I Hate Past Me
PAST ME IS ALWAYS SO TERRIBLE, EVEN WHEN I LITERALLY JUST FINISHED BEING HIM.
—Karkat Vantas, Homestuck
The inverse of Future Me Scares Me, where a character sees the past and either meets or somehow witnesses the actions of their past self, and just can't stand them. Maybe they were once a villain, and now that they've reformed dislike how evil they once were, or, inversely, they're more evil and show disdain for how "weak" their past self is. Maybe they're just more experienced, and are annoyed with how inexperienced and impulsive they were in the past. In any case, they're constantly ticked off by their past.
See also Future Me Scares Me, so for this from the point of view from the past self, go there. Compare Old Shame, a more mundane version of this trope, and Amnesiac Dissonance, where something similar happens as a result of previously-hidden memories being recovered. Contrast Other Me Annoys Me.
- In Noein, Karasu condemns his past self for being an utter coward. Considering what he's trying to do, not an entirely unreasonable attitude. And then the titular Noein turns out to be yet another future Yuu, who hates both Yuu and Karasu.
- Naruto, after the Time Skip in Shipuuden, does an omake with his past self. He is shocked by the fact that he was a very annoying, obnoxious loudmouth before the Time Skip.
- A minor one in Dragon Ball Z: Future Trunks lets his curiosity get the better of him and goes to get a good look at his baby self... who starts pulling his hair.
- In Twisted Toyfare Theatre, Future Hulk (Maestro) couldn't believe how stupid his younger counterpart is.
- During Genis-Vell's omnipotent madman phase, he brought Rick Jones's teenage self to the present—that is, Rick from before the Gamma Bomb accident that created the Hulk, when Rick was forced to grow up and start taking responsibility for his actions. Naturally, present-day Rick can't stand him.
- Doctor Strange's villains occasionally attempt mind-games like showing him his life as an arrogant young surgeon. He's never once been tempted to go back.
- Asuka in Evangelion Re-Take feels somewhat vitriolic toward her past self, particularly when she enters into a romantic relationship with Shinji, whom future Asuka has much more reason to hate. There's also some self-loathing and jealousy involved.
- In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon thinks that Future!Kyon is arrogant and condescending and that Past!Kyon is incompetent. This is played with, as Kyon tells Koizumi that he mostly annoys himself so that he'll remember things that he'll have to do later, but this was played straight during a later chapter when Future!Kyon sent a text to Kyon calling him an idiot for not seeking help from Yuki during an encounter with an enemy slider.
- In White Devil of the Moon, Nanoha, who is the reincarnation of Princess Serenity, strongly disapproves of the Princess' actions during the era of the Moon Kingdom, leading to a Calling The Old Woman Out moment against the ghost of the queen.
- In A Sticky Situation, this is fairly true for Impmon. And for good reason and that's not even considering his canon actions.
- In Back to the Future II, Old Biff doesn't particularly like Young Biff, thinking of him as an ignorant macho idiot (like his grandson), but is willing to give him the secret to infinite wealth since it will make himself rich in the future. Unfortunately, the end result is a Biff much more diabolical than either of them.
- Young Biff didn't care much for Old Biff either, thinking he was some crazy old coot even when Old Biff showed him his plan to make him/them rich was legit. So...I Hate Future Me?
- A non-Time Travel example in Total Recall. Quade learns that he was originally Hauser, one of Big Bad Cohaagen's agents who volunteered to have his memory erased and replaced with Quade's personality, and doesn't particularly agree when Hauser's pre-made recordings start taunting and screwing with him. When Cohaagen tries to reprogram him as Hauser:
Cohaagen: You'll like being Hauser.
- Disney's The Kid.
- Zathura has The Astronaut, who doesn't exactly hate his past self, but since he knows his own callousness led to the loss of his brother and being stuck in the game, is fairly hard on him. However, this does eventually turn into him being very proud that the current Walter didn't make the same mistakes he did.
- In Triangle, a woman who's been caught in a series of time loops has gone completely over the edge and when she finds herself transported to the start of the day, she sees her past self yelling angrily at her son. Her response? Ambush her past self and beat her to death. Somehow this does not erase her from existence.
