%% Image and caption selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1338087274060940100
%% Please do not change or remove either without starting a new thread.
[[quoteright:256:[[VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/7DaysRemain_5277.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:256:Sometimes, you wonder if your workplace is being a little overbearing with their deadlines.]]

->''"24 hours, Dag, 24 hours. 23 hours, 59 minutes. Don't make me stand here and count."''
-->-- '''Thornton Reed''', ''Series/GarthMarenghisDarkplace''

One of the standard storytelling techniques is the RaceAgainstTheClock. By giving your heroes a limited period of time to accomplish something, you immediately add an element of urgency to their story. Clocks come in all forms and lengths, but one of the most popular is the 48 hour limit, since it gives the story a deadline that's reasonably urgent but not too restrictive. (It's important to say "48 hours" instead of "two days" because [[RuleOfCool it sounds cooler]].) It also allows for scenes set both in the daytime and at night, maximising the storytelling possibilities.

Most commonly used in cop shows, in which DaChief will give our hero two days to close the case and find the evidence on the suspect before the DA throws the case out. As an added incentive, he might risk [[TurnInYourBadge losing his badge]]. If DaChief is on friendly terms with the hero, he may give him the 48 hours as a favor. Another variant is that the cop needs to make something stick, as someone can only be held for 48 hours (in California; 72 hours in other states, but [[SoCalization most writers are Californians]]) without being charged with a crime, after which they will presumably flee the jurisdiction.

See also RaceAgainstTheClock. Compare StalkedByTheBell, the video game equivalent. Subtrope of ExactTimeToFailure.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* The time limit of [[spoiler:the Emergency Escape Program]] in ''The Disappearance of LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' was two days. Complicated by the fact that the message didn't state whether the 48 hour count started from when the note was first written, or from the time when Kyon later discovered it. And that was probably the least of the [[TimeyWimeyBall temporal complications]] involved, too.
* The Saints of Athena in ''Manga/SaintSeiya'' have 12 hours to save [[{{Reincarnation}} Saori]]/[[PhysicalGod Athena]] from...
** ...[[RaceAgainstTheClock the Golden Arrow making her way to her heart]] (Sanctuary Saga.) They need to reach the top of Sanctuary, retrieve the Shield of Athena, and shine its holy light upon her. The Clock of Flames on a hill of Sanctuary keeps precise track of this schedule.
** ...[[ExactTimeToFailure dying of exhaustion and exposure]] at the North Pole, due to her keeping the eternal ice from melting and flooding the Earth (Asgard Saga, anime-only.) The Saints need to de-[[BrainwashedAndCrazy brainwash]] Queen Hilda, the true caretaker, and release her from Poseidon's thrall so Saori passes the task back to her.
** ...[[DrowningPit drowning within the Main Breadwinner]] (a gigantic pillar that holds up the ocean above Poseidon's temple) before it floods completely (Poseidon Saga.) They need [[LoadBearingBoss to defeat the Seven Marine Shoguns and destroy their pillars]] before getting to the Main, which is guarded by [[PhysicalGod Poseidon]] himself.
** ...[[YouShallNotPass getting killed by Hades' Specters invading Sanctuary]] (Hades Saga, Sanctuary Chapter.) In an inversion, the Specters themselves only have 12 hours to accomplish their task, because that's all the time they have allowed back on the world of the living before their bodies disintegrate. So, the Saints only need to hold them back for so long.
** ...having all her blood drained out by Hades' jar deep in the Underworld, in the heavenly land of Elysium (Hades Saga, Underworld Chapter.) The Saints need to remove her from the jar and give her the Divine Cloth of Athena so she can defeat Hades and end the war.
* In one episode of ''Anime/CodeGeass'', Lelouch is given five hours to find his [[spoiler:sister Nunnally]] who has been kidnapped by a [[spoiler:Geass-using]] psychopath, [[spoiler:who may or may not have stuck to the assigned limit.]]
* This is one of the central plot points of ''Manga/IkigamiTheUltimateLimit'' - a Chosen receives the titular document 24 hours before they are killed by the nanocapsule imbedded in their heart rupturing. Each Episode revolves around what that particular Chosen chooses to do with that time.
* In ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', Hitomi gives Sayaka 24 hours to confess her love to Kyosuke before she confesses her own instead. Unfortunately, because Sayaka believes she's no longer human, she does not think she can ever confess, and knowing that Hitomi will leads her to despair.
** In the [[VideoGame/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaPortable PSP game]], there's an option for Sayaka to [[JustEatGilligan outright confess to Kyosuke]] that she's a MagicalGirl, [[spoiler: and he'd actually believe her and return her feeling. This shows that Sayaka comes very close to winning Kyosuke in the canonical story if not for she GaveUpTooSoon.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The first book of ''ComicBook/GorskyAndButch'' starts when it turns out that their comic makes no sense. So DaChief tasks the two heroes with finding it. And they have 48 pages to do it.
* An early issue of the ''Comicbook/SonicTheHedgehog'' comics has Sonic being told by Princess Sally to find Nack the Weasel or be exiled for disobeying a royal order. Because really, giving a super speedster 48 hours is like telling them "take your time".
* In ''ComicBook/FinalCrisis'', the human [[Comicbook/GreenLantern Green Lanterns]] are given 24 hours ''to save the universe''. So, no pressure...
* In ''Comicbook/{{Bookhunter}}'', the Oakland Library Police are investigating the theft of an irreplaceable book which was on loan from the Library of Congress. The book was scheduled to be returned in three days, so our protagonists have that long to solve the case before the feds learn of the theft and take over the investigation.

[[folder: Film - Animated]]
* Rather, RogerRabbitEffect film, but mostly animated, Thrax in ''Film/OsmosisJones'' has a SelfImposedChallenge to be the deadliest disease ever recorded in medical history. He's killed dozens of people in the past, each one faster than the previous, and by the time he gets to Frank, the protagonist of the live-action segment and whose body [[FantasticVoyagePlot it takes place in]], he plans on taking him down in less than 48 hours. He gloats to Jones near the end that his next target, Frank's daughter, Shane, will die even faster. [[spoiler:His plans are cut short after Jones knocks him into a bottle of rubbing alcohol, killing him.]]
* In the Creator/HannaBarbera Superstars 10 movie ''WesternAnimation/TopCat and the Beverly Hills Cats'', Benny must wait for 48 hours before he can inherit a fortune. Should anything happen to him during that time, the evil butler and his dog would get it. Subverted in that the urgency doesn't start until 24 hours have passed.
** [[spoiler:Also that the original heiress returned and the benefactress [[FakingTheDead faked her death]] to trick the butler into revealing his true colors]].
* ''WesternAnimation/MillionaireDogs'': If the [[PetHeir pets]] leave the house, they must return within 48 hours or their late owner's nephew and niece get the inheritance.
* In ''WesternAnimation/HelpImAFish'', a potion has turned the three main characters into fish, and if they don't take the antidote within 48 hours, they'll be stuck as fish forever.
* ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'': Judy Hopps is given 48 hours to find the missing Mr. Otterton or she'll have to resign -- despite the entire police force having little success with any of their own missing mammal cases over the past two weeks.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'': Merida must break a beastly curse she has accidentally released on her mother by "mending the bond torn by pride" before the second sunrise.

[[folder: Film - Live Action]]
* ''Film/FortyEightHours'' and ''Another 48 Hrs.''. Obviously.
* In ''Film/TheNakedGun'', Frank Drebin has 48 hours to prove that Nordberg is innocent.
* In ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'', James Bond has 48 hours to stop a global war from starting.
* In ''Film/TheFifthElement'', they had 48 hours before the BigBad UltimateEvil could attack. Zorg also gives such an ultimatum to one of his underlings, and the President is even stricter, often stating a firm "You have ''twenty seconds'' to" explain/complete/whatever it is he's telling you to do.
-->'''Cornelius:''' You have 48 hours. That's the length of time [[UltimateEvil it needs to adapt itself to our living conditions]].
-->'''President:''' And then?
-->'''Cornelius:''' And then [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt it will be too late]].
* In ''Film/MrAndMrsSmith2005'', Mr. and Mrs. Smith had orders from their respective assassin contracting firms to kill the other Smith in forty-eight hours before said companies kill them both.
* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] thoroughly in the 1978 science film ''Film/CapricornOne''. Elliot Gould's heroic journalist is on the verge of being pulled away from the scoop of the century by his editor. Bargaining for time, he argues that "''the assignment editor is supposed to say "you've got 48 hours, kids, and you'd better come up with something good or it's going to be your neck!" That's what he's supposed to say, I saw it in a movie.''" The editor then gives him 24 hours, "Not forty eight. I saw the movie too; it was twenty four."
* The hero of ''Film/{{Taken}}'' is told, based on prior experience, that he has 96 hours to find his kidnapped daughter before the trail runs cold.
* ''[[Film/EightyEightMinutes 88 Minutes]]'' takes this a few steps further.
* Snake in ''Film/EscapeFromNewYork'' had 24 hours to save the President, or the tiny explosives they injected him with would detonate, open up his jugular veins, and kill him.
* In ''Film/{{Stardust}}'', Tristan has a week to travel into a neighboring magical universe and bring back a fallen star to Victoria before her birthday, or she'll marry Humphrey instead of him. Ironically, he eventually [[NotStayingForBreakfast leaves the heroine, his actual true love, after making love to her]] so he can let Victoria down within that time frameŚleading to the heroine's instant near-suicidal depression, as [[PoorCommunicationKills she doesn't realize]] he's going to (literally) dump his former crush and come back to her the same day.
* Sheriff Will Kane has roughly one hour to raise a {{posse}} to confront [[BigBad notorious villain Frank Miller]] before Miller's train arrives at ''Film/HighNoon''. [[spoiler: [[OhCrap He doesn't.]]]]
* ''Film/ManOfSteel'': General Zod delivers an ominous message when his spaceship arrives in Earth's orbit. Then he addresses the lone Kryptonian on the planet.
-->'''Zod:''' To Kal-El I say this: Surrender within 24 hours, or watch this world suffer the consequences.
* Subverted in ''Film/DonnieDarko'' when the titular protagonist learns of the countdown very early in the movie, but does very little to stop it, only morosely goes through life waiting for it to happen.
-->'''Frank''': 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 12 seconds. That is when the world will end.
* In Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar, Ross gives Tony 36 hours to bring in Cap.
* Among the many IdiotPlot moments in ''Film/SpaceMutiny'', the mutineers give TheCaptain 12 hours to surrender after seizing his daughter as a hostage. One would think 12 minutes would be enough -- how long does it take to surrender? The extra time only encourages our hero to launch a rescue mission.

[[folder: Literature ]]
* In ''Literature/TheEmperorsSoul'', Shai must complete her task to Forge a new soul for the Emperor before the 99 day mourning period for his wife is over, because his advisers don't want anybody else to find out that he was rendered comatose.
* The title of the ''Literature/JamesBond'' novel ''Literature/ZeroMinusTen'' comes from tha fact that Bond has only ten days to investigate the truth behind the assasinations in UsefulNotes/HongKong before it handed back to China after decades of British rule.
* In Creator/MichaelConnelly's books, the 48-hour rule is frequently cited by LAPD Detective Literature/HarryBosch.
-->'''Bosch:''' The chances of clearing a homicide diminish by almost half each day if you don't solve it in the first forty-eight hours.
* In ''Literature/ApparatusInfernum'', the murder mystery of the first book involves a daughter of a noble House, meaning that there is very strong political pressure on the Criminal Investigation Division to produce a result immediately. DaChief, Gunwood, tells Mikani and Ritsuko that if they can't solve the case by a certain deadline, he'll have to replace them, even though he knows it isn't really their fault.
* In the Dramatic Audio version of the Literature/LeftBehind book ''Glorious Appearing'', a Global Community agent threatens the network broadcast crew to cut the signal of Chaim Rosenzweig's message by giving each member, starting from the top brass down, sixty seconds to get the signal cut before they are murdered.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/MissionImpossible'' used this quite a bit, though one writer took it a bit too far by writing no fewer than ''three'' different episodes where the team had to prevent something that was going to happen "in two days at 4:00."
** Happens in the third movie as well: Ethan Hunt gets 48 hours to complete a HostageForMcGuffin scheme.
* ''Franchise/LawAndOrder'' uses the final "can only be held so long" variant frequently, along with the statute of limitations.
* ''The First 48'' on A&E is a living and breathing example, following homicide detectives attempting to get a suspect booked and charged in that time frame.
* The CBS newsmagazine ''48 Hours'' was titled in that manner as the stories covered by the show literally took place over a two day period. The show kept the title even though it now covers long-term TrueCrime stories.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' plays with the trope in season two - Matt Parkman is given this limit, but only because he mind-commanded DaChief into doing so.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' features "ghost sickness," which kills its victims in 48 hours after causing them to fear everything. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpKgqwugHjA Like cats.]]
* Parodied on "TheOffice," kind of, when [[TooDumbToLive Michael]] apparently misunderstands the threat:
-->'''Michael:''' ''(being blamed for an obscene watermark on a paper order; making a video)'' If I could leave you with one thought, remember... it wasn't me. They're trying to make me an [[{{Malaproper}} escape goat]]. If I am fired, I swear to God, that every single piece of copier paper in this town is going to have [[PrecisionFStrike the F-word]] on it. The F-word. You have one day.
-->'''Pam:''' One day for what?
-->'''Michael:''' [[ComicallyMissingThePoint That's...they always give an ultimatum.]]
-->'''Pam:''' ...OK.
* On ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', Laverne is annoyed when Colin Farrell's character is ousted from the hospital:
-->'''Laverne:''' You have ''one day'' to get us another gorgeous Irishman.
-->'''[[HandsomeLech The Todd]]:''' ''One day.'' ''(off JD's and Turk's looks)'' What? [[AnythingThatMoves The Todd appreciates hot, regardless of gender.]]
* ''Series/TheCollector'' has standardized [[DealWithTheDevil deals with the Devil]]: For a period of ten years the client gets what he asked for. In the last 48 hours, the benefits of the deal (and sometimes other effects) will gradually disappear, and at their end his soul would be taken. Typically that's when the local debt collector would find him and give him a chance to go early. Almost every episode, the protagonist Morgan is allowed to help a client in his last 48 hours find redemption and be freed of his deal; once he makes contact with him, the countdown starts in his [[PostModernMagik collector's cellphone]], which zeroes on success. In "The Yogi," the title character {{lampshades}} how artificial the round numbers seem.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' starring David Tennant had an episode titled "42", which of course gave the Doctor exactly 42-minutes to solve the present crisis with the story playing out in real-time. Similarly, in Matt Smith's debut story "The Eleventh Hour" the Doctor is given 20-minutes to prevent the destruction of the earth, again with that portion of the story occurring more or less in real-time.
* Happens a lot on ''Series/TheShield'', but notably in season 7, when almost all of Vic's arc is trying to secure himself a job and immunity deal before a scheduled review board fires him from the LAPD.
* ''Series/TwentyFour'' repeatedly, but it is usually more like two hours.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** The episode "48 Hours", wherein a member of SG-1 [[TeleporterAccident gets trapped in the Stargate's data buffer]] and Stargate Command shuts down operations to avoid overwriting that buffer. The rest of the team is given 48 hours to investigate the matter before normal Stargate operations resume.
** On another occasion, Ba'al demands that Stargate Command hand over a prisoner within one day. O'Neill mocks the trope by asking if Ba'al means one ''Earth'' day. Ba'al just rolls his eyes and terminates the transmission.
* ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'': A radio game offered Peggy a prize if she got Al to return home that day for a nooner (sex anytime within the first hour after noon).
* On ''Series/{{Quincy}}'', Quincy once promised to get back to a committee within 36 hours. Queried by an assistant, he declared himself tired of the usual 48.
* In the ''Series/CasesOfTheFirstDepartment'' episode "48 Hours", Capt. Martin Prazak arrests a suspect even though he was instructed only to follow him and find out his identity. However, Prazak knew that he was about to attack his next victim, a frail old guy who has just collected his monthly pension from the post office. The suspect has no ID and refuses to speak. His fingerprints are not in the Czech database. They can hold him only for two days without telling him the charges and they have in fact less than 48 hours because they lost some time in transporting him to the station and they have to prepare his release with a public prosecutor in advance. Their only lead is a train ticket from Kladno to Prague and the fact that he might be a foreigner from eastern Europe as he "might have hissed something in Russian or Slovak" when he was being arrested.
* In the ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' episode "Defiance," the daughter of a foreign diplomat is kidnapped from NCIS custody, and Vance gives Gibbs' team 48 hours to find her before demanding [=DiNozzo=]'s and [=McGee=]'s badges.
* ''Series/TheEqualizer''.
** As part of his usual MindScrew tactics, Robert [=McCall=] gives a crime boss 24 hours to shut down his organisation or die. The man laughs this off, but finds himself subject to various other harassment tactics, including [=McCall=] ringing up to remind him how many hours he has left.
** In "No Conscience", an innocent bystander is [[MistakenForSpies Mistaken For A Spy]] and tortured for the MacGuffin. Realising he's going to be killed if he doesn't think of something, he comes up with the 48 hour trope himself. The villains give him 24 hours, but eventually agree to 36. Then he has to hire [=McCall=] (who points out that 12 hours have already passed by the time they interview their first witness) to find out what they wanted in the first place.
* In the ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'' episode "48 Hours", after making an arrest with too little proof, Detective Jake Peralta has 48 hours to get the evidence or the perp goes free, forcing the Nine-nine to work over the weekend.
-->'''Captain Holt:''' Detective Peralta has made a collar in the jewelry store heist. He didn't get sufficient evidence to make it stick, so we the next have 48 hours to fix his mistake.

* In the first act of ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods'', the witch gives the Baker and his wife three midnights' time to get the materials required to make a potion [[spoiler:that will undo the curse the witch laid upon their family that prevents any children from being born.]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', in which you have 3 days to stop the moon from [[ColonyDrop crashing into the planet]]. Each in-game hour is 45 seconds. However, it give you the option to [[GroundhogDayLoop reset]] and slow down time (to 90 seconds per hour).
* ''VideoGame/DeadRising'' gives you three days (six hours real-life) before your helicopter comes back to pick Frank up, as per the latter's demand. Whether you're actually there for the rendezvous is but one of the deciding factors of what ending you get.
* ''VideoGame/GhostTrick'' has the time limit imposed on Sissel by Ray to find his killer by sunrise the following day (about twelve hours after he was shot) before his soul disappears. Subverted by the fact that [[spoiler:the time limit was a trick to drive Sissel's actions forward before a certain event in the endgame occured that would permanently screw up the timeline.]]
* A relatively obscure FMV murder mystery game gave you ''six'' hours to examine the crime scene, analyze the evidence and interview suspects. This was actually more like ''five'' hours, as the last hour was split between a press conference and confronting a suspect. The justification is that after six hours, either the trail will go cold, or the murderer will get away.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' features [[BigBad Dr. Eggman]] giving the entire world 24 hours to surrender before he [[ApocalypseHow fires the Eclipse Cannon]]. Later on, [[spoiler: his grandfather's program is set into action, destroying everything in ''27 minutes, 53 seconds'']].
** In ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'', Dr. Eggman threatens to unleash his new weapon in 3 days. [[spoiler: It's really Metal Sonic.]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'', the Reaper's Game gives Players 7 days. They have to survive each day's challenge and the onslaught of Noise for that long. Each day, they're given a challenge, and a time limit in the form of a Timer printed on the palm of their hand in which to complete it. If nobody completes the challenge for that day, then everyone is erased. [[spoiler:Megumi Kitaniji is also cursed with a Timer. His limit was one month, in which to attempt to win his Game with the Composer]].
* In ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheLastSpecter'', [[spoiler:Police Chief Jakes]] gives Layton 24 hours to leave Misthallery when he starts getting close to uncovering the truth. [[spoiler:He doesn't wait that long before sending goons after Layton and later, framing him for the specter attack]].
* The Infocom game ''Deadline'' uses the tagline: "A locked door. A dead man. And 12 hours to solve the mystery"
* ''I Have 1 Day'', where you have 24 hours to regain your body.
* The protagonists of ''VideoGame/ElementalGearbolt'' have 48 hours of functionality. The time limit is due to the fact that they are corpses animated by {{Magitek}}.
* ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII'': The end of the known universe is coming in six days when Lightning begins her adventure, [[spoiler: although Lightning can extend that deadline via gathering souls and feeding them to the WorldTree, up to as much as letting the world run for an extra seven days after the world would have ordinarily ended.]]
* ''VideoGame/BillNyeTheScienceGuyStopTheRock'' gives you 5 days to stop the rock -- that is, solve seven science riddles to convince a [[AIIsACrapshoot rogue AI]] that humanity is worth saving from an [[ColonyDrop oncoming asteroid]].
* ''VideoGame/TheFairlyOddparentsBreakinDaRules'' gets a little more specific with this; Timmy, Cosmo, and Wanda have 49 and a half hours to get all the pages of Da Rules back together.
* In ''VideoGame/LostDimension'', the main antagonist gives the world thirteen days before he plans to blow up the world's major cities with nuclear warheads.
* ''VideoGame/LifeIsStrange'': Max has a vision of a giant storm destroying Arcadia Bay at the start of Episode 1. Episode 1 ends with her having the same vision- but this time finding a newspaper that dates the storm as only 4 days away.
* ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX'': [[spoiler:The big number at the top of BLADE Tower isn't arbitrary: it's a countdown indicating how much energy the Lifehold Core has. If the heroes don't reach the Core and activate its secondary energy generator before it reaches zero, the mimeosomes (Robotic bodies housing the humans' souls) will shut down, and bye-bye humanity. While the residents of New LA do know they have a time limit, only a select few know the meaning behind the number, to prevent widespread panic.]]
* The plot of ''VideoGame/NancyDrew'' game ''The Final Scene'' focuses on Nancy Drew having to find and save her missing friend, Maya, before the theatre is demolished in three days. You're forced to stay in the theatre until you've found all of the clues for the day.
* The plot of ''VideoGame/TheThreeStooges'' is The stooges must earn at least $5,000 or more to say the orphanage in 30 days, or it will be foreclosed by the nasty banker: I. Fleecum.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'', nine abducted people (including the PlayerCharacter) have 9 hours to escape a ship that looks a lot like the Titanic before it sinks. [[spoiler:Ultimately subverted: the place you all were in wasn't even a ship and there was no life-endangering situation to begin with. It was just a lie made up by the kidnapper, Zero, so you would end up at the right place at the right time to save her life in the past (it's confusing even in context).]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', [[spoiler:Coil]] gives Skitter a time limit to [[spoiler:defeat Dragon's suits]], agreeing to [[spoiler: release Dinah]] if she can accomplish it.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', when Homer got Marge indebted to the mob, Fat Tony gave Marge an ultimatum.
-->You have 24 hours to give us our money. And to show you we're serious... you have 12 hours. See you at 6am.
** "Homer at the Bat" has Mr. Burns telling Smithers he has 24 hours to recruit Major League baseball players for his softball team.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers'': You could almost make a DrinkingGame out of the times [[DaChief Commander Walsh]] used "you have twenty-four hours" to the Galaxy Rangers.
* ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'', the episode "24 Hours to Live", that's how much time Arnold is given before the ultimate fight with the class bully Harold.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wunschpunsch}}'': Once the evil wizards cast the spell of the week, the heroes have seven hours to decipher and trigger the CurseEscapeClause or the spell's effects will be permanent.
* ''WesternAnimation/WheelSquad'':
** In "Souab's Deadline", Mr. Souab's business (he's a grocer) were slow and his supplier gave him one week to pay his debt. Meanwhile, Enzo, the manager of World Mart, was given one week to bring 100% of its potential customers like he promised his plan would.
** "Close Call": Mr. Rotter, the owner of World Mart, gave the beauty parlor's owner three days to do the needed repairs or he'd not renew the rental contract. Being friends with the owner's daughter, his stepdaughter persuaded him to extend the deadline.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' had to solve a series of riddles set by [[HeWhoMustNotBeNamed "Him"]] within the time limit set for each riddle. They had to suxceed or, otherwise, the Professor would have to pay... [[spoiler:[[ExactWords for the pancakes]] he ate at "Him"'s restaurant "Otto Time" (which is a pun on Out of Time, which also counts as an UnfortunateName). It was all a bet between "Him" and the Professor]].

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* Real crimes have a much lower chance of being solved if a major break in the case is not made within the first 48 hours.
** That said, 48 hours is an arbitrary point that is used because it is a convenient amount of time (and close to the 50% mark). The odds of a case being solved start going down immediately if a major break isn't found. Think about it this way: what are the odds of a case being solved if they get some solid evidence in 30 seconds? Now what if that takes 5 years?
* Places that have an Honor Code (and by extension Honor Boards/Committees). If Alice catches Bob lying, cheating, stealing, or tolerating, Alice will say verbatim "You have 48 hours," after which if Bob hasn't self-reported whatever he did to the Honor Board, Alice does it for him. If he was guilty, this usually results in a stricter punishment.
* As mentioned in the page header, most western police forces have a limited amount of time that they can hold a suspect before they must either formally charge them with a crime or release them, in an effort to curb abuses of power and stop the "Round up the usual suspects" approach. The moment a suspect is arrested, the clock starts ticking... so Police working where these laws exist usually hold off the arrest to the last possible moment, in order to give themselves more time. Similarly, some jurisdictions protect the right of a defendant to a speedy trial once the charge has been formally laid, to prevent people languishing in prison for months or years while the prosecutors drag their feet; if the defendant wants to, they can put the prosecutors on a clock to present their case. Of course, doing so also puts the ''defence'' on the same clock...