[[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/{{Superman}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_1t1largsuperman_5583.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:For someone who became famous in 1938, he has aged well...]]

-> ''"Batman was roughly twenty three or so when he started crime fighting. Nowadays he's -- uh --thir-orty-ish?"''
--> -- '''Linkara''', ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'' reviewing the origin comic of Batman from 1939.
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%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

The problem is this. On one hand, Franchise/{{Superman}} is a high-selling, successful character with a lot of licenses and so on based off of him. You don't want him to age or die, because that means losing that successful character. On the other hand, Superman exists as part of a greater universe, and if ''all'' the stories in that universe are continuously frozen in time, that cuts off a lot of possibilities.

So what do you do? '''Comic-Book Time'''. You use the ''illusion'' of time passing. You never refer to specific dates if you can help it, and you let characters change, but only a little.

This can prove harmful to characters that are tied to a certain time period. For example, ComicBook/{{Magneto}}'s backstory involves being in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. This causes a particular type of aversion, the RefugeeFromTime where you just don't allow any SlidingTimescale at all or at least not for one character.

Another factor of Comic-Book Time is that it does not pass at the same rate for everyone; secondary characters may catch SoapOperaRapidAgingSyndrome and age from children to teenagers and then young adults while their adult counterparts remain roughly the same age. Or minor characters can drop out of the narrative, only to return years later, aged, while their counterpart heroes remain youthful. This concept was picked up on in the FourthWall-breaking ''She-Hulk'' series, in which a [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] character decided to hang around She-Hulk as much as possible to stay youthful.

Stories focused around youngsters [[NotAllowedToGrowUp are especially vulnerable to this]], and even aging characters usually aren't allowed to progress to the point they'd be separated from their peers.

One possible justification is that [[WebcomicTime publication time does not equal the passage of time in the book]]. Particularly in recent years, comic book publishers have tended to adopt a model where each monthly issue of the book in question is a single installment of a longer story-arc; for instance, a six-issue story arc where Franchise/{{Batman}} takes on the Joker may only equal one night in the actual passage of time. Despite this, the story has taken up half a year of "real time". This, naturally, is going to affect both how quickly you can develop the overall narrative and how contemporary you can make it. However, all characters in a universe tend to inhabit the same "present", despite when they first appeared or how much time has passed in their series.

Indeed, this is a valid point, because an open-ended series that wants to keep using the same characters and keep them in a given age-range for a long time pretty much ''must'' use some variant of comic-book time.

An adaptation of a series that has this can usually [[AdaptationDistillation avoid it]], as most of them only last a few years. On the flipside, non-comic series that [[LongRunners last long enough]] also tend to use this.

Stories that take place in the future, naturally, are allowed to completely ignore this -- unless the same future is referenced again later, in which case it'll have slid forward the same amount.

Compare FrozenInTime, WebcomicTime, TalkingIsAFreeAction, NotAllowedToGrowUp, NotGrowingUpSucks. Often results in OutdatedOutfit. See YearZero for a compromise, and SoapOperaRapidAgingSyndrome for similar peculiarities in live-action productions.
----
!!Examples:

[[index]]
* ComicBookTime/ComicBooks
[[/index]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' in other media is all over the board on this; at least [[LongRunners the ones running long enough to matter]]:
** After over 15 years of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime episodes, Ash Ketchum is (according to the official Japanese site) ''still'' 10 years old. On a 1:1 basis, he'd be 25 as of 2012. At an estimate, in order to still be 10 years old, out of over 700 episodes, he'd need to be going through ''at the very least'' 2-3 episodes every ''day''. To make things even worse, [[DubInducedPlotHole in the dub]], they've acknowledged that a year or more has passed more than once.[[note]]Most of Japan's equivalent lines merely make reference to "a long time", but Ash and Pikachu celebrating an "anniversary" in Johto; plus Iris and Cilan getting onboard a Bullet Train that was referenced as under construction around the time of that "anniversary" makes the ambiguity quite dubious.[[/note]] Apparently, time passes but nobody ages.
*** And just to drive the point home, the dub has Meowth telling Dawn in their first meeting that "We've been chasing Pikachu since you've been alive." Given Team Rocket's status as local [[BreakingTheFourthWall fourth-wall breakers]] who have explicitly referred to the show's staff in the past, Meowth's in a pretty good position to be referring to ''actual production time'' that nobody else in the cast would know about.
*** If you count the day/night cycles and sunrises/sunsets/moonrises/moonsets, you'll find that as of the end of Best Wishes, a total of 5 years, 7 months, and 14 days have passed since the first episode. Roughly 2,054 days. This is only about a year less than the {{Fanon}} [[WebcomicTime convention]] of "One Year per League plus Half-a-Year for {{Filler Arc}}s".%%If someone finds the actual figures, they're free to correct this.
** The ''Manga/PocketMonsters'' also uses Comic-Book Time. The protagonists stay the same age no matter how long it is, with the protagonist going various regions with his talking Clefairy and his Pikachu. It helps that this manga is unabashedly humor based; it also helps that [[NoExportForYou it's not released in most of the West...]]
** The ''Manga/PokemonAdventures'' manga averts this trope. There are numerous {{timeskip}}s, and save when characters are drawn chibi, every character ages correctly. They also tend to rotate main characters out when their respective games' plotlines are done; characters' ''re''appearances usually correspond to [[VideoGameRemake Remakes]] of their respective generations, since they're getting pretty old off camera in arcs that they're not featured in.\\
Of [[{{Pun}} special]] note is Red. He starts his quest at the age of 11, but near the end of the [=FireRed=]/[=LeafGreen=] arc [[ShirtlessScene you can really appreciate that he is now 16]]. ''[[StupidSexyFlanders Really]]''. As of his latest appearance in Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire he's about 20. But based on some math and how the series is not in chronological order, he should be around 28 during the events of Black 2/White 2.
* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' is a more extreme case, as it frequently references the current time of year, with some holidays celebrated more than once, yet after about two decades of episodes since 1994 (1996 for the anime), Conan is still in the first grade. This is necessary to the whole point of the series; if Conan aged in real time, he would be older than he was before the de-aging. WordOfGod even confirms it. Most fans assume that only the episodes relevant to the main plot are actually happening, and maybe a few other episodes important to character development. A clear example can be seen during the time Conan is investigating Eisuke Hondou. The "Shadow of the Black Organization" arc combines two cases that take place at [[UsefulNotes/JapaneseHolidays New Years and Setsuban]] respectively, while his disappearance in the next plot arc happens at the end of December. The latter arc keeps things vague by referring to an event that happened a few hundred episodes before Eisuke Hondou even appeared as "several months ago".
* While the first three shows in the ''Anime/PrettyCure'' franchise aged characters in real time, ''Anime/YesPrettyCure5'' has instead made use of Comic-Book Time -- all the characters are the same age now as they were in February 2007, despite clearly going through summer and Christmas. Part of this is may be because Karen and Komachi are in their last year of middle school.
** ''Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure'' also invokes Comic-Book Time - despite going through an entire season as well as a TimeSkip, Erika states that they were "14 year old beautiful super heroes"... before and after the time skip which included ''a birth''.
* Likewise, the ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' anime has Honey alluding to graduating from high school next year. Since the manga is still ongoing, the author tells us not to worry about stuff like that. The manga explicitly ignores the passage of time, except to give seasonal settings, keeping all the characters in the same year as when they started. However, [[spoiler:it's been averted since they've finally graduated]].
* [[FanWank Serious discussion]] on whether the goddesses in ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' age mostly glosses over the fact that the manga has been running [[PrintLongRunners for 20 years]]; aside from ArtEvolution and the characters [[CharacterDevelopment learning and doing new things]], nowhere ''near'' that much time has passed for them.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Manga/OnePiece'''s letter column, where the author explains that "The characters have their birthdays every year, but they turn the same age every time, those lucky bastards."
** And yet somehow Coby became [[{{Bishonen}} noticeably]] older when he reappeared. The author claimed [[{{Handwave}} he had a growth spurt]].
** [[FlipFlopOfGod Later comments]] made by the author indicate that they haven't gotten noticeably older simply because all the events of the series hadn't yet covered a year, making this more a case of WebcomicTime.
** [[spoiler: And then the {{Timeskip}} happened, and they actually got 2 years older.]]
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' is a particularly nasty offender of the sliding timescale. When first introduced, the three Tendou sisters are stated to be 16, 17, and 19. Several seasons later, all characters looking exactly the same, it's stated that the characters are celebrating the three-year anniversary of the events of the first episode. THEN, in a later episode, the sisters' ages are listed once again as 16, 17, and 19.
* Averted in ''Manga/MaisonIkkoku''. While just about every other Takahashi series is entrenched in comic-book time, this series follows real time exactly (aside from a few issues that leave off on a cliffhanger, which are made up next issue by having twice as much time pass). Note that, despite this, nobody (save the two recurring children) visibly ages; however, this is most likely because all of the main characters (save the children) were in their early 20s to early 30s at the start of the series, and the series only ran seven years.
* Averted and discussed in ''Manga/CityHunter'', as people age and seasons go exactly in tune with the manga's release dates, and fourth wall jokes are made by the characters about how, in many mangas, people do not age, but "years are strictly counted in this one".
* ''Manga/InuYasha'' ran from 1996-2008. Kagome was exactly fifteen in the first episode (it was her birthday). She hadn't quite hit sixteen when the next to last chapter was published, then there was a three year TimeSkip [[DistantFinale to the last episode]]. Given that multiple chapters (or even a whole volume) can cover a single day, not to mention given the handful of times Inuyasha turned human, something that explicitly happens only once a month, it's a bit more believable that Kagome's adventures lasted around a little less than a year in-universe despite its 8 year run.
* The ''Manga/KimagureOrangeRoad'' anime fell prey to this. Kyosuke (and, by extension, since they shared the day, Hikaru) only ever got one birthday that we saw on-screen. And what year of life it was for them never actually got mentioned. This makes things a tiny bit jarring when we can ''see'' that time is definitely passing, but there weren't any real clues to which year of school they were currently in -- and then we jump ahead in the first movie, to Kyosuke and Madoka's entrance exams for college...
* From the passing of seasons, which are clearly marked, ''Manga/{{Aria}}'' spans the better part of three Martian years, or five to six Earth years in the anime and manga, respectively. Yet Alice, who we first meet at 14 years old while attending middle school, doesn't graduate from it until five Earth years have passed. The other main characters also seem to have aged little -- most noticeably, in the anime, Ai.
* Each chapter of ''[[Manga/{{Yotsuba}} Yotsuba&!]]'' takes place on a specific date, which in 60 chapters has run from mid-July to mid-October. However, WordOfGod is that each chapter is set in the year it's published, which allows the author to keep technology and pop-culture references current, instead of stuck back in 2003 when he started.
* In ''Manga/FruitsBasket'' in other people's flash backs the three oldest members of the juunishi, Hatori, Ayame and Shigure, have a tendency to look younger, but not young enough. Or, in the case of Hatori, doing things he shouldn't be able to at that age -- he is apparently already a doctor when he [[spoiler: erases Momiji's mother's memory]]. To be fair it's not clear how old Momiji is at the time (and he probably looks younger than he is), but he couldn't really be older than 5 (people leaving his mother having a breakdown for 5 years is pushing it). If Momiji is five then it makes Hatori 16...and already a qualified doctor and not aging all that much for 11 years until the series starts. Hmm....
** In one of the fanbooks, it's made clear that Hatori was not yet a doctor at the time, and that while he also followed his father into medicine, the memory erasure is a separate ability also handed down in his family.
