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[[quoteright:200:[[ComicBook/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marvintsp200_7399.png]]]]

->'''Guinan:''' I'll see you in 500 years, Picard.
->'''Picard:''' And I'll see you... in a few minutes.
-->-- ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS5E26S6E1TimesArrow Time's Arrow Part 2]]"
%% One page quote is sufficient. For additional entries please use the quotes tab.

A mild tragedy for a time traveler, particularly applicable to the longer-lived variety.

A sort of breakdown of MeanwhileInTheFuture, The Slow Path is what a character travels down when they use time travel to experience much ''more'' time than the other characters in the story.

This typically takes one of two forms: a character can use time travel to take a "time out" from the story at large, returning when they are good and ready (or simply manages to blunder their way back home). Alternatively, a character might be left behind by time travel, and therefore be forced to return to the present by "going the long way." If a HumanPopsicle or a longer-lived/immortal being is not involved, this can be particularly tragic, with the character forced to burn up a sizable chunk of their vital years. Or worse, they might have been sent far enough into the past that they won't survive the "return trip" at all.

If a time traveler gets stuck experiencing this trope for a very long time from the relative view of another time traveler, and yet does not act or behave any differently can be considered a case of OutOfTimeOutOfMind. It's possible he may GoMadFromTheIsolation, which is bad, unless he also grows BoredWithInsanity.

The question of why the slow-pathed hero doesn't show up in their own previous adventures to lend a hand is generally addressed by the dangers of the TemporalParadox, depending on which flavor of {{Timey Wimey Ball}}s are in play that week (after all, they know all their previous adventures are going to turn out all right as they are).

Of course, if a spaceship is available, traveling forward in time is easy. Just accelerate to as close to the speed of light as its engines can manage, and the slow path gets a good bit faster. Oddly enough, despite TimeDilation being commonly seen in sci-fi stories, it's almost never used to escape from time travel mishaps.

Common M.O. for TheConstant.

See also WriteBackToTheFuture.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''VideoGame/DinosaurKing'', Rex uses the time machine to go home to the future. Suddenly, the ship comes back. Zoe and Max wonder if he stopped his journey or was gone for a long time just to return to the day he left.
* ''Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico'': Akito disappears during a battle with the Jovians, but then the Nadesico gets a call from him - turns out he'd reappeared on the Moon a few weeks earlier.
** And later we learn that [[spoiler:a jump back several years is how Ai grows up to be Inez Fressange.]]
* In the manga of ''Manga/SailorMoon'', Sailor Pluto dies in the "future" to save Chibiusa. She reveals herself to Chibiusa in the next arc in the present day, having explained she was reincarnated ''backwards in time'' to a point before Sailor Moon's adventures began. She laid low until after the Senshi went forward in time, saw her death, and returned. This also explains how the Time Gate still has a Guardian while Setsuna is with the rest of the Senshi. Presumably she'll wait until her previous self dies and then take over her old duties at the Time Gate. The {{anime}} of ''Anime/SailorMoon'' does something different.
* During the second season of ''Anime/GaoGaiGar'', [=ChoRyuJin=] pushes a massive asteroid back through a portal, and is believed lost. A few [[strike:days]] episodes later, Mamoru's class takes a field trip to look for ancient fossils, and to their great surprise, digs him up. It turned out that he ended up millions of years in the past; [[spoiler:the asteroid [[PhlebotinumKilledTheDinosaurs caused the dinosaurs to go extinct]].]]
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'':
** After Mikuru lost her time-machine while a trip to the past with Kyon, Yuki time-freezes them sleeping in her guest-bedroom, so they wouldn't age while the time was passing by.
** During the repeating summer vacation, [[spoiler: Nagato reveals that she]] remembers every loop, accounting for something like 595 years.
*** In some ways, the viewers of the anime themselves.[[note]] The novels only tell the last loop, since that's the only one Kyon as the narrator remembers afterwards.[[/note]] If you didn't realize from, for example, reading spoilers, that only the first and last of the 8 episodes were truly different (the differences between the intermediate episodes are pretty much in the details, like the kinds of swimsuits they wear, or the pattern on the girls' yukatas, or how Haruhi writes and marks through items on her list), you'd have been stuck watching through the same things 7 times in a row.
* The ending of ''Anime/TheGirlWhoLeaptThroughTime'' has [[spoiler: Chiaki]] return to his time in the future, promising to wait for Matoko, who can no longer time-travel. "I'll be right there. I'll run there."
* In ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', [[spoiler: Furude Rika]] mentions "we were getting tired of waiting" when Keiichi moves to Hinamizawa. You'd be tired of waiting too, if you had spent a hundred years in a (sort of) GroundhogDayLoop.
* An example in reverse order found in one of Yuichi Hasegawa's short manga. A boy "traveled" from ancient Greece using a cold sleep capsule. His intention is to enjoy the future a little then travel back to his time with his already-available time machine, which cannot go to the future since "the future does not yet exist." [[spoiler: The boy is actually [[Myth/GreekMythology Perseus]] - sent to the present by [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy Zeus (who is actually a genius inventor)]]. [[WriteBackToTheFuture His adventure in the story is eventually passed down as the legend of Perseus.]]]]
* A coffee grinder bought in a [[TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday disappearing antiques store]] ([[spoiler:or the Lucifer Hawk that runs it]]) sends Yuki Saiko of ''Manga/SilentMobius'' thirty years into the past, where she meets a young man named Tohru and they fall in love. When she gets back to her own time, they meet again [[spoiler: and it turns out he's her landlord.]]
* In ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'', it turns out that [[spoiler:Garterbelt used to be a career criminal. When he died, God revived him as an {{immortal|ity}} and sent him back to the age of the dinosaurs to witness the entire evolution of mankind first-hand.]]
* Like many time travel tropes, this pops up in ''VisualNovel/SteinsGate'' at one point. After it's revealed that [[spoiler:John Titor is actually a pseudonym used by Suzuha, who actually is a time traveler from the year 2036, she]] goes back in time again, to 1975, to try to retrieve an [[MacGuffin IBN 5100]]. However, that particular time machine can only travel back in time, not forward, so said computer would simply have to be guarded for some 35 years until it is to be used.
* in ''Manga/RaveMaster'',[[spoiler: Poor Sieg chooses to starve to death protecting Resha's grave, leaving his skeleton to magically protect her secrets for 50 years until Elie was ready to learn the truth about her memories while she and Haru can return to the future.]]
* in ''Manga/FairyTail'',[[spoiler: young dragonslayers were sent to the future, while Zeref waited for 400 years.]]
* In the original version of ''Anime/StarshipGirlYamamotoYohko'', Yohko is sent back to year -50,000 when she fought an EldritchAbomination created by the Old-Timers in year 2999. She mods life support in her ship and sleeps until the early 2000s, to let her posse rescue her. The ship actually has a few {{Early Bird Cameo}}s as background conspiracy.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In Creator/NeilGaiman's original ''ComicBook/TheBooksOfMagic'' miniseries, the WellIntentionedExtremist Mr. E takes the protagonist to the end of time, so he can kill him without interference. [[TheGrimReaper Death]] stops him, and forces him to take The Slow Path ''back'' -- with the implication that he will create a StableTimeLoop by teaching his younger self to time-walk.
* In Franchise/TheDCU CrisisCrossover ''ComicBook/DCOneMillion'', various Justice League members exchange places with their [[LegacyCharacter successors]] in the 853rd century. The ComicBook/MartianManhunter and the ComicBook/ResurrectionMan are already there. (As is ComicBook/VandalSavage, who keeps coming up in this trope.) And Platinum of the ComicBook/MetalMen. She keeps the bodies of her former team, lost one by one.
* In ''ComicBook/IKilledAdolfHitler'' both main characters walk the past: he returns to present from his botched assassination of the Fuhrer, she slow-goes to future where the time machine is usable again to return back to present.
* In one particular ''[[Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica JLA]]'' story, ComicBook/PlasticMan is [[LiterallyShatteredLives blown to bits]] in the past and the rest of the heroes manage to return to the present. Plastic Man was forced to spend the three thousand years in between attempting to reconstruct himself. He remains conscious the ''whole time'', and the experience somehow [[BoredWithInsanity actually makes him LESS crazy.]] The arc also features the Green Lantern Kyle Rayner [[spoiler: getting killed in the past, but "living" through the centuries as a ring-generated "ghost"... until the day he's discovered by the replacement League.]]
* In ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'', the immortal elf Rayek kidnaps the family of Cutter, chief of the mortal Wolfriders, and takes them roughly ten thousand years into the future. His plan is to save the ancestors of the elves during their initial time travel mishap (which sent them back into the past). However, this would prevent the Wolfriders from ever existing. Cutter has no idea when his (immortal) lifemate Leetah and their (mortal) children will ever appear again, and he knows that he will die after roughly six thousand years. The first five centuries are torment for him and his tribe, and they eventually decide to have themselves wrapped in a time-freezing cocoon. The immortal characters (including the troll king, whose daughter was also kidnapped) live the years out, as do a select few Wolfriders who dislike tampering with nature and who simply choose to life a normal life. The plot resumes ten thousand years later, when Cutter's lifemate and children finally see him again -- after what, for them, has only been a few hours. Later chapters show that Cutter's time without his family severely traumatized him -- he could simply not stop ''counting''.
* In the ''Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Special'', Comicbook/SquirrelGirl gets lost in time travel and ends up in 2099, with a version of her boyfriend who avoided becoming DarkerAndEdgier (literally). She decides it's not so bad, until fellow [[ComicBook/GreatLakesAvengers Great Lakes Initiative]] member Mr Immortal shows up to tell her how the present's going. She wonders how he traveled there, then remembers how. For those who don't know, Mr Immortal's power is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* ''ComicBook/XMen'':
** Bishop was stuck in the past during the team's mission to stop Legion. He therefore lived through the years as the ''ComicBook/AgeOfApocalypse'' storyline unfolded until its "present day." While the entire [=AoA=] timeline was wiped out at the end of the event, Bishop's memories of his life there were inherited by his mainstream continuity self. Somehow.
** In the ''ComicBook/MessiahComplex'' storyline, Hope and Cable jump across numerous time periods to keep ahead of their pursuer, Bishop. In one future timeline, Cable accidentally jumps two years into the future but leaves Hope and Bishop behind.
** One arc sees the team accidentally deposited to the past, and stuck on the home planet of the Skrulls - just hours before Galactus was fated to destroy it. The team manages to escape, but they don't have any way to return to their present (and at the current moment in X-history in the time they were in, it would have been only shortly after both ComicBook/TheNewMutants were formed and ComicBook/{{Rogue}} first joined the team). Kitty uses the stolen spacecraft they escaped in to take a slower path back to Earth, while using a stasis field to keep them frozen until they arrive at the moment they left.
* In the first story arc of ''Midnighter'', the hero uses this by saving a man's life during World War 2 and asking for, in return, him to deliver a message to the Big Bad in the future.
* One issue of ComicBook/{{Flight}} Comics had a story abut a girl who found a box, invented by a Chinese man, which basically stopped aging and the need for bodily functions as long as one was inside. Then her brothers die. She crawls inside the box, falls asleep, and wakes up in the future, where she has a good life and falls in love. [[spoiler:[[TearJerker Turns out she never woke up, and the world ended above her]].]]
* In the ''ComicBook/{{Thorgal}}'' story ''Master of the Mountains'', a time-warping ring is used to deposit two characters in the past. One uses the ring to get back, the other has to take The Slow Path. [[spoiler:This is done twice, once by a would-be ChessMaster in a ploy to end up with power ''and'' the girl, and once by the girl to counter the ChessMaster's ploy and kill him.]]
* Creator/AlanMoore wrote a few comics for the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse. One of them is "Tilotny Throws a Shape", in which Leia, forced to land on a barren world and pursued by stormtroopers, comes across some ungodly ancient powerful beings. One kills Leia and the stormtroopers, and another resurrects them -- Leia just fine where and when she was, letting her escape... the stormtroopers [[http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v189/Marsh8472/starwars_timetravel.jpg eight thousand years in the past]]. Leia comes across their desiccated bones, near where the ship landed long after their deaths.
* In ''ComicBook/PS238'' Zodon's attempt at time travel left him stranded in the ice ages, so he froze himself in a glacier and set his chair's beacon to activate roughly around the time he left.
* During a fight over a TimeMachine in 1947, ''ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica'' villain Per Degaton was split in two. The "chronal duplicate" got the machine and went off to a career as a ConquerorFromTheFuture stuck in a GroundhogDayLoop, while the original stayed behind and had to wait to catch up with the machine when it arrived in the 1980s. When it finally did arrive, it didn't go well for him. [[ContinuitySnarl Depending on the telling]], he either got disintegrated by [[NeverTheSelvesShallMeet coming into contact]] with his past self or was DrivenToSuicide when the man he fatally shot in 1947 stumbled out of the machine and exposed his killer with his dying breath.
* Happens to Franchise/{{Superman}} in the story ''ComicBook/TimeAndTimeAgain'' where he keeps getting sent throughout different points in time. Through the arc, there are moments where it shows what everyone in Metropolis is doing, showing how little time is passing for them. By the time he finally returns home in the then-present day 1991, Lois remarks that just a couple hours have passed, while an exhausted Superman has been gone for nearly five months. This trope is also directly referenced at one point in the arc, when Superman is currently trapped in the 1940's and wonders if the only thing for him to do is take the slow path all the way back to the present.
* UpToEleven in a ''Kid Gravity'' comic, published in Magazine/DisneyAdventures. Kid Gravity is stranded in the time of the dinosaurs by his evil rival, only for Gravity to suddenly return in another another time machine. He explains to his rival that he wrote himself a note to the future telling his future self to send another time machine to the past for him to return home. How he wrote that note, had it undiscovered for millions of years, identified the exact day he was trapped on, etc, isn't... exactly explained.
* In ''Lanfeust Des Étoiles'', the RecycledInSpace sequel to ''{{ComicBook/Lanfeust}}'', the hero spends some time in the distant past before being able to come back to the present [[spoiler:only to discover that the return trip overshot very slightly his point of origin and that he's now 15 years in the future. His wife Cixi, who remained in the present, aged accordingly]].
* A variation occurs in one comic book adaptation of ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers''. Lord Zedd's MonsterOfTheWeek is a trap that sends the Zords with the rangers inside them through a time portal to the prehistoric era, where Zedd assumes they'll be lost forever; Billy, however, eventually manages to use the Zords to reopen a portal, but there's one problem - they can't take the Zords with them. Once they get back, the exact instant they left, the problem becomes far worse, as the monster is still there, and still at giant size, and without the Zords, they have no idea how to stop it. Until, that is, Zordon contacts them and tells them the Zords were built ''to last''. Indeed, they're still where they left them, buried under several million years desert sand, and they still respond to their summons and work perfectly. They easily defeat the creature.
* In one ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' comic, Angela, Broadway, and Brooklyn are hanging around when all of a sudden, the time-travelling Phoenix appears out of nowhere and swallows Brooklyn up. Angela and Broadway have only 40 seconds to ponder that they've lost him forever when he returns, 40 years older with a wife, pet, and two children. We see the first place the Phoenix took him, and the rest of his journey [[WhatCouldHaveBeen would have been]] the subject of a story arc called ''Time-Dancer''.

* Famous ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' {{fanfic}} "Hearts of Ice" has Akane trapped in a dimension where time passes much faster than in Ranma's universe. By the time she gets home, she is seven years older than Ranma.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': There's actually a pretty good [[FanficRecs/DoctorWho fanfic]] set in an alternate universe in which the Doctor takes the slow path with Reinette: [[http://www.whofic.com/viewstory.php?sid=7495 The Slow Path, or Two and a Half Centuries in Two and a Half Days]].
* Kyon has to take The Slow Path for an evening in ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', at one point.
** Later, he travels several days back in time and [[RetroactivePreparation spends them to develop a plan]] to rescue [[spoiler:Sasaki]].
* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' has the periodically mentioned InUniverse MemeticBadass the Lady Knight (she taught Sif and Fandral among many, many others), who was both lost in time, taking the slow path until she jumped forward by a century or two, totally without warning.
* ''[[http://www.mediaminer.org/fanfic/view_st.php/54993 The Lucky Ones]]'' has the Bone-Eaters' Well shut down and Kagome become immortal in the process of destroying the Shikon Jewel, leaving her and Manga/InuYasha to live out the five hundred years between then and her home.
* In the KingdomHearts story [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5966670/1/Marionette Marionette]] Roxas ends up having to spend quite a few chapters at the end taking The Slow Path after being transported back to the past. [[spoiler:Of course it's [[AllJustADream all just a very long dream]]... [[OrWasItADream or was it?]]]]
* ''FanFic/QueenOfAllOni'': This seems to be how [[FutureBadass Karasu]] is destined to return to his own time, due to [[spoiler: having used his only return potion to banish Drago.]]
* In ''Fanfic/HarmonyTheory'', some characters find themselves in the distant future. Most of their friends are long gone except for Spike, who is now a fully grown dragon.
* In ''Fanfic/ALongJourneyHome'', Jasmine is forced to do this by a StableTimeLoop.
* In the ''[[https://parahumans.wordpress.com/ Worm]]'' fanfic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10286919/1/Recoil Recoil]]'', Taylor Hebert is sent back twenty-two years from the aftermath of a [[GoneHorriblyWrong disastrous Endbringer battle]]. That takes place in the first chapter. The rest of the story is about what happens next.
* The ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'' fanfic ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/8498536 Causality]]'' has Marinette being sent twenty years back in time by an akuma called Rewind, while her earrings are left behind. She's forced to survive by going to an orphanage under the false name Nathalie, before being adopted by the Sancouer family. Since she knows that in her present Nathalie Sancouer will be Gabriel Agreste's assistant and Adrien's caretaker, she spends the next twenty years planning to live that life - including [[Recap/MiraculousLadybugS01E02TheBubbler stealing the birthday present Marinette gave Adrien]] - in hopes of stopping herself being sent back, [[StableTimeLoop only to realise she caused it to begin with]]. [[spoiler:After she explains all this to Adrien/Chat Noir, she puts the earrings back in and goes on to defeat Rewind, only to lose Adrien in the same way - until he turns up a few weeks later, twenty years older, under the name Felix Astruc.]]
* In ''Fanfic/EquestriaAcrossTheMultiverse'', the group encounters two of the worlds created via Starlight's time travel revenge plot from the season 5 finale. It turns out that due to her methods (always remaining in the past while sending Twilight back to the future), each timeline she created possesses a temporal duplicate of her who was left stranded in the past with no way home due to Twilight having the time travel spell and there being no Cutie Map in the past. As a result, when the jaunters interact with the present time of those worlds, that Starlight has had to spend the last 20 years returning to the present the long way and hasn't aged well due to stress. Thankfully, spending 20 years witnessing the world [[BadFuture being ruined by her petty revenge]] caused them to undergo a HeelRealization and [[TheAtoner seek to atone for their mistakes.]]

* ''Film/BillAndTedsBogusJourney'' ends with the duo leaving and returning in their time machine, before explaining to the audience that they just slipped away for a year and a half to get married, have a honeymoon and actually learn to play the guitar! This breaks the SanDimasTime previously established, however.
* In ''Franchise/BackToTheFuture'':
** In the [[Film/BackToTheFuture first film]], Marty pops in from the future and the 1955 Doc helps him get back, knowing he won't see Marty again for decades, and it'll be even longer before they can discuss what happened. Just before Marty goes back to 1985, Doc tells him how hard it'll be to wait 30 years to talk about the excitement of building a working time machine.
** In ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII'' and ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII'', Doc, stranded in 1885, sends the broken time machine to himself and Marty in 1955 by sealing it in a cave and letting time pass so they can repair it. He also gave [[WriteBackToTheFuture a letter]] to Western Union with instructions to hold it and not to deliver it to Marty until a few seconds after Doc was sent back.
** Also a case with Einstein the dog in the first film when Doc puts him in the [=DeLorean=] traveling ''one minute'' into the future. Doc and Marty wait a minute for him to arrive.
* In ''(T)raumschiff Surprise: Periode 1'', the character Spucky ends up taking the slow path after the time traveling couch the heroes travel on needs to lose weight. Spucky's Galapagos Turtle DNA (as well as some "not cheap" treatments) keep him looking exactly the same when the heroes arrive back in the future. Spucky does make the most of the time to glam up the earth, however.
%%* ''Film/TheFinalCountdown'', Owen.
* The movie ''Film/{{Primer}}'' is about a box that lets you take the slow path backwards: if you want to travel back in time six hours, you have to spend six hours inside the box. On top of that, leaving the box early has some deadly side effects. The box also works forwards, but that's not quite as useful. Also, if you don't send a person to get out the first time, the object will likely take the slow path back and forth several thousand times. The gunk that built up from bacteria taking that path was the first clue of time travel.
* At the end of ''Film/{{Frequency}}'', after an entire film of WriteBackToTheFuture, [[spoiler:Frank takes The Slow Path to rescue John from the Nightingale Killer]].
* In ''Film/HotTubTimeMachine'', [[spoiler:Lou stays behind in the past because his life in the original time line sucked. He uses the opportunity to make better decisions, and uses his knowledge of the future to become very rich. It's played with, though, because his physical age remains the same--his mind from the present had traveled back to inhabit his younger self]].
* In ''Series/KamenRiderOOO'', [[Series/KamenRiderDenO Den-O]], ''All Riders: Let's Go Kamen Rider'', one of two {{Street Urchin}}s who end up traveling 40 years into the past finds himself stuck there. [[spoiler:In the end, he turns out not only to have been instrumental to helping the Kamen Riders make their BadFuture better, he also happens to be [[LukeIAmYourFather his best friend]]'s DisappearedDad.]]
* In the ending sequence of ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast''. Logan may be the only one with a RippleEffectProofMemory, but having interacted with Future Logan in the 1970s, Charles immediately understands what has happened when Logan wakes up disoriented in the altered future.
* A plot point in ''Film/{{Interstellar}}'', Cooper and Brand survey a planet that experiences extreme time dilation, seven years Earth time for every hour on the surface. [[spoiler:When an accident occurs on the mission causing them to be delayed in returning to the Endurance, they find Romilly, who they left behind waited twenty-two years for them to return, while they were only on the planet for a little over an hour.]]
* ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'':
** This is used to explain [[Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger Arnie]]'s aged appearance in this film. Sarah and Kyle use a time machine to travel from 1984 to 2017, but the T800 accompanying them can't go with them due to damage it sustained in a fight with a T1000 (as only living tissue can pass through the portal, and the flesh over Pops' hand had been melted off). Instead, he stays behind and waits for them to emerge in 2017, spending the years gathering weapons and intel to use against Skynet. Unfortunately this takes a toll on him, as despite being a cyborg his flesh still decays normally, [[FridgeLogic despite being able to regrow from scratch]], and his mechanical components start to break down, [[FridgeLogic despite supposedly being designed to last for 120 years]].
** Officer O'Brian's life was saved by the heroes in 1984, and he's very happy to see them again and helps them in 2017.
* ''Film/TheTimeMachine2002'': Hartdegen isn't the only character to travel eight hundred thousand years into the future; Vox the library AI did as well.
-->"Yes, I remember you: 'Time travel - Practical applications.'"

* In Creator/TimPowers' book ''Literature/TheAnubisGates'', Brendan Doyle severely injures the ''ka'' Dr. Romany while both are back in time, to the point where the villain can't follow him through a time portal. In the "present" of the story, Brendan realizes the [[spoiler:"beggar's luck" he's seen before]] is Dr. Romany, after a century of desiccation, and after wondering how the ''ka'' returned to this time, whispers in horror, "Jesus, you must have simply ''lived'' your way back here!"
* In Brian Caswell's novel ''Dreamslip'', the two main characters can stay indefinitely in whatever time they visit, returning to the present at the exact moment they left and not being a minute older. If they ''die'' in another time, however...
* In Terry Pratchett's ''Literature/JohnnyAndTheBomb'', the hero and his friends travel back to World War II, [[spoiler:then one of them ends up returning to the present via The Slow Path because of a Grandfather Paradox, after which he seeks out the hero in the present, having spent the intervening half-century using his knowledge of fast food (!) and future events to become the world's richest man.]]
* In Terry Pratchett's ''Discworld/{{Eric}}'', the protagonist wishes that he could live for ever. This is then interpreted as living the slow path from the Creation until the end of the world.
* In ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'', the Wizards of Unseen University end up stranded thousands of years in the past. While there, they encounter the creator of Fourecks, the titular continent. The Creator humors the Wizards' casual bickering just long enough to paint them into a cave wall, where, in the present day near the end of the story, Rincewind manages to free them.
* In a variant, the golem Anghammarad from ''Discworld/GoingPostal'' plans to wait for the cycle of history to repeat itself, at which point it'll deliver a message it'd failed to deliver many thousands of years ago. As a golem, as long as he gets repaired occasionally he could last until the end of time, and the subsequent re-beginning.
* ''[[Literature/ArtemisFowl Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony]]'' reverses this. At the end of the book, Artemis and Holly return from the title's lost continent, having jumped forward in time three years. Butler, Artemis's family, and the entire rest of the world took the usual path through those years. Conveniently, it seems likely that Artemis picked up a talent on the trip that will obviate the need to explain this to his parents. [[PlotRelevantAgeUp Even more conveniently]], the skipped years make Artemis the same biological age as the love interest the book had set up for him... Except that the sixth book completely ignores this possibility, in order to ShipTease [[MayflyDecemberRomance something completely different.]]
* In Creator/VernorVinge's ''Literature/MaroonedInRealtime'', The Slow Path is the murder weapon; just as everyone is about to make the big leap, Marta's time-stasis device is disabled, forcing her to live out her lifespan on an abandoned planet. When everyone else wakes up thousands of years later, she is long dead. Possibly the only murder mystery ever written in which the cause of death is "old age".
* In ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising'', Hawkin takes The Slow Path [[spoiler:and becomes the Walker]].
* Marvin in ''Literature/TheRestaurantAtTheEndOfTheUniverse'' ends up being "thirty-seven times older than the universe itself," due to various incidents involving messing about with time travel. One can only assume he took a ''lot'' of Slow Paths at some point. In one instance, he waits 576 ''billion'' years on the planet Frogstar B after the rest of the crew get teleported away. He doesn't enjoy it much:
-->'''Marvin''': The first ten million years were the worst, and the second ten million years, they were the worst too. The third ten million I didn't enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline.
** Interestingly, 576 billion years is only 37 times the age of the universe under old estimates of the age of the universe (around 15 billion years). Under more recent estimates of the age of the universe (around 13.7 billion), Marvin turns out to be around... *sigh* [[ContrivedCoincidence 42]] times the age of the universe.
** The conclusion to ''Literature/DirkGentlysHolisticDetectiveAgency'' ends on a similar note, in that [[spoiler:an alien ghost who's already waited for untold billions of years for life to evolve, attain intelligence, and invent time travel, winds up stranded in the ancient past it'd been trying to change, and has to take the Slow Path ''all over again'']].
* In the short story "I Borrow Dave's Time Machine" by S. N. Dyer, the protagonist goes back in time and commissions several new works of art from various old masters--then leaves them hidden in the past and retrieves them when he returns to the present. Had he just brought them back with him, they would have been dismissed as fakes because the paint would have been fresh.
* In Spider Robinson's ''Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon'' there is a character who is referred to as a time traveler though really he just spent over a decade in a BananaRepublic prison cell and [[StrangerInAFamiliarLand finds it hard to adjust to the world when he gets out]].
** He is, effectively. He missed out on ten years of human development and [[TheSixties social upheaval]] languishing in a jail cell. He may have taken the slow path, of one year per year time dilation, but he still effectively jumped, culturally speaking, from 1963 to 1973.
* The protagonists of ''Rainbow Mars'' by Creator/LarryNiven travel back in time hundreds of years using [[OurTimeTravelIsDifferent instantaneous time travel]] but lose access to it for the return trip. Instead, they use a stasis device on [[ItsALongStory their rocket ship]] to return to their own time, popping into reality here and there to inadvertently spawn ancient legends, including that of [[Myth/RussianMythologyAndTales Baba Yaga]].
* In Orson Scott Card's ''Literature/SpeakerForTheDead'', Ender leaves his sister to take the Slow Path while he [[TimeDilation flies off to another star system]] to make up for his prior mistakes. He knows she will probably die before he can get back. [[spoiler:At the end of the book, she does the same, so they've both aged roughly the same amount when they meet again in ''Literature/{{Xenocide}}''.]]
* ''Literature/ThursdayNext'': The [=ChronoGuard=] from Jasper Fforde's novels can end up with chronological ages of several centuries and actual ages in the mid-twenties because of all the time-travel whackery they get up to. This makes life very hard for their families, who are busy taking The Slow Path and having grandchildren who end up being older than their grandfather.
* In ''Literature/TheTimeTravelersWife'' the time traveler initially meets his future wife when she is just a little girl, and she has to take the slow path to get to his normal time line.
* Apparently, this is what happened to [[spoiler:Aunt Grace]] of ''Literature/InTheKeepOfTime'' after she fell asleep in the Tower as a child and was so difficult to rouse "because the people wanted her to stay." She lost the memories of her life before then, because that part of her stayed behind to grow up and become Vianah. One can hope the same thing happened to the part of Ollie that was Mae, so that Muckle-mooth Meg [[WhatTheHellHero didn't have her only child taken from her by the Elliots]].
* The mentioned use of TimeDilation to mitigate the time travel problems was actually used in one Literature/PerryRhodan arc. Stranded time travellers decided to put the 50000 years they were off their original timeline to a good use and built the largest Terran ship ever. After finishing (which took some centuries, forcing the crew to become [[BrainInAJar brains in jars]]), they used TimeDilation to get back to their old time. In the end, they missed by some decades, and due to misunderstandings (and madness from being reduced to jars) actually turned against humanity.
* In the third ''Literature/TheSecretsOfTheImmortalNicholasFlamel'' book, [[spoiler: Scatty and Joan think they have been sent back in time by Dee, and that, being immortal, they will have to take a very long slow path back to the others. However (more spoilers), it turns out that they are in fact in another world that only resembles prehistoric Earth.]]
** Another example would be Marethyu [[spoiler: who is none other than Josh himself. Turns out that when Sophie and Josh go back in time so that they can be there on Danu Talis and have the duel of the twins that everyone remembers them being there for so that the timeline of the series makes any sort of sense at all, Sophie leaves and heads back to the future, but Josh stays behind to sink the island and effectively destroy the world, getting the infamous hook that he becomes known for as "The Hook-Handed Man", and then must live through all the long years in order to do the various things that will/have happen/ed such as giving Nicholas the Codex to begin with. He also says in a throwaway line that he has lived through the equivalent of MILLIONS of normal years by the time the present day rolls around. Making him a certifiable TimeAbyss as well.]]
* In Robert Charles Wilson's ''Literature/{{Spin}},'' the Earth has been trapped in ''fast'' time. Our near-future heroes decide to use slow time to find a solution, by sending a colony ship to Mars, outside the time-effect. A week after launch, the distant descendants of the colonists return to Earth...
* The Time Turners in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban'' are only ever used in the story to take people ''back'' in time - first Hermione so she can take multiple classes simultaneously all year, then Hermione and Harry to rescue Buckbeak and Sirius. In all cases, they took the slow path back to the present (although it was only a matter of hours in each case).
* In Creator/HarryHarrison's ''Literature/TheTechnicolorTimeMachine'', the plot follows a film crew who use a MadScientist's time machine to film a movie about [[HornyVikings Vikings]] for cheap. They use The Slow Path approach several times, such as leaving a script writer on an uninhabited island in the past for several months (his time), which for them took several seconds. They also end up sending a Viking named Ottar to Vinland by ship in order to film him getting there, while all they have to do is use the time machine. They also end up accidentally leaving their star actress behind when jumping forward by a year. They find her again as Ottar's wife and the mother of his child.
* Shows up in the final ''Literature/TimeScout'' book. It's a very risky maneuver; time gates aren't permanent. No matter how stable, any gate risks going unstable and disappearing.
** Not quite as risky as all that, actually. They move the slow way between two different gates, that open into different times and places, with a gap of a couple of years between them. So while 3 or so years passes for them the slow way, if they get to the second gate in less time than the time gap, they are guaranteed it will still be there, because it was there when they left Lala-land, and they could theoretically go back soon after the time they left (the tactic is still fairly risky for other reasons though - in-universe it is impossible to be in two places at the same time. If any of the party had been through the second gate at any time in the past, they would have vanished and died as soon as they overlapped themselves.)
* In Creator/JoeHaldeman's ''Literature/TheForeverWar'', Marygay Potter knows Bill Mandella won't be back from his last mission for centuries (if ever). She uses a relativistic spaceship to speed down the Slow Path.
* While other characters in ''Literature/ManifoldSpace'' travel into the far future through relativistic effects, Nemoto persists in real time through combination of advanced medical treatments and sheer force of will, building up influence and manipulating humanity from the shadows.
* Ian Watson's 1979 short story ''The Very Slow Time Machine'' is, as the title suggests, very much an example of this trope, featuring a time-traveller who appears to be travelling backwards into the past at the rate of one hour per hour.
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/TheDoorIntoSummer'' starts with the hero (broke, drunk and angry) deciding to use [[HumanPopsicle cold sleep]] to see his ex worn by several decades of The Slow Path. The plot revolves around the implications of combining reliable cold sleep, slow path [[spoiler:and TimeTravel with unpredictable direction]]. Among other things the hero does meet his ex-love: destitute, "overfed, and under exercised" and too senile to realize that to boot; but he has more interesting things to do rather than savor his victory.
* In the end of ''One Hundred Years Ahead'' by Creator/KirBulychev (as well as its TV adaptation ''Series/GuestFromTheFuture'') before returning to the future the heroine tells her 20th century friends what will happen with them. The final words are:
--> '''Alice''': And if you don't believe me, see for yourself when you get there.
--> '''Fima''': How can we get there, if we are not allowed [to use the TimeMachine]?
--> '''Sadovskiy''': On our own, year after year and we'll be there!
* ''Literature/{{Hyperion}}'': The Consul's tale recalls his grandfather as a young man going on frequent spaceship voyages and returning to a planet many years in the future, having only aged slightly due to relativistic time dilation. Early on, he falls in love with a girl, but each time he returns to the world, he's the same age and she has aged over a decade. Their romance spreads across her whole life, while it's only a short duration for him.
* There is an old sci-fi novel (can't remember the name) about an expedition to one of the Magellanic Clouds on a ship using an AntiMatter drive to accelerate to a high percentage of the speed of light. One of the astronauts says goodbye to his girlfriend, knowing he'll never see her again and leaves. Unwilling to live without him, and told that regular HumanPopsicle method won't allow her to survive for millennia, she volunteers for an experimental procedure involving being placed in a coma. Thousands of years later, the ship returns with only one crewmember aboard (not her boyfriend), who is already dead from life support failure. The medical technology of the future revives him, and he accidentally helps them find the girl's pod. They then travel back to the Magellanic Cloud (using FTL technology this time) and rescue her boyfriend, who was placed in stasis by the BigBad.
* Creator/StephenKing's short story "[[Literature/SkeletonCrew The Jaunt]]" features a family waiting to be instantaneously teleported from Earth to Mars, in a process that first requires them to be gassed unconscious. The father tells his two children a bowdlerized version of how the technique came to be discovered and why the gas is needed, skipping over the gruesome semi-apocryphal account of the first man to make the trip awake. Unfortunately, [[spoiler:the son hears enough to be curious about what the trip is like, so he holds his breath when the gas is administered. The father wakes up on the other end to witness his cackling white-haired son [[EyeScream clawing his own eyes out]]: The physical trip is indeed instantaneous, but the mental journey... well... "[[DoubleMeaning It's longer than you think]], Dad! Longer than you think!!"]]
* In ''Literature/WeCantRewind'', the characters discover near the end that there's a way to visit the past. [[spoiler: You just have to be living in a nation called Merciar on an alternate Earth in a parallel BizarroUniverse in which time flows backward, which is on the other side of a huge naturally generated inter-dimensional portal in TheBermudaTriangle; and you have to have access to some of Merciar's advanced inter-dimensional portal-opening technology.]] Then you have to live for however long into the past from the present your intended destination is.
* In ''Literature/TheWorldAtTheEndOfTime'', unlike the two other protagonists [[spoiler: Viktor Sorricaine and Reesa [=McGann=]]], Wan-To travels through the slow path watching the almost entire history of the Universe to unfold in front of its sensors.
* In the ''Literature/RedDwarf'' novels, Holly goes through this in the same manner as [[Series/RedDwarf his tv series counterpart]]. During the second book, when Lister is marooned on Garbage World and ''Red Dwarf'' itself is forced to escape a black hole, a time dilation effect occurs where the ship has relatively been travelling for a few hours, but Lister has been stuck there for thirty six years. Presumably, [[spoiler: after his death and [[BackFromTheDead resurrection]], his time on Backwards Earth counts as this as well, since in [[AlternateContinuity both books]] that came after, The Cat is the same age.]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Alcatraz}}'' was built around this trope. Every prisoner in Alcatraz and some of its staff disappeared in 1963 and reappeared in 2011 without having aged a day, while one of the guards, Emerson Hauser, took The Slow Path, rising through the ranks of law enforcement to become a senior FBI agent.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'':
** "Six Months Ago": Hiro jumps back six months, then spends most of them trying to get Charlie out of harm's way. One bonus of this extra time is that he improves his English dramatically in what is, to the rest of the heroes, a very short period. Another is that he and Charlie fell in love, but then, maybe that's not such a big bonus considering what happened to her.
** And then [[spoiler: Charlie herself takes The Slow Path, when Samuel and Arnold hide her in the 1940's to keep her away from Hiro. He runs into her again in the present, where she's an elderly grandmother. Hiro decides not to intervene when he meets her granddaughter.]]
** [[spoiler: Kensei/Adam also experiences this as it seems his healing ability allowed him the immortality to wait hundreds of years for his revenge on Hiro.]]
** "Bloodlines" (from the webcomic tie-in) reveals that [[spoiler: Arnold, elderly the time-traveler from the Sullivan Bros Carnival, was actually 15 years younger than Samuel. Then on a mission back to 1961, he got EasyAmnesia and ended up taking The Slow Path back to the present.]]
* ''Series/HeroesReborn'': Part of Noah Bennett and his allies' plan to thwart Erica Kravid involves Hiro sending [[spoiler:the newborn Nathan/Tommy and Malina]] back 15 years. He gets stuck there and has to wait it out.
* When the others are blasted into the future in ''Series/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', Marvin has to take the slow path and wait billions of years to meet up with them. He spends the last several thousand years parking cars at the site where the Restaurant At the End of the Universe was eventually built.
* On ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'', Ray, Kendra, and Sarah are left behind in the 1950s, and assume that they are stuck there for good. [[spoiler: Sarah rejoins the League of Assassins, while Ray becomes a professor, and begins dating Kendra. They are stuck there for 2 years before Rip and the rest of the team get to them.]] In Season 2, the ''Waverider'' is left at the bottom of the Atlantic for 74 years, before a historian named Nate Haywood and [[Series/{{Arrow}} Mayor Oliver Queen]] board the timeship in 2016 and find Mick Rory aboard in stasis. Only moments have passed for Mick. Apparently, the timeship is none the worse for wear after spending so much time underwater and [[spoiler:being hit by a nuclear-tipped torpedo]].
** Both the BigBad of Season 1, Vandal Savage, and one of the LegionOfDoom in Season 2, Damian Darhk, are immortals, and so meet the time travelling Legends at different times in their long lives, between which decades pass for them, while it's only been a matter of weeks at most for the good guys. [[spoiler: Averted in Season 2, where Damian Darhk begins travelling in time as well, due to his alliance with the Reverse Flash]].
** The episode [[Recap/LegendsOfTomorrowS2E5Compromised "Compromised"]] gives us Todd/Obsidian, one of [[Comicbook/{{Vixen}} Amaya's]] teammates from the ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica. Amaya stowes away on the Legend's TimeMachine, the ''Waverider'', in 1942, and a few weeks later (for her), runs into Obsidian in 1987, who he hasn't seen her in over forty years.
* A less tragic version in the season 2 finale of ''Series/TheLibrarians2014'', where the TimeMachine that sent Flynn and Eve into Creator/{{Shakespeare}}'s time breaks after the jump, and Jenkins informs the others that it's impossible for them to return, even using another time machine, as each time machine works differently. After the BigBad is defeated ([[spoiler:by exorcising him from Shakespeare's body]]), [[spoiler:Shakespeare]] needs to return to his own time. The space/time continuum obligingly creates a temporal rift for him, but Flynn and Eve aren't able to use it. Instead, [[spoiler:they use the last of the Bard's magic to have the two of them turned into statues and placed in a locked room in the Library. A clue is then left that will only appear at the appropriate time that will allow Jenkins to open the room and break the "curse", turning the statues back to normal]].
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'':
** As of season 5, most of the characters of [[spoiler: are back in 1977. Some of them got stuck in 1974 and simply had to build lives for themselves in that time period while waiting for Locke and the O6 to return.]] Though the neat thing is, [[spoiler:the people who got off the island take three years to make it back, so that by the time everyone meets up again, they've all experienced the same amount of time.]]
** Locke meets a young Charles Widmore on the island in 1954, then again in Tunisia in 2005. Widmore introduces himself, tells Locke that they met 50 years ago and asks how long it's been for him. "Four days".
* The Australian TV Series ''Series/MirrorMirror'': [[spoiler:Nicholas]] in the original time line.
* In ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'' episode ''Vanishing Act", a man would go to sleep and wake up ten years in the future every time. Once she figures out what is going on, his lover spends the rest of her life trying to figure out how to save him.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'':
** Holly, the ship's computer, waits for three million years while Lister is in stasis (and the Cat's ancestors are evolving into humanoids).
** In "Rimmerworld," Rimmer flees the ship when it is invaded, and lands on uninhabited planet. He accidentally creates an army of clones of himself, who lock him in a dungeon for nearly 600 years. For the rest of the crew, this is only a day or two due to a time dilation effect.
** In the pilot for a proposed U.S. version of the series (which was not greenlighted), Kryten's detached head is fully conscious, sitting on a shelf in the repair shop, for the entire time that Lister is in stasis.
-->'''Lister''': You've been stuck here for three million years? What have you been doing?
-->'''Kryten''': I've been reading that fire exit sign over there. It's given me a lot of solace over the years.
* ''Series/{{Sanctuary}}'': Helen Magnus goes back in time 113 years to kill Adam Worth. Since she has no way to get back home again, she hides out for the next hundred and thirteen years, and uses the time to plan what she wants to do to deal with the crisis that was happening when she left. Will is distinctly unamused when she goes missing for what seems to him to be hours, only for her to show up in her ''bedroom at the Sanctuary'' and inform him that it had been more like a hundred and thirteen years. And despite being almost twice as old as she was at the start of the series she looks no different.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': episode "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS5E26S6E1TimesArrow Time's Arrow]]", Data's head spends several hundred years in a cave in California. In a classic StableTimeLoop, it's the discovery of his head that bootstraps the adventure. There's also Guinan (whose species lives a long time) first meeting the crew 500 years in the past. Just before the crew returns to their present time, they note that Guinan won't see the crew again for 500 years, but the crew will see her in a few minutes on the ''Enterprise''.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "[[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS04E03TheVisitor The Visitor]]", Benjamin Sisko is sent blinking in and out of time, staying for only a few moments, and leaving for years at a time. He keeps reappearing near Jake at farther and farther times apart, as Jake spends his entire life trying to stabilize his father, lest he be lost in subspace forever. Despite being the one afflicted with temporal instability, Sisko takes the ordeal much better, and is far more saddened by his son's suffering. The episode is one of the most loved episodes in all of Star Trek.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' episode "E^2", the Enterprise is sent one hundred years back in time while attempting to travel through a Xindi subspace tunnel. As a result, it lays low for the next century, becoming a generational ship, all so that it can stop the accident from happening in the first place. Its existence is hinted several times prior to that episode, when the Xindi claim to have seen other Earth ships in the area.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** "Unending" -- SG-1 is trapped within a time-stop field on the ''Odyssey'' for fifty years. When they finally work out a solution, Teal'c volunteers to be excluded from the time-reversal effect, so that he can deliver a plan to save the ship. Fortunately, as a Jaffa, his lifespan is [[WeAreAsMayflies exceptionally long]], though he is still visibly older by the end of it.
** Earlier in the show, season eight's finale "Moebius", a Zero Point Module takes the slow path from Ancient Egypt, due to some monkeying with the TimeyWimeyBall by the team. That ZPM ends up in Atlantis's season 2 premiere.
** In the episode "[[Recap/StargateSG1S4E6WindowOfOpportunity Window of Opportunity]]" Jack and Teal'c spend a sizable amount of time [[GroundhogDayLoop living through the same day over and over]], instantly traveling back in time to the beginning of the day each time, and use the months of time they live through to take the opportunity to learn juggling, pottery, and also how the time machine works.
** In ''Film/StargateContinuum'', Mitchell goes back in time in order to stop Ba'al from sabotaging the Stargate Program. However, he accidentally arrives several years too early, and is forced to wait until Ba'al's attack takes place.
** The episode ''1969'' has 2 examples.
*** When SG-1 are sent back to 1969 they meet a young Lieutenant Hammond, who helps them thanks to a note from his future self. He then has to take the long way to see them again as a General. It's also stated that his encounter with them was what led to the older him giving them the information they would need to get back, before they left. He could have even stopped them from going, but knew it would have created a paradox.
*** Then at the end of the episode when trying to get home they accidentally go too far into the future. An elderly woman greets them in a clearly deserted SGC. Sam recognizes her as Cassandra - a young preteen in their time. She knew they were coming and was waiting for them to return them to the proper time. Meaning at some point Sam told her when she would need to be there and gave her the necessary technology, and she took the slow path to do so.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'':
** "[[Recap/StargateAtlantisS01E15BeforeISleep Before I Sleep]]" -- An alternate Dr. Weir has spent ten thousand years in stasis after saving Atlantis from flooding. She's still an aged old woman by the time she's discovered.
** In the season four finale "[[Recap/StargateAtlantisS04E20TheLastMan The Last Man]]", a solar flare sends Sheppard 48,000 years in the future. To return to his present, Sheppard spends somewhere around 700 years in stasis to catch a solar flare that sends him back to 12 days after he disappeared.
* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'':
** In an episode, a terminator is sent back in time to stockpile raw materials for terminator manufacturing. It does so by stealing a large amount of coltan and storing it in the fallout shelter of an abandoned military base that will be turned into a factory by Skynet. It then goes into standby mode, presumably to wait until Skynet builds the factory and discovers it.
** Cromartie, the most persistent of the enemy Terminators in the series, ended up undergoing an unusual variant of this in the pilot episode. While his head gets transplanted from 1999 to 2007 along with the heroes, his body remains behind. They later recombine, so like Data, just one part of the body takes the slow path.
** The Slow Path is used by another Terminator as well. In the episode ''Self Made Man'', a terminator with orders to kill [[ShoutOut the governor of California]] in a certain time and place is sent back several decades too far, apparently just by accident, all the way to the 1920s or something. Not only that, but his electric time travel bubble [[spoiler: kills the person who was going to build the building where the assassination was supposed to happen]], so to fulfill his mission and avoid a paradox, he [[spoiler: creates a construction company from the ground up, builds the building himself, and when it's finished, entombs himself into the wall of the correct room to wait 80 years for the governor to come to him]]. They really are implacable.
* ''Series/TwelveMonkeys'': Cassandra Railly lives the two years between her initial encounter with Cole in 2013 and his re-appearance in 2015 naturally, while for Cole the transition is instantaneous owing to time travel. Cassandra is understandably bothered by this, since things haven't gone well for her in the past two years.
* The episode of ''Series/AdamRuinsEverything'' spoofing ''Literature/TheMagicSchoolBus'' has the cast time travel from [[UsefulNotes/{{Tutankhamun}} King Tut]]'s entombment in 1323 BC to his rediscovery in 1922 AD. The [[ButtMonkey Arnold]] {{expy}} misses the bus and gets stuck in the tomb for all that time. When he finally meets back up with the others, he's not physically aged, although certainly mentally shaken [[spoiler:and filled with scarab beetles]].
-->"[[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle And I learned I can be alone with my thoughts for thousands of years!]]"
* In ''Series/TheOrville'' episode "[[Recap/TheOrvilleS1E12MadIdolatry Mad Idolatry]]", Isaac chooses to go down to a time-accelerated planet in order to convince the locals to abandon their Kelly-worshiping religion. Being an artificial being, he comes back 700 years later (from his viewpoint) no worse for wear.
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'': At the start of Season 5, most of the team except for Fitz are pulled through a Monolith and end up 74 years in the future. With the help of the alien responsible for this in the first place, Fitz puts himself in suspended animation in order to eventually rejoin them.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'', the TropeNamer, does this so often, it practically justifies a category of its own. Aw, screw it:

[[folder:''Doctor Who'']]
* Classic ''Series/DoctorWho'' did this occasionally on-screen, and it's become very common in the revived (2005-) series:
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E3TheInvasion "The Invasion"]], the Brigadier has lived through four years of normal Earth-time while the Doctor and Jamie only spent a few weeks.
** This happens to Jackie and Mickey a mere [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E4AliensOfLondon four episodes]] into the new series. The 9th Doctor intends to bring Rose home 12 ''hours'' after she left and accidentally returns her 12 ''months'' later. Everyone who had to live through that year the long way thought she had been kidnapped or killed. Needless to say, no one involved was happy about the results.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E4TheGirlInTheFireplace "The Girl in The Fireplace"]], the Doctor keeps zipping through Madame de Pompadour's life while she grows up normally. He can't control when he appears, which is very much PlayedForDrama. She gets to name the trope. At the end, it appears that the Doctor will have to live through several thousand years of Earth history to get back to the TARDIS and his companions, but it turns out she had already established a way out for him.
** Occurs several times in series 3: In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E10Blink "Blink"]], several characters are attacked by [[LivingStatue Weeping Angels]], who send them back in time to take the Slow Path back, and eat the days they ''would'' have had. One of them, a 2007 cop, is sent back in time to 1969, only to be reunited with the episode's heroine on his deathbed, roughly an hour after they first met.
-->"It was raining when we met."
-->"It's the same rain."
** And let's not even get started on Captain Jack Harkness, who has already had to live through more than a century after arriving in 1869 to get to the 2000s, the setting of ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' and the third series of ''Doctor Who'', in the hopes of seeing the Doctor again. In the ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' episode [[Recap/TorchwoodS2E13ExitWounds "Exit Wounds"]], Jack spends eighteen and a half centuries buried alive/dead/alive again below what becomes Cardiff.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E1TheEleventhHour "The Eleventh Hour"]], the Doctor promises a young Amelia Pond that he'll be back in five minutes. However, as the TARDIS engines are malfunctioning he is a bit off. [[spoiler: Twelve years off to be exact. And at the end of the episode, he accidentally leaves for another two years.]] Amelia's storyline can also be applicable to the first interpretation of the trope, as it seems she is [[spoiler: taking an extended vacation the night before her wedding.]]
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E10VincentAndTheDoctor "Vincent and the Doctor"]], when the Doctor asks if time always moves "really slowly" and "in the right order" as he waits for Creator/VincentVanGogh to complete a painting.
** And in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E13TheBigBang "The Big Bang"]], this happens twice: [[spoiler: Amy is kept in suspended animation inside the Pandorica from 102 AD to 1996, while Rory stands guard outside, becoming "The Lone Centurion" of legend. Interestingly, this means that relatively, Rory is actually twice as old as the Doctor. He's able to keep the memories of it tucked away neatly most of the time, though: [[MakesSenseInContext happened to an Auton replica of him that got merged with his normal self when time was healed again]].]]
*** A much shorter version also occurs in that episode, as the Doctor jumps back in time twelve minutes, apparently dying in front of himself, Amy and Rory. [[spoiler: In actuality, he uses those 12 minutes to rewire the Pandorica to fly into the exploding TARDIS to reboot the universe, while the Dalek is busy chasing around Amy, Rory, and his past self.]]
** In the [[Recap/DoctorWho2010CSAChristmasCarol 2010 Christmas special]] [[YetAnotherChristmasCarol "A Christmas Carol"]], the Doctor attempts to change the ways of a cold-hearted tyrant Kazran (in order to convince him to help save a crashing starliner where Amy and Rory were honeymooning) by visiting Kazran as a child. During their first visit, they encountered Abigail, a beautiful woman who was forced to live in suspended animation to avoid dying of a mysterious disease. Over the next few years, the Doctor would visit Kazran every Christmas Eve, and they would bring Abigail out of her cold sleep to celebrate the holiday with them. So while the Doctor time-traveled from one Christmas Eve to the next and Abigail slept from one Christmas Eve to the next, Kazran ended up taking the slower path.
*** And used to set up the romantic relationship between [[spoiler: Kazran and Abigail]]. The first two Christmas Eves, Kazran is played by Laurence Belcher (fourteen at the time of filming, but looked rather younger). Then, on the third Christmas Eve he's played by Danny Horn (twenty-one years old at the time). One of the first things Abigail says to him is "You've grown."
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E4TheDoctorsWife "The Doctor's Wife"]], one of the things House does to MindRape Amy on the TARDIS is to make her believe this happened to Rory. At random intervals, Amy is separated from Rory by a sliding steel wall. She finds him a minute or two later, while much more time has passed for him. The first time, it's a few hours, and he's mildly annoyed. The second time, it's several decades and he's a seething mad, wizened old man. The final time, he's a withered skeleton surrounded by messages saying "HATE AMY" written in what looks like blood. Of course, it's all an illusion and present Rory comes round the corner just a moment later.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E10TheGirlWhoWaited "The Girl Who Waited"]], Amy is separated from The Doctor and Rory and is stuck in a faster time stream. A few seconds for them is a week for her. When Rory manages to find her, 36 years have passed and Amy is '''not''' happy.
** Weaponised by the Doctor in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E6TheBellsOfSaintJohn "The Bells Of Saint John"]]. He jumps forward to the morning so that the people searching for him have been at it all night and are less effective.
** Invoked and exploited multiple times in [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor "The Day of the Doctor"]]. Elizabeth I leaves standing orders to summon the Doctor if certain conditions are met, which takes several centuries. The Zygons use stasis cubes to hide in suspended animation inside paintings until Earth is advanced enough to be worth conquering. The War Doctor programs his sonic screwdriver to solve a complex problem and the Eleventh Doctor's centuries older screwdriver has the solution. The Doctors [[spoiler:have the First Doctor start calculating the solution to save Gallifrey so it will be solved by the time of the Twelfth Doctor]].
** [[Recap/DoctorWho2013CSTheTimeOfTheDoctor "The Time of the Doctor"]] has the Eleventh Doctor spending 900-plus years on Trenzalore, whereas for Clara the episode takes place over the span of two hours. The first few centuries he at least had the excuse of not having the TARDIS, but the rest of the time he apparently didn't even touch it because he ''had'' to guard the crack in time and the town of Christmas. In a twist on the [[MayflyDecemberRomance Mayfly/December]] relationship, the mortal (Clara) sees the near immortal (the Doctor) die of old age by the end of it. Don't worry, [[TheNthDoctor he regenerates.]]
** ''All'' other examples ''pale'' in comparison to what the Doctor goes through as he attempts to escape his confession dial in the episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS35E11HeavenSent "Heaven Sent"]], in which he spends ''four-and-a-half-billion'' years reliving the same few days over and over[[spoiler:[[note]]Albeit as fresh copy each time[[/note]]]], gradually punching his way through an impenetrable diamond-like wall, all the time grieving the death of his beloved companion.
** And ''that'' was outdone in the ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS35E12HellBent very next episode]]'' when it's revealed that Ashildr/Me, thanks to the Doctor saving her life with technology that also immortalized her, [[TimeAbyss survived]] from the days of the Vikings to ''the end of the universe'' apparently without travelling in time.
** As Series 10 begins, starting sometime in the 20th century the Doctor has spent decades at St. Luke's University as a professor, all to hold to a vow to protect the mysterious Vault (and its prisoner) beneath it. While he occasionally makes quick trips elsewhere in the TARDIS, especially after he meets Bill Potts and makes her his companion in ThePresentDay, he is plagued by wanderlust and loneliness.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has played with this quite a bit in the ExpandedUniverse:
** After the BBC Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures book ''The Ancestor Cell'', the Doctor is dropped off around 1900, and then picked up by his companion around 2000, almost instantly for the companion. Several books are actually set in the intervening period for the Doctor.
** Later retellings of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS11E5PlanetOfTheSpiders "Planet of The Spiders"]] in the ''Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures'' claim that the Third Doctor actually spent ten years in agony on the floor of the TARDIS before returning to UNIT to regenerate.
** In ''The Crystal Bucephalus'', the fifth Doctor spends three years as a restaurateur after being abandoned on a random planet in a different era (he's looking to get picked up by time-traveling restaurant critics from the title time-traveling restaurant).
** In ''The Stone Rose'', the Doctor reveals at the end that he'd taken three years off in the middle of the story to study sculpture under Michaelangelo in order to produce the title statue.
** In the animated story [[Recap/DoctorWho2007TDWASTheInfiniteQuest "The Infinite Quest"]], the Doctor spends three years on a prison planet raising a robot bird before he arrives just in time to rescue Martha, who took the TARDIS.
** The parody episode "The Curse of Fatal Death" has a slight variation where the Master falls into a sewer which takes him ''three hundred and twelve years'' to crawl out of, before using his TARDIS to return to just a few moments after he fell in. '''Three times'''. He keeps tally after each incident, and is ''very'' tired and put out after nine hundred and thirty six years of sewer climbing, with only dung slugs for food and occasional company.
** In the Ninth Doctor short story which would be adapted to the episode "Blink", the TARDIS "burps" and leaves him behind in the 1980s. He says he could just wait 20 years to meet up with it, but would prefer not to.
* The Creator/BigFinish audios:
** In the audio [[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWho081TheKingmaker "The Kingmaker"]], Peri and Erimem, having been ditched thanks to a navigational error, have to spend two years with Richard III while waiting for the Doctor to arrive.
** In the episode [[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWho045ProjectLazarus "Project: Lazarus"]], the Doctor tells a newly turned vampire that he'll be back really soon with a cure. Months later, he tries to find her just minutes after he left her behind, but the TARDIS suggests that he seeks her out half a year later in her relative time instead. The Doctor decides to trust the TARDIS and meets the girl again... only to find that she's had six months of utter misery and has been mentally broken by the vampire who turned her. She calls him out on it, ''really'' hard.
** In [[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWho030SeasonsOfFear "Seasons of Fear"]] this happens to Sebastian Grayle, who has to wait 750 years to give his Masters [[spoiler:the Nimons]] a chance to invade again, while the Doctor just travels to the next location. In the intervening time WhoWantsToLiveForever goes into effect for Grayle, making him go FromNobodyToNightmare.
** In [[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoNEDAS3E1Orbis "Orbis"]], the Eighth Doctor spends five hundred years on the titular planet before Lucie and the Headhunter come for him.
** And in "Doing Time", a story in [[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWho142TheDemonsOfRedLodge "The Demons of Red Lodge"]], averting an explosion inside a slow time field takes the Doctor several years, but it looks like only minutes to everybody else.
** In "Second Chances", while travelling with the Doctor Zoe visited a space station a few decades in her future, and failed to save its crew from disaster. She's now aged to the point where that event is in her present, and [[MyGreatestSecondChance wants to have another try.]]
** In "The Other Side" from the newly released ''Ninth Doctor Chronicles'', the Doctor and Rose are sent back in time on two separate occasions by the villains. Rose learns that the Doctor was sent back to a time [[spoiler: 28 years]] before her, and he takes the slow path to meet up with her again. She also believes he may have worn the same clothes the entire time.


