->''"The clock in San Dimas is always running."''
-->-- '''Rufus''', ''Film/BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure''

San Dimas Time is used when a writer wants to add some against-the-clock tension to a TimeTravel story in spite of how little sense that makes.

As a result, events in two different time periods are shown to happen concurrently, so that people two years in the past only have X minutes to stop the villain from committing some terrible act in the present, even though they should technically have X minutes ''plus two years'' to sort it all out. Or perhaps the heroes have [[DelayedRippleEffect only Y minutes]] to get to their time machine and prevent the villain from doing something thirty years ago, which obviously makes no sense either. (Whatever "our" next year may bring, there is little risk of its world suddenly having experienced a [[GodwinsLawOfTimeTravel Nazi victory in 1945]].)

In most TimeTravel stories, San Dimas time provides a powerful case of FridgeLogic. After all, if say, for example, AliceAndBob are supposed to have "only" two hours to stop Dr. Demonface from [[BadFuture rising to power in the past]], wouldn't they in reality have all the time in the world? If they arrive to the future too late, they can just go back to an earlier future date. Of course, to preserve the drama, [[ElephantInTheLivingRoom this is almost never brought up.]]

Alternatively, characters traveling to some other time can't come back to the moment they left, but are somehow bound to return to a time, for example, eight minutes after they left if they were gone eight minutes. Can be justified, however, if time travel is of the "travel ''exactly'' X time forward/backward" variety. Or perhaps the characters just need to avoid [[TemporalParadox paradoxes]], but it's okay to [[TrickedOutTime Trick Out Time]].

Note that this is different from the PortalToThePast, where a time portal links two eras and allows time on both sides to run at an equal rate, giving the impression that events are running concurrently. This is essentially a portal that sends you X amount of time forward/backwards in time. The main difference is that the PortalToThePast means that the time flow rate on both sides are the same due to both sides being essentially at rest relative to one another (i.e. because of relativity).

If you want to be charitable, you can blame this on the TimeyWimeyBall. Characters who are UnstuckInTime also have a reason to rush, that being that they can't control how long they'll be at this time for or how long for them it will be before they are back, if at all.

San Dimas Time is often portrayed using MeanwhileInTheFuture. (That page, however, specifically focuses on scenes in which the two time periods do ''not'' affect one another.)

If the characters are in the past relative to the key events, they might avert this by taking TheSlowPath. If they are in the future, they may ''[[WrongGenreSavvy think]]'' they can tell whether or not they [[TimeTravelTenseTrouble are going to have succeeded]] (by simply reading a newspaper or otherwise) but perhaps somebody TrickedOutTime, or maybe there's going to be a DelayedRippleEffect "after" the villain changed the past.

Contrast with FantasticTimeManagement. The opposite of TakeYourTime, where there is no time pressure even though there should be.

Note: Please don't duplicate entries between this trope, MeanwhileInTheFuture, and PortalToThePast.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* In chapter 21 of the manga for ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'', the time travel is retconned to be this, seemingly to merely add drama to the situation. It never happened that way in ''Z'', nor is that how it works in the anime, so it's baffling as to why Toyotaro changed it to this when he's a big fan of the original series.
* In the ''Anime/InazumaEleven'' movie, Inazuma Eleven: Saikyō Gundan Ōga Shūrai, an organization from the future believes that the people of the future are too weak, and that the reason for this is due to soccer's attitude that soccer is fought for fun and that both 'enemy sides' are friendly with each other. Specifically they believe protagonist Endou to be the main cause, and they try and interfere with important events in his life that lead to him rising Raimon to success in the Football Frontier tournament (aka the events of the first season) by sending people into the past. Meanwhile, Endou's great-grandson Kanon also goes to the past to try and stop the bad guys. However, both parties, the bad guys and Kanon's team, treat the events as though they're happening in direct relation to them in the future. For example, no one sends anyone back to a point any further then we see the events of the past happening in occurrence to Endou's perspective.
** There's even a moment in the middle of the final match where Kanon finally turns up, after his trip around time to gather up some of Endou's future friends, and he mentions how he's ''sorry for being late''.
* ''Manga/InuYasha'': The time portal well can take people 500 years back and forward in time, but ''only'' that. If a day passes in the past, a day passes in the future. It's played more for laughs than anything, as Kagome's grandfather makes up ridiculous diseases that Kagome supposedly has as excuses for her missing school.
* ''Anime/TimePaladinSakura'' seems to run on this: Sakura hears on the past her base is being attacked, and comes back to find it wrecked.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* Early [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] ''ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}'' stories are full of such moments, with characters crossing back and forth between the 20th and 30th centuries as if they were just on the other side of town. "Oh no! We're too late!"
** Subverted in a 1990s ''Superboy'' story, when the Legion lose a member in the timestream. The Legionnaires insist they need to find her now, before something happens to her, to which Brainiac 5 replies, "Doesn't anyone realize we're talking about time travel?"
** In the Legion's tie-in story to ComicBook/FinalCrisis, [[spoiler: Superboy burns a line across Superboy-Prime's chest, and the same mark appears on the chest of Prime's future counterpart, Time Trapper.]]
* The DCU's ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' had a wall of anti-matter that moved through the Multiverse slowly destroying all time periods. The future was destroyed first, and the wall encroached backwards through time. Hence the Legion of Super-Heroes (who live in the 30th century) being decimated in an early issue, as well as (more famously) the Flash, Barry Allen, who had made his home in the future. As to ''why'' this destructive force went backwards; [[FridgeBrilliance If it moved forward, nothing after it could stop it.]] It would cease to exist and you'd have no story.
** Additionally, there was the phenomena of the red skies. They existed in all time periods, including the 1940's where All Star Squadron took place. In all cases, they showed up "a few days ago".
* ''WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck'' time travel generally uses this rule, at least in the sense of characters returning X hours later. One especially convoluted example was [[http://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=D+95022 a story]] where Donald and his nephews were sent back in time with the help of Gyro Gearloose's time-travelling bathtub to retrieve an atomic bomb accidentally sent back in time to the prehistoric era. During their mission they remain in contact with Gyro through a telephone, and both the past and present timelines run in parallel through the story, including a moment where a time paradox causes the planet Earth to [[DelayedRippleEffect start disappearing as history attempts to correct itself due to the effects of the bomb]], and then automatically un-corrects itself after Donald succeeds. Gyro's attempt to explain how the Earth was destroyed and un-destroyed when the bomb went off (even though it didn't) only manages to give Donald and the nephews a headache when they try to wrap their heads around it.
** Also by Disney, the stories where WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse and WesternAnimation/{{Goofy}} (and sometimes other people) travel on Prof. Zapotec's time machine. [[http://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=I+TL+2458-5 Example]]: the duo complains about being called to see the Aztec's proto-soccer right before the finals of a championship, travel, and arrive hours later, where Zapotec has recorded the game and such.
** They had a good way to justify this: The machine didn't travel with them, it just sent them to a specific time and location, and in order to avoid confusion they set it to lock on to the same spot after a certain amount of time had passed in both streams. That way, if Mickey and Goofy didn't reappear when Zapotec activated the recall function, he knew that he could try again once the same amount of time had passed. And they knew they had to be there at the exact time he would set the machine to.
* In the ComicBook/DaysOfFuturePast story, Kitty Pryde is psychically sent back in time to her younger body before the BadFuture happens. While she's in the past trying to prevent the assassination that would cause the BadFuture, her friends lug her unconscious body around trying to keep it safe from Sentinel attacks. They wonder if their timeline will be erased when Kitty completes her mission. In the end it isn't, creating an AlternateTimeline.

[[folder: Fan Fiction ]]
* In ''FanFic/SailorMoonZ'' "episodes" 10 and 11, a botched attempt to have the modern Inner senshi quintet observe their past selves leads not only to this but also to a switch between past and present selves that marks the point where the "series" takes a HotterAndSexier turn.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' usage of San Dimas Time (see below) is intentionally averted and discussed in ''ForeverJanette'' by [[RichsComixBlog Rich Morris]], which features the Fifth Doctor meeting the Master from the Seventh Doctor's timeline.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3643368/1/Back-I-Go Back I Go]]'' Harry does a number of things in the past which alter the present, but instead of people's memories changing all at once they get an "update" after certain significant past interactions with Harry.
* In the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', it's eventually revealed that [[spoiler:Shining Armor's arc, taking place several years in the past, is running simultaneously to the main story, meaning ForegoneConclusion is ''not'' in effect. The reason for this is because Shining Armor ''literally'' did not exist until the day Twilight went to Ponyville, having been inserted into the timeline to be the [[ForWantOfANail nail between the main world]] and [[BadFuture Dark World]], and thus he's experiencing time differently. This continues until his place in the timeline is cemented, causing the present to wait for him to 'catch up' before moving forward.]]
* In ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/202671/chapters/300232 The Western Sky - Series 2]]'' Sally spends two weeks in the ''present'' of an alternate timeline trying to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong and when she returns to the original timeline, Harry states that she's been missing for two weeks.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9316405/2/Time-Altered Time Altered]]'':
-->'''Dumbledore:''' It would seem to me after what you have described that you somehow traveled through a wormhole. William Halleck wrote a book once telling of how when he was eleven he fell through a wormhole and was pushed forward into the future. He said that he lived there for three years until another wormhole found him and he was brought back to his original time. Three years' time had passed in his old time without him but other than that not much was different.

* In ''Film/AustinPowersTheSpyWhoShaggedMe'' Fat Bastard steals Austin's mojo in 1969 when he was still cryogenically frozen. At the same moment in 1999, Austin was busy shagging Dr. Evil's assassin. Instead of the theft of Austin's mojo changing history so that he had erectile dysfunction when unfrozen, he instead goes flaccid in 1999 at the same rate Fat Bastard was draining his mojo in the past.
* ''Franchise/BackToTheFuture''
** Subverted in ''Film/BackToTheFuture'', when Marty realizes he has all the time in the world to save Doc and sets his return trip to 11 minutes before he left. Over the course of the trilogy, "we can't go back and try again" is due to either a) problems with the time machine, b) risk of messing up one's own past and causing [[TemporalParadox paradoxes]], or c) trying again is out of the question when you're already dead. The drama of a time limit is instead provided by the [[RaceAgainstTheClock Clock Tower Finale]].
*** DoubleSubverted: Marty only gives himself a few minutes of extra time when he could have just as easily given himself hours or days, failing to account for the possibility that the car might break down. As a result, he ''still'' ends up not having enough time to warn Doc.
** Doc invokes it on himself in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII''. To determine where Marty Junior, Griff, and the weather will be at any given time, Doc's watch is visibly synced to October 21, 2015 time, explaining his rush to get Marty and Jennifer into the [=DeLorean=] at the beginning of the movie. The absurdity of this is never brought up.
* In ''Film/BestDefense'', Dudley Moore races against the clock to install a cooling system in a tank, just in the nick of time to save Eddie Murphy ... ten years later.
** In actuality, while the two scenes are intercut to build up dramatic tension, in the "real" timeline the cooling system was there the whole time... it just wasn't shown to the audience until the critical moment, leaving its existence open to doubt until we're actually ''shown'' Moore managing to get it included in the design. (This forced, fake tension is simply one of the many reasons this movie features prominently in many people's "worst movie ever" lists.)
* In ''Film/BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure'', Rufus tells the titular twosome that while they can go back in time to research their history project, time will advance normally in their hometown of [[TropeNamer San Dimas]]. They can intersect their past, as demonstrated when they dial their home number without incrementing it, but apparently their home time is always running. This is [[TimeyWimeyBall ignored]] at the end of the second film, where the boys make what looks like a one-second time jump but come back after spending a year and a half learning to play guitar, marrying their girlfriends, having a medieval honeymoon, and fathering sons. While this doesn't necessarily contradict the first movie, it does raise the question as to why the time limit was ever really a concern.
* In ''Film/{{Frequency}}'', 1969 time and 1999 time seems to be hooked up and run concurrently during the duration of the ''aurora borealis''.
* Played painfully straight in the first sequel to ''Film/{{Halloweentown}}''. Two characters travel back years before the movie, and they have to get back before midnight of that day. While this would seems trivial for people with time travel at their disposal, that does not seem to be the case in this film, with one character commenting: ''"It's almost twelve and so far we're only at the 1970s."'' This could be related to the ambiguity of the time stream, making time travel so complex that the characters are lucky to find the right time period at all.
* The edited version of ''Film/HighlanderIITheQuickening'' replaced "The Planet Zeist" with "The Distant Past" and walked right into this trope.
* The film version of ''Film/ASoundOfThunder'' overlaps this with a PortalToThePast. The time machine opens a single "gate", and while it's open the people that go through are experiencing the past at the same rate that people in the future/present are experiencing it. Part of the climax is that, after everything goes horribly (and predictably) wrong, they have to go back in time to the ''same'' period and stop the screw up. All this is pretty in synch with various hypothetical methods of time travel. The ''ways'' it affects the future is... jarring to say the least.
* Averted at the end of ''Film/StargateContinuum'', where Cam Mitchell, trying to prevent Ba'al's time travel plot, can't get sent back to the exact moment (the necessary solar flare can't be adjusted, and there won't be another one). So he just waits a few years. Played straighter in the beginning, when Ba'al's changes to the timeline cause the Tok'ra and Vala to disappear one by one just before his execution.
* In ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesIII'', the Time Traveling scepter (in the present) only has enough power to work 5 times in 60 hours, after which it is destroyed, rendering even the fully intact scepter in 1603 Japan useless as well.
* In ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', Kitty explains that she can't physically send ''people'' back in time, only their consciousness. While Logan's mind gets sent back to inhabit his body in 1973, his 2023 body (and the rest of the X-Men) are still threatened by the approaching army of Sentinels, meaning that he only has so much time in the past to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong.
** They had also been using the same time powers as a warning system so that they would always know an attack was coming in advance and flee before it ever happened. They point out that by using Kitty's powers to instead send Logan back, they're on their last try because their warning system is preoccupied.

* Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/TheEndOfEternity'', in which an organization is able to travel through our time, while maintaining a wholly separate, normal, only-goes-forward-at-one-second-per-second time of their own. This necessitates the inventions of the words "upwhen" and "downwhen" for the time travelers to be able to talk about the past and the future as it exists in "our" time, instead of their own future and past. They refer to this as "physiotime", as it reflects the aging process, not the passage of time.
* Appears in ''Literature/ThePrometheusProject'' by Steve White. The heroes are rushing to keep the villains from completing a time machine that will let them change the past, obliterating the present. They're too late, and the villains activate their machine. Fortunately, the heroes have a faster time machine, which they can use to catch the villains before they reach the past, even if they use the time machine later. Somehow, the past doesn't change as soon as the villains leave.
* In the ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' series, the time periods that the isthmus is connected to all move forward at the same rate as Xanth. If a Xanthian was to spend a year in TheDarkAges, they would return to Xanth a year later. This spell was done that way so Xanth can trade with other time periods, and the rules of time travel clearly don't require it, as unescorted non-Xanthians end up randomly dislocated in time going in, for security purposes. Technically, nothing stops Xanthians from going to Earth, going back into Xanth, redirecting the isthmus to reconnect to Earth an hour earlier, going back to Earth, and meeting themselves there, and then coming back escorted by themselves so that one of them ends up in the wrong time, but the isthmus connection is ''incredibly'' vague about what time period it connects to, and getting somewhere near the right century is amazing, so that would not be possible in practice. (To say nothing of the paradoxes.)
* Works for the villains in Harry Turtledove's ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth'' because the time machine only works in increments of 150 years, meaning that because they got the device in 2014, they could travel back to 1864 and no earlier.
* The time travel in Creator/HPLovecraft's ''Literature/TheShadowOutOfTime'' seems to work this way. When a member of the Great Race of Yith takes over a human body in the present, the said human's mind in turn goes back in time to the body of the creature that possessed him. The creature then spends several years in the person's body studying the history and culture of the era, and "meanwhile" the person spends equal amount of time in the creature's body, forced to write down all he knows about his own civilization. It's left very unclear if this is just for the sake of convenience, or because of some unknown law of time travel, however.
* In ''Literature/ByHisBootstraps'' by Heinlein, Diktor apparently tried to invoke San Dimas Time on his predecessor self, but was rebuffed by, "How can we waste time when we have ''this''?" So he smoothed it over with fast talk and invocation of authority.
** It makes some sense here, since the protagonist is [[spoiler:essentially every single important character in the story]]. His own personal clock keeps ticking, meaning things need to happen precisely when they did/will/must happen.
* The whole of the [[Literature/ThePendragonAdventure Pendragon]] series, by D.J. [=MacHale=]. Made worse by the fact the Travelers ostensibly arrive exactly when necessary to stop the evil plot, that half of the territories are separated solely by a time difference, and that the villain doesn't have to follow any of the same rules. Massive case of delayed fridge logic.
** Eventually, the Travelers wise up, realizing that [[BigBad Saint Daine]] can undo any repair of a critical point, simply by going back to it.
* In the later books of Creator/StephenKing's Franchise/TheDarkTower series (which involves dimensional as well as time travel), there is revealed to be a Keystone Earth in which time always moves forward and [[RaceAgainstTheClock the clock is always ticking]]. Time does not move forward at a constant rate, though, periodically "lurching" forward in relation to the universe in which the majority of the action takes place.
** This isn't due to Keystone Earth, though; the "lurching forward" is a direct result of Roland's own world having "[[AfterTheEnd moved on]]".
* Whenever the protagonist of Creator/OctaviaButler's ''Literature/{{Kindred}}'' is dragged back in time to save Rufus, the time that passes in the present before her return is compressed but proportional to how long she spends in the past. When, for example, she spends a few minutes in the past, she disappears in the present for a mere second or two, but when she accidentally leaves her husband in the past, she spends three weeks in the present before going back and learning that her husband has been stranded for over five years.
* The short story [[http://www.tor.com/stories/2011/08/wikihistory "Wikihistory"]] by Desmond Warzel would seem to operate on San Dimas time; otherwise there would be no suspense regarding [=AsianAvenger's=] return.
* Averted in ''Literature/TimeTravelersNeverDie'' by Creator/JackMcDevitt. The protagonists realize early on that the clock is ''not'' always running in San Dimas, and use that fact to prepare for time trips or to bail themselves out of dicey situations.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** In ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'', it's pointed out someone was accidentally thinking like this, even though it made no sense: An anxious man, who happened to be able to bend time however he wished, was in a hurry to find a midwife for his wife's difficult labour in time, even while he easily travelled through several decades during his search.
** In ''Discworld/NightWatch'', Lu Tze makes it explicitly clear that time travel works in a series of elastic time loops, which will snap back into a single timeline, the nature of that timeline depending on the actions of the person doing the time travel. However, this concept starts to [[TimeTravelTenseTrouble hurt Vimes' brain]], so Lu Tze suggests that he just [[DiscussedTrope think of everything]] happening one thing after the other.
* Robert Asprin's ''Literature/TimeScout'' series works on this. Each portal moves one a fixed distance back in time from when you entered it, so a week away in the past is a week in the future and vice versa.
* In Edward Ormondroyd's ''Time at the Top'' Susan Shaw spends a couple of days in the past then returns to find her father and the cook/housekeeper frantic about her disappearance.
* In ''Literature/SonicTheHedgehogInTheFourthDimension'' Dr. Robotnik, who is currently gloating over his victory, claims who heroic duo only have fifteen minutes to exist; as his robots have found (and are about to kill) the first evolved hedgehog and fox on the planet.
* ''Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse''
** The ''Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures'' novel ''Emotional Chemistry'' maintains a continuous narrative crossing between three time periods, with four separate means of time travel, and only one point at which one of the characters is "out of sync" with the others.
** In the ''Literature/DoctorWhoMissingAdventures'' novel ''Goth Opera'' the villainess, a Time Lady, monologues (to the readers; she's alone in the room) that she ought to be going up against the (then-current) [[{{Chessmaster}} Seventh Doctor]]. She then decides that he'd be too much for her, looks at all thirteen regenerations, and decides to pick on the Fifth instead, even though that's breaking the rules about meeting out of order. [[BewareTheNiceOnes He's still too much for her.]]
* Averted in Scott Meyer's ''[[Literature/{{Magic20}} An Unwelcome Quest]]''. Early in the novel, five of the wizards are kidnapped by Todd, who then drops Jeff off a cliff to his death. None of the wizards are too concerned, since they believe that, as time travelers, they have all the time in the world to later come back to that point and save him from falling. Todd then counters, pointing out the two wrong parts of that belief: for one, he made sure to watch Jeff impact the rocks at the bottom of the cliff, which means no one [[TimeTravelTenseTrouble did/will]] save him; second, to try to save Jeff, they have to survive his "game", and he has no intention of letting them go alive. In the end, they do manage to rescue Jeff, but it takes them a month and a half of proper planning, since they only have one attempt. They replace Jeff with a visually-identical construct mid-fall, so that Todd can watch "Jeff" die. The only way they can do that is because Jeff's computer holds the exact time and location when Jeff is falling.
* Used straight ''and'' averted in ''Blackout''/''All Clear'', by Connie Willis. With historians stranded in WWII England, some are worried about meeting up with recovery teams at the right place at the right time, while others remember (sometimes belatedly) that ''time travel exists'': even if ''they're'' stranded it doesn't mean that the team back home can't take all the time they need to locate the best opportunity to retrieve them. So ... um ... where are they, then?
* ''Series/ElMinisterioDelTiempo'' uses this straight with the time gates, which can take you back or forward in time a certain "distance". They have a book and a mobile app that can be used to ascertain which Ministry-controlled gate can take one to a time. The only exception is a small set of doors that always take you to the same day.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', whenever the Doctor meets another Time Lord, no matter how many trips to various eras each has made, they always seem to both remember past events in the same order. Official {{universe compendium}}s have confirmed the {{Fanon}} guess that all the [=TARDISes=] and everyone traveling in them run on Gallifrey Time, which usually works the same as San Dimas Time, barring Timey-Wimey complications.
** Thus, if the Doctor experiences event A followed by event B, the Master must also experience event A followed by event B, though the number of years in between might differ considerably for the two. The same applies to the Doctor meeting earlier regenerations.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS9E1DayOfTheDaleks "Day of the Daleks"]], the Doctor attributes the "eight minutes in the past = eight minutes in the present" thing to the "[[TechnoBabble Blinovitch Limitation Effect]]". Mind you, that's his excuse for ''everything'' time-related.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS11E5PlanetOfTheSpiders "Planet of the Spiders"]], events take place on 20[[superscript:th]] Century Earth and on a distant planet in the far future, with lots of time/space travel between the two by multiple methods, but somehow ''all'' the events happen "in story order" on screen, with no exceptions. The time zones might as well be places.
** Note that San Dimas Time is ''justified'' in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS13E3PyramidsOfMars "Pyramids of Mars"]], when the Doctor has only a narrow window of opportunity to trap Sutekh in the spacetime tunnel. Even if he were to use the TARDIS to return to Earth at a point hours or weeks earlier, he'd only wind up waiting around for the few minutes when Sutekh is ''in'' the tunnel, and can therefore be trapped. The fact that he rushes to get it done immediately is more an indication of his excitement-level than fear of wasting precious San Dimas Time.
** Subverted in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E8SilenceInTheLibrary "Silence in the Library"]]/[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E9ForestOfTheDead "Forest of the Dead"]] when the Doctor meets, for the first time, a woman who has known him for years. [[spoiler:It happened to be the last time ''she'' met ''him''; she dies shortly afterwards.]] In all her subsequent appearances, the Doctor has met her at a different point in her own personal timeline.
*** River Song is a strange type of [[InvertedTrope inversion]], in that she apparently routinely experiences events in the opposite order to the Doctor. (Sometimes they experience events in the same order; otherwise their tradition of syncing diaries would be pointless.) She is aware that the first time she meets the Doctor will be the last time he meets her, which (although it is a ForegoneConclusion for the audience) isn't really necessitated by anything she knows.
*** We've actually seen that the Doctor's first meeting with River was not the last from her viewpoint (albeit she was some sort of data ghost). Also River's first meeting with the the Doctor (either as an infant or later as an adult) was actually still rather early in their relationship from his perspective.
*** This same subversion had been done in the previous series, though on a smaller scale. Within their personal timeline, the Doctor and Martha are falling prey to Mr. Saxon's manipulations ''before'' they [[spoiler:travel to the end of the universe, release the Master and accidentally give him the means to go back in time and establish himself as Mr. Saxon on 21[[superscript:st]] century Earth.]]
*** Mel and the Sixth Doctor "first" met each other in a different order, too.
** Interestingly, the few occasions when time travellers do appear to be out of sync with each other there is generally non-Gallifreyan technology involved (like Captain Jack's Vortex manipulator).
** In the revived series, this trope is required to make the Doctor being the LastOfHisKind meaningful. Otherwise, he could run into pre-Time War Time Lords and Daleks. Well, the entire point of a Time War would seem to be that there is no longer any such thing as a "pre-Time War Time Lord or Dalek". The participants may remember a time where there was no Time War, but such a time [[TimeyWimeyBall no longer exists]]. [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime "The End of Time"]] seems to support this: [[spoiler:Time Lords still exist in the timeline, but they are all locked into [[KillItWithFire their fate]]. And it's a [[NeutralNoLonger good thing]]...]] Except that the time before the Time War can be reached if a malfunction similar to what happened in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E5RiseOfTheCybermen "Rise of the Cybermen"]] were to happen, as seen in the NewSeriesAdventures novel ''Prisoner of the Daleks''.
** The opening of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime "The End of Time"]] plays this completely straight: Ood Sigma warn that "events that have happened are happening ''now''," and the Doctor runs like the blazes back to the TARDIS in order to travel back to the twenty-first century. He's just a bit too late.
** The Doctor always has this situation when on an inter-temporal phone call for obvious reasons.
** Don't try to make sense of the events of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E12ThePandoricaOpens "The Pandorica Opens"]]/[[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E13TheBigBang "The Big Bang"]] without assuming that in the Doctor Who universe, time goes in two directions at once; while the TARDIS can go back and forth in linear time, there's clearly some sort of clock running in a different way, just so [[spoiler:the TARDIS exploding causing every star in the universe to simultaneously supernova at every point in time]] makes sense.
** This is averted in [[Recap/DoctorWho2010CSAChristmasCarol "A Christmas Carol"]] where the Doctor spends a lot of time in the past but only little time passes in the present.
** In fact, according to the ''Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures'' novels, Gallifrey runs on an ''in-universe'' form of this, called Inner Time, which all Time Lords and [=TARDISes=] (and by extension people travelling with said Time Lords) are fundamentally bound to, and which nobody can travel through. It's actually an entirely separate dimension from what we commonly think of as "time". Whereas "Outer Time", i.e. the rest of reality, is in fact entirely a construct -- history in its entirety was created by the Seven Founders ( Rassilon, Omega, the Other, and company) around the same time the laws of physics and black holes as a concept were invented (by the same people). If you exit Gallifrey and come out in the Earth year 2500, then travel five hundred years back through Outer Time, land in 2000, and exit Outer Time to Gallifrey again, only as much Inner Time will have passed as actually passed for you -- which is to say, Outer and Inner run on entirely different wavelengths (although Inner Time overlays Outer.) Inner Time is what keeps Time Lords meeting in the right order and reality-spanning events happening when they should, which also explains most of the examples above.
* Of all things, ''Series/FamilyMatters'' did this. In the second episode involving Urkel's time machine, Urkel and Carl were trapped in the past, with Harriet back home in 1997 wondering where they had run off to.
* The 1950s ''[[Series/FlashGordon1954 Flash Gordon]]'' TV show:
** In one episode the main characters had to travel back to the present day to disarm a bomb set to go off in their time...''1000 friggin' years later''.
** An especially bad example occurred in an episode where, after superluminal travel sent the protagonist back in time, he was still able to communicate with the base ''by radio''.
* In the final episode of ''Series/GoodnightSweetheart'', Gary [[spoiler:ends up stuck in the past and writes a message to Ron in the present on the wall of his flat. Rather than the message having been there throughout the intervening decades, it materialises slowly in the present as Gary writes it in 1945.]]
* This is somewhat subverted in ''Series/{{Journeyman}}'' considering that Dan doesn't have any control over when he time-travels and the time he is missing from the present is never proportional to how long he was in the past. However, Dan lives in the 2000s and his fellow time-traveler Livia lives in the 1940s. Their lives appear to be synchronized and they experience their encounters, which occur in various time periods, in the same order.
* ''Series/KamenRiderDenO'' uses a variation: the [=DenLiner=] (and all other time trains) can only travel between two points in time, the "destination" on the Rider Ticket and the point of origin. The show does have a few episodes where the heroes have to get back to the present in time to prevent another crisis.
* This comes up a fair bit on ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow''
** The Season One finale has [[BigBad Vandal Savage]] planning to set off three different {{Doomsday Device}}s in three different time periods simultaneously. Yes, simultaneously. And the heroes' plan to stop him is to split up into three teams, each heading to a different time period, so they can kill Savage in three different time periods, also simultaneously. And they're ''able'' to kill Savage, despite him normally being immortal, because being exposed to the radiation from all three {{Doomsday Device}}s simultaneously will render him mortal, even though he's never around more than one of the {{Doomsday Device}}s in any given time period. [[{{MST3K Mantra}} It's ... probably best not to think about it too hard.]]
** In the Season Three episode ''Phone Home'', Professor Martin Stein is revealed to have built a communicator capable of broadcasting through time so he can keep tabs on his pregnant daughter, who is about to give birth to his first grandchild in 2017. There is a good deal of urgency about getting him to the hospital in time to be there for the birth, despite his living on a ship that travels through time!
* A variation occurs in season 5 of ''Series/{{Lost}}''. The Oceanic 6 leave the Island in 2004, just as the people left on the Island (Sawyer, Juliet, Jin, Miles, Daniel, and Charlotte) start traveling through time, eventually ending up in 1974. When the Oceanic 6 return to the Island in 2007, they are sent back in time to 1977. From everyone's perspective, it has been 3 years since they last met.
** It's even weirder than that. Entering or exiting the island displaces people permanently in time, slightly backward when entering and slightly forward when exiting. (When exiting to Tunisia, far far forward.) But all the time travel that happens as the island 'skips' follows San Dimas Time to the letter, and repeated trips to 'near' the same time were in order, despite them flopping around out of order in the larger scope.
** It's interesting to notice flight 316 got time displaced (day to night) and only then did the 6 got yanked off it, meaning they were first displaced 'normally' by entering the island, and then traveled through time to finish the StableTimeLoop. So that means when they got back, they had experienced San Dimas Time for one manner of time travel, but right before that they'd been displaced backwards in time, which doesn't work that way. (Fanon has them arriving on 316 at the moment of Jacob's death/nuke detonation, and getting displaced several days backwards from those events so they could make them happen.)
* ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'': the episode "Wild West Rangers" had Kimberly thrown back to TheWildWest, leaving Billy and the remaining Rangers trying to retrieve her. Billy specifically states at one point "It's a paradox. Our World won't change until Kimberly battles the monster in her time", implying the two timelines had become synchronised.
** The events of ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'' are built on this trope. Ransik goes back in time to the year 2001, and the Rangers follow him a few minutes later. If the Power Rangers universe didn't run on San Dimas Time, the year 3000 would have been instantly altered at that point; there would have been nobody in 2001 to stop him. Later, it's explained that the things the Rangers and Ransik do in 2001 alter the future on a 1:1 ratio. This also explains why some times the Megazord is unavailable due to repair, despite the fact that, by all reasons, Time Force should be able to take whatever time they need to repair the Zords before sending them back in time to when they are needed. In the following season, which takes place in 2002, the CrossOver has the Rangers contact 3001, a year later from the future timeline.
*** However, ''Time Force'' muddles the trope due to its theme of YouCantFightFate Vs. ScrewDestiny - Alex knows events that have yet to happen for the Rangers (the potential death of Mr. Collins, the Time Vortex in the finale). That, combined with his own survival and the whole fate tropes, may simply imply that Ransik never changed history. He always was meant to escape from Time Force, and always meant to be stopped. He went to the past and history remained the same - because he was stopped by Time Force. Or alternatively, He went to the past, succeeded, but over a thousand years, the changes he brought were undone, and Time Force was born nonetheless to stop him. This is part of what makes the series interesting, watching fate tropes and time travel tropes work with one another.
* In the ''Series/NightGallery'' story "The Little Black Bag" people from the future discover a medical bag has been accidentally sent back in time to the audience's present. They then deactivate the 'futuristic' abilities of the tools in the bag, but with a gap between when the bag was found and the tools were deactivated similar to the time between when the bag was lost and it was realized to have been lost. This is unfortunate for [[spoiler: the guy being operated on with a scalpel from the bag at the time]], for one.
* In ''Series/QuantumLeap'', from the moment Ziggy locates where and when Sam's leaped the past and the future appear to be in sync. This becomes a problem when events in the future distract Al while Sam is in the middle of something.
** However there are several episodes where Al comments that they have spent weeks looking for Sam since his last leap while Sam has only experienced a few hours. This suggests that once Ziggy has located Sam the respective periods have to be kept in sync or it would have to work at relocating him again.
* "Future Tense", an episode of ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', averted this trope. When the crew successfully activates the "homing beacon" of a time traveler from the future, the traveler and all his devices are instantly transported home. Captain Archer notes afterwards that once they got the beacon's signal, the other travelers had as much time as they needed to locate it and plan the retrieval.[[note]]Only averted from the standpoint that the crew wasn't racing a clock. The ship not being retrieved until the beacon is activated implies there there is no beacon for the future to lock onto until the crew activated it. It shouldn't have mattered "when" the crew activated the beacon. The "present" inactive beacon for the crew and their "future" time after activating it are both still the past for the distant future, and from the [[TimeyWimeyBall future's point of view]] the beacon should have always been active - [[MindScrew even before the ship travelled back in time]].[[/note]]
** Averted in the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "Time's Orphan", where an 8-year-old Molly O'Brien falls into a time portal, and it closes. When the portal is reactivated, only a few hours have passed on the sending end, but 10 years have passed on Molly's end, where-in she was stranded alone in the wilderness. They choose not to avert the trope again by trying to rescue her at some earlier point in her missing time, because that would mean erasing/killing the Molly in front of them. [[spoiler: When she proves violently unable to readjust, they realize she doesn't belong with them any more and try to send her back "home" rather than let her be forced into treatment that amounts to intolerable incarceration for the WildChild. The trope ends up averted again, when 18-year-old Molly arrives in the past shortly after her younger self. She quickly sends the little girl home before the portal can be closed again, erasing herself but reuniting the O'Briens and their young daughter after all]].
* This appears to be how time travel works in ''Series/{{Timeless}}''. The control room at Mason Industries always has a mission clock running above it, which appears to match the time the team spends in the past. There's also lots of urgency about sending the Lifeboat back in time as soon as the Mothership's timejump is detected. Were this trope not in effect, Flynn's changes to the timeline would've been instantaneous to anyone in the present the moment he went back into the past.
* This appears to be the case in ''Series/TimeTrax''. Since the show can't seem to decide if Darien is really in the past or in a time-shifted parallel universe, this may or may not be justified. For the most part, the second explanation is usually given, like in one episode where Darien explains to an aspiring country singer, who is immensely popular in his own time, that her own future may prove to be different due to the changes introduced by Darien and another time traveler. Also, there is an episode about a criminal who keeps killing the ancestors of an old friend of Darien's, hoping to save his girlfriend, who was accidentally killed by Darien's friend. Darien tries to convince him that killing the ancestors in this time will not affect their own reality. On the other hand, they do occasionally contact Darien's superior by leaving coded messages in the classifieds, and the messages are received in order, not simultaneously.
* Most episodes of ''Series/{{Voyagers}}'' start with Jeffrey and Bogg arriving in one time period, jumping to another time period (usually to escape a sticky situation), and then returning to the first time period to fix history. This often results in Bogg wanting to hang around in the second time period (usually because of a woman) while Jeffrey anxiously tries to impress on him the urgency of needing to go back to the first time period "before it's too late", despite how little sense this makes.
* ''Series/WhereInTimeIsCarmenSandiego'' imposed a twenty-two minute time limit from the moment that the time-travelling villains stole a historical artifact/landmark to when history would be irreversibly altered. They never twig that they could go back in time to just before the theft in order to stop it, but that would ruin the quiz show a bit.
* In ''Series/MakingHistory2017'', Chris assumes they can just go back to shortly after they left. Dan informs him that the time machine doesn't work that way; however long you stay in the past, that's how much you're gone in the present. This information comes at the worst possible time, after spending days working for UsefulNotes/AlCapone, and Chris frets about all the work days he's missed.

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} Time Travel'''s standard scenario states that you can only travel to time "windows", about three months apart (and slowly growing farther apart), that are dragged forward as normal time passes. Why this happens, along with what happened at the point the windows initially extended from, is an unexplained mystery. However, this is only one of several options provided by GURPS Time Travel - it has rules to cover nearly every version of TimeTravel on this site (if not more.)
** In an even better example of the trope, the same GURPS Time Travel setting has relative time rates for time travelers -- every 10 days spent in the past equals one day elapsed in the present, so there's no "coming back to the second you left." The rate can change though, if time gets messed with ... so not only is the clock in San Dimas always ticking, it can change speed!
* The ''TabletopGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesAndOtherStrangeness'' supplement "Transdimensional TMNT" had a surprisingly complex justification for San Dimas Time that involved the time stream coiling around itself in predictable patterns and jumping from coil to coil where they touched.
* ''TabletopGame/FengShui'' has a reasonably sensible take on this trope: the various time-periods, of which there are currently four, are linked together by portals through the Netherworld, and time in all four locations moves at the same pace. This has the effect, among other things, of making TrickedOutTime much harder for the players to manage - although if they have a decent Feng Shui site and are reasonably clever, they might just pull it off.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Achron}}'' involves this, though more for gameplay purposes. The present is always moving, and any viewing of the past or future will by default involve the player moving through time at the same speed as the present. Changing any specific point in time also becomes harder as the present moves away from it, for [[CompetitiveBalance balance reasons]]. However, the changes made in the past are periodically propagated faster than the player can go by [[DelayedRippleEffect timewaves]], and the player can control their rate of movement through time. For example, fast forwarding will cause one to catch up to the present eventually, propagating changes along the way.
** To put it simply, if somebody else changes the past, you really do only have X amount of time to get back into the past yourself (or send a time-traveling unit back) and prevent that change from becoming irrevocable. But in the contextual structure given for time travel, this ''makes perfect sense''.
* Played straight in ''[[VideoGame/FreedomForce Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich]]'', where some of the team members end up in TheForties, but others remain in psychic contact via Mentor and appear to be experiencing the flow of time at the same rate.
* ''VideoGame/ShadowOfDestiny'' uses this. Since the time in the present is counting down to the time of your inevitable death, it puts a time limit on all the puzzles you need to solve in the past, even though San Dimas Time doesn't really make much sense.
* ''VideoGame/TheJourneymanProject'' series of computer games are all dependent on this trope. Whenever something in the past is altered, it creates "temporal ripples" that take a certain amount of San Dimas Time to reach the present, allowing the TimePolice enough time to go back and fix the distortions before they reach their present.
* The Time Gates of ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' are [[PortalToThePast Portals To The Past]], which imposes the same kind of things San Dimas Time does with justification. However, later in the game you acquire a TimeMachine, and travel with it still inexplicably works the same way. Interestingly, {{fanon}} holds that the TimeMachine is based on the preexisting [[PortalToThePast portals between time periods]]. Here's the [[http://www.chronocompendium.com/Term/Principles_of_Time_and_Dimensional_Travel.html relevant article]].
* HandWaved in ''[[CarmenSandiego Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?]]'' where it's stated that legal time travel has to be cleared with a federal agency, and thus each Chrono-Skimmer will return to the present after a certain number of hours of machine use. The villains have no such problem.
* Every time you hear the words "Oh no! WE'VE GOT TO HURRY!" in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'', take a shot. Seriously, just shoot yourself in the head. Interestingly [[spoiler: Sonic actually ends up being too late, and does simply just hop back in time a few minutes to resolve the issue.]]
** There was a level timer in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD'', too, though there were only three times you could go to.
* The mandatory surfing stages in ''Mario's Time Machine'' for the Super NES are timed. As WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd said, "AND HOW IRONIC IS THAT, THAT THERE'S A TIME LIMIT TO GO BACK IN TIME?!" In this case, though, the only downside to letting the clock run out is that you get less bonus points.
* ''VideoGame/DayOfTheTentacle'' seems to utilize this trope to an extent: The three main characters are stuck in the present, 200 years in the past, and 200 years in the future respectively, and events that happen in the past affect the characters in the future. For example, one character in the past can convince George Washington to cut down a tree in the yard, causing the tree to vanish into a stump in future timelines and another character (who is stuck to the tree by her underwear) to fall on her ass.
* A version that actually makes sense in ''Chronotron'' - in one level, your time machine is on a lever controlled by an inaccessible button with a bomb on it. You must complete whatever you need to do before the bomb explodes, the lever goes away and your time machine falls into oblivion. And no, you can't just arrive earlier, because it doesn't work that way.
* {{Justified|Trope}} and used as a plot point in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages]]'', as the BigBad has stopped time at high noon around the construction site for the final dungeon. No matter how quickly you progress, [[YouCantThwartStageOne you can't stop the tower from being built.]] However, rather than appear completed instantaneously to your present self, the tower being built in the past progresses in increments as you progress through the plot.
* The high concept of ''VideoGame/SpiderManEdgeOfTime'': Actions in the present alter the future, but they do so "simultaneously" in relation to the PortalToThePast; if SpiderMan can't stop the giant robot from ever being built "before" it kills SpiderMan [[ComicBook/Marvel2099 2099]], then it's too late. Miguel {{Handwave}}s this as a side-effect of the permanent connection between the two time periods; Peter {{Lampshades}} that it still doesn't make any sense.
* In ''VideoGame/TimeLord'', the clock is always running in 2999, and you have one year to SaveTheWorld by traveling through four historical time zones.
* ZigZagged in ''VideoGame/RadiantHistoria''. While Stocke can only move to certain fixed "nodes" in the timeline, each one is static and time-traveling there will cause the same set of events to occur unless he does something to change it, and exploiting this effect is how he achieves his goals. However, Stocke's personal timeline is constant; he takes his items, knowledge, and wounds with him every time he jumps around.
* In ''VideoGame/GhostTrick'', every time Sissel does some time-travelling and returns to the present after averting someone's fate, it's always later than when he left (e.g., he left at 7:02 and returned at 7:21). [[FridgeLogic The use of this trope doesn't make sense upon analysis, though]], because Sissel isn't forced to travel X minutes/hours back and forth every time, but always to the same point in history: 4 minutes before a given person's death. He could wait ten hours to time travel and save their life and it wouldn't make a difference in the success of said mission.
* WorldOfWarcraft: The Deaths of Chromie scenario introduced in 7.2.5 works like this. Chromie is going to die at a specific time, and you only have 15 minutes to fix everything. In this case it is partially justified though, as someone else that is a master of time travel is blocking her attempts to travel back further to get more time, and she can only send you to 15 minutes before her death. Also, it's partially averted, as you can re-attempt it as many times as you want.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'', the way morphogenetic fields work is that the transmitter and the receiver have to be experiencing the same situation, so even after [[spoiler:Akane]] removes the usual limitation that they have to be experiencing the situation simultaneously and links up with Junpei nine years later, the two Nonary Games still have to remain perfectly synced up and therefore despite [[spoiler:not actually being on a sinking ship]] Junpei still has to solve all of the puzzles within nine hours or else [[spoiler:Akane]] will die nine years in the past.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Averted, but referenced, in ''Superosity'': because there is no San Dimas Time, the characters aged while time travelling but returned to ThePresent a millisecond later, the characters worry that their birthdays might have changed to compensate.
** ''Superosity'' author Chris Crosby has the same problem in another series he writes, WickedPowered. The characters are some kind of chrono-police, and they jump back in forth between time limits, such as being required to leave in mid-mission to another mission because of presumable San Dimas Time, yet having the option to travel back to any point in their own timeline to correct the myriad of mistakes they make (such as blowing up the earth, among others)
* Played with [[http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autowb183.html here]] in ''Webcomic/TheWhiteboard'', with an experimental paintball marker that fires a paintball through a time warp.
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''
** [[FridgeLogic Almost]] {{justified}} when, at the end of ''The Storm Breaker Saga'', it's revealed the time travelling in this and previous stories has worked as follows: [[spoiler: First, the demon K'Z'K is blast into the past accidentally, taking with him Gwynn's soul, leaving Gwynn's body in a coma in the present. He "cuts a noticeable trail" through time and space. Next, Riff's malfunctioning time machine sends Zoe and Torg into the past along that same trail (though it seems they actually arrive somewhat after K'Z'K, which would probably be a blatant example of this trope). They fight and temporarily destroy K'Z'K in that time, whereupon Gwynn's soul returns through time to her body to the present. In the present, Riff and Dr. Schlock have been trying to figure out a way to go after Torg and Zoe for some time, not knowing what time they went to. When Gwynn regains consciousness, she is able to report seeing them, and Riff travels along the trail her soul left, thus explaining why he only arrives in the time after Torg and Zoe have defeated K'Z'K. The question that remains unanswered, besides of why Torg and Zoe don't appear in exactly the same time as K'Z'K, is: why didn't Gwynn's soul return to the time when it left her? One theory is that Gwynn's soul had to maintain a chronological parallel with the physical component.]]
** A similar but simpler and entirely {{justified}} case is in "Mohkadun" when [[spoiler: Gwynn's soul is swapped with that of Siphaniana of the ancient kingdom of Mohkadun. Both spend an extended period of time swapped in their own times, but the times they switch back are determined from both ends by magic rituals and such that are meant to do just that.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' calls this [[http://mspaintadventures.wikia.com/wiki/Circumstantial_simultaneity circumstantial simultaneity]]. It expresses how two events can happen "at the same time", even if they're ''not'' happening at the same time or if the events are in different timelines altogether.
** Characters called Exiles operate computers which monitor specific people from 413 years in the past. Several times Exiles try to assist those they monitor, but they never attempt to send messages any time except ''exactly'' 413 years in the past, even when sending a message sooner or later could save lives.
** The big End of Act 5 Flash animation, [S] Cascade, involves no less than four different chronologies happening "simultaneously". For example, one of the major villains, [[spoiler:Jack Noir, destroys a universe from the outside shortly after that universe was created. At the "same time", the Scratch is initiated to reset said universe, while Jack's past self in the future of the same universe is trying to escape from its destruction. This universe then explodes at the "same time" as another universe, even though the second universe existed ''before'' the first one, and the first universe was destroyed over 1024 years before the second universe itself explodes.]]
** In Act 6, a few characters use a chat program that lets them communicate with characters living centuries in the past (well, in the past from the future characters' perspectives) or across realities. These copies of the program are designed to run on San Dimas Time to prevent synchronization issues.
* During ''Webcomic/ThePackrat'''s 2011 time travel StoryArc, the titular character spends a year in the past. In his own time, he is actually absent for that year. Kind of [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in that his time machine keytar can only jump whole years.
* Sort of Justified in ''WebComic/ManlyGuysDoingManlyThings'' when it is shown that leaving for months and coming back only five minutes later is a bit troubling for the person who left.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Parodied in the ''Podcast/ThrillingAdventureHour'' and "The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock", when Queen Victoria repeatedly requires Colonel Tick-Tock to immediately leave to travel back in time to fix a problem, despite also saying that "Time is the one luxury we ''do'' have." It's lampshaded in one appearance where Tick-Tock's wife Constance asks "Couldn't he leave at any time?" The Colonel explains that it's "Quite the opposite. Were I to finish this biscuit, I would be far too late!"

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Happened in an episode of the ''WesternAnimation/MenInBlack'' AnimatedAdaptation, where Jay and Kay have to travel back in time to the wild west when an energy-absorbing alien who's about to cause havoc in modern time was still vulnerable. According to some TechnoBabble, the past and present move at the same rate, so Jay and Kay only have a few hours to finish the job over a century ago or else the alien will destroy a city, which theoretically wouldn't revert to normal even after the alien was killed in its larval stage over a hundred years ago. Nevertheless, when Jay and Kay find themselves running out of time and in need of backup in the past, they can use a device (which [[TheSlowPath only travels through time at the speed of regular time]]) that will remain dormant until the corresponding present (as opposed to the present from the beginning of the episode) and then relay a message to the rest of the team describing the problem and requesting backup.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsons [[WesternAnimation/TheJetsonsMeetTheFlintstones Meet]] WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones''.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'' episode "Time is Money", the characters appear to have at least a vague awareness that TimeTravel doesn't work this way given that they discuss going back in time to change events that occurred during the episode. They never do this, however, and past time periods do appear to be synchronized with the present.
* An episode of ''{{WesternAnimation/Superfriends}}'' had Aquaman and a couple others trapped in the distant past. He decides to bury his communicator under the future site of the Hall of Justice and set the emergency signal. The signal isn't detected until after his and several other teams get trapped in different eras and the rest of the team has begun looking for them.
** Another episode had the Superfriends travelling back in time to stop time-travelling villains from changing their origins. Flash arrives on Paradise Island in time for the tournament where Diana won the right to travel to the world of men. "I hope I'm not too late!" Flash exclaims. Well, Barry, if you ''are'', you could just run back another three hours into the past and try again, couldn't you?
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/BikerMiceFromMars'' had the BigBad travelling into the past to demolish the city by digging giant holes where it would be built. Whenever he finished digging a hole, it would appear ''at the same time in the future'' in the middle of the city.
* ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'': The Planet Buster is blown up over prehistoric Earth, unleashing the Quantum wave. Half a season later, the Transformers realize the Quantum Wave travels in space and time. It should reach Cybertron sometimes during the time period they come from (24th Century). The wave in fact hits right about the same length of time after the Maximals left their century as they have spent in the past, making our first instance of this. Now, the Tripredacus Council sends an agent back in the past, to assist the Maximals to apprehend the Predacons, figuring out the time period from the Quantum Wave. Now, logically the agent should arrive when the Planet Buster detonated, well before the Maximals even realized the Quantum Wave traveled in time, retconning the second season? No. He shows up in the past several months after the planet buster detonated, showing both time lines are clearly running in parallel.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' episode "J2" Jade's FutureBadass self travels back in time to prevent [[BigBad Shendu's]] release in her time. She explains that because time is still moving forward in both eras, they have to destroy the artifacts before midnight since future Jackie and Uncle are being held prisoner so Shendu can finish them off when he's freed.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'''s first Christmas episode, it's established that the Ghost of Christmas Past visiting Stan has only just gotten the job, and Stan is actually her first client. Her time magic doesn't have any established limitations, so it seems to run on San Dimas Time just because she's not good enough at temporal magic to realize that it doesn't have to. She ends up late to stop Stan's meddling in the timeline because she had to get Francine's help in finding him and wound up lost in the Jurassic era, and at the end of the episode she gives Stan a present while saying she was just able to get to the mall in time to buy it.