** Notably, Hatori was in his school uniform when he erased Momiji's mother's memory, so he clearly wasn't a doctor yet.
* ''Manga/GlassMask''. The ([[PrintLongRunners still ongoing]]) manga started in 1976, and was set in then-present day. In later volumes, we're told outright that a little more than seven in-universe years have passed since then; the characters age believably, and the technology level is entirely compatible with the mid-80s... except cell phones and the Internet have been featured and discussed (as in, "in this day and age it's normal to talk to people you've never met over the Internet").
* ''Manga/FromEroicaWithLove'' embraces this trope fully.
* ''Franchise/LupinIII'' has been around since 1967, and none of the characters look any older. This is fine, since the franchise clearly runs on NegativeContinuity, but Lupin's grandfather is still canonically Literature/ArseneLupin. Who was born in 1874. Assuming an average of 45+ years between each generation of the Lupin dynasty isn't ''impossible'' (especially considering [[TheCasanova their]] [[HandsomeLech reputations]]), but gets a little less probable with every passing year. This makes Arsene Sr a Refugee from Time. The prequel series ''Anime/LupinIIITheWomanCalledFujikoMine'' has one episode that pretty clearly takes place during the UsefulNotes/ColdWar, complete with all the anachronisms one would expect. While NegativeContinuity is likely still in play for the franchise as a whole, this would make the timeline seem very odd if ''Fujiko'' were indeed meant to be chronicling the early years of the gang. Especially given that new ''Lupin'' specials (usually taking place in a modern setting) still debut every year.
* ''Anime/{{Doraemon}}'' managed to outlive one of its creators, and yet poor Nobita and his friends are still in the fourth (fifth in the anime) grade.
* ''Manga/CrayonShinChan'' [[OutlivedItsCreator sadly also outlived]] [[AuthorExistenceFailure his creator]]. To give an idea of how bad this series is with Comic-Book Time: Shin-chan is 5 when the manga starts. His mother's friend Keiko marries, gets pregnant and has a baby. Later on Shin-chan's mom also gets pregnant and has a daughter, Himawari. ''Shin-chan's still five'', but bizarrely enough, Keiko's baby actually aged a bit, as evident of him being able to speak simple words and even walk! Even better, an episode parodying ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' aired in 2010 claimed Shin-chan's parents met "8 years ago". When they travel back to said 8 years ago, it's ''2002''. Apparently Shin-chan was born in 2005, nearly a decade and a half after the series ''started''.
* Episode 7 of ''Manga/DailyLivesOfHighSchoolBoys'' anime downright declares:
-->'''Hidenori:''' Well, this anime is like ''Manga/SazaeSan''. We'll always be in our [[SecondYearProtagonist second year of high school]].
* The first 50 or so chapters of ''Manga/ToLoveRu'' equate to about a year, and characters age and progress to their second year of high school. But afterwards, seasons begin to cycle and characters stop aging.
* ''Manga/{{Golgo 13}}'' has been active since the 1960s, but that doesn't stop him from [[ColdSniper shooting]], [[TheCasanova screwing]] or looking like the 20 or 30-something he was when he started.
* InUniverse, Chapter 61 of ''Manga/MonthlyGirlsNozakiKun'' has mangaka Nozaki showing Sakura a {{Long Runner|s}} series where the heroine has only moved up one grade in 20 years of run.
* Lampshaded in an extra in ''Manga/KaseSan'' Vol. 3, where the author notes how much technology has changed in the real world during the five years the manga has been going on (even though significantly less time has passed in-universe). It then cuts to a scene of Yamada being shocked to discover that all her friends suddenly have [=iPhone=]s instead of flip phones.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Despite their reputation, this was actually averted in the Film/JamesBond films up until ''Film/AViewToAKill'': all characters aged consistently, and callbacks to events of previous films would correctly identify the year. This changed with Creator/TimothyDalton's first Bond film ''Film/TheLivingDaylights'', which de-aged Bond (and Moneypenny) and acknowledged the previous history (such as Bond's loss of his love in ''Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService'') only in BroadStrokes; Creator/PierceBrosnan's first film in the role, ''Film/GoldenEye'', was explicitly set in a post-Cold War world and yet had Bond about the same age as in Dalton's last film ''Film/LicenceToKill'' from six years earlier. Of course, this was mainly a matter of circumstance: if Bond had been recast with a younger actor earlier, as nearly happened several times, then Comic-Book Time most likely would've come into effect earlier as well.
** Arguably {{averted|Trope}} with the new continuity begun in 2006 with ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006''. The film's official website gives a comprehensive official biography of Bond, stating that he was born in 1968 (the same year as actor Creator/DanielCraig). ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'', released six years later, makes frequent references to how Bond is a veteran 00 agent and isn't getting any younger. WordOfGod says that future Craig Bond movies will continue to deal with Bond's ageing.
** In the novel ''Literature/{{Moonraker}}'', published in 1955 and with a 1953 setting, Bond is 37. That would have him born circa 1916. The early novels also mention Secret Service assignments occurring before UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. ''Literature/YouOnlyLiveTwice'', published in 1964 and set in 1962-63,definitively states that Bond was born in 1924 and entered the [[UsefulNotes/BritsWithBattleships Royal Navy]] during the war at age 17.
* ''Film/XMenFirstClass'' is definitely marketed as a prequel to the original ''Film/XMen'' trilogy, but the timeline used in the film is very wonky. ''First Class'' takes place in 1962, which would put Xavier and Magneto in their 70s in the first movie (Creator/PatrickStewart was only 60 when the first film was released, and Creator/IanMckellen was around the same age). It's best not to think about Beast's age, either.
** In addition, in the first film Xavier states that he was seventeen when he first met Magneto, but in ''First Class'' he's clearly shown to have been alive in 1944, ''eighteen'' years before the two first meet. Though for the movieverse, a thing like that being only one year off is ''very'' good.
** The real timeline buster is ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine.'' How about Emma Frost being ''younger'' there than in TheSixties? Even the [[spoiler: permanent changes Days of Future Past caused]] can't make a woman [[spoiler: born decades before the changes take hold]] thirty or so years younger than she should be. Officially she's a different girl with similar powers.
* ''Film/SupermanReturns'' is set "five years" after ''Film/SupermanII'' (1980), but a newspaper dated 2006 appears prominently. Especially problematic thanks to the casting of Kate Bosworth who was 23 when the movie was released (22 during filming) and looked at least that young. She must have gotten a really early start at the Planet (and a really early start at some other things, considering the age of her son). Brandon Routh, 26 during filming, was a little less noticeable. Comicbook/JimmyOlsen looks older than Lois (and in fact Sam Huntington is about a year older than Bosworth), despite being about a decade younger in most continuities.
* Averted in ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}''; the Godzilla films actually do not follow a sliding timescale, since most human characters in the Showa and Heisei films who have returned were portrayed by the same people. Raymond Burr returned as Steve Martin in ''Film/TheReturnOfGodzilla''. Momoko Kouchi, who was also in [[Film/{{Gojira}} the first film]], reprised Emiko Yamane in ''Film/GodzillaVsDestoroyah'' in 1995, and Hiroshi Koizumi resumed the role of Professor Shin'ichi Chujo from ''Film/{{Mothra}}'' (1961) (which did not actually feature Godzilla) in 2003's ''Film/GodzillaTokyoSOS'' The films have recast the Shobijin with younger actresses, however. Kenji Sahara played someone named Segawa in both ''Film/TerrorOfMechagodzilla'' and his Heisei era films, but since ''Terror of Mechagodzilla'' does not form part of the continuity of the Heisei series, it is unclear whether it involves the same personage.
* George A. Romero's ''Film/LivingDeadSeries'' depict the breakdown of society over a handful of years, but they reflect the wildly different times they were made in. ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968'' shows the zombie apocalypse beginning in its release year, while ''Film/DawnOfTheDead1978'' begins a few weeks into the apocalypse despite obviously occurring in the late 1970s. ''Film/DayOfTheDead1985'' is perhaps a year or two into the apocalypse but is clearly set in the mid-1980s. ''Film/LandOfTheDead'' avoids the issue completely by simply making it clearly that a long, long time has passed, and the POVSequel ''Film/DiaryOfTheDead'' moves the events of ''Night'' to [[TurnOfTheMillennium the late 2000s]].
* The third story of ''Film/TrilogyOfTerrorII'' presumably picks up a few hours after the third story of the [[Film/TrilogyOfTerror first film]]. The first film was from 1975 and the sequel was from 1996, and it's a ''bit'' hard to reconcile how different things look between the two films.
* Franchise/{{Tarzan}} underwent constant recasting, from Johnny Weismuller (who played Tarzan from 1932 to 1948) to Lex Barker and further (Mike Henry served as the last series Tarzan in theatrical film in 1968). Since Brenda Joyce stayed on as Jane from the last Weismuller film to at least the first Barker film, this represents a case of a sliding timescale. It's most noticeable with their son Boy, who ages from infancy to childhood (about ten, in the movies) in the space of a cutscene, while his parents haven't aged a day.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Played with in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''. Early books in the series had the {{Unreliable Narrator}}s worry about how they would adapt in winter, which implies that their adventures are taking place in Comic-Book Time prior to the first winter after receiving their powers. By the end of the series it turns out that ItsAlwaysSpring because of the setting, the worries about winter playing up the LiteraryAgentHypothesis that they could not give away their location, and about three years pass from beginning to end of the series.
** Especially hard to nail down timescales because they pointed out ''over and over'' that they were changing details so the Yeerks couldn't figure out who they really were. ''Maybe'' they were trudging through the snow when they said they were, ''maybe'' that's a lie to convince you they're in a colder climate than they are. Only the meat of the story is known to be true; some of the rest is known to be false.
* Remarkably common in mystery fiction.
** Literature/NeroWolfe appeared in over 30 novels and more short stories published between 1934 and 1975. Each story is set in the year it was written, but Wolfe, Archie, and the main supporting characters don't age, even though Archie celebrates more than one birthday.
*** The [[Series/ANeroWolfeMystery 2000-2001 television adaptation]] runs with this. Each episode is set at roughly the time the story it was based on was originally published (with some minor adjustments for what works for the plot or [[RuleOfCool what looks best]]), but the stories that are adapted aren't done in any particular order or with any real chronology in mind. As such, while the brownstone set doesn't really change, the clothes and settings outside the brownstone can vary from mid 1950s one week to late 1960s the next and early 1940s the week after. The use of a regular 'repertory company' cast of actors magnified this, as last week's flapper could just as easily be this week's flower child.
** Literature/HerculePoirot is introduced during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI as a ''retired'' policeman. By the 1960s, although he has taken to dyeing his moustache, he still doesn't appear to be much over sixty. Similarly, Literature/MissMarple, originally presented as a subversion of the "Victorian Aunt" stereotype in 1920s fiction, is described as having had a Victorian Aunt of her own in ''At Bertram's Hotel'' (published 1965). Each series ends with one novel in which the protagonist has aged [[spoiler: and in fact Poirot dies in his novel]]; both books were written during the Blitz and were originally intended to finish the series if Christie was killed. They were instead published in the 1970s as is, which makes them somewhat anachronistic.
** Jim Qwilleran of the ''Cat Who'' novels is 46 years old in the first novel, written and set in 1966. He's 50 years old in the last novel, written and set in 2007.
** Robert Parker's famous PI Literature/{{Spenser}} fought in Korea and fought Jersey Joe Walcott in the fifties. He's still in business and in something of his physical prime. While Parker allows Spenser to age, he's taken on something of a "timeless" quality as a character.
** Not only does Literature/MikeHammer not age from 1947's ''I, the Jury'' to 1997's ''Black Alley'', New York City doesn't age either.
** Literature/ElleryQueen goes through numerous changes during his run, but he stays at about the same age from 1929 to 1971.
** Literature/DalzielAndPascoe, who debuted in the days when men walked on the moon, are still in harness and haven't aged nearly as much as the elapsed time would suggest. When the series reached its 20th year, Reginald Hill wrote a brief essay on the issue, noting that if they kept it up the two detectives would still be on the job when men walked on the moon again -- and published it as the foreword of a story, "One Small Step", depicting just that.
** In the Adam Dalgliesh novels by ''Creator/PDJames'', the first novel is set in 1962 and has Dalgliesh a Detective Chief Inspector, a rank he surely has to be at least thirty years old to attain. Dalgliesh is still active in the police force in ''The Private Patient'', which is set in 2008, and would make him at least 76.
* The first of the Literature/YoungWizards books by Creator/DianeDuane' book was published in 1983, and the most recent in 2005, but only a couple years have passed for the characters. Despite this, each book takes place in approximately the year it was released. The usual fan response to questions about this is "[[BellisariosMaxim Just go with it]]." Creator/DianeDuane has released new Millennium Editions of the series in order to update them, especially the earlier ones. The old editions remain available in the major on-line bookstores, and as "International Editions" on Duane's own e-book store. As it stands, "You don't even have a colour TV!" was changed to "widescreen TV" (or possibly "cable TV"?) in later printings. One of the books actually contain an author's note to this effect, basically shrugging and admitting it's easier that way. The books are good enough that most readers are willing to roll with it, though the impetus behind the New Millennium Editions was that [[http://dianeduane.com/outofambit/2011/05/30/young-wizards-new-millennium-editions-a-little-more-info/ an increasing number of new readers weren't]].
* Antonia Forest's "Marlow" books (published between 1948 and 1982) featured schoolgirl characters, who only aged a few years throughout the series, experiencing post-war rationing, colour TV and punk-style make-up. Her comment in an interview was similar to that of the ''Literature/YoungWizards'' author Creator/DianeDuane: setting the books in a consistent timeline would be more work for her and irritating for the readers.
* William Brown of ''Just William'' is always eleven. He was eleven in the early stories between the wars. He was eleven during the stories set in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. In one, he says, "Mother, I don't seem to remember when there wasn't a war on." His mother replies, "Don't be silly, William, the war's been going on two years and you're eleven now." He was eleven when he celebrated V-E day. He was eleven when he tried to copy the pop stars he'd seen on colour TV. He experiences three birthdays during the books, none of them numerically identified.
* ''Literature/SweetValleyHigh'' and ''Sweet Valley Twins'' are known for doing this.
* This was retro-fitted into ''Literature/TheBoxcarChildren'' series. In the original 19 books by Gertrude Chandler Warner, the series took place in the 1930s -- and the Alden children have aged several years. When the series has been picked up again, the Alden children went [[SnapBack back to their original ages]], and the series was set in the modern era.
* In ''Literature/TheBabySittersClub'' books, the characters started the series at the end of seventh grade and moved to eighth, but stayed there for the rest of the series, leading some to suspect the author originally intended to age the characters but didn't once the series proved to be so popular. Similarly, the books originally covered a month each while being published once a month, but later moved to covering only a week each.
* Creator/BeverlyCleary's books tend to take place around the time they were written, so Literature/RamonaQuimby goes from being 4 or 5 in the 1950s to just turning ten in the 1990s. In ''Ramona and Beezus'' (1955), she is 4; in ''Ramona the Pest'' (1968), she is 5; in ''Ramona the Brave'' (1975), she is 6; in both ''Ramona and Her Father'' (1977) and ''Ramona and Her Mother'' (1979), she is 7; in ''Ramona Quimby, Age 8'' (1981), she is, um, 8, and stays that way in ''Ramona Forever'' (1984); and in ''Ramona's World'' (1999), she starts out 9 and turns 10.
* Characters aged similarly in Creator/JudyBlume's ''Literature/{{Fudge}}'' books, though later editions of ''Superfudge'' changed a few details to catch up with the times: Fudge watches Creator/CartoonNetwork instead of ''Series/TheElectricCompany1971'', and Peter asks for a laptop instead of a pocket calculator for Christmas.
* The ''Literature/JudyMoody'' series plays this trope straight. Although many assume all the books could take place in one year, the book ''Judy Moody: Girl Detective'' is stated to take place the October after the ChristmasSpecial book ''Judy Moody and Stink: The Holly Joliday''. Although there should have been a summer vacation (and a change in grades) between those books, both books (and all the other books) show Judy as being in the third grade and aged eight.
* It looks like the revived ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'' series is heading this route too. A few protagonists from earlier books have appeared, all still the same age as they were over ten years ago in real time.
* The original editions of the first few ''Literature/TheBobbseyTwins'' books took place in a clear timeline that affected the characters. The first book took place over most of a school year, with the older twins eight years old at the beginning and the younger twins four. The second book was set in the first half of the summer, the third tied up some plot threads from the second, and the fourth opened the following autumn, with the older twins "nearly nine" and the younger set "almost five". Then someone at the Stratemeyer Syndicate apparently realized that the characters would soon age beyond their readership; so in short order Nan and Bert aged to twelve and stayed there, with Freddie and Flossie stuck at six.
* Similarly, Literature/NancyDrew appears to have solved most of her seventy-three original mysteries the year she was sixteen years old.
** This was even more weird in the 80s-90s updated series ''The Nancy Drew Files'', in which Nancy was 18 (as in the revised editions of the original series). With the modern setting, it becomes increasingly unconvincing that the bright daughter of a lawyer wouldn't be either working or at college.
*** And in the games. Time passes, as made clear by calendars with dates spotted in the games, along with various references to recent events in history (such as the revelation that Pluto is no longer a planet), yet Nancy is ''still'' referred to as a "silly American teenager" by game 18.
** The series has lasted long enough that this now applies to its HousePseudonym. Are we seriously meant to believe that the Carolyn Keene currently writing ''Nancy Drew'' books is the same Carolyn Keene who wrote ''The Secret of the Old Clock'' in 1930? Even if Carolyn Keene were a hundred years old now, that would still put her at age fifteen -- younger than Nancy -- when she wrote ''The Secret of the Old Clock''.
* Archer Mayor's Joe Gunther is a Korean War vet; the novels are always set in ThePresentDay, making him at least 75 years old and still a working detective for a state police agency. Mayor's website gleefully lampshades this:
-->Joe Gunther, who has the additional affliction of being arrested in time (please, no puns.) Having lived a full and interesting life, and achieved a position, both physically and emotionally, in which he is relatively comfortable, he has stopped the clock, and ages no more. As a man in his early to mid-fifties, therefore, and yet as a veteran of the Korean War, we all have to simply take for granted that when he was a combatant, he wasn’t three years old.
-->Okay. So much for self-serving excuses. Without further ado, and with as little specificity as I can escape with, here is Joe’s story as I presently recall it.
* One of Creator/KimNewman's short stories, "Coastal City", featured a [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Commissioner Gordon]]-like character for heroine "Amazon Girl", on the edge of noticing that, among other paradoxes created by the sliding timescale of the universe he lives in, his war-hero past was being repeatedly updated, shifting from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII to UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar, UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, and now UsefulNotes/TheGulfWar. [[spoiler:Fortunately for him, a fresh crisis distracted him from the potential existential breakdown.]]
* Leslie Charteris' ''The Saint'' has flitted back and forth in print between period pieces and a sliding timescale. In the introduction for ''Catch the Saint'', published in 1975, Charteris notes that these stories took place before 1939, since "literary detectives sharper than Inspector Teal" would realize that, based on topical references in earlier adventures, the Saint would have grown too old to fight crime, and only a rejuvenation out of science fiction could deal with this situation. (While some Saint stories did feature the paranormal, which later collection in the anthology the Fantastic Saint, Charteris declined to pursue such an approach for the Saint's aging.) However, later books did not follow this trend. In 1997, Burl Barer wrote a new Saint novel that, in his blog, Barer stated took place in contemporary times. Viola Inselheim, a young child in 1934's ''The Saint in New York'', has aged to adulthood in ''Capture the Saint'', but Barer otherwise sidesteps the issue of time. Film and TV versions of the Saint have never gotten down as period pieces. The Roger Moore version took place in the then-contemporary 1960s. Post-Roger Moore TV versions such as those with Simon Dutton, Andrew Clarke, and Ian Ogilvy also eschewed the period piece approach.
* Creator/PGWodehouse wrote stories about Literature/JeevesAndWooster and Literature/BlandingsCastle from the 1910s to the 1970s. The characters don't seem to age, although it's hard to specify the time period the novels are set. There are generally a few references in each novel to new technology or cultural events in the time period it was written, but otherwise the setting remains in a fantasy (in the sense of "the world never existed this way", not in the wizards-and-unicorns sense) version of Edwardian England. For example, one of the very late books (published in the 1970s) has Bertie complaining about anti-war demonstrators causing traffic congestion.
* ''Literature/TheExecutioner'' action-adventure series was created by Don Pendleton in 1969, and after being purchased by Gold Eagle is [[ExtrudedBookProduct still going strong]]. The series starts with the protagonist Mack Bolan as a Vietnam veteran (early novels even mention service in the Korean War), a fact that's not even mentioned now as it would make Bolan seem too old.
* Averted in the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series. Characters age as the books cover about 30 years of conflict. However due to quasi-magical 'prolong' therapy, the vast majority of characters will live for about 300 years and be at peak physical state for most of that.
* The ''Literature/EightySeventhPrecinct'' series started in the 1950s and continued for over forty years. In a clear sign of a sliding timescale, the children of the police officers never grew up, with references to their ages not lining up to the amount of publishing time between entries in the series.
* Some Spider novels from the 1930s and 1940s appeared in redacted versions in the 1970s, with Wentworth's military service changed from World War I to the Korean War. Another redaction; a collapsing building in The City Destroyers called the Sky Building replaced by the World Trade Center.
* Richard Stark's Parker initially did not require a sliding timescale. Parker's series initially ran only eleven years, from 1963 to 1974. Westlake did not revisit Parker for another twenty plus years, till the second wave from 1997 to 2008. In The Outfit Parker states that he had been in the Army from 1942 to 1944. In The Outfit Parker also does state he had already been a thief for 18 years, and refers to a heist he committed in 1949.
* Mary Stolz did it with her three ''Barkham Street'' books. In ''A Dog on Barkham Street'' (1960) Edward asks his dad if he could get transferred to Alaska, now that it's a state. ''The Explorer of Barkham Street'' (1985) is supposed to take place about a year later, but Martin reads his library book through a ''M*A*S*H'' rerun.
* In ''The Fine Art of Murder'', on page 214-215, Ed [=McBain=] admits to using the sliding timescale. In the section "On the Eternal Youth Syndrome", he says "I think I am going to have to inch Carella's kids toward puberty. That was a conscious decision I had to make a while back, to freeze the ages of the characters". [=McBain=] admits to having read comic strips when younger, noting that he had read Gasoline Alley (no sliding timescale), Little Orphan Annie (sliding timescale), and Terry and the Pirates ([=McBain=] recalls "little Terry grows up and has an affair with the Dragon Lady"). "The detectives in my books were originally veterans of World War II, or later the Korean War, but that got awkward later on. I tried to put that all to rest in one of the books by saying "Every male of age in America is a veteran of one war or the other". Now I just say "He was in the war". Maybe soon people will think of that made-for-television war-Desert Storm".
* Repairman Jack follows a sliding timescale. F. Paul Wilson only wrote two novels about Repairman Jack before 1998; 1984's The Tomb and 1992's Nightworld. When Wilson wrote Legacies in 1998, he decided to have it as the start of a series of novels about Repairman Jack, and set it just after The Tomb. However, to do so, he decided that the amount of time since Jack's first appearance in 1984's The Tomb would serve as a constant snag, so he rewrote The Tomb to update various topical references. In the 2000 novel All The Rage, on page 82, Jack notes, when someone says he cannot operate as a mercenary for much longer, "I'm thinking maybe four or five more years and I'm out. I'll be forty then", and he says at age he would not feel sure of himself in combat. That places Jack as 35-36 in the present day of All The Rage, which would make him roughly nineteen in 1984, probably a tad too young for the way The Tomb presents him. Wilson notes that Legacies and subsequent Repairman Jack novels will serve as interquels between The Tomb and Nightworld.
