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Point of Divergence

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"Victory over Russia in the spring of '43 — a triumph for the Führer's strategic genius! The Wehrmacht summer offensive of the year before had cut Moscow off from the Caucasus, separating the Red armies from the Baku oilfields. Stalin's war machine had simply ground to a halt for want of fuel.
Peace with Britain in '44 — a triumph for the Führer's counterintelligence genius! ... [A]ll the U-boats had been recalled to their bases on the Atlantic coast to be equipped with a new cipher system: the treacherous British, they were told, had been reading the Fatherland's codes. Picking off the merchant shipping had been easy after that. England was starved into submission. Churchill and his gang of warmongers had fled to Canada."

A point of divergence is a specific event in an Alternate History's or Alternate Universe's Backstory that occurs differently than it did in Real Life or canon. Most alternate history authors will change a single event, creating a "ripple effect", however, the point of divergence may range in importance and realism from a missing horseshoe nail to Time Travel and Alien Invasion.

Alternatively, an older name for this trope is "Jonbar hinge" — a reference to Jack Williamson's The Legion Of Time, in which such an event is pivotal.

Contrast Never Was This Universe.

This is a Super-Trope to Alien Space Bats, which covers points of divergence that are specifically supernatural in nature. See also What If?. If it's several notable chains of changes rather than a single overarching one, it falls under Adaptation Deviation.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Code Geass: The earliest known change from real-world history is the Celts throwing the Romans out of England and winning independence sometime around 1 ADnote . However, even in the series' universe, this is somewhat suspect; it's noted that the first historical record of this event was a book written centuries later, and there are theories that the whole thing was made up to give Britannian rulers the Divine Right of Kings.

    Comic Books 
  • The New Universe: The new universe was supposed to be exactly like reality until the White Event. The slogan was "the world outside your window."
  • Ultimate Universe (2023): Thanks to the Maker's interference, the history of Earth-6160 has radically shifted from 1963 onwards, changing from a Close-Enough Timeline to a place where the Maker can play God as he sees fit without worrying about superheroes being a potential Spanner in the Works. Resultantly, it's an Alternate History that bears little resemblance to the mainstream Marvel Universe:
    • The Maker prevents Peter Parker from being bitten by the spider, thus preventing the creation of Spider-Man and by extension any of the heroes who followed on from or were inspired by him.
    • Loki pulled off a successful coup with the Maker's help and is now the King of Asgard with Thor kneeling before him. The Bifrost Bridge is also destroyed, preventing Asgard from ever interfering with human affairs.
    • The Fantastic Four never get empowered by cosmic rays thanks to the Maker delaying their rocket launch. He also decides to murder Johnny, Sue, and Ben out of pure spite.
    • Howard Stark and Obadiah Stane essentially become the Iron Man and War Machine of this world but are still primarily industrialists and war profiteers rather than genuine crime fighters.
    • Bruce Banner still becomes the Hulk but is nudged into seeking spiritual enlightenment to deal with his rage, resulting in Bruce making a name for himself as a world-renowned Warrior Monk with a flock of loyal followers instead of living in infamy as a Psychopathic Man Child of mass destruction.
    • The Harada (Silver Samurai) and Yoshida (Sunfire) families have united to form a powerful alliance that possesses great influence over the entire Asia-Pacific region. Illyana and Piotr Rasputin also seem to have become equally powerful oligarchs with their family boasting a reputation of being The Dreaded.
    • Both Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne are listed as inactive in the Maker's records, with Reed now in possession of their "Pym Generator".
    • Dr. Strange is listed as a captive in the Maker's records, with Reed in possession of the Eye of Agamotto.
    • Much to the Maker's own confusion, Earth-6160 never had a Super Soldier program, and therefore never had a Captain America at all. Even he can't figure out what became of that world's Steve Rogers. Tony and Doom manage to find him frozen in the Arctic, but nobody knows who he is, raising even further questions. However, Reed was able to confirm (or cause) the death of Earth-6160's Bucky Barnes and destroyed Jim Hammond (the original Human Torch).
  • The world of Watchmen was identical to ours until the publication of Superman in 1938. In our reality, that kickstarted the Golden Age of Superheroes; in the Watchmen universe, that lead to ordinary people dressing up as costumed vigilantes and becoming crimefighters, leading to the dystopian alternate universe.

    Fan Works 
  • Several chapters of All Assorted Animorphs AUs radically diverge from canon due to one small change.
    • "What if they were caught during their first mission?" happens because Jake-as-Homer went slightly closer to the Sharing members' meeting on the beach. As a result, the Animorphs become the Yeerk Empire's most valuable hosts, but surprisingly the world isn't doomed.
    • "What if they saved Jake's family?" happens because Tobias points out that it won't take the Yeerks long to find a genetic match between Jake and Tom. Since Jake gets his family to the Hork-Bajir valley as soon as possible, he doesn't cross the Despair Event Horizon and Tom's second Yeerk dies before he can become a serious threat.
  • BlazBlue Alternative: Remnant begins diverging from the main plot of RWBY in Chapter 4: Into the Woods, where Noel saves Jaune mid-launch during initiation. Because of this, the canonical teams don't form, with things continuing to diverge from there.
  • The Dogfather: Many changes occur thanks to the Dursleys surrendering Harry to foster services:
    • Harry's personality is formed differently as a result of being raised in a loving home. For one thing, he has less of a need to prove his own worth, which means less of a drive toward reckless heroics.
    • Without the blood protection, Death Eaters that evaded Azkaban ambush the Dursleys and murder Vernon and Petunia. Dudley miraculously survives and grows up to be a healthy, well-adjusted adult.
    • The news that Harry has disappeared from the Wizarding World inspires Sirius to break out of Azkaban several years early. He finds Lupin and proves his innocence, and they track down Harry. Sirius can't bear to separate Harry from loving parents and instead plays the part of a stray to watch over his godson. In time he and Lupin reveal their magical heritage and Tim and Caro adopt them as well. It also means that Bellatrix doesn't kill Sirius in the Ministry of Magic because Harry knows that "Padfoot" is perfectly safe.
    • Pettigrew runs away from the Weasleys months before Ron goes to Hogwarts, and Ron's new rat is named Whiskers. Later on, Pettigrew busts the Lestranges and one other Death Eater out of Azkaban, in the hopes of reviving Voldemort.
    • Sirius reaches an understanding with Snape, and thanks him for watching out for Harry when Sirius couldn't.
    • Draco never develops a full rivalry with Harry because Harry doesn't associate him with Dudley, and doesn't even consider his insults worth a response. They become friends by the end of first-year, and Draco fights his father about werewolf rights.
    • The MacIntyres never hate the Malfoys, but instead pity them for how they've raised their son to be hateful. This also means that Harry never develops a loathing for the Malfoys, even sending birthday gifts to Draco. Narcissa in year five sends Draco to live with Harry's family for the summer after Lucius is arrested for the whole prophecy debacle and Voldemort wants to use Draco as a scapegoat. After Draco is coerced into trying to kill Dumbledore and is horrified that Snape did so instead, he spends the summer at Aunt Andromeda's where Hermione makes it clear that everyone forgives him because he was used as a pawn and is not a killer.
    • Thanks to the latter, Neville never becomes a Nervous Wreck due to Draco bullying him.
