Follow TV Tropes


Time Travel / Western Animation

Go To

  • Family Guy are prone to doing time travel episodes, although the type of time travel tends to vary across each of them.
  • South Park calls attention to the many types of time travel in an episode when future people emigrate to the present. The news anchor announces that "apparently this is using 'Terminator' rules".
  • In Time Squad the characters have to constantly go back in time in order to stop goofups in the timeline (because time is like a rope and as it grows it becomes frayed). Hilarity Ensues when they encounter historical figures doing crazy things, such as Eli Whitney creating flesh-eating robots instead of the cotton gin, Ludwig von Beethoven becoming a wrestler instead of a composer, or George W. Bush thinking that the answer to all of the country's problems is a giant ball of twine.
  • Advertisement:
  • In Hanna-Barbera's video series The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible, three young adult archaeologists find a door that takes them back to Biblical times. (Good thing the portal has random entrances and exits scattered through time, allowing one to cover thousands of years of Biblical history in a few weeks.)
  • Similarly, the twin anime series Superbook and The Flying House are built around regular time travel into stories from The Bible.
  • The little known film Our Friend Martin in which teens visit Martin Luther King at several points in his life and then bring him to their time, only to find doing so changes their timeline to one where his civil rights speeches and protests never happened (since he wasn't there to make them because he was in the future) so he must return home to restore the original timeline.
  • Advertisement:
  • Quasi at the Quackadero is set at an amusement park where time travel is exploited.
  • Mr. Peabody and Sherman (who first appeared on the Rocky and Bullwinkle segment Peabody's Improbable History, then got their own movie and series decades later) use The WABAC Machine to assist historical figures.
  • The Powerpuff Girls episode "Speed Demon" has the girls racing for home so fast they go fifty years into the future and see that the world has been subjugated by their arch-foe Him because they weren't around to stop him as they went through time.
  • In the Al Brodax Popeye cartoons, Professor O.G. Wottashnozzle uses Popeye as a guinea pig for his time machine, which posits him and the others as historical figures.
    Narrator: But where is he going, Professor?
    Professor: I don't know. We take pot luck.
  • Samurai Jack: The entire premise of the series is about a samurai warrior from ancient Japan being flung into the far future, where his demonic archnemesis Aku has taken over the world. "Samurai Jack" travels across the world in search of time portals and other magical artifacts so he can return to the past, destroy Aku, and prevent the nightmare future world from ever coming to be. But invariably, Jack will always fail to use the artifact or portal due to some intervening circumstance. By Season 5, 50 years have passed with no luck, and Jack has not aged a day but is a broken shell of a man because of it. Though fortunately, with the help of Jack's new girlfriend Ashi, he is finally able to return to the past and accomplish all of his initial goals to save the world (though at the cost of Ashi and all his other future friends ceasing to exist).
  • Advertisement:
  • In "A Sitch in Time", a three part episode of Kim Possible, all three of the above plots are used. In the end, it turns out that time travel had been responsible for even the initial complication that got the plot rolling (Kim's sidekick moving to Norway) but all was undone by the end.
  • Futurama
    • In one episode the crew of the Planet Express Ship gets sent back in time to 1947 Earth, and becomes the crashed alien spacecraft at Roswell, New Mexico. Fry does "the nasty in the pasty" and becomes his own grandfather, and Bender's head ends up buried in the desert for 1053 years, in a parody of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Time's Arrow". ("What was it like being stuck in that hole for a thousand years?" "I was enjoying it - until you guys showed up!")
    • In a recent episode "The Late Philip J. Fry.", this was taken to the extreme where Fry, Bender, and the Professor get into a time machine that only goes forward in time, causing them to keep going ahead in time looking for one that goes back, until eventually due to accidents and jerkassness, they went so far ahead in time they go through to the end of the universe, then another universe that's just the same is made in its place, then when they get to their time, an accident forced them to do the same a second time, where they came in about 10 feet over themselves before they went forward in time, they obviously dropped down and killed them, and took their place in that similar universe.
  • The main cast of Kaeloo own a time machine, and they occasionally use it for various purposes.
