OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


9 more movies with character flashbacks

You might need some inspiration for flashback week if you want to create a really good back-story for your character, and want to enter the competition. We’ve shown you movies with flashbacks in them before, but there’s just so many, so here are some more to inspire you to write your own! Well you can watch all your favorite movies freely at

Eternal sunshine

Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind

Despite not flashbacks in the conventional sense of cinema, we see glimpses of the main character’s life (Jim Carey), including many moments he shared with his girlfriend (Kate Winslet) as they are being erased by a company he’s paid to eradicate memories of their relationship.

Men who stare at goatsMen who stare at goats

This quirky film about the Iraq war has many flashbacks showing how George Cloony’s character was recruited into the ‘New World Army’, a military program that trains soldiers to use psychic powers to defeat their enemies. The flashbacks show how the soldiers were trained to use their supposed psychic powers, and showed how many of the characters first met.

Up, house with balloonsUp

At the very start of this animated family film we see flashbacks to key moments of the protagonist’s life, showing him meeting a girl, marrying her, growing old with her, and then sadly seeing him lose her. The flashback is short and is made up of short scenes with no dialogue, but is extremely powerful and emotional.

I am legendI am legend

In a post-apocalyptic New York where Will Smith is the last man left alive, we see flashbacks showing how the zombie creatures came to be, and his relationship with his wife, son (and dog!) and how New York was evacuated to become the desolate wasteland it is in the movie.

SEE ALSO: What’s the downside to your character’s superpower?

star trek movie posterStar Trek (2009)

The very start of this film shows the birth of James Kirk, and his father bravely sacrificing himself to allow enough time for the crew to escape in shuttles. This is a great example of how such a short flashback can be very powerful and dramatic, and can quickly draw the attention of your audience.


This old black and white film shows us how flashbacks can be used to explain why characters act how they do. At the start of the film, Rick (Humphrey Bogart) is bitter and unsociable. Through the flashbacks we see his relationship with Ilsa, and how she left him, making him a bitter untrusting person.

SEE ALSO: 10 things that annoy other roleplayers

forrest gump sat on a benchForrest Gump

This movie is almost entirely made up of flashbacks into Forrest Gump’s life, he tells his life story to many people at the bus stop, and we see many different heart-warming stories from throughout his life.


The brain of morally-injured police office Murphy is placed into a robotic body to become a super tough crime fighting cyborg. But Murphy still has thoughts of his own, and had flashbacks to his former life, especially in his dreams where he experiences himself being killed over and over.


In Terminator 1 we get flashbacks, but not to the past, to the future! This makes sense for the chronological point of view of Kyle Reece, who travelled from the future to rescue John Connor from a Terminator. Seeing flashbacks of Kyle’s world demonstrates what the future will be like if they don’t change it.

If you’re still stuck for ideas, see our 10 ideas for a character flashback.

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