Your favorite books, movies, television shows and video games tend to state, specifically, what year they happen. Sometimes it's a very specific year, a vague decade/century (199X
, 24th-and-one-half century
), or a completely made up timeline (Universal Century
, Second Age
). Want to quickly see when your favorite work happened? Do you want to know what was happening in fiction while Rapture was explored?
Want to know how many works set in World War II
feature the Third Reich
dying in any way other than suicide? Just look it up here.
The idea was inspired by a personal project being undertaken by Gorblax at the Penny Arcade
forums, where he created a timeline for video games, using years from the Gregorian calendar. It can be found online
The only events listed here should be ones that are dated under a Gregorian calendar or something very similar.
If the events happen under a fictional calendar, but said calendar can be correlated to the Gregorian calendar somehow, then feel free to list those events. For long-running comics or television series, you should only list major arcs or events that significantly change the status quo. Fanfic
events are acceptable, but should also be limited to major arcs and events. (Please make it clear when something is fanfic rather than canon
by linking to the TV Tropes page for that fanfic.)
For each example you list, make sure to put the source in parentheses at the end (if not, that article will be deleted unless the source can be named). Try to place more specific dates before vague dates (For example, put July 4, 1954 before July 1954 and 1954). However, if a vague date definitely occurs before a more specific one, put the vague date first (for example, July 1954 goes before August 13th, 1954). This goes for years as well; for example, 'early 18th century' would go before 1775.
Because this is a timeline, spoilers are very likely to appear. To avoid line after line of spoiled text, tropers should stick to using general summaries and descriptions, and try to avoid specific details. If these kind of spoilers are unavoidable, or the troper believes they're important, then the details should be listed in a labelnote like so
Please also note that we are not using the B.C. or A.D acronyms because the acronym B.C. stands for Before Christ, or Before the Messiah, and A.D. stands for Anno Domini, or In the Year of Our Lord. These are statements of worship of him and as such are both unfair to and/or technically not accurate because of those tropers that do not worship him, as we are fairly well represented among Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists, and almost certainly have a Scientologist or two, among innumerable other non-Christian groups.
For a chronological list of tropes rather than specific series, see The Trope History of the Universe
A note on dates:
Certain series can be correlated to the Gregorian calendar, but require fairly lengthy justifications. To avoid excessive labelnotes, they will be explained here in alphabetical order.
- Andromeda: Commonwealth Year 6811 is intended to synch up with 1891, most clearly referenced and explained here.
- Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog: Mobian year 0 is 10,779 C.E. This is explained best on Wikipedia's page on the Archie Sonic comic and the Mobius Encyclopaedia page on Mobius.
- The events of Asura's Wrath apparently took place over 870 MILLION YEARS in the past.
- The works of Isaac Asimov: Only the 20th and 21st century robot stories are assigned conclusive dates in the Gregorian calendar. The Elijah Baley stories take place approximately 3,000 years after the founding of the city of New York, sometime in the 47th century. The timeframes for the later novels are inconsistent from book to book, and may be anywhere between 13,000 and 52,000 C.E.
- The Bible: We are using the Ussher chronology, as that is the most well-known and popular Biblical timeline. However, since Ussher gave his dates in the Julian calendar, they must be converted into Gregorian dates; this can be done here. Due to different methods of calculating leap years and the fact that the Gregorian calendar includes a year 0 CE, Gregorian dates will tend to differ from those stated by Ussher by a year and several weeks. Answers in Genesis has created a handy PDF of said timeline.
- Code Geass: The dating system ('Ascension Throne Britannia'; a.t.b.) is jumbled, with an epoch 55 years before the Common Era's, but most events with historical antecedents happen at the same numerical date as in ours. (Washington's Rebellion is still placed in the 1770s, for instance.) Placement will assume the systems match up, with a note on the possible alternate year for events.
- Dragon Ball: Dates are given in the DragonBall Daizenshuu, via Dragon Ball Encyclopedia. Note that the source material uses "Before Age" and "Age", but there is no logical epoch or real-world basis for this, so these are just assumed as "Before Common Era" and "Common Era", until any more information comes in regarding this. As for GT, according to official sources, it is set 5 years after Z (i.e. 15 years after the Buu saga), however the Funimation dub changes this to ten years after Z.