- Bill and Ted think this is what's happening in Bill and Teds Bogus Journey when their future selves are rude to them ("I'll have to remember to be nicer to myself when I become him!"), only to discover that the "future selves" are actually Killer Robots.
- Another non-Time Travel variant: In |Toy Story 2, as Buzz Lightyear encounters a fresh-out-of-the-box Buzz Lightyear who's acting much like Buzz from the first film, Buzz moans "Oh, tell me I wasn't this delusional...".
- In the movie Dead Again, an amnesiac woman regains her life but is shocked to find that she's an artist with predilection for scissors. As if that wasn't enough, she was also a man in a previous life.
- A future version of Doctor Smith uses this trope as a justification for attempting to kill his past self in the movie version of Lost in Space.
Future Doctor Smith: I never liked myself much anyway.
- In Time Cop, Senator McComb travels from 2004 to 1994 to kill his then business partner and meets his past self in the process. He remarks that he "remembers having bigger balls", tells his past self to "lay off the fucking candy bars" and punches him in the face.
- In the Mistborn novel The Alloy of Law, Miles burning gold sees two possible "pasts" of himself, and both hate each other.
- This is a common effect of burning gold, actually, since it shows you either your past or a possible past (it's rather unclear- gold is probably the least understood of the core allomantic metals, since burning it is often a disturbing experience). Vin, the heroine of the original Mistborn trilogy, is also extremely uncomfortable with seeing her pre-Character Development Broken Bird self while burning gold, and never does it again.
- Upon seeing his decisions from an observer's point of view, Ebenezer Scrooge eventually has little but large amounts of disdain for the choices his past self made, occasionally berating him despite knowing he can't hear.
- Artemis Fowl is shocked at how ruthless he used to be upon meeting his younger self in The Time Paradox.
- In Jonathan Carroll's novel The Wooden Sea, the narrator, Frannie, who is a cop, meets his past self, a troubled teenage bully. However, he eventually does come to see that he really was a good kid and manages to help patch things with his (teenage Frannie's) father in the past.
- In Night Watch Sam Vimes is annoyed to realize that past him was a "twerp".
- In Stephen Baxter's novel The Time Ships, when Moses meets his past self he initially doesn't like his trousers, his waistcoat, his attitude, or him. Damn young turk!
- In the "Q-Continuum" series of Star Trek novels, Q takes Picard on a trip through his past to show him why breaching the galactic barrier would be a bad idea. Throughout the trip Q laments his past self's actions. Understandable, since he did grant a sadistic Eldritch Abomination and its equally monstrous cronies entrance to our galaxy which led to the destruction of an entire civilization that had actually earned Q's respect.
- In the Red Dwarf episode Time Slides, Lister goes back in time to visit his teenage self who turns out to be an authority-hating punk who believes everything is 'crypto-fascist'. Also, inverted in Out of Time.
- In the Doctor Who story The Five Doctors, after the past Doctors return to their respective timelines, the present Doctor (the fifth one) says "I am not the man I was ... thank goodness." This implies that while he might not exactly hate his past selves, he considers them phases he's since outgrown.
- This is a recurring theme in multi-Doctor stories, which inevitably end up with the various incarnations of the Doctor bickering with each other, such as the Third and Second Doctors in "The Three Doctors" and the Sixth and Second Doctors in "The Two Doctors". In the former it's suggested that the reason the Doctor seemingly can't stand himself is that he's actually more like his past / future selves than each self would care to admit.
- This is nicely subverted in the short "Time Crash" where the Fifth and Tenth Doctors briefly meet. Five doesn't recognise his future-self at first, and is mostly annoyed that this baffling stranger has broken into his ship and is babbling on about hair and celery. Finally, he works it out, and the two of them share a touching moment. Ten reveals that Five was his favourite Doctor, and he loved being him.
- However, in "Journey's End", the Tenth Doctor pretty much states that he thinks he's "a better man" than the Ninth, and that his previous incarnation was more violent than him.
- A strange version in "The Almost People". The Doctor has been duplicated, making a replica exactly like the original. However, while still stabilizing, this ganger has to cope with all his memories, and starts being consumed by past regenerations. At one point he starts speaking with Ten's voice- before breaking out of it and shouting "We've moved on!" It doesn't necessarily mean that Eleven hates Ten, but considering the low-point of the regeneration, there might be some hard feelings.
- In The Twin Dilemma, Six states that he didn't like being Five. However, he was suffering from moodswings at the time, so it's unknown whether or not this statement should be taken seriously.
- Given what Eleven has said about himself in general, not any one specific version, it may be the fact that every other Doctor's face is the face of actions the Doctor detested having had to take.
- In an episode of Charmed, Paige goes back in time to when she was seventeen and is horrified to realise what a brat she was at that age.
- Samantha Who was about a woman with amnesia and as she puts her life back together is appalled to discover what an awful person she had been.
- In the American version of Life On Mars, Sam is afraid of talking to himself as a child.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: in their episode about Time Chasers Crow is immediately hostile to the Crow of 30 minutes ago because he has to explain to Crow the unforeseen consequences of their time travel.
- In Spellforce: The Order Of Dawn, the Big Bad is the past version of the Big Good. Naturally this relationship applies. At the end of the game, the Big Bad undergoes a Heel Face Turn and goes back in time to stop his past self from causing The End of the World as We Know It. This leads to a Stable Time Loop, wherein he becomes the Big Good.
- The World of Warcraft quest, "Mystery of the Infinite," has you fighting along your future self to defend an object from the Infinite Dragonflight. Throughout the fight, your future self mocks you with tidbits such as:
Future You: Look at you fight; no wonder I turned to drinking.
- Though, to be fair, when you do the sequel quest "Mystery of the Infinite, Redeux", you're mocked just as much by Past You:
Past You: I just want you to know that if we get through this alive, I'm making sure we turn out better than you. No offense.
- Hakumen has renounced his old identity as Jin Kisaragi. He considers killing his "past incarnation" to be atonement for his/Jin's sins.
- In Fate/stay night this is how Archer feels about Shirou.
- In City of Villains, one villain "morality mission" has you meet three future versions of yourself, two of which think you're an idiotic weakling. The third is The Atoner, whose pleas for you to do the right thing you ignore.
- The normally stoic Auron in Final Fantasy X actually attacks his past self when confronted with a phantom echo of his past in the ruins of Zanarkand. Since it's only an echo, he ends up fruitlessly shouting and swinging his sword to no effect.
- The Sam and Max Freelance Police episode "Chariots of the Dogs" has several differently aged versions of Sam and Max, including a young, nerdy Sam who loves computers and disgusts his older self.
Young Sam: Wow, I've never seen anything that advanced. It must have at least 640 kilobytes of RAM!
- Subverted in The Last Days of Foxhound, where The Sorrow shows the amnesiac Liquid his past in order to to show him how, violent, cruel and indifferent to humanity he was. Cue Liquid gushing over how much of a Badass he was.
- A book 4 arc of Fans pits the science fiction club against their book 1 versions, and nearly all of them have this reaction.
- Karkat of Homestuck gets into arguments with his past selves so often that it's practically become a Running Gag. And his future selves hate him just as much. He provides the page quote. It should probably be noted that the troll reproductive cycle has two reproductive relationships: one analogous to human romance (flushed, obviously represented by a heart) and one based entirely on mutual hatred (caliginous, represented by a spade). Karkat <3< Karkat is all but confirmed by canon.
- Of all people, Jade, who gets sick of Jadesprite's sobbing pretty quickly. When Jadesprite refuses to do the one thing that could probably get her the one thing she wants (to go back to being dead), Jade loses it and starts smacking sense into her, literally. This is an especially strange example, since her dead dreamself went back in time thirteen years ago, making her some sort of past self from the future... Or was it future self from the past?
- A non-Time Travel example occurs in The Dragon Doctors when Kili and Greg go to part of the Spirit World where a person's past self resides. Kili, a kind, sensitive shaman, is confronted by her bratty teenage self and Greg, a mellow writer, is distraught when he sees his Totally Radical headbanger self.
