My Own Grampa
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Basic Information

This Time Travel Trope is a specific form of Grandfather Paradox. This version disperses with all the baggage of causality and paradox, and just happily declares that being your own ancestor is perfectly normal. Milder versions involve that old drifter or shadowy figure from your childhood that saved your life, or set you on the straight and narrow, and whom later turns out to actually be your own future self.

Basically, this trope says Temporal Paradox and mucking around with your own origins is just fine and dandy. It seems to absolve the time traveler of all moral culpability or ambiguity. Going back and interfering with the circumstances of your own childhood or origins will result in a Stable Time Loop.

For other tropes with similar symptoms, but different causes, see Identical Grandson, and My Grandson Myself.


2. books: Robert Heinlein's short stories "By His Bootstraps" and "All You Zombies…" are classics of this trope. His novel Time Enough for Love uses it too, but is less classic.
3. TV: The episode "Yesteryear" from Star Trek: The Animated Series is another classic treatment (as well as the only episode of the animated series to be considered canonical)

The Mild version appears in Terry Pratchett's Night Watch, albeit as a repair for a temporal paradox.

Game and Story Use

  • This certainly makes for a lighter campaign style than the dreary self-hating types suggested by Autoinfanticide, or the queasy unsettling implications that might otherwise come up from the Grandfather Paradox.
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