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In some stories, a Flash Sideways - or even outright Time Travel - can be caused by The Power of Love. Not just motivated by it. CAUSED by it.

So strong is their love that no boundaries are capable of keeping these lovers apart. Not even the boundaries of space, time, fourdimensional spacetime, or even The Barrier between different universes.

Not limited to Time Travel and timelines, the trope also applies to certain cases of targeted reincarnation, long-range telepathy et cetera.

Contrast Star-Crossed Lovers. See also Time Travel Romance.

Examples of Love Transcends Spacetime include:

Anime & Manga

  • The first Inuyasha movie had the subtitle Toki wo Koeru Omoi / Affections Touching Across Time, which referred to a scene where Kagome (in the present) and Inuyasha (in the past) both touch the goshinboku tree and then can communicate telepathically. (They did this because the Bone-Eaters' Well was out of order.)
    • The ending of the series proper features Kagome's love for Inuyasha allowing her to travel to the past through what's left of the Bone-Eaters' Well, after it had been erased by Naraku's wish and/or the Shikon Jewel itself.
  • Gurren Lagann: By the second part of the series, love renders you capable of teleportation, and it's weaponised so Kinon can get Simon to Bright Slap Rossiu and stop him from killing himself.. Love is, of course, far from the only thing in the setting that transcends spacetime.
  • In Voices of a Distant Star, junior-high sweethearts Mikako and Noboru are separated when Mikako is selected as a Humongous Mecha pilot and sent with the fleet into space. As the fleet does not have FTL communications technology, the only means of contact the two have is email, with increasingly long delays in transmission - first six months, then a year, until finally Mikako ends up eight and a half lightyears from Earth. The anime does some deconstructing as both Mikako and Noboru struggle to cope with the separation - Noboru at one point even making up his mind to give up on Mikako, saying that "a distance that takes eight years at the speed of light is no different than saying 'forever'," - but ultimately plays the trope straight in its final scenes.

 "I am here."

  • In the The Book of Bantorra, Colio Tonies falls in love with the centuries-dead "Ever-Laughing Witch" Shiron Byacornaise when he reads her "book" (in this series, a stone tablet in which the memories of a person's lifetime crystallize upon their death) and finds that she had visions of him loving her in the future.
  • And episode of Pokémon had May and Meowth hurled back in time for no discernible reason but to get a couple to hook up. This was before Dialga was introduced to the canon.


  • One old storyline in X-Men is that Professor X had a long distance relationship with the princess and later empress of another galaxy, Lilandra. Having never even visited each other's galaxies before, their minds nontheless touched telepathically by the virtue of being soulmates.
  • Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl.
  • The various Flashes use their loved ones as an emotional tether to avoid bouncing uncontrollably through time or being absorbed by the Speed Force their powers draw upon.
  • In City of Dreams, the prince and the queens appear to be visitors in the waking world, coming there only for the protagonist.

Fan Works

  • In the now-lost forever Cori Falls fic "To Wish, Perchance to Dream," Jessie and James's love is so strong that they find each other and end up together even in a reality brought on by Ash's wish that they'd never met due to his frustration with Team Rocket. Of course, it helps that according to Cori's storyline this fic was just a dream the trio had.


  • Played straight in Just Like Heaven. The main character David sees a ghost named Elizabeth, who believes she still lives in her old apartment. Over the course of the movie, they genuinely start to love each other, when he finds out Elizabeth is in a coma. He races to prevent her death, and succeeds. Once this happens, their love transcends her re-entering her body, forgetting him completely.
  • In Sliding Doors, the main character finds her true love in one of the timelines. She eventually finds him in the other timeline as well, because she recognizes him from the Deja Vu kind of Flash Sideways she gets from loving him in the first timeline.
  • In the 1987 movie Made In Heaven, when Annie incarnates for the first time and leaves Heaven in the process, Mike (who got into Heaven after an Heroic Sacrifice) reincarnates to be with her even though Emmett (a stand-in for God) warns him that if he does so, they only have 30 years to meet, plus they won't have their memories of their times in Heaven. The searching is the basis for the entire movie. Eventually, when they see each other on the street, they remember their past in Heaven, including their love. This becomes a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming ending.
  • There's The Fountain, where a couple are seemingly re-incarnated and fall in love again and again.
  • Dead Again, where The Boy and The Girl are reincarnations of a previous pair of lovers. Except in their previous lives The Boy was The Girl and The Girl was The Boy.
  • In Somewhere in Time, Richard Collier is a man from The 80's who's fascinated by the portrait of the beautiful actress Elise McKenna, who lived in The Edwardian Era. He's so in love that he wills himself into the past via hypnosis to meet Elise in person, and then they actually fall in love.
  • The film For All Time - based off the classic Twilight Zone episode "A Stop At Willoughby" - heavily implies that this is what keeps pulling the protagonist back into the past. (Incidentally, the lovers are played by Mark Harmon and Mary McDonnell.)
  • In Happy Accidents, time travel itself is done via technology, but the protagonist says that the past can only be changed through an extreme amount of emotional energy. This leads him to think that he can save the life of a woman who's photograph he fell in love with in the future. It works.
  • At the end of Daywatch Anton uses the chalk of fate to alter something he did twelve years prior. As a result he never met or fell in love with Sveta. As he passes her on a walk through the park, Zavulon and Gesser argue over whether or not he will recognize her. He does
  • In Star Trek: Insurrection, Picard's girlfriend can slow down time, but only when doing so makes it really really romantic.

