The nefarious Dr. Dino, a fearsome TyrannosaurusRex that spent eras [[SealedEvilInACan trapped in ice]] hundreds of miles beneath ground level and gained massive scientific intelligence through exposure to radiation from the planet's core, is hard at work with his evil scheme in his secret lab at the center of the Earth. He knows his people are long extinct, but he plans to undo that: he's installing a heat-powered, super-strong revolution motor in the center of the planet. When he finally switches it on, it will force the Earth's rotation to stop and reverse direction, thereby rewinding time to the Cretaceous period where the dinosaurs reigned supreme! [[EvilLaugh Mwahahaha...]]

[[FridgeLogic ...wait,]] ''[[BigWhat WHAT?]]''

It doesn't take a physics major (although it doesn't hurt to be one) to realize that Dr. Dino's scheme has no reason whatsoever to work as planned, even if his [[BuffySpeak planetary rotation motor thingamajig]] does. We just so happen to measure time by the rotations and revolutions of the Earth; modifying the latter would almost certainly do absolutely nothing to alter the former (excluding the principle of relativity, of course, but that works very differently). Expecting it to do so is akin to pouring more mercury into a thermometer and expecting the room to get warmer as a direct result.

And yet, this appears to be a fairly common misconception across many different works. How many times in fiction has someone slowed down, sped up, or (most commonly) rewound time simply by altering the Earth's rotation accordingly, as if the planet were attached by the poles to the Master Clock of the Universe?

A subtrope of ArtisticLicensePhysics and ArtisticLicenseAstronomy.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In one episode of ''Anime/FireBall'', Gedšchtnis claims Drossel is powerful enough to reverse the rotation of the planet and turn back time.


[[folder: Fanfic ]]

* In one chapter of ''The New Adventures of WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', Perry the Platypus is warned that Dr. Doofenshmirtz might be planning to reverse the rotation of the Earth to change history. Considering his overall incompetence and the fact that his previous attempts to manipulate the Earthís rotation failed to work out as planned, this scheme would be doomed to failure even if we put aside the fact that it makes no scientific sense.
* In ''Death to Invisobill'', a ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' fanfiction, Vlad Plasmius uses an army of beings flying in the opposite direction to the planetís rotation to stop time. This is only the first step in a plan to reverse Earthís rotation and erase certain characters from existence.
* In the [[Franchise/XMen X-Men]] fanfic, ''The Blood & Tears Progression'', Wade is disappointed that time travel does not involve reversing the Earthís rotation. Or even a [[Film/BackToTheFuture DeLorean]] for that matter.
* In ''A gentleman and a lady'', a ''Series/PrettyLittleLiars'' fanfic, Emily experiences a humiliating moment and runs away, ďas fast as she could, hoping beyond hope that she could run fast enough to rotate the Earth backwards so she could go back in time."
* In ''The Scarlet Speedster'', a fanfic set in [[Franchise/TheDCU the DCU]], the villainous Professor Zoom tries to use his Super Speed to reverse the rotation of the Earth, sending the planet back to the beginning of time. His end goal is to remake the Earth in his image.


[[folder: Film ]]

* The first ''Film/{{Superman}}'' movie is well-known (and well mocked) for including this toward the end of the movie. Superman flies around the earth at absurd speed, and somehow this seems reverse the earth's spin and turn back time. Fans have rightly pointed out for years that this makes ''no sense whatsoever''. However, according to WordOfGod, the scene [[AllThereInTheManual was misunderstood]]: it wasn't this trope at all. Superman was actually flying so fast that he went ''faster than light'', thus going backwards in time as per the rules of special relativity. The earth's rotation reversed because, from Superman's (and the viewer's) perspective, time was flowing backwards and we were watching it in reverse.
** This was also in the original director's cut of ''Superman II''.
*** Meaning if Donner hadn't been fired, Superman would have used it [[OverusedSciFiSillyScience twice in two movies.]]
** In a series of advertisements with Superman and Jerry Seinfeld hanging out together, Superman suggested doing this to keep Jerry's stereo from being destroyed by a mugger. Jerry asked him not to, saying that doing that seems to take the meaning out of everything they do together.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In the HGWells short story "The Man Who Could Work Miracles", the protagonist, Fotheringay, realizes that all of his wishes come true. To gain more time, he wishes that the Earth to stop rotating, which causes all objects on Earth being hurled off the ground without control, destroying everything. Fotheringay survives because he wished he'd land safe, and seeing the destruction, he commands a return to the time before he had his power.
* One segment of the short poem, "11:53:33", refers to this trope:
-->we sat on the frozen
-->school merry-go-round
-->slowly spinning under the
-->idea that if we turn
-->opposite of the Earthís rotation
-->weíll stop time and stare
-->at the stars, your hand
-->innocently and barely touching
-->my own, and the morning
-->will only come when we
-->decide the sun may rise
* At one point in ''Honeymoon Ranch'', by Celeste Hamilton, True wonders whether his wedding to Paige is a bad idea and wishes he were a superhero that could reverse the rotation of the planet and turn back time.
* In ''Couple Most Likely To'', by Lilian Darcy, Jake tries to explain to Stacey how he had wished to be able to fix the mistakes of his past, and he uses the example of a superhero reversing the rotation of the earth.
* In "After the Storm Clears its Bliss," a poetic short story, it is mentioned that this method of time travel, even if it were possible, would do nothing to change the relationship between two characters.
* This form of time manipulation is mentioned in "Martha, Martha, Martha!", a short story by John F. Sills III. In this adaptation of a portion of the [[Literature/TheFourGospels Gospel of Luke]], the main character embarrasses herself in front of Jesus and wishes she could "spin the earth backwards just one hour to change out a single event for a more suitable one."
* In ''When the World Stood Still'', by Johnston [=McCulley=], a war rages between the United States and Japan. Despite the possibility that peace can be brokered, the peace-hating commander of the American army, Captain Godwin, vows that, come sunrise, he will give his men the order to attack. Professor Selester decides to deal with the situation in the most straightforward way, by stopping the rotation of the Earth so that sunrise does not occur. He succeeds in stopping the planetís rotation, which leads to great chaos.
* The link between the rotation of the Earth and the passage of time is evident in ''Cast Away at the Pole'', by William Wallace Cook. In it, the main characters discover that at the location of the North Pole, there is a huge rotating pillar. A being known as the Great Ziff lives on top of this structure. By living at the Earth's pole, he escapes the effect of the rotation of the Earth and is therefore immortal.
* {{Creator/Plato}}'s ''Timaeus'' and ''Critias'', which discuss {{Atlantis}}, have been interpreted in a myriad of ways by proponents of the lost continent. One interpretation, which locates Atlantis at the South Pole, uses similar reasoning to the above example from ''Cast Away at the Pole''. According to this analysis, the mention of a "true ocean" is actually a reference to the "cosmic ocean of time." Time was considered linked to the rotation of the Earth and since the poles are at the extremities of this rotation, they are "free" from its effects. Symbolically, the poles are where time can be said to "stand still."
* In the poem, "The Place Where Time Stands Still," by Eleanor Haley, the narrator attempts to slow down and stop the rotation of the Earth, so that it remains summer forever, and her daughters donít have to grow up.
* The satirical essay, "Additional Questions Rep. Louie Gohmert Should Ask During Congressional Hearings," by Jeff Johnson, references this form of time travel. One of the important questions that should be addressed is whether Muslim people could band together and run in the opposite direction to the Earthís rotation, reversing it and sending the planet back in time. It is suggested history could be changed by going back to the [[Main/TheSixties Sixties]] and influencing president JFK.
* In "Remarkable Incident in the Middle of Next Week: Anticipatively Communicated," a writer is upset that he is always falling behind, in all aspects of his life, including his work. He doesn't blame himself, however, but the world itself. He believes days pass by too quickly. As he puts it: "It is not my fault, but that of this ceaseless spinning orb of ours that will not give one a momentís breathing time." He wishes the world would stop spinning so he could make up for falling behind and one day wakes up to find the planet has stopped spinning, making it perpetually night where he lives. The issue is eventually resolved, the Earth begins to rotate again and day follows night the way it should. [[spoiler: The whole adventure was probably just a dream, though.]]
* ''[[Literature/TheIncredibleWorldsOfWallyMcdoogle My Life as a Human Hairball]]'', by Bill Myers, features a story within a story that uses this form of time travel. In the short story, [=RetroRunt=], a supervillain, ties rockets to the planet and uses them to reverse Earthís rotation, causing time to run backwards.
* ''The Secret History of AA Comics'', by Bob Rozakis, deals with an Main/AlternateHistory of the comic book industry. A 1978 Franchise/GreenLantern movie that came out in this alternate world, a reference to the 1978 ''Film/{{Superman}}'' motion picture (See Film section), is discussed at length. In it, Green Lantern (instead of Superman) uses his power ring to make the world spin backwards and reverse time.
* In ''Dressing Death'', by Thom L. Nichols, two characters argue about whether this form of time travel would work, with one character claiming that if the Earth "started spinning the other way around the sun", time would be reversed and people would travel back in time.


[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* MightyMorphinPowerRangers had this a couple times, though since we see it from the perspective of the villains' base on the moon, it's unclear if the Earth rotating backwards is the cause of the time-reversal, or an effect. Though [[AWizardDidIt it was magically-induced]] both times, so...
* In one episode of ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'', the twins gain super powers by making a wish on a shooting star. After they find being superheroes is more trouble than itís worth, they decide to reverse the rotation of the planet to go back in time to the point they made their wish. Unfortunately, they go too far into the past. [[spoiler:In the end, their adventures turn out to have probably [[AllJustADream been a dream]].]]
* "The Guardian," an episode of ''Series/{{Sliders}}'', has a slightly more plausible version of this trope. The main characters arrive on a parallel Earth that is spinning on its axis at a slightly different speed than in their original reality. Objective time is unchanged, of course, but the difference in the speed of rotation means that events on this Earth are "behind," so that it appears to be 1984, rather than 1996 (present day). For example, Quinn attends his fatherís funeral, which took place, from his perspective, in 1984.


[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* Calvin of ''CalvinAndHobbes'' did this as part of a Stupendous Man fantasy once, striking the Earth at a low angle to turn it backwards a full rotation so it'd be Saturday instead of Sunday, [[MundaneUtility thereby giving himself an extra day to shirk off his homework.]]


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Depressingly subverted in a ''SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' comic in reference to the Superman example.
-->[[ If you were still alive,]] you'd probably wish Superman had paid more attention in physics class.
* [[ This]] Webcomic/{{XKCD}} comic gets about as close to this trope as realistically possible, which isn't very much.
* [[ This]] Troll Science comic claims that it would be simple to halt the rotation of the earth, stopping time and allowing people to live forever.
* Inspired by Superman, the main character of Mohagen, a goldfish, [[ tries]] to turn back time by changing the rotation of the water in his fish bowl, but ultimately fails.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In one of ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'''s Quailman imagine spots, the villain plans to eliminate weekends by speeding up the rotation of the Earth. Quailman uses his machine to slow down the Earth's rotation to add a third day to the weekend, which he calls "Funday". Ironically, speeding up the Earth's rotation would realistically ''increase'' the number of days in a week, because it would make the days shorter without affecting the year. Maybe Doug fell asleep through astronomy class.
* One villain in ''WesternAnimation/TotallySpies'' tried this-- by ''flying rapidly around the planet with a high-class airplane'', no less.
* Averted in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "That Darn Katz!", when Earth's rotation is first stopped, then restarted in the opposite direction, but this has no effect on time.
* Stan does this in an ImagineSpot in ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad''.
* Occured in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Sidekick}}'' when Eric and Trevor were trapped in a super fast CoolCar that eventually got stuck in reverse.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog'', the Earth is hit by an asteroid that two aliens are using to play a game, causing it to spin much faster than normal in its usual direction, sending Courage, Eustace, and Muriel 1000 years into the future. At the end of the episode, it gets hit by the Asteroid again and spins really fast in reverse, sending them back to the present. This one also seems to require SpaceFriction, since if anything caused the Earth to start spinning faster, it would keep spinning at that same speed until something else made it slow down, per Newton's First Law of Motion.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'', Captain Hero manages to turn back time this way, despite being in a wheelchair and paralyzed from the neck down. The Superman example is explicitly referenced.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/AlmostNakedAnimals'', Duck increases the rotation of the Earth, which causes time to speed up. As a result, everyone ages more rapidly. Eventually, Earthís rotation is reversed, which turns back time.