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* In ''Manga/HunterXHunter'', Gon demands Neferpitou come with him to heal Kite, but she's busy healing Komugi on Meruem's orders. Gon asks how much time she'll need. Neferpitou, realizing this trope will be in effect, intentionally asks for four times more time than she needs, just so Gon can reject it. After he does, Neferpitou then asks for the amount of time she actually needs, and Gon grants that.

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* in one episode of ''Series/TheLoveBoat'', Gopher takes a broken face-plaque to someone to fix while the ship is in port. The guy says he can do it for $100, but it will take six weeks to a year; Gopher ups the pay to $200 and it can be done by six o'clock.


* In ''Film/{{Alien}}'', Parker and Brett can be seen inflating their repair estimate after the ''Nostromo'' damages itself trying to land on LV426. This trope is less about appearing a miracle worker, than ThoseTwoGuys being reluctant to put some elbow grease in when they're not being paid extra to do so.
-->'''Ripley:''' ''(on comm)'' How long before we're functional?

to:

* In ''Film/{{Alien}}'', Parker and Brett can be seen inflating their repair estimate after the ''Nostromo'' damages itself trying to land on LV426.[=LV426=]. This trope is less about appearing a miracle worker, than ThoseTwoGuys being reluctant to put some elbow grease in when they're not being paid extra to do so.
-->'''Ripley:''' ''(on ''(voice from comm)'' How long before we're functional?



-->'''Parker:''' ''(on comm)'' [[BlatantLies At least 25 hours.]]

to:

-->'''Parker:''' ''(on ''(into comm)'' [[BlatantLies At least 25 hours.]]

Added DiffLines:

* In ''Film/{{Alien}}'', Parker and Brett can be seen inflating their repair estimate after the ''Nostromo'' damages itself trying to land on LV426. This trope is less about appearing a miracle worker, than ThoseTwoGuys being reluctant to put some elbow grease in when they're not being paid extra to do so.
-->'''Ripley:''' ''(on comm)'' How long before we're functional?
-->'''Brett:''' 17 hours, tell her.
-->'''Parker:''' ''(on comm)'' [[BlatantLies At least 25 hours.]]


** Scotty explains to Geordi he should always inflate numbers to appear like a genius in ''Relics.'' {{Deconstructed}} as we find out Scotty's inflation of numbers actually caused Starfleet to use their engines at a only portion of their full power ''because they assumed he was right.'' Scotty is rightly appalled by this.

to:

** Scotty explains to Geordi he should always inflate numbers to appear like a genius in ''Relics.'' {{Deconstructed}} as we find out Scotty's inflation of numbers actually caused Starfleet to use set the safety limits on their engines at a only portion of their full power much lower level than what they can really handle ''because they assumed he was right.'' Scotty is rightly appalled amused by this.this and uses it to his advantage to push an old clunker of a ship beyond its safety limits.

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[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The heist in Nikolai's first season of ''VisualNovel/QueenOfThieves'' hinges upon the heroine being able to successfully forge a painting - a newly-discovered Van Gogh which is about to be unveiled at the Louvre - with only fifteen minutes in the presence of the original to do most of the work. The trope comes into play during the actual heist, when [[TheCracker Zoe]] informs the heroine that the security setup has changed - instead of the expected fifteen minutes, she now has ''ten''. With some encouragement from Nikolai, she manages to pull it off.
[[/folder]]


** When the protagonists first seize the Liberator, Jenna says she might eventually work out how to make this unfamiliar alien vessel start and stop. As their guards are getting impatient to know what's happened to them, Blake says they have two minutes, and goes to seal the airlock. They get 'start' right JustInTime to save Blake's life from a guard who's about to shoot him.

to:

** When the protagonists MainCharacters first seize the Liberator, Jenna says she might eventually work out how to make this unfamiliar alien vessel start and stop. As their guards are getting impatient to know what's happened to them, Blake says they have two minutes, and goes to seal the airlock. They get 'start' right JustInTime to save Blake's life from a guard who's about to shoot him.


