In seasonal environments, modifications in the phenology of life-history events can alter the strength of time constraints experienced by organisms. Offspring can compensate for a change in timing of hatching by modifying their growth and development trajectories. However, intra- and interspecific interactions may affect these compensatory responses, in particular if differences in phenology between cohorts lead to significant priority effects (i.e. the competitive advantage that early-hatching individuals have over late-hatching ones). Here, we conducted a factorial experiment to determine whether intraspecific priority effects can alter compensatory phenotypic responses to hatching delay in a synchronic breeder by rearing moor frog (Rana arvalis) tadpoles in different combinations of phenological delay and food abundance. Tadpoles compensated for the hatching delay by speeding up their development, but only when reared in groups of individuals with identical hatching phenology. In mixed phenology groups, strong competitive effects by non-delayed tadpoles prevented the compensatory responses and delayed larvae metamorphosed later than in single phenology treatments. Non-delayed individuals gained advantage from developing with delayed larvae by increasing their developmental and growth rates as compared to single phenology groups. Food shortage prolonged larval period and reduced mass at metamorphosis in all treatments, but it did not prevent compensatory developmental responses in larvae reared in single phenology groups. This study demonstrates that strong intraspecific priority effects can constrain the compensatory growth and developmental responses to phenological change, and that priority effects can be an important factor explaining the maintenance of synchronic life histories (i.e. explosive breeding) in seasonal environments.