* In Harry Dickson's Adventures, the titular hero and his young sidekick have lived over 100 adventures, covering, it seems, the late Twenties and the Thirties. However, the hero is always described as being in his late forties, and his assistant as being a young, hot-headed, immature young man.
* Sexton Blake's adventures ran from the 1890s to the 1970s. They feature the usual signs of the sliding timescale, particularly due to the presence of Tinker, Blake's younger sidekick.
* Possibly averted to a degree by Nick Carter, which ran from 1886 to 1990, as the Nick Carter of 1964 to 1990 referred to himself as Nick Carter III, suggesting him as the grandson of the 1880's Nick Carter.
* Most of the "pulp heroes" such as the Shadow, the Spider, Doc Savage, etc. did not run into this, as few of them lasted in the 1950s (though the Black Bat and the Phantom [Curtis Van Loan] did, and the Black Bat returned for 700 adventures in Germany). However, in the 1960s, Walter Gibson wrote The Return of the Shadow, and Dennis Lynds continued from there with stories of the Shadow set in contemporary times.
* Literature/JohnPutnamThatcher, protagonist of Emma Lathen's mystery novels, spends the entire series (from 1961 to 1997) "a youthful 60". Slightly averted with recurring character Kenneth Nicholls -- while he doesn't appear to age and remains a junior trust officer, he goes from single to married with two kids.
* The Literature/AlexRider books supposedly take place over the course of a year (if that), but technology has kept pace with reality. Alex's gadgets are the most obvious example - in early books, they were hidden in Game Boys or a copy of ''Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'', but they've since moved on to iPods. Anthony Horowitz is fond of this; the first Literature/DiamondBrothers book came out in the eighties, while a later book features the London Eye and is stated to be set in 2004.
* Creator/MadeleineLEngle appears to have scrambled her own timeline in her "Chronos" books. The original edition of ''Meet the Austins'' (1960) was five chapters long: the sixth chapter, "The Anti-Muffins", was removed at her publisher's request for length. The action in ''Meet the Austins'' is not specifically dated, but its direct sequel, ''The Moon by Night'' (1963), is very definitely set in 1959: Vicky goes to see ''Theatre/WestSideStory'', her father mentions having met Princess Grace "back when she was plain Creator/GraceKelly", and the family are in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1959_Yellowstone_earthquake the Hebgen Lake earthquake]]. "The Anti-Muffins" was published separately in 1980, and has been included in the text of all printings of ''Meet the Austins'' since 1997: it includes a mention of the Kenny Rogers song 1978 "The Gambler". (Not to mention the hobbyist-spacesuit reference buried at the beginning of ''Meet the Austins'', which sounds like a nod to ''Have Spacesuit, Will Travel''. L'Engle justified this in a letter by noting that she was more interested in ''kairos'', the "appropriate time," than in ''chronos'', rigorous clock time.)
* The books in the ''Literature/MrsMurphyMysteries'' series by Rita Mae Brown follow the seasons.
* Patrick O'Brien did this for the ''Literature/AubreyMaturin'' series: around book nine or so, he encountered the problem of running out of Napoleonic War years. To get around it he had to fudge an "1812a or 1812b" to allow for the long sea voyages. Since he's pretty meticulous about [[ShownTheirWork Doing The Research]], he admits this fact in the forewords of the books affected. ''Because'' he's so good, almost everybody forgives him.
* Averted in Creator/EphraimKishon's satirical short stories. We see Kishon's kids age in RealTime, from toddlers to teenagers.
* ''Literature/JunieBJones'' was created in 1992. From 1992 to 2001 she was a kindergartner, with everything else taking place in first grade. It doesn't seem like she'll ever become a second grader. A book released in 2009 states the title characters mother was a first grader in 1983 to 1984, despite the fact that she should have been a first grader in TheSeventies or even TheSixties if the series still took place in TheNineties.
* The first book in ''Literature/TheHouseOfNight'' is implied to take place in 2007, by Zoey's mention of having gone to see ''300'' with her friends. Each book takes place over at most about 2 weeks, which would place the most recent book in 2008 at the latest. However, the books often mention pop culture popular at the time the book was published, such as ''Series/GameOfThrones'' in ''Destined''.
* The entire ''Literature/VampireAcademy'' series doesn't even cover a year. Including ''Literature/{{Bloodlines}}'', the 10 books published so far cover a year and a half.
* [[TropesArenotBad Unfortunately]] averted in the [[ShowWithinAShow Book Within A Book]] ''Amazing Amy'' series in ''Literature/GoneGirl''. Amy (the real one) notes sourly that no one particularly wanted Amy (the fictional one) to grow up, and that it makes the books faintly disturbing since she still thinks and talks like a ten-year-old despite being in her thirties. The success of the series has declined drastically as a result.
* ''Literature/TanteiTeamKZJikenNote'' may start off as an aversion of this trope as it involves the main cast moving on a grade in the first three novels, but thereafter the cast have always been seventh graders.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Inverted in ''Series/{{Heroes}}''. The first four seasons have taken place over about a year in-universe, but ProductPlacement marches ever on so characters have lots of gadgets and cars that weren't out in late 2007 (Although they managed to almost avoid it with a reference to ''Guitar Hero 3'' instead of ''5'', although they were still off by about a month). More explicitly, the fourth season/fifth volume says season one happened three years ago even though all the time that's passed up would be about 11 months since the beginning of the series.
* ''Series/{{Greek}}'', when it's all said and done, will cover the time between Rusty's enrollment at college to his sister Casey's graduation in about 3 1/2 years (the span is actually about 2 years, as Rusty enrolled at the start of Casey's junior year.) It helps that ItsAlwaysSpring in the Ohio of the Greek world...
* ''Series/ICarly'' averted this in the first and second seasons, with them clearly moving up a grade, as well as the cast clearly entering puberty and growing up. They also explained how their school was a combined Middle and High school as they moved to a grade, that in almost all US education systems, means moving from a Junior or Middle school to a new High School. After season 2 however, it gets hazy. It's likely they are now in grade 10, but it's possible they could still be in grade 9, or have moved ahead to grade 11.
* In ''Series/{{MASH}}'', which ran from 1972 to 1983, the series lasts longer than the actual war, which started 25 June 1950 and was paused on 27 July 1953. Also, in the series, if one uses the few references to the actual war, the first three seasons must take place over a few months, although Hawkeye mentions several times they've been there for years (1-2). This is using the involvement of the Chinese in the war starting on 2 October 1950, which started in the fourth season, and Hawkeye's statement that he lived with Trapper for "over a year" at the beginning of season four when Trapper left. There are many other time issues, such as the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, where Hawkeye and BJ are surprised to hear a replacement surgeon's experience was in that battle and they say they heard "horror stories" about it, when in reality, that battle took place August-September 1950. Also, the fact that the MASH rarely moves, and seems to be located quite close to the 38th, we can only conclude that MASH 4077 is in a time displacement bubble, immune from outside influence. Using this, we can conclude that the MASH 4077 only existed for a few days, as it must have been after the Battle of Pusan which ended in September 1950, and it went through three seasons before the involvement of the Chinese, which started in the beginning of October 1950. It gets even more confusing if you recall what happened during the first three seasons. They experience at least one winter, one spring, a Christmas, an Orthodox Easter, and an Army-Navy game (which normally occurs in late November or early December). No less than three children of American soldiers and Korean women are born, all presumably at least 5 months premature.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'' teeters on the edge of this. In the fourth episode of the fifth season it is confirmed that it has been one full year since Walter was diagnosed with cancer. This would mean that [[spoiler: Walter starting to cook meth with Jesse, Walter meeting Tuco, Tuco hiring Walter, Hank killing Tuco, Hank getting a promotion and going to El Paso and deciding to leave that job, Walter meeting Saul, Saul introducing him to Gus Fring, Walter's daughter being born, Fring hiring Walter, Walter causing a plane crash indirectly, Hank beating the hell out Jesse, Hank getting shot, Hank recovering, Hank getting a promotion despite his earlier bad behavior, Gus killing the entire Mexican Cartel leadership, Walter killing Fring and destroying his empire, Walt,Jesse and Mike starting a new partnership, Mike's share being bought out by Declan who is now Walter's employer and Mike getting killed by Walter]] all happened over the course of one year along with many other events. It's possible and the show's episodes and seasons due tend to flow directly into one another creating a somewhat shorter timeline but it also gives you a headache trying to reconcile that timetable with all these events AND how much Walter has changed from the pilot till now. More explicitly, in Season 2 there's a reference to the Phoenix lander recently finding water on Mars (2008), but in a Season 5 episode there's a reference to Bin Laden's death (2011).
* Despite being a Franchise/{{Superman}} show, most of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' is assumed to have taken place at the same time the episode aired (save a couple of {{Continuity Snarl}}s like Chloe's birthday).
* ''Series/SesameStreet'' has a sliding timeline. For example a 2006 episode had Bob introducing his deaf niece to two characters and teaching them about deafness despite the fact that they had previously known a deaf character, Linda. There was also a season 35 showing three characters as teenagers in TheSeventies when they were all adults when the show began. As mentioned on the NotAllowedToGrowUp page, human characters age but Muppets stay the same unless a plot point is needed. It's especially noticeable in a wedding anniversary episode where Elmo speaks as if he wasn't at the wedding, but in the actual episode he's clearly in the scene.
* ''Series/{{Misfits}}'' was shown across five series (2009-2013) but the in-universe passage of time was suddenly established in the final episode as just over a year, with the events occurring on the first anniversary of the [[LightningCanDoAnything mysterious storm]] that [[MassSuperEmpoweringEvent imbues all the characters with superpowers]]. This causes some real retrospective problems, as some of the episodes take place over several days, and some of the gaps between seasons were clearly implied at the time to be months in length.
* Lampshaded in an episode of ''Series/TheGoldenGirls.'' Blanche mentions how she reads the comic ''ComicStrip/ApartmentThreeG'' every morning. When Dorothy mentions she hasn't read ''Apartment 3-G'' since 1961, Blanche says, "Well, let me catch you up. It is later the same day..."
* A similar lampshade joke happens on ''Series/TheNanny'' regarding a soap opera. When soap-neophyte C.C. is pulled in to a show's cliffhanger, she asks if they'll find out what happened tomorrow. Fran scoffs, saying, "Please, this is a soap. Six months from now, we'll be lucky if that coffee she's making will be ready."
* In season one of ''Series/CityGuys'', the characters are implied to be in their senior year of high school, if not in their second semester of junior year (it is mentioned in the pilot that Jamal was expelled from his last school during junior year). However, the characters' grade levels are never explicitly mentioned until season five. The ages of characters are rarely mentioned as well; though in "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems," Ms. Noble states Cassidy's age as being "barely 17". NBC didn't help matters for viewers trying to figure out which grade they're in by merging halves of two different seasons into one beginning with season three (which is comprised of episodes produced during the second half of season two and the first half of season three); this is particularly glaring with "Frisky Business", which is set on the first day of a new school year but aired midway through season four. Against logic, Chris, Jamal, Al, Dawn and Cassidy stay at Manny High for all five seasons (this is excuseable with El-Train, as his lack of intelligence resulted in him having been held back a grade multiple times).
