Created By: wordswordswords on March 14, 2012 Last Edited By: wordswords on March 22, 2012

Nothing Happens Off Screen

When the only change is what happens in-show.

Name Space:
Page Type:
1) When, after a Time Skip or Flash Forward occurs in universe, yet there is no noticeable diference between then and now. Strangely, all the character are still alive, well, living in the same area and still feel the same way about each other, even though, in the case of many dramas, the audience are used to a lot of things happening over even the smallest period of time.

2) When, characters return to a series or are revisited after a long time period, and appear to have had no new ideas and still retain all their original personality traits, fashion sense etc...
  • This is espeially baffling in cases involving characters who really should have adjusted to their surroundings by now - for instance - The Immortal who, despite being hundreds of years old still acts his visual age.

Not to be confused with the Tethercat Principle, which is when time passes in Real Life with the viewer assuming that it passes for the characters too.

See also Villain Forgot to Level Grind for when video game enemies remain the same level even if you raise yours.


  • Averted in Dragon Age II, where a lot of things happen during three-year skips between individual Acts and you have to catch up with said developments at the beginning of each act.

  • The Sherlock episode A Scandal In Belgravia takes place over an absurdly long time period, one where the main characters seem only to focus on two cases. Perhaps business was slow those 18 months?
Community Feedback Replies: 12