'''Scotty:''' Aw, you didn't tell him how long it would '''really''' take, did ya?\\

to:

'''Scotty:''' Aw, Och, you didn't tell him how long it would '''really''' take, did ya?\\ye?\\


** In the 2009 ''Film/StarTrek'' film, when a black hole threatens to swallow the ''Enterprise'', Scotty [[AvertedTrope doesn't give Kirk any lip]].

to:

** In the 2009 ''Film/StarTrek'' film, ''Film/StarTrek2009'', when a black hole threatens to swallow the ''Enterprise'', Scotty [[AvertedTrope doesn't give Kirk any lip]].


* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'': The first-ever invocation of Scotty Time is the episode "The Naked Time". He does it in less, of course -- though in this case, he has to resort to a completely new (and untested) method of cold-starting a warp engine; one that only existed ''in theory'' until that point, and he needs Spock's help. [[GodzillaThreshold Given that the alternative is crashing into the planet below (in eight minutes), the untested procedure is pretty much the only option.]]
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
** Becomes a DiscussedTrope in the episode "Relics" when Scotty tells Geordi that he ''always'' overstated how much time it would take to fix something because the captain would ''always'' give him less time than he said he would need.
--->'''Scotty:''' And how long would it ''really'' take?\\
'''Geordi:''' An hour!\\
'''Scotty:''' Aw, you didn't tell him how long it would '''really''' take, did ya?\\
'''Geordi:''' Well of ''course'' I did!\\
'''Scotty:''' Oh, laddie, you've got a lot to learn if you want people to think of you as a miracle worker!
** In "The Naked Now," Sarah [= MacDougal=], the ship's first chief engineer, says it will take weeks to convert the tractor beam into a repulsor, only to be upstaged by Wesley Crusher, who does it in a few minutes.
** Averted in "The Ensigns of Command". Picard orders Geordi, Wesley and O'Brien to come up with a way to get the transporters to break through a heavy radiation field to evacuate an entire colony before the Sheliak arrive to blow them up (it's the alien's world and the colonists aren't supposed to be down there; no one knew for over a hundred years because of said radiation). At the end of the episode, Geordi finally admits it would take fifteen years and a complete redesign of the transporter system to do so, but by that time Picard decided to TakeAThirdOption and get the Sheliak to wait for a transport ship to arrive.
** In one episode, Geordi became his own PhraseCatcher when he comes into a room and Picard asks him for a time frame. He tells him it will take 3 hours, and then ''immediately'', as Picard is starting to talk, follows up with "I know, I'll get it done in 2, but..." and then lays out some other problems they have that have to be dealt with.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''
** Averted in an early episode when Voyager's new Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres tells Captain Janeway that she won't be ready before tomorrow. Janeway says she wants the task done by the end of the day and starts to walk off, this being how the conversation would end in any other Trek series. B'Elanna however stops her. "No, Captain. When I say tomorrow, I mean tomorrow. I don't exaggerate. Tomorrow is the best I can do." The next day B'Elanna's away team beams over to the other vessel and when Janeway calls to tell them to hurry up, she's surprised to find they've already completed the job quickly and efficiently.
** In a later episode, there's the following conversation. A straight example, but far more reasonable than most:
--->'''Janeway:''' How much time do you need?\\
'''Kim:''' How does 72 hours sound?\\
'''Janeway:''' Like 24 too many.
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' episode "A Mirror, Darkly". Trip, who's just been tortured, is ordered to get the engine of a starship a hundred years more advanced than anything he's ever seen before working, half of which is disassembled and sitting in the hangar. When he says he can fix it in two or three days, Archer demands he does it in twelve hours. This has less to do with Tucker's competence than it does with Mirror Archer being an asshole.
-->'''Trip:''' Sir, I don't even know what some of these systems are supposed to do. It's like I'm an engineer on a steamship, coming across the first interplanetary transport.
-->'''Archer:''' If we don't have warp capability in 12 hours, [[ImpliedDeathThreat I'm going to find a new Chief Engineer]].
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
** "The Die Is Cast" plays with this trope a bit. After the ''Defiant'''s cloaking device is sabotaged, O'Brien says it will take ten hours to fix and Sisko gives him two. While O'Brien does end up fixing it in well under ten hours, it's also explicitly stated at one point that he's been at it for three hours, well over the time limit given to him by Sisko.
** The episode "Shattered Mirror" has a fairly standard version of this, except that the normal roles are reversed: [[TheCaptain Sisko]] is the one who says he can have the ''Defiant'' overhauled in two weeks, and Mirror [[GadgeteerGenius O'Brien]] is the one who tells him he only has four days.
** The subplot in "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" starts and ends with this, seeing a harried O'Brien trying to acquire a graviton stabilizer for Sisko -- O'Brien says it would take a month to acquire, Sisko gives him three days. In enlisting Nog's help, he accidentally barters away the Captain's desk in a ludicrously-long ChainOfDeals. O'Brien's ready to face the music when, suddenly, the desk reappears along with Nog, who [[SureLetsGoWithThat has allegedly been polishing it]]. The stabilizer is on hand, too, and a relieved O'Brien promises to install it in six hours; Sisko tells him to make it two.



* Gibbs of ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' does this to his team often.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** Sam often has to [=MacGyver=] some technology or Daniel has to translate some lost language in far less time than they need but this is not always the case.
** Deconstructed with this exchange:
--->'''Hammond:''' Just tell me the minute we can send a probe through.\\
'''Siler:''' That'll be 24 hours, General, minimum.\\
'''Hammond:''' I'll give you half that.\\
'''Siler:''' No sir, it doesn't work that way. 24 hours is the best I can do.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'':
** This is standard procedure for Rodney [=McKay=]. He's usually exaggerating the time required intentionally, either so he looks like a genius when he gets done quicker or so he can claim he didn't have enough time if he fails. By a certain point in the series, everyone knows he does this and expects him to finish his work quicker, only for him to reveal that this time, he was giving the accurate estimate. Further supported in the episode "Condemned", where the leader of the inmates immediately realizes that [=McKay=] does this. He is not amused.
** Parodied often when Sheppard would ask [=McKay=] for an estimate on something impossible to judge, like how long it would be until a reactor exploded, only to then question whatever figure [=McKay=] would give him, leading an infuriated [=McKay=] to point out the number was ''meaningless'' to begin with!
** And when [=McKay=] is feeling particularly like an InsufferableGenius, you get something like this:
--->'''Rodney:''' I'm Dr. Rodney [=McKay=], alright? Difficult takes a few seconds; impossible, a few minutes.
* ''Series/ThePretender'': In the episode "Every Picture Tells a Story", Miss Parker corners Broots the tech guy right after he enters the Centre. She asks him how long it'll take him to do something. He says 24 hours, she gives him 12, and after she leaves, he says to himself that he coulda done it in ''8''.
* In ''Series/{{Leverage}}'':
-->'''Nathan:''' Sophie, [[ItMakesSenseInContext how long would it take you to stage a musical]]?
-->'''Sophie:''' Six weeks.
-->'''Nathan:''' You have two days.
* ''Series/TheWestWing'': In the season 4 episode "Election Night", Christian Slater's character is asked how long it will take to prepare a report. He answers "3 hours." The Secretary of Defense, several generals, and the White House chief of staff laugh at him, and then the latter says, "you have twenty minutes."

to:

* Gibbs of ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' does this ''Series/BlakesSeven''.
** Subverted in the episode "Stardrive". With a Federation patrol closing in on them, the Stardrive's inventor says she needs 50 minutes
to his team often.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** Sam often
connect it up. She's told she has 45 minutes, but eventually it comes down to [=MacGyver=] some technology or Daniel has to translate some lost language in far less time than a few seconds they need don't have, [[ColdEquation so Avon ends up sacrificing her to save the ship]] by setting the controls to launch when she makes the final connection.
** Played straight in "Time Squad" when Avon says he needs five minutes to do something, then adds, "Yes I know, make it two."
** A [[GoodIsNotNice chilling example]] in "Breakdown". A neurosurgeon is operating on a member of the crew,
but this is not always Blake realizes he's stalling until a Federation pursuit force arrives.
--->'''Blake:''' How soon can you complete [the operation]? \\
'''Kayn:''' Thirty-five minutes. \\
'''Blake:''' Do it in twenty. \\
'''Kayn:''' ''(unimpressed)'' Or you'll kill me. \\
'''Blake:''' Oh, no, no, no. In twenty-five minutes I'm returning you to your [space] station. If you haven't completed your work-- \\
'''Kayn:''' Your threats don't bother me in
the case.
** Deconstructed with this exchange:
--->'''Hammond:''' Just tell me the minute we can send a probe through.
least, you know.\\
'''Siler:''' That'll be 24 hours, General, minimum.\\
'''Hammond:''' I'll give you half that.\\
'''Siler:''' No sir, it doesn't
'''Blake:''' ''(calmly)'' --I shall [[FateWorseThanDeath destroy your hands]]. Twenty minutes.
** When the protagonists first seize the Liberator, Jenna says she might eventually
work that way. 24 hours is the best I can do.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'':
** This is standard procedure for Rodney [=McKay=]. He's usually exaggerating the time required intentionally, either so he looks like a genius when he gets done quicker or so he can claim he didn't have enough time if he fails. By a certain point in the series, everyone knows he does
out how to make this unfamiliar alien vessel start and expects him stop. As their guards are getting impatient to finish his work quicker, only for him know what's happened to reveal that this time, he was giving the accurate estimate. Further supported in the episode "Condemned", where the leader of the inmates immediately realizes that [=McKay=] does this. He is not amused.
** Parodied often when Sheppard would ask [=McKay=] for an estimate on something impossible to judge, like how long it would be until a reactor exploded, only to then question whatever figure [=McKay=] would give him, leading an infuriated [=McKay=] to point out the number was ''meaningless'' to begin with!
** And when [=McKay=] is feeling particularly like an InsufferableGenius, you get something like this:
--->'''Rodney:''' I'm Dr. Rodney [=McKay=], alright? Difficult takes a few seconds; impossible, a few minutes.
* ''Series/ThePretender'': In the episode "Every Picture Tells a Story", Miss Parker corners Broots the tech guy right after he enters the Centre. She asks him how long it'll take him to do something. He
them, Blake says 24 hours, she gives him 12, and after she leaves, he says to himself that he coulda done it in ''8''.
* In ''Series/{{Leverage}}'':
-->'''Nathan:''' Sophie, [[ItMakesSenseInContext how long would it take you to stage a musical]]?
-->'''Sophie:''' Six weeks.
-->'''Nathan:''' You
they have two days.
* ''Series/TheWestWing'': In
minutes, and goes to seal the season 4 episode "Election Night", Christian Slater's character is asked how long it will take airlock. They get 'start' right JustInTime to prepare save Blake's life from a report. He answers "3 hours." The Secretary of Defense, several generals, and the White House chief of staff laugh at him, and then the latter says, "you have twenty minutes."guard who's about to shoot him.



--->'''Doctor:''' Trouble is, wave this size, building this big, brain as clever as mine, should take about, ohhh, three days? How long 'til the fleet arrives?\\

to:

--->'''Doctor:''' --->'''The Doctor:''' Trouble is, wave this size, building this big, brain as clever as mine, should take about, ohhh, three days? How long 'til the fleet arrives?\\



** In another episode:
--->'''Doctor:''' The security protocols are still online and there's no way to override them. It's impossible.\\

to:

** In another episode:
--->'''Doctor:'''
[[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E5FleshAndStone "Flesh and Stone"]]:
--->'''The Doctor:'''
The security protocols are still online and there's no way to override them. It's impossible.\\



* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' had one during TheGreatRepair of the Ajira plane in the GrandFinale:
--> '''Miles:''' Hey, how much longer 'til we get this thing in the air?
-->'''Frank:''' I still have to check the electrical and the hydraulics. Five hours, maybe six.
-->'''Richard:''' You've got ''maybe'' one.