* In the case of ''Series/HangTime'', this is subverted in that the series has some characters graduate off-screen, with "Graduation on Three" centering on all of the characters graduating from Deering... but before then, it gets hazy. Even though it's established each season is set in a new school year, the characters' grade levels are never explicitly mentioned (although the ages of a couple of them are); against logic, Julie and Mary Beth stay at Deering for all six seasons (despite Mary Beth stating in "Mary Beth's Parents" that she is 17, and therefore should have graduated after season three at least). Even though, earlier episodes imply they're a couple of years short of college age. NBC didn't help matters any more by splitting season five into two separate seasons.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Characters from ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' never age, although years are quoted, and Calvin frequently compares his summer vacations and Christmases to prior ones. In one late strip, Calvin tells his perpetual classmate Susie that her treatment of schoolwork as "fun" is one of the "ten signs of hopeless dweebism", to which she replies "I bet another is moving to the next grade each year." It gets {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in another strip where Calvin's dad says "Yeah, I know, it feels like you're going to be six forever."
* ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' has a strange zig-zagging of this. Garfield's 'birthday' is celebrated every year and he constantly complains about getting old... but none of the characters ever age physically. Also, Garfield is stated to be as old as the strip itself, even though he's already an adult cat in his first appearance.
* This happens in pretty much ''every'' newspaper strip, including most of the serious, "soap opera" ones, so listing exceptions is probably a better idea.
* The storyline of ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse'' ran in real time from its inception to 2008. Then it rebooted to the early days, using a combination of reruns, [[RetCon modified reruns]], and new strips drawn to look like the old ones. Word on the street is that this was [[ExecutiveMeddling the syndicate's idea]].
** This was alluded to in a [[http://www.gocomics.com/foxtrot/2001/09/25/ post-9/11]] episode of ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' (which rigidly enforces this trope) when Jason found out that his father--afraid of needles (and of most things)--just gave blood.
-->'''Mom:''' Sometimes we have to grow up, kiddo.\\
'''Jason:''' Whoa. Did I just stumble into ''For Better Or For Worse?''\\
'''Mom:''' [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments You can stay 10, sweetie. I don't mind.]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Cathy}}'' more or less has operated in real-time. Irving, for example, has slowly gotten balder. Justified in that the main character is an AuthorAvatar for Cathy Guisewhite.
* ''ComicStrip/GasolineAlley'', one of the [[LongRunners oldest strips still in existence]], also operates in real time (though temporarily halted and then restarted); Skeezix was an infant during the first year of the strip and is now an elderly man, old characters die off eventually, including the family dog and many of the original characters from the Alley. Walt Wallet is still hanging on, though, and the fact that he is now technically over 120 means that things are getting fudged.
* A ''really'' weird example occurred in ''Toots and Caper'', specifically with their son Buttercup: After being a baby for twenty years, in the early 1940s he grew up to be a 6-year-old kid. As cartoon historian Don Markstein noted, he was born a few months before Skeezix, but he entered grammar school at the same time the Wallet kid was a young man enlisting in the war.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Blondie}}'' averted this for twenty years, chronicling not only the courtship and marriage of Blondie and Dagwood, but also depicting the birth and growth of their children Alexander (born in 1934 as "Baby Dumpling") and Cookie (born in 1941). Alexander stopped growing up around 1950-51, but Cookie kept on until late that decade, finally having the same age as her brother.
* ''ComicStrip/BabyBlues'' has a slowly sliding timeline: Zoe started out as an infant and grew into a toddler as the need for new material arose. Since then, she has been given siblings as necessary to keep the strip's title accurate. Zoe is around 10 years old now (born in the January 7, 1990 strip), Hammie is around 7-8 (born in the April 29, 1995 strip), and Wren is 1 year old (born in the October 26, 2002 strip). Wanda's pregnancies have both taken place in real time, however, without any noticeable aging from the other siblings occurring in the meantime. Kirkman and Scott state that they age around a "Three to one Ratio". It was two to one during Zoe's infancy; apparently having to siblings means simply a lot more storylines to deal with. They've also stated on record that "your children are always your babies" and the title has nothing to do with Wren's slow development.
* First played straight and then averted with ''ComicStrip/{{Doonesbury}}''. From 1970 to 1983 the characters were always college students. Then the creator took a hiatus, improved his [[ArtEvolution drawing style]], and produced a play in which the characters finally graduate. Since then they have grown up in real time, and the original characters are now all middle aged. Oddly, this doesn't apply to Duke, who appeared to be in his forties when introduced over thirty years ago and still does. According to the WordOfGod, Uncle Duke isn't a normal person. His age was unknown when he was introduced and remains so to this day.
* ''[=JumpStart=]'' follows a similar formula.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Luann}}'' & company have been in high school since 1985, approximately thirty-one years. Brad has since graduated high school and become a fireman. Starting in 2010, Greg Evans and his co-writer, his daughter Karen, have made a concerted effort to push Luann and her classmates forward in time. As of 2014 Luann, Bernice, Delta, Gunther and Tiffany have graduated high school and are now college freshmen.
* Many of the characters in ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' aged somewhat since their introduction. Schroeder and Lucy started out as toddlers, then grew to Charlie Brown's age; Lucy's "baby brother" Linus grew to one or two grades below Charlie Brown (and has been seen in the same classroom as him on occasion). Sally also started as a baby and later caught up to Linus. Rerun also was born during the strip's run and ended up as a toddler. Charlie Brown himself also aged somewhat over the course of the strip; he stated that he was four in [[http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts/1950/11/03 an 1950 strip]], six in [[http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts/1957/11/17 an 1957 one]], and eight and a half in an [[http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts/1979/07/11 1979 one]]. The strips and animated adaptations are set in the year created, and thus we've had stuff like the incredibly 80s "Flash Beagle" song in the animated specials and references to ''Literature/HarryPotter'' in the comics.
* ''ComicStrip/FunkyWinkerbean'' started off this way. The comic began in 1972 and the characters remained in high school for the first 20 years of the comic's existence. Then, in 1992, it was established that the characters had graduated high school in 1988, and the comic picked up in real time from just after their college days. In October of 2007, there was another TimeSkip, and the comic is now presumably taking place about 9 years into the future ([[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} The Other Wiki]] says that the original main characters were to be 46 years old after the time skip, and based on graduating in 1988, they probably would've been born during the '69-'70 school year and should therefore have only been 37 just before the time skip.) So far, it's been impossible to tell the difference between the two eras. (It's not clear whether the current setting is circa 2020, or the pre-TimeSkip era has been retconned ''back'' 10 years, keeping the strip in the present day. Most of the evidence suggests the latter. Confusing matters further, however, is the SharedUniverse with ''ComicStrip/{{Crankshaft}}'', which also runs on Comic Book Time, but didn't have a timeskip. ''Crankshaft'' shows every signs of ''also'' being set in the present day, but when its characters appear in ''Funky Winkerbean'' they age ten years, and when ''FW'' characters appear in ''Crankshaft'' they appear as they did shortly before the timeskip.)
* Long-running Scottish comics ''The Broons'' and ''Oor Wullie'' both make heavy use of this, having kept all characters at identical ages since they were first published in the 1930s. While the setting progressed around the characters for the first few decades, the comics seem to have settled into a sort of temporal limbo that darts back and forth between the 1950s and the present day at will, shifting from a "present day" setting to a nostalgic yet nonspecific "good old days" one.
* ''ComicStrip/DykesToWatchOutFor'' is another exception: the story is set in the present day with constant references to topical events, and characters, both adults and children, have aged at pretty much chronologically accurate rates. The few exceptions, for a long time, included Mo's cats, who'd survived the strip's entire 20-plus year run; however, in the last year or two of the strip's run, they were shown increasingly frail [[spoiler:and one of them finally died]].
* ComicStrip/DickTracy's strip acknowledges his wartime activities against spies such as Pruneface without dealing with the question of why Tracy still works as a policeman decades later. For example, Max Allan Collins wrote a storyline (later collected by Ken Pierce books as Tracy's Wartime Memories) to a hitherto untold story where Tracy battled Flattop, Shaky and Mr. and Mrs. Pruneface during World War II. Tracy appears in the modern era looking the same, while characters who appeared in the flashback story having aged decades. (Flattop stayed dead, as did Mrs. Pruneface, but Pruneface underwent revival from his hypothermic death due to the efforts of a sympathizer to the Third Reich.) Some of Tracy's children have visibly grown. In July of 2009 he visited his daughter Bonnie Braids. Sparkle Plenty has also grown into adulthood.
* The characters in ''ComicStrip/HeartOfTheCity'' don't age, but their pop-culture references remain current. In 1998, Heart was an elementary-age girl swooning over Leonardo [=DiCaprio=]; by 2008, Heart was an elementary-age girl swooning over The Jonas Brothers. Also worth a mention is the fact that Heart and Dean have a new school teacher every year despite not getting older.
* ''ComicStrip/LittleNemo'' would actually {{lampshade|Hanging}} this from time to time. It was a once a week strip, and a lot of times when a plot was taking too long a character would complain about it seeming to take weeks.
* Heavily lampshaded in long-running British strip ''ComicStrip/ThePerishers'', where one of the titular kids noticed that they never seemed to get any older from year to year and concluded that "something funny's going on!"
* ''Big Nate'' had this bit of LampshadeHanging:
-->'''Nate's Gram''': Nate, we're really looking forward to Grandparents Day at your school!\\
'''Nate''': Yeah, but '''why?''' I mean, when '''I'm''' eighty, I'm not going to want to hang out at a middle school!\\
'''Nate's Gramps''': Son, from what I hear, when you're eighty, you might still be '''in''' middle school!\\
'''Nate's Gram''': Oh, Vern! Honestly!
* ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey'': Current events form a vaguely acknowledged background for what's going on (with the exception that the strip is always about peacetime army even if there is a war going on), but if anyone really ages (which has happened to about two characters, Ms. Blip and General Halftrack), it's more of a {{Retcon}} reimagining their character concepts than anything else.
* Lampshaded in ''ComicStrip/{{Sally Forth|Howard}}'' (June 26, 2014): "It doesn't feel like people ever age around here. It's like a "[[Series/TheTwilightZone1959 Twilight Zone]]" episode but with wi-fi."
** In another strip, Hillary remarks on the fact that her baby cousin is a year older, while she herself is the same age and in the same grade at school. She is then quickly admonished not to talk about it.
* Phoebe from ''ComicStrip/PhoebeAndHerUnicorn'' has been in the fourth grade for over four years now, and shows no sign of aging, even though she should be thirteen as of this writing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* The writers of ''Radio/AdventuresInOdyssey'' have openly admitted that the passage of time in Odyssey doesn't really make sense. The best known-example is how Connie was sixteen for an extraordinarily long time, which they didn't hesitate to [[LampshadeHanging poke fun at]], although she gradually made it to twenty-ish. Meanwhile, Whit, Eugene, and assorted kids have all aged at different rates.
* The original two series of ''Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' were broadcast from 1978 - 1980, and were intended as a contemporary piece. While the narrative quickly left Earth and there is not much to date the series, it can still be a bit jarring when the later three series, [[RecursiveAdaptation produced in 2003 and 2004]], have scenes on or in reference to Earth that make more modern cultural references, or include as common technology things that would not yet have been common or even have existed. Of course, when dealing with possibilities such as different versions of Earth existing across multiple planes of reality, one supposes that such things may be relative. The most noticeable example is that "novelty ringtones" have replaced digital watches as the thing that primitive ape-descendants still think are a pretty neat idea.
* ''{{Audioplay/Gallifrey}}'' follows Leela, who is human, and Romana, who does not return from E-space until the time of the Eighth Doctor, over 200 years after Leela first arrived on the planet, even though she has hardly aged a day.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Specifically subverted in the Spanish role-playing game ''Superhéroes, Inc.'' Rules are provided so that experimented super-PC's lose points everywhere (probably to avoid [[GodModeSue Godmodding]]), so that he should consider retirement and replacement.
