Created By: TheGoodNamesAreGone on April 21, 2011 Last Edited By: thewriter on September 24, 2015
Nuked

Time Loop Tip Off

The indicator that a Groundhog Day Loop is occuring

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Do We Need This? Needs a Better Description, More Examples. Previous Titles- I Got You Babe... Again, First Signs of a Time Loop. Rolling Updates

Bob finds himself in an odd situation. It seems that today is starting off the exact same way as yesterday. Same song on the radio, same noise from outside, same comments from Alice. Although confused, he goes about his day, and goes to bed at the end of it. And then he wakes up to the same song. Bob appears to be in a Groundhog Day Loop, and luckily enough for him, there's a distinct event at the beginning of each cycle that tells him this!

A "Groundhog Day" Loop is often be identified by the presence of several odd little events that are given full camera focus, yet don't have any apparent significance or relation to anything else. These are, of course, the events that will later be replayed in exactly the same order to emphasize that the day is, in fact, repeating in every particular. Occasionally, the looping character will at some point demonstrate his or her "prescience" by offhandedly predicting these events one after another.

Examples

  • Groundhog Day, with each cycle starting with Phil Connor waking up to "I Got You Babe" by Sonny and Cher, followed by two Dumbass D Js talking about how cold it is.
  • Done in Source Code, with Christina Warren saying "I took your advice," someone opening a can of soda, and a woman spilling coffee on Colter Steven's shoe.
  • The BBC radio play Time After Time features a man with amnesia who keeps reliving the same moments in a strange hotel and tries to escape. The reliving always begins with him hearing the eponymous Frank Sinatra song on a radio
  • The Supernatural episode Mystery Spot always starts the same way, with Sam being woken by Dean playing a song extremely loud.
  • A Groundhog Day Loop based episode of Xena: Warrior Princess had one of these that consisted of Jockster walking in, Gabriel waking up and shouting "RISE AND SHINE!" and someone then hitting Jockster with some eggs.
  • Justified in Charmed's first season finale. Phoebe had the ability to look into different times so she naturally could tell when the day was repeating while her sisters could not. She noted their cat knocking a pepper container over and a neighbor having a car accident in the street each time the day started over.
Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • April 21, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    Okay, while I can give this being a Sub Trope of Groundhog Day Loop, that name is way off.

    First Signs Of A Time Loop?
  • April 21, 2011
    TheGoodNamesAreGone
    That's actually what I was going to put, but I was hoping I could come up with something clever. Unfortunately I also veered into horribly vague.
  • April 21, 2011
    Micah
    The Groundhog Day Loop page already has this paragraph:

    "A Groundhog Day Loop episode can often be identified by the presence of several odd little events that are given full camera focus, yet don't have any apparent significance or relation to anything else. These are, of course, the events that will later be replayed in exactly the same order to emphasize that the day is, in fact, repeating in every particular. (Almost invariably, the looping character will at some point demonstrate his or her "prescience" by offhandedly predicting these events one after another.)"

    which I think covers this pretty well. I'm not seeing the need for a separate page for it. (oops, I wrote this backwards at first)
  • April 22, 2011
    TheGoodNamesAreGone
    I'm thinking about the end of that description, and I'm wondering if there is yet another trope that can be made from Groundhog Day Loop. Specifically, where a character proves a loop is occurring, either to themselves or to another person, by "predicting" something that has been repeating. For example, in Groundhog Day, Connor writes down what Larry is going to say when he walks in, before he actually walks in, and shows it to Rita.
  • April 22, 2011
    Stratadrake
    I doubt this is splittable: All time loops, by definition, need a character to pick up on whatever clues that there's a loop happening to them, otherwise things would play out all but exactly the same on each loop (which would get repetitive).

    In other words, this is a Chekhovs Gun specific to time loops, and we don't do that sort of thing.
  • April 22, 2011
    TheGoodNamesAreGone
    In my opinion, I don't think it really fits the definition of Chekhov's Gun. The minor events shown repeating are not later made significant, they are just minor over and over again. If one of the repeated events shown is later discovered to be the cause of the time loop, then it would be a Chekhov's Gun.
  • April 22, 2011
    Rien
    Time Loop Tip Off? It's shorter and more alliterative
  • April 25, 2011
    Stratadrake
    ^^ On the other hand, I don't think this is splittable from Time Loop as is, as pretty much all time loops begin each iteration showing the character in the same scene as the previous time.
  • April 25, 2011
    Bisected8
    A Groundhog Day Loop based episode of Xena Warrior Princess had one of these that consisted of Jockster walking in, Gabriel waking up and shouting "RISE AND SHINE!" and someone then hitting Jockster with some eggs.
  • April 25, 2011
    thewriter
    Shouldn't the fact that the day seems to be happening over and over again be the tip off?
  • April 25, 2011
    Rolf
    This trope is about actor noticing, not the viewer knowing.
  • April 25, 2011
    thewriter
    Exactly, if the day keeps repeating, the Groundhogger should notice almost immediately. This really only applies to the times in which memory is moslty wiped with each reoccurrence.

