Francois Prelati. His master, Francesca, is also Francois Prelati. She has Born-Again Immortality and, rather than being one of the franchise's usual gender flips, the case is that she resurrects in a new body when she dies, which can be either male like her original body, or female.
    • The Sakura Cosmos is home to monsters called Chronophages that can Devour time from a planet and reverse it to a previous state. When a chronophage ate time from Planet Norma, it's residence, including Professor Weisz Steiner, evacuated just before their home world had 50 years devoured from its history. This recreated past versions of anyone that lived on Norma in that time, including a younger Weisz who would join the protagonists while the older Weisz continued on his own adventures.
    • At the climax of the Lendard arc, Ziggy, Shiki's adopted grandfather, is revealed to be a future Shiki from Universe 3173, after a failed attempt to stop the destruction of Nero 66 sends him and Rebecca thousands of years into the future, where Shiki is rebuilt as the robot Ziggy. His arrival in the past was because of a chronophage interfering with his search for Mother to prevent the loss of Ether and humanity in the future, losing his memories of his mission and eventually adopting the infant version of his past self.

    Comic Books 
  • The Power Pack seems fond of this. In one of their new MA titles the present Katie travelled into the future and met her future self. She remained kind of suspicious. ("Tell me something only I would know! Who was my first boyfriend?" "Franklin Richards." "Wrong! It was a trick question! Boys are gross!")
  • This happens to Booster Gold during the "Reality Lost" arc; he travels back in time to recruit his past self for an adventure.
  • Superman:
    • In Pre-Crisis comics, this was declared physically impossible. If you time travelled back to a period where you already existed as a distinct being, you could only observe things as an invisible, intangible phantom.
    • This was averted once, when Pete Ross psychically hijacked Superboy's body and traveled to the present where he met (and fought) Superman; apparently, it's not the bodies coexisting that creates a problem, but two instances of the same mind.
    • Used for a real tear-jerking moment in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, when young, teenage Supergirl visits the present and doesn't understand why she's not intangible. It's because it's after her own death. She asks if the contemporary version of herself is visiting another era and Superman, fighting back tears, confirms that "Supergirl is in the past."
    • In A Mind-Switch in Time, young and adult Clark Kent cannot stand next to each other physically, but they see each other through the barrier blocking the time stream.
    • This is the official explanation of how the Superman villain Riot's Doppelgänger Attack powers work, that he pulls versions of himself from a few seconds into his past or future.
  • A Squee comic has little Squee visited by his future self. Unfortunately, memory loss is a side-effect of the time travel and future Squee can't even remember what he went back in time for.
  • In The Kingdom, Superman of the present-day (1998) as well as Batman and Wonder Woman meet up with their Kingdom Come counterparts, believing them to be their future selves...until it is revealed that they are actually future selves from an alternate timeline.
  • PS238 has an expy of The Doctor, Tom Davidson, who interacts with a slightly older (both appear the same age, the only difference is that the older version wears a fisherman's vest as when you time travel, you need plenty of pockets) version of himself as well as mentioning at least one case of meeting someone who claimed to be him a few hundred years later.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy story "Future Tense" (DC Comics, Cartoon Network Block Party #36) has Billy accidentally taking him and Mandy through time after he messes with Grim's cursed cuckoo clock. A shrouded figure meets them and tries to get them back to their own time as facing their past and future selves pose dire consequences. Billy meets himself as an infant (who is depicted as smart and tidy only to turn stupid and destructive after being influenced by present Billy) then they later come across themselves as elderly citizens.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW): A special issue for IDW's 20/20 event features the Mane Six accidentally being sent back to the past and running into their filly selves, just after they've gotten their Cutie Marks (as seen in the episode "The Cutie Mark Chronicles").
  • Iceman (2017): In his solo series, modern day Iceman coexists in "present time" with his teenage self, plucked in time from the period when he was the youngest member of the original five X-Men (in the early days of the franchise back in the 1960s). In one issue, both elder Iceman and younger Iceman have dinner with his parents, and the elder self covers up for his younger self like a Big Brother Mentor.

    Comic Strips 
  • A series of Bloom County strips had Binkley meeting his future self, though the powers of his anxiety closet.
  • There was a Calvin and Hobbes arc in which, at 6:00 PM, Calvin and Hobbes time-travel forward two hours to pick up his presumably-completed homework so he doesn't have to do it... and learns that Stable Time Loops, unfortunately, do not work that way. After a heated argument, 6:00 Calvin and 8:00 Calvin travel to 7:00 to try to force that Calvin to do the work, but he points out that they'll suffer repercussions of whatever happens to him. Meanwhile, the 6:00 and 8:00 Hobbes team up to complete the creative writing assignment. The story they come up with is basically an unflattering retelling of the current situation, emphasizing how stupid and lazy Calvin seems to them. The teacher gives him an A+ for it.
  • A recurring gag in Candorville is Lemont talking with his past or future selves in dreams.
  • There is a Funky Winkerbean arc that involves Funky somehow ending up in the past and meeting his teenage self.
    • In another arc, the past versions of the characters travel forward via a time pool inside a school locker to the school reunion and encounter their present day selves. Except that turns out be a dream Les had when he passed out at the school reunion.
  • Despite the fact that Maria said that this couldn't happen in Safe Havens because it would cause a paradox, there actually is an example where it does: Maria herself. Turns out she's Samantha and Dave's Kid from the Future, and she actually ended up delivering herself. She says if she time jumps again she won't be able to come back because of baby Maria's existence (at least until present Maria's abilities awaken during puberty), but as how baby Maria was able to be born in the first place despite the older Maria being here, she merely says "life finds a way". Maria eventually decides to stop time jumping altogether when she enters a relationship with Bambi, meaning young Maria will be around her future self for a long time.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Amazing Spider-Man: True Purpose, when Hank McCoy brings the original five X-Men into the present, he also brings along the young Spider-Man from the past.
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series has this in "RIP Calvin". Their future selves turn out to have become hedonists who use Calvin's latest invention to find amusement... even if it's from Hitler. They later end up killing everyone but Hobbes, who manages to save everyone by destroying the invention.
  • In the Fanfic Change My Mind an interesting variation happens wherein Future Desmond using the Helix (inside Arno's head) warns Past Desmond using the Animus ( inside Shay's head) in a later chapter he does exactly this.
  • A Children of Time minisode written in honor of the Doctor Who 50th, "A Stitch in Time": the Ninth and Tenth Doctors cross paths, and Ten realizes that he has to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. He sends his younger self back to Rose Tyler to ensure the stability of his own past.
  • Crimson and Noire: The duo of Cottontail and Apex arrive to help Crimson Beetle and Lady Noire against the akumatized version of Cottontail's past self Lê Chiến Kim. Later, Apex would schedule a visit to the day that her younger self Alix Kubdel would confirm her aromanticism to Kim and the two would reaffirm their Vitriolic Best Buds status.
  • A voiced fan-created Doctor Who Christmas Special audio play has all 13 Doctors receive a gift for Christmas in the form of a teleporter. Given their curiosity, they use it and end up on a snowy planet. Unfortunately, not all the Doctors have speaking lines and some barely speak a few words. There is plenty of banter and arguing between the rest, though, to satisfy any die-hard Whovian. There's even an argument over which number should be given to Peter Capaldi's Doctor. Eleven claims that he should be Fourteen, pointing to "the supermodel here" (Ten) using up a regeneration, and Ten references "the one we don't talk about" (War Doctor). The villain turns out to be the latest regeneration of Rassilon, who has brought all the Doctors to a single point in space and time in order to weaken the fabric of reality to the point where altering a fixed point in history was possible. He plans to kill the First Doctor in order to destroy the universe (which has become dependent on the Doctor for survival). Twelve tries to sacrifice himself instead, but the rest refuse. Rassilon is stopped by one of the Doctors, who was pretending to be mind-locked. For bonus points, Ten at first confuses Twelve with Caecilius, a Roman, whose family he saved from Pompeii. Both are played by Capaldi.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Dynasty: As in canon, Future Trunks returns and meets his infant self during the Android Saga, the same happening with Future Ranch and Future Goten, the latter arriving just before his younger self is born. Bulma and Android 17 would also see their future selves when the Bad Future androids are brought to the present day to repair Android 18, with Future Bulma coming back to aid her past self in the repairs.
