|Trope · Genre|
|Synonyms:||timeloop, groundhog day, do-over, redo|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
While Star Trek TOS provides a number of the earliest examples of canonical time travel in a television series, the entire premise of Star Trek XI, and the movies to follow, is based on time-traveling Romulans inadvertently creating a new timeline.
Subgenres of time travel that are popular in fanfic include:
- The timeloop, like in Groundhog Day in which a character repeats a time period over and over again.
- The second chance, where a character gets a chance to travel back in time to fix a mistake or tragedy of the past.
- The mental time travel in which only the consciousness travels back in time and allows the character to re-live their live fully or partially. (This kind of do-over is popular for example in Harry Potter fandom. One version would be an older, war-hardened Harry gets transfered back into his eleven-year-old (or even younger) self, and fights Voldemort with this extra knowledge.)
- Fusions with The Time Traveler's Wife, the novel by Audrey Niffenegger (and its film adaptation)
Science Fiction Citations gives the earliest use of the term "time travel" as a 1914 philosophy paper, but identifies the 1895 novel The Time Machine by H.G. Wells as the first use of "time traveller". This novel is also the source of the word "time machine" itself.
- Black Swan by Nemo the Everbeing. Angel is caught in a backlash of a spell gone wrong and emerges in a terrifying future. With the help of that universe's Wesley, he must find a way back through time to change history.
- Impact by shiny silver grl. Takes place in season 3. As Darla prepares to give birth, Cordelia interferes with an attempt on Angel's life, but the consequences of her actions land her two years in the past, mere days before Doyle is to die on the Quintessa.
- Man of the World by EnigmaticBlue. Fred’s death and the return of his memories leave Wesley a desperate man. He makes a dangerous bid to make things right, only to find that he’s a stranger in a world that’s no longer familiar to him.
- Negative Space by orphan_account. Sometimes when you help the hopeless, you have to start at home.
- A Stitch in Time by Rheanna and Yahtzee. Drusilla travels into the past to stop Angel from getting his soul back, and the Angel gang follow.
- Living History by Lizbeth Marcs. Some people have come a place far, far away and a time far, far ahead to ask for help on an urgent matter. The target place and time? Moscow, February 2008. The problem? They’re in Cleveland, September 2003. And that’s just the beginning of the trouble.
- Compelled - The Buffy/Angelverse Reshaped by Hotpoint; "The God-King of the Primordium decides to replay the game from an earlier level and shows the universe what an Old One with a grudge is capable of..." - series of stories in which Illyria travels back in time to before the destruction of Sunnydale and rewrites history.
- Act V by Sinnatious - takes advantage of the expanded canon of Final Fantasy VII to have Cloud from post Advent's children travel back to the time of its prequel, to fix things.
- I’ve Been Here Before by La Rose Bleue. Lorelai/Luke. After waking up at Christopher’s, Lorelai wakes up again at home in a very different era of the Gilmoreverse.
- Time and Time Again by BarBieBoy. All the pilots but Heero are killed in an explosion; he relives the same day over and over, trying to stop it.
- A Change of Grace by Sheryl and Karen. Time "weavers" pull Taylor back in time to the late 1800s so that he can right a wrong in the life of one of his ancestors.
- Unravelling like the hours of light by Graziana, Hermione goes back in time and then returns. Nothing changes. Hermione finds herself in 1976 with Remus Lupin.
- Getting the Hang of Thursdays by Hayseed. Time loop story in which Snape has to try to save Hermione.
- Backward With Purpose by Deadwoodpecker. Harry, Ron, and Ginny send themselves back in time to avoid the destruction of everything they hold dear, and the deaths of everyone they love.
- Eternal Return by Silver Pard. For the Greater Good. Harry understands this.
- Tempus Edax Rerum by Mirrordance. Angsty AU in which Legolas travels from the future to interfere the Fellowship's quest.
- Post hoc, ergo propter hoc ('After this, therefore because of this.') by hitome_bore - Merlin travels back in time to make sure that Arthur grows up knowing that not all magic is evil.
- The King And His Sorcerer by tarayith. Arthur/Merlin. Merlin wakes up in Arthur's bed five times and incidentally discovers time travel along the way.
- Long Shadow by valderys. Arthur/Merlin. Merlin thought he had problems when he was only Arthur's manservant, and trying to hide his magic. Now he doesn't have to hide any more, but as King by right of conquest he wishes things were that easy. Rulership is a lonely business, and it actually hurts more to imagine what Arthur might have done in his place - but Merlin does it anyway. They had a destiny. Merlin refuses to let it go.
- Visited Upon The Son (A Thousand Shattered Futures Remix) by Woldy. Merlin will keep doing this until he gets it right.
- Closed Timelike Curve by Bindingdiva. Gibbs/DiNozzo, Jack/Daniel, Gibbs/Jack/Daniel/DiNozzo (and combinations thereof). After the bombing, Gibbs never remembered his relationship with Tony until Tony is killed in a case involving a Goa'uld. Gibbs and O'Neill travel to the past to save him, creating a whole new future for all of them.
- Sheppard's Law by speranza. McKay/Sheppard. Rodney goes back in time to save John's life, a lot.
- Stop All The Clocks by elementalv. Gen. The even darker side of time loops. Written for the "Not Dead Yet" challenge at SGA Flashfic.
- Iterum by Keira Marcos. McKay/Sheppard. After losing Atlantis and living a miserable life on Earth, John and Rodney take a chance on an untested device for a second chance.
- The Hardest Word by gekizetzu. Sam/Dean fic in which Sam travels eight years into the future.
- The Time-Traveler's Brother by gretazreta. Sam/Dean fusion with The Time Traveler's Wife.
- Name by Corpium, Peter/Stiles, When Stiles goes back in time to save Paige and stop Gerard, he doesn't expect Peter Hale.
- Live In Infamy by livii, Jack/Tosh, Things did get worse after Pearl Harbor. AU for 1x12, Captain Jack Harkness.
- Timeless by Hybridlovelies. Klaus/Caroline, The girls come up with a plan to send Caroline back in time to kill Klaus before he ever arrives in Mystic Falls. But it turns out their plan won't be as simple as they thought. Especially when Caroline gets stuck in the past & only has Klaus to rely on.
- Only Human by peaceful village. Klaus/Caroline, where a still human Caroline travels back in time and meets still human Klaus.
- The X-Files: Ascensions by Raj Sisodia. A continuing series of new X Files fan-fiction inspired by the season 4 the episode "Synchrony".
- If Only Could by freckleon. Charles/Erik, Today is not the day that Charles' world came crumbling down. Today is two weeks earlier.
- Never Too Late To Be Who You Might Have Been by acetamide. Charles/Erik, Erik wakes suddenly and takes a deep breath, and realises that there is nothing.
- Timeline series by Unforgotten. After Magneto of an X2-ish future succeeds in the unthinkable, Charles sends his consciousness back to 1962 to guide Erik away from the path that will lead to the genocide of the human race forty years hence. Charles knows that Erik has always loved him, and intends to use this knowledge + sex to seduce Erik away from his ideals in his youth. There's no way this well-thought-out, sensible, debugged and 100% bulletproof plan can possibly go wrong.
Thematic lists and rec sets for time travel stories
- Time Travel Recs by Lanta. Mainly Buffyverse, Harry Potter and Star Wars, with some other fandoms
- Timetravel fic list by Lizeth, featuring Bleach, Final Fantasy VII, Harry Potter, Naruto and many others.
- Fancake, theme: time travel - the theme: time travel, tag set for a multifandom fan work recommendations community.
- HP themed list: Time travel compiled by Painless_j (thematic list)
- Harry sends his mind back in time to his younger self compiled by Lira
- Time-travel of the redo type-involving other characters besides Harry compiled by talriga
- Shifting Time a community on fanfiction.net for collecting Naruto time travel fanfiction recommendations
- Naruto Time Travel Stories on fanfiction.net
- Wynne's Naruto Time/Dimension Travel Favorites on fanfiction.net
- "time travel" tag at Crossroads fic index
- "time loop" tag at Crossroads fix index
- "time travel" tag at stargateficrec
- SG-1 fic recs by green-grrl (has a time travel section)
External Links and Resources
- Fanworks tagged "Time Travel" at AO3
- Fanworks tagged "Time Loop" at AO3
- Time Travel trope page at the TV Tropes wiki
- Time Travel Fiction community on Livejournal
- Temporal Anomalies in Time Travel Movies by M.J. Young
- Time Travel on the Terminator Wiki
- Time Travel on the Science Fiction Encyclopaedia