* Implied for the people the Volunteers leave behind in Queen's song '''39'': the travellers are "older but a year" due to the effects of TimeDilation, but when they return, the people left behind are old or dead and have left their descendants behind.

* [[spoiler: Draco Malfoy]] goes through this at the end of ''Theatre/AVeryPotterSequel''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'': One of the sidequests involves restoring a forest from what was once a barren desert. Since the process would take hundreds of years, the group's RobotBuddy stays behind to work while they time travel into the future, to pick him up. From this point on, on the overworld map, you will see an image of him working on the fields every time you go back to the medieval era, even if Robo is back in your party, because you're using the future Robo instead. But that's a TemporalParadox for another day.
** An even more dramatic example in another side quest involves a solar-powered artifact that needs millions of years of sunlight to recharge. Needless to say, with a time machine, you can actually make use of it - the party drops it off in a cave in the year 65,000,000 B.C. and returns for it in 2300 A.D. (taking a few detours along the way to stop a selfish jerk from stealing it). And no, it really doesn't make much sense that after soaking up energy for 65 million years, those last couple thousand years are decisive in regard to it having enough power to be useful.
* ''VideoGame/DarkChronicle'' depends heavily on people taking The Slow Path from the Present to 100 years into the future. As you create villages and populate them with people from the starting city, these villages have become high-tech laboratories, temples, great forests, or industrial sites by the time you return to Monica's time.
** However, a much more explicit case is with the Elder Tree Jurak and the Sage Crest. The former starts out as some tree saplings, and becomes a monumental tree. Crest is actually [[spoiler: a very young girl]] that Max and Monica meet during the present, but which becomes the greatest Sage in the world (and, although 100 years passed for Crest, the Sage still remembers Max and Monica, for whom there was a difference of only a few minutes).
* A semi-recurring element of ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', Link has to spend seven years sleeping in the Sacred Realm so that he will be old enough to properly wield the Master Sword. He returns to the BadFuture Hyrule after only a moment from his perspective, yet every other character lived as normal through that period.
** A late-coming plot twist in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' ([[spoiler:Zelda has to be encapsulated in a crystal for some thousand years to prevent Demise from reviving]]) would have had a lot more emotional impact if a) [[spoiler:she hadn't been "sleeping" the whole time]] or b) Link couldn't just step through the Gate of Time to the present. Played straight with [[spoiler:Impa/the Old Woman]] though.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' begins with Link waking up in the Shrine of Resurrection after a century. Upon reemerging in Hyrule, he finds that the few LongLived characters he knew before are still around. The three [[{{Ninja}} Sheikah]] individuals who helped him and Zelda research the ancient technology are still there to help him fight Ganon. The [[NatureSpirit Koroks]] are once again happy to see "Mr. Hero." And the older [[FishPeople Zora]] either resent his failure to defeat Ganon the first time around or are delighted to see him alive and well once again.
* In ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxBeyondTimeAndSpace: Chariots of the Dogs'', the eponymous duo are left stranded back in ''Episode 102: Situation: Comedy'' by their own past selves and are forced to re-live the past year-and-a-half off-camera.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMs 3}}'', the protagonists manage to use a very powerful magic to send Asgard, the [[ImplacableMan persistent robot]] hundreds of years into the past. All's right? Well, there's a [[ChekhovsGun curiously humanoid shaped rock formation in one of the first dungeons in the game]], and sure enough Asgard bursts out of it when the party has to re-visit it later. It turns out that [[spoiler: Asgard knew that the only way to go back to present is to take the slow path, imprisoning himself in a rock formation where he will emerge during the right time]].
** Interestingly, he goes back talking in HulkSpeak but comes back as eloquent and intelligent.
** This is because Asgard is programmed with a learning AI. The more he experiences (fighting experience in particular), the more intelligent he becomes.
* Something similar to this happens where Arche is concerned in ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia''. One the game ends and it's time for everyone to return to their proper place in time, she doesn't say her permanent goodbye to either Chester, Cless and Mint, each born a hundred years after her birth (hundred and one in Mint's case), or to Suzu, born about a one hundred and forty years after her, since she's a long lived Half-Elf and will live long enough to see them again. Klarth isn't so lucky, and bids a more permanent farewell. The problem here is that she and Chester had a short-lived romantic relation, and there's no telling if Arche will still be young after a hundred years.
** It's confirmed in spin off ''Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon'', where you meet her in the original game's present and fight her as your first boss. She's matured a bit, but only looks to be in about her 20s or 30s.
** What's the longevity of most relationships? What's the likelihood that a rather libidinous young half-elf won't find someone(s) else in the intervening century? Carrying a torch for someone who doesn't even exist yet for a hundred years would require either exceptional stubborn dedication or True Love.
* In ''VideoGame/GhostTrick: Phantom Detective'', [[spoiler: Ray]] actually turns out to be another version of [[spoiler: Missile, who was killed in a different timeline, as Sissel refused to help him prevent his and Kamila's deaths.]] As a result, [[spoiler: Missile goes back in time using his ghost tricks on Yomiel's corpse and takes the slow path, waiting for ''ten years'' for the night he died to convince Sissel to help him]], sparking the game's events.
--->[[spoiler: '''Ray/Missile-Prime:''' "Ten years is a long time for a dog."]]
* ''VideoGame/DayOfTheTentacle''. Objects can frequently be flushed through time directly and immediately by the Chron-O-John, but living organic matter needs an alternate transport; thus, a hamster travels the slow path as a [[HumanPopsicle Hamster Popsicle]]. Some objects can change form with slow pathing, too - a bottle of wine left in a time capsule for four hundred years isn't going to be much like wine by the time it reaches the other end, and a sweater left in a tumble dryer fed with a mountain of quarters will have somewhat dramatically shrunk.
* [[spoiler: Dr. Diggins]] takes this route in ''VideoGame/FossilFighters'' after [[spoiler: being sent back to the Jurassic era]]. Fortunately [[spoiler: he finds a crashed dinaurian starship and uses the stone-sleep process to wait out the 150 million years until he gets revived]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'', Wheatley is active for the 99999 (or some other undefined, large number) days that Chell is in stasis and [=GLaDOS=] is dead.
* In ''Videogame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'', E-123 Omega takes a Chaos Emerald and enters standby mode [[BigDamnHeroes to help Shadow]] when he was trapped in the future.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' has Rydia grow from a little girl to a young woman when she is swallowed by Leviathan and taken to the Land of Summoned Monsters. According to her, time flows differently there.
* Happens near the end of ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'', after [[spoiler: Elizabeth is captured by Songbird, Booker jumps through a dimensional tear after her, and ends up in an alternate future where he meets an elderly Elizabeth who futilely waited for him to rescue her, and as such, suffered decades of torture and brainwashing until she gave up hope. The elderly Elizabeth then gives Booker instructions on how to stop Songbird and sends him back to the present]].
* Given the heavy time travel element of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'', it's inevitable that this happens. Specifically though, Serah and Noel meet up with Hope several times, with Hope having taken the slow path while Serah and Noel hop forwards in time.
* In the second ''VideoGame/TheJouneymanProject'' game, the rogue agent uses this method to smuggle TimeTravel technology out of the [[TimePolice TSA]] to [[spoiler:her]] alien contacts. Specifically, [[spoiler:she]] hides the plans and the components in specific historical objects before they become historical, while the aliens then purchase or steal them in the future.
* ''VideoGame/{{Singularity}}'' has the main character, Nate Renko, jumping back and forth between 1955 and 2010, encountering the same characters in each era. These characters will comment on how similar he looks in the intervening 55 years even though to him it was a mere moment and Barisov comments that he's been waiting half a century for the moment to reunite with Renko.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'' has your character [[HumanPopsicle going through cryogenic stasis]] for 200 years before waking up in a world AfterTheEnd and seeking to find their missing baby son Shaun. It turns out that [[spoiler:Shaun was stolen from Vault 111 sixty years before your character escapes the Vault, and has become an old man during that time -- as well as the leader of the Institute]].
** Not to mention your robot butler Codsworth, who not only survived the initial nuclear holocaust, but has also spent the past two centuries trying ([[AvertedTrope and failing]], [[RagnarokProofing of course]]) to keep the household maintained in order. He can hardly believe his processors when he sees you. [[spoiler:Also the Vault-Tec salesman from the prologue survived the Great War too, and now lives as a ghoul in Goodneighbour. He's not happy about how he's had to live through 200 years of nightmarish post-apocalyptic survival and discrimination, but he still wears the same suit as the day you met.]] And of course, there's Billy, a child ghoul who has been hiding in a fridge since the bombs dropped. For two hundred years. Stuck in a [[FridgeHorror fridge.]] [[PunctuatedForEmphasis For. Two. Hundred. Years.]] And the Cabot family, who have been alive since the 1800s at least and are still doing just fine in the 2200s.
* Slight variant version in ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'', since it involves dying and coming back rather than conventional time travel. The civilisation of Shurima fell aeons before the game's main setting point due to the scheming of Xerath, and the emperor Azir was killed in the process. When he is brought back to life by accident in the main setting point, he is as fresh as ever and is ready to remake Shurima's great reputation once again. The other Shuriman Ascended haven't had such an easy time of it - Nasus has become a solitary, somewhat tragic figure and Renekton has spent millennia sealed in a tomb with Xerath, which caused him to lose all grasp of reason and been twisted to side with Xerath instead (Xerath has been corrupting Renekton all these years and as a result has been having a great time, although it did cause him to lose all restraint on his ambition as well).
* Several characters from the Dark War in ''Franchise/BlazBlue'' are around in the main time period of the series, even though this was a hundred years later. Some of them (like Terumi) were spirits, and so didn't age, and some (like Hakumen) came via [[EldritchLocation the Boundary]], in which time does not flow. However, Valkenhayn R. Hellsing and Jubei reached the main time point simply by waiting - Valkenhayn occupied himself by becoming a steward to the Alucard family, and Jubei by helping take care of Ragna and his siblings when they were children. However, they are the only members of the Six Heroes to have really aged as a result, with Valkenhayn becoming a grey-haired old man ([[OldMaster who still kicks ass]]) and Jubei becoming grizzled and withdrawn.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Church gets sent back over a thousand years by an explosion that destroys the present. He asks the nearby AI to build him a teleporter or time machine (or both). It'll take about 1,000 years. Church stands there, and basically does three things: grow a beard ([[RuleOfFunny somehow]]), formulate a plan to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong, and listen to awful knock-knock jokes. Keep in mind that, by this point in the story, Church is a ghost [[spoiler:(really an AI)]] inhabiting a robot body, so he's effectively immortal.
** Additionally, [[spoiler: [[MindScrew this entire scenario]] [[MindRape may have never happened at all]], considering later revelations implying that Gamma could've just made Church think this was happening instead.]]

