Time Passage Beard
Nine months later...
A long amount of time passes. A character is shown in the next scene with a beard. Often used in animated media as Rule of Funny
and sometimes involves the beard disappearing in the next scene
, growing on children, or even being ripped off. Nearly Always Male
, except in the very few occasions where it is used with women (usually limited to hair length or Girls With Mustaches
parody). A form of Show, Don't Tell
Is a subtrope of Expository Hairstyle Change
. Compare Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
, and Beardness Protection Program
. May be related to Beard of Sorrow
Not to be confused with Growing the Beard
- Done in an old Chuck E. Cheese commercial. The voiceover says, "Boring restaurants make you wait...and wait...and wait," while time lapses are shown with a kid sitting at a table waiting, ending with cobwebs and a ridiculously long beard. This is contrasted with the kid excitedly playing games at Chuck E Cheese.
- Fist of the North Star: Not only does Kenshiro grow a beard in the animated movie in between his assault by Shin and encountering Bat and Lin (And then shaves it using some thug's knife), but he also develops a beard at the start of the second series, shaving it once he finally begins to fight again.
- In Dragon Ball Super, Goku and Vegeta grow beards after training in isolation for a while. While Vegeta ends up looking like his father, seeing Goku with facial hair is just weird.
- In The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw Learoyd shaves near the beginning of the story and his stubble visibly grows as the days pass.
- Done in Thorgal: after he escapes from caves where time flow was slowed, he wakes up with a long beard the next day. Not at all played for comedy, as the girl he was with had spent most of her life there and got aged into a shrivelled husk overnight.
- In a Richie Rich comic book story, Richie has a Rip Van Winkle dream where he wakes up years in the future wearing a beard.
- Superman in the Time And Time Again story arc in 1991 gets a Time Passage Beard as he is stuck in the prehistoric past with no way of getting home except to expose himself to explosions and powerful energy discharges. The beard is magically removed by Merlin when he removes the spell that Morgan le Fay puts upon him to be her black knight attacking Camelot.
- Subverted in one issue of The Simpsons, where it looks like this had happened to Homer. He's actually just looking at a photo taken from the time he tried to join Z.Z. Top..
- Charlton Heston was the king of this trope. He grows a beard in the wilderness in The Ten Commandments, while a slave in Ben Hur, over the course of The War Lord, during a period of convalescence in Major Dundee and while in hypersleep in Planet of the Apes (1968).
- Happened to Ash in the deleted alternate ending of Army of Darkness, when he "slept too long" and overshot the 20th century.
- Die Another Day: When James Bond is finally freed by the North Koreans more than a year after his capture, he's grown a beard (as well as a mustache and long, shaggy hair).
- Inverted in Iron Man 3. In the opening scene set in 1999, Happy is shown with a beard and longer hair, but has shaved it off in the present.
- In the Apocalypse film series movie Tribulation, Tom Canboro wakes up with a beard a few years into the Tribulation after being in a coma from a car accident.
- Parodied in Superhero Movie, where after breaking up with his girlfriend Rick is next shown with a Beard of Sorrow indicating that a lot of time has passed. Then it turns out the beard is fake.
- Tom Hanks' character in Cast Away after living for four years on an island. Also Hanks' previous role Forrest Gump when his beard grew during his three years of running cross-country.
- Matt Damon's character in The Martian grows a scraggly beard after a seven-month timeskip. He shaves it off before taking off though.
- In The Mask of Zorro Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins), the original Zorro, is imprisoned for twenty years, emerging with long hair and a grey beard, which he keeps and trims for a period, before shaping into a moustache and goatee and finally shaving off entirely as part of a disguise.
- In the third act of The Bounty Lt. Bligh and several of those hands loyal to him are set adrift during the mutiny. They grow beards which correspond to their 47-day journey to safety.
- In The Edge, Anthony Hopkins once again grows a beard while stranded in the wilderness, along with his love rival, played by Alec Baldwin.
- Christian Bale has also perfected the beard grown during captivity, having employed it in three of his films: Batman Begins, Rescue Dawn and The Dark Knight Rises.
- Clint Eastwood has had a couple of very realistically-paced Time Passage Beards in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and The Outlaw Josey Wales.
- In The Kingdom of Gods, Sieh keeps magically aging whenever he uses too much of his power or does anything particularly unchildlike, such as remembering he's a father. Each time this happens, he ends up with a massive beard and head of hair.
- Arthur Dent grows one of these when he is trapped on Earth 2 million years ago in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books.
- In one scene in the "Blood Gulch Chronicles" of Red vs. Blue, Church spends a thousand years standing in a hallway waiting for a computer to fabricate a teleporter (...maybe). By the end of it, Church has a massive beard drawn on his sprite. Played for laughs, given he's in a robotic body at this point.
- One FoxTrot strip evokes this trope, showing Paige on the phone, Jason walking by wearing an obviously fake beard, bald wig and cane. Paige's response is "I haven't been on the phone THAT long!"
- Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword has a short scene in the epilogue where Eliwood and Hector meet up several years after the events of the main plot, with Hector having grown one of these. By The Sword of Seals, which takes place over a decade later, it's grown even longer.
- Don't Starve has this as a game mechanic with the character Wilson. While he isn't the only character with a beard, he's the only one capable of growing it over time and shaving it to obtain beard hair to use for dark magic.
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt advertised its dynamic beard growth mechanics. Which is to say, Geralt's beard actually grows over time until it hits a max length (although you can shave it, at which point it starts growing from the beginning again).
- During the extended story mode of Fable I the Hero grows a long beard during their ship ride to the Northern waste. Riding a ghost ship like he did its understandable that he wasn't able to shave or maintain whatever facial style he had before.
- Church in Red vs. Blue is shown with a floor-length beard after being sent back in time over a thousand years and taking The Slow Path back . Robot body notwithstanding.
- Developer commentary revealed that at they wanted the computer invovled in the scene to have one too, for Rule of Funny. They ultimately decided against it, citing it as too ridiculous for the storyline at hand.
- Happens to Superman in the Justice League episode "Hereafter".
- South Park: When Cartman (and later Kyle) awakes from a coma, he's got a big beard. But it's just a facewarmer, he's only been out for a day or so.
- Parodied in an episode of Tiny Toons where Babs is looking for a personal hero in old cartoons. As she sits in the Acme Looniversity archive the camera pans around and when it comes back to her she has a long gray beard and a cane. She tosses the cane aside, then rips the beard off and is about to storm off in frustration but decides to watch one more film.
- Averted in The Smurfs episode "Smurf Van Winkle" (and its comic book counterpart "The Strange Awakening Of Lazy Smurf"), where the only characters seen with any Time Passage Beards are the Smurfs that claim that Lazy has slept for a few hundred years. Of course, the whole thing was a Faked Rip Van Winkle, since the Smurfs were wearing fake beards.
- In The Super Hero Squad Show episode "The Saga of Beta Ray Bill", this happens to Thor when he winds up in the abandoned space station. He sits in a corner waiting for someone to show up, and eventually he's sporting a long, full beard, and treating Mjolnir as a Companion Cube.
- Parodied in The Simpsons episode "Bart vs. Lisa vs. the Third Grade", when Homer and Bart spend day after day sitting on the couch watching TV. Bart grows a stubble of his own.
- Many other episodes when Homer spends a lot of time waiting or doing nothing have his stubble growing into a beard (visually indicated by it getting a bit fuzzy).