  • The Venture Bros. parodied this in Escape to the House of Mummies, Part 2 (there was no part 1), where the situation became increasingly ridiculous as they traveled around time, leading to Caligula, Sigmund Freud, Edgar Allan Poe, and two Brocks launching an assault.
  • Darkwing Duck had three time travel stories.
  • Gargoyles had a magic item called The Phoenix Gate that could be used for time travel. Trouble was, it couldn't be used to change the past. Fate would simply conspire against anyone who tried to.
    • Of course our magnificent bastard villain, is still badass enough to still make his fortune using it.
  • Justice League had quite a few time travel stories, including one entire season that involved parallel universes and a stable but horrifying time loop that would result in a civil war between the world's governments and the world's superheroes. But it was all a Kansas City Shuffle by Brainiac-infected Lex Luthor; the time travel stuff wasn't real, just a red herring.
  • Done a few times in Lilo & Stitch: The Series. Special mention goes to two particular episodes.
    • In "Melty", Lilo makes a fool of herself in front of her love interest, Keoni, and uses Jumba's time machine to go back to the past and change it. However, a side effect of the machine is that something (in a classic Ray Bradbury Butterfly effect) changes in each time line (which usually goes horribly bad). In the end, Lilo learnes a valuable Fantastic Aesop of literally not dwelling into the past.
    • In "Skip", Lilo and Stitch capture an experiment that is able to travel ten years into the future. In the first ten year travel, a seventeen-year-old Lilo finds out that she has missed out on seven years of her life. When she goes another ten years in the future, everyting is hell. The villain Hamsterviel has taken over the island and the planet, captured all the experiments, and has become king of the galactic federation. Lilo decides that she can't force herself to grow up too early and conventiantly sets the reset button on the experiment to go back to the present time.
  • Argai: The Prophecy plays with this quite a bit, even with an original twist on it: When a character is killed in a time not its own, he or she doesn't die, he just returns to his original time. It's the reason the heroes must defeat Queen Dark in 2075, and for Queen Dark to kill Argai in 1250.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes had an intellegent Beezy make a Cool Chair time machine, which he then used mainly to rub his intellegence in Heloise's face.
  • For a series that is so focused on the dangers of advanced technology, Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures notably only had one time travel episode, "The Edge of Yesterday," near the end of its run.
  • In the world of Wakfu, Time Travel is the only time related power the Time Master race of Xelors doesn't possess. The Big Bad has to go on a genocidal campaign that has lasted centuries to gather an absolutely massive amount of Wakfu and pump it into a powerful Amplifier Artifact to make a trip through time possible. And he still only manages to go back twenty minutes.
  • The later half of The New Adventures of Speed Racer features a story arc about mutants from the year 2078 traveling back in time to the present day.
  • The entire final season of The Smurfs was about time travel, coupled with Failure Is the Only Option as the Smurfs end up in one time period (and/or geographical location) after another.
  • The Young Justice episode Bloodlines is all about Bart Allen a.k.a. Impulse trying to prevent a Bad Future and the after effects are really confusing. In the future everything has become destroyed and covered in ash with only Impulse and the villian of the episode in sight. When Impulse changes the future the only thing that changes is that the villain was no longer a major threat in the past and doesn't have scars, but somehow despite changing that little the villian can still remember the old timeline.
  • Chronozoid, a villain in Skysurfer Strike Force, has powers to travel back and forward in time.
  • Danger Mouse and Penfold find a grandfather clock that takes them through time in "The Hickory Dickory Dock Dilemma" (returning in "The Clock Strikes Back"). Has a nod to Doctor Who.
  • Wunschpunsch: Bubonic and Tyrannia once went back in time to prevent their supervisor's parents from meeting each other so he won't exist. Not wanting to get stuck in the past, their pets made Maggot's parents meet since they learned it was the Curse Escape Clause that could break the time travel spell.
  • Ben 10 has Professor Paradox, who travels through space and time, there are also time travel arcs, starting with ben 10000 in the original series.
  • Dallas & Robo has Robo accidentally discovering the carrot cake recipe from The Joy of Cooking in binary are instructions for time travel.
  • The Fairly OddParents uses this trope frequently. Timmy gets a Time Scooter in season one that has gotten quite a few uses. Each time things end up going wrong, making you wonder why it isn't against Da Rules.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: