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->''When first spontaneously catapulted into another era, a simple glance at a nearby news vendor (whether robotic or lovable suspendered urchin) should suffice to pinpoint the date. There is no need to walk up to a stranger, shake them by the shoulders, and say "The year, man! What YEAR is it?!".''
-->-- '''Basic Time Travel Etiquette''', [[http://tailsteak.com/archive.php?num=491 tailsteak.com]]
%% One quote per page, please. Additional quotes can go on the Quotes tab.

Damnation, you've traveled through time and have no clue when you've ended up! How are you to ascertain what time period you're in, or where you are? Surely you can't just ask a random passer-by -- they would think you mad!

Of course, that's what most people do. In SpeculativeFiction you would be surprised just how helpful random passers-by are. Asking them suddenly "What Year Is This!?" or "Where am I?", rather than scaring them and convincing them of your lunacy, elicits, "Why, sir, it's the year 30025; we are in the heart of the Great Space Empire. And did you notice that massive explosion the other day, and how strange everyone's been acting since?"

Perhaps surprisingly, in RealLife, people will generally give a straightforward and honest answer if you ask this question. This is either because people are too polite to ''not'' answer the question, or because some people forget the year frequently. (It could also have ''something'' to do with the fact that as far as we know, time travel doesn't exist in real life.)

This is usually very useful for our {{time travel}}er: he now knows not only where he is, but also what his random task for this week's episode is.

Compare {{Expospeak}}.

One variation on this trope is for the character to ask for "the date", then clarify, once given the day or the month and day, that they need the ''year''. Another is for an exchange to involve a confusion between the year and the time of day, which works for a certain set of years before 2400 (assuming 24-hour time).

More subtle travelers [[NewspaperDating seek out a newspaper]], if such thing exists during the time he traveled to.

If the time traveller had a specific purpose in mind, this may be followed up with a line describing how they feel about their destination; examples include "That can't be right!" and of course "Then it's not too late!"

Note that time travel is not always necessary to invoke this trope. A long and agonizing prison sentence in the dungeons of the Evil Empire, the end of the world as we know it, or just plain old amnesia can do it.



* A commercial aired during the 2012 Major League Baseball postseason for State Farm Insurance showed a member of the Cubs's field crew talking with a State Farm agent about a "discount double check." He says that he used to do an "ivy double check" after each game and reaches into the ivy outside Wrigley Field, pulling out "an old cell phone... a French horn... Andre Dawson?" "What year is it?" asks Dawson. After some brief info about State Farm, Dawson runs off with a baseball shouting "Caught it! Whoo!" (Dawson retired from Major League Baseball in 1992 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.)
* Blokey British TV channel Dave is currently (2012) running a self-advertisement in which a time traveller in full Flash Gordon-esque costume pops out of nowhere on a present day street, strides dramatically to the nearest passer-by and demands "What year is it? Quickly man!" He then goes on to explain that Dave is doing so well and introducing so many cool new programmes and features, that in the future they will rule the entire world.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' example: While fixing the FUBAR Yuki created due to emotions, Kyon uses her [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Emergency Escape Program]] to get out. He lands in summer, feeling extremely warm in his sweater (it was winter then), and he realizes he has traveled through time. His first instinct is to find out where he is, followed by when is it. And since nobody would feel happy about being assaulted by an apparently delusional guy in a winter coat, he decides on NewspaperDating instead.
* In ''[[LightNovel/{{Bakemonogatari}} Kabukimonogatari]]'', Koyomi and Shinobu intended to go back just one day in time, but when Koyomi asks a local schoolgirl if it's a certain day, she tells him that it's actually about three months before that day. ''Then'' he asks her the year, and realizes that he's gone back eleven years.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In a Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} UK ''[[ComicBook/TheTransformers Transformers Generation 1]]'' story, when Galvatron travels back in time to 1986, he asks this question of a passing human. The human answers before running off in terror.
* In ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor'' #371, a time-travelling lawman appears out of thin air and asks a bystander "What's the date, citizen?" He has to ask a second time, less politely, before the bystander pulls himself together enough to reply.
* An issue of ''ComicBook/AllNewAllDifferentAvengers'' opens with the sudden appearance of an old-school supervillain Iron Man hasn't seen in years. When he demands to know the current year, Tony gets halfway through joking "You make me want to ask the same thing," before being hit. As it turns out, he's so out of sorts because [[ComicBook/AvengersStandoff he just escaped from Pleasant Hills.]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''Series/{{Firefly}}''/''Series/DoctorWho'' crossover fanfic ''Fanfic/TheManWithNoName'', the Doctor spends much of the story confused about where/when he is and eventually simply asks. It does nothing to help get the ''Serenity'' crew to think he isn't completely bonkers.
* After being unexpectedly thrown over a thousand years into the future, Series/{{Merlin}} does this in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8016336/1/Only-A-Boy Only a Boy]]'' at right about the time he's starting to get hysterical from finding out he's a legend in this time period. The woman he's talking to assumes he's been drugged.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/BlackKnight'', Creator/MartinLawrence's character Jamal finds himself in TheMiddleAges in England. When he finally realizes that it's not a theme park, he asks a servant girl if it is a certain date. She confirms that it is. He then, just to make sure, asks if the certain year is correct. She is a little confused that his year starts with a 2 and replies something that starts with "It is the year of our Lord..." Needless to say, Jamal is a little freaked out, especially since he'd just witnessed a beheading.
* Asked by Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) in ''Film/{{Contact}}'' after traveling through time and space. Going with Einstein's Theory of Relativity, she assumed that it was many years after her departure, even though she feels like she's only been gone around eighteen hours. As it turns out [[spoiler: her journey took approximately two seconds in Earth time, and everybody else assumes the machine failed to send her anywhere]].
* ''Film/EdgeOfTomorrow''. The first time he dies in the invasion only to wake up the day before back in barracks, Will Cage asks his sergeant what day it is.
* ''Film/FlightOfTheNavigator'' is a rare case where [[InvertedTrope it's the time traveler who's asked this question]], as at the time he didn't know he had traveled eight years into the future.
* A clever variation appears in ''Film/HotTubTimeMachine'': instead of directly asking the year, Nick asks, "What color is Music/MichaelJackson?" (The answer "black" confirms he has traveled into the past).
* A variation appears in the movie ''Film/{{Jumanji}}''. Finally released after spending twenty-six years trapped in a board game, Alan jumps on the hood of Carl's police car and demands, "What year is it?". Carl replies, "It ''was'' brand new", referring to the make of the car.
* Forced a bit in ''Film/MenInBlack3'', where [[Creator/WillSmith Agent J]] travels back in time successfully to a date he set, then appears rushed and agitated in a Chrysler Building elevator, speaking to a scared white man after he was just reminded the current time period in New York wasn't particularly welcoming to black people.
-->'''Agent J:''' My, man, what's the day?\\
'''Man in Elevator:''' Tuesday.\\
'''Agent J:''' The date?\\
'''Man in Elevator:''' The fifteenth.\\
'''Agent J:''' ''Of?''\\
'''Man in Elevator:''' July!\\
'''Agent J:''' ''Duh! The year?''\\
'''Man in Elevator:''' 1969!\\
'''Agent J:''' ''Thank you! [[HypocriticalHumor Lookin' at me like I'm crazy!]]''
* Played straight in ''Film/TheMummyReturns''; it's the first thing that Imhotep asks when he is revived. Since his servants are the ones who dug him up, he gets the answer quickly. Although also slightly subverted, since he's asking for the year according to an ancient Egyptian calendar, and the relevance isn't in how long he's been out, but whether or not it's the right time to summon the Scorpion King.
* In ''Film/TheSorcerersApprentice'', the bad guy (Alfred Molina) comes out of his [[SealedEvilInACan can]], and immediately asks David, "When am I?" David misunderstands, tells him ''where'' he is, and he has to repeat the question.
* In the ''Film/DarkShadows'' movie:
-->'''Barnabas Collins:''' What is the year?\\
'''Willie Loomis:''' 1972.\\
'''Barnabas Collins:''' "1972"?
* Parodied in the film of ''Film/TheSpirit''; when asked what year it is in the AnachronismStew setting, the title character replies "This year!"
* The Romulans asks "What is the current [[AlternativeCalendar Stardate]]?" to Captain Robau at the beginning of the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' [[Film/StarTrek prequel/reboot]]. Modified from the norm: he is not uncertain of the date -- he is certain of an incorrect date. He is just asking that question because he figures Captain Robau is screwing with him. [[spoiler:When he finds out they're in the wrong year, the Romulan commander kills Robau in a fit of rage.]]
* ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}''
** Appears in ''Film/TheTerminator'', although questioning under gunpoint is required to receive the (incomplete) answer. The questioned police officer, whom Kyle Reese has just disarmed, gives him the date and day of the week, but balks and looks confused when Kyle demands to know the year.
** ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines''. The Terminator is shown via RoboCam checking his own internal clock against a watch he's picked up.
** ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'' recreates the scene from the first film, but this time, the cop calmly gives Kyle the full date [[spoiler:[[OffTheRails because he's a T-1000 who was sent back even further, and was waiting for Kyle to arrive]]]].
* Averted in the film ''Film/TimeAfterTime''. H. G. Wells travels through time to 1979 San Francisco. He runs down the street and asks random people what year it is, but they all think he's some kind of kook and don't answer. [[NewspaperDating Eventually he finds a newspaper with the date on it]].

* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/NightWatch'', Vimes averts this -- mostly because he doesn't ''know'' he time-traveled until later. Instead, he has an OhCrap moment when he encounters his wife as a teenage girl. Later in the story Dibbler (who is not a time traveler) asks him what year it is so he knows what to put after the word "Est." on his tray.
* The main character of the novel ''Literature/TheTimeTravelersWife'' time-travels involuntarily, and ends up disoriented in other times so often that friends and family close enough to know about his condition will sometimes tell him the year before he has a chance to ask.
* Creator/HarryHarrison's ''Literature/TheStainlessSteelRat Saves the World''. After traveling back through time about 33,000 years, Slippery Jim De Griz captures a man and asks him what year it is. He's told it's 1975.
* Happens in Creator/ConnieWillis' novel ''Literature/DoomsdayBook''. Slightly inverted, because the character had purposely gone back in time, and had been in the past for several weeks in what she thought was 1320, but turned out to be [[spoiler:1348, when the Black Death reached England.]]
* A non-time travel example that may also be the UrExample occurs in ''Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo'': during his time in prison, Dantes has lost track of the time passed, and so when he escapes he needs to ask "What year is this?" to the sailors who pick him up from the sea.
* The Literature/{{Animorphs}} ask a French knight this question in ''Elfangor's Secret''. He looks at them like they're mad before humoring them. Later, they get smarter and use the newspaper trick, but since Rachel had already morphed an elephant in front of them, subtlety was pretty much a moot point.
* Occurs and played with in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/NightLords'' novel ''Lord of the Night''. Commander Zso Sahaal crashes on an Imperial Hive World after being waylaid by the Eldar. He knows he's been gone for some time and is unwilling to risk exposure by seeking a public outlet. So, he kidnaps a man to tell him what year it is. The terrified man simply tells that the year is 986, making Sahall think he's been gone for 600 years. While pondering the implications, he gets a nagging afterthought and asks the man if he meant 31,986. Cue [[VillainousBreakdown BSOD]] after the man tells him that the year is, in fact, 40,986.
* In ''Literature/LestDarknessFall'', Martin Padway finds himself transported to Rome in 535 AD. He tries to ask people the date in his shaky Latin, and at first gets the year in the old Roman calendar then has to ask how many years since Christ was born to get the proper year.
* A version where it's not the year, but with the same "How could anyone not ''know'' that?" factor -- [[Literature/AChristmasCarol Ebenezer Scrooge]] asking an urchin what day it is. "Why, it's Christmas Day, sir!"
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's "Literature/TheScarletCitadel", Pelias asks Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian this, and realizes it's been ten years, which explains his lack of coherency.
* Inverted in Lawrence Block's ''Tanner on Ice'', when Evan Tanner is perfectly sure of what year it is -- 1972 -- except that thanks to a Swedish agent (long story) who turned him into a HumanPopsicle, he's wrong by a quarter of a century.
* ''Literature/ThursdayNext'', ''The Eyre Affair'': Thursday and Bowden stop a temporal rift by driving into it, and after re-emerging they ask mission control what year it is. Doubly subverted: not only does Chrono-Guard understand the question exactly (because dealing with temporal anomalies is their job), they are so jaded that they tell Thursday a ridiculously exaggerated date, just to mess with her head.
* Averted in book seven of ''Literature/ThePendragonAdventure''. When Bobby asks passers-by on Quillan about things absolutely anyone would know, their response is to back away slowly.
* The ''[[Literature/TimeMachineSeries Time Machine]]'' gamebook series has this in spades. Not just the year; the KidHero tends to be surprisingly clueless about many basic facts about the era where he's going. Rarely does this get him anything worse than a weird look from the locals.
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in ''Literature/LookingBackward''. When Julian awakes, unaware that he [[RipVanWinkle has slept for over a century]], Dr. Leete has to ask him when he first went to sleep, eventually leading to this:
-->'''Dr. Leete:''' You say that it was May 30th when you went to sleep?\\
'''Julian:''' Yes.\\
'''Dr. Leete:''' [[WhamLine May I ask of what year?]]
* In ''Literature/TheRubyRedTrilogy'', Gwen asks people on the street what year it is during her first unexpected jump in time. They don't give her an answer, but she realizes that it doesn't matter because even if she found out, she still wouldn't know what to do.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* A fellow in a Brazilian show had a variation of this -- he'd ask what the current composition of the national soccer team is.
* In ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' when Jemma is stranded on an unknown planet and encounters the (also stranded) astronaut Will, he asks her for the year, since there is no way to tell time there.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': Asked by [[spoiler:the commander of [[UnstuckInTime Babylon 4]]]] as soon as he is told where Sinclair and Garibaldi came from.
* ''Series/BarneyMiller'', the end of one episode: it's a foggy day out, a locked up old street musician is looking at a long stretch in jail, Barney is depressed over being passed over for promotion again -- then bluesy trumpet music starts playing. The musician was given his horn to play and everyone in the squad room is quietly transfixed. Another guy in lockup asks "What year is this?" and gets shushed.
* ''Series/ABitOfFryAndLaurie'': Mocked in a sketch about time travel, in which Hugh Laurie, dressed in a deerstalker and cape, reveals he has traveled forward in time ''five minutes'', then asks who the Prime Minister is, and if Noel Edmonds is still alive. (To which Stephen Fry replies "[[TakeThat Not that I'm aware of.]]")
* Faith, on awaking from her coma in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''.
-->'''Faith:''' What day is it?\\
'''Girl:''' Friday.\\
'''Faith:''' What date? The date!\\
'''Girl:''' February 25th.\\
'''Faith:''' What year?
* Played completely straight in the 1991 ''Series/DarkShadows'' in the 1790 segment.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The Doctor does this in far too many episodes to count. Answers like the one given above usually point him in the direction of his latest adventure in the process.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E4MarcoPolo "Marco Polo"]], the first Doctor asks Marco what year it is, leading Marco to ask the Doctor exactly how long he has been travelling.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS21E2TheAwakening "The Awakening"]], the Fifth Doctor asks an English medieval peasant this question, and in an amusing nod to the times, the man's reply is something along the lines of "Wait, wait, I know this..."
** Less common in the new series: the Doctor and his companions prefer to determine the year through NewspaperDating or otherwise deducing it from the environment. When he tries this trick straight (in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E7TheLongGame "The Long Game"]]), he is mocked. Luckily to him, he happens to be talking to news reporters, who, after his insistence, have him MistakenForSpecialGuest and thus provide all the exposition he requires.
** Subverted in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E12TheStolenEarth "The Stolen Earth"]]:
--->'''The Doctor:''' Excuse me, what day is it?\\
'''Milkman:''' Saturday.\\
'''The Doctor:''' Saturday. Good, good, I like Saturdays.
** Played straight in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E14TheNextDoctor "The Next Doctor"]]:
--->'''The Doctor:''' You there, boy, what day is this?\\
'''Boy:''' Christmas Eve, sir.\\
'''The Doctor:''' What year?\\
'''Boy:''' You thick or something?\\
'''The Doctor:''' Oi! Just answer the question.\\
'''Boy:''' Year of our Lord, 1851 sir.\\
'''The Doctor:''' Right, nice year . . . bit dull.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime "The End of Time"]], when the Doctor travels back in time to before he first met Rose to see her one last time, he comes across as someone who's downed one too many drinks.
--->'''The Doctor:''' What year is this?\\
'''Rose:''' Blimey, how much have you had? \\
'''The Doctor:''' Well . . .\\
'''Rose:''': 2005, January 1st.\\
'''The Doctor:''' 2005 . . .\\
''[Rose awkwardly nods]''\\
'''The Doctor:''' Tell you what . . . bet you're gonna have a really great year.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E13TheBigBang "The Big Bang"]], Amy works out the year by looking at the height and hairstyle of her child self.
** Another take on this trope is the Doctor (who has SeenItAll) telling the date from the technology around him, e.g. in "Kill the Moon".
-->'''Courtney:''' This isn't the moon. Where are we?
-->'''The Doctor:''' On a recycled space shuttle. 2049, judging by that prototype version of the Bennett oscillator.
* Caroline asks [=DeWitt=] this question in ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'' for entirely non-time-travel related reasons: at the time, she's both amnesiac and being confronted with the implausibly futuristic mind-altering technology that's the premise of the show. [[note]]This is also an ActorAllusion, because Caroline is played by the [[Creator/ElizaDushku same actress]] as Faith from the above ''Buffy'' example. Some would say it's an [[ObligatoryJoke echo]] of that scene.[[/note]]
** Various other characters, upon being awakened with their "real" personalities, have asked what year it is because they knew time would have passed while they were dolls.
* Spoofed in ''Series/TheFastShow'', with a space-suited character who runs into ordinary rooms and frantically shouts "What year is it? Who's the President?" and then runs out before he gets a reply.
* A variant in the failed Creator/GeneRoddenberry pilot ''Genesis II'' (1973), when the protagonist wakes up from suspended animation:
-->'''Dylan Hunt:''' ''(haltingly)'' Year...? Say... year...?\\
'''Primus Kimbridge:''' ''(slowly & deliberately)'' It is the year twenty-one hundred and thirty-three.
* Played for laughs on ''Series/{{Haven}}'':
-->'''Duke:''' What year is this?\\
'''Man:''' It's 1955. It's the year you should think about sobering up.\\
'''Duke:''' Actually, I think that it's the year [[INeedAFreakingDrink I start drinking. Heavily.]]
%%* Used in two episodes of ''Series/{{Journeyman}}''.
* ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'':
** Sam Tyler to Gene Hunt. Answer: 1973. Almost dinnertime. He's 'aving 'oops.
** The [[Series/LifeOnMars2008 American version]]: ("1973, or, as our Chinese Brethren call it, the Year of the Fist!")
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'':
** Desmond on starts down this road because of his time jumping.
** And [[spoiler:when Ben arrives in Tunisia, apparently by a jump in both space and time from the island in early January 2005, he asks for the date. When told it's October 24th, he says, "200...5?" and is told, with only a slightly baffled stare, that yes, it's 2005.]]
** Locke is later forced to ask Richard the same question, in 1954.
* Played for laughs in the episode of ''Series/{{Monk}}'' where Sharona, his original assistant, came back. When she arrived, Adrian was rinsing his eyes with water to get the dust out following a vacuum-cleaner accident. When he saw her instead of his current assistant, he rinsed his eyes again and then asked her what year it was.
* Used in an early episode of ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'' by the villains. Being villains, they chose to ask the guy by grabbing him by the throat and being threatening. (The heroes are able to have their RobotBuddy just tell them when they are.)
%%* ''Series/QuantumLeap'', though Sam tries to be subtler about it.
* Subverted in an episode of ''Series/SevenDays''. The hero finds himself in a civil war battle, which is far further back than the one week the time machine can go. He grabs someone and asks, "What year is this? 1861?" The guy responds, "Dude, what are you talking about?" The hero realizes he just landed in the middle of a reenactment.
* Gotten around in ''Series/{{Sliders}}'', where the Professor would ask people to settle a bet, in a tone that sounded like he already knew the incredibly obvious answer.
* Three times on ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
** In "The Neutral Zone," the season one finale, one of the trio of {{Human Popsicle}}s the crew rescued asks for the date, which Data gives as 2364, the first time an exact year had ever been given for the "present day" of Star Trek.
** Inverted towards the end of "[[GroundhogDayLoop Cause and Effect]]". Captain Picard asks Captain Morgan Bateson what date it is so he can determine when tbe ''U.S.S. Bozeman'' was caught in the time anomaly; Bateson declares that it's 2278 (90 years ago).
** And in the series finale "All Good Things...", Picard enters the first scene by approaching Worf and Troi and asking for the date. A confused Worf gives the stardate. Picard tells them that he's bouncing between three points on his personal timeline ([[spoiler:thanks to Q]]) and had to reorient himself. As a BookEnd, Picard asks them again at the end. That time, he just chuckles and declares he needs a good night's sleep (he relays the story the next day.)
%%* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': "Past Tense, Part I"
* And in ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', we have "Eye of the Needle," where a Romulan on the other side of a wormhole was asked this question through a communications beacon. He gave the year as 2351, which tipped the main characters off that they shouldn't go through the wormhole or else they'd end up twenty years in the past.
* Subverted on ''Series/TouchedByAnAngel'', when a man wakes up from a coma. The first thing he says after "I sure could use a cheeseburger" is to ask the nurse how long he was asleep. "Counting today...twelve years."

* Mercilessly [[DeconstructiveParody parody-deconstructed]] in ''Series/DeadRingers'', which had a recurring segment where Jon Culshaw would PrankCall hapless services in the persona of [[Creator/TomBaker the Fourth Doctor]] from ''Series/DoctorWho''. One such segment was simply edited-together clips of him ringing various places and asking "what year is this?", constantly restating until someone gave him a straight answer or hung up. He didn't get a single straight answer.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'' this was initially vague to both players and characters in-universe since the setting takes place AfterTheEnd, the specifics of which were originally left open so as to imply it could have happened in the near-future in relation to when the game was first published. That the in-universe [[HitSoHardTheCalendarFeltIt "Post Apocalyptic (P.A.)"]] calendar is based on the founding of the city state of Chi-Town, not on the Great Cataclysm itself, did not help matters. It was subsequently revealed that the Great Cataclysm happened at 12:00am December 22nd, 2098, when a minor nuclear war was launched on the Winter Solstice during a [[WhenThePlanetsAlign planetary alignment]] and as a result TheMagicComesBack. Present game date is 2395 A.D., a fact which characters can learn, since certain surviving pre-cataclysmic groups and nations like the New German Republic still use the Gregorian Calendar.
* The introductory fiction piece "Lack" for ''TabletopGame/{{Eclipse Phase}}'' begins and ends with the main character waking up at a body bank after being [[BodySurf resleeved]] and - as soon as they can speak - demanding the current date and year. Characters in the setting can never be quite sure whether or not they're missing time since their last body (whether because they weren't in a body during that time, or because the last body died and a copy of their mind from then wasn't recovered), so asking for the date is implied to be common; asking for the year, however, might be mostly a behavior of [[ProperlyParanoid justifiably paranoid]] [[BenevolentConspiracy Firewall]] agents like the protagonist.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The EdutainmentGame ''Amazon Trail II'' (in which you TimeTravel by passing through "the blue mist") includes a version of this line in its {{Dialogue Tree}}s. When asked this question, {{NPC}}s helpfully reply with the whole date. One can only assume they think you've been traveling through the rainforest for a ''long'' time. Some people you talk to aren't that helpful -- for example, one native responds to the question with "the end of the rainy season".
* This exact phrase is used by Nigel in ''VideoGame/TheLostCrown'', because so much of Saxton's architecture, technology, and even its people seem to date from an earlier time. And not even the ''same'' time, at that.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'', in which the playable characters Serah and Noel travel throughout time, but the question often isn't unexpected, because people know that there are strange things going on with time and in some cases also know of the fact that they're time travelers. Serah, however, gives the exact line in a dream version of New Bodhum in The Void Beyond and only earns an insinuation that's she's gone loopy, because it's a fantasy world in which she never started a time travel journey.
* In ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable: The Gears of Destiny'', Vivio was GenreSavvy enough to ask this to an unusually young-looking Yuuno who seemed perplexed when Vivio called him Head Librarian, confirming her fears that she had somehow landed in a TimeTravel story.
* In ''VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift'', Relius Clover asked Terumi, who is in spirit form, this very question in the beginning of Relius's story mode after he got consumed by the black beast and trying to understand his current situation.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'': In the Leviathan DLC, a mining station has been enthralled for 10 years. Shepard asks them if they know what year it is to see if they remember anything after being enthralled. They don't.
* As part of the mage questline in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', the player character and a mage called Dorian are thrown through a rift. He quickly figures out that you've both travelled through time, but exactly how far and in which direction is unclear until Dorian asks this of a prisoner you find, and it turns out the two of you are a year in the future.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* A recurring situation in the ''Infinity'' series:
** Slight variation in ''VisualNovel/{{Never7}}''- the protagonist sometimes asks what ''day'' it is on certain routes (while keeping his suspicions to himself in others).
** In ''VisualNovel/{{Ever17}}'', The Kid asks this not due to being a time traveler, but because he has amnesia. [[spoiler:Of course, in some routes the person he asks ''lies'' to him, because even if he's not asking because he's a displaced time traveler doesn't mean he isn't one.]]
** In ''VisualNovel/{{Remember11}}'', Kokoro is told by Satoru that she is time-traveling, and asks this of people to confirm or disprove it. She gets conflicting results. [[spoiler: The conflict is due to the fact that ''several'' of the characters are unknowingly time traveling (or have time-traveled), so the people she asks aren't necessarily all from the same time period]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* In ''[[http://www.filmcow.com/thecloaknew.html The Cloak]]'', the disembodied head of Robert Mitchum uses this phrase, despite not actually having traveled through time.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Used bluntly in a ''Webcomic/CaseyAndAndy'' [[http://www.galactanet.com/comic/view.php?strip=630 strip]]. [[ChangedMyJumper "Always happy to help a scantily-clad trollop."]]
* Used in [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/2127.html this]] ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'' strip.
** And again [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/2894.html here]], with link to this page.
* Goes a bit wrong in [[http://www.sailorsun.org/index.php?comicID=289 this]] ''Webcomic/SailorSun'' strip.
* Surprisingly done with the subtle method in ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja''.
* ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'' parodies this [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/061007 here]].
* [[Webcomic/{{Fans}} What is]] [[UnusualEuphemism the darwinfisting]] [[http://www.faans.com/facing-the-future-4-of-15/ date?!]]
* Inverted in ''Banna Galactic'', where ''another character'' asks the temporally-displaced main character what year it is to help her figure out what's going on.
* Parodied in a [[http://www.mezzacotta.net/owls/?comic=319 strip]] of ''Webcomic/LightningMadeOfOwls'', where Ambrose thinks he's in the future after a man responds that it's 4707. Turns out he was in Chinatown.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* One piece of 4chan [[MemeticMutation copy pasta]] advice for InstantSeduction involves disappearing for a week, growing a beard, getting a tan (including wedding ring tan line), and being found "semi-conscious" in the target's house, [[NakedOnArrival naked]] and injured, demanding to know the answer to this question. Somehow, CoitusEnsues.
* Played straight when Team One in WebVideo/SuburbanKnights released Chuck Jaffers from a magic book. When he asked what year it was, it turns out that he had been trapped for thirty years.
* Used in ''NanQuest'' when it's discovered that [[spoiler:people entered the hotel at vastly different times]].
* Wiki/TheOtherWiki used to have [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_year the answer]] to the question, but not anymore.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* WesternAnimation/DangerMouse tells Penfold he's going to find out "when we are" as the two traverse time in a grandfather clock in the episode "The Hickory Dickory Dock Dilemma".
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''. When Stewie and Brian are teleported in time, Brian wonders aloud 'when' they are, Stewie replies with "That is such a douche time-traveler question."
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in a short gag from ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'' where [[WesternAnimation/TheJetsons George Jetson]] pops in, stating 'I come from the far future year of 2002!' while Harvey squint at his 2005 calendar.
* Parodied in one sketch on ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken''. A (we assume) time traveller leans out of a portal that appears in some kid's back yard.
-->'''Time Traveller:''' Hey! What year is it?\\
'''Kid:''' Uh, 2006.\\
'''Time Traveller:''' ''(laughs)'' 2006! ''(suddenly serious)'' Good luck, buddy. ''(portal and traveller both disappear)''.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "My Future Self and Me", the phony news tape used to try and convince Stan that his future self has been brought into the past by a freak accident references this trope.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Real Life (sort of): [[http://www.dresdencodak.com/cartoons/dc_045.html Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day]] (bottom of the page) got casual results to questions like this. The bystander may think you're crazy, but they'll still answer your questions.
* This kind of thing happens in early January.
* This is one of the stock questions asked of people who have had strokes or are suspected of other brain damage or dementia.
* Often asked by patients coming out of a very long term coma.
* if he possessed a computer capable of connecting to the internet, our erstwhile traveler could simply go to [[http://www.worldtimeserver.com World Time Server]]. (Offer void before 1998)