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Playing With: Anachronism Stew
Basic Trope: A work set in a certain historical time period has elements of other time periods thrown in.
  • Straight: People using telephones in 1860 AD.
  • Exaggerated:
    • People listening to iPods in 1860 BC.
    • In dinosaur ages, humans are seen flying with planes and browsing the internet with laptops. Bonus points if there's also technology that's not even possible yet.
  • Downplayed:
    • A society believes in a heliocentric universe even though it's still in the Ancient Roman times.
    • People listening to iPods and playing Xbox 360 in the year 1998.
  • Justified:
    • One of the characters is a time traveller who brings anachronistic elements with them into other time periods.
    • Or it's an Alternate Universe where technology advanced faster.
    • Or one of the characters is ahead of his or her time in inventing various devices the modern audience would recognize, but their contemporaries keep telling them that It Will Never Catch On.
    • Time is breaking down. See "Deconstructed" for more information.
    • The story is set in an Old Order Amish community. Things just appear backwards.
  • Inverted: People listening to 8-track tapes in 2038.
  • Subverted: Bob realizes it's really a bunch of historical recreationists who make a Plethora of Mistakes.
  • Double Subverted: Bob asks them about it, and they say it's intentional because it seems cooler that way.
  • Parodied: Purely Aesthetic Era
  • Zig Zagged: The setting can't make up its mind when it's set, so you're never quite sure if it's an anachronism or not.
  • Averted: All technology used is accurate to the specific time period.
  • Enforced:
    • "I just don't care if Julius Caesar wasn't really in a steamy love affair with Mary, Queen of Scots! We've got to sell tickets!"
    • Accurate sources and surviving examples of materials from the age that the story is set in may be incomplete, inaccurate, in short supply or too delicate to be used, meaning that even if the producers do care they still have to do the best with what they have, even if it means extrapolating based on the evidence or using anachronistic.
    • The author wanted to create his own fictional universe and didn't care about realism. He just wanted the story to run on Rule of Cool, so he mixed and matched whatever he wanted.
  • Lampshaded: "You know the telephone wasn't meant to be invented for another sixteen years, right?"
  • Invoked: Time travellers leave a few pieces of modern technology lying around specifically to see what happens when you mix a few items of modern technology into an older setting.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Bob goes to see a historical recreation, and quite accurately praises it on its realism.
  • Discussed: "Aw, we've time-traveled back a hundred years again. Unfortunately, this means we don't have televisions, unlike what movies might make you think."
  • Conversed: "Was the motorcycle even invented in 1810?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • The more advanced technologies have been dropped into this time by a malfunctioning time machine from thousands of years in the future where mankind is extinct and there is no one to turn it off. Each piece of future technology that is dropped and used in the older time risks destabilizing the time stream and causing the destruction of the universe.
    • Any coolness in the setting self-destructs. The Victorian Gentleman promptly kills himself upon seeing a T-rex. The T-rex promptly swallows a jetpack and explodes.
  • Reconstructed: Modern-era technology, while anachronistic, conveys to the viewer the social or emotional impact of the setting and its own technical advances.

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