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Basically, an episode whose plot revolves around Time Travel. Maybe the villain wants to remove the hero from history. Maybe the resident Gadgeteer Genius wants to see the tech of the future.

Groundhog Day Loops don't really qualify, since in that case the time travel is reset at the end.

In some cases, the time travel is a Framing Device for a Recap Episode, or for giving a character's origins.

See also Time Travel, Time Travel Tropes, Groundhog Day Loop.

Examples of Time Travel Episode include:

Anime and Manga

  • Pokémon 4 Ever is a textbook example; Celebe's powers even include time travel.


  • After Thanos destroyed the Infinity Stones, Avengers: Endgame features the Avengers time travelling to collect past versions of the Infinity Stones to undo the Snap.
  • Star Trek:

Live-Action TV

  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series:
      • The first example is "Tomorrow is Yesterday" where an encounter with a black star sent the Enterprise back to 1969.
      • Possibly Trek's most famous example is "The City on the Edge of Forever" where McCoy runs through the Guardian of Forever to the 1930s, forcing Kirk and Spock to follow and repair the damage he caused.
      • "Assignment: Earth", a Poorly-Disguised Pilot, had the crew conducting historical observations on the 1960s.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • The finale of Season 5/opener of Season 6 had the crew travel back to 19th century San Francisco to prevent two aliens from feasting on humanity.
      • The Grand Finale, "All Good Things", featured Picard jumping between the pilot, the present and a Bad Future.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • "Visionary" had O'Brien jump briefly into future scenarios.
      • "Trials and Tribble-ations" had the crew return to the time of TOS to take part in the Tribble adventure.
    • Star Trek: Voyager:
      • The fourth episode had Janeway and Paris sent back a day to prevent a planet destroying explosion.
      • The "Future's End" two-parter had Voyager visit 20th century Earth.
      • The Grand Finale, "Endgame", had a future Janeway travel back to the time of the series to shorten the voyage home.
    • Given the plotline of Temporal Cold War, Star Trek: Enterprise had lots of time travel.
      • "Azati Prime" featured an appearance from the USS Enterprise-J.
      • "Storm Front, Part II" had the NX-01 travel back to World War II.

Western Animation

  • Freakazoid had an episode where the titular hero prevented the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • The Fairly OddParents had two episodes where Timmy went back in time, first to keep his dad from winning a trophy, and next to make Mr. Crocker less miserable. Both backfired horribly.
  • In the Underdog story "Simon Says No Thanksgiving", Simon Barsinister and Cad went back to the 1620s to prevent the first Thanksgiving from taking place. Underdog and Sweet Polly followed them to keep history on track.
  • In the second-season Pac-Man episode "Journey into the Pac-Past", P.J. turned Pac-Man's clothes washer into a time machine.
  • Futurama loves using this theme. Episodes include: "Roswell That Ends Well", "Time Keeps On Slippin", "Bender's Big Score" and "The Late Phillip J. Fry".
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "It's About Time", Twilight is visited by a future version of herself from about a week ahead who tried to warn her about something. She was just telling her past self not to worry, creating a ridiculous Stable Time Loop.
    • "The Cutie Remark" featured Starlight Glimmer travelling back to prevent Rainbow Dash's Sonic Rainboom and the Mane Six getting their cutie marks.
  • The Star vs. the Forces of Evil time travel-themed episode, entitled "Book Time".
  • The second short in "Treehouse of Horror V" featured Homer, somehow, built a Time Machine out of a toaster and kept screwing things up in the dinosaur era, creating radically different presents.
  • "Retrace-Your-Step-Alizer" in Solar Opposites. It was all happening on the Pretend-O-Deck.
  • "Rattlestar Ricklactica" in Rick and Morty. Rick is furious about it and lampshades this every opportunity he gets.
  • Family Guy:
    • "Meet the Quagmires" had Peter go back to The Eighties but made it so that he and Lois never got married, forcing him and Brian to go back and try to set things right.
    • While any episode featuring Stewie's time machine is this, the best example is "Back to the Pilot" which features Stewie and Brian going back to the pilot episode, first to find out where Brian buried a tennis ball, and then returning over and over so Stewie can undo Brian constantly giving his past self advice (such as stopping 9/11 or writing Harry Potter).
  • American Dad:
    • "The Best Christmas Story Never" featured Stan travelling back to 1970 so he could rediscover his Christmas spirit. Instead, he tried to kill Donald Sutherland to try and save Christmas (long story) and wound up screwing up Taxi Driver, meaning John Hinkley never shot Reagan who lost in 1984 and Walter Mondale surrendered to the Soviets. Ultimately, Stan shoots Reagan.
    • When Hayley needs a kidney transplant in "The Kidney Stays in the Picture", Stan and Francine travel back to The Eighties to discover the identity of a man who might be Hayley's biological father.
    • In "The Unincludedes", after being humiliated at a party, the guys throw a party only for future versions of Steve and Snot from the year 2040 to arrive and tell them to knock it off.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • "It's About Time!" has Phineas and Ferb fixing a time machine and going back to the time of the dinosaurs.
    • "Phineas and Ferb's Quantum Boogaloo" has Phineas and Ferb going twenty years into the future in order to obtain a tool that turns metal into wood.
  • Sonic Sat AM has the two-part episode "Blast to the Past" where Sonic and Sally go back in time to when Robotnik took over Mobotropolis.
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