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Playing With / Expendable Alternate Universe

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Basic Trope: Characters from an Alternate Universe or Alternate Timeline are killed, an no one bats an eye because it's not the "main" universe.

  • Straight:
    • Alice and Bob visit an alternate universe with new versions of themselves. As they escape, these alternate versions are killed, but the story goes on because our universe is fine.
    • Alice, a Time Traveller from a Bad Future, prevents the death of the heroes. During our peeks into the Bad Future, we see the heroes die, but Alice doesn't seem to care when the future is changed. Alice herself appears later as a kid, and we never see her future self again.
  • Exaggerated:
    • The entire multiverse is destroyed... except our universe. Dodged a bullet, huh?
    • Alice is Ret Gone because her time travel caused her to not exist. Alice never appears again.
  • Downplayed:
    • Sometimes we return to the alternate universe to see the world without Alice or Bob.
    • The Bad Future is treated as a separate timeline that we occasionally return to. This Alice is still around, but her versions of our heroes are not.
  • Justified:
    • The alternate universe is such a hellhole that the alternate versions of Alice and Bob have asked their main universe counterparts to give it a Mercy Kill.
    • Alice believes that any future would be better than the one she came from, and has accepted that things will not be the same.
  • Inverted:
    • Bob dies in battle, but is replaced by an alternate universe version of himself with only minor differences. Alice adjusts to New Bob quite well.
    • Advertisement:
    • Alice travels to a future where she learns that she has died. Seeking to prevent this, Alice stays in the future to make it better, leaving behind the present.
    • The "main" Alice and Bob are killed while visiting the alternate universe. The rest of the story focuses on alternate Alice and Bob.
  • Subverted:
    • We only think that the versions of Alice and Bob that died were the alternate universe versions, but it turns out that they were the main universe versions, replaced by the AU ones.
    • Alice travels back in time to save her future... by bringing the heroes of the past to the future to combat the threat directly, leading them to Save Both Worlds.
  • Double Subverted:
    • The original Alice and Bob are brought back from the dead, then take the place of the impostors from the alternate universe.
    • A later story shows Alice failing to save her world from a new threat in her timeline, meaning it still is doomed.
  • Parodied:
    • After the alternate universe is destroyed, Bob remarks "Who cares? There's infinite universes, they'll be fine."
    • Alice going back in time causes a grandfather paradox that means she never had reason to go back in time, and gets stuck in an infinite loop of victory and defeat. The others just look at her weird and carry on.
  • Zig Zagged:
  • Averted: There is no alternate universe or alternate timeline.
  • Enforced: The story is a What If? story, made because the writer wanted to explore alternate possibilities. Due to that, he has more freedom to kill off characters because he's always wanted to write a death for an untouchable character.
  • Lampshaded: "I've seen so many different versions of you, what does one variation mean in the grand scheme of things?"
  • Invoked: The heroes, to buy time, challenge the villain to take on other versions of them, using these alternate versions as decoys.
  • Exploited: Knowing the heroes will try and send an army of themselves to attack him, a universe-destroying villain takes on the weaker universes first, knowing that the heroes will pay no mind to them.
  • Defied: The heroes try to Save Both Worlds.
  • Discussed: "You let them die... and for what? Because they weren't your Alice and Bob?!"
  • Conversed: "So how many issues of that comic are gonna be released in whatever magazine picks up that timeline?"
  • Implied:
    • A multiverse is introduced in the series, making the two wonder what would happen if one of them fell.
    • Alice mentions she can't let things happen "like last time."
  • Deconstructed:
    • A new story is released from the perspective of the universe that lost Alice and Bob, showing how the villains won with the heroes dead.
    • With so many threats coming in that Alice has to prevent via time travel, she starts seeing every new alternate version of her friends less and less as her old friends, and more as separate people who look like them, but aren't.
  • Reconstructed:
    • While the Alice and Bob of that timeline are gone, a new generation of heroes takes their place, which a new series in the franchise focuses on.
    • Alice may not see those new versions as her old friends, but that doesn't mean they don't make good company. And, with the new features in the time machine to travel to different timelines, she can visit the best possible future that she visited at any time to see them.
  • Played For Laughs:
    • Bob kills himself, that is, the alternate universe version of himself. He doesn't even flinch.
    • Alice tries so many times to save the future, she gets tired and sets up a Close-Enough Timeline just to be done with it.
  • Played For Drama:
    • We get a prequel miniseries showing what life was like in the alternate universe, and come to like Alice and Bob of that one. Once they die in the story the main timeline covered, their deaths have more meaning to us the audience.
    • As a lead-in to the Bad Future storyline, fake episodes of the series are shown first where our favorite heroes die in front of our eyes. It is only after we truly realize the kind of Bad Future Alice is trying to prevent by seeing it firsthand that the idea of time travel is involved.

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