* ''[[WebComic/EightBitTheater 8-Bit Theater's]]'' White Mage accidentally takes away Sarda the Sage's chance to become the creator of the universe, and then traps him there at the beginning of time where he is forced to wait for the universe to evolve intelligent life. (The only thing Sarda could do in all that time was grow his iconic mustache, and that only took him two weeks).
* In ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'', George is sent back several months in a time machine suit to fix some plot holes in the previous storylines. He does so, but the suit breaks, so he spends the time until time catches up with him on the beach in Acapulco.
* In ''Webcomic/TwoEvilScientists'', Mega Man is sent back to the [[SonicTheHedgehog Space Colony ARK]] fifty years in the past, and ends up waiting 100+ years to the time of VideoGame/MegaManX.
* In the aptly named ''Webcomic/StickmanAndCube'' arc "The Slow Path," everyone ''but'' Stickman and Cube are forced to take The Slow Path when Stickman and Cube travel into the future. The wait severely flusters the Author, who has to somehow keep the readers occupied until they return.
* In ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', the time-traveling would-be saboteur of Dr. [=McNinja=]'s clone army is forced to take the slow path back to the present after his temporal stabilizer is damaged in an explosion. [[spoiler: Thus becoming Chuck Goodrich, and explaining why the hell he wanted all those space suits put in houses. Beyond general insanity, anyway.]]
* Quite a bunch of people in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', as [[spoiler:most of them were born on April 13th, 2009]]. The two most triumphant examples are Becquerel (413 Million years) and the bunny from ''Film/ConAir'' (who took the slow path 'twice'. This results in the bunny being more than 38 years old, even though the movie ''Film/ConAir'' was released only 12 years prior to the start of the comic).
** Parodied with Biscuits, the dumbest member of The Felt. This idiot thinks that his oven has the power to transport him into the future equal to the time he sets the oven timer. It works at one second per second. Which means he just hides in a broken oven until the timer buzzes. Later comics show it ''does'' have a special power: it's BiggerOnTheInside. Still does nothing related to time travel though.
* In ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'', [[spoiler:Shelly spends roughly 80,000 years trapped in an alternate dimension where time flows differently.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{minus}}'' does this so that two characters can be PutOnABus. One of the red-haired twins asks minus to send her back in time so that she can undo something she just did... unfortunately for her, minus misinterprets her requests and sends her back to what appears to be VictorianEngland. Her twin sister freaks out and frantically asks minus what happened to her... only for the first twin to show up as an old woman. [[spoiler:minus sends the other sister back so the two can live their lives together.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'':
** Referenced in [[http://www.xkcd.com/630/ #630]], proving that The Slow Path can be made into the most annoying form of time travel.
** In [[http://xkcd.com/1617/ #1617]], the Beret Guy seems to mistake a time ''capsule'' for a time ''machine''; the only traveling he does is the slow variety.
*** He finds it just as successful as a previous means of traveling into the future: [[http://xkcd.com/209/ #209]].
* [[VillainProtagonist The Lich]] from ''Webcomic/BasketsOfGuts'' has sealed himself in a crypt and left it only three hundred years later. The outside world has changed a lot.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] in ''Script/AHDotComTheSeries'', "The Gates of Dawn": the crew are trapped at the beginning of time, before the Big Bang, and now things are too unstable to time travel back to the present. So instead they seal themselves in stasis in the belly of The Machine, which they know will survive to the present, and experience no time as we see a time-lapse sequence of fifteen billion years of history around them.
* The ''Literature/TrintonChronicles'' has Dan, who froze himself in time after a big battle, waiting until someone rescued him from the temporal hibernation. It took roughly 80+ years before it happened too.
* In season 3 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Church becomes trapped in the past and must wait until he catches up to the present...which takes about a thousand years. Fortunately, he has a robot body, which still somehow grows a beard.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'':
** "Roswell That Ends Well". In a direct parody of the ''TNG'' episode, Bender's head is dropped in the New Mexico desert in the 1940s, and has to be recovered ''a thousand years later''. Not only does Bender not mind being buried in the dirt for a millennium, he actually complains upon being rescued that his peace and quiet are being disturbed.
** In ''Bender's Big Score'', Bender ''repeatedly'' and happily volunteers to go back in time, steal precious historical treasures, and then wait in a cavern under Planet Express headquarters until a few seconds after leaving. (This is because the method of time travel he's using only works one way, so The Slow Path is pretty much the only way to get back. When Fry uses it, he has to re-freeze himself for the return trip.) And then [[spoiler:at the end of the film, Bender "wakes up" all of the Bender duplicates and has them exit the basement before they were logically supposed to, thus creating a hole in the universe, and setting the stage for the next film.]]
** At the end of "Simpsorama", a crossover episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', the Planet Express crew's mission to the past is over and the rest of them are sucked back into the future through a singularity in Bender's chest. Bender himself gets back to the future by shutting himself off for 1000 years.
* Omi from ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'' had to freeze himself for 1500 years with the Orb of Tornami, because Jack Spicer forgot to mention that his time machine didn't have a means to return him from the past.
** He does this again to recover the Sands of Time from his future self. Spot the flaw in this plan. [[spoiler: If Omi spends all of his time frozen, he can't give himself the Sands of Time because his old self wouldn't exist. [[LampshadeHanging The show does point this out.]]]]
** Another episode uses it on a smaller scale, almost as a throwaway gag. [[EvilGenius Evil]] [[TeenGenius Teen]] GeniusDitz Jack Spicer uses the Sands of Time to disappear into the future--then returns a few seconds later in a Hawaiian shirt (but otherwise unchanged), explaining that he took a year off to come up with an EvilPlan.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'':
** In "The Savage Time," the League travels back to World War II in order to stop ComicBook/VandalSavage from conquering the world, and Wonder Woman fights alongside special agent Steve Trevor while there. Once the League returns to their own time, Wonder Woman encounters Trevor again -- this time as an old man in a retirement home.
** In the same episode, Hawkgirl meets and fights alongside the Blackhawk Squadron. Later, in the JLU episode "I am Legion," the last surviving member of the group calls the Justice League for help. He remembers her, of course.
-->"We met a while back, Ma'am. Longer for me than for you."
** In another episode, "[[Recap/JusticeLeagueS2E19And20Hereafter Hereafter]]," Superman is teleported several thousand years into the future, where he finds Vandal Savage, who has spent the entire time on Earth alone, living with the guilt of having wiped out the human race. For an additional sting, Vandal himself is personally well-versed in time travel science (cf. "The Savage Time"), but [[OurTimeTravelIsDifferent his time machine's design]] prevents one from [[NeverTheSelvesShallMeet travelling to an era where one already exists]] -- which for the immortal Savage is basically ''all of history'', which is why in "The Savage Time" [[WriteBackToTheFuture he merely sent information to his past self.]]
--->'''Superman:''' How did you get here?\\
'''Savage:''' The old-fashioned way. I'm immortal.
* The episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' that introduced the Smurflings started with Nat, Snappy, and Slouchy as adult Smurfs until they chased Nat's butterflies into Father Time's special grandfather clock, which de-aged them about 50 years. Father Time had no idea how to reverse the process (he couldn't cause time to go forward in the same way he was able to make it go backward), so the three would just have to grow up the usual way.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003''; once the Utrons realized they has crash-landed on a planet where the technology was too primitive to repair their ship and build another, they realized this was their only solution; they had to wait. They realized humanity would evolve and advance in science and technology to a point where they could use it with theirs. Being a ''very'' long-lived species, this eventually paid off, and after ''centuries'' of waiting, they succeeded. (With the heroes' help, that is.)
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', Jade is taken back in time, then Jackie and the bad guys follow. Jade and Jackie make it back to their own time, but the baddies end up going even ''further'' back, and have to return by The Slow Path... only to be back to their young selves by the next episode through Shendu's magic.
* In the first season finale of ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'', Dethklok is excited by their idea for a new piece of merchandise, "Time Travel Face Bags" that let the wearer travel forward in time "at the speed of regular time."
** With bags on their heads.
* A technological variant in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', Jazz needs to send a message to Danny Phantom who is [[spoiler: trapped in the future of the Ghost Zone. She attaches a message to a tracking device that will find him and throws it into the Ghost Zone. 10 years later, the device activates when it detects Danny and brings the message to him.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/DaveTheBarbarian'', the cast are turned into babies. Because Candy doesn't know how to make them normal, she does the next best thing, and wait for them to grow back.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'', Captain Hero does the [[NowDoItAgainBackwards Superman time-rewind trick]] to the beginning of time and then... waits.
** Although he does make use of the ensuing millennia to [[spoiler: [[PowerPerversionPotential screw with evolution and create Boob People]].]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', [[TheChosenOne Aang]] was a HumanPopsicle for a hundred years (making him chronologically 112), while his friend [[CrazyAwesome Bumi]] aged normally and is now the CoolOldGuy king of the city of Omashu.
* An AndIMustScream version is used in ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex''. Van Kliess was sent back in time by Breach and an episode focuses on how he got back to the present. While it looks like he's getting in a time machine during his travels between the various eras it's later revealed that [[spoiler:it's not a time machine but a stasis chamber and the AndIMustScream part comes when it's revealed that he was ''AWARE'' of each passing second during the thousands of years of waiting.]] And all while being chased by [[spoiler:Breach who had been turned into]] a mysterious energy force.
* AndIMustScream and this trope are played for laughs in ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'': After seeing an amber containing himself, DW decides to get answers and so goes back in time with Quackerjack's Timetop, to the time of the Dinosaurs. Only Dino-society is carrying an IdiotBall of ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' levels. After much humor and hijinks, one of the dinosaur scientists accidentally activates the Timetop and sends Launchpad and Gosalyn back to the present. Darkwing is stuck in the past, until a Dino-scientist knocks him in ''sap'' (he was making pancakes), [[StableTimeLoop becoming the amber fossil he'd seen at the beginning]]. Cue the passage of time, with DW frozen with his eyes open. After realizing the origin of the fossil, Launchpad and Gosalyn crack open DW's amber tomb. Darkwing just shivers and says [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments "Does anyone know what eon it is?"]]
* In the Mexican animated film ''WesternAnimation/TheGuardiansOfTheLostCode'', the kid heroes after completing the first part of their mission, receive instructions to go to Ancient Egypt at 1345 BC, however Freddy mistakenly dials 1345 ''AD'' on their time portal, and end up in the middle of the desert with their objective buried under meters of sand; When they finally make it, they are greeted by the god Anubis who is particularly annoyed at having to wait for them for nearly 3000 years.
** Also, after meeting the emperor Puji as a toddler [[spoiler: [[BigDamnHeroes he shows up as an old man in the final battle]]]].
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', Stewie and Brian travel back in time to prevent Bertram from killing Leonardo Da Vinci and causing a TimeParadox. Despite defeating Bertram, they fail to save Leonardo, so Stewie (who has Leonardo's DNA) decides to stay behind and take his place while Brian returns home. He then receives a [[WriteBackToTheFuture letter from Stewie]] saying that after he had impregnated Leonardo's girlfriend (with a syringe), he placed himself in cryogenic stasis under the house where Brian finds him.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'' Kang two-parter, Thor misses the time portal when the other Avengers follow Kang's ship to the 30th century. When they arrive, they find a white-bearded Thor leading the resistance.