Music Videos

  • The ending of the Take on Me video, where the motorcycle driver (played by the lead singer Morten Harket) that the video's protagonist (played by Harket's then-girlfriend, the dancer and actress Theresa "Bunty" Bailey) romanced after he brings her into the comics appears at her doorstep after being apparently killed by his jealous rival. Subverted - in The Sun Always Shines on TV he again becomes a drawing and has to run away, so he and the girl are separated


  • Near the end of E. E. "Doc" Smith's last Lensman novel Children of the Lens, Kimball Kinnison is thrown outside the space-time continuum. His wife Clarrissa, his children and Mentor of Arisia use the Power of Love to find him and bring him back.
  • The Time Travelers Wife
  • Played with in the short story "Bad Timing". A man from the future reads a story in an old magazine about a woman who falls in love with a time traveler, who traveled to her time because he read a story she wrote about him. The man in the story is obviously him, and he sees a picture of the author and falls in love, so he steals an experimental time machine and goes to find her in the past. However, he doesn't have all of the manual for the time machine, and instead of creating the expected Stable Time Loop, he keeps arriving at all the wrong parts of her life--like when she's five years old... or when she's about to die... or just after she's married someone else...
  • In the Wheel of Time, Rand is the reincarnation of Lews Therin Telamon. One of his love interests, Elayne, is heavily implied to be the reincarnation of Illena, Lews Therin's wife. Birgitte and Gaidal Cain also meet and fall in love every time they are reincarnated.
  • In the Dragonriders of Pern novel Dragonquest, Brekke's love for F'nor is apparently enough to telepathically reach out to the Red Star and cause Canth to teleport them home, despite being unconscious at the time. Although there is occasional mention of "empathy," no human character in the series had ever evidenced the ability to telepathically communicate across interplanetary distances before (or after).
  • Mercedes Lackey's By the Sword plays with the trope a bit with Kerowyn and Eldan - the beginning of the last third of the book shows that Kero has had recurring dreams about Eldan over the ten years since they met, fell in love, and parted. Only when they are reunited some chapters later does Kero discover that the dreams were not just dreams: the two of them were communicating telepathically the whole time, from completely different countries, a fact that gives her a considerable shock when she realizes it. (Eldan, who'd already figured it out, is rather sheepish.)

Live Action TV

  • Lost: Desmond has a history of mental time-travel in which his girlfriend Penny serves as his Constant (also Trope Namer): his first time-traveling experience is at least partially triggered by him proclaiming his life to her, his second one is stopped when he makes contact with her in both time periods. It Makes Sense in Context and is much Better Than It Sounds.
    • And then later the Flash Sideways allows all principal characters to reunite with their love interest regardless of the mistakes they made in the original timeline.
  • In Doctor Who Series 5, Amy's love brings back, first Rory, then her Parents, and finally the Doctor himself from nonexistence.
    • Furthermore, the romance between the Doctor and River Song, besides the two of them having perhaps the most convoluted romance in existence. How convoluted? He was present at her birth, he was almost romantically engaged with her mum, Amy, she was raised to kill him, their time lines are roughly back-to-front, so his first meeting was her last, etc... It seems to be working out pretty well, all things considered.
  • Lois and Clark had an episode where it was revealed they were lovers in past lives (once in Medieval tiems and once in the Far West) and that Tempus's lives in those times hated Clark as much as the mainstream Tempus hates Clark/Superman.
    • Originally, Lex Luthor would be that episode's villain, but the actor who portrayed him in that series wasn't available when they filmed the episode.
  • Babylon 5: The canon novel To Dream in the City of Sorrows implies that Catherine Sakai, pulled through the time rift, finds Valen (aka her love Jeffrey Sinclair) in the past, and that the power of their love had something to do with it.
  • Fringe has Peter and Olivia. They cross universes, rewrite time lines and change the future.
    • And now as of episode 4x20, we have Lincoln Lee crossing universes permanently to be with Fauxlivia. Fringe runs on this trope.


  • The end of Brigadoon. Tommy turned down joining Brigadoon, but magically gets let in anyway 4 months later.

Tabletop Games

  • In Kult, passion can be strong enough to make people even return from the dead, and this trope is even less a problem. This troper has the theory that passion is so strong in this universe that it can beat everything else.

Video Games

Visual Novels

  • Fate/stay night gives us Saber and Shirou (at least in the Realta Nua version), who manage to fullfil the Star-Crossed Lovers prophecy of Merlin (Shirou must forever search for Saber, and Saber must forever wait for Shirou) and reunite in Avalon.
  • Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors has this as its' main premise: Morphogenetic fields work across large distances and even through time between two persons who are close to each other (not necessarily in a romantic way), allowing Akane to contact Junpei 9 years in the future.

Web Comics

  • In The Dreamer, Alan and Beatrice have a rather complicated relationship, to say the least. Bea can only see Alan in her dreams.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, it turns out that Parley's powers work like this.