    Anyways: Justified in Charmed's first season finale. Phoebe had the ability to look into different times so she naturally could tell when the day was repeating while her sisters could not. She noted their cat knocking a pepper container over and a neighbor having a car accident in the street each time the day started over.

  • April 25, 2011
    troacctid
    "A Groundhog Day Loop is often be identified by the presence of several odd little events that are given full camera focus, yet don't have any apparent significance or relation to anything else. These are, of course, the events that will later be replayed in exactly the same order to emphasize that the day is, in fact, repeating in every particular."

    I don't know, I think that sounds pretty tropable. "Minor events given full camera focus" in particular sounds very trope-y to me.
  • April 26, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Yes, but it's already part-and-parcel of a time loop. Have you ever seen a time loop that doesn't involve repeating a certain shot at the beginning of each iteration? From a practical standpoint, we'd be duplicating almost every example in the list. (And that's bad.)
  • April 26, 2011
    TheGoodNamesAreGone
    The trope isn't necessarily the camera shot itself being repeated, that's for audience benefit, but the distinct action or event that tips off the character. Not every Groundhog Day Loop is discovered in this way, some just automatically know it's the same day again.
  • April 26, 2011
    Glucharina
    If camera shot counts, then Daybreak starts everyday with the same footage of sun rising.
  • April 26, 2011
    Stratadrake
    ^^ That's still a standard part-and-parcel of time loops, as already mentioned in the article.

    I call Ridiculously Similar Trope.
  • April 26, 2011
    CousinApril
    • In a Groundhog Day plotted Stargate SG-1 episode, each cycle began with Col. O'Neill eating a bowl of cereal while Daniel Jackson asks him "... but what do you think?" (as it turns out, he wasn't even listening the first time). It's later revealed that Teal'C's time loop starts with a person accidentally hitting him in the face with a door.
  • April 27, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Seconding Stratadrake.
  • April 27, 2011
    INUH
    Disagree with Stratadrake, as there are lots of time loops that are simply remembered and don't have to be discovered at all.
  • April 27, 2011
    TheGoodNamesAreGone
    If the description was changed so that it specified that it is the characters explicitly noticing the minor events, would that improve the tropeability?
  • April 27, 2011
    0dd1
    • In The Truman Show, Truman noticing that the people in his neighborhood are always on a loop (that is, the same people constantly passing by doing the same exact thing) is a major part of how he realizes that something is off in his world.

    (Could this example count?)
  • April 27, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Not if the description specifically limits it to time loops.
  • April 27, 2011
    0dd1
    Then maybe should it be expanded or should it just be limited to time loops?
  • April 28, 2011
    thewriter
    Then wouldn't you be approaching A Glitch In The Matrix?
  • April 28, 2011
    thewriter
    YKTTW Bump, btw.
  • April 29, 2011
    thewriter
  • April 30, 2011
    thewriter
    Are we just letting this die?
  • April 30, 2011
    TheGoodNamesAreGone
    Seems that way, I was letting the debate run it's course and it seems pretty split.
  • May 1, 2011
    Aspie
    • Tru Calling: During Tru's first rewind day, the tipoff that something is wrong is the alarm on Tru's clock radio going off, causing "Take It Off" by The Donnas to start playing, just like it did the first time around.
  • July 26, 2015
    eroock
    Discarding?
  • July 26, 2015
    Generality
    Something similar not involving an actual time loop occurs in 1408: every time the protagonist thinks he's escaped the haunted room, he wakes up in the middle of it with the radio playing "We've Only Just Begun" by the Carpenters, which is the room's way of saying it will torment him forever until he kills himself.
  • September 24, 2015
    eroock
    Any more voices for discarding?
  • September 24, 2015
    crazysamaritan
    Discard
  • September 24, 2015
    DAN004
    I think this is what ppl would call Deja Vu - aka A Glitch In The Matrix.

    Discard.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ymu0ria8nog19bd0ohdzabtg