With Beavis and Butthead coming back to the movies as 40-something dudes dealing with their Gen Z kids, we've been thinking about that trope of characters somehow time traveling or having visions or otherwise seeing their future selves.

It's actually something that comes up a lot - which, given the fact that cartoon characters tend to just...never age, makes sense, because eventually fans of the show are going to get curious about how it all turns out - even if we know that plot-wise, we'll never really get there.

Here are eleven of Enstarz's favorite examples of this future-self trope in cartoons. Some hilarious, some touching, and ALL nostalgic.


Starting off strong: the Rugrats didn't just get one episode where we see what the babies' futures look like (though that's how it started, with the tenth anniversary special "All Growed Up" in 2001); we got a whole show.

All Grown Up! was a spinoff of the popular classic Nick cartoon that ran for five seasons from 2004 to 2008 (with a hiatus in 2006.) It followed Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Kimi, Dil, Angelica, and Susie as they navigated the treacherous world of middle school, from school projects to crushes to breakups and more.

Teen Titans

Okay, so Starfire never really sees her future self in the episode "How Long Is Forever" - the circumstances under which she went to the future were actually kind of the problem there, because they made her disappear and forced the fractured universe she actually sees - but it's still really cool to see the adult versions of all the other Teen Titans, especially Robin as Nightwing, his canonical evolution from the Batman comics.

This also confirmed that the version of Robin they were working with was Dick Grason, which was cast into doubt since they changed other elements of the Titans lineup for the show, and because he never goes by his real name.

The Simpsons

We've actually seen The Simpsons' future several times over the course of the course of the show's 33 seasons. We've seen:

  • Lisa as President in "Bart to the Future" (which is technically non-canonical, even though they did predict Trump's godawful presidency)
  • Bart as a Supreme Court Justice (and, alternately, a male stripper) in "Itchy And Scratchy: The Movie" (also most likely non-canonical, given other future iterations of Bart we've seen)
  • Lisa run for President as a Democrat against her Republican classmate (which makes us wonder if the whole "non-canonical" thing actually applied to Lisa's Presidency, or just other events in the episode)
  • Bart grow up into a successful BMX Bike artist in "Barthood" (a play on the movie Boyhood)
  • Lisa putting her family ahead of her "fairy-tale" love story in "Lisa's Wedding"
  • Homer die several times and eventually become a digital head in "Days Of Future Future" (non-canonical, thank god)
  • Lisa decide not to go to college and instead start a college for the under-educated instead in "Mother and Child Reunion" (also non-canonical, though once again the 'Lisa as President' concept returns)
  • Lisa grow up and go to Harvard in her own version of the Boyhood episode "Mr. Lisa's Opus"
  • Bart and Lisa go to prom in "Future Drama" (Lisa graduating two years early at 16)
  • And last but not least, a Christmas Card slideshow of the Simpsons through the years in "Holidays of Future Passed," followed by a flash forward view at all their families - including Maggie's famous band.

Danny Phantom

The second Danny Phantom TV movie, The Ultimate Enemy, was a twist on the whole future-self trope, introducing a dark-timeline version of events in which Danny Phantom becomes an evil villain after fusing with his nemesis Vlad Plasmius' ghost half.

Luckily, Danny and his friends Sam and Tucker are able to band together to prevent this unfortunate turn of events - we never do see redeemed future Danny in this movie.

Family Guy

This clip is from the direct-to-DVD movie Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, in which Stewie sees a man on TV that he believes must be his real father, only to find out upon meeting him that it is actually just him from the future.

The movie was eventually split into three episodes and placed at the end of Season 4 of Family Guy. The episodes were titled "Stewie B. Goode", "Bango Was His Name, Oh!", and "Stu and Stewie's Excellent Adventure."

Pebbles and Bamm Bamm

Many people, even fans of the original Flintstones cartoon, might not be aware of this, but there was once a spin-off series titled The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, in which everyone's favorite Stone Age babies are teenagers in a romantic relationship.

The show only ran for one season, from 1971-72. From 72-73, it was rebranded as The Flintstones Comedy Hour, and the focus shifted from just the teens to focus more on other Flintstones characters as well. After that, the series was discontinued.

Ben 10

Not only did Ben 10 take viewers into the future in multpile different episodes (and over multiple different iterations of the show), it had an established timeline of future characters, including Ben 10,000, Ben's future self, who can transform into 10,000 different species of alien in order to fight crime.

In most of these futures, his cousin Gwen is also a hero, more of a scribe-magician type.

Phineas and Ferb

Phineas and Ferb first traveled to the future in "Phineas and Ferb's Quantum Bugaloo," in which they accidentally use a time machine in the Danville museum to travel into their future - where they see their nephews Candace's sons, wasting their summer doing nothing and vow to fix it.

That said, we also see a glimpse not-so-far into the future in one of the final episodes of the series, "Act Your Age."

We can't not include this clip of Phineas and Isabella in that episode. It's too cute.

Jimmy Neutron

After Carl mixes up the perfume he meant to give to Libby for her birthday with a substance that turns everyone who uses it evil, Jimmy Neutron and his friends Carl and Sheen have to time travel into a very bleak future (in which a moronified Jimmy, out of practice using his intelligence, seems to be in an abusive marriage with the domineering Cindy).

Thankfully, they fix everything in the end, returning to their original future in which Sheen is a male model, Carl is an Alpaca farmer, and Jimmy is a Nobel Prize winning scientist.

South Park

Okay, so this one techinically doesn't count, but it's such a wild and inventive take on the trope that it warrants inclusion in this article.

In the South Park episode "My Future Self 'n' Me," Stan's parents introduce him to a burnt-out future version of himself who comes to live in their home. Stan, nearly scared straight, tries to avoid this future by vowing never to touch drugs and trying to do better in school, but after he discovers Butters is in the same situation, he begins to suspect something's up.

As it turns out, the whole thing is a ruse set up by a company called Motivation Corp, which hires out actors to parents who are trying to get their kids to stay away from drugs and alcohol. 

Dexter's Laboratory

In the Annie Award-winning one-hour animated television special Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip, Dexter teams up with three different iterations of his future self from different timelines in order to stop several versions of his sworn enemy, Mandark, from destroying the future. (In the end, of course, it's actually DeeDee who saves it.)

This special was supposed to be the series finale of Dexter's Laboratory, but it was so well-recieved that Cartoon Network actually decided to push through two more seasons of the show.