* ''Series/BlakesSeven''.
** Subverted in the episode "Stardrive". With a Federation patrol closing in on them, the Stardrive's inventor says she needs 50 minutes to connect it up. She's told she has 45 minutes, but eventually it comes down to a few seconds they don't have, [[ColdEquation so Avon ends up sacrificing her to save the ship]] by setting the controls to launch when she makes the final connection.
** Played straight in "Time Squad" when Avon says he needs five minutes to do something, then adds, "Yes I know, make it two."
** A [[GoodIsNotNice chilling example]] in "Breakdown". A neurosurgeon is operating on a member of the crew, but Blake realizes he's stalling until a Federation pursuit force arrives.
-->'''Blake:''' How soon can you complete [the operation]?
-->'''Kayn:''' Thirty-five minutes.
-->'''Blake:''' Do it in twenty.
-->'''Kayn:''' ''(unimpressed)'' Or you'll kill me.
-->'''Blake:''' Oh, no, no, no. In twenty-five minutes I'm returning you to your [space] station. If you haven't completed your work--
-->'''Kayn:''' Your threats don't bother me in the least, you know.
-->'''Blake:''' ''(calmly)'' --I shall [[FateWorseThanDeath destroy your hands]]. Twenty minutes.
** When the protagonists first seize the Liberator, Jenna says she might eventually work out how to make this unfamiliar alien vessel start and stop. As their guards are getting impatient to know what's happened to them, Blake says they have two minutes, and goes to seal the airlock. They get 'start' right JustInTime to save Blake's life from a guard who's about to shoot him.

to:

* ''Series/BlakesSeven''.
In ''Series/{{Leverage}}'':
-->'''Nathan:''' Sophie, [[ItMakesSenseInContext how long would it take you to stage a musical]]?\\
'''Sophie:''' Six weeks.\\
'''Nathan:''' You have two days.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' had one during TheGreatRepair of the Ajira plane in the GrandFinale:
-->'''Miles:''' Hey, how much longer 'til we get this thing in the air?\\
'''Frank:''' I still have to check the electrical and the hydraulics. Five hours, maybe six.\\
'''Richard:''' You've got ''maybe'' one.
* Gibbs of ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' does this to his team often.
* ''Series/ThePretender'': In the episode "Every Picture Tells a Story", Miss Parker corners Broots the tech guy right after he enters the Centre. She asks him how long it'll take him to do something. He says 24 hours, she gives him 12, and after she leaves, he says to himself that he coulda done it in ''8''.
* ''Franchise/{{Stargate|Verse}}'':
** Subverted ''Series/StargateSG1'':
*** Sam often has to [=MacGyver=] some technology or Daniel has to translate some lost language in far less time than they need but this is not always the case.
*** Deconstructed with this exchange:
---->'''Hammond:''' Just tell me the minute we can send a probe through.\\
'''Siler:''' That'll be 24 hours, General, minimum.\\
'''Hammond:''' I'll give you half that.\\
'''Siler:''' No sir, it doesn't work that way. 24 hours is the best I can do.
** ''Series/StargateAtlantis'':
*** This is standard procedure for Rodney [=McKay=]. He's usually exaggerating the time required intentionally, either so he looks like a genius when he gets done quicker or so he can claim he didn't have enough time if he fails. By a certain point in the series, everyone knows he does this and expects him to finish his work quicker, only for him to reveal that this time, he was giving the accurate estimate. Further supported
in the episode "Stardrive". With a Federation patrol closing in on them, "Condemned", where the Stardrive's inventor leader of the inmates immediately realizes that [=McKay=] does this. He is not amused.
*** Parodied often when Sheppard would ask [=McKay=] for an estimate on something impossible to judge, like how long it would be until a reactor exploded, only to then question whatever figure [=McKay=] would give him, leading an infuriated [=McKay=] to point out the number was ''meaningless'' to begin with!
*** And when [=McKay=] is feeling particularly like an InsufferableGenius, you get something like this:
---->'''Rodney:''' I'm Dr. Rodney [=McKay=], alright? Difficult takes a few seconds; impossible, a few minutes.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'': The first-ever invocation of Scotty Time is the episode "The Naked Time". He does it in less, of course -- though in this case, he has to resort to a completely new (and untested) method of cold-starting a warp engine; one that only existed ''in theory'' until that point, and he needs Spock's help. [[GodzillaThreshold Given that the alternative is crashing into the planet below (in eight minutes), the untested procedure is pretty much the only option.]]
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
** Becomes a DiscussedTrope in the episode "Relics" when Scotty tells Geordi that he ''always'' overstated how much time it would take to fix something because the captain would ''always'' give him less time than he said he would need.
--->'''Scotty:''' And how long would it ''really'' take?\\
'''Geordi:''' An hour!\\
'''Scotty:''' Aw, you didn't tell him how long it would '''really''' take, did ya?\\
'''Geordi:''' Well of ''course'' I did!\\
'''Scotty:''' Oh, laddie, you've got a lot to learn if you want people to think of you as a miracle worker!
** In "The Naked Now", Sarah [= MacDougal=], the ship's first chief engineer, says it will take weeks to convert the tractor beam into a repulsor, only to be upstaged by Wesley Crusher, who does it in a few minutes.
** Averted in "The Ensigns of Command". Picard orders Geordi, Wesley and O'Brien to come up with a way to get the transporters to break through a heavy radiation field to evacuate an entire colony before the Sheliak arrive to blow them up (it's the alien's world and the colonists aren't supposed to be down there; no one knew for over a hundred years because of said radiation). At the end of the episode, Geordi finally admits it would take fifteen years and a complete redesign of the transporter system to do so, but by that time Picard decided to TakeAThirdOption and get the Sheliak to wait for a transport ship to arrive.
** In one episode, Geordi became his own PhraseCatcher when he comes into a room and Picard asks him for a time frame. He tells him it will take 3 hours, and then ''immediately'', as Picard is starting to talk, follows up with "I know, I'll get it done in 2, but..." and then lays out some other problems they have that have to be dealt with.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''
** Averted in an early episode when Voyager's new Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres tells Captain Janeway that she won't be ready before tomorrow. Janeway
says she needs 50 minutes wants the task done by the end of the day and starts to connect it up. She's told she has 45 minutes, but eventually it comes down to a few seconds they walk off, this being how the conversation would end in any other Trek series. B'Elanna however stops her. "No, Captain. When I say tomorrow, I mean tomorrow. I don't have, [[ColdEquation so Avon ends up sacrificing her to save exaggerate. Tomorrow is the ship]] by setting best I can do." The next day B'Elanna's away team beams over to the controls to launch other vessel and when she makes Janeway calls to tell them to hurry up, she's surprised to find they've already completed the final connection.
job quickly and efficiently.
** Played In a later episode, there's the following conversation. A straight in "Time Squad" when Avon says he needs five minutes example, but far more reasonable than most:
--->'''Janeway:''' How much time do you need?\\
'''Kim:''' How does 72 hours sound?\\
'''Janeway:''' Like 24 too many.
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' episode "A Mirror, Darkly". Trip, who's just been tortured, is ordered
to do something, then adds, "Yes I know, make it two."
** A [[GoodIsNotNice chilling example]] in "Breakdown". A neurosurgeon is operating on a member of
get the crew, but Blake realizes engine of a starship a hundred years more advanced than anything he's stalling until a Federation pursuit force arrives.
-->'''Blake:''' How soon
ever seen before working, half of which is disassembled and sitting in the hangar. When he says he can you complete [the operation]?
-->'''Kayn:''' Thirty-five minutes.
-->'''Blake:''' Do
fix it in twenty.
-->'''Kayn:''' ''(unimpressed)'' Or you'll kill me.
-->'''Blake:''' Oh, no, no, no. In twenty-five minutes I'm returning you
two or three days, Archer demands he does it in twelve hours. This has less to your [space] station. If you haven't completed your work--
-->'''Kayn:''' Your threats
do with Tucker's competence than it does with Mirror Archer being an asshole.
-->'''Trip:''' Sir, I
don't bother me in even know what some of these systems are supposed to do. It's like I'm an engineer on a steamship, coming across the least, you know.
-->'''Blake:''' ''(calmly)'' --I shall [[FateWorseThanDeath destroy your hands]]. Twenty minutes.
** When the protagonists
first seize interplanetary transport.
-->'''Archer:''' If we don't have warp capability in 12 hours, [[ImpliedDeathThreat I'm going to find a new Chief Engineer]].
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
** "The Die Is Cast" plays with this trope a bit. After
the Liberator, Jenna ''Defiant'''s cloaking device is sabotaged, O'Brien says she might eventually work out how it will take ten hours to fix and Sisko gives him two. While O'Brien does end up fixing it in well under ten hours, it's also explicitly stated at one point that he's been at it for three hours, well over the time limit given to him by Sisko.
** The episode "Shattered Mirror" has a fairly standard version of this, except that the normal roles are reversed: [[TheCaptain Sisko]] is the one who says he can have the ''Defiant'' overhauled in two weeks, and Mirror [[GadgeteerGenius O'Brien]] is the one who tells him he only has four days.
** The subplot in "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" starts and ends with this, seeing a harried O'Brien trying to acquire a graviton stabilizer for Sisko -- O'Brien says it would take a month to acquire, Sisko gives him three days. In enlisting Nog's help, he accidentally barters away the Captain's desk in a ludicrously-long ChainOfDeals. O'Brien's ready to face the music when, suddenly, the desk reappears along with Nog, who [[SureLetsGoWithThat has allegedly been polishing it]]. The stabilizer is on hand, too, and a relieved O'Brien promises to install it in six hours; Sisko tells him
to make this unfamiliar alien vessel start it two.
* ''Series/TheWestWing'': In the season 4 episode "Election Night", Christian Slater's character is asked how long it will take to prepare a report. He answers "3 hours." The Secretary of Defense, several generals,
and stop. As their guards are getting impatient to know what's happened to them, Blake says they the White House chief of staff laugh at him, and then the latter says, "you have two minutes, and goes to seal the airlock. They get 'start' right JustInTime to save Blake's life from a guard who's about to shoot him.twenty minutes."

Added DiffLines:

** In one episode, Geordi became his own PhraseCatcher when he comes into a room and Picard asks him for a time frame. He tells him it will take 3 hours, and then ''immediately'', as Picard is starting to talk, follows up with "I know, I'll get it done in 2, but..." and then lays out some other problems they have that have to be dealt with.

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** In another book in the series, the trope is actually ''invoked.'' When [[AFatherToHisMen Wedge Antilles]] asks his mechanics how long their procedures will take, they inform him it'll be several hours. Once he leaves, the chief engineer notes that it'll be only one hour, and offers to play sabacc[[note]] ''Star Wars'' poker[[/note]] with the others after their done.


** RealityEnsues in [[http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/1999-09-13/ this]] comic. It involves money rather than time, but it's the same principle.

to:

** RealityEnsues in [[http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/1999-09-13/ this]] comic. It involves money rather Rather than giving less time, but it's the same principle.PointyHairedBoss gives less money.



** In a [[http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-02-22 later strip]], the boss tries to invoke this trope, but like above, it doesn't work. This one is most likely a reference to the trope namer, as Dilbert directly tells him leadership "doesn't change the laws of physics."

to:

** In a [[http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-02-22 later strip]], This strip provides the page image.]] The boss tries to invoke this trope, but like above, it doesn't work. This one is most likely a reference to the trope namer, as Dilbert directly tells him leadership "doesn't change the laws of physics."

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%% Image selected via crowner in the Image Suggestion thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/ImagePickin/ImageSuggestions74
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[[quoteright:219:[[ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dilbert_scotty_time.png]]]]


* By USN standard procedures in 1941, a post-dreadnought battleship (i.e. USS ''Tennessee'') took about four hours to go from moored in harbor to underway. When the Imperial Japanese Navy sneak-attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec, the USS ''Nevada'' got underway in 45 minutes, thus gaining the full attention of every attacking plane before intentionally running aground (to avoid sinking in the harbor channel, thus blocking it). It is worth noting that much of the 4 hours is to get the boilers fired up so the ship can have enough steam pressure to move. In ''Nevada's'' case, she already happened to have two boilers running that morning before the attack started.
* This is standard operating practice when critical infrastructure is damaged, destroyed or otherwise disabled. These types of failures are highly disruptive so the affected users are not only sensitive to further delays, but will also be looking to change all manner of future plans. Providing worst case time estimates not only forestalls the possibility of additional anger and disruption, but also makes the companies or governments involved look like proverbial miracle workers.
* If you've ever worked in the field of IT, you are probably deeply and intimately familiar with this trope and encounter it on a regular basis. To clarify for those not in IT: The engineer figures out how much time it ''should'' take, then adds time to account for errors and other emergencies, interruptions, and testing. The supervisor, having seen that most of the time nothing goes wrong and the job is usually done well before the estimated time, [[WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong then cuts it down]]. With a BenevolentBoss, the reasons for the padding are acknowledged and accepted (and the engineer isn't a "miracle worker", but simply a good planner). In cases where the supervisor knows of the padding, but [[PointyHairedBoss doesn't acknowledge the need for accounting for problems]], this can quickly become a game of chicken peppered with IKnowYouKnowIKnow. To avoid that, as well as missing the estimates, modern management-level training materials outright tell supervisors to multiply IT's estimates by whatever number greater than one they feel like using that day.
* This is an important part of real world time management in general. Most people underestimate how long it will take them to do a task, and very often you need to build in a safety margin to make sure you get finished on time (at least most of the time). This is a problem with budgeting as well -- if you come in under budget, it looks like you asked for too much, but you may have needed the extra margin and just got lucky.
* Registrars and judges often give "procedural directions" to lawyers. These are binding court orders and not following them is technically contempt. Registrars and judges often ask the lawyers how much time they will realistically need to comply with a direction. Lawyers know well enough to ask for at least twice as much time as they will actually need.



* There are several such stories (some confirmed, some urban legends) circulating around the former Eastern Bloc. Here's one confirmed story of a subversion of this trope by Hungarian writer ''István Örkény'': in the early 1950s, there were big heavy industry projects and buildings all across Hungary [[note]]The fact that the Hungarian landscape is most suitable for agriculture and least suitable for heavy industry did not seem to bother anyone[[/note]], and he went to visit one of the building sites in ''Dunaújváros'' (then called ''Sztálinváros'') where an iron furnace was supposedly under construction. He found the lead engineer sitting in the middle of a meadow and after a few minutes of talking, the following exchange took place (roughly translated):
-->'''Örkény:''' ...and when will you be done with the furnace?\\
'''Engineer:''' Be calm, comrade. Molten steel will be flowing here by 20th of August this year. By the way, did I hear correctly? Your family name is "Örkény"?\\
'''Örkény:''' Yes.\\
'''Engineer:''' The son of the pharmacist? [[note]]Istvány Örkény's father was a pharmacist, well known in educated and academic social circles especially before WWII.[[/note]]\\
'''Örkény:''' Yes.\\
'''Engineer:''' I see. Then I will tell you, sir: piss will be flowing here, not steel.
* Fuel gauges on every modern automobile are like this. When you get to the lowest measurement or out of range message you'll still have at least another ten miles worth of driving. In the past this was due to difficulty in measuring fuel remaining and engine performance accurately (and engineers padding it a little to make sure no one ran out too soon and creating a PR problem); these days with digital fuel measurement and engine management computers it is done mainly for the PR value, and of course for older motorists who automatically count on that little bit of reserve.
** For any fuel gauge that uses a float in the tank to measure the amount of fuel (almost all of them in road vehicles), engineeers are faced with two situations where the gauge will be inaccurate: when the tank is full, forcing the float lower in the liquid due to the tank holding it down, and when it's nearly empty and fuel could be sloshing around preventing the float from giving an accurate reading. To be conservative, the floats are calibrated to show a full tank until the liquid level has gone down significantly, and indicate an empty tank well before it actually is.
* Pizza Delivery stores will often inflate the time to get you your pie. This is to account for traffic, distance, and additional deliveries to that particular area.

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