14 TV Flashbacks We'll Never Forget

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TV often uses flashbacks to provide new insight into the characters we know and love.

Some shows use them all the time, but in this slideshow we're looking at the shows where they were more of a special occurrence.

In many of these we were treated to costumes and hairstyles on the current actors to make them look younger, but in some cases casting younger actors was necessary to pull it off.

Which flashbacks are the most memorable to you?


1. The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory
Thanks to flashbacks, we got to see how Leonard and Sheldon came to be roommates, and more importantly, how the elevator was broken! Leonard's story helped clear up why anyone would put up with Sheldon for so long. though why Leonard didn't run for the hills during Sheldon's interview we still don't understand.

2. Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy
"The Time Warp" episode of Grey's gave us a chance to see a meek Bailey before she became "the Nazi," Ellis and Richard's illicit affair, and Callie as a resident. We also learned that Callie and Alex even hooked up once!

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy did the flashback thing a few times, but arguably the most memorable was Spike's story in "Fool for Love." A nearly fatal mistake prompted Buffy to ask Spike about the two slayers he killed, but we received much more than that. We watched the vampire's transformation from nerdy human to the ruthless killer he became.

4. Friends

Every time Friends did a flashback it was memorable. From the prom video where we learned Ross and Rachel were each other's lobsters to literally any instance of "fat Monica." Throw in Rachel's pre-surgery nose, Ross's mustache, and Chandler's "Flock of Seagulls" haircut and you've got the makings of a memorable episode.

5. The Simpsons

The Simpsons
Sure it's animated, but that doesn't take away the enjoyment of getting to see what Homer looked like before he was fat and bald. "The Way We Was" told the story of how one of our favorite TV couples first got together. Marge may have made the wrong choice for her prom date, but she picked the right guy to marry!

6. Criminal Minds

Criminal Minds
For years fans wondered if orginal BAU member Jason Gideon would ever reappear. While the actor had no intentions of returning, the character finally did via flashbacks in which he was played by Ben Savage. Fans learned how he and Rossi started the unit as they investigated their old friend's tragic murder.

7. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Who wouldn't want to see a flashback to Captain Holt's first day on the job? He could have just explained to Jake why things weren't so easy back then, but then we wouldn't have gotten this awesome look at 70s Holt, complete with afro, and that would have been a shame.

8. Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time
"Tallahassee" showed us the beginning of Emma and Neal's love story as they bonded over a shared life of crime. The two of them planned to run away together, but thanks to the interference of August, Neal takes off and a pregnant Emma is arrested.

9. Firefly

As Mal lay injured and running out of air, we got glimpses into how this rag tag team of thieves wound up on a spaceship together. We see Mal purchase Serenity, a mustached Wash consider the job of pilot, and Kaylee hilariously steal her mechanic job from the guy she was with. "Out of Gas" was a brilliant installment of the short lived series.

10. How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother
How I Met Your Mother flashed back to the gang in college a few times, but none of that compares to seeing Barney as a hippy, in love, and about to join the Peace Corps. As a result of a broken heart, the awesome suit-donning Barney was born.

11. The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries
The Vampire Diaries took the opportunity to use flashbacks to tell the tale of how the Salvatore brothers became vampires. Though plenty of other flashbacks have been used on the show, the ones to 1864, the year that started it all, are arguably the most memorable.

12. How to Get Away with Murder

How to Get Away with Murder
How to Get Away with Murder recently used flashbacks to make a shocking revelation -- Annalise was once pregnant with a son! Through the flashbacks we also see Annalise meet Wes' mother. There are still so many questions waiting to be answered!

13. Will and Grace

Will and Grace
A flashback to Thanksgiving 1985 shows Grace bringing her boyfriend Will home to meet the family. Of course, things did not go as planned when Will confessed that he's gay, nearly ruining their friendship forever. Luckily the two made up, because they were clearly meant to be in each other's lives.

14. The West Wing

The West Wing
Through flashbacks we experienced how Mrs. Landingham molded a young Jed Bartlett into the man he became. The flashbacks were intertwined with the tragic scenes following her death in the present, making for a memorable and heartfelt episode.

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