- Dune: 1 A.G., signifying the beginning of the Spacing Guild, is approximately 11,401 C.E. The date 10191 used in the beginning of the first novel is A.G. Dune Timeline
- Fighting Fantasy: The 10th Anniversary Yearbook establishes 1993 to be 285 AC.
- Harry Potter: In Chamber of Secrets, Nearly Headless Nick's 500th deathday celebrates his death in 1492, during Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts. This puts Harry's first year at Hogwarts in 1991. On top of this, in Deathly Hallows James and Lily Potter died when Harry was a year old in 1981.
- Half-Life: All but one timeline places Black Mesa's deployment of the resonance cascade in the unnamed year of 200-. The date of 1998 (see Portal below) has been confirmed to be incorrect by Marc Laidlaw.
- The Incredibles: Syndrome's computer file on Elastigirl says that her last superhero activity (and therefore, the rough date of the Superhero Relocation Act) was in 1955.
- Judge Dredd: If there is a contradiction, dates in stories by John Wagner are assumed to take precedence, as he is the creator of the comic. See also the note on Strontium Dog for some irregularities regarding "Judgement Day"
- Kaamelott: Under the assumption that Caesar Imperator is Roman Emperor Valentinian III, this puts the prequel season at the year of his death (455 C.E.), and that the "last Roman emperor" from the start of the series is Romulus Augustulus, being noted as 10 years old in season 1 (hence 470 C.E.); correlated by a stated 15-year span with the prequel.
- Killer7: Dates not given in the games are taken from the timeline given in Hand in Killer 7.
- Lexx: In a 2001 episode, set in "the very near future", a U.S. presidential candidate is said to have hidden in Vietnam "for 32 years" — from "1969" to "earlier this year." (There being an election in '01 is presumably down to the machinations of Prince.)
- The Lord of the Rings: J. R. R. Tolkien, once stated in a letter (#211 in Letters by Tolkien) that the War of the Ring ended about 6000 years ago. This letter was written in 1958, putting the fall of Barad-dûr around 4042 BCE.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: The first episode of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's shows the date in Hayate's clock as June 3, Saturday; the closest year to the series broadcast in which this occurred was 2006, thus this is equated to 0065 of the New Mid-Childan Calendar.
- Malcolm in the Middle: The episode "Lois vs Evil" is shown to take place in the year 2000 in Francis' plot. Based on the weather and the fact that the boys are in school, it appears to be spring.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: This timeline indicates that UC 0001 is likely 2081. The rationale is explained on this page.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: The novelization says that the circus where Trowa Barton works is almost 600 years old; the circus' logo bears the text "Since 1667", placing Wing in the mid- to late 2200s.
- Monsters, Inc.: Zooming in on some paperwork on Roz's desk early on in the film shows a date of May 6th, 2000. Calendars in Monsters University have been found to match those of 1987, which is consistent with Pixar's rough figure of a ten year gap between films.
- Portal: This timeline puts GLaDOS's initiation on take-your-daughter-to-work-day in 1998. That timeline is however contradicted by the dating of Half-Life since it is stated that both games occur within days of each other, but Half-Life occurs in the 2000s. This timeline uses the Half-Life date. Portal 2 makes a few retcons to the timeline.
- Star Wars: The comic Star Wars Tales #19 has an alternate history story where Han Solo and Chewbacca crash the Millennium Falcon on Earth. The ship is found 126 years later by Indiana Jones and Short Round after Indy's 1939 visit to Atlantis (so around 1940). Because of this (and Solo and Chewie aren't affiliated with the Rebel Alliance), A New Hope is assumed to take place (somewhat arbitrarily) in 1815. Though the Star Wars Gold Timeline places A New Hope at around 1798, basing it on dialogue between Solo and Chewie.
- Strontium Dog: "The Final Solution" is stated to take place in 2180, but this is inconsistent with both previously-established chronology and the way 2000 AD works. A date of 2190 is consistent with established canon. Subsequent events in the series, as well as dates of events in "Judgement Day", are based on this dating.
- Vorkosigan Saga: An infodump in Captain Vorpatril's Alliance places the events of the series somewhat more than 700 years after an unspecified 23rd-century date. "Borders of Infinity" takes place in the year '97 (of an unspecified century); given the infodump, this is presumably 2997 and all the other series dates can be extrapolated from that.