- Shortpacked!: Modern Age Batman meets Golden Age Batman.
- In Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, the Commander fulfills a Stable Time Loop by going back about a minute to beat up his past self and steal his coffee. As he leaves, he tells his past self not to be such a "candy-ass" so that this won't happen again.
- From Narbonic: "I'm your future, and I hate you. I'm going to electrocute you now."
- Templar, Arizona: In the bonus comic Confirmation the loud, boisterous adult Reagan, meets and torments her insecure, reserved, and racist younger self.
- Arthur: In a dream that Prunella has about her giving a gift to Francine, she ends up scolding herself, only to realize that it is her.
- In the Gargoyles Avalon arc, the Archmage becomes quite irritated with his younger self for being impulsive and not thinking things through. He takes it upon himself to tutor the younger him, and frequently makes jabs about how incompetent he is.
- Ironically, the past self is only a few days younger then the future self. Granted, a lot happened in those few days, including several magical transformations which increased his intelligence and dramatically boosted his power.
- In an episode of Justice League Unlimited, old Bruce Wayne meets his past self and, during a suspect's interrogation, comments that "I can't believe I used to be so green." Afterwards, Old Bruce teaches his past self how to properly interrogate a criminal, foregoing the traditional method of terrifying the Mook and instead simply beating information out of him. This leads to an amusing Good Cop, Bad Cop with Batman playing both roles, and past Batman's teammates expressing their disbelief at the Batman they know being able to pull off Good Cop.
- After the timeskip in ReBoot, Matrix express constant dislike of the memories of himself as a kid. During a dream in one episode, he even comes face to face with his younger self and they argue. Eventually a copy of his younger self joins the cast and Matrix treats him like a younger (annoying) brother.
- The relationship is eventually inverted. His younger self dislikes Matrix's bitterness while Matrix tries to regain some of the idealism of his youth.
- South Park: In the Go God Go duology, Cartman tries warning himself not to freeze himself by using a phone designed to make prank calls in different periods in time. However, Past!Cartman doesn't believe Future!Cartman, and just insults him. This leads to Future!Cartman calling his past self an asshole.
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Following a trans-dimensional mishap in one episode, 10-year-old Ben Tennyson meets his 16-year-old self. Ben doesn't hate his younger self, but he does find him incredibly rude and annoying, scolding him when he makes rude comments.
- In Generator Rex, the eponymous character, suffering from chronic Laser-Guided Amnesia, finds out that he once sold out his best friends to a crime boss. Also, though he never mentions hating it, per se, Six was a cold-hearted Jerkass and wannabe Casanova before he met Rex, and temporarily reverts to this when he loses six years of memory.
- A Running Gag in Futurama has characters always acting hostile towards past, future and alternate versions of themselves.
- Excapt Bender. Because if there's one thing Bender loves, it's Bender.
- Vandal Savage in the Justice League episode "Hereafter". It took 30,000 years of self-imposed exile on the ruined Earth (which he ruined) as the last human being alive for him to give up his megalomania. As Savage prepares to send Superman back in time, Savage tells Superman that he must stop Savage's past self no matter what.
- Family Guy parodied itself in an episode where Brian and Stewie used the latter's Time Machine to travel to the pilot episode of the show. Stewie found that version of him (his more villainous Evil Genius version) ridiculously hammy, and Brian even more so. ("What'd you do, carry around a thesaurus?" Brian remarks to older-Stewie.)
- While it's never directly stated, it's hard to believe future Twilight isn't thinking this in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "It's About Time". All she wants is to warn her past self about something, but her past self just won't shut up.
- In American Dad episode "May the Best Stan Win", a cyborg Stan comes back in time to steal Francine from his past self, having realized in the intervening 1000 years how much he missed her. He actually convinces Francine to leave Present Stan by telling her "That man's just going to keep letting you down; I know, I was him!" When Present Stan fights back, Cyborg Stan has absolutely no problem beating him senseless.
- Admit it: How many times have you looked back on your life and the things you've done/written/drawn/made/whatever and thought "What the hell was I THINKING?!"
- moulignan is the Italian equivalent of nigger in case if you're wondering