I’m seeing too many of what I call “Brown M&Ms” in alternate history timelines.
Now, the term comes from a line in Van Halen’s contracts where they specified that there would be a bowl of M&Ms backstage, but no brown ones were to be in it. Often misinterpreted as them being crazy, it was in fact a way of seeing if the contractors read the fine print for safety reasons.
I see a lot of brown M&Ms in alternate history timelines. The most common are historical figures from our time being relevant when they probably shouldn’t be. (Rule of thumb-any real political figure still in the same or similar office higher than a safe legislative seat two or more election cycles after the point of divergence is the brown M&M for me.)
This is why, for all their problems, I have a liking of pop culture timelines, which bizarrely enough seem to be better at world events than a lot of ‘serious’ timelines. Although even there the brown candies still emerge too often.