* Furthermore, depending on your group and how your GM handles time, it can lead to some problems when the characters seemed to have gone from low-level n00bs to walking gods without aging a single bit. Although, in ''Dungeons and Dragons'' at least, a party that gets four level appropriate encounters a day every day will go from level 1 to 20 in about six months.
* Even though the two "storybooks" in the TabletopGame/MiceAndMystics game series have been published over two years, and even though each campaign can take 15-20 hours to play, only two weeks have passed in-universe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' averts this by having a story that progresses much slower than real-world time. Although the storyline started about a decade ago, in-universe, only one year and a couple of months have passed, no matter how many wild adventures the characters have gone through or how many world-changing events have happened since then. Also, even the mostly organic characters [[WeAreAsMayflies don't seem to age]], at least physically. Somebody who lives several 1000 years doesn't age very much in one year.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' series, all the main fighters were given dates of birth and ages that coincided with the release of each installment. Cammy, for example, whose date of birth was originally January 6, 1974, is said to be 19 in ''Super Street Fighter II'', which was released in 1993. Once ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha'' came, Creator/{{Capcom}} started using vaguer dates. Sakura's date of birth is given as March 15, [[ExtyYearsFromNow 197X]], placing the events of the ''Alpha'' series (where Sakura is a 15 year old high school student) somewhere between as early as 1985 or as late as 1994. The ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII'' series had no dates of birth for any of the new characters and whenever the year that the series takes place is mentioned, it's always "[=199X=]" and never a specific year. By the time ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'' came out, the dates of the birth for returning characters have the years omitted and most of the characters are seen using relatively modern computers and cellphones from the late [=2000s=].
* ''VideoGame/FinalFight'' was originally set in 1989, the year it was originally released for the arcades, but since the game came out practically at the end of year, it was changed to 1990 for the export versions, which is also the date used in the Super Famicom/Super NES version. It was changed again to 1992 in the Sega CD version, ''Final Fight CD'', which also updated the main characters' ages by three years to reflect the time that has passed since the arcade version's original release. The GBA version, ''Final Fight One'', goes back to the original 1989 setting, turning it into a period piece.
* All the characters in ''VideoGame/{{The King of Fighters}}'' series have remained the same age since ''KOF '95'', even though each game is supposedly set a year after the previous one. Oddly enough, the only other game where the characters were allowed to be aged by one year was in ''KOF EX'', an AlternateContinuity GaidenGame set after the events of ''KOF '97''. In contrast, the ''VideoGame/FatalFury'' series from which ''KOF'' originally spun off from have maintained a real time continuity throughout the entire series up until ''Garou: Mark of the Wolves'' (which was released in 1999, but is set in the year 2006[[note]]The date is never mentioned in-game, but Terry's age (who was born in 1971) is given as 35.[[/note]]).
** ''VideoGame/ArtOfFighting'' was a prequel to the ''Fatal Fury'' series, taking place in an unspecified time period somewhere around the late 1970s/early 1980s with a younger Geese eventually showing up as the TrueFinalBoss in ''[=AOF2=]'', while ''Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition'' featured an older Ryo as a hidden boss. In ''KOF'', the ''AOF'' cast has essentially been transported a few decades into the future with no change to age or personality.
* The original ''VideoGame/RollingThunder'' was a period piece set during the late 1960s. For some reason, the two sequels moved the setting to the 1990s, even though the Albatross and Leila from those games are implied to be the same characters from the original (rather than being {{legacy character}}s).
* An interesting example is found in ''VideoGame/TheIdolmaster'' where each of the characters have a birthday. However over the course of a year they never celebrate their birthday or age. In the end, Iori is still 14, Haruka is still 16, and the twins are still 12 even if you pass their birthdays.
** This is almost averted in the second game which claims a year has passed from the first but this [[VoodooShark just raises further questions.]] Most characters have grown taller (or for some weird reason in the case of Hibiki ''shorter''), several have changed their hairstyle, and all have aged a year but nobody has improved much as an idol. Also Miki is unawakened and Ritsuko has quit being an idol. The official ending of the first game could be guessed at being the Futami Twins who only separate to debut solo in their best ending but neither is an A rank idol. It seems a year passed but the first game never happened... even though it did; and now I'm getting a headache.
* Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog has been fighting Robotnik since he was 10. For the last 20 years. According to all of the ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' games, he was 15. Even after his birthday party in ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'', official sources still state his age as 15.
** The original idea was that Sonic was 10 in the first game, but was bumped up to 15 once ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'' came out.
*** ''Sonic Jam'' says Sonic is sixteen while Knuckles is fifteen. So apparently the two switched ages between the 'classic' and 'modern' games, making Sonic actually younger.
** He's actually had a couple of birthdays in the Archie comics but since they're always rebooting the universe he never ages beyond 16.
*** One issue actually {{lampshade|Hanging}}d this - Sonic was celebrating a birthday after spending a year (Mobius-wise) lost in space. When they asked how old he was, he just said "Let's say I'm 16 and never mention this again."
** It's made even more painfully obvious by the aging of characters like Amy and Tails (whose age probably fluctuates the most in media, he was also officially de-aged from 10 to 8 years old).
* ''VideoGame/DeadOrAlive'' had this going for a while. The series debuted in 1996, but the characters remained the same age; for example, Kasumi and Ayane remained only 17 and 16 respectively. As of ''VideoGame/DeadOrAlive5'', however, the entire cast has been officially aged two years.
* The cast in the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' series never seem to age at all. ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii'' starts the story off by having the Mario Bros. celebrate Princess Peach's birthday, but her age is never revealed. The entire series constantly references past games but none of the characters get any older. Now let's stop for a second and discuss Mario's age. The Japanese trophy description for Mario in ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Melee]]'' states that he's 26 years old. Let's be generous and say that he ages one year with each new generation, putting him at 28 as of the UsefulNotes/WiiU/UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS era. That would place his birth at around 1986-1987, rendering any Mario game that took place before ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'' non-canon. That's how long Mario has been around people!
* ''VisualNovel/{{Snatcher}}'' was originally released in 1988 in Japan, with the date of the Catastrophe set in 1991. For the English version, which was released in 1994, the date was changed to 1996. This actually caused all the dates in the story to be bumped by five years, changing the present date of the story from 2042 to 2047.
* The ''Literature/NancyDrew'' books have their own set of problems, but the ''VideoGame/NancyDrew'' PC games have another, namely this. There's a steady implication that the stories occur in quick succession (the first game, ''Secrets Can Kill,'' ended with a sting about a soap opera and death threats, directly leading to ''Stay Tuned For Danger,'' and more recent games such as ''Shadow at the Water's Edge,'' ''The Captive Curse,'' and ''Alibi in Ashes,'' are explicitly said to be one right after the other, with the only time passing between them being the plane rides between Japan, Germany, and River Heights). However, while this could imply only a few weeks or months in-universe, justifying the fact that she's still 18 years old, the games have been made for 15 years in real life, and they keep the tech up with the times, meaning in the span of less than a year, she's gone from finding clues on floppy disks and VHS tapes to super-powerful smartphones and thumb drives.
* Despite being active for nearly 4 years as of the time of this writing, ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' is still, according to WordOfGod, in 2409. This is after having two holiday events. According to the developers, they're in "very late" 2409. The Season 9 Featured Episode "Surface Tension" ''finally'' moved the game up to 2410. It'll probably be another four-and-a-half years before we get to 2411.
* Samus Aran in the ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' series doesn't seem to age a day at all, even though every single game is placed on a single timeline so that they all follow each other. It is never explained how much time has passed between games and the only passage of time that gets mentioned is in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime3Corruption'' where Samus wakes up 3 months later after being gravely injured by Dark Samus. At least she's genetically-altered to explain it.
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' has its characters age in between arcs and they age realistically. However, the Judge, despite being an old man who admits to using dentures, never seems to age one bit and the games uses a singular timeline with specific dates for each trial and event.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/RetardedAnimalBabies'' hangs a lampshade on this in episode 21: Cat mentions that they're only six months old but can somehow go to two annual 4-H fairs in a row. (Assuming the previous one was the one briefly shown in episode 2, ''several'' years have also passed in RealLife time in that period.)
* ''WebAnimation/TheMostPopularGirlsInSchool'': In an example of WebcomicTime, Seasons 1 through 4 take place over a single school year (less, as the series began with the year already in progress) but were produced over the course of four calendar years. What makes it also qualify as ComicBookTime is that whenever a character mentions the current year, they say the current ''RealLife'' year, meaning it went from 2012 to 2015 during that single InUniverse year.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Avalon}}'' averted this for the most part, with the majority of it taking placing in real time and with timeskips after long storylines. It was played straight near the end of its run when the ugliness that is ScheduleSlip reared its head and caused week to month long delays.
* This is parodied in ''Webcomic/{{Supermegatopia}}'', in which [[http://www.supermegatopia.com/profiles/profiles.php?thisLink=mongooseguy.txt Mongoose Lad]] really ''was'' Ferret Man's boy sidekick for decades, due to a mutation that caused him to age far slower than normal.
* ''Webcomic/{{Achewood}}'' characters age normally... except for Phillipe. Phillipe is five. He will ''always'' be five.
* ''Webcomic/APTComic'', though some of the characters (including the resident [[AGodAmI Author]]) have 'ranges' instead of a set age.
* From ''Webcomic/PvP'':
-->'''Cole:''' It could be worse...Bart Simpson has been ten years old since 1989.
-->'''Francis:''' This blows.
-->'''Cole:''' You'll appreciate it when you're in your thirties.
-->'''Francis:''' ''[[http://www.pvponline.com/comic/2006/12/27/dec-27-2006/ I'm never going to be in my thirties!]]''
** Two years after that strip, Francis and Marcie [[SexAsRiteOfPassage lose their virginities to one another]] and [[http://www.pvponline.com/comic/2008/05/28/ding/ immediately age three years]].
** This is done inconsistently, though, as [[http://www.pvponline.com/comic/2008/05/09/case-file-mcmlxxi-xxi/ this strip]] implies that less than four years have passed since the comic's launch, modern pop-culture references notwithstanding.
** On the other hand, Cole's daughter (Born 1999/2000) dropped out of the strip for a decade and is now in college.
* Averted in ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell'' (and also in Bill Holbrook's other strips). Coney was born and is growing up, Lindesfarne graduated and went to university, and even Rudy has grown up and matured. A little.
** And yet, initially it was played straight as Coney who's ''now'' growing up, was born around when the webcomic began in 95 and didn't progress to being a toddler until a full 10 years later with time still being acknowledged as progressing.
** The tags under the strips note strips in which Rudy's age is mentioned. He's aged six years between [[http://www.kevinandkell.com/1996/kk1031.html 1996]] and [[http://www.kevinandkell.com/2012/kk0227.html 2012]]. Interestingly, Coney looks about six in the latter strip as well.
** The 20th anniversary featured a week of comics set 20 years ago in strip time: Kevin was still married to Angelique (with a baby Lindesfarne) and Kell was pregnant with Rudy.
* Done in ''Alice'', in which the characters were in 7th grade until around 2005, and have gone to ''several'' Halloween parties, fall dances, and Thanksgiving Weekends. The later strips show them progressing to Grade Eight.
* Averted in ''Webcomic/DeviantUniverse'', where almost every story event takes place in the month they were drawn in.
* In [[http://www.shortpacked.com/2007/comic/book-5/06-flashbacked/thefirstmovie/ this]] ''WebComic/{{Shortpacked}}'', Ethan considers some of the effects of Comic-Book Time with respect to Batman.
* A year of ''WebComic/DumbingOfAge'' strips will usually cover an [[WebComicTime in-universe week]], but the comic has a sliding time-scale to prevent it, in the author's words, slowly turning into a period piece.
* While ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' does note holidays (And the strip's anniversary) and some events (Such as Zoe going through and eventually graduating from college) that indicate the passage of time, nobody noticeably ages. By rights, Riff and Torg should be close to 40 by now if they aged in real time.
* Originally played straight and then abruptly averted in ''Webcomic/LeastICouldDo'', by means of [[FromBeyondTheFourthWall a memo from the cartoonist]] informing the assembled characters that they would henceforward age normally. The missive was received with ... more than a little distress, especially by [[ManChild Rayne]], and the following years saw the major characters trying to get a handle on maturity and planning for the future.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/LegionOfNetHeroes'', due to being a superhero parody, has played with this many times. Probably the most explicit use of the trope is the Slide-Rule of Time, which can create and manipulate sliding timescales with elementary-level arithmetic.
* In the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'', time clearly moves more slowly than in the real world; Team Kimba arrives at the academy in early September 2006 (still in the future at the time the first stories were written), and by real-life early 2009 the storyline has advanced to begin to cover events in January/February 2007. On the other hand, the stories do provide plenty of concrete dates and times to help keep everything on track.
** Although there's a subtle nod to this trope with Headmistress Carson, [[OlderThanTheyLook who is over seventy, and looks to be in her mid to late 30s, and looked like a teenager well into her real thirties]]. In a not so subtle nod, it is recognized according to WordOfGod that Comic-Book Time itself is accepted in-universe ''because'' after she got her powers, she aged at about one third or one quarter the rate she should have and everyone knows this.
* Averted so far in the [[ComicBook/LessThanThreeComics LessThanThree-Verse]], with actual dates matching those in the real world, and the core characters, The Brat Pack, less than a year from graduating high school.
* Roleplay/BehindTheVeil, being a {{Play by Post Game|s}}, runs by this trope out of necessity; the events of a eventful hour could take weeks to write out. Using some of the oldest characters on the site as a framing device, their first meeting which was written towards the end of 2007 happened roughly a year prior to current events.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'': In "Family Spirit", Dave states he met The Chipmunks about seven years ago, relative to March 1st, 2015 (French airdate) or August 6, 2015 (US airdate), making The Chipmunks retroactively not exist during the times of the songs they have been covering.
* ''WesternAnimation/BugsBunny'': While Bugs Bunny celebrated his 50th birthday according to the TV special ''Happy Birthday Bugs: 50 Looney Years'' and the NES game ''The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout'', there has been no mention of a 75th birthday party.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' is an example of an animated TV show lasting long enough for this trope to become apparent. The births of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, the year of Homer and Marge's first meeting, wedding, etc., all appear to shift as the seasons roll by so that the characters can constantly remain the same age (more or less). This usually manifests itself in the flashback episodes. Grandpa, however [[RefugeeFromTime will always be a WWII veteran]], even if this makes him unrealistically old. One JustForFun/{{egregious}} example is Apu and Manjula's octuplets, who they decide to have after seeing Maggie, and were conceived, born, and are now toddlers that have shown to be able to stand and talk, while Maggie is still the same crawling, teething, silent infant.
** There is an early episode when Bart and Lisa likens watching the premiere of a movie to watching the moon landing. We then see a flashback of a 10-ish year old Homer completely ignoring the moon landing, listening to his records. They later had an episode focused on his mother and her hippie-background and had a toddler Homer showing up at Woodstock. The two events took place only 26 days apart!
** How many episodes have Bart and Lisa beginning or finishing the school year, but they (along with their classmates) are always stuck in the same grade?
** In series 8 Luann Van Houten tells Marge that she just can't keep up with the Go-Go Nineties.
** The series 5 opener refers to Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope all still being alive, working and successful. George Harrison cameos in the same episode (and not just the flashback bit).
** In Season 3, Sideshow Bob says that "You can't keep the Democrats out of the White House forever!" That was six presidential terms ago, four of them Democratic, and Maggie hasn't aged a day.
** Frequently lampshaded in the commentaries by Al Jean, who loves to bring up the fact that one of the show's current writers was born after 1980, and is thus technically younger than Bart.
** When, exactly, the backstory to the kids' birth takes place has never been treated very seriously (notably in two separate episodes Bart was 5 in 1990, but was born in 1980, making him 5 in 1985) and is always floating at "10, 8 and 1 year(s) ago". This is {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in another episode where Homer remembers his childhood as "The fifties, or the sixties, or... maybe it was the early seventies."
*** This could be part of the reason Homer's mother was written out of the series. She left her family in TheSixties to escape the law but at this point, 40ish-year-old Homer would be too young for this to make any sense now.
** The amount of Christmas episodes obviously suggests years passing, yet it never does. Doesn't anyone in Springfield realise Christmas only happens once a year? Two major events in the normally NegativeContinuity show (Santa's Little Helper getting adopted and Lisa turning Buddhist) happen over two Christmases, and on one occasion Homer counts up at least a dozen family Christmases which he had saved and/or ruined, even though he's only been married to Marge for about 10-11 years.
** In the episode "Lisa's Wedding", Lisa sees into the far future her first love in the far-off year of 2010, 15 years from the episode's 1995 airdate.
** Lampshaded in "That '90s Show", where Bart claims he's never heard of the '90s. This was rather controversial, seeing as how Bart was a prominent pop culture icon of the early '90s, but the storyline required he be born in 1998.
** Lampshaded in "The Last Temptation of Krust" when Marge is taking Bart and Lisa shoe shopping for dress shoes. Lisa complains that the shoes are two sizes too big and Marge says she'll grow into them. Lisa then asks 'When?' and Marge says 'Oh you're overdue for a growth spurt.'
** Major League Baseball catcher/later manager Mike Scioscia made guest appearances in 1992 and 2010 and aged normally. Although the events of the 1992 episode were mentioned, his physical appearance was not lampshaded, despite a great opportunity to blame it on his tragic illness in the former episode.
** The episode "Angry Dad The Movie" has a very strange time line, it is stated that Bart created Angry Dad in 1999, even though the original episode aired in 2002. Later in the episode Bart claims he became a fan of animation after watching the early episodes of ''WesternAnimation/{{SpongeBob SquarePants}}'' as a toddler.
** "Ned-Liest Catch" references Edna Krabappel's relationship with Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer which took place in the 3rd season episode "Flaming Moe's" back in 1991. He has aged in real time since then and no one comments on this.
** Also in "Behind The Laughter", Lisa states in her "Tell All Book" that she has been given anti-aging hormones to keep her 8.
** Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have all either appeared or been mentioned on the show and three of them got re-elected. Not only that, but Richard Nixon was at several points mentioned, with Homer having been old enough to have developed a disrespect of Nixon while he was young!
** In the first half-hour episode where the family gets Santa's Little Helper, Marge writes in a letter to her family that Maggie had taken her first steps, though she still fell down every so often. Maggie's been learning how to walk for more than ''twenty years''.
** Lampshaded by Sideshow Bob in the ''[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS27E5TreehouseOfHorrorXXVI Treehouse of Horror XXVI]]'' segment "Wanted: Dead, then Alive": "24 years of trying to kill a ten-year-old child [Bart] have finally paid off."
** Early episodes of the series characterized Principal Seymour as a Vietnam war veteran who has flashback about his tour of duty, with one episode (I Love Lisa) showing him still tormented by the death of a combat buddy. This aspect of Skinner's backstory gets downplayed as the series went on.
** The flashback episodes are particularly bad with this one. Homer and Marge met in the late 70s, conceived Bart in 1980, got married shortly after, with Lisa being born shortly before the 1984 Olympics.
** Likewise, a season 7 episode shows Grandpa Simpson being older than Mr. Burns during World War 2 by at least a decade. Another flashback, in season 8's "Burns Baby Burns" states that Mr. Burns attended his twenty-fifth Yale reunion around the time ''Gone With The Wind'' came out in cinemas.
** Another flash-forward episode features a fun lampshade hanging, where we meet the future versions of the rest of the family, but it seems Maggie is still a baby. Then it turns out this is actually Maggie ''Junior''.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'': The characters don't age much. Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny started out as 8-year-old boys in the third grade. In the 4th season, the boys move onto fourth grade and were 9-years old. By the season 15 episode "Crack Baby Athletic Association", all the boys were 10. None of the other characters in the series have aged at all either with the exception of Ike who started out as a toddler who could barely speak coherently, as of season eleven he is a bit taller, wears different clothes and he can now speak in full sentences. In the Facebook episode, "You have 0 Friends," first broadcast in spring of 2010, several of the boys' Facebook profiles were shown, listing their birth years as 2001 -- four years after the show started airing (in fact Ike's gravestone in an early episode had him born in 1996).
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'':
** The series featured the terms of an anthromorphic animal Bill Clinton and George Bush alike, yet Arthur and his friends are still in the third grade.
** DW has also turned five and the baby Kate born and aged to around nine months, yet Arthur is still eight. Kate has shown signs of entering toddlerhood but it's unlikely Arthur will move up to a grade as that'd remove Ratburn as a character and change the class structure. Eventually they did graduate in season 19.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', twice:
** During the first "comeback" season, Peter mentions that Bonnie has been pregnant for five years, and tells her to either have the baby or not. Stewie's age has been lampshaded a few times, notably when he says to Brian "But I'm only one!" and Brian replies "Still?"
*** Bonnie ''finally'' gave birth. Took almost ten years, but there you go.
** On the other hand, one character, Bertram, has managed to be conceived, carried to term, born, and age enough to be allowed to play on the playground while Stewie remained one year old, all in one episode. Other episodes have also distinctly taken place over months of time with no change in Stewie's age. A good example of this was the episodes "The Perfect Castaway" in which there is a time lapse of a year, but Stewie (among practically all the cast) remaining the same.
** ''Family Guy'' occasionally gives the main characters actual progression. There's the episode where Chris finally went to High School, an episode beginning with Meg's 17th birthday (she was 15 at the beginning of season 1, and aged to 16 in a later episode of the same season and aged to 18 by season 10), and another episode beginning with Lois' 41st birthday. However, it looks strange that Meg has aged somewhat normally while Chris only aged one year throughout the whole series.
** Brian is always stated to be 7 or 8 years old in dog years and he is always mulling over about just how old he is getting, even though Brian never seems to get older at all. Lampshaded when Stewie asks Brian:
-->'''Stewie:''' "How can you have a teenage son when you yourself are only seven?"
-->'''Brian:''' "Well those are dog years"
-->'''Stewie:''' "That doesn't make any sense"
-->'''Brian:''' "You know what Stewie, if you don't like it, just go on the Internet and complain".
** Once again lampshaded in "Christmas Guy", the show's third Christmas special. Lois proudly announces that it's Stewie's first Christmas, to which Stewie replies, "Again?"
* ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'':
** Scooby has celebrated his fortieth birthday. He's still alive and the members of Mystery Inc. are still teenagers. Also, their ages are always the same, despite the various series having had more than one HalloweenEpisode. That Halloween must have been a ''really'' busy day for the gang.
** The continuity that begins with ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooOnZombieIsland'' follows on from the original series, but has the teenagers growing into adults... and Scooby not aging at all, despite being a Great Dane -- which breed has an average lifespan of 8-10 years. Similarly, ''WesternAnimation/APupNamedScoobyDoo'' has him as a puppy when the others were in elementary school, which is the same problem from the other end. In addition, technology levels and fashion (outside the main characters, at least) are based directly on when the series aired, meaning ''A Pup Named Scooby-Doo'' appears to be set after any previous ''Scooby-Doo'' series.
** This was lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooPiratesAhoy'' The Gang goes on a cruise to celebrate Fred's birthday. At the wharf, they ask him how old he is. His response? "37. [[{{beat}} *beat*]] 38... 39... Here it is. Dock 40."
* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' has an interesting timeline. At the beginning of the series, Bobby was 11 years old and had a birthday. He turned 13 in the fifth season and hasn't really aged since. In the fourth season, Luanne stated that she was 19½, then in season 9, she celebrated her 21st birthday. John Redcorn was said to be 36 in a season three episode and 40 in a season 10 episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' combined this with NotAllowedToGrowUp. Just from the sheer number of episodes, some of which specifically take place over the course of multiple days, one would think that at least a year would've passed, but it doesn't. (Add in the fact that they have holiday specials almost all the way around the calendar, including multiple Valentine's Day episodes, and this gets a bit ridiculous. Then there was that ''not'' real-time pregnancy that nevertheless tried to pass itself off as the right amount of time (it was explicitly autumn when the pregnancy was discovered in a season finale, and summer in TheMovie in which Dil is born (released before the start of the following season), so nine months is to be assumed), yet no time actually passes for anyone else. Lampshaded by the anniversary special called "Decade in Diapers". Then they make up for it by [[TimeSkip applying all ten years of accumulated time]] [[WesternAnimation/AllGrownUp at once]]. Chuckie seems to be the only one to develop over the course of the series, moving from a crib to a bed (and all the anxiety therein), and in the second movie, says his first word to grown-ups. The second film has Chas trying a dating site, which implies a mid-to-late 1990s setting (which would mean ''All Grown Up'' took place in NextSundayAD when first released). Going by the date the show started the babies should have been born in the late 80s, however Charlotte herself has shown signs of being a teen in the early to mid 80s in certain episodes.
* The main characters of ''WesternAnimation/HomeMovies'' have stayed eight-years-old throughout its four year run.
* ''WesternAnimation/LibertysKids'': The show covered 1773 right up to about 1789, and the main characters never aged - although all the adults around them did! By the end of the series Sarah was still 15, James 14, and Henri only 8 - after about 16 years! Leading to weird scenes where they recall events that happened -- that they ''[[BeenThereShapedHistory participated]]'' in -- eight, ten, twelve years ago, and marvel at how much things have changed in the meantime...
* On ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' Steve will always be 14 and Hayley always 18 or 19, but the episode "Tears of a Clooney" alone takes place over the course of an entire year, with little room left in its chain of events for other events to occur. Though, since each of the Christmas episodes has involved time/reality manipulation of some sort, the TimeyWimeyBall may be playing a role.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Reboot}}'' subverts and justifies this. Everyone in Mainframe doesn't age much, but when Enzo becomes a game sprite, he comes back an older, grizzled self, along with his girlfriend, both having started as children. Then when they make it back to Mainframe, Enzo is visibly as old as his sister Dot who had always been much older than him. However, the [[YearInsideHourOutside faster rate of time in the Games]] is supposed to justify this. It is worth noting that everyone is a program of some form and, as Enzo and [=AndrAIa=] show, age depends upon how much processing power is dedicated to them (games being CPU-intensive).
** Things are also fudged a bit by the characters perceiving time ''much'' slower than in the real world, thanks to the high processor speed of the computer they're in. They regularly talk about nanoseconds the way we do hours.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'': Timmy Turner has remained ten for over ten years. It was assumed that he had turned eleven in one episode, "Birthday Bashed", but a later episode, "Manic-Mom Day", established that he's still ten years old.
** He even celebrates ''two'' birthdays over the course of the show, and did celebrate the fact that he'd held onto Cosmo and Wanda for a year in the third season. The Comic-Book Time part was confirmed early on, because Timmy traveled back thirty years in two different episodes: to 1970 in the first season, but to 1972 in the third.
** On that note, when "The Secret Origin of Denzel Crocker!" was created Timmy's birthday was dated as 1992. That should have been booted out of the continuity early on, making the episode non-canon, as Timmy never reaches an other age and there's no indication the show is perpetually set in 2002..However "Timmy's Secret Wish" makes it ever the more possible Timmy still is born in 1992, possibly averting the typical floating timeline. This makes the live action movies set earlier than people think. You'd think it's set in the 2020s when it could be set in the early to mid 2010s, which is still TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture but less so.
** This is given quite a twist in the "Timmy's Secret Wish" special: Timmy once wished that everyone in the world would stop aging (and that Cosmo, the fairy granting the wish, would forget granting it afterwards). It turns out, by the time this is discovered, it's been [[spoiler:[[WhamLine 50 years]]!]] And apparently nobody in the entire world noticed.
** In the movie ''WesternAnimation/AbraCatastrophe'', Timmy celebrates his Fairy-versery for keeping his fairies a secret for a year, but he's still 10 - however, it was established that he got Cosmo and Wanda as his fairies when he was 9, a short while before he turned 10.
* Strongly {{subverted|Trope}} in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice,'' where there's a timestamp at least OncePerEpisode establishing the date and time when events begin. WordOfGod says that the UniverseBible has a timeline that's ''149 pages long,'' giving all the major events in the show's history. The show begins on July 4, 2010 (which was originally NextSundayAD) and the first season finale was set on New Year's.
** T.O. Morrow built robots to destroy the Justice Society of America during World War II, and at the time of the show is still building them to destroy the Justice League. [[spoiler: Of course, the real T.O. Morrow is an old man in a coma who built a robotic duplicate of himself to continue his work]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'' averts this--we open the night before Peter begins his junior year and season two ends in the spring, with episodes set around all the major holidays between. It was intended to be a SixtyFiveEpisodeCartoon that would end with Peter and his classmates [[GraduateFromTheStory Graduating From The Story]], but it was ScrewedByTheLawyers before that could happen.
* This trope is actually averted in ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}''. While the show began in 1997 and ended in 2001 (and two DirectToVideo films in 2003), it's been established that the show only takes place over the course of September 1997 to June 1998. This is firmly established in ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut'', where the villain talks about how he was holding revenge for thirty years since 1968 (the movie was released in February 2001, but takes place in June 1998)
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/PepperAnn'', which did pretty much the exact same thing as ''Recess'': started in 1997, continued past 2000, in-series calenders still say '97.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', having been first devised in 1992 as Craig [=McCracken=]'s school project as The Whoopass Girls, were first depicted as five-year-old children attending kindergarten in their first Hanna-Barbera commissioned short "Meat Fuzzy Lumkins." They remained five years old through all six seasons of their show (plus specials and the movie) in spite of the fact they celebrated a birthday in the episode "Birthday Bash." A few early episodes of have the series taking place in 2000 according to some scenes, and it shows in their technology (such as several characters owning a UsefulNotes/Nintendo64). By the special ''Dance Pantsed'' (which was released after the cartoon ended) the series takes place somewhere in the early 2010s as seen by the characters owning a UsefulNotes/{{Wii}}. The ContinuityReboot ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls2016'' is a StealthSequel and takes place in the mid 2010s.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'''s theme song mentions "104 days of summer vacation"...but the show is [[LongRunners approaching 200 episodes]] already. A few clues are offered about dates--the first season episode "Dude, We're Getting the Band Back Together" takes place on June 15, and the second season special "Summer Belongs to You" takes place on the summer solstice. This has been lampshaded several times:
** Phineas answers (to a thought we never hear) in an episode: "You're right Ferb. It DOES feel longer than 104 days."
** Buford at one point says "Are you sure it's only been three months? Because I added up the stuff we've been building and we're way over 115..."
** In "Fly on the Wall," Doof laments that the summer seems to be going on forever.
** However, some episodes and specials ''don't'' take place during the summer, so it's not impossible for another summer to take place.
* ''WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButtHead'' featured unaging characters, but the spin-off, ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'' (which was still running after ''Beavis and Butt-Head'' ended) actually did have a progression of time and ended with its lead graduating from high school. When ''WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButtHead'' returned for a single season in 2011, Daria have long since moved away and graduated. This is even subtly {{lampshade|Hanging}}d. Beavis states that he used to have a friend named Daria who had died. Butthead immediately calls him an idiot and says that Daria moved away.
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' with Finn aging from 12 to 14 with WordOfGod being that he will continue to age and learn rather than remain twelve forever.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'' zig-zag this a little. The four principals never changed in appearance (apart from the usual art evolution such series goes through) through the birth of Pebbles and the adoption of Bamm-Bamm during the original six seasons and the movie (''The Man Called Flintstone''). They still don't in ''WesternAnimation/ThePebblesAndBammBammShow'' (1971) where the two infants are now teens and even those two don't change in the subsequent NBC shows later on (''The Flintstone Comedy Show, Flintstone Funnies''). Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm eventually graduate to adulthood in the 90s with two made-for-TV animated films (''I Yabba Dabba Do!, Hollyrock-A-Bye Baby'') while their parents, on the verge of grandparenthood, still look the way they did when the original series aired its finale in 1966. The 2001 Cartoon Network special ''Flintstones: On The Rocks'' retcons this, designing the four main characters as they looked from the original series' very start.
* The original cast of ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'' have all been about 16 since the show first aired in 2007. The first two seasons attempted to avert this trope by casually mentioning [[WebcomicTime it's only been a few days between seasons]], but by the fifth season, they've taken to just dancing around ever stating the ages of the characters.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' explicitly states the year pretty frequently, showing that most episodes are set about 1000 years after they air. The span of time from Fry arriving in the future to beginning of the last episode is about 14 years. This presents a few problems.
** Outside of a few time travel episodes that show the characters through decades of their lives, none of the characters appear to age. Fry and Leela have gone from their mid-20s in the beginning of the first season to around 40 at the beginning of the last season and Hermes should be in his 50s or 60s by the end. However, characters are shown as able to live well into the hundreds, so maybe people age more gracefully in the future.
** Dwight and Cubert are stated to be about 12 years old in season 3 and remain so through the show's run. By the end, the should be in their mid-20s, which is about as old and Fry and Leela were when the show started.
** Amy is introduced as an intern and college student in the first season. The writers eventually saw this as a problem and she finally graduates in season six, [[LampshadeHanging where it's stated that she's been an intern at Planet Express for 10 years.]]
* The AnimatedAdaptation of ''Literature/{{Franklin}}'' as well as its spin-off ''Franklin and Friends'' have used a very odd version in which Franklin and his friends don't really age at all throughout most of the original series. In the film ''Back to School with Franklin'', they move up a grade. In ''Franklin and Friends'', they're said to be about a year older, but still attend class with the same teacher. Bear's baby sister Beatrice is born in the first season of the original show, Franklin's sister Harriet is born in the film ''Franklin and the Green Knight'', set between the fourth and fifth seasons. By the fourth season of the original series, Beatrice is toddler-aged. In the fifth season, Harriet is as well, and by ''Back to School with Franklin'', Beatrice is attending preschool and Harriet is near that point. In ''Franklin and Friends'', both seem to be about the same age they were at the end of the original television series.
* This is averted in the Franchise/{{DCAU}}, however the indicators of how much time have passed are subtle and can be easy to miss (other than the fact that ''The New Batman Adventures'' takes place a few years after ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' and ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' obviously takes place 40+years in the future). Supergirl is probably the best indicator of how much time has passed...she's 16 in her first appearance in ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'', and it's mentioned to be her 21st birthday during her final appearance in ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]''. Similarly, in another episode in the final season of JLU, Grodd's fight with the Flash (which happened in the first season of ''Justice League'') is mentioned to have happened a "couple of years ago". It can be said that the first season of Justice League takes place 1-2 years after the end of S:TAS and JL/JLU take place over the course of 3-4 years.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' has a lot of contemporary references however the brothers are eight years old and ten years old. This creates a situation where Huey was ten when Obama became president however in episodes set years later he is still ten; either he should have aged or he would have been very young during that presidental election. Lampshaded in one episode where an elderly man is friends with Huey and explains to Robert and Riley that he and Huey "go way back."
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