In The Flash S01E15 episode "Fallout" we saw Barry see himself while running. At the end of the episode we saw that Barry accidentally makes a time jump and goes back in time. It becomes clear that it was himself at the beginning whom he saw.

Then it happened. The previous version of Barry vanished or merged or jumped to some other timeline may be. It's not clear what exactly happened with the past Flash. The future Flash who just jumped through time remains and previous one vanished. So I guess only one version is possible in existence at one timeline.

In S01E17 "Tricksters" we saw what happened the night when his mom dies. Flash and Reverse-Flash were there. So when Flash travels back to that night, why didn't young Barry disappear? There should have been only one version of Barry Allen, right? How did they (past, present & future Barry Allens) co-exist and the future flashes did not?

  • For the time being, there is no explanation for that. It's either an inconsistency ( plot hole ), or maybe it will be explained in future episodes Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 12:19
  • It seems in this universe, that when The Flash time travels, he is leaping between universes, which replace the previous timeline. But when The Flash travels back in time with the Reverse Flash he was leaving the future of which little Barry Allen was still in the past. When he time traveled from the current to the past, original The Flash leaped to the past hence why there was no original The Flash at the same time, as they are now one in the same. mutters about time travel paradoxes
    – Jared
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 0:54

2 Answers 2


Little Barry didn't disappear because there was no reason for him to.

There is no "law of time" that states that only one person can exist in a timeline at any one time, because time simply doesn't work like that. Time doesn't care if two arbitrary combinations of matter floating through space-time make up what we as humans perceive as the same person.

When Barry travelled back to save his mom, since Barry is able to have very precise control over his location in the multiverse (for lack of a better of term), he was able to travel into his own past and see his younger self. If he had decided to save his mom, he would have made the specific decision to remain travelling on that timeline and travel to the future of that timeline. In the end, that's not what happened and he returned to his own timeline.

The real question should be: "What happened to future Barry?"

Incidentally, in "Out of Time" when Barry time travelled, it's not clear why the other Barry seemed to disappear. That's probably an inconsistency to aid in storytelling, although you could theorize that Barry was still travelling at that time and was "passing through", or maybe because Barry in that instance DID alter the past (by looking at himself), it created a timeline where the other Barry never went back in time, a type of paradox that the universe resolved by eliminating the other Barry. But more likely just an inconsistency.

  • Is it really an inconsistency or creation of multiple timelines?
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 10:31
  • Check my answer to that one here: movies.stackexchange.com/questions/33753/…
    – Raiden616
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 10:32
  • Yeah i checked and even edited it recently but i will opt for theory from another answer from that question .
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 10:33
  • 1
    Unfortunately it's not quite that simple. I tried to talk about it in the way time travel actually works, but each to their own. It can be a bit overwhelming for the mind. FYI, when I referred to it in this question as an "inconsistency", I meant in-terms of real-world writing.
    – Raiden616
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 10:35
  • one question what will happen if young barry was to die in that timeline if future barry decided to stay? i am asking this question based on this "Time doesn't care if two arbitrary combinations of matter floating through spacetime make up what we as humans perceive as the same person"
    – Elltz
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 13:01

we now know what happened to future BA as H.R. calls him he turned to a sad sack because Tracy brand did not build the speed force trap 4 years after iris's death and future Barry explained that even thought you will do everything in your power 2 save iris: you'll go and make time remnants but savitar will kill them, and there is no way to save iris because when he kills her it will feel like an eternity to him because she is the love of his life.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .