If you pay attention in cartoons, you might notice something a little peculiar about everyone's schedule. Projects and undertakings that would realistically take weeks or months are compressed into days - if even that. There is usually no good reason for this whatsoever, since the amount of time that passes is typically stated in dialog, which could have easily been rewritten to reflect a more realistic timescale. It is often invoked by Rule of Funny
operate on a similar time scale.
Although it's usually
seen in cartoons, it's not limited to them. Occasionally, live-action characters will behave as though they're running on cartoonland time.
It is often the reason for Instant Home Delivery
, and may involve Offscreen Reality Warp
Film - Animated
Film - Live-Action
- In Cinderella, the king proclaims that a ball will be held that night and that every eligible maiden in the entire kingdom is to attend. Not only would making out the invitations take more than a day alone, and not only is it completely unreasonable to expect anyone to just drop whatever they're doing and rush to the castle (even if they have suitable ballgowns ready), but the kingdom is strongly implied to be France, which isn't exactly tiny.
- In an episode of Boy Meets World, Shawn helps Cory to both go to the dance with Topanga and see a wrestling match by imitating an episode of The Flintstones where Fred shuttled back and forth between two places, always coming up with a quick excuse. He points out that Fred never spent more than a minute at either location, and Cory tried to explain that cartoons use condensed time for storytelling.
- In an episode of Mad About You, Paul is talked into doing a (moderately big-budget) TV commercial for the city, does preproduction, shoots the footage, does postproduction, gets the commercial on the air, and is horrified by the reaction, all in less than a week.
- The Ace Attorney series of games is built off this trope: all the trials in the series have a three-day time limit, with no regards to how long a forensic test would actually be in real time.