  • This is the main premise for the Star Wars Series Fic The Desert Storm, which sees a post-ROTS Obi-Wan Kenobi travel back in time and take his younger self as his padawan. Outside of the Jedi Council, no one else is aware of future!Obi-Wan's true identity, including his past self.
  • Eggman Generations: Eggman questions whether he, himself, shouldn't exist, since his past self doesn't want to be anything like him, but writes it off.
  • Happens with three characters in the first story of the Facing the Future Series with Dark Danny, Danny's Bad Future self, along with his actual future self, and a future version of Sam with ghost powers.
  • Happens with Cloud in The Fifth Act when he meets his past self! Although he doesn't really tell his younger self anything besides warning him about Shinra and pose as the kid's uncle.
  • The First Saniwa: Higekiri and Onigiri, two personifications of the same sword, one from the present era and one from the Heian period, eventually meet in chapter 18 appropriately titled 一期一会 - Ichigoichie (any encounter is once in a lifetime). Too bad the former is under glamour as well as drunk, while the latter is too preoccupied with another matter, they don't have time to introduce themselves and find out the truth.
  • Dragon Ball Z fanfiction Honor Trip has this in the form of Cell (who is now a protagonist), & Future Cell, who is most decidedly NOT.
  • An interesting variant crops up in The Infinite Loops; on occasion, a loop will reboot with both a looping and nonlooping version of the same person. These are colloquially referred to as Mini Me loops.
  • Invader Franny (a crossover between Invader Zim and Franny K. Stein) had Dib and Franny K. Stein time-travel to the future and help Franny's future self fight Dib's evil future self Dark.
  • Jo Jos Timely Adventure: A mishap with fighting a teleporting stand user results in a young Joseph Joestar and Caesar Zeppeli being flung forward into the 1980s where they meet Joseph's Older and Wiser self. Young JoJo immediately gets on his older self's nerves and trolls him as readily as anyone else.
  • Leave for Mendeleiev: Marinette briefly finds herself in this position during the Timebreaker incident, with her future self hitching a ride on the time-traveling akuma in order to give herself a hand and avert disaster. This has the notable side-effect of throwing Adrien completely off their trail when he sees the two of them together.
  • In Pony POV Series, it turns out that both the Nameless Passenger and the Benevolent Interloper, the two entities who are acting as the Good Angel, Bad Angel for the characters, are both future versions of Twilight, but from different potential futures. The Passenger is Twilight's potential Nightmare self, Nightmare Eclipse, who desires to keep the world trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop for all eternity to punish Discord, while the Interloper is her potential Alicorn self, Princess Amicitia who seeks to break the cycle and give Dark World its happy ending, both wanting to guide Twilight into becoming them. The Interloper ultimately wins, resulting in Twilight carrying out her role to set Eclipse's defeat in stone by creating a Stable Time Loop.
  • In the Charmed (1998) fanfic Once And Future Witches, most of the plot features the Charmed Ones of 2007 working with the Charmed Ones of 1999, so Piper and Phoebe are interacting with their younger/future selves. At one point the sisters have to travel further back to 1983, which leads to them interacting with their childhood selves such as 1999 Phoebe driving the children to school and all three Pipers preparing a potion together (although ten-year-old Piper is told they're just preparing a pyrotechnique effect rather than a potion).
  • The Doctor Who webcomic The Ten Doctors is basically the average anniversary special on steroids. All ten Doctors (including the Second-and-a-Half Doctor from Devious) all wind up getting embroiled in a rather complicated plot concerning almost every major alien species, planet, and character from the show's run which ultimately turns out to be about eternal entropy versus eternal order.
  • What if the Yeerks Were the Good Guys? has the Quantum Kindred, who was arrested for creating thousands of clones of itself using time travel.
  • Down the Karmic Hole is a Miraculous Ladybug that deals with Alix Kubdel being visited by her future self, Bunnyx. Fairly straightforward, right? Well, the catch is that this takes place in the universe of The Karma of Lies, Bunnyx is the future version of an Alix different from the Alix in this universe, and her visit mostly involves telling her alternate past self about the future in hopes that she can avert the bad future ahead.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Ego Trip Dexter must travel to the future to stop Mandark from taking over the planet and teams up with several variants of his adult self from three alternate futures.
  • In Meet the Robinsons, the whole conflict was set into motion when the villain visited his younger self and told him to hold onto his anger and be evil. The end of the film also has Lewis briefly meeting his own adult self.
  • Played confusingly in Time Masters when it's revealed that a group of aliens threw a group of space travelers back in time 60 years. Piel (the boy the main cast were trying to rescue) is one of them, and Silbad was him grown up (having lost his memory from a head injury after being sent back) all along.
  • World of Tomorrow: The first two episodes of the trilogy involve a little girl named Emily meeting a dysfunctional clone of herself from the distant future.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Alice Through the Looking Glass, whenever the Red Queen's past and future selves notice each other, it causes a wave that freezes anything on contact.
  • Played with on Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Austin meets himself from the future. Ten minutes in the future, that is. The two Austins banter about how attractive the other one is before Dr. Evil gets sick of it.
  • In Avengers: Endgame, the New York team travels to 2012 to steal the Tesseract and Scepter from S.H.I.E.L.D., and Steve ended up having to fight with his past self when the latter mistook him for Loki in disguise.
  • The Biffs and the Docs in Back to the Future Part II. Subverted in both cases, in that the younger versions don't realize that they're talking to their older selves. The Marties, on the other hand... Also doesn't work so well with the Jennifers.
  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure has this, with the scene played two ways. Once from the angle of the Bill and Ted that haven't gone through history yet, and once from the angle of the Bill and Ted who have. The villain invokes this in the sequel, except the two are actually evil robot doubles that get the real Bill and Ted killed.
  • Bill & Ted Face the Music: The two main chatracters have a time limit set on creating the promised song that will bring the world together. To do this, they travel forward into time at a point when the song was recorded and take it with them back to the present. Bill and Ted obtain it on a thumb drive from themselves in a nursing home, but now they wind up in Hell to rescue their daughters who were sent there accidentally.
  • In The Kid (2000), Bruce Willis' character interacts with his kid-self all the time. Willis could almost be this trope's mascot, since he interacts with himself dislocated in time on at least two other movies: 12 Monkeys and Looper.
  • In Men in Black 3, Boris uses a time machine to go back to 1969, and meets his past self, and berates him for everything that's going to happen. They both team up to kill K, but they were both killed when J was there to help him.
  • Star Trek (2009): Spock meets Spock Prime. Spock figured out something was up when Kirk selectively withheld a few things (such as the fact that a future starship addresses Spock as "Ambassador"), but it's only meeting his future self that Spock puts all the pieces together.
  • Primer. Characters running into each other isn't nearly as metaphysically hazardous as running into another time traveler when you used the same time machine to return from incompatible futures, but given that Abe and Aaron have a frequent need to impersonate their past selves, some iteration is likely to end up drugged or knocked out...
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, unable to cope with his powers, to use them properly and deal with all the stress caused by the things at stake, and with a guy like Wolverine who can't be anyone's mentor, Charles Xavier got the help of the best mentor that Wolverine knows about: Charles Xavier! To accomplish this, 1970s Xavier reads his mind until he can manifest outside of Wolverine's future body, and talk with his future self.

  • In ...And it Comes Out Here by Lester del Rey, a man is recruited by his future self to come on a time journey and finish off a Stable Time Loop. The story is told from the perspective of the older man, who finds his younger self annoying but has some sympathy because he remembers how unsettling the whole experience was the first time through.
  • Artemis Fowl has this in Time Paradox. The younger self starts off as a bit of a jerk.
