It stars Riley Brown (Anna Akana), a high schooler who is able to Time Travel, using her "rewinding" ability to go into the past. Call her a superhero if you will, but she believes that it's not really much of her business to save everyone.
However, as the plot unravels, more storylines are introduced in between the acts, and suddenly the fate of the entire school is on her shoulders...
Act one is here, and each act links to the next.
Riley Rewind provides examples of:
- Arc Words: "Nobody cares."
- It's the note Angela left before committing suicide.
- Riley, attempting to prevent the suicide, explicitly says to Angela that she cares.
- Edward says that nobody cared when Angela died.
- Art Shift: Sometimes, certain frames or scenarios will be turned into drawings or animations.
- Big "SHUT UP!": Riley and Jay when Edward tries to interrupt their conversation.
- Blood from the Mouth: One of Riley's symptoms of excessive rewinding.
- Bookends: Act 1 begins with Riley complaining about her new glasses. Act 5 ends with Riley saying how much she actually enjoys her glasses.
- In Act 5, to prevent Angela's death and the bomb explosion, she ends up rewinding all the way back to Act 1.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Act 1 focuses more on Riley's high school life without much emphasis on her power. By Act 3, Riley's power gets more attention and the series begins to transform into a drama, with things cranked Up to Eleven by Act 5.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Gunmen, in this case. The "time cops" that are seen looking for Riley in Act 3 finally catch her at the end of Act 5.
- Cliffhanger: At the end of Act 5, the aforementioned "time cops" burst into Riley's room. She tries to rewind, but one of them stops her. He says there will be no more rewinding. The series ends.
- Comes Great Responsibility: Riley's opinion on her power.
- Creator Cameo: Ray William Johnson plays a gym teacher in one scene.
- Curse Cut Short: In act 3:Riley: What about Quinn?
Jay: Quinn? Like..Gail's cousin Quinn?
Riley: Oh, sh—
(cut to next scene)
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to Ray's previous work, indeed.
- Dead-Hand Shot: More of a Dead Feet Shot, as that's all we see of Angela's corpse when Riley walks on in it.
- Downer Beginning: Act 1 starts with Riley running through a crowd of people on prom night and opening the janitor's closet just in time for the bomb to detonate.
- Driven to Suicide: Angela. Luckily Riley undoes it.
- Flipping the Bird: When we first see Angela, being pushed around by a group of Alpha Bitch cheerleaders, she does this.
- Gainax Ending: See Cliffhanger above.
- The Men in Black: The "time cops" that pursue Riley and finally catch her at the end of act 5.
- Myth Arc: The entire series consists of Riley using her powers to try to prevent Angela's suicide and thereby prevent the bomb from ever being planted in one way or another.
- Of Course I Smoke: When Riley smokes for the first time.
- Police Are Useless: Riley calls 911 because of the bomb, they ask her if she put the bomb there. Then they actually believe she put the bomb there.
- Precision F-Strike: In act 4, when Riley is calling 911 about the bomb in the janitor's closet of her school.911 operator: Did you place the bomb?Riley: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
- Running Gag: Quinn would go to the prom with anyone that had a cigarette on them.
- Screw Destiny: By act 1, Riley believes that it's not her business to be a hero and save everyone. By act 5, the fate of the whole damn school is on her shoulders.
- Self-Referential Humor: See Title Drop below.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The basis of the whole show.
- Riley mentions reading George Orwell.
- Jay calls Riley Doctor Who at one point.
- Riley wants to believe that she was the last of a race on a dying planet, and her parents sent her to Earth to be the last surviving hope for her species. "But, that origin story's already taken."
- Riley says that she's seen all there is to see about time travel, and then drawings of stills from movies like Donnie Darko are shown.
- Slow-Motion Fall: Riley, as seen in the poster and series intro. Why she's falling is explained in the first 30 seconds of Arc 1.
- Time Travel
- Title Drop: In act 3.
- Wham Episode: Considering how compact the series is and how the story unfolds, almost all of the acts count.
- Act 1: Remember that Angela girl you saw getting bullied? She hangs herself at the end of the act.
- Act 3: After spending all of Act 2 befriending Angela to prevent her from her death, Riley then goes to her house to see her hanging body.
- Act 4: Riley and Jay hide just in time to see the bomb getting planted—by none other than Edward, the disabled kid.
- Act 5: Edward planted the bomb because he wanted to get revenge on those who bullied Angela to her suicide. Angela was completely innocent, and Edward was actually going to ask her to prom. Riley rewinds back to Act 1, receiving mortal injury, to save Angela, and ends up apprehended by the "time cops" at the end.
- Wham Line: At the very end of Act 5; "Unfortunately, there will be no more rewinding."