->''"I've put the cookie jar just two seconds out of sync where ComicStrip/{{Garfield}} can't reach it."''
-->-- '''Jon Arbuckle''', ''Webcomic/SquareRootOfMinusGarfield''

So you have a powerful piece of AppliedPhlebotinum, but it is too heavy to carry around and you don't want the BigBad to lay hands on it? Well, if you are a time traveler, you are in luck: just put it in a little PlaceBeyondTime, one second out of sync with the rest of the universe! That was easy, wasn't it? It will be permanently ahead or behind you in time, and is absolutely unreachable until you use your fancy gadgets to summon it back. Extra points are awarded [[RuleOfCool for style]] if the object slowly fades away.

This is a bit difficult to figure out with most models of how time works. Let's say time is a horizontal line. In this case moving it to the left or to the right should result in the same line. As a consequence, the object you are trying to hide won't disappear at all, only get a second older or younger. In universes with branching timelines, your precious item may be placed on a different branch, but then again, people in that parallel universe can still interact with it. Possibly, it's analogous to putting it in a different "boat" in the same "river"; you're both traveling through the timestream at the same speed, but it's "ahead" of you, so you can never catch up with it. How that works in the physical world is anyone's guess.

If the geometry of time in your universe resembles a [[TimeyWimeyBall ball]] rather than a line, a tree, or a river, forget we said anything.

Possible uses include:
* Hiding something as mentioned above
* Having a little private time (literally)
* Invisibility / Cloaking device
* Playing hide-and-seek with other time travelers
* Planting booby traps
* [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E12TheStolenEarth Hiding 27 planets]]

The amount doesn't have to be exactly one second, but as a general rule of thumb, it should fall within the lifetime of the characters involved, so hiding at the beginning/end of the universe doesn't count. (Unless it happened just a second ago.)

Since relativity made the distinction between space and time a rather vague one, "out of phase with space" examples are also acceptable, although they quite possibly involve more than three spatial dimensions. (Extra temporal dimensions may also be used.)

Another theory could be that the phrase refers to time locking, in which such an item is locked into a single second of time. It only exists at that point in time and no other so long as it is out of sync.

Contrast TheSlowPath, PortalToThePast. Compare BagOfHolding, PocketDimension, PhantomZone, and InvisibleMainCharacter, especially if invisibility occurs because the character is "out of phase." Has nothing to do with foreign dubs where the overlaid dialogue is out of sync with the lip movements; for that you're looking for HongKongDub and other issues related to LipLock.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Giorno Giovanna's Stand, Gold Experience, can inflict something akin to this in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureVentoAureo''. By infusing a still living persons body with its life-giving power it can throw their perception of reality out of sync with how their body is reacting to it. He can use this to literally make their brain think further ahead than their body can react or make the effect of a one-second punch to the face feel like it's stretched out to five minutes of bone-crunching agony.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' has [[spoiler:Chao]] making herself invincible by using a time-travel device to very briefly (as in, milliseconds) jump to a different point in time and then back again. No-one is able to lay a finger on her until Negi figures out a way to engineer a similar effect.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'', Knothole was shifted three hours into the future when the Ultimate Annihilator hit it. It was ''supposed'' to outright destroy it, but Snively modified the weapon to only kill Robotnik. When Robo-Robotnik showed up and decided to forcefully restore Knothole to its proper time (and, thus, destroy it), Sonic strapped himself to a Super Chaos Emerald and used his speed and the emerald's power to stop Robotnik's weapon, with the side effect of turning him into his ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' variation.
* Kang the Conqueror, a recurring foe of ''ComicBook/TheAvengers'', uses this variation of a PocketDimension as a ''gun rack.'' As a BigBad from a 30th-century earth that is entirely under his dominion, he's got some pretty startling weapons to stash there.
* In ''ComicBook/BlackestNight'', the only way Flash and Green Lantern were able to get away from the black rings was to time-travel two seconds into the future.
* IDW's ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' comic book series used this trope to set their stories within the same setting as the television show without creating continuity issues. The characters in the comic were in a different "time phase" than the characters in the show, allowing them to travel to the same locations while remaining invisible and intangible.
* This was how ComicBook/{{Thanos}} kept Comicbook/TheAvengers from interfering with him in the storyline that introduced him back in the 1970s.
* In ''ComicBook/YokoTsuno'', Monya hides her time machine, the shifter, by moving it to a nearby time spiral (time is shaped like spirals in this comic).

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* This is accidentally done to Calvin, Hobbes, and Socrates in ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' when the MTM tries to fast-forward through a boring museum visit. They all end up out of sync with each other, initially causing Calvin to give answers ''before'' other people ask the accompanying question. HilarityEnsues, to say the least.
* This is used in combination with SanDimasTime in ''VideoGame/CrimsonEchoes'' to explain how the gates work, and why they only exist at one point in time. Specifically, the Entity created the gates for the party to travel through time and save the world, but since the party runs on SanDimasTime, the gates also have to move forward through time at the same rate. [[spoiler: This ends up causing problems with time travel when the party ends up out of sync in the Reptite timeline, as no matter what they do, the gates will be off-sync with them, and thus unable to be used.]]
* In the ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'', the [[TheWatcher Interviewers]] eventually explain that this is how they operate in relation to the ponies they're interviewing, at least when acting as TheVoice.

* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Epic}}'' the tiny inhabitants of the forest are hard for humans to see because they exist in a state where they naturally move faster than larger animals, humans included. Seen from MK's perspective, Queen Tara is vibrating so fast that she leaves after-images even when she's not actually moving.

* In Creator/DavidEddings's ''[[Literature/TheElenium Elenium]]'', it is mentioned that different gods have different ways to appear invisible. One of the troll gods uses time in this way.
** It's noted that the explanation is nonsensical, but that since Ghnomb is a god and believes it should work, [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve his belief makes it work.]]
* In ''Literature/TheDemolishedMan'', Ben Reich had a safe that was "out of phase" with normal space, rather than time.
* ''Collision with Chronos'' by Barrington J. Bayley. A criminal in a city of time-twisters is sentenced to exile a second in the past. This is ''total'' exile: life only exists in the present moment, with human structures slowly decaying either side of the moving wave of "now".
* Has been used in the ''Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse'' novels -- in the [[Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures New Adventure]] ''The Also People'', for example, the Doctor does it to hide the TARDIS from the [[Literature/TheCulture advanced race]] whose DysonSphere he's visiting, so they aren't tempted to reverse-engineer it.
* In C.S. Lewis's Literature/SpaceTrilogy, Eldils are ephemeral to average people due to this type of reason.
* In Reginald Bretnor's story "The Gnurrs Come from the Voodvork Out", when Papa Schimmelhorn is asked where the gnurrs came from, he explains that they came from yesterday. When someone objects that they weren't here yesterday, he says that, then, they were in the day before yesterday.
* Literature/PerryRhodan has this happen with the entire solar system... twice. First time around, they shift the whole thing "[[TechnoBabble a relative five minutes into the future]]" so as to be able to avoid an attack without causing unneccessary bloodshed. The second time, they throw in a randomiser (because the MonsterOfTheWeek has access to superior technology), meaning ''the entire solar system keeps randomly leaping and bounding across the timeline'' (going from a split second to up to twenty minutes into the future).
* In James Patrick Kelly's novellette "Undone", the time-traveling protagonist is trapped by an "identity mine" that keeps hovering five minutes pastward of her. [[spoiler:If she travels backward a full five minutes, her mind will be mush.]]
* This happens in the Stephen King story "Literature/TheLangoliers" (and the miniseries adapted from it). A plane-load of people get stuck an unspecified but short time behind the normal timeframe, and have to escape before they are eaten by the [[ClockRoaches titular creatures]]. In the meantime, their separation from the present means that the rest of the world is entirely empty, the day/night cycle is fading into perpetual twilight, sounds and echoes are deadened, food is tasteless, carbonated drinks are flat, and matches won't light. To top it all off, a horrible chewing noise in the distance grows ever louder as the Langoliers approach. It ends with them being a moment in the ''future'', but it's more tenable since they shift back to the present.
* ''Future Times Three'' written by René Barjavel used a shifting device. It allowed the time traveler to shift one second back and forth, making him unreachable.
* Literature/CliffordSimak's signature trope. He loves writing alternative Earths that are between that and alternative history. Other variations have been used too, such as hiding a time machine in a second in the past, rendering it inaccessible without the hero's powers of time control.
* In James Valentine's ''Jumpman Rule 1: Don't Touch Anything!'', time travelers use this concept to remain invisible as they observe historical moments of interest. In theory, staying several milliseconds out of sync with the time zone they are visiting, they will not be seen by the 'natives', and as long as they don't touch anything they won't screw with history. Unfortunately...
* In Creator/LRonHubbard's ''Literature/MissionEarth'', the Voltarian Confederacy uses the time-warping powers of harnessed black holes to shift their entire capital city thirteen minutes into the future, rendering it invulnerable because any aggressors would find nothing to target. How local traffic is able to drive in and out of this time shift without incident while enemy ordnance is ''not'' is never explained.
* In Isaac Asimov's short-short ShaggyDogStory "A Loint of Paw", a criminal named Stein uses a time machine to travel forward in time, to avoid his crime's statute of limitations. The judge rules that [[spoiler:"A niche in time saves Stein."]]
* In Creator/JasperFforde's Literature/ThursdayNext series, this is described as a common hazing prank in the Chrono Guard which was banned after they lost a cadet there.
* In the ''[[Literature/TheRiftwarCycle Riftwar]]'' book ''Krondor: The Betrayal'', which is also the novelization for the computer game ''VideoGame/BetrayalAtKrondor'', the [[spoiler:Lifestone under Sethanon]] had been time-shifted in this manner, and the entire invasion plot by the BigBad [[spoiler:Makala]] was to provide a distraction so that he could bring the [[spoiler:Lifestone]] back into normal time to study and/or steal it. This only happens in the novelization; in the game, the timeshifting protection doesn't exist.
** It does, however, exist in the book ''A Darkness at Sethanon'', which the game is a sequel to.
* One of the endings in the Literature/ChooseYourOwnAdventure book ''The Cave of Time'' has you end up five minutes out of sync with the rest of the universe. This doesn't make you unreachable, but it does have the effect that others perceive you doing things five minutes after you've actually done them.
* Gromph Baenre, the Archmage of Menzoberranzan, has a sanctuary which exists in some ways both in the distant future ''and'' the distant past in ''Literature/WarOfTheSpiderQueen''.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has used it repeatedly.
** The original use was in the classic-series First Doctor serial [[Recap/DoctorWhoS2E7TheSpaceMuseum "The Space Museum"]]. The TARDIS "jumps a time track" and deposits them on the museum planet's in this manner. It eventually wears off on its own but while in this state the Doctor and companions are invisible and inaudible to everything around them. The glimpse of the near future they receive while like this is what starts the serial's plot.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS18E6TheKeeperOfTraken "The Keeper of Traken"]], in which the Master did it to the Doctor's TARDIS to cut off his escape route.
** The ATMOS devices in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E4TheSontaranStratagem "The Sontaran Stratagem"]] work as advertised on the surface, but their true purpose is to spew a noxious gas the Sontarans can use to turn Earth into a clone farm. This facet of its design is disguised by hiding the dangerous part one second out of time.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E12TheStolenEarth "The Stolen Earth"]], the Daleks use this to create a pocket universe for their [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt multiverse-destroying]] machine. (The 27 planets mentioned above.)
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime "The End of Time"]], the Doctor hides the TARDIS from the Master this way.
* A [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56NRz0u2ieU particularly memorable skit]] from ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' features the entire cast operating on different temporal lines due to the effect of [[OurWormholesAreDifferent the SOL passing through a wormhole]].
* ''Series/TheOuterLimits1963'' episode [[Recap/TheOuterLimits1963S2E16ThePremonition "The Premonition"]]. A test pilot and his wife are trapped 10 seconds into the future. They slowly move back toward regular time at a rate of 1 second per 30 minutes of subjective time. Their problem: they discover that their daughter will be run over by a truck once they return to normal time, and must find a way to stop it.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': The aliens in the episode "Time's Arrow" live scant fractions of a second out of phase with the rest of reality.
** In "The Next Phase", Geordi and Ro think they're dead, when they're actually a little out of sync with the rest of the universe.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' uses it a few times.
** "Year of Hell": The Krenim weapon ship exists outside of normal space-time when the temporal core is online. This doesn't render the ship invisible but makes it immune to conventional weaponry and, most importantly, immune to being affected by changes to the timeline. Also, the crew doesn't age in this state. There's also the more primitive Krenim torpedos, which use a similar effect to bypass shields.
** "Relativity": Seven of Nine is sent through time by the timeship USS Relativity (which is from the 29th century) to save ''Voyager'' from being destroyed by a strange device that is "out of phase" with normal time, since she is the only one that can see it due to her ocular implant.
* ''Series/TheTwilightZone1985'' episode "A Matter of Minutes," based on the 1941 short story "Yesterday Was Monday" by Creator/TheodoreSturgeon. A young married couple woke to find numerous faceless workers in blue coveralls disassembling their home around them. It turns out that they are the beings responsible for breaking down the minute that has just passed in order to re-use the raw materials to build the minute yet to come. (They actually work with a few hours worth of buffer as a safety factor.) On occasion the time workers muff their stage directions, which is why your car keys will be missing one minute, and back where you left them the next. It's explained that the viewpoint couple have dropped out of sync with their own timeframe, necessitating their disappearance from reality. (It's implied that this has happened to individuals such as Amelia Earhart, Judge Crater and Jimmy Hoffa.)
* ''Series/TheTwilightZone2002'' also had a similar one called "Gabe's Story". A man takes a blow to his head and begins seeing a fellow in blue overalls who keeps doing stuff to mess up his life. He's eventually told the little fellow was supposed to make sure [[spoiler: his wife left him, his assistance to a theft was discovered and he went to prison.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** There's the temporal filcher, a bizarre monster which pulls its victim out of synch. It is a bit different since the anomaly only works for several subjective rounds but the filcher is still alone with its victim until the rest of the party catch up.
** There are also several spells and abilities that function in a similar manner to this, such as the obvious Time Stop spell, or one of the uses of Wish/Miracle. The psionic power Time Hop allows a manifester to send a target forward in time for a short period - they disappear and reappear when the power's duration has elapsed, having experienced no time at all.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has an example in the staff of Orican the Seer, said staff existing half-a-second before the "now". The effect is described that the staff will hit the enemy before Orican even swings it, ensuring a hit. In game-terms, this allows Orican to reroll to-hit dice.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Timemaster}}'': Time Corps chronoscooters have "vanish" mode, which sends the 'scooter backwards in time at a rate equal to the current forward rate. In-game, this equates to the 'scooter hovering at the edge of existing until it is called back by the agent.
* Powerful Time mages in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' can shunt objects into the future for safekeeping.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Some objects in ''VideoGame/{{Singularity}}'' are slightly out of phase with the present time. These are detectable with the "chronolight" function of the TMD, and it can also pull them back into sync for your use. Phased things include boxes for puzzle-solving, [[spoiler: Renko's footsteps from his last attempt to fix the problem,]] and even explosive barrels to chuck at enemies.
* This trope occurs in an ''VideoGame/{{Achron}}'' tactic called "Timewave Dodging". If a unit dies in the past, any passing [[DelayedRippleEffect timewaves]] will propagate its nonexistence into the present. By time traveling it right across the approaching timewave, you can prevent it from being wiped out of existence. Weirdly enough, you're not hiding from other time travelers; you're hiding from causality itself!
** There's another tactic called echoless sneaking, in which an army approaching an enemy stops immediately before each timewave so that the attack doesn't get propagated to the future, and the enemy doesn't see it until it happens in the present.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonExplorers'' has this occur in a cutscene. Celebi uses this trick to help the current heroes escape from the villains surrounding them. [[spoiler:Primal Dialga is present to counter the effect and jolt them back into regular time, but they only needed a few seconds anyway.]] Later on it is also revealed that [[spoiler:Hidden Land, where Temporal Tower is located, was hidden within the parts of a split second.]]
* In ''VideoGame/CrimsonEchoes'', it's revealed that all Time Gates are moving forward at a constant rate, thus explaining SanDimasTime. If a person gets knocked even one second into the future, no Time Gates for them...
* In ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'', the Krenim were mostly wiped out by the Vaadwaur as part of the background to the Delta Rising expansion. During the Iconian War, a Krenim artifact... acquired by a Ferengi trader is the hook for a mission that reveals [[spoiler: one Krenim outpost has survived by using temporal technology to hide half a second away from the "regular" timestream.]]

* Parodied in [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2009/01/22/episode-1085-hardly-knew-ye/ this]] ''WebComic/EightBitTheater''.
* ''Webcomic/SquareRootOfMinusGarfield'' is the TropeNamer, with [[http://www.mezzacotta.net/garfield/?comic=310 this strip]], which discusses the trope. This page was then created by the maker of that strip.
** Done again [[http://www.mezzacotta.net/garfield/?comic=1389 with Garfield's Christmas presents]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the first episode of the ''WesternAnimation/AeonFlux'' TV series, Trevor uses a special harness that puts him out of phase with the world around him. He uses it to enter a special love nest he built for himself and Aeon, [[ItMakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext which is hidden inside the body of a kidnapped politician for some reason]].
* Clock King did this in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' when he got his hands on time manipulating technology, placing one on the Batmobile then setting it moments out of sync with time so the on-board trap sensors wouldn't find it.
* This is one of the many things that happened to Baxter Stockman in the '80s ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}'' series.
* This happens to Sonic in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/SonicBoom''. He puts on a device that Tails developed in order to push him to new heights of speed but ends up going so fast that he phases himself slightly into the future and becomes invisible to everyone else. Tails fixes the problem by joining him at the point of desync and then recalibrating his hardware to bring him back.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* This is always happening in reality, since time flows at different rates in different places due to the effects of relativity. GPS satellites, indeed, have to correct for this fact every so often so that they don't get out of synch with receivers on the Earth's surface and lose accuracy. While it does cause things to age at different rates[[note]]an effect that only really becomes prominent in extreme situations, such as flying near the speed of light, near a black hole, [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs or flying near the speed of light near a black hole]][[/note]], it does not "phase out" objects from the rest of the universe or make them unreachable in any sense. Instead, the difference just becomes more 'distance' you have to cross. Only stuff that falls beyond a black hole's event horizon can be called truly unreachable.
** You can still reach it if you're willing to dive in after it. It just can't reach you.
* Technically ''everyone'' experiences events in their environment a very small fraction of a second later than they actually happen, as it takes several milliseconds for the human nervous system to receive input from their sensory receptors and to process that information once it reaches the brain. The conscious mind is therefore slightly out of synch with the physical universe. This fact is the reason people have a reaction time to begin with, otherwise they'd act instantly. Training yourself to react faster includes training to process things faster in your brain and thus isn't all that easy.
** There's also the speed-of-light delay, and the much larger speed-of-sound delay. Do not try to track a supersonic airplane by sound.
* Videogame lag can cause this effect. You shoot at someone, but you miss, because you're actually shooting where they were a second ago.