  • In a Boy's Life edition, a story appeared including a time machine. At one point, they had to confront a bad guy, but were concerned they didn't have enough people. Then someone got the idea to use the time machine to go back repeatedly to the same time and (roughly) same place, so that there would now be many copies of themselves and the time machine, and they could defeat the baddie.
  • Abused all over the place in the 10th and 11th Captain Underpants books, which include various characters traveling through time, meeting their past/future selves, and then teaming up with and/or betraying themselves in various ways.
  • Discworld:
    • In Night Watch, Vimes is sent back in time whilst chasing a murderer, and Future Vimes has to step into the shoes of his own Mentor who's been killed by the aforesaid knife user. He never reveals his identity to his teenage self though, in order to maintain the Stable Time Loop.
    • Played with in Pyramids, when temporal instabilities around the Great Pyramid's construction site lead the designers to "loop" their work crews, thus multiplying the effective size of their crew. Hilarity Ensues, as when one of the masons beats himself up for making eyes at his wife.
    • In the second The Science of Discworld, the wizards travel back in time to prevent their past selves from changing Earth history. Having done so, their past and future selves start brawling furiously over which one of their duo Hex should return to the Discworld ... except for the Rincewinds, who flip a coin instead.
  • The Eyes of Kid Midas has a surreal, dreamlike scene towards the end where the protagonist interacts with his future self.
  • The Franny K. Stein book The Fran That Time Forgot has Franny use time-travel to alter her Embarrassing Middle Name, visiting herself as a baby in the process. Before heading home, Franny also decides she'd like to see how she'd look when she's older, but finds to her horror that she's created a Bad Future where her teenage self is creating an army of elephant monsters to get even with everyone for laughing at her middle name, as changing the middle name still ended with everyone laughing at her and Franny had to realize that she had to stop letting the humiliation of her middle name upset her so much.
  • I Can't Do That... YET! is the story about a girl named Enna meeting up with her future self, and then many other versions of her, in a dream.
  • In Magic 2.0, the city of Atlantis is ruled by a triumvirate. One is an elected president, and the other two are two temporal versions of the city's builder: Brit the Younger and Brit the Elder. Brit the Younger hates being around her future self, since Brit the Elder typically makes her seem like a stupid child.
  • The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold. The time-hopping protagonist ends up having sex with lots of male and female versions of himself from the past, future and parallel timelines.
  • Robert A. Heinlein examples:
    • —All You Zombies—: The main character is actually all the characters. At the beginning of the story, he is a man, but explains to a bartender that he was originally a woman, until one day she had a one-night stand with some guy and got pregnant. There were complications during the birth and surgery was required. When the doctors opened her up, they discovered she was a Hermaphrodite with a fully functioning set of internal male genitalia. Since her female genitalia were destroyed by the birth, the doctors just... swapped them out for the male ones and turned her into a man. The bartender then reveals to the protagonist that he is actually a time-travelling secret agent, and offers to take him back in time to get revenge on the deadbeat who knocked him up and disappeared on him. The protagonist agrees, but while back in time, he ends up seducing his past female self, eventually realizing he was the deadbeat. Meanwhile, the bartender travels ahead nine months, kidnaps the baby the protagonist gave birth to, and brings it further back into the past to drop off at the doorstep of an orphanage. The same orphanage the protagonist said he grew up in. Because the baby is the protagonist too, and the bartender's mission was to complete the Stable Time Loop of the protagonist's existence. The bartender then recruits the protagonist into the agency he works for and then goes home, where it is finally revealed to the reader that he's also the protagonist, meaning that this entire story had exactly one character in it.
    • In "By His Bootstraps" a man's future selves go back and meet his past self for various reasons.
    • In Time Enough for Love, Lazarus briefly meets himself as a child. He thinks he's a brat.
  • In The Mirror of Merlin, the titular character passes through a Magic Mirror where he meets an elderly Merlin tutoring a young Arthur.
  • In The Psychology of Time Travel, it's perfectly normal for older and younger versions of the same time traveller to meet up. There's special vocabulary to talk about this phenomenon: Green selves (younger versions), silver selves (older versions), and personal timeline (the progression of a person's lived experiences, regardless of the main timeline). It's also quite common for silver and green selves to bicker and annoy each other.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog in the Fourth Dimension with time-travel and dimension hopping aplenty; at one point there are three Sonics and Tailses. At the end they trick Robotnik into believing a whole dimension is populated by Sonic and Tails look-a-likes with this paradox.
  • In The Time Traveler's Wife Henry meets up with himself repeatedly, including the very first time he time travels as a 6 year old and is often depicted sheltering himself when he time jumps.
  • In Time Twister by Ged Maybury, the protagonist travels into the future and meets a man who introduces himself as "Yos", and tells the protagonist what he needs to do in the present to avert an imminent catastrophe. Near the end of the book, he learns that his sister has also travelled into the future and met Yos — but the Yos she met was a woman. They realise that "Yos" is an acronym: Your older self.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrowverse:
    • In The Flash (2014), Barry meets a past or future self several times. On one occasion, his past self actually saves him from a Time Wraith. This is also how a speedster can create a "time remnant". Zoom does this to create the heroic persona of Jay Garrick (the Flash of Earth 2), while simultaneously acting as his arch-nemesis. In the season 2 finale, Barry creates a time remnant in order to fight Zoom as himself, while his remnant performs a Heroic Sacrifice to stop Zoom's plan. In season 3, the Big Bad Savitar is actually Barry's future "time remnant" with an A God Am I complex.
    • The spin-off Legends of Tomorrow has several characters meet their past selves. Snart meets his child self and asks him to be strong. Kendra meets a past incarnation and has a conversation with her. One episode involves a temporal assassin trying to kill the team's past selves in order to stop them, resulting in Mick berating his teenage self, while Sara pretends to be a relative to her younger self. The assassin is stopped with the help of Rip's child self named Michael (all Time Masters are required to adopt new names, hence the name Rip Hunter). Chronos the bounty hunter has been hounding the team since day one and is later revealed to be Mick from the future.
  • Xander in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Hell's Bells". An old man appears and convinces Xander not to go through with his wedding with Anya. Near the end of the episode, we find out that it was a Xander from the future. At the very end, we find out that he's not, but instead a demon trying to get revenge on Anya.
  • Charmed (1998) has done this more than once.
    • In "That '70s Episode", a warlock who made a deal with the girls' mother for their powers comes to collect. They go back in time to stop the deal from ever being made. Their mother is still pregnant with Phoebe, but Prue and Piper meet their younger selves.
    • The title of "The Three Faces of Phoebe" refers to Phoebe casting a spell that accidentally brings a child-version and elderly-version of herself into the present, so it's "Me, My Future Self, and I".
    • "A Witch in Time" plays this straight two times. First a warlock meets his past self to suggest using future knowledge for self-gain. Second, Piper tells her past self to sabotage a rescue attempt to prevent the entire timeline from happening in the first place.
    • One episode has a spell to communicate with two-and-a-half-year-old Wyatt instead bring 25-year-old Wyatt to the present. He takes it in stride and cheerfully goes to talk to himself.
    • In the series finale, Piper and Leo wind up in the future and meet their older selves, who in this case remember the meeting. Old Piper even has Aspirin waiting on a plate for Young Piper when she mentions she has a headache (from trying to understand the situation).
  • Danger 5: In "Back to the Führer", everyone on the team meets their past selves. Pierre is a bit reluctant, Ilsa and Jackson are mistaken for the enemy but they quickly reveal themselves, Tucker attacks his old self in his quest for Claire, and Claire is dead in the future, so she obviously doesn't travel back in time.
  • Dark (2017) sees a lot of characters talking to and interacting with their past/present/future self as part of the series' Stable Time Loops. The most notable examples include:
    • The main character Jonas Kahnwald is introduced to the nature of Time Travel by his future self (called simply "The Stranger"). The Stranger's main goal is to opposite the cult leader Adam who turns out to be another future self of Jonas. After Adam shoots his love interest Martha before his eyes, Jonas wants to do anything to avoid becoming Adam. It doesn't work.