  • A Saga of Parallel Worlds diverges from canon when Hiroshi Yamauchi makes an urgent phone call to Norio Ohga on June 24, 1991. This sets into motion a chain of events that lead to a four-way console war between Nintendo, Sega, Microsoft, and Bandai.
  • Because I Knew You;
    • The original change is because Wanda sensed the spell to erase all memory of Peter Parker and was able to protect herself from being affected by it.
    • In the sequel, Multiverse of Madness: Clea Cut, this idea is basically deconstructed as there is no single point where the history of Earth-717 differed from the "prime" reality onwards but various different moments. Examples include Tony turning himself in to prison after Ultron was destroyed, Rogers killing Stark in a PTSD-induced breakdown in the fight in Siberia, and General Ross making a deal with Thanos to kill the ‘lesser’ half of Earth (i.e. the half that disagreed with Ross’s methods) once he had the Mind Stone (obviously Thanos just killed half of Earth at random anyway).
  • Before The Dawn: Bella’s decision to go to Mexico sets her on a new path to become a vampire, and Maria participates in an attack that leads to the destruction of the Volturi.
  • In Black As Night, Astrid is just a little slower when dodging the Deadly Nadder’s fire, which results in her axe being damaged and Hiccup blinded.
  • The Blacksmith's Apprentice doesn't explicitly show the moment when everything changed, but Hiccup's reflections basically reveal that, in this version of events, he was kept too busy during the raid where he shot down the Night Fury in canon to make the attempt. As a result, he had a far poorer performance in dragon training and was officially disinherited by Stoick, leading to him being basically the village thrall a few years later.
  • Celestina Shoukan: The fic diverges from canon shortly after Japan is summoned to the New World. Thanks to one of Alicia's inventions, Celestina mainland has been transferred to the new dimension too, and, along with her, Japan's fleets. This boosts the country's offensive capabilities, therefore allowing it to not bank it all into playing pacifist.
  • The Chaotic Masters:
    • Given the crossover setting and other Alternate Universe aspects, things are going to be different from canon. The primary POD in the story's present setting, however, is that during the Jackie Chan Adventures episode "Monkey A Go-Go", the Monkey King remembers his blood brothers and sets out to free them. Additionally, Jade is left behind at the shop while Jackie and Uncle go after the Noble Monkey; as a result, the Monkey King targets her, and hearing about his actions afterwards sees the Chan men return right away, leaving Daolon Wong to claim the Monkey power.
    • The Big Hero 6's fight with Baron von Steamer ends up being cut anticlimactically short due to having backup from Section 13, whom they're allied with due to having met the Chans.
    • During the Xiaolin Showdown over the Serpent's Tail, Omi is so distracted by learning about the Chaotic Masters' awakenings that he loses the match, allowing Jack and Wuya to win, where they lost in canon.
    • The events of Journey to the West did happen to a point, but it and reality diverged while the Monkey King was travelling with Tang Sanzang and he met the other two Chaotic Masters.
  • The Choices of Earth basically diverges from canon because Jack concludes "It won't kill Martha Jones to put her knickers back on long enough to make a phone call", rather than accepting Gwen's 'warning' not to interrupt Martha's honeymoon.
  • Several The Conversion Bureau Deconstruction Fics include these to address why the character of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic behave so differently from canon.
  • Crazy Irken and ? (Invader Zim-based crossover fic anthology by D_rissing and nightmaster000. note ): The second chapter starts during the Total Drama World Tour episode "The Ex-Files", but quickly breaks from canon as Courtney bumps into Zim robbing Area 51 as part of his latest scheme, and decides to help him in exchange for revenge on Gwen and Duncan.
  • A Different Outcome diverges from Warrior Cats canon during the events of Sunrise when Jayfeather learns about genetics and uses his knowledge to distract the other Clans when Hollyleaf announces their true parentage at a Gathering by detailing how most of the cats in their Clan aren't related to who they thought they were either.
  • Eleutherophobia diverges from Animorphs canon at the start of the last book. Rachel attacks Tom on the Blade ship before he morphs, rather than after, giving the real Tom a brief window of time to save himself.
  • Entity NEO diverges from Undertale canon when Mettaton sends a last-minute letter to his cousin right before confronting the human, setting up the premise of Napstablook becoming corporeal with the former's body.
  • Everfree Infection AU: While the exact point that the AU diverges from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's events due to a widespread spore-based infection isn't outright confirmed, the most likely time is late in the third season; Discord has made a Heel–Face Turn and is working with Fluttershy, but Twilight hasn't become an alicorn.
  • "An Excessive Amount of Politeness" basically changes when Harry and Cedric manage to find Cho to ask her to the Yule Ball at basically the same time (Harry was a few moments earlier but hesitated long enough that Cedric arrived before he could finish). When Cho notes that she can't pick one of them over the other, Harry impulsively suggests that they just all go together, leading to the three eventually becoming a throuple.
  • Five Score, Divided by Four: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic ended after five seasons with a strange, Audience-Alienating Ending. It faded into obscurity a few years later, and by 2020 it's only a Cult Classic. This change nearly leads to a war between Canada and America.
  • Flufferverse diverges from canon because Tobias isn't stuck in morph.
  • For The Greater Goof splits from Harry Potter canon when Peter Pettigrew is discovered early in Harry's first year at Hogwarts by the Weasley twins instead of at the end of his third by Sirius Black, in addition to Voldemort being found on the back of Professor Quirrell's head at the start of said first year instead of its end.
  • For Want of a Name begins when Amamiya Ren remembers the face of the man who ruined his life with the false assault case and how the Phantom Thieves went after the man first as their target, shortly after the group was fully established (after Kamoshida, but before Madarame).
  • Friendship is Optimal: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's popularity blew up even moreso than in real life, leading to the creation of an MMO based on it around the early 2010s. This leads to the destruction of the known universe.
  • A Goddess Comes to Call (Ah! My Goddess / Bubblegum Crisis): Keiichi wishes for the girl who would be perfect for him and winds up with Chihiro Fujimi. Fifty years later, Linna gets back to her apartment and accidentally calls the Goddess Hotline and summons Belldandy and ends up accidentally wishing Belldandy could stay with her forever after seeing how well she cleans Linna's messy apartment. Not only does this end up involving Priss and Sylia, but Urd, Skuld and Mara as well. Belldandy and Linna get together as do Urd and Priss.
  • Handmaid: There are actually two points that divert this fic from The Tudors (and technically real life). The first is that Henry VIII, at Katherine of Aragon's urging, revives the handmaid system to take a lady in waiting on as a handmaid to bear children on Henry and Katherine's behalf, rather than Henry deciding to divorce Katherine. They ask Anne Boleyn to be the handmaid, and she happily accepts, having no aspirations on the throne itself because of the other point of divergence-she falls for Katherine instead of Henry. The end result is the English Reformation is stalled-if not stillborn entirely-since Henry never clashed with the Catholic Church, Henry and Anne's son Edmund becomes King of England, and the unification of England and Scotland happens much sooner than real life when he marries Mary of Scotland.
  • Kwami Magi Homura Magica:
    • The story happened entirely because in one timeline, Sayaka talked about Paris's heroes where Homura could hear her.
    • If not for the same processes that created Cat Blanc, Homura would have remained a unpowered citizen of Japan, not a Magical Girl.
    • In the new reality created by the wish, the Mage had more time to work on the Miraculouses, which led to a very different situation where potential Magical Girl candidates were given power by the Kwami instead of the Incubators, leading to a reality where the Incubators are not able to continue their game due to being outcompeted, forcing them to change tactics to a less efficient, readily combated form of energy gathering as the Balancers and their new creations, the Branded.
    • Due to Master Fu being able to save all of the Miracle Boxes and all but the Butterfly and Peacock Miraculouses when the Order fell, Marinette and the heroes of Paris had access to a lot more Miraculouses to hand out. On top of the existence of the Gifted, this led to a different heroic roster in both members and identities.
    • Because Mami had Ziggy as her mentor instead of Kyubey, her life outside of her work in the new reality is a lot healthier, and alongside an implied better relationship with Kyoko, she also has a companion in the form of Nagisa before she met Homura, Sayaka, and Madoka.
  • Lifting the Veil diverges from Code Geass canon when Emperor Charles Zi Britannia is diagnosed with terminal cancer, prompting him to publicly name his heir: the "long-hidden" Lelouch Vi Britannia.
  • Masako X's Dragon Ball What If? series shows various alternate timelines to the Dragon Ball series, many being derailed from canon by a single point of divergence, such as Goku landing somewhere else as a child, like at Capsule Corp or the Red Ribbon Army, a villain makes a Heel–Face Turn, Future Trunks travels to the wrong time or gets stuck in the past, and many more, too many to list here, really.
  • The Mountain and the Wolf: The divergence from Game of Thrones' plot doesn't happen until four chapters in, since the Wolf shows up to kill characters shortly before their canon deaths (the Mountain, Ramsay, Littlefinger, the Mountain again). And even once that starts happening, events continue to unfold close to the series' plot (Danaerys still torches King's Landing, but due to the Wolf ordering a visible magic attack originating from the Keep instead of a mental breakdown) and any characters spared are removed from the main plot or outright kidnapped for unknown purposes (Beric, Qyburn, Cersei and Jaime). Doesn't stop Tyrion declaring he'd have been much better off without the Wolf's interference.
  • "New Life, New Caprica" features an alternate take on Battlestar Galactica (2003) when Bill Adama proposes to Laura Roslin while they're on New Caprica. As a result, not only is Adama rather than Tigh on New Caprica when the Cylons attack, but once the fleet evacuates the planet Laura chooses not to resume her role as president, as she recognises that the fleet will always question if she's making certain decisions because of Adama's influence but refuses to divorce her husband for professional reasons and still have to work with him afterwards.
  • The One With The Angelic Face diverged from Buffy the Vampire Slayer canon because the gypsy curse on Angelus not only gave him a soul, but also turned him into a woman.
  • pleased to meet you (hope you guess my name), after a child Katarina regains her memories, she drinks tea too fast while visiting Sophia and has to go to the restroom. This results in her overhearing a conversation about Maria and where she's located. Thinking she can avert any potential future death flags by becoming her friend, Katarina arranges to go visit her in her village. As a result, the two of them grow up as childhood friends rather than meet as teenagers in the Magical Academy. This ends up having a number of knock-on effects when they both enter the Magical Academy, chief among them being that Katarina ends up unknowingly reciprocating Maria's feelings for her.
  • Paradoxus: The first chapter is this for the Warcraft side of affairs. The primordial change is that Sylvanas never wound up an alliance with the Jailer due to Aen'da's interference. Sylvanas is given the task of not becoming Warchief, which means most of the events of Battle for Azeroth and afterward are heavily changed or don't happen at all.
  • Rain Code: New Game Plus: The plot starts to diverge from the canon source material when Yuma passes out in front of the Master Detectives on-board the Amaterasu Express, which ends up saving everyone from the Fake Zilch's murder plot once Pucci realizes that Yuma has been drugged and that something is amiss on the train. Yuma's accidental intervention allows the Master Detectives to reach Kanai Ward and become major characters alongside the Master Detectives at the Nocturnal Detectivve Agency.
  • Reality Collides: The Ezekiel Chronicles: Since this version of Ezekiel reincarnated from another world, his actions have made many changes to Total Drama Island.
    • Ezekiel asked Eva to shove him and DJ off the thousand-foot cliff if they seemed like they’d chicken out. Eva ended up shoving them (and Courtney by accident) into the safe zone, giving the Killer By an advantage in the first challenge.
    • Between the advantage of winning the cliff diving and Ezekiel calming down the argument between Courtney and Duncan, the Killer Bass rallied together and made a perfect hot tub, winning the challenge.
    • A walk around the island helped Tyler stumble into a hidden cave that would become a safe haven for the Killer Bass dubbed the Aquarium.
    • Ezekiel’s warning to Katie and Sadie about how they were most likely to be eliminated if they lost the Awakeathon motivated them to try their best. When the Bass lost, Sadie was ultimately eliminated. But the loss motivated the team to work harder to win Dodgebrawl.
    • Because Eva wasn’t eliminated in the second challenge, her athleticism and Ezekiel’s cunning helped the Bass dominate in the dodgeball challenge.
    • The talent challenge had both teams give their best efforts to win. The Screaming Gophers had guitar playing and singing from Trent, fire baton twirling from Beth, and a ballet performance from Heather (who didn’t steal Gwen’s diary and read it on TV). The Killer Bass included extreme juggling from Eva, Harold’s beatboxing, and a violin rendition of a song from Steven Universe performed by Courtney.
    • Without Sadie getting herself and Katie distracted during the wilderness survival challenge, nobody got lost.
      • However, because Ezekiel, Geoff, and Harold caught fish for the team’s dinner, the food drew a bear to the campsite. The brawl between the Bass and the bear led to Eva suffering a broken leg, leading to her elimination.
  • The renegade hero!!!....Invader Zim?: The plot diverges from Invader Zim canon during the events of "Planet Jackers", when Betty's crew investigates the theft of Earth and arrives on site just in time to witness Zim fighting Oog-Ah as a distraction while GIR cuts the planet free. This leads to Zim meeting Betty and learning of his Accidental Hero status, kickstarting his new plan.
  • Shattered Skies: The Morning Lights: The divergence happens during Smile Pretty Cure's Final Battle: instead of ceasing to exist after sacrificing himself to revive Emperor Pierrot, Joker's consciousness remains alive, aware, and able to feel pain as his creator suffers a humiliating defeat. Joker dies cursing Pierrot's cowardice... and shortly after awakening in the afterlife, a glimpse of the fundamental meaninglessness of his mortal life breaks him further. The Joker who was once a mere Hope Crusher becomes a full-on Omnicidal Maniac, and begins formulating a plan to wage war on all reality.
  • This is what Super RWBY IF is about. For instance, in Chapter 19, King Bob-omb, under the advice of one of his Bob-omb soldiers, shoots Xena into the arctic tundra. Thankfully, she lands near where General Ironwood and Esdeath live and the latter adopts her after finding out she lost her family. In addition, they get help for Dark Xena/Yagami much earlier while Seryu is never driven to insanity thanks to landing in the snow instead of slamming into a fire hydrant while trying to intercede in a "arguing couple's argument" (who were hired by Jacques). Though there are some exceptions such as Chapter 23 which turns into a crossover with the Sabrinaverse. In addition, starting with Hisuian Legend, the characters start seeing the alternate universes as psychic visions.
  • Superman: House of El: The fic is based on the idea that Kara Zor-El arrived on Earth at the same time as Kal-El, and was present to guide him and teach him about his Kryptonian heritage. As such, Keira and Clark Kent were raised by Jonathan and Martha when they found two alien orphans in a Kansas cornfield, instead of just one.
  • The Tenn Duology:
    • The divergence between the ending of The Tragedy of Invader Tenn and the start of The Rise of Tallest Tenn is based around Tenn's decision whether or not to fulfill her mission to conquer Meekrob.
    • Tenn's Heel–Face Turn delays the conquest of Meekrob long enough for Tak to take on the mission for herself, managing to prove herself worthy of being an Invader after all.
    • Tenn's presence onboard the Resisty's ship during their confrontation with the Massive means she's able to save them from having to self-destruct it.
  • This And That: The divergence happens twofold:
    • Instead of just one Hextech Crystal, Powder managed to grab two from the heist. This leads to the one that she didn't use as a bomb to teleport her from Zaun and to the City, leading to her arrival in the Library and meeting Angela.
    • The war with the Sephirot took longer than canon, leading to Angela losing nearly all of the Light she stole during the White Nights and Dark Days, delaying the opening of the Library beyond nine months.
  • The Undying splits off from Undertale's No Mercy route when Undyne successfully kills the human while in her Undying form and the human doesn't reset over the death. This results in an Underground that has to contend with the deaths of many people in all its regions save for Hotland, but still has Asgore as a ruler.
  • Where We Don't Belong: The main premise of the story is the characters of XC3 interfering with the plots of XC1 and XC2.
    • Not only do we have the Ouroboros, who have most of their powers and memories of XC3, but we also have the Heroes and several major characters and minor NPCs from that game, along with several members of Moebius, who have all been reimagined in what could have been their lives in the original worlds, with Riku and Manana being the only exceptions. Ontos notes that this is a consequence of their existences melding into the worlds, allowing them to exist within the events of XC1 and XC2 without remembering Aionios, with Riku further clarifying that the former denizens of Aionios are not supposed to be present in the past.
      • Ashera is a famous Colony 9 soldier, with a tendency to refer to Dunban as "Teach".
      • Juniper is a Gormotti archer mercenary. They're still a half-Blade (even though it was implied such a thing never existed before the Architect's gift at the end of X2), and on the run from the Praetirum.
      • Zeon is a guardsman at Alcamoth.
      • Nimue appears as a Blade in Garfont Village, on the run from the Indoline Praetorium.
      • Teach is a warrior monk of the Indoline Praetorium with Isurd and Miyabi as his Blades. He is still a Blade Eater, but hides his core.
      • Triton makes a cameo in Alrest as a pirate captain along with Irma and Fiona.
      • Dirk shows up as a rather infamous Ardainian soldier who begins antagonizing Taion, with a blade named Zahak that resembles his Moebius armour.
      • Ethel is a member of Colony 6's Defence Force, with Bolearis serving under her as usual.
      • Segiri is an awakened member of the Machina under Egil, alongside her sister Fugiri, who was known as Number 13 in Aionios.
      • Cammuravi shows up as a member of Torna, though it's unknown if he's a Flesh Eater or still a normal Blade.
      • X and Y, being among the original Moebius, appear with their memories maintained, with their goal being to ensure Aionios is recreated.
      • Eunie encounters several High-Entia she encountered in Aionios within Alcamoth.
      • Taion discovers that Kyrie is a Driver recruited by Mórag, with Kyrie's Blade being Finch.
    • Due to remembering Nia mention that she was once saved by a Vandham, Mio manages to prevent Vandham's death by seemingly taking his place in performing a Heroic Sacrifice. Despite A and Y's best efforts to prevent her interference from saving him, Sena's interlink leads to Vandham surviving the encounter with Torna.
  • Worlds Apart (Buffy);
    • The Council decide to take possession of Alcathla at just the moment when Angel is returned to Earth; as a result, the Scooby Gang avoid some of their more relationship-damaging moments this season, as Giles is able to affirm his loyalty to Buffy over the Council and Buffy never actually hides Angel from the rest of the gang (she only delays telling them until the Council have gone).
    • In-narrative, Buffy finds herself assuring Willow that her restoring Angel's soul using the original curse is a big part of everything working out as it has, as without Willow's curse Buffy believes she would have ended up facing a different vampire in the Cruciamentum (she initially suggested that she would have been facing Angelus, but amends that to speculate that she would have been facing one of the vampires who were killed during the Council's tournament, as without the curse she would have just sent Angelus to Hell and Buffy doubts anything would let Angelus out even if Angel was released).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A Discussed Trope in The Flash (2023). Barry Allen initially believes this timeline to have been altered by him trying to stop his moms' death, but comes to realize that things had changed long before that event, such as an Aquaman who was never born and a much older Batman. In a conversation with this Batman, he's told that rather than creating a point of divergence for an alternate timeline, he's intersected with a vaguely similar but quite different universe. Rather than a point of divergence it is more a point of intersection.
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: The Manson murders veer into an alternate timeline at the point that the killers decide to target Sharon Tate's neighbor, fictional character Rick Dalton. Events then play out much differently than in Real Life.
  • The Kelvin Timeline Star Trek movies were named as such after the timeline-diverging event in the 2009 movie's prologue where the USS Kelvin (and with it Kirk's father) is destroyed by time-displaced future Romulans whereas none of this happened the Prime Timeline. Both timelines exist running parallel to each other and have maintained sporadic contact with Star Trek: Enterprise being the only canon they share.
  • In the Super Mario Bros. (1993) movie, the prologue explains that the alternate reality of the Mushroom Kingdom was identical to ours until the Chicxulub meteorite impact: in our timeline, the dinosaurs were killed off; in the Mushroom Kingdom, they weren't.
  • With the exception of Logan as it's set in its own continuity, every entry in the X-Men Film Series released after X-Men: Days of Future Past is set in a new Alternate Timeline following the big Cosmic Retcon in 1973.

  • In Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series, World War II is interrupted by a fleet of lizard-people from outer space (a.k.a. The Race) in 1942. This is both unlucky and lucky for the aliens: if they'd shown up 50 years early they would've swiftly annihilated a planet who had yet to discover military flight, rocketry, and the basic building blocks of nuclear weapons. If The Race had shown up 50 years later they would have been soundly defeated by humans with modern technology that matched The Race but with much greater understanding of tactics and strategy, not to mention several nations having massive nuclear weapons programs.
  • Another Turtledove series, The War That Came Early diverges from our timeline when the German ambassador to Czechoslavakia is assassinated by a Czech nationalist while Hitler is negotiating over the Sudetenland in 1938. This prompts Hitler to invade Czechoslovakia, with Britain and France declaring war on Germany in turn. Germany has to fight to get Czechoslovakia instead of taking it over without a fight, and as a result loses the momentum that let them take most of Europe in real life. Instead they wind up in a bloody two-front slog for most of the rest of the series. On a smaller scale, Jose Sanjurjo in Spain listens to some good advice, leaves a bit of baggage behind, and survives the plane ride that killed him in real life. Because of the early outbreak of World War II, the Spanish Republicans are saved by aid from the Allies rather than being defeated in 1939, and Spain also turns into a stalemate.
  • In still another Turtledove series, the Timeline-191 series, the point of divergence is right before the battle of Antietam. In the real world, a Confederate officer carelessly threw away a copy of General Lee's Special Order 191; the Union found the orders, which not only let them thwart Lee's invasion of the north but almost completely destroyed the Army of North Virginia. In Turtledove's books, the orders are recovered by a Confederate soldier instead, meaning Lee steamrolls McClellan's army and eventually manage to capture the White House, forcing Abraham Lincoln to recognize Southern independence. This also leads to analogues for both World Wars, with the USA and CSA on opposite sides.
  • In his Crosstime Traffic series, each alternate timeline visited has a different POD:
    • Gunpowder Empire: Marcus Agrippa lived long enough to oversee the (successful) conquest of Germania by Rome.
    • Curious Notions: Imperial Germany won World War I, and later occupied the USA.
    • In High Places: The Black Death was much worse, leading to a new form of Christianity and Islam spreading as far north as France. A second timeline visited is speculated to be one where the Romans lost the Samnite Wars, leading to no Roman Empire and technological stagnation.
    • The Disunited States of America: The newly independent Thirteen Colonies were unable to agree on a constitution, leading to them eventually breaking away into their own nations.
    • The Gladiator: The US capitulated in the Cuban Missile Crisis and later the Vietnam War, leading to the spread of communism across the globe.note 
    • The Valley-Westside War: The Cold War turned hot in 1967, leading to The End of the World as We Know It. The main characters from the home timeline are trying to figure out exactly why it happened.
  • The Years of Rice and Salt: The Black Death extinguished the European civilization.
  • Seekers of the Sky: Jesus was killed by Herod's troops and the Redeemer took his place as the Messiah.
  • In Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy series, history was changed when Richard I of England was not killed by the crossbow wound he took during the siege of Chalus-Chabrol. He returned to England and John never became king. Richard died in 1219 and his son Arthur took the throne.
  • L. Neil Smith's North American Confederacy series has the divergence as the result of a single word added to the Declaration of Independence, "governments derive their just power from the unanimous consent of the governed." Somehow, as a result, the Whiskey Rebellion was successful and the entire continent became a Libertarian utopia.
  • Harry Harrison uses the Trent Affair as the point of divergence for his Stars and Stripes trilogy, where Prince Albert dies before helping to resolve the incident peacefully, and the British Empire attempts to invade the US, resulting in both the USA and the CSA joining forces against the largest empire in history.
  • In William Shatner's Mirror Universe trilogy, it's revealed that the titular universe split off from the main one when Zephram Cochrane let a coin flip decide whether he would tell the Vulcans about the Borg or not. In the Prime 'verse, he hides the truth. In the Mirror Universe, he tells them, and they believe him, resulting in a much more militant union between the races in an attempt to prepare for the inevitable return of the Borg. Naturally, this is rendered non-canonic by Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • In Orson Scott Card's Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus, the focal point that brought our timeline into being is Christopher Columbus receiving a vision from God telling him to sail West to convert the Asian heathens to Christ. In the original timeline, he never received the vision, instead continuing his dream of retaking the Holy Land from the Muslims. He ends up leading the most devastating Crusade of all. Meanwhile, a progressive, bloodthirsty empire rises in Central America and, eventually, takes over the world. Their descendants invent Time Travel and sent a holographic message urging Columbus to go West. The goal of the protagonists is to create a third timeline that doesn't result in The End of the World as We Know It, throwing this trope out the window and going for a long-term approach.
  • Averted in the Wild Cards series - while it seems that the arrival of Dr. Tachyon and the virus are the point of divergence for this world, there are characters like Jubal / Jhubben, not a joker but an alien that contradict this. Also, Jetboy and Dr. Tod, two earthling characters in the origins story, already are divergences from our history. That doesn't stop people from claiming the appearance of Tach and the virus are the first changes...
  • In Fyodor Berezin's Red Stars books, the parallel world's history diverges from ours mere weeks before Nazi Germany's invasion of the USSR. A British warship intervenes to aid the pockets of resistance in the Balkans against Nazi occupation, resulting in Hitler having to put Operation Barbarossa on hold in order to divert troops to put down the opposition. This, in turn, gives Stalin the chance to finish his own preparations for a Back Stab and invade the German-occupied part of Poland. As a result, Germany is beaten in under two years (i.e. way before D-Day), and the USSR proceeds to "liberate" the rest of Europe. By the time 21st century rolls around, much of the world is in the hands of a powerful, militant Communist power, with North America being the only region still "free". The reason for the quotes is that the steady losses and liberal use of tactical nukes by both sides have forced the remaining nations to declare martial law and become just as militant as the USSR just to keep up. When the leaders of our world learn of this other world, they're horrified what might happen should the other world's leaders learn of ours.
  • In Tamar Anolic's Triumph of a Tsar, history diverges from "our" timeline when Tsar Alexander II just barely escapes the bomb attack that killed him in real life and lives long enough to follow through on his plans to make Russia a constitutional monarchy.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, the point of divergence is New Year's Eve of 1981, with everyone born on that day possessing low-level Psychic Powers and knowledge of science and technology far beyond than the current level of human progress; these people have been dubbed "Whispered". The actual cause was the "Yamsk 11 Incident", wherein Russian experiments on a psychic girl named Sofia somehow gave her that advanced knowledge and mind-linked her to everyone born at that moment, making her the "Whisperer" who grants them that knowledge. This in turn spurred more changes: Mikhail Gorbachev was assassinated, halting his Glasnost policy and prolonging the Soviet-Afghan war, meaning the Soviet Union still exists in the early 21st century; meanwhile, Whispereds working on Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" defense initiative produced Humongous Mecha, among other things.
  • In Fire on the Mountain, John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859 happens as originally planned and is successful with the leadership of General Harriet Tubman. It leads to a successful slave revolt that establishes the socialist state of Nova Africa across what had been the southern United States; followed by another century of diverged history.
  • In The Long Earth series, the further one steps away from Datum Earth ("Prime" Earth), the farther in time the point of divergence with the Datum is. The first hundredth or so Earths are nigh identical to Earthnote , since they diverged only a couple of years ago. As one moves further, the landscape changes more and more drastically as geology took a different path further away in the past (including a series of Earths where there is a large sea in the middle of North America). The furthest explorations reach versions of Earth that diverged so long ago that they can't even support life as we know it.
  • The Silent Stars Go By by James White has as its point of divergence an Irish emissary from the King of Tara visiting Roman Alexandria in the mid-1st-century CE and recognizing the potential of Hero of Alexandria's real-life "aeolipile" primitive steam engine. Ireland / Tara has an industrial revolution and becomes the most powerful nation of the next millennium. By the alternate 1492, technology has progressed to the point of launching ships to habitable planets around other stars.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Sliders, which deals with parallel universes on a regular basis, often has its main characters deduce the point of divergence between the universe they are currently in and their home universe (Earth Prime). In the pilot, the point of divergence between Earth Prime and the Communist-ruled USA world is the outcome of The Korean War (loss for the US as opposed to a draw). In another episode, World War II lasts for several years longer than expected, resulting in a different president being in office during the Roswell incident. Unlike most other worlds, this guy decides to make the knowledge of aliens public, forming a trade partnership with them. By the turn of the century, the US has ubiquitous Artificial Gravity and near-perfect health, and an almost-successful manned mission to Mars has taken place a few years prior.
  • In The Boys (2019), the point of divergence is World War II. During the war, the Nazi scientist Frederick Vought created the Super Serum Compound V through experiments on concentration camp inmates. As the tide turned against Nazi Germany, he defected to the United States used his serum to create the first successful superhero Soldier Boy. Impressed by his work, the US government pardoned Vought and he subsequently founded the corporation Vought International, which creates his own line of corporate-backed superheroes that have become part of The Boys universe.
  • An in-universe example happens in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Wish", when Cordelia's wish that Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale creates a parallel universe. The town is subsequently completely overrun by vampires led by The Master, because Buffy wasn't around to prevent the events of "The Harvest".
  • Subverted in the two-part mirror universe episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. The opening scene implies the point occurred when Zephram Cochrane spontaneously chose to murder the Vulcan explorers instead of peacefully meeting them during First Contact. However, Mirror-Phlox later determines this was not the case, as Earth and Mirror-Earth's histories had significant differences prior to First Contact, specifically with many classical authors writing different works of literature in each timeline, meaning the exact point is indeterminate.

  • For the major universes of We Are All Pokémon Trainers we have the following:
    • AU: Umbra getting sealed in an orb when he was the Ghost Lord, Hoenn getting flooded, Sinnoh suffering the Distortion, and Scolipede and Artemis taking over Unova.
    • PMD-B: The dragons succeeding in turning 99% of humanity into Pokémon.
    • Otherverse: The earliest known divergence is Grings Kodai using Azalea instead of Crown City for his Celebi plot.

    Video Games 
  • World in Conflict. The game asks the question, what if the Soviet Union decided to go to war in 1989 rather than face collapse? The Berlin Wall still comes down in this world, but it comes down when the Soviets blow it down with demolition charges and flood West Berlin with their troops. They proceed to invade Western Europe, with varying degrees of success and failure. Then they decide to launch an invasion of the United States in the hopes of at least tricking the U.S. into pulling its forces from Europe to reinforce the home front.
  • Resistance: The PoD occurs when Spain decides to heed U.S. demands after the destruction of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana in 1898. They agreed to give Cuba independence, averting the Spanish-American War. Then the 1908 Tunguska Event brought with it in this world an alien menace, a virus that infects and turns humans into savage alien creatures. World War II as we know it is averted in this world, but the aliens then invade at the end of 1949 from Russia (which had been slowly overrun in the proceeding decades).
  • Turning Point: Fall of Liberty: The PoD is the death of Winston Churchill from a car accident in 1931, instead of surviving as in Real Life. Without his leadership, Britain quickly falls to the Nazis in World War II. The Nazis, along with Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan proceed to conquer their areas of interest, while the Germans built up the military even more. Eventually they launch a full-scale invasion of the United States in 1952.
  • In the Fallout series, the PoD is shortly after World War II. The transistor (invented in 1947 in reality) wasn't invented until the 2060s, leading to desktop computers, robots, and other technology to use vacuum tubes instead, remaining bigger and bulkier, giving the series its Raygun Gothic and Zeerust aesthetics. For unclear reasons, this also stifled societal development, leaving the world stuck in the social norms of the The '50s.
  • In BioShock Infinite, the divergence point is the 1893 World Fair, or rather, the construction of the floating city of Columbia for said fair. More precisely, the divergence point is the baptism of Booker DeWitt, which created Father Comstock and ultimately made Columbia possible. In-game, Elizabeth has the power to use "tears" as divergence points to enter alternate timelines.
  • In Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story, the Homura Akemi seen in the game is the glasses-and-braids-wearing version seen in the beginning of Episode 10 in the anime. It turns out that the timeline Magia Record takes place in is one where she chose to not tell the Mitakihara girls about the Awful Truth regarding magical girls, witches, and soul gems. This prevented the severe rift it caused in the group, leading to Homura's relationship with the girls being a bit better than the original anime.
  • It's hard to establish where the point of divergence between Real Life and the Alternate Timelines of Shin Megami Tensei IV lies. Sometime before 2013, a suit of Powered Armor called the Demonica was invented, and Japan's Self Defense Force purchased a large amount of them. In 2013 itself, angels entered Earth from the Expanse, conspired to trigger a nuclear war, and started kidnapping innocents and God's Chosen to be spirited out of Earth when the nukes struck. In the chaos, a mysterious piece of software, the Demon Summoning Program, was dispersed through the Internet, giving some humans the chance to strike back. At the cusp of the angels' plan, with a large group of ICBMs looming over Tokyo, a young summoner made his stand, and through his choice created three possible worlds...
  • According to the backstory for Enigma: Rising Tide, the RMS Lusitania was never sunk by a German U-boat, which prevented the US from entering World War I. The Central Powers win the war, with Germany annexing France and Britain. Churchill flees Britain for Hong Kong with the rest of the government aboard the HMS Hood and forms the League of Free Nations, which includes Britain's government-in-exile and Imperial Japan. The game is centered on controlling ships during this world's version of World War II, a Mêlée à Trois between the German Empire, the US, and the LFN. The game even includes an event that is a direct parallel to the attack on Pearl Harbor, except, in this version, it's the Americans performing a sneak attack on the German fleet at Scapa Flow, with Chancellor von Richthofen (yes, that one) giving a speech eerily similar to FDR's and announcing the end to the age of the battleship.
  • In Timelines: Assault on America, the OSS manages to assassinate Hitler in 1942, along with a number of high-ranking Nazi officials. As a result, more competent generals take charge of Nazi Germany and find out what the Americans have done. With that knowledge, they cancel Operation Barbarossa (strangely, the invasion happened the prior year in Real Life) and direct their efforts towards the US, making plans with Japan to perform a simultaneous two-pronged assault.
  • The backstory of Nier places its point of divergence at June 12, 2003, at approximately 3:00 PM JST, when a dragon and a monster appeared in the skies over Tokyo, fought, and subsequently died (the events of Ending E of Drakengard). After that, as a result of the monster crossing over from its home dimension into ours, a Mystical Plague started to take root among humanity that, over a thousand years later, leads to the extinction of the human race.
  • In War Front: Turning Point, Hitler is killed in the early days of the war, and the new chancellor is much more competent. Under his leadership, Operation Sea Lion succeeds, and Britain falls to Germany. However, this also means that Germany never attacked the Soviet Union, and the Soviets build up their forces in preparation to strike at them.
  • Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise has its point of divergence after the game's tutorial. In the manga, Shin dies by throwing himself off a ledge before Kenshiro's last attack takes effect, and the Yuria who had been seated on his throne is revealed to be a mannequin. In this game, Shin dies from Kenshiro's attack, and Yuria is nowhere to be seen — not even as a mannequin. Kenshiro learns of the city of Eden afterwards, where Yuria may be found. From there, most of the manga's events play out with Eden at the center of it all.
  • Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg, a mod for Hearts of Iron 2 and 4, has their POD be the sinking of the Lusitania. After seeing the threat of America joining the war, the Kaiser puts a stop to unrestricted submarine warfare. Without America to relieve the weary Entente, Germany then begins to pull off multiple other points of divergence, including winning the war in the East and getting grain from Ukraine, evading starvation from the British blockade, which is in turn broken in a Second Battle of Jutland, and capitalizing on the French mutiny during the Nivelle Offensive, which allows them to place Paris under siege, resulting in France's capitulation and thus leaving Britain alone. Britain then sues for a Peace with Honor in 1921, giving Germany supremacy in Europe and radically changing how the world is by the 1940s.
  • In Prey (2017): The divergence is explained in-game with Talos 1's museum. United States President John F. Kennedy secretly forms a space alliance with the USSR, intending to fully broker peace, because they secretly discovered a hostile alien life form orbiting the Moon and both parties sought to research the aliens, and the potential for a singularity, with all of Earth's resources. The exact divergence is that when the USSR screws Kennedy over by attempting to assassinate him, he survives in this timeline, and retaliates with a hostile takeover of the project, which stays fully in American hands and is eventually sold to a megacorporation, who manage to reverse-engineer genetic / neurological mutagens, or Neuromods. Kennedy wound up living over a century as well, thanks to Neuromod development.
  • Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is an alternate timeline to Fire Emblem: Three Houses, with its major point of divergence being Shez's survival after they and their fellow mercenaries were attacked by Byleth, after which they end up saving the leaders of the three houses from bandits in Byleth's stead. From there, they go on to rescue Monica, a student kidnapped by Those Who Slither In The Dark, forcing the villains to accelerate their plans and causing the Fodlan civil war to break out years earlier.
  • It's implied in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire that ORAS is an alternate timeline to the original games, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, and the point of divergence is that in the Ruby and Sapphire timeline, the Ultimate Weapon from Pokémon X and Y was never created, meaning Mega Evolution never became a concept there.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney: The point of divergence is World War II, and more specifically the United States not signing anti-Japanese laws that they did in the real world. Thus, Japanese culture is allowed to flourish... and Japanese migrants bring their "reach a verdict as quick as possible" legal system with them.
  • Nasuverse:
    • An unspecified event around 300 AD is mainly responsible for why there are Dead Apostle-centric timelines (Tsukihime, Witch on the Holy Night, Melty Blood) and the Fate timelines instead of timelines where both concepts are prominent. In the Fate timelines, the Dead Apostle threat is mainly under control, unlike in the Dead Apostle-centric timelines. The Material book for Lord El-Melloi II Case Files reveals that the battle between Zelretch and the Crimson Moon took place in 300 AD, but it doesn't really explain what might have gone differently to have caused the divergence.
    • Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA diverges from the main Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero (and Fate/hollow ataraxia) timeline in that instead of helping the Einzberns in the Fourth Holy Grail War, Kiritsugu chose to stay with Irisviel and Illya instead and killed the Einzberns, in addition to discovering the truth about the Holy Grail and destroying it with Irisviel's help. The Fourth Holy Grail War continued without them, and judging by the presence of a Lord El-Melloi II (Waver) and Caren being in Fuyuki (as she came to replace Kirei after his death in the main timeline), Kayneth still died and Kirei died. Illya was also born later.
      • It's not clear what caused the decline of magic in Miyu's timeline, other than the fact that Pandora (Erika) never opened her box.
    • An alien supercomputer embedded in the Moon by Precursors, its subsequent discovery by humans, and the Aylesbury Ritual being held in the 1970s instead of its prophesied time, thus triggering the calamitous Overcount/1999 event is responsible for the divergence of the Fate/EXTRA timeline.
    • Fate/Apocrypha happens because Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia steals the Holy Grail from Fuyuki during the Third Holy Grail War, causing the Yggdmillennia faction to rise in prominence. And the Einzberns summoned Amakusa Shiro instead of Angra Mainyu.
    • Despite Fate/strange Fake having no actual reason to diverge, it just did. Part of it is because Zelretch specifically pins his hope on sending in a Spanner in the Works to avert a possible Bad Future.
    • Fate/Grand Order itself diverges from FSN because of currently unspecified reasons that have resulted in only one Holy Grail War being held in Fuyuki, the formation of the Chaldea Security Organization, and the Evils of Humanity being laser focused on specifically carrying out their plans in this timeline. Beyond the main story, there are also several Servants derived from diverging points in the timeline:
      • EMIYA Alter comes from the Fate/stay night Heaven's Feel Bad End "Superhero" (also known as "Mind of Steel").
      • Assassin EMIYA is a Kiritsugu that was never hired by the Einzberns, so he never met Irisviel, causing him to fall further into despair.
      • The Lion King/Lancer Altria variants are from timelines where Altria mainly used Rhongomyniad instead of Excalibur.
      • The game's second major plot arc, Cosmos in the Lostbelt, features seven alternate timelines, each with their own point of divergence. What sets these timelines apart is that they diverged so much that they would be pruned by the World, for they were seen as dead ends for humanity:
      • The first Lostbelt, set in Russia, diverged in AD 1570 when an asteroid struck Earth and plunged it into a new ice age. The Russian tsar of the time, Ivan the Terrible, ordered his court mages to fuse the few surviving humans with Demonic and Phantasmal Beasts, creating a race of Beast Men called the Yaga. However, the Yaga were forced to spend all of their ability on merely surviving in the Death World Earth had become, and were therefore incapable of advancement and thus pruned.
      • The second Lostbelt, set in Scandinavia, diverged in 1000 BC when Surtr chose to defy his prophesied role in Ragnarok and set the entire world, not just Scandinavia, aflame. It took all of the Norse gods except Skadi to seal him away in a Heroic Sacrifice — but Surtr's rampage scarred the world so badly that it was incapable of supporting more than ten thousand humans at any given time.
      • The third Lostbelt, set in China, diverged in 210 BC when Emperor Qin Shi Huang discovered the secret to immortality. With eternal life in his hands, he set about conquering foreign lands until he had control over the entire planet. However, he hoarded all technological advancement for himself, set about planning the defense of the world rather than expanding outward from it, and left humans in a state of blissful ignorance, lacking education and expected to till the land until they reached a certain age, when they would be euthanized before the troubles of old age could affect them.
      • The fourth Lostbelt, set in India, has no specific date of divergence (the calendar used in that Lostbelt counts the Maha-Yuga Cycle rather than the Gregorian calendar), but is stated to have diverged at the end of the Kurukshetra War (which would put it around 3000 BC), when Arjuna, rather than coming to terms with his inner darkness, hit the Despair Event Horizon upon seeing the carnage that the war brought and vowed to become a god so he could erase evil from existence. He would succeed, merging with nearly the entire Hindu pantheon to become the Lostbelt's sole god, and sped up the Yuga Cycle to weed out what he deemed "evil" and reach his perfect world sooner. However, he ended up accelerating it too much, and between that and his impossibly high standards, he was doomed to drive humanity to extinction.
      • The Fifth Lostbelt, Atlantis, diverges in 12,000 BC, when Sefar, the White Titan that destroyed Atlantis, is stopped early by the Greek Gods (who are Alien AI) fusing together into a Humongous Mecha. With the Greek Pantheon remaining in power, the world gained incredibly advanced technology, but all of humanity was essentially enslaved to the Olympians. Not to mention that Zeus was planning to get rid of humanity anyway as part of his plan to depart into space.
      • The Sixth Lostbelt, Avalon le Fae, set in Great Britain, was initially believed to diverge in AD 510, when Morgan Le Fay was chosen to ascend to Britan's throne instead of Artoria. In truth, it has the same divergence point as the fifth, but diverges in the opposite direction. In this Lostbelt, Excalibur was never forged, and so Sefar was left to rampage unchecked and destroyed the world until it was just an endless ocean. The six faeries who were supposed to forge Excalibur were banished from Avalon forever for their sins, but they betrayed and poisoned the last surviving god Cernunnos to build a new Britain on the foundation of his and the primordial dragon Albion's corpses, and gave rise to the six fairy clans to rebuilt civilization. But since the Faeries lack creativity and are capricious by nature, it all only amounted to them repeatedly exterminating each other. It took Morgan le Fay establishing a totalitarian dictatorship to ensure even the smallest ounce of stability. And on top of that, the remaining humans are kept as literal livestock produced in factories, as said humans are technically clones of the last true human, Cernunnos' priest who the first fae tore apart but kept alive so they could have create more. Also, the land itself is trying to wipe the faeries out as it accumulates their collective curses and sins to birth monstrous Calamities to destroy Britain. And the titular Avalon le Fae is birthed (twice after the first fails) to create the sword that the original six did not in order to correct that sin. Notably, the circumstances of this POD result in it having an EX Divergence Depth, because Sefar effectively reset human history to zero - there is literally no shared history between this world and Pan-Human History.
      • The Seventh Lostbelt, Nahui Mictalan, set in South America, diverged at around 65 million BC. Or at least, it appeared this way - the actual point of divergence is at 300 million BC, when the Chixulub comet arrived at Earth much earlier than expected. The alien fungi it was carrying, which eventually become the Mesoamerican Pantheon and empower mankind in Proper Human History, ended up empowering the dinosaurs instead. Humans ended up evolving much earlier as a result. The problem is that this meant humans were around when ORT, the Ultimate One of the Oort Cloud, arrived. In Proper Human History, ORT's impact with Earth causes the extinction of the dinosaurs, but it then goes into hibernation since the humans it was tasked to destroy don't exist yet. Here, humans were around when it arrived, leading ORT to scour the world. Mankind was wiped out in a mass sacrifice to empower King Camazotz with the strength to defeat ORT, while the dinosaurs (now a race called the Deinos) migrated underground, gaining a new sun in the form of ORT's heart. While the changes to this timeline are more profound than even the sixth Lostbelt, it's still not truly a Lostworld as it still relies on a Cosmic Keystone to maintain itself with the difference being that Lostbelt ORT is that very lynchpin due to having consumed the Tree of Emptiness during its "war" with mankind.

    Web Comics 
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse is a tournament between twenty different universes, each leading to their universes strongest warriors being radically different groups. The canon universe is Universe 18, and Future Trunks's universe is Universe 12.
    • Universe 1 and 10 were universes where the Supreme Kais decided to intervene in the affairs of mortals after Bibidi attempted to release Majin Buu. The two universes diverged from each other by the absence of the Kais in Universe 10.
    • Universe 3 is a universe where Bardock successfully rallied the Saiyans into rebelling against Frieza, killing him before he could transform by blasting him with an Oozaru army. The Saiyans, sans Bardock, were killed in turn by Dr. Raichi, but not before Kami fused into King Piccolo to repel their invasion of Earth.
    • Universe 4 is a universe where Super Buu absorbed Vegeta before the latter could release Fat Buu. Goku lost the subsequent fight and got absorbed along with Gohan, Goten, Piccolo, and Trunks. Buu spared Earth, but not before absorbing Bulma as a final farewell.
    • Universe 6 is a universe where Goku didn't intervene in Gohan's fight against Bojack, leading to the Galaxy Warriors killing the Z Fighters.
    • Universe 7 is a universe where Nail, on Guru's orders, fused with every Namekian he could find before Frieza's forces could kill them, becoming a Physical God and renaming himself Gast Carcolh. The Dragon Balls no longer exist, but Gast is capable of defending his universe by himself.
    • Universe 8 is a universe where Krillin killed Vegeta on Earth, leading to him, Gohan, and Bulma being killed by Frieza on Namek when they finally summoned Porunga. Goku and Nail subsequently fought and lost a two-man war against the Cold Empire.
    • Universe 9 is a universe where Cooler blew up Goku's pod before it ever reached Earth. Frieza and Cooler came to blows over this, with Cooler coming out on top and killing Frieza. With the technology afforded to them by the Red Ribbon Army, the human Z Fighters became the strongest force of their universe.
    • Universe 11 is the universe where Cell never showed up. Kami refused to fuse with Piccolo, nor did he let Goku and especially Vegeta use the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, but Goku and Krillin were able to befriend the Androids. Trunks returned to his future and used the remote to kill the future Androids, and was in turn killed by Imperfect Cell; that universe is implied to be Universe 15. Meanwhile, the past Z Fighters were woefully unprepared for when Babibi released Majin Buu.
    • Universe 13 is a universe where Kakarot never landed on his head as a baby, and fulfilled his mission to kill all humans before Raditz came to collect him. Vegeta, Nappa, Raditz, and Kakarot went on to destroy the Cold Empire.
    • Universe 16 is a universe where Vegetto didn't drop his shield after getting absorbed by Super Buu, thus never defusingnote .
    • Universe 17 is a universe where Gohan gave up in his final clash against Cell, leading to Cell's victory over the Z Fighters. With Future Trunks dying here, his home universe, Universe 14, continues to be terrorized by Androids 17 and 18, who killed the fetal Cell when Bulma accidentally lured them back to Dr. Gero's laboratory.
    • Universe 20 is a universe where the blast meant to throw Broly into the sun missed, leading to him coming back a few years later, now strong enough to overpower even a Majin Buu that had absorbed all the other Z Fighters.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Justice League: The Episode The Savage Time occurs when Vandal Savage uses time travel to send information to his past self, allowing him to usurp Adolf Hitler in 1944, managing to bring the Nazi Superweapons into reality, and when D-Day happened, not only were they repulsed, but as said by a future Batman, it was "the beginning of the end" for the Allies, and the beginning of his new empire. Therefore, the league, who were displaced in time when the change occurred, have to Set Right What Once Went Wrong and set history back on course.
  • The Simpsons: The "Treehouse Of Horror XXXIV" segment "Ei8ht" takes place in an Alternate Continuity in which Sideshow Bob successfully murdered Bart in "Cape Feare". The segment opens with the scene of Sideshow Bob singing "For He Is An Englishman" as part of Bart's Scheherezade Gambit, only this time he sees through the trick and brutally murders Bart as the tied-up Lisa watches helplessly. The segment then flashes forward to 2023, eschewing the show's usual Comic-Book Time by showing Lisa and the Springfield Elementary School children having since grown up.
  • The world of The Venture Brothers features "super science" and numerous legitimately super-powered heroes and villains, but has otherwise seen nearly all of the same media and societal progress. Throughout the series, several mentions of made of events taking place differently in reality (ex.Lloyd Venture, grandfather of Rusty, was actually the first person on the moon in 1902; Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper did not die in a plane crash in 1959, but instead that was a cover for their becoming the supervillains Red Mantle and Dragoon, etc.) but by far the oldest possible PoD mentioned is that the Greuthungi chieftains Saphrax and Alatheus did not kill Roman Emperor Flavius Valens as they did in reality. It is possible that it happened even earlier (Archimedes is mentioned as having worked on the ORB), but Saphrax and Alatheus is the first stated difference from our reality.