open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- InuYasha: The Bone Eaters' Well connects the two time periods in sync, so that time flows at the same rate on both sides.
- In Shinobi Life the portal is in a lake in Kagetora's time, and connects to one above a skyscraper in the modern day. We later learn that there is another portal from the modern day to the future, which Beni's mother often used.
- In Thermae Romae there is a portal between a modern day bathhouse in Japan and a spa in Ancient Rome.
- The Time Viewer in Déjà Vu is permanently set to look at the past about 5 days earlier, and this interval cannot be changed, because they've just accidentally stumbled upon the 'future end' of the type of wormhole described under Real Life below. Oddly, no one thinks of looking through the 'past end' to see the future.
- In Frequency, apparently because of the Aurora Borealis, a ham radio set sends and receives signals between the present and thirty years ago.
- In the 1999 film The Love Letter, a modern-day American man finds letters written in the 1860s hidden in his antique desk. He fancifully responds to these letters by routing his own through a pre-Civil War post office, where they are mysteriously transported back in time to be delivered to the original writer (a previous owner of the desk), who then replies by hiding 'new' letters.
- The Smurfs:
- The Smurfs has a portal that opens within a waterfall in the Smurf forest that transports whoever enters it through time and space... in the movie's case, into modern-day New York City.
- Gargamel opens up one near the Eiffel Tower in Paris in The Smurfs 2 in order to kidnap Smurfette, but since it's too small for him to go through, he sends Vexy through the portal to get her.
- James Rolfe's film Legend of the Blue Hole speculates that the titular Blue Hole, a mysterious pond in the New Jersey pine barrens where people frequently vanish, is actually a time portal, and diving into it will cause you to resurface in the past. Jason and Samantha jump into the pond in 2003 and resurface in 1971, though Jason later draws a diagram showing that believes diving deeper into the Blue Hole would take you ever further back.
- Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children has a cave near the town in which the main story takes place.
- The book The Daughter of the Regiment had a tiny time portal through which a boy watched a girl in the past grow up.
- The Nightside books have Timeslips, leading to both the past and possible futures, depending which one you stumble into.
- Stone circles work this way in the Outlander book series— but travel is really only ever something like "safe" if you have a certain assortment of precious stones with you, and it's got a very high fatality rate. (And as the heroine muses, the separation in the various times is roughly 200 years... just like in the folktales.)
- Julian May's Saga of the Exiles has a portal to six million BC, initially only one-way.
- First, Second, and Third Earth (past, present and future) in the Pendragon series are linked by the Portal Network, and employ San Dimas Time.
- In the short story "Dandelion Girl", a person claiming to be a time traveler explains that time machines default to this mode, with their destination time advancing at the same rate as their source time unless you deliberately choose to keep resetting the destination back. Whether that person is telling the truth, however, is a rather important question...
- The Cool Gates of the Morgaine Cycle can do this as a side effect of their Portal Network function. Unfortunately, anyone who uses them to create a Time Paradox triggers a civilization destroying Time Crash, which is why Morgaine is on her quest to destroy all the gates.
- The Time Scout series by Robert Asprin is based around an ever growing network of periodically opening portals, each of which is tied to a particular spot and reaches back a fixed length of time (which varies from portal to portal).
- Michael Crichton's Timeline has a wormhole that was accidentally discovered during a teleportation experiment. The wormholes leads to the past, specifically, to France in 1357note . The events in the present and the past are synced, although it's also implied that You Already Changed the Past (i.e. no changes in the timeline are possible). When the quantum mirror is damaged by a grenade, the lead technician fears the connection may be lost for good, as they have no idea how the link works.
- The Great Door of Time in Septimus Heap.
- In Stephen King's story "The Langoliers," a "rip in time" causes all the passengers not asleep to disappear from a jet, while the plane and the sleeping passengers are sent back "a couple of minutes." The survivors must find out how to get back, and do so asleep, otherwise they too will disappear. They wind up a couple of minutes in the future but are able to sync up with normal time when it arrives.
- In 11/22/63, there is a stable portal in the back of a diner which leads to 1958. Interestingly, while time goes forward in the present, the other end always goes to the same second in 1958, effectively resetting on subsequent visits.
- Lynne Reid Banks' The Indian in the Cupboard series has the magic of time travel function this way, with Omri's dad speculating that time is spiral in shape, and you can "drop through a certain number of layers" to get to a point in the past, but if you then take The Slow Path (and live long enough) you eventually arrive back where you started. When someone is time-traveling using the magic, their present-day self is unconscious, so they have to be safely hidden and get back in time for nothing to go wrong (one side character is thought to have died as a toy-sized figure in what was, to her, the future because the people in her own time buried her seemingly dead body, and Omri's mother gets a nasty scare when she finds her husband and sons in the car looking like they somehow suffered carbon monoxide poisoning).