    • Like with the Stranger and Jonas, an eldery Claudia Tiedemann is the one introducing her past self to time travel.
    • Mikkel Nielsen became Michael Kahnwald after being stranded in the 80s. One scene has Michael creeply stalking Mikkel while the latter is in the restroom.
    • Season 3 introduces the Unknown, the child of Jonas and Martha from a different universe, who mostly just appeared as a trio with a child self, an adult self and an eldery self.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Three Doctors", "The Five Doctors", "The Two Doctors", "Time Crash" and "The Day of the Doctor". "The Two Doctors" even provides the page quote.
    • "The Three Doctors" is especially funny, as the title characters cannot stand each other. Two and Three bicker constantly, and One gets a wonderful dig at them both.
      First Doctor: So, you're my replacements, eh? A dandy and a clown!
    • The Third Doctor ran into himself briefly due to a TARDIS malfunction in "Day of the Daleks".
    • In the Fifth Doctor story "Mawdryn Undead", Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart from 1977 meets the Brig from 1983. When they touch the temporal backlash causes the younger Brig to suffer a mental break that causes him to forget ever having met the Doctor at all. He doesn't get his memory of the Doctor back until they meet again in 1983, which leads to him meeting his past self, which...
    • In the mini-episode "Time Crash", the Fifth Doctor discovers there are worse fates than turning into Colin Baker, thanks to a Timey-Wimey Ball.
      5th Doctor: Who are you?
      10th Doctor: Take a look.
      5th Doctor: Oh... oh no.
      10th Doctor: Oh yes.
      5th Doctor: You're... oh no...
      10th Doctor: Here it comes, yeah, yeah, I am.
      5th Doctor: A fan!
    • Along with the main examples is the inversion/subversion in "The Next Doctor", where a mix-up and some amnesia leads the past Doctor to introduce himself to the future Doctor (rather than the usual future introducing themselves to the past). Then the future Doctor turns out not to be the Doctor after all, so it might not count anyway.
    • Also happens in "The Big Bang". Especially notable because this time they're both the same (eleventh) incarnation. But then again, the future Doctor just got shot and the entire situation is already bad enough, so...
      • In the same episode young Amelia releases her future self from the Pandorica. Which older!Amy has been waiting in for nearly 2000 years.
    • In "A Christmas Carol", the Doctor plays the part of the Ghost of Christmas Future by transporting young Kazran to the present to see the man that he has become.
    • The Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory all get to meet themselves from (about a minute into) the future in "Space" and "Time".
    • The 2017 season finale, "World Enough and Time"/"The Doctor Falls", is the first (television) story with two versions of the Master — John Simm's and Michelle Gomez's. The following Christmas special, "Twice Upon a Time", reunites the Twelfth Doctor with the First (now played by David Bradley).
    • The Puffin ebook "Nothing O'Clock" features the Kin. There's only one actual Kin, but they populate places by traveling through time, forwards and backwards, until there are so many of them in one place — the limit being at least somewhere in the millions — the local structure of time collapses.
    • The trope even extends to the Big Finish side of the series; "The Sirens of Time" includes the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors altogether. "The Wrong Doctors" features a past version of Sixth Doctor (who just finished his trial from Season 23) encountering himself from a later point in time (who went through more Character Development). And there's even an audio story ("The Quin Dilemma") where there are four versions of Sixth encountering each other.
  • In the Doom Patrol (2019) episode "Portal Patrol", Cliff Steele, Larry Trainor, Jane and Laura De Mille go back in time to try and retrieve fragments of Immortus from the past to regain their lost longevity. Laura and Larry both end up encountering their past selves, though in Larry's case his past self is unconscious and used as a means of communication by the original Negative Spirit he was bonded with.
  • Hiro Nakamura from Heroes pulls this off on several occasions.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • In the first Kamen Rider Den-O movie, the heroes are stranded in the past and run into the 10-year-old version of protagonist Ryotaro. Like Back to the Future, the shock causes both to faint, but worse still, it caused the modern Ryotaro to forget everything that's happened so far, meaning his contracts with the Imagin can't function. They end up taking the younger Ryotaro (nicknamed "Kotaro", from the Japanese word for "little") along, which comes in handy since he can become Den-O, meaning the present Ryotaro is effectively useless until he gets his memory back.
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O: Sougo Tokiwa is an Ordinary High-School Student who finds out from time travellers that he becomes the Evil Overlord Ohma Zi-O 50 years in the future, and sets out to prevent this. However, he doesn't take this seriously until Kamen Rider Decade sends him to 2068 and he meets his future self, confirming that it really is him. He doesn't take it well, not in the least because of Ohma Zi-O's "I am inevitable" attitude. Late in the series it turns out that Ohma Zi-O is toughening his younger self up, and when Present Sougo manages to break the Big Bad's Stable Time Loop and finally achieve a good ending, Ohma Zi-O laughs and says "I'm glad I got to meet you" before he's erased from existence.
    • During the Kamen Rider Gaim arc, time travelling sheanigans and divine intervention cause Sougo to get sent three days into the past, meeting himself. They happily team up and go on fighting the latest Monster of the Week, all while his allies get upset with him for so casually messing with the timestream.
    • In The Movie Over Quartzer, the Big Bad Kamen Rider Barlckxs is eventually revealed to be the "real" Sougo, who created the one from the TV series by manipulating an Alternate Universe in order to ensure his rise to power. Not only does Present Sougo not like him, but even Ohma Zi-O intervenes, lending a portion of his power to his younger self so he can defeat Barlckxs.
  • In Lab Rats, Leo's future self journeys back to the past to save Adam, Bree and Chase. Bonus points that Future Leo is played by Tyler James Williams, Present Leo's (Tyrel Jackson Williams) appropriately older brother.
  • At the end of Episode 2 of Nine: Nine Time Travels, Sun-woo, having traveled back 20 years, calls his teenaged past self on the phone.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • In one episode, Rimmer goes back in time to warn his past self to be put in stasis while Lister goes back in time to warn Kochanski to be put in stasis. In the end, past-Rimmer thinks he is hallucinating when present-Rimmer appears before him, and then past-Lister and present-Lister enter the room together. It ends with a pair from even further in the future, future-Lister and future-Rimmer, appearing next to the other two pairs. Future-Rimmer seems to remember this incident, though present-Rimmer obviously doesn't; past-Rimmer just shuts his eyes and tells everyone to go away.
    • Another episode has them meet their future selves after finding a time drive. Their future selves need the schematics to their past selves' time drive to repair their own, as they don't want to go back to just drifting through space aimlessly, but the crew are disgusted when their future selves are gluttonous and friends with the Hitlers (as long as you don't get them talking about politics) and refuse to help. This causes their future selves to decide to destroy their past selves with their vastly upgraded version of Starbug as they decide nonexistence is better than going back to their old existence. The present day crew all get killed except Rimmer, who attempts to destroy the time drive to remove their future selves from existence but fails to do so before Starbug is destroyed...which also destroys the time drive so their future selves cease to exist anyway, so they never destroyed the present crew, so the present crew reappeared and destroyed the time drive themselves to make it impossible for them to become the future selves that destroyed them...trying to explain how that made any sense caused the camera to explode.
  • This Saturday Night Live skit is about Hillary Clinton in 2015 (played by Kate McKinnon) meeting and getting advice from her past self from 2008 (played by Amy Poehler).
  • Frequently seen on Sisters, where the titular characters would interact with the younger versions of themselves, usually in situations that paralleled their current one.
  • In an episode of Sliders, the group finds themselves in a dimension that is behind our own in time, leading Quinn to encounter himself as a child and teach his younger self how to fight, in order to avoid a traumatic event in his childhood when he seriously injured a bully with a baseball bat.
