Instant Wristwatch

A character glances at their watch for the time, usually during tense situations where a deadline is looming or to show the character's growing impatience.

Then the Fridge Logic hits you: Since when has this character ever worn a watch? In this trope, a character will suddenly have a wristwatch or some other accessory worn merely for a single use, after which the article will be immediately forgotten. In extreme cases, the watch in question is obviously seen not on the character's person before and after its use. Although it can be justified by cleverly hiding such with long sleeves and other concealing clothing.

Sometimes sarcastically defied with a character who isn't wearing a watch looking anyway and commenting, "wrist-o-clock" or something to that effect.

Subtrope of Conservation of Detail. See also Chekhov's Gun, Schrödinger's Gun.


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    Comic Strips 
  • One Calvin and Hobbes strip had Hobbes check his watch, despite usually not wearing anything at all, being a stuffed tiger.

  • Harry Potter somehow got his hands on a wristwatch after he left the Dursleys. It was ruined in the Triwizard Tournament and the Weasleys gave him a pocket watch that used to belong to Molly's brother for Harry's 17th birthday.
  • Averted in Jim Butcher's Ghost Story. Dresden glances at his wrist, despite not actually wearing a watch (Harry's Walking Tech Bane status prevents him from wearing one). Another character calls him out on this.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On an episode of the Batman TV series, it was revealed that Robin wears a wristwatch under his glove.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • Patrick does this twice in Spongebob Squarepants. In "Pretty Patties", the watch is quite clearly drawn on his wrist (he draws a new battery for it), and in "Student Starfish", he hangs a lampshade by asking, "When did I start wearing a watch?"
  • Mr. Bogus briefly wears one in the third act of the episode "Bogus Private Eye" when checking what time it is while waiting for the thief to come back.
  • Bugs Bunny will actually pull back the fur on his forearm like a sleeve to display the watch on his naked skin.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic plays with this trope: Rainbow Dash wants to make a hasty exit, so she says something along the lines of, "Oh, just look at the time!" and draws a wristwatch on her front leg with a marker.
  • The Simpsons was guilty of this a lot. The DVD commentary likes to point it out each time it happens.

    Web Original