What’s Your Favorite “Time Loop” Fiction?

Last week, a friend recommended the new Netflix series, Russian Doll. I had heard of it but didn’t know much about it–all I knew is that it looked a bit dark and grim.

But he mentioned two things that convinced me to give it a try: One, each episode is less than a half hour (for some reason this is much more appealing to me than a 45-60 minute show). Two, it’s time loop fiction.

love time loop fiction.

The classic example, of course, is Groundhog Day. It’s one of my favorite movies, as it has the little–but crucial–supernatural twist that the protagonist must repeat the same day over and over. I’m not sure why, but there’s something very satisfying about that aspect of repetition, the little variances, and the mystery of how the character will fix the loop.

So I watched Russian Doll, and while it was indeed a bit dark at times, it was also quite funny and heartfelt too. And the time loop aspect is really well done on a number of levels that I’m not going to spoil here. It’s only 8 episodes, and I highly recommend it.

It made me think of other works of time loop fiction that I’ve enjoyed, and here’s what I came up with:

  • Replay (book)
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (book)
  • Edge of Tomorrow (movie and book)
  • 50 First Dates (movie)
  • Primer (movie)
  • Source Code (movie)
  • When We First Met (movie)
  • TIME Stories (board game)

At one point I even started to design a board game around the idea of entering an exceptionally difficult puzzle, losing quickly, and then varying what you do the next time to survive just long enough to learn a little more before failing again. Maybe I’ll revisit it at some point.

What are your favorite works of time loop fiction? I’ve also heard of the movies Before I Fall and Happy Death Day–are they worth watching?