  • In the Smallville episode "Homecoming", Brainiac 5, in an effort to help Clark deal with his fears of his past and embrace his heroic destiny, allows him to see his near future, where he and Lois are the star reporters for The Daily Planet and very much in love, and he has become Superman. At one point, Clark meets his future self, and is taken aback by his suit and glasses. Future Clark, as it turns out, was waiting for his past self, and tells him to go to the Planet's roof to save Lois while he prevents a nuclear reactor meltdown across town. When Clark asks how Future Clark was expecting him, Future Clark simply answers, "Time travel. Think it through."
  • In the 2009 (fake) trailer of Raumschiff GameStar, Dr. Chris appears in two selves: the younger one from the present and the older from the future (in a direct homage to Spock from the contemporary Star Trek movie).
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • A very minor example occurs in "Relativity", in which Seven of Nine is recruited by temporal agents to help prevent the destruction of Voyager. The mission requires her to bounce through several timelines, the final one of which is about twelve hours before she was recruited. Several interactions between past and future Seven occur.
    • In "Endgame", Admiral Janeway comes back in time to help get Captain Janeway and her crew home sixteen years ahead of schedule. Why she chose to wait until they'd been in the Delta Quadrant for seven years is still a topic of debate.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Happens repeatedly to O'Brien in "Visionary", in which the episode's Applied Phlebotinum causes him to be pulled into the future in such a way that he always appears wherever his future self is in that moment.
    • In "Time's Orphan", O'Brien's daughter Molly falls through a Portal to the Past and re-emerges after spending ten years in the past timeline (though only a few hours have passed for everyone else). At the end of the episode, she reenters the portal and ends up arriving at the same time as she initially fell through, causing her to encounter her younger self. The younger Molly doesn't recognize that the woman is her, but the older Molly does realize it's her younger self and is able to send her home.
  • An episode of Supernatural had Zachariah the angel show Dean what the future would be like if he didn't allow his body to be Michael's vessel. Dean meets his future self and is surprised by how much more brash and uncaring he is, specifically the way Future Dean seems to have no qualms about sacrificing members of his own team.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "A Stitch in Time", Dr. Theresa Givens travels back in time to October 28, 1976 and saves her 15-year-old self from the man who kidnapped her and repeatedly raped her over the course of five days in the original timeline. Dr. Givens tells her younger self to stay away, indicating that Never the Selves Shall Meet probably applies too. This experience led the "second" Dr. Givens from the altered timeline to create a time machine of her own. The long-term repercussions of this are felt four seasons later in "Final Appeal".
    • A subversion occurs in "Tribunal" when SS-Obersturmführer Karl Rademacher, who is assigned to Auschwitz in 1944, meets himself as an elderly man from 1999. The older Rademacher has been forced to wear the clothing of a concentration camp inmate by Aaron Zgierski and Nicholas Prentice, who brought him back in time. The younger Rademacher is not convinced by his older self's claim to be him from the future. He shoots him in the head, believing him to be just another Jewish prisoner.
    • In "Breaking Point", Andrew McLaren travels back in time to 1993 to prevent himself from meeting his wife Susan so that he will not be able to kill her on December 6, 2000. He confronts his younger self and, before killing him, tells him that his theories about time travel are correct. The older Andrew then ceases to exist. However, Susan still dies as she takes a drug overdose, which meeting Andrew originally stopped her from doing.
    • Another subversion occurred in "Time to Time" when the 25-year-old Lorelle Palmer from 1989 met herself as a five-year-old girl in 1969. Like her parents and everyone else from 1969, the younger Lorelle didn't realise the older Lorelle's true identity.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty", Gus Rosenthal is transported back in time to the 1940s and befriends his past self. The young Gus never finds out that Harry Rosenthal, a writer from Los Angeles conducting research for a new story, is himself from the future. However, he comes to view him as a surrogate father who, unlike his actual father Lou, plays with him and reads him stories. The young Gus is very upset when "Mr. Rosenthal" tells him that he has to leave as it makes him feel unloved and abandoned. He tells his future self that he will be successful one day and will spit in his face and beat him up. When the boy runs away, the older Gus remembers that he made his vow to become successful after Mr. Rosenthal left and never came back.
    • In "Grace Note", Rosemarie Miletti, who is from March 1966, is sent 20 years into the future and learns that her dream of becoming an opera star will come true as her future self is performing La Traviata in the Lincoln Center. Rosemarie does not interact with her older self and can't be seen by either her or her younger sister Dorothy when she enters her dressing room. However, the older Rosemarie seems to be able to sense her younger self's presence, possibly because she remembers being her.
  • Weird Science: In "Camp Wannabe", Gary has Lisa send him and Wyatt to Camp Hidey-Ho in the summer of 1986 where he meets himself as an eight-year-old. When he reveals his identity to the 1986 Gary, he screams for help. The 1994 Gary is able to prove that he is telling the truth as he knows that his younger self vomited in his sock drawer and blamed it on the dog the previous summer.
  • Despite the premise of Quantum Leap concerning leaping into various people within one's own lifetime, the show only really did this trope twice (and even then, one is on a technicality):
    • The first episode of the two-parter "The Leap Home" concerns Sam leaping into himself as a teenager and is tasked with helping his high school win the big basketball game, while he becomes fixated on preventing the various difficulties that await his family (up to and including his brother Tom's death in Vietnam).
    • "A Leap for Lisa", however, is a more traditional example: Sam leaps into Al during his days as a young Navy pilot, and has to clear his name in a murder investigation. There is more than one scene in the episode where Al interacts with his past self in the Waiting Room (who, while played by a different actor, is dubbed over by Dean Stockwell [with the audio's pitch shifted] to sell it).

  • "All We Have is Now" by the Flaming Lips features the narrator meeting his future self, who tells him how they will die.
  • "Danny Don't You Know" by Ninja Sex Party, in which nerdy outcast fifteen-year-old Danny (played in the music video by Finn Wolfhard) is visited by his future self, who gives him a pep talk about how awesome he is and how he has a bright future ahead of him.
  • Example's track "Today I Met Myself", built off a sample of The Stranglers' "Peaches", is about Example meeting a future version of himself who tells him what he should and shouldn't do if he wants to make it out of the music business alive.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Continuum, being a game about Time Travel, codifies this both mechanically and with In-Universe etiquette. It's common enough that there's a term for when it happens - it's a "gemini event." Always respect your elders.
  • In WARMACHINE, The third form for Victoria Haley is actually three models: Her present self, her past self from when she first started as a Journeyman Warcaster, and a version of her from a possible future.

    Video Games 
  • This trope is an ever-present occupational hazard of the soldiers of Achron.
    • Captain Halloway meets Captain Halloway-from-five-minutes-later in the first level of the campaign, introducing the first application of time travel for war.
  • Backyard Sports: "Hi, I'm Old School Andy. I'm, like, a vision from the past." He's the final boss in Backyard Skateboarding...and nothing happens if you touch him.
  • This is part of the driving force of the plot in Bayonetta, where the little girl Cereza is a 4 or 5 year old version of Bayonetta, brought forward in time to somehow awaken Bayonetta herself as The Left Eye, through a deliberate violation of Never the Selves Shall Meet.
  • Evident in BlazBlue.
    • Depending on the friends you have and how much they like spoilers, it can be strangely unsurprising or a Mind Screw when you find out that Hakumen is the future Jin Kisaragi, but he's renounced his Jerkass past to become a different kind of jerkass.
    • It gets better. In the backstory of BlazBlue, Bloodedge, the guy who held the Black Beast back for a year, was Ragna with amnesia. The Black Beast, as everyone who played the first game knows, is Ragna. (More specifically, it's a fusion of Ragna and Nu after they fell through the Cauldron in Kagatsuchi together.) So thus Ragna basically made himself what he is.
  • Chrono Trigger has surprisingly little of this for a game based on time travel since most of your journeys cover hundreds or thousands or millions of years, not human lifetimes.
    • You can leave Robo (unsurprisingly a robot) behind in the past to work on reviving a forest. Four hundred years later from his perspective and a couple of minutes later for the rest of the party, you can reactivate him and he rejoins you. You can then hop back through time and have the two Robos meet face to face, but the game does nothing with it. Fridge Logic suggests that it wouldn't be too difficult to lighten the workload a bit by having at least a handful of Robos cooperate. More sets in when you realize you have the means to combat the Big Bad with an arbitrarily large army of heavily armed robots, assuming Robos can keep each other active and repaired for the 999 years between the present day and the disaster you're trying to avert.
    • Janus is hurled into the future as a child, grows up, and then is sent back as an adult by your party. He largely averts the trope, though; he barely interacts with his past self. He has larger concerns.
  • Happens a few times in City of Heroes.
  • In Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days, through DLC, you can have Hanako and a copy of her future demon lord self on the team simultaneously.
  • In Dragon Quest V, the main character meets a future version of himself disguised as an ordinary traveler with a seemingly innocuous request very early on. While the young version doesn't realize this, the resemblance between past and future versions is incredibly obvious to the player. Later in the game, he goes back in time to swap the Gold Orb for a fake so that the real one is saved from destruction.
  • During the ending of Final Fantasy VIII, Squall Leonhart ends up thirteen years in the past and meets his four-year-old self.
  • Fire Emblem Heroes,
    • The Manakete princess Tiki exists in both her little girl incarnation (as seen in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light and its sequel Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem), and her young adult incarnation (as seen in Fire Emblem: Awakening), and there's nothing to stop the player from placing them on the same four-person team. Justified, as the game in question is a Crossover featuring characters from all of the games in the series, and the Player Character summons them directly from the world and time period in question.
    • Later, a young version of Azura from Fire Emblem Fates was added and can be placed alongside her adult self (in fact the Tempest Trial centered around Azura had the two meeting in Young Azura's dreams). This extends to other heroes starting in 2020, as an annual seasonal banner introduces kid versions of the heroes, and nothing will stop you from pairing them up with their adult selves.
    • A different version happens in Book VII. The Arc Heroine Seiðr actually turns out to be the past self of the Arc Villain, Gullveig. And later you run into Kvasir, who is the past self of Seiðr herself.
  • While this doesn't happen in the game itself, Lucina's solo ending in Fire Emblem: Awakening notes that she held her younger self and whispered that hers would be a bright future before vanishing. Meanwhile, Noire's solo ending says she stayed with her mother Tharja and her younger self, and it speculated Noire did so to protect her younger self from Tharja's curses. Also of note is that Cherche figured out that Gerome was her son because he was riding a future version of Minerva, who was identical to the Minerva she was riding.
  • In Hyrule Warriors, Fi, the Anthropomorphic Personification of the Goddess Sword, is present alongside its future self, the Master Sword. Demise, as the Imprisoned, appears alongside his reincarnation Ganondorf.
  • The DLC for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity features a character from the Calamity era meeting their future counterpart. Prince Sidon from the future is summoned to save Mipha from her demise, and in the DLC story he meets his infant self. He encourages the latter to grow strong to protect their sister, and during the final cutscene Baby Sidon is seen sitting on Future Sidon's shoulder.
  • A non-story variant can happen in Inazuma Eleven GO. The game takes place 10 years after the previous games in the series, but the Endgame+ allows you to recruit the story characters from the previous games in their 10-years-earlier forms because, well, Rule of Fun and Rule of Cool. This can result in, for example, 23-year-old adult!Kogure on the same team as his 13-year-old Bratty Half-Pint self, and Endou being coached by his 10-years-later self.
  • Happens in inFAMOUS, where Kessler, the Big Bad of the game, turns out to be Cole from the future.
  • In Jak II, Jak is the future version of the Kid. Eventually the kid is sent back to before the first game so he can grow up into Jak.
  • There's also special dialogues for when past characters match off against their future selves in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle, with special mention going to Kosaku!Kira wondering if meeting his past self was an effect of Bites the Dust.
    • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven has a similar situation, plus Story Mode interactions between past and future selves as the characters move through different parts. Kira and his future self (disguised as Kosaku) get along based on their shared desire for a quiet life, but Joseph is another story—when his versions from Stardust Crusaders and Battle Tendency meet, the latter thinks the former is an old fart and the former thinks the latter is a brat. Old!Joseph also prevents his younger self from having the argument with Caesar that would lead to Caesar getting himself killed.
  • The opening of The Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time has Agent 5 go back in time to warn his past self that they've been framed for murder, and quickly transports his past self to a safe place where he explains everything in more detail.
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time has this as the main gameplay element; the Mario bros travel in time to when they were still babies and have to save the kingdom together from an Alien Invasion.
  • The Mario Kart series has been incorporating baby versions of certain racers in the console games since Double Dash!!: Baby Mario and Baby Luigi were the first, followed by Baby Peach and Baby Daisy in Wii, and Baby Rosalina in 8.
  • "I am you from the future! There's No Time to Explain! Follow me to... OH CHRIST!"
  • in Phantasy Star Online 2, Dark Falz: Persona is the player character from a bad future, heavily corrupted by negative photons slowly built up in their body from their battles with the Darkers combined with strong negative emotions. They came back in time to prevent the player character from sparing Matoi's life or preferably killing her before that event so she won't have to go through the hell of becoming The Profound Darkness. It's hinted that it had spent a long time trying to find a better solution but has been forced to witness the events so many times it's given up trying to find a way to end things happily and just wants to find a way to end it with as little pain as possible. It's even willing to risk creating a universe destroying paradox by killing you to achieve this if needs be.
  • Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, in which the plot is driven by Luke's future self, who went back in time to ask the professor for help. Or so they thought, since they're not in the future, and "Future!Luke" set up the entire Future!London as part of an elaborate scheme.
  • In Sakura Wars (2019), Sakura Amamiya and Seijuro Kamiyama are sent back to 1930, where they meet up with Sakura's mother Hinata and learn about how to defeat the Big Bad. Later on, Sakura befriends her younger self after rescuing the latter from the same demon attack that was featured in the Action Prologue, heroics Sakura attributed to her idol Sakura Shinguji for the longest time.
  • Sonic Generations has Classic Sonic team up with his Modern self to fight the Time Eater.
    • Eggman teamed up with his past self to control the Time Eater.
  • Soul Calibur VI features a doozy of an example in Cassandra's Soul Chronicle, wherein the Cassandra of the original Soul Series timeline tips off her current incarnation to future events, including Sophitia's death prior to Soulcalibur V, prompting Cassandra to set off on her journey far earlier and prevent a potential Bad Future. The only fans able to have seen this coming in any capacity were those familiar with New Legends of Project Soul, an artbook released after V which noted that Cassandra wound up trapped in Astral Chaos during the events of IV.
  • In South Park: The Fractured but Whole, the New Kid can learn a Timefart ability that allows them to summon "Backstory You" into the fight for three turns: they have the same abilities as the current New Kid, just wearing the same pajamas they wear in the backstory tutorials. Noticeably, one other character in the game can also do this: superboss Morgan Freeman, who is the one who taught the New Kid how to use farts to bend the space-time continuum in the first place.
    • Additionally, during the game's events, you are sent to the beginning of the game, at which point the superhero-themed kids have to face against their past selves, who are still in their Stick of Truth Medieval Fantasy personas. And you can still bring in Backstory You to help against your other past self; the timeline somehow survives this.
  • Super Robot Wars X: Taking a page from the Buddy Complex mobile game, 20 year-old Bizon and his 90 year-old self, Evgeni, manage to exist in the same time period at the same time (explained in this game as a result of Embryo's interference). If the secret conditions are met, Bizon, disgusted with Evgeni and determined to change himself for the better, will join X-Cross to defeat his potential future self.
  • In Super Robot Wars Z: Tengoku-hen, we have a variation: Apollo and Kagura hit it off very well, which Kamille chalks up to one being the Reincarnation of the other. Likewise, Silvia and Mikono seem to get along pretty well, in spite of, reincarnation aside, them not being very similar to each other, unlike the above two. In contrast, Apollo finds his other reincarnation, Amata, a little underwhelming (which the latter concedes).