- The time doors in Chrono Hustle can travel to multiple different times and places, but the time syncs up between all of them, so a day passing in one time equals a day passing in another.
- Lester del Rey's Tunnel Through Time involves the creation of a "time ring" that acts as a portal to the past.
- In Mary Poppins Comes Back, after Jane accidentally cracks an antique Royal Doulton bowl, the boys in its design come to life, and invite Jane to see their home. After she enters the design, she winds up 60 years in the past. When the boys and their great-grandfather attempt to make Jane live with them forever, Mary Poppins intervenes, and rushes Jane back to her own time.
Live Action TV
- Doctor Who:
- In "The Girl in the Fireplace", the Doctor, Rose and Mickey come across a 51st century spaceship full of portals to the 18th century, including the titular fireplace. There's an element of Narnia Time as well, because the portals tended to jump ahead inconsistently.
- "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe": As part of his Christmas present for the Arwells, the Doctor hides a time portal to a 54th century forest inside a large wrapped box. It ends up getting used earlier than planned.
- The comedy Goodnight Sweetheart had the main character walking down an old cobbled street that would take him - and only him - back in time, where he fell in love with a World War II barmaid and committed time-travelling bigamy. Turns out it was due to the "harmonics" of time, and other characters could time travel but none of the main characters.
- Kamen Rider Kiva: a door within Castle Dran can send someone into the past, but many of the details are left vague. What's shown is that the door sends one back 22 years, and they remain there until they achieve the goal they sought to accomplish in the first place. In other words, time travel as the plot requires.
- Hordes of these show up in Primeval where they make up the shows premise. They're called Time Anomalies by the cast.
- Quantum Leap worked rather like this from Al's point of view - the door that took him to Sam was synced up so that if Al went away to do something for five minutes, Sam would have to wait out those five minutes before he returned.
- One episode had changes that took place instantaneously from Sam and Al's viewpoint. Specificaly, the episode had Sam and Al switch places due to a lightning strike. Mistaking this for a radiation spike, the Quantum Leap computer blocked the door to the holo-room. So Al had to send a letter to their future colleagues with a request to deliver at a specific point in time (see Back to the Future). As soon as he dropped the letter into the mailbox, the door opened.
- Interestingly, this synchronization only applied after Sam arrived, replacing someone. The leaps themselves were instantaneous from Sam's (and the audience's) point of view, but appeared to take a random amount of time in the future, often several days.
- The Red Dwarf episode "Stasis Leak" revolves around one of these. Lister wants to use it to save Kochanski; Rimmer wants to use it to save himself.
- Star Trek
- Star Trek had the Guardian of Forever in the original series episode "The City on the Edge of Forever". Kirk apparently assumed that the Guardian worked on San Dimas Time (leaving orders for the rest of the landing party to go back through the portal when Scotty decided he'd waited long enough), but it turned out not to (when he returned, Scotty said that he'd only "left a moment ago").
- An early Star Trek: Voyager episode had Harry Kim discover a wormhole that led back to the Alpha Quadrant. Only trouble was, not only did it come out in Romulan territory, but Romulan territory twenty years earlier. May be Truth in Television: see Real Life below.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Time's Child" had O'Brien's daughter Molly fall through one. They managed to pull her back, but their instruments were a bit off and they pulled her out ten years after she had gone through.
- TRAX, the time machine of Time Trax could only send its subjects approximately 200 years into the past.
- The show is inconsistent with its time travel. Some episodes claim that it's not actually time travel. They're just traveling to a parallel dimension that is 200 years behind. Thus, any changes to this timeline will not affect "their" present. Other episodes have the protagonist communicate with the future by placing ads in newspapers, something that wouldn't make sense if this was a parallel world.
- Part of the premise of Terra Nova; a "time rip" has been discovered that leads to an Alternate Universe (maybe) of the Late Cretaceous, some 85 million years in the past. The eponymous Terra Nova is an attempt to colonize the past, since the Earth That Used to Be Better of the 22nd century isn't a hospitable place to live anymore. Notably, the portal is only stable in space and time because of technology; the first person travel to the past before it was stabilized had to survive alone for 118 days before his backup appeared, even though they went through right behind him. It's also one-way for goods and people, and only two-way for communications. Everyone who travels through is committed to staying. The villains' plot is to convert the portal to two-way travel so they can exploit the past for resources and riches.
- The game Feng Shui takes place in four eras (AD 69, 1850, 1996 and 2056) as well as the timeless realm outside of time, the Netherworld. These four eras are connected by various portals, and are synchronized to each other.
- Chrono Trigger has a whole bunch of these portals going to multiple "locations" in time, and always in sync. This doesn't explain, however, why the Epoch is also on San Dimas Time.
- Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time had time portals popping up all over the place, leading to different areas in the same time period.
- The Caverns of Time in World of Warcraft are all about this. It would of course be difficult, incredibly confusing, and quite pointless to do it in any other fashion.
- The Star Ocean series has a planet specifically dedicated to a Portal to the Past: planet Styx. It's used about thirty minutes into Star Ocean First Departure, mentioned in The Second Story, and used in Till the End of Time to contact the 4th dimensional beings that observe our MMO universe. That's right! We're all game characters that got pissed and came out of the computer to tell our creators to knock it off.
- Portals to both past and future figure prominently in Dark Fall 2 Lights Out.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has precisely one of these in the game. The door to the Temple of Time sends you to the interior of the temple as it was in the past. The entry hall is even replicated nearly exactly from the version in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, including the same background music.
- The two Gates of Time in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: one in the Temple of Time (appropriately), the other in the Sealed Temple.
- Until it gets upgraded, the Harp of Ages in The Legend of Zelda: Oracles of Ages can only activate dormant time portals in fixed locations. Once upgraded though, Link no longer needs to locate a portal to travel through time but can do it anywhere except in the graveyard or near the black tower.
- The Final Fantasy XI expansion Wings of the Goddess introduced Cavernous Maws, intimidating-looking examples of this trope that connect present Vana'diel with the Crystal War era.
- In City of Heroes, the Midnight Squad uses one to access the ancient Roman town of Cimerora.
- Appears in Ōkami, causing the protagonist to have to reenact a famous battle — in which the protagonist died.
- Portal 2:
- There are a few user-made maps that use Hammer's world portal function like this. Most of them are just proof of concept levels, though.
- This fan puzzle features one. Apparently the portal gun can transport you across time as well as space.
- The door to the Timeless River within Disney Castle functions as this in Kingdom Hearts II.
- One of the main mechanics of Onimusha 3: Demon Siege is Time Dungeons. Locations where the 2 main characters explore simultaneously with 1 in the modern day and the other in the Feudal Japan era. The game's Exposition Fairy is able to use mirrors contained in those dungeons to traverse the 2 time zones, bringing essential information and tools with her. Though it does not seem that time continues to flow in her absence, at least while in those dungeons. Outside of those dungeons however time does indeed flow allowing the character she is not with to move through the world and arrive at the same location.
- A feature in one of the boss fights in the Dread Palace operation in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Players must enter both portals to the past and future to ensure that the boss is defeated in the present.
- In Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time, this is how Time Travel is achieved for gameplay levels, allowing one to take or change things in the past to influence the present. This works different from the time travel used with the lever in the Orvus Chamber, which is more like rewinding a VCR. According to Word of God, the portals can only be created in existing temporal anomalies, explaining why the characters can't just make a Portal anywhere for their own ends.
- The protagonist of Time Hollow has the ability to open these using his "Hollow Pen". He's not the only one, and any changes made by one Pen user cause "flashbacks" in others, giving them new places and times to open holes. Indeed, the Big Bad changing things shortly after Ethan gets his Pen is what starts the whole plot. And it turns out that anyone who steps through them will be removed from the flow of time, stopping them from aging from then on.
- Conversed in Tales from the Pit, causing another lost day of R&D productivity as the Pit enters a heated discussion about the best way to make money if you had a Time Machine that can only go back exactly 24 hours.
- This appears to happen briefly within the first couple strips of Girl Genius. The story hasn't caught up the wherever the future end was, though, so we can't be sure.
- The Superfriends episode "The Time Trap" uses this trope.
- Jackie Chan Adventures had this happened three times all involving the character of Jade. In each instant one could only travel in one direction through time, meaning they had to provide their own "return ticket."
- Kim Possible:
- A veritable part of the landscape in Samurai Jack: almost every episode features a new time portal that's invariably destroyed in the end to spite our poor samurai hero.
- Physicist Kip Thorne discovered, using general relativity, a possible way to use wormholes to create links between time periods. The time-synching phenomenon is explained by the fact that after the wormhole/time portal is set up, both sides will be essentially at rest with one another, meaning that time must flow at the same rate on both sides.
- In 1911, academics Charlotte Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain published an account of how, in 1901 during a trip to the Palace to Versaille, they found a road which lead into the 1700s, where they saw historical figures including Marie Antoinette. Although most believe that the "Ghosts of Versailles" incident either sprung from the women misidentifying other guests in period dress or was a hoax plain and simple, the story remains a classic staple of real-life time travel urban legends.