  • The Super Smash Bros. series often features more than one version of Link as a playable character, but since Link is a Legacy Character and the Links in Smash are almost always drawn from completely separate parts of the Zelda timeline, the only real case of this trope in the series is Link and Young Link in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
  • TimeSplitters Future Perfect has Cortez helping himself out at several points in the storyline.
  • Transformers: Call of the Future:
    • Both the Autobot and Decepticon campaigns feature Megatron working with Galvatron, his upgraded self from The Transformers: The Movie.
    • One of the final boss fights in the Autobot campaign is against Full-Tilt, Soundwave and Soundblaster (Soundwave's upgraded self from Transformers: ★Headmasters).
  • World of Warcraft has this as a quest line from the Bronze Dragonflight, in which you go to the Bronze Dragonshrine and your future self helps you defend an artifact from those who wish to subvert the timeline. When your character hits Level 80, you do the quest again, to help your past self defend the artifact from those who wish to subvert the timeline. Your past and future selves are controlled by the game's A.I. Note that both of those versions are quite snarky.

  • Alienby Comics:
    • In "Futures", Riri meets two future versions of themself - one who is a cis man and the father of a young daughter and the other is a more feminine, later-in-transition version of Riri.
    • In "Meeting My Past Selves", Riri meets up with their 20-year-old, 13-year-old and 5-year-old selves.
    20-year-old Riri: You're me? What happened?
    13-year-old Riri: Noooo! This isn't what God had planned for your life!
    5-year-old Riri: I- I'm gonna be pretty!
  • Not uncommon in Dragon City, and before the first time that happened Erin would try to convince Jonas she was his future self by painting herself red.
  • In Frankie and Stein, this occurs with both Stein and Shelly. The future versions are expecting them, whereas the past versions are terrified that their heads are going to explode.
  • When Zoe of Heroine Chic gains control of a Power Crystal, she winds up kidnapped by the villain Excelsior (who wants to collect a full set of power crystals for his own nefarious purposes). Her future-self comes to the rescue and gives her a pep talk.
  • Homestuck:
    • After fighting through the Medium for months gathering all the information he can, Dave travels back from a Bad Future to the present in order to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. Future!Dave then uses himself to prototype his present self's kernelsprite, effectively becoming his own Spirit Advisor and a recurring character. This undid the future that he originally came from, and set the main events of the story on an alternate timeline starting from when he appeared.
    • And now, Jade as well. After she prototyped her kernelsprite with Bec and that totally screwed everything up, she tried to fix her mistake and gain an extra edge by following Dave's lead and prototyping it with her dead Dreamself. Unfortunately, Dream Jade had finally broken down due to the amount of shit she'd been through and was not happy to be alive again.
    • Owing to paradox-clone time travel shenanigans, infant John and infant Karkat both meet their respective future selves in meteor labs before being sent back in time — but being newborns, they don't remember it.
    • The fact that Karkat is frequently debating with his past/future selves in his notes might also count.
    • Not to mention the hundreds, possibly thousands, of Aradias which came from doomed timelines to help fight the Black King. All but the original were killed soon after. Later, Aradia meets one of her dead alternate selves again in a dream bubble.
    • Later on, several trolls travel through the Furthest Ring, and meet deceased Alternate Timeline versions of themselves and other (also deceased) trolls.
    • A future version of Dave convinces his present/past self to trust Terezi by stepping out from behind a column at a key moment to give himself a thumbs up.
      GC: DO3S TH4T SOUND F41R?
      TG: yeah fine but i doubt that i
      TG: oh fuck there i am hiding behind that column
      GC: >8D
  • In Housepets!, Peanut has a brief meeting with himself in PsyCon 2.
  • In Manly Guys Doing Manly Things a future version of the Commander went back in time to kick his own ass. Present day Commander is last seen preparing to go back in time to kick his past self's ass. The best part? They're doing it just to impress Jonesy. Note the title of the comic: "We all peacock in our own way".
  • In Narbonic this happens several times to Dave (the resident, if sometimes reluctant, time-traveller), but when he impersonates Madblood in "Professor Madblood and the Doppelganger Gambit" and gets caught, he pretends to be Madblood's future self, good twin, and several other doppelganger tropes. It doesn't work.
  • In Sailor Moon Cosmos Arc this is what Usagi and Chibi Chibi are doing, as the latter is a reincarnation of the former. The former doesn't know this, the latter does, and deliberately went back in time to manipulate her former self to destroy the Galaxy Cauldron.
  • Kevyn Andreyason and Schlock in Schlock Mercenary came back in time to prevent the destruction of the galaxy (and save Captain Tagon). Afterwards the older Kevyn bought a lottery ticket and retired, while the past and future Schlocks merged.
  • Karn and Juggernaut in Tales from the Pit.
  • Thinking Too Much to Think Positively: In "Future Tense", child Xan meets up with present-day Xan after summoning the latter via a coin-operated machine. At first it goes awkwardly, but once the elephant in the room of Xan transitioning is dealt with, child Xan asks her adult self what the future is like:
    Present!Xan: Well... Claire's Accessories is just called Claire's now...
  • Cassie from Times Like This has done this early and often - and even from her 100-year-old selfTWICE.
  • The Wotch parodies this here.
  • xkcd did this in a five-part strip called "Choices".
    • The identity of the protagonist's other self is very ambiguous though.

    Web Original 
  • In several reviews, The Nostalgia Critic meets his future self (a character clearly parodying Doctor Emmett Brown). This starts with The Room (2003), where the future Critic brings the present one to the future to justify calling a relatively recent movie "nostalgic". In the Scooby-Doo movie review, the Critic does a strange double version of the trope, where he reviews alongside of both his future self and his past self at the age he was when he first saw the film.
  • WitchCraft SMP: In a more realistic example of this trope, Pris meets up with her past self from when she was a young girl in a dream during her 4th episode.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: Jimmy, Carl, and Sheen travel into the future and are happy with how they turn out as adults. However, after accidentally altering past events by giving Libby a Psycho Serum for her birthday instead of perfume, Jimmy and friends return to the future to see that it is vastly different. They meet up with their past selves and are disgusted to see what losers they have become. note  Their future selves end up helping their past selves out.
  • In the penultimate episode of the Chaos Emerald four parter in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog this forms the crux of the plan for the heroes to stop the Supreme High Robotnik. Escaping an attempt to kill them via one way trip to the past, Sonic and Tails notice their past selves when they were still imperiled. This gives Sonic the idea to collect four extra copies of he and Tails to return to the present and challenge their nemesis successfully.
  • American Dad! had an episode with Stan's Future Badass Mexi-Canadian cyborg self, who promptly steals Francine from his past self.
  • Big Mouth:
    • A variant with an imagined future self. Season 4 had Nick Birch come face-to-face with Nick Starr, a famous adult version of himself from Nick's imaginary Bad Future. Starr takes over Nick's consciousness to make him act like a jerk, and Nick has to confront his anxieties to force him out.
    • "A Finger in Time" has Andrew's elderly self stop him from performing an Ass Shove on his bully Pumbaa, as losing a finger inside Pumbaa's asshole ruined his life. When old Andrew's finger doesn't grow back, the Andrews keep going back in time to figure out where it all went wrong, culminating in them going back to Andrew's first masturbation session and all the Andrews fighting and blaming each other. Maury tells them to stop, as all that matters is what they do in the present... and he then suggests an eight-Andrew circlejerk. Luckily Andrew instead takes this advice to mean to just apologize to Timon.
  • The Bionic Six episode "Triple Cross" uses this trope twice, as Big Bad Dr. Scarab teams up with child and senior citizen versions of himself to finally defeat the Bionic Six. It doesn't do him any good.
  • Bravest Warriors:
    • Much of season one revolves around Chris' future status as an emotion lord who frequently visits himself in the past through the series.
    • In another episode Danny built a Time Machine so he could kick a bunch of childhood bullies and fix his younger self's fashion sense. He figured that if anything went wrong his future self would destroy the time machine the moment he finished building it. Right after he said that, his future self promptly arrives and smashes the time machine to pieces with a bat. Future Danny apologizes to Present Danny and explains that the whole time travel thing won't end well. Then he vanishes due to the Temporal Paradox. Wallow pinches his nose in irritation and remarks that this happens every time someone builds a time machine.
    • In an upcoming episode "Parasox Pub", several of Chris' future selves hang out at one bar.
  • In the three-part Grand Finale of Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys, the Captain gets help from Mandrax, "a mysterious mandrill with unimaginable powers". In the series' final shot, Mandrax reveals his true identity as Captain Simian's future self.
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory special "Ego Trip", Dexter uses his time machine to travel into various eras of the future and visiting 3 versions of himself, and by the end, all four Dexters team up against four different Mandarks from different periods. Which spawns the awesome line:
    Adult Dexter: Mandark! Your mechanized minions are defeated! Now it's just you, me, me, me, and me.
  • One Christmas episode of Dora the Explorer had Dora meeting her preteen incarnation from Dora and Friends: Into the City!, albeit slightly different since this was made when she was a new concept.
  • When Scrooge travels back in time to one of his past parties in the DuckTales (2017) episode "Last Christmas!", his younger self had only a brief moment of surprise before they tipped their hats to each other.
    Scrooge: Young me.
    Past Scrooge: Old me.
  • Stewie Griffin hangs out with his future self in the Family Guy direct-to-DVD movie. He is not pleased to learn he grows up to be a 35-year-old Parade-reading virgin. Of course, his efforts to change this only make things worse.
    • In a more meta example, Stewie travels back in time to the very first episode of the series and meets his first season counterpart.
  • Final Space: Throughout the first season, the protagonists are helped by Nightfall; a future version of Quinn Airgone. She came back to prevent a disaster in which Gary was killed by the Lord Commander, and Mooncake, in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, accidently freed the Titans from Final Space. Nightfall and Quinn interact and argue several times as Nightfall tries to warn her younger self against making the mistake to reject Gary's help.
  • The first Futurama movie, Bender's Big Score, has a slight variation of this with Fry and his future alternate-timeline self, Lars. Much of the plot is devoted to revealing how they became differentiated, as (aside from basic face structure) they don't look much alike and have strikingly different personalities, with Fry-Fry remaining his boyish, lazy self in the year 3000 and Lars-Fry becoming a confident and self-sufficient man when sent back to the year 2000 to continue his old life. In fact, when coming back to the distant future, the first thing Lars does is successfully hit on Leela.
    • Interestingly, the plot also shows that the Stable Time Loop made "Lars" so different than Fry. Fry saw how successful Lars was at wooing Leela and at life in general so, upon realizing that he himself was Lars, was able to go back to the future with renewed confidence.
  • Occurs in the Jackie Chan Adventures episode "Through the Rabbit Hole'' when Jackie Chan travels to the year 1976, and encounters his 12-year-old self alongside Jade and a younger Uncle fighting the Dark Hand over the Rabbit Talisman.
    Uncle: Jackie, it looks like you will have a very interesting future, with a very odd niece.
  • In a Justice League episode, Batman travels to the future and meets his old self. When asked "Surprised to see me?", he replies "I'm more surprised I lived so long". Later, he pulls off a Good Cop/Bad Cop routine with his older self. In this case, the younger version (the one that dangles criminals from tall buildings to get them to talk) is the Good Cop.
    Static: Wow, Batman playing Good Cop.
    John Stewart: Everything's relative.
  • The Kim Possible movie, A Sitch In Time, had Kim Possible travel back in time to meet herself when she was younger.
  • Happens several times in Miraculous Ladybug:
    • In the episode "Timebreaker", Alix gets transformed into the titular akuma that has the power to absorb other people's energy to slightly travel back in time. When she actually does so, she takes Ladybug with her, leading to a fight between Timebreaker and Timebreaker vs Ladybug, Ladybug and Chat Noir. Once the akuma is purified, Ladybugs World-Healing Wave fuses the past and future selves.
    • In the season 3 episode "Timetagger", Alix meets her adult self who is the wielder of the bunny miraculous and the time-travelling heroine Bunnyx. Ladybug also gets to speak to her future self for a few seconds, but they don't actually meet note 
    • Bunnyx and Alix meet again in the season 5 episode "Evolution" when Bunnyx returns to stop Monarch from changing the past and Ladybug recruits the present version of Alix as the newest miraculous holder.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "It's About Time" has Twilight encounter a future version of herself. She's arrived to give her past self some sort of warning, but present Twilight is so busy fangirling over her future self she doesn't get a chance to deliver the warning. At the end of the episode, after a series of incidents that gave her the appearance her future self had (paper cut to the cheek, her mane getting burned by Spike, etc.), she realizes that no catastrophe happened by the day her future self came from, and goes back in time to tell her earlier self not to worry about the future. But of course...
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Candace gets to meet her future self in the episode "Phineas and Ferb's Quantum Boogaloo".
    • Parodied in the episode "Lost in Danville" when the kids meet Bernie, an old man who initially claims that he's Phineas from the future despite them looking nothing alike. He later claims to be Baljeet, who points out that they're of different races, then he claims to be Isabella, who tells him that doesn't even make sense.
  • The Secret Show: In the episode "Victor of the Future", Future Victor travels back to the present day in order to warn his past self and stop the Floaty-heads from beaming up the U.Z.Z. base. Future Professor Professor also comes along by stowing away in a secret compartment in Future Victor's pod and gets to hang out with his past self for a bit.
  • The Simpsons features "Bart and Homer's Excellent Adventure" from "Treehouse of Horror XXIII", in which the Homer from the Whole Episode Flashback of "The Way We Was" meets the present Homer, and they both summon additional Homers to fight Artie Ziff, and they all get beaten up by Artie and Bart.
  • South Park is the Trope Namer: "My Future Self 'N Me" is about Stan's future self landing in the present. It turns out many of the other kids have had their future selves visit too, and coincidentally they are all total losers and drug addicts. Because they're actually actors hired by the parents to dissuade the kids from using drugs.
    • Which is twisted at the end when after the kids discover the trickery and the parents apologize, Cartman announces that he learned a lesson and will now work to better his life by losing weight and being less of a Jerkass. He is then approached by a man in a suit claiming to be the Future Cartman, who considers this to be the defining moment of his life and what led to him becoming the very wealthy and successful owner of his own time travel business. Present-day Cartman assumes he is just another actor, and spitefully declares that because this guy tried to trick him, he's now going to live his life even worse than before. After he storms off, Future Cartman transforms into an obese mechanic and screams, "AH, GOD DAMMIT!".
    • In "Go God Go", Cartman accidentally ends up in the future but comes up with a plan to warn his past self to not try to freeze himself for three weeks. Using future technology to call his phone in the past, his past self doesn't believe him and hangs up, to which future Cartman yells "WHAT AN ASSHOLE!"
  • Future Andy appears in the Squirrel Boy episode "The Grim Cheaper". Technically, Future Andy is just a figment of Andy's imagination but Andy does spend a lot of time interacting with him.
  • In an episode of Static Shock, Virgil travels to the future and meets his future self at the very end right before he is taken back to the present.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series: "Yesteryear" has Spock the Starfleet officer meet Spock the child (to save himself from being killed).
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Steven and the Stevens," Steven recovers a time travel artifact and uses it to start a band with three more of himselves.
  • Superjail! did this in the season one finale. The Warden is put on trial in Time Court for reportedly YEARS. When he gets back, he only thinks he's been gone a few minutes and goes back to the past to stop this from happening. The past and present Wardens hug each other,'d just have to see it.
  • A multi-part arc from the final season of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon featured the Turtles being drained of their strength, requiring them to enlist the aid of their past incarnations.
  • Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum: In "I Am Madam President", the gang travels to the future, where Yadina sees her adult self becoming president of the United States.


Spocks Meet

The elderly Spock of the Original Timeline meets his younger self of the Kelvin Timeline.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / AlternateSelf

Media sources: