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"So ride along with Thor as he loses, then regains his magic powers, hooks up with Jane, saves two different realms from destruction, and learns the virtues of patience and humility all over the course of a long weekend. Seriously, this whole movie takes place over two-and-a-half days."

There are epics that span a lifetime as it follows the life between two characters, and their challenges to be together. There are others that span multiple generations, as decades pass and history unfolds in the background.

Then there's the story where everything happens in just a few hours: Introduction, conflict, character development, dramatic climax, denouement, done!

Extremely Short Timespan is when a story, usually a movie, novel or a whole season, takes place in a short period of time. This is sometimes done in an action or a thriller movie to emphasize its fast pacing.

One sub-trope is Real Time, where everything happens within a minute-to-minute ratio between in-universe and real-life production (automatically a sub-trope of this except for some extremely long experimental films).

Note, though, that the majority of works (particularly movies) already take place within a relatively short time span, with the average timeframe being a few weeks. The trope is about unusually tightened time spans. For movies, this means everything taking place over three days or less. For television shows and other works, this usually means compressing the entire narrative (or at least a single Story Arc) into a month or so qualifies it as this trope.

In adaptations, this may be the result of an Adaptational Timespan Change. Not related to Webcomic Time, when the real and in-universe time scales are out of sync purely due to production time, though the two aren't mutually exclusive. Also unrelated to "Groundhog Day" Loop, where the amount of time is short only from an external perspective. Briefer Than They Think is a real life variation. See Immediate Sequel for when the short span of time forms an arc rather than contained to a single story. See also Cartoonland Time for this trope in action with animated features. This often overlaps with Race Against the Clock, as that trope is about the cast having to get something done under a strict time limit.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Akagi: The Washizu Arc covered a single high-stakes mahjong match that lasts a single night. It comprised over two hundred chapters, and took twenty years of real time to finish.
  • A Manga With Too Many Premises takes place over the course of less than five minutes.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Episodes 5 to the beginning of 13 take place in one day.
    • In the same vein, volumes 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and the beginning chapter of volume 13 span about 2 and a half days. It makes it less clear by doing one storyline, which takes less than a day, the second part of that storyline, which takes the rest of the day, then focusing on the supporting characters and their storyline, which starts toward the beginning of the primary storyline, lasts until the end of that day to the following morning, and weaves them both together into another storyline that lasts until nighttime of the second day.
  • Bleach ironically, considering it's a series about Really 700 Years Old dead people. This is mostly thanks to Tite Kubo adhering strictly to the Four Lines, All Waiting rule:
    • The Soul Society Arc revolves around an execution to take place at the end of a week. This took two years and 14 volumes.
    • The Hueco Mundo Arc took eight volumes to cover a single day.
    • The two arcs later (Fake Karakura and Deicide arcs) top the above with a single day covered in 11 volumes.
      • Going even further, the Hueco Mundo arc and the two following it occur on the same day (October 11th).
      • The Stinger to a full series recap episode near the end of the Deicide arc even lampshades how much has happened in only a few months.
    • However, all above are topped by the final arc, the Thousand-Year Blood War arc. While it takes place in only three days tops (currently) amid revelations, Wham Episode, and other brouhaha, it requires 198 chapters in over 4 years of publication, of which about 184 have been collected in 18 separate volumes.
  • Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School:
    • The Future/Hope Arc takes place over the course of a single night, with the killing game and the main conflict being resolved just as the sun rises, plus a short Time Skip showing the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue. Within that timeframe, it's also worth mentioning that Episodes 6, 7, 8, and 9 happen between the span of two hours.
    • Episodes 8, 9, and 10 of the Despair Arc take place over the course of a single day.
  • Digimon:
    • While Digimon Adventure mostly took place in the Digital World, which runs on Year Inside, Hour Outside, the arc set in the human world, spanning episodes 29 to 39, took place from midday August 1, 1999 to evening August 3, 1999.
    • In the sequel series Digimon Adventure 02, the final arc, spanning episodes 38 to 50, takes place over the course of one week, from December 24 to December 31.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The Piccolo Daimaoh and Majin Buu arcs take 3 days each, the same days at that: May 7th to May 9th. One of many odd parallels across both arcs. Taken to ridiculous amounts with the five minutes that it took for Namek to explode, stretching over ten episodes.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, the Tournament of Power lasted approximately 48 minutes in-universe, but took almost 35 episodes to depict. The manga version cuts down enormously on the padding, but still has the tournament comprise about 10 chapters.
    • The Dragon Ball Super manga has the "Granolah the Survivor" arc, which, after a couple chapters of setup, has the entire story (barring a flashback) take place over the course of one very eventful, battle-filled afternoon.
  • The entire final season of Durarara!! takes place over a single day, with the last eight episodes, minus the epilogue, covering only a few hours. Compare this to the other seasons which all have timelines ranging from weeks to months.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist. While the series as a whole covers a few years, the last twenty episodes (minus the epilogue) span two days. Most of that is taken up by the second day.
  • The Hetalia: Axis Powers movie "Paint It White!" lasts just two days.
  • High School D×D: Volumes 3, 4, and 9 each take place over a small number of very eventful days.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Many of the combatants during the assault on Meruem’s castle are top-level fighters and used to operating at scales of minutes, if not seconds and microseconds. So there happens so much during the opening moments of the battle that entire episodes are required to convey it all.
  • The last two-thirds or so of Hellsing - that is, everything from the Rip van Winkle encounter onward, which is about halfway into the fourth volume of ten - take place over the course of a single night and the following morning, with a Distant Finale tossed on.
  • The Jewelpet movie happens in about 2 days.
  • While JoJo's Bizarre Adventure as a whole takes place over the course of hundreds of years, the timespan of the individual Parts can range from several months to only a few days. The most notable, however, is Golden Wind, which, from Koichi's arrival in Italy to Giorno defeating Diavolo, only takes place over the course of 8 days.
  • In Jujutsu Kaisen, the 50+ chapter long Shibuya Incident Arc (discounting the initial mini-arc at its very beginning investigating the traitor at Jujutsu High) takes place over a single night on Halloween.
  • Karakuridouji Ultimo has been running for over a year now. We've only gone through one day. (Although the reset button was hit somewhere in the middle of it.)
  • A bunch of arcs in Mob Psycho 100 last very few days or even hours of in-universe time. It should also be noted that a lot of late chapters are often divided in multiple parts while still counting as a single one. For example, Chapter 97, which is one of the "only" four chapters of a very late arc, is divided into 13 parts with multiple panels and publishing schedule each.
    • The (LOL) Cult Arc takes place over the course of a single evening, though this is somewhat Downplayed since it only spans 5 manga chapters and 1 anime episode.
    • The Teruki Hanazawa Arc (10 manga chapters and 2 anime episodes) only spans half of a school day, with most of the conflict (Mob vs. Teruki) happening in a time frame that couldn't have lasted more than an hour.
    • The 7th Division Arc (17 manga chapters and 4 anime episodes) takes place over the course of a single, very busy night.
    • Played With in the Keiji Mogami Arc. While Mob and Reigen arrive at Asagiri's mansion, take care of Mogami, and leave in less than half a day, Mob ends up trapped inside Mogami's Lotus-Eater Machine for a total of six months worth of alternate world time.
    • The World Domination Arc (18 manga chapters and 6 anime episodes) takes place over the course of two full days, with most of the published and animated content going to the first night and rest of the second day.
    • The Divine Tree Arc (4 manga chapters and 4 anime episodes), while technically spanning an entire weekend plus the next Monday, has most of its bulk occurring during the evening of said Monday, with only a handful of scenes taking place the previous days as a build-up for the main conflict.
    • The ??? Arc (2 manga chapters and 4 anime episodes) occurs over two days, with the second day being the most packed one as it spans the last three anime episodes.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz takes place over the course of a week. If it wasn't for the discussions about how much time it would take to retrieve the decomissioned Gundams, one would be forgiven for thinking it was a lot shorter.
  • My Hero Academia: The bulk of the Internship Arc takes place over the course of 45 minutes. Although the first act of the manga takes place over a few days, the most important part of it, the raid on a Yakuza secret base that takes about 30 chapters (more than 6 months in real life), lasts less than an hour, with the epilogue chapters of the arc taking place later that same day.
  • In Naruto, several arcs take place over only a few days, although the weeks or months are implied to pass inbetween.
    • The Chunin Exams arc up to the end of the third takes place within a span of three days, but it takes up 6 volumes and about a year and a half of publishing. Thankfully, the arc's climax itself is set a month afterward.
    • After the aforementioned one month timeskip, the arc resumes and gets immediately chained up with the following Konoha Invasion arc. Both happens in less than a single day, although it takes up 6 volumes and another year and a half of publishing.
    • The Sasuke Retrieval arc covers two intense days (the first for Sasuke to run away with the Sound Four, the second for the retrieval itself) but takes up 7 whole volumes.
    • The biggest one, however, would be the Ninja World War arc and all of its subarcs, including the Ten Tails, Madara's and Kaguya's Returns, and the Final Battle, which take place in less than three days but need 18 volumes to cover and over 4 years of publishing. However, it's justified since it's the manga's last arc; you'd think the author would go all out for it. It is also more than made up by the Distant Finale, which is set no less than 14 years later.
  • The Festival Arc in Negima! Magister Negi Magi was exactly 3 days June 20-22, 2003 (Time Travel was involved) that covered half the manga up to that point (9 Volumes). In manga chapter 310, it spans several seconds.
  • One Piece has this occur quite often. While some arcs can go into several dozens of chapters, in Comic-Book Time barely a few days, if that, typically passes. The longest time spent in any one place prior to the Time Skip is Alabasta, where the Straw Hats spent a length of time crossing the desert. Word of God states that from the first chapter all the way up to the Sabody Archipelago took three months in-universe. The most extreme example is the Dressrosa arc, which spans almost 2,000 pages of the manga, over 2 years of publication, and over 100 episodes of the anime, and is set over one incredibly busy day.
  • The first chapter of the Moon arc Soul Eater was chapter 90, and it ended in the middle of 113. That's about five volumes set in the same morning.
  • The final thirteen volumes (roughly a third of the story) of The Seven Deadly Sins takes place over the course of three days. The three days they have to break the curse on Elizabeth before it kills her.
  • Summer Time Rendering takes place between the 22nd and 24th of July, and in the span of these 3 days a lot of stuff happens, granted, the days repeat due to the time loop. The night of the 22nd in particular takes place over the course of roughly 20 chapters, which Shinpei lampshades to be a night that seemed to never end.
  • The various arcs of Yu-Gi-Oh!. The episodic chapters from before the first arc are presumed to each happen on different days: the first real arc (in which Shadi appears and causes trouble) starts on a weekend and ends on the night of the next day, lasting seven chapters. Death-T is two volumes (fourteen chapters) long, and lasts about a day and a half. Monster World is ten chapters long and takes place in a single afternoon. Then the arcs get longer, but only for the readers: Duelist Kingdom lasts seven volumes, but for the characters only three days pass; two days for the preliminaries and one for the finals. After that, there is another smaller arc that's only one volume long and takes only a few hours. Battle City is the longest arc by far, taking a full fourteen volumes to tell, but is only two days long. The last arc, Millenium World, is seven volumes long and lasts only over the course of a Tabletop RPG campaign—given the rather uncertain context and that we only see a small portion of the actual game, it could mean anything from days to a few hours, not counting the Ceremonial Duel at the end.

    Comic Books 
  • Many superhero comic books operate on this principle. A six-issue Batman arc, for instance, may only take place over the course of a single night or a couple of days at most, which allows the character to (at least somewhat) realistically appear in four or five books at the same time.
  • The average Crisis Crossover takes less time to happen than it does to read, but the all-time champion of this trope was Blackest Night, which took place between midnight and dawn on a single night.
  • Justice League of America: Rock of Ages: Starting with JLA (1997) #12 (part three of the arc), when Superman and Martian Manhunter meet Batman, then going into the last page of issue #14 and practically the whole action scene of issue #15, the JLA fights the Injustice Gang in mere four minutes - the time for a giant rock to collide with the Injustice Gang's satellite, and the time for nukes to detonate at the JLA Watchtower.
  • Marvel Zombies revealed in its first appearance (an arc of Ultimate Fantastic Four) that the zombies went from "first infection" to "everyone on Earth barring a few small pockets of survivors has been eaten or turned" in twenty-four hours. That period also features the entirety of the Dead Days miniseries and a crossover with Army of Darkness, both of which avoid using obvious time demarcations but definitely don't seem to take place over the course of a day. This is especially odd, as the vast majority of infected we see are superheroes and supervillains, under the logic that any civilians would simply be eaten—the superhuman population of the Marvel Universe is rarely suggested to be enough that the zombies wouldn't have to eat their way through tens or hundreds of thousands of people per zombie to accomplish that goal.
  • Sin City has Silent Night and Just Another Saturday Night which, as the titles imply, take place in a single night. The Big Fat Kill is a major storyline that only takes place over the course of a single night as well.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • The Clone saga, as narrated in Ultimate Spider-Man, features many events that would be shocking just by themselves. Peter breaks up with Kitty, or at least takes a break from her jealous complaints. A new villain razes the mall, and turns out to be a clone of Peter. Mary Jane is kidnapped. There's a Spiderwoman, who turns out to be a female clone of Peter. Gwen Stacy is somehow back from the dead. Richard Parker, Peter's dad, is also back from the dead. Unable to hide things anymore, Peter confesses his big secret to Aunt May. May has a heart attack. SHIELD comes to detain Peter Parker with all guns blazing. Mary Jane was injected with Oz and turns into a giant monster. Gwen turns out to be the Carnage suit. There are several clones of Peter Parker, all of them made by Otto Octavius. Richard was actually yet another clone with fake memories, who dies of accelerated aging. All that and more... happens in just one crazy night.
    • The Spider-Men miniseries takes place over the course of around 2 days, or a little less. Unfortunately, this gives little time for Miles and Peter to hang out with each other, since Peter has to leave immediately at the end of that time.
  • Joss Whedon's stories for Marvel usually take place over very short periods of time, because he doesn't like to play along with whatever crossover event is currently going on. Sadly, this tendency was probably the reason for the sudden end of his run on Runaways, as Marvel wanted the team available for a Secret Invasion tie-in miniseries.
  • The first two arcs of Zatanna took place in less than twenty-four hours, possibly twelve.
  • ORPHANIMO!!: The whole series takes place within a time span of, at most, a few weeks, but possibly even only a few days.

    Fan Works 
  • Cadet Scrap happens over the course of 15 or so minutes, over half of which are during a sparring match.
    • Its prequel, Well-Matched, takes place over a few hours at most, and the bulk of the story is set during a boxing match that only lasts a total of eight minutes.
  • Christmas Eve Murders takes place on a single Christmas Eve night.
  • The main action of Gold Poisons takes place over roughly three days.
  • The main story of The Fire of Futures Past takes place over the course of one night.
  • In the Horseshoes and Hand Grenades side-story Month of Sundays, its summary states that it takes place over the course of around two days, judging by the fact that there's 23 chaptersnote  and 24 hours hasn't passed yet.
  • In Jonathan Joestar, The First JoJo, the events of chapters 1-18 all happened in one day.
  • If you bother to keep track, My Immortal, despite being forty-four chapters long, takes place over the course of six very convoluted days:
    • Day 1 covers chapter 1 (Ebony describes herself and meets Draco)
    • Day 2 covers chapters 2 - 5 (Ebony goes on a date with Draco and Dumbledore catches them having sex in the Forbidden Forrest)
    • Day 3 covers chapters 6 - 17 (Ebony meeting "Vampire" in the Great Hall all the way through Dumbledore saving everyone at the MCR concert)
    • Day 4 covers chapters 18 - 21 (Dumbledore repainting the Great Hall through Ebony having a vision about the "Mystery of Magic" walking into the school)
    • Day 5 covers chapters 22 - 33 ("Cornelia Fudged" and "Doris Rumbridge" yelling at Dumbledore through "Snap" and "Loopin" getting tortured)
    • Day 6 covers chapters 34 - 44 (Ebony takes several trips back and forth in time for the remainder of the story)
  • NUMB3RS story Elemental Four takes place in a week.
  • In Off the Line 40 chapters take over the course of 4 days.
  • Piracy! The Genetic Pirate Opera took place during a very busy Friday night.
  • The Weaver Option: The Shadowpoint and Extermination arcs, detailing the destruction and Imperial takeover of the Pavia pirate system and the Commorragh Raid that exterminates nearly 90 percent of the Dark Eldar civilization, destroys the city of Commorragh, and kills Slaanesh, respectively, take place in a timespan of slightly more than one hundred hours each, about eight days in total. The Extinction Arc, which covers The Battle of Macragge and results in the breaking of the Word Bearers Legion, including the death of all the top Dark Apostles and Lorgar himself, the first ever battle against a Tyranid Hive Fleet, the birth of a new Eldar Goddess and the revival of Roboute Guilliman takes place over eighty-nine hours.
  • Just a Random Tuesday… is a 50,000+ word long fic that takes place within one ridiculously long day. Minerva lampshades this in the second chapter when she recalls something she did in the first and remarks that it felt like a long time ago.
  • As of this writing, the Harry Potter fanfic Black Mask has over 400,000 words (almost twice as long as the longest novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which stands at 257,000 words), and barely a week has passed in the timeline.
  • I Will Survive, a Zootopia fan comic, seems to take place over the course of less than an hour, with the revelation that Judy is pregnant with Nick's child and the resulting argument over whether to abort the child causing in their relationship to fall apart.
  • Sburb Done Quick, a Homestuck fan comic, has this going on by nature of being a Speedrun of the game Sburb. From the moment the first main character is given a name, the rest of the comic takes place over a mere 15 minutes, 12 seconds.
  • The story of Nemesis (MHA) takes place over the course of a single afternoon, starting at 2:30 PM and ending at around 7 PM.
  • Most of Olive's Last Partner takes place in the span of an hour. The epilogue is the sole exception, as it's a Time Skip.
  • The last 8 chapters of Luz Clawthorne: Hexside's Number One Delinquent Witch takes place over the course of 3 days, covering its version of the last four episodes of canon Season 1.
  • Starscream And The Drones: The fic takes place within a single day, starting with Megatron announcing his plan to replace Starscream with drones and ending with him reprimanding Starscream for destroying said drones.
  • Star Wars vs Warhammer 40K: The Battle of Axum arc (episodes 10–43+) happens over the course of half a day at most.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence seems to take place within the course of less than a day, starting with Bitsy getting a phone call from Dimitry regarding him pulling out of the deal to get rid of Central Park and ending with the Kingpin brutally killing her in his office.
  • Through Her Eyes: The original version of the story has all the events occur over the course of a single week, despite being a Door Stopper of 400,000+ words. The "remastered" version has it take place over the course of a much more believable period of one month, though it's even longer.

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin: Surprisingly, given all that happens, from the moment Aladdin is jumping ahead to Jafar's defeat, only three days and three nights pass. Hopefully Aladdin recovered in his princely apartments before Jafar took over the third day.
  • Arlo the Alligator Boy: Not counting Arlo's Minor Kidroduction, the 15-year Time Skip during the main title and the mid-credits Stinger, the whole movie takes place over a period of five whole days.
  • Arthur Christmas takes place during Christmas Eve.
  • Discounting the Framing Device and the ending scene where it's unclear how much time has passed, the entirety of Barbie of Swan Lake takes place over around three days.
  • Excluding the Framing Device and prologue, The Book of Life takes place over two days.
  • Not counting the legend that leads to the present story, the plot of Brave takes 3 days and 2 nights.
  • The Cat Returns: Not including the epilogue, the film takes place in a span of two-and-a-half days: Haru rescues Prince Lune on the first day, is taken to the Cat Kingdom on the second day, and escapes by the dawn of the third day.
  • The main story of Cinderella takes place over 24 hours.
  • Coco: The film is about the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead — following the opening flashback scene where the protagonist narrates his family's history, the action of the film starts on Dia de los Muertos and ends just after sunrise less than 24 hours later (followed by a brief scene on the same holiday a year later).
  • From the opening scene to the ending scene, Corpse Bride takes place over the course of a single day, with the majority of it taking place at night.
  • The Emperor's New Groove officially starts the day before Kuzco's birthday and (excluding the epilogue) ends the afternoon of the day after; meaning the entire film took place over two and a half days.
  • Finding Dory: Not counting flashbacks sprinkled throughout the film, after the main characters reach California, only one day passes.
  • Flushed Away takes place in three days.
  • Frozen: Excluding the prologue and epilogue, the film takes place in over three days.
  • Discounting the time in-between the prologue and epilogue, The Great Mouse Detective takes place over the course of two days.
  • Hoodwinked! mainly takes place at night, with Red, Granny, the Wolf and Kirk's stories happening earlier that day. As a whole, only two days pass.
  • Hot Wheels: AcceleRacers: The first three movies take place over at least a few days each, but The Ultimate Race only takes place over half a day, and possibly as short as two-and-a-half hours. The movie begins with the Cosmic Realm opening and the drivers getting ready. Around 20 minutes after the hour allocated to complete the Cosmic Realm ends, Vert and Gelorum get into the eponymous ultimate race. That Vert is able to complete the race on just one tank of gas (plus the scenes showing what everyone else is doing in the meantime) suggest that it only takes one or two hours. The film ends about ten minutes after the race does.
  • The entirety of How to Train Your Dragon 2 takes place between one or two days.
  • Aside from the prologue 20 years earlier, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney) takes place over about three days: the first day is the Feast of Fools, Frollo burns Paris on the second day, and the climax starting at dawn on the third day.
  • In The Incredibles, not counting the prologue, the Time Skip at the beginning and end of the film, and a Good-Times Montage, everything from the moment Syndrome revealed himself to his defeat took place over the course of three days.
  • Outside of the opening montage showing Riley's childhood and the final scene, Inside Out covers 3 days in which big changes occurred in Riley's psyche.
  • The Iron Giant: Not counting the epilogue at the end of the film, the film roughly takes place around four days and five nights.
  • The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part: Not counting the prologue or the five-year Time Skip, the events of the film take place in one day.
  • Except for the closing montage, Lilo & Stitch takes place over five days.
  • The majority of The Magic Roundabout (2005) takes place around the course of four days and three nights.
  • Monsters, Inc. takes place over 2 very hectic days, except for the final sequence showing how the company has changed.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017): The entire film takes place on one whole day, and the ending scene took place at night. Tempest Shadow promises to capture Twilight Sparkle before the Storm King arrives in "three days" and the final showdown in Canterlot occurs soon after he arrives. Between those two events the cast travels across the Badlands to Mount Aris and back again (and, as far as we know, the trip back was made on foot).
  • My Little Pony: A New Generation: Aside from the Minor Kidroduction in the first few minutes, the entire movie takes place over about four whole days, ending on the morning of the fifth.
  • Onward: The bulk of the story takes place over two days and one night.
  • Pinocchio's whole action takes place in the span of three nights and two days.
  • A majority of The Polar Express takes place in one night, staying five minutes to midnight for several hours. Justified that Christmas Eve is a magical night after all.
  • Sleeping Beauty takes place in a two day/one night timespan, not counting a prologue and Time Skip.
  • Most of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs unfolds over 2-3 days, although it is followed by a Time Skip to the final scene.
  • Soul: The entire film takes place over the course of a single half-day, barring the last shot which takes place the following morning.
  • The majority of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie takes place over six days, according to King Neptune and Patrick. Including the part where The Krusty Krab 2 opened, Plankton steals King Neptune's crown, and SpongeBob visits Goofy Goober, the film would take seven days, making it one week.
  • Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers is the second-longest Scooby-Doo film ever made, and features a complex prolonged treasure hunt. This is surprising, as save for the first five minutes, the entire film takes place over one night, and about 2/3rds of it takes place after the heroes are interrupted while getting ready to go to bed.
  • Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost: About eighty percent of the movie takes place over one night. The first few scenes take place the night before and during the intervening day, and the last scene takes place one night after the main action.
  • In Shrek Forever After, not counting the beginning, the main plot takes place over twenty-four hours. Justified by a Race Against the Clock the main character is against before he ceases to exist.
  • Song of the Sea: Aside from the prologue and epilogue, the story takes place over the course of only two days.
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: Despite the impressive runtime, most scenes occur consecutively, meaning that, with the exception of the opening sequence, the entire film takes place on the same day (2023/07/11, if Lenny's security camera is to be trusted), with the majority playing out in Real Time.
  • Tangled:
    • Except for the prologue's backstory, takes place in less than three days.
    • Some of the tie-in books, such as the Tangled book in the Princesses and Puppies series, take place later in the day when Rapunzel, Flynn, Maximus, and Pascal arrive in the capital city and before the lantern scene. This is likely because Rapunzel loses her iconic hair at the end of the movie, which may make Tangled stories harder to market, but this problem has since been rectified with the release of Tangled: The Series.
  • Toy Story: Except for the epilogue, the action of the movie takes place over a week.
  • The entirety of Toy Story 2 takes place over one weekend.
  • Toy Story 3 takes place over 3 days.
  • Toy Story 4: Apart from the opening and end credit scenes, the film takes place over about three days, with everything from Forky jumping out of the van onwards happening within 24 hours or so.
  • Up: Outside of the opening montage showing Carl's Back Story and the final scene showing how close Carl and Russell have become, the plot only takes 4 days and 3 nights.
  • Wolfwalkers: Excluding the prologue and epilogue, the entire film takes place over the course of three days.
  • Aside from the prologue and epilogue, Wreck-It Ralph takes place over two days, with the majority of the story happening in a single night.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This tends to happen in most films featuring a Lotus-Eater Machine or Cuckoo Nest.
  • As hinted by the title, 2 Days in the Valley takes place within about 48 hours from start to finish, in that time about half a dozen characters die and several more survive close brushes with death, and many of the characters find their lives changed forever as a result of the events.
  • 11:14 is an extreme version. It's a full-length movie, but due to being "Rashomon"-Style with a huge cast, the events of about a quarter of an hour (at most) covered in Real Time, fills a feature-length film.
  • 1941 (1979): The extended edition of the movie is about two hours and twenty minutes long, but the movie begins at 7:01 a.m. on December 13th and ends somewhere between 8:00 and 10:00 on the morning of December 14th. About 2/3rds of the movie takes place between 7:00 p.m. and midnight.
  • 12 Angry Men takes place over one afternoon in Real Time.
  • 2:37 takes place over the course of a single school day, leading up to a suicide at 2:37 p.m.
  • Spike Lee's 25th Hour, which takes place over a day, but with several flashbacks.
  • 3:10 to Yuma (1957): The film begins around noon the day of the stagecoach robbery and ends about 2 minutes after Dan and Ben meet the 3:10 to Yuma the next day.
  • 30 Minutes or Less: The main part of the movie takes place in 24 hours or so.
  • 68 Kill unfolds in slightly less than a day and a half: starting in the morning (Chip is getting ready for work in the opening scenes) and ending in the late afternoon of the following day (judging from the sun's position as Chip is heading west on the highway).
  • 8 Women: The story takes place in one day, from morning to evening.
  • 88 Minutes (actually a little more than 88 minutes).
  • Excluding the Time Skips at the beginning and end, the entirety of 99 River Street takes place over just a few hours in one night.
  • The entirety of Adventures in Babysitting takes place over a matter of hours, from the late afternoon to a little after 1 AM.
  • About the Little Red Riding Hood begins early in the morning and ends late in the evening of the same day.
  • The Aggression Scale takes just over 48 hours. Ballavance gives Lloyd 48 hours to kill everyone who had access to the money and return to the cash to him. Bellavance and his son are still in his office during the final scene, indicating that it cannot be more a few hours past the deadline.
  • Airheads takes place over 2 days with an epilogue that takes place about a month afterwards.
  • Despite the title, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day actually covers two days: Alexander's very bad day followed by his family's very bad day (which also happens to be Alexander's birthday).
  • American Graffiti takes place over the course of a single night and into the morning.
  • The Polish film Ashes and Diamonds takes place over two days, May 8th and 9th 1945.
  • The Assistant takes place over less than a day, beginning early in the morning - perhaps around 4am - and ending at night, around 10pm.
  • Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) takes place during a single day, with most of the movie happening during the evening and the night.
  • The events of Avalanche unfold over the course of the opening weekend of the resort.
  • From the perspective of its protagonist, the Back to the Future trilogy seems to take place in the course of a couple of weeks, at most. Otherwise, it took about 130 years. From an outside perspective, his adventures happened over two days. Your choice. The first film begins in October 25, 1985 at 8:25am and Marty travels to 1955 at 1:35am on the 26th. There he spends a week (from November the 5th to the 12th) only to return to 1985 11 minutes before he originally left. He wakes up on the morning of October 26 and travels, along with the Doc and Jennifer, to 2015 where he spends just under three hours. Then he spends about six hours in the alternate 1985 during the night of October 26-27, the whole of November 12, 1955 again but this time he spends the night. He departs 1955 on November 16 after Doc fixes the DeLorean and heads to September 2, 1885, where he spends five days and then he returns to October 27, 1985 at 11am. At the end, he spent 16 days time traveling in two days, with the time periods he travels to spanning 130 years. And while the first and third film both have him spend about a week in both time periods, the second film specifically occurs over a period of about 25 hours from his perspective, which starts only about 9 hours after the climax of the first film. Lampshaded by Doc when they go back to 1955.
    Marty: This is heavy, Doc! It feels like I was here yesterday!
    Doc: You WERE here yesterday, Marty! You were!
  • Bad Day at Black Rock: The 'Day' of the title is literal, with the events of the movie encompassing about 24 hours.
  • The Disney Channel Original Movie Bad Hair Day 2015 takes place over the course of one entire day - the day of Monica's prom. Excluding the prologue.
  • The majority of the action in A Bay of Blood unfolds over two nights. It is not clear how much time elapses between the Contessa's death and the start of the main action, but it does not seem to be more than a few days.
  • Werewolf film The Beast Must Die covers the three nights of the full moon.
  • Before Sunrise takes place over the course of about twenty-four hours. The sequel Before Sunset ups the ante by going Real Time, as with Before Midnight.
  • Beyond The Infinite Two Minutes takes place in real time, spanning the course of about 65 minutes.
  • The Big Clock: From George Stroud's opening narration, we know that the the events take exactly 36 hours.
  • As implied by the title, the action of The Big Night covers the events of one night: the night of George's 17th birthday.
  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure: Due to San Dimas Time, the boys have only a single night to come up with their history class final.
  • Bill & Ted Face the Music: Bill and Ted have precisely 78 minutes to come up with the song that will save the universe.
  • The Birdcage, based on La Cage aux folles, takes place within two full days with the epilogue wedding set sometime later.
  • Given Black Hawk Down is set to a battle that took a single day, it's expected - and even the scenes before the struggle are two days prior to the Battle of Mogadishu at maximum.
  • Blade Runner may not have as short a timespan as the book (see Literature), but still takes only a couple nights from start to finish (especially if Deckard is summoned the same day Leon starts the movie with).
  • The Blob (1958) happens in one night.
  • Discounting the prologue, the main events of Bloody Reunion take about 48 hours. (The final scene takes place an undetermined time later, but probably no more than a few days.)
  • Body takes place over the course of Christmas Eve.
  • The Body (2012) spans over one night until the next morning, roughly 8 hours - from the time Jaime poisons Álex until the latter goes into cardiac arrestnote . The passage of time is shown by multiple shots of clocks throughout the film.
  • Barring the prologue, the events of Botched take less than a day. And as Richie is sent straight to Moscow following the botched diamond robbery, even including the prologue, the entire thing can take no more than about 3 days.
  • The Breakfast Club takes place over the course of a few hours of March 24th, 1984, starting in the morning and ending in the late afternoon.
  • Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman takes place in less than 24 hours. Santiago is given 24 hours to bring in the Machine Gun Woman, and at no time in the ensuing chaos does night fall.
  • Buffalo '66 takes place over 24 hours, flashbacks notwithstanding.
  • The action of The Bunker (2001) covers 24 hours or slightly less.
  • The Cabin in the Woods takes place in one hell of a day - mostly after nightfall.
  • Can't Hardly Wait takes place over a 24-hour period, although there's a brief flashback or two. Not only that: the introduction is about five minutes long, during a high school graduation ceremony. The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue is the following morning, likewise about five minutes long. The rest of the movie is at a party, all after dark on the day in between.
  • Cellular takes place in real time.
  • Cemetery Gates covers about 24 hours. The break-in at the lab occurs sometime during the night. Hunter and his friends travel to the cemetery in the morning, and the film ends the following dawn.
  • Technically-speaking, Chaos Walking (2021) takes place over one long day given the sun doesn't set nearly as often on New World as it does on Earth (it doesn't set once through the whole filmnote . Because of this, it's hard to tell how much time passes exactly, though seeing as the protagonists are shown stopping to sleep a few times, we can assume that at least 48 hours must've passed.
  • The bulk of Cloverfield (barring the "tape skip" flashbacks) takes place over a single night and the following morning.
  • Clownhouse occurs over less than 24 hours. Starts in the morning and ends before dawn the next day.
  • Clue takes place in a single evening, with no flashbacks.
  • The plot of Coherence spans over one night up until the next morning.
  • With the possible exception of the opening scenes before Arnie is introduced, the entirety of Commando takes place over the course of 24 hours. Most of it takes place in less than that, as the core of the story is a Race Against the Clock in which John Matrix has roughly eleven hours to find out where his kidnapped daughter is being held before the kidnappers realize that he isn't complying with their demands and kill her.
  • Collateral takes place over the course of a single night.
  • Cold Prey takes place over two days.
  • Both Crank and the sequel Crank: High Voltage unfold in less than 24 hours.
  • The screen adaption of The Crimson Rivers manages to pack a lot of plot into mere 24 hours. In fact, it is only confirmed by Word of God in a post-release commentary.
  • Crown Vic follows two LAPD officers over the course of one night.
  • Daughters of the Dust takes place on the last day before the Peazant family move off their ancestral island home of St. Helena to the US mainland.
  • The events of the Day of the Outlaw cover about one day. One of the film posters even used the Tag Line "Twenty Four Hours Of Hell In The Life Of A Trapped Town".
  • Dazed and Confused takes place in a little over one day.
  • The events of Dead Birds unfold in approximately 24 hours, with the majority of the action taking place overnight.
  • Barring the epilogue, all the events of Death Factory occur on the same day.
  • Death decides that it will only take him three days to find out why the human race fears him so in Death Takes a Holiday.
  • The Coming of Age Story December begins the night of President Roosevelt’s "Day of Infamy" speech and ends relatively early the next day.
  • Deep in the Valley: Tracy tells Carl he has been missing for two days, indicating his time Trapped in TV Land was the same as the real world.
  • Apart from the prologue, Demolition Man takes places over about two days. Most of the plot happens on the very first day.
  • Demon Knight unfolds over the course of a single night. The final scene of Jeryline boarding the bus is probably the following morning but, even if it is not, the fact she is still in the desert indicates that it cannot be more than a few days later.
  • Deranged (2012) takes less than 24 hours. Gabriella picks her friends up from the airport, they drive the few hours to the villa, and the film ends before dawn.
  • Devil starts in late afternoon and ends at night, so it takes place only in a couple of hours.
  • Dick Tracy's Dilemma covers a little over 24 hours. The film starts with the robbery of the fur warehouse. The insurance company has to produce the furs or pay out on the policy within 24 hours, and when Tracy visits Humphreys the next night, Humphreys says the deadline is almost up. No more than two or three hours elapse from that visit to the climax.
  • A hallmark of the Die Hard franchise:
  • Dog Day Afternoon takes place during a single afternoon and evening.
  • Do the Right Thing takes place on a hot summer afternoon.
  • Draft Day starts 12 hours before the 2014 NFL draft and ends after the first round picks (ignoring the epilogue).
  • The events of Dredd take place over a 24 hour period (starting at dawn and ending the next morning).
  • Dr. Strangelove takes place over one night.
  • Duck Butter: The whole film takes place over a day, as Nima accepts Sergio's challenge about "fast-tracking" a relationship to 24 hours.
  • Eagle Eye is set across three hectic days - then the ending skips to what happened to the characters in the following months.
  • Earthquake takes place within one day.
  • The events of Eden Lake unfold over a single weekend.
  • Eleven Minutes Ago takes place over the course of the wedding reception. The main character, on the other hand, is experiencing it in eleven minute chunks over the course of years. It's a little Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey.
  • The Elf: The majority of the film happens over the course of Christmas Eve, with the epilogue on Christmas Day.
  • Empire Records is set across one very eventful day: April 8th, a.k.a. Rex Manning Day. Though the opening scene takes place the previous night, this may arguably be the same day since it is after closing and Empire Records is "Open 'Till Midnight".
  • Escape Room (2017) unfolds over the course of the night of Tyler's 30th birthday: beginning with protagonists having dinner in the early evening and ending just before dawn.
  • The first two Evil Dead movies take place over the course of one night a piece. Army of Darkness seems to takes place in the span of about the next three days (minus the epilogue), making the entire movie trilogy happen in under a week. It's then contrasted with a gap of around thirty years before the story picks up again in Ash vs. Evil Dead (to match up with the real-life twenty-two-year Sequel Gap).
  • Aside from the opening scene, Exam takes place over the course of under two hours, more or less within the 80 minutes of the test.
  • Falling Down takes place in a single day, starting in the morning and finishing in the afternoon. Some countries change the title to reflect this; for example, the Spanish title is Un día de furia (A Day of Fury).
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Although the end of the film jumps ahead one week, the rest of it takes place over two days.
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off in less than 12 hours.
  • The Fifth Element opens with a prologue in 1914, but once it moves to the futuristic setting, basically everything takes place over two days (and that's with an interplanetary travel which is said to take four hours). The exception is the final scene, which is unclear how long afterwards it takes place (though since one character mentions that the heroes are "tired after their ordeal," it's probably only a few hours).
  • Leaving aside the prologue, the action of Firestorm (1998) plays out over the course of a day.
  • The Friday series, where each movie takes place exclusively... on a Friday.
  • Most movies in the Friday the 13th series take place in a day and Part 2, Part III and The Final Chapter all take place in a single period of about three to five days.
  • Getaway begins one morning and ends the next.
  • The Lithuanian film The Girl and the Echo takes place within one day. This is mirrored in its alternative title, Paskutine Atostogu Diena ("Last day of Holydays").
  • Go takes place primarily over the course of one crazy night, with a little bit of the day before and the morning after thrown in.
  • The Goonies lasts either 24 hours or a little more depending on if the final scene takes place in the morning or the afternoon.
  • Grand Hotel takes place over about 48 hours, or two days and nights at the hotel, as all the characters in the Ensemble Cast check in and proceed to go through major life-changing events.
  • Gravity takes place over about 4 hours, as the debris field attacks are 90 minutes apart, and Stone re-enters just after the third.
  • The main action of Great White takes place over three days. Even including The Teaser, the entire film only covers approx. five days (after finding the body, Benny estimates the man has been dead for about a day and a half).
  • In Gremlins, while the time in-between the prologue and the movie proper is hard to pin down, the bulk of the movie is shown to take place within three-to-four days, with the majority taking place within twelve hours overnight.
  • Grim Prairie Tales: The Framing Device of this Anthology Film encompasses a single night. None of the individual tales spans longer that two days.
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner opens in the afternoon and concludes with the characters sitting down for the titular dinner.
  • The Guilty takes place in Real Time during the last hour and a half of Asger's shift at the dispatch center.
  • Guns, Girls and Gambling takes three days. Following the In Medias Res opening, John Smith's narration starts to explain How We Got Here and flashes back to 'Yesterday', before deciding that was a bad place to start, and then flashing back further to 'The Day Before Yesterday'.
  • La Haine takes place over the course of less than one day. We are clued in via Title Cards showing progressing timestamps.
  • Halloween II (1981) takes place on the same night the first film ended. And the first film itself only covers Halloween morning until midway through the evening (aside from the opening scene showing kid Michael killing his sister). The original script for Halloween spread across three days, but shortening to just one made it cheaper. So both Halloween (1978) and Halloween II (1981), while released three years apart, take place from October 30 to November 1st, 1978.
    • In general, each film featuring Michael Myers covers about two days, with Michael becoming active on October 30, arriving at Haddonfield in the evening, and wreaking havoc for the rest of that night. Although Halloween Kills, aside from flashbacks to the original movie, follows Halloween II in happening on the same Halloween night of its predecessor.
  • The Hangover takes place across three days (the Wolf Pack goes to Vegas, the day after the wild night, the wedding day). The sequel is longer, at least 4 or 5 days.
  • The action in Hangman's Knot unfolds over 2 to 3 days. (It's not clear exactly how long Major Stewart and his men spend travelling after Peterson is killed, but it can't be more than a day or so.)
  • Hard Rain takes place over just a few hours.
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle starts in the late afternoon and ends the following morning.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 takes place over about twenty-four hours, aside from the flashbacks and the epilogue. This is in stark contrast to the other films, which each take place over about a year. This is also true with the book, as noted below in Literature.
  • Harsh Times takes place over a single 24-hour period.
  • A Haunting in Venice unfolds over almost exactly 24 hours. The movie starts on the morning of October 31, with the majority of the action occuring over Halloween night, and ending on the morning of November 1, with Poirot arriving back at his apartment at almost exactly the time he had left it the previous morning, as evidenced by the pastry delivery.
  • The Hazing encompasses 12 hours or less. The film starts in the late afternoon of Oct. 31st, and ends at dawn the following day.
  • Barring the prologue (which plays out in Real Time on one night during The American Civil War), Headless Horseman occurs over one Halloween.
  • High Noon: The film begins early in the morning and ends a couple of minutes after noon.
  • The events of High Plains Invaders unfold over the course of a single day (seemingly morning to early evening, although the overcast conditions make it hard to be sure).
  • Hiroshima Mon Amour takes place over 36 hours, as the French actress and her Japanese lover spend time together right before her scheduled departure home.
  • Holy Motors plays out within the course of 24 hours.
  • The 1986 portion of Hot Tub Time Machine plays out during one night.
  • All three stories in the Anthology Film Horrific take place in less than a day.
  • The House of Yes mostly takes place over a single, Thanksgiving night.
  • The events of Husk encompass about 12 hours, starting in the early afternoon and ending in the early hours of the following morning.
  • The Immortals takes place over a single night.
  • The entirety of Independence Day explicitly takes place in a three day span, from July 2nd to the 4th. The sequel has almost everything fit on the 4th of July as mankind is celebrating 20 years since the first movie's victory.
  • Infinite Storm takes place over the course of a day for most of the film.
  • Into the Night's main action, from Ed Okin driving to the airport to he and Diana being debriefed at the hotel, unfolds over about 24 hours. (If the opening and closing stretches are factored in, the film roughly spans 72 hours at most.)
  • The events of I Saw What You Did take less than 24 hours, and are probably closer to 12. It starts in the mid-afternoon and ends in the early hours of the following morning. Kit's father picks her up at 11:30 pm, which means that the final denouement cannot occur any later than one or two hours after midnight.
  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World takes place in a single day. Spiritual Successor Rat Race too, though apparently it's a longer period (it even gets dark) and features one flashback.
  • Jack the Reaper takes no more than 12 hours. The story starts in the school parking lot on Saturday morning. At the end of the film, one of the paramedics records the time as being 7:30 pm.
  • Every John Wick movie takes place over 2-3 days, and each one starts shortly after the previous one ended (the fact that 3 starts less than an hour after 2 ended is actually a plot point). So the entire series so far has taken place over the course of 2-3 weeks, at most.
  • Johnny Reno: As the Opening Scroll states, the events of the film cover just two days in Johnny's eventful career.
  • Barring the short epilogue, the events of Judas Kiss take about 24 hours.
  • Taking away the beginning and ending, Jumanji takes place in three different days: one in 1969, another in 1995 where the bulk of the movie happens, followed by a return to 1969 and an epilogue in 1995.
  • While Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle twists time a little bit by mostly taking place inside the game, the real world events are in a day in 1997 and another in 2017.
  • Judgment Night, as the name implies, takes place over the course of one eventful night.
  • Jurassic Park
    • The majority of Jurassic Park, starting with when the helicopter lands on Isla Nublar, takes place from one morning to the next. And even the moments before it are set in that same month.
    • Jurassic World, aside from the opening scene with the birth of the Indominus rex, takes place around 24 hours. The movie begins in the mid-late morning, most of the events occur during the afternoon and the evening before finally concluding on the following morning.
  • Labyrinth has fun with this. In the goblin world, Sarah's quest needs to be completed in 13 hours, and she instantly loses a few of them midway through when she feigns confidence and tells the villain — a Reality Warper — that the Labyrinth is "a piece of cake". Meanwhile in Sarah's world, less than five hours pass while she's away (the opening scene there takes place shortly before 7 p.m., the final scene shortly after midnight).
  • Barring the last scene (which happens a undetermined, but short, time later), the events of Lady on a Train encompass about 48 hours.
  • Last Train from Gun Hill: The events in Gun Hill take less than a day: with Morgan arriving on the morning train and leaving on the eponymous last train at 9 PM at the end of the film. The events leading up to him travelling to Gun Hill cannot be more than two days or so.
  • The Australian film Last Train To Freo is set entirely on a train traveling from Midland to Fremantle in Perth and takes about as long as that journey would take (although they do have the train break down for about ten minutes to give the story a little more time).
  • Left for Dead: Although it is not clear how long Clem was unconscious in the outlaw camp, the events of the film can take no longer than two days (and are probably closer to one).
  • Most of Liar Liar takes place over one day (as in from sunrise to sunset).
  • Life Blood: Apart from the prelude in 1969, the film chronicles Brooke and Rhea's first 24 hours as vampires.
  • The Living Wake takes place over 12 hours, at most. (It starts in the morning, and ends at 7:30 that night. It's not clear exactly what time it is at the beginning, but it can't be earlier than 7:30 or so.)
  • Excluding the flashbacks to Lizzie Borden's life, the action of Lizzie Borden's Revenge unfolds over a single night.
  • The Locals takes less than 24 hours. Grant and Paul leave Auckland in the late morning or early afternoon, take an extremely ill-advised shortcut, and spend a terrifying night stranded in backwoods New Zealand, with the film ending at sunrise.
  • Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent: Excluding the prologue, the film covers slightly less than 24 hours.
  • The events of Lone Hero cover about two and half days.
  • Long Weekend: Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The film takes place over a long weekend: starting on Friday afternoon and ending on late Monday afternoon.
  • Barring the prologue, the events of The Loved Ones take less than 24 hours: starting at the end of the school day and finishing early to mid morning the following day.
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, with the exception of the final scene, takes place over a few hours of the titular Ma Rainey's recording session.
  • Most of Mad Max: Fury Road takes place in around two days. (it's unclear how long it takes between Max's capture and his "conscription" as a blood bag)
  • Magnolia focuses on a group of intersecting characters during the course of one day.
  • The Man Who Could Work Miracles encompasses about 48 hours. At the end Fotheringay presses the Reset Button, and everything rewinds to the start, meaning that—in one sense—only a few minutes pass.
  • Margin Call takes place in a 24-hour period.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The franchise has three movies taking place at the same time. The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and Thor all take place roughly within the span of the same week. The Consultant has Coulson still in New Mexico (after the events of Thor) when Stark goes talking to Thunderbolt Ross in Hulk. The miniseries The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week confirms that Blonsky became the Abomination at the same time as Thor was breaking into the S.H.I.E.L.D. compound, which was the day after the Stark Expo.
    • Most of the individual movies also take place over a few days at most. Post-The Avengers, this helps justify why none of the heroes go to their friends for help: There's just not enough time.
    • To show how much the MCU crams into so few days, Avengers: Infinity War is set across just two days - Thanos's men arrive in New York City just as Peter Parker is returning from a field trip, that same night they attack Vision in Edinburghnote , who is brought the next morning to the Avengers HQ in New York, and it's barely afternoon when the climactic battle occurs in Wakanda.
  • Meet the Parents, excepting the opening scenes and final scene, mostly takes place over the course of two days, with most of the action falling on the second day.
  • Memento takes place over the course of about two days, if you don't count the flashbacks to Sammy's story and the attack Leonard and his wife.
  • The Menu takes place over the course of a single evening at the restaurant Hawthorne, which is said to last about 4 to 5 hours.
  • Barring the prelude, Midnight Movie takes place over one night: starting just before midnight and ending before dawn.
  • French film Le Million takes place over a single afternoon and evening, as the characters scramble to find a lost coat that contains a winning lottery ticket.
  • Miracle Mile takes place in one night.
  • As the title suggests, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day takes place over one day.
  • The Mist takes place in a only a couple of days, even thought it's kind hard to tell the days because of...the mist.
  • The events of Mohawk seem to take a little over 24 hours, although the dreamlike nature of some of the scenes make it hard to be sure.
  • Monster Party: Two days, with most of action occurring in a few hours during the dinner party on the second day.
  • Moonstruck: The movie takes place over a little over two days.
  • Murder by Death takes place over a single evening.
  • My Soul to Take: Besides the Distant Prologue and less than a minute of the following scene (where characters are counting down to midnight) the whole film takes place in the sixteenth anniversary of the events of the prologue.
  • With the possible exception of the final scene, most of Mystery Team takes place over the course of a few days.
  • The action of The Naked Witch seems to encompass about 2 days (although the very poor day for night shooting makes it hard to be sure).
  • The Negotiator: Except for the beginning where Danny arrests a shooter and then is accused of murdering his partner, the entire action in the second act take place from afternoon to nighttime when Danny Roman holds Niebaum and a few of his colleagues hostage.
  • Nerve encompasses what may be the most stressful night ever.
  • Never Rarely Sometimes Always mostly takes place during a 48-hour period as Autumn and Skylar travel from their small Pennsylvania town to a Planned Parenthood clinic in New York City.
  • New Town Killers covers a period of slightly over 12 hours.
  • The events of Niagara occur over 3 days: the time the Cutlers had for their belated honeymoon.
  • The Johnny Depp film Nick of Time takes place in real time. About 90 minutes.
  • Night of the Demons (2009): The 'Night' of the title is literal. The events occur over Halloween night; starting after dark and ending at dawn.
  • Why do you think it's called Night of the Living Dead? Everything from Barbra's and Johnny's visit to the graveyard to "That's another one for the fire" does indeed take place over one night.
  • Nine Dead, aside from a few short scenes at the beginning about how the nine captives were abducted, entirely takes place over the course of about 80 minutes.
  • The Notorious Daughter of Fanny Hill covers one very busy day in the life of Kissey Hill: from getting up in the morning till some time after dark.
  • The plot of Orange County happens all in just one full day.
  • Oslo, August 31st takes place over a single day (though that day is actually the 30th, with the film ending on the morning of the 31st).
  • P2 takes place on a single Christmas Eve night.
  • As befits a film about a daily newspaper, The Paper covers 24 hours.
  • The Passion of the Christ: The film (aside from a few flashbacks and the final scene) takes place from Christ's arrest at 3 a.m. Thursday night to his death at 3 p.m. Friday afternoon.
  • The Phantom of Crestwood unfolds in less than 24 hours. It starts at about midday and ends at at about 7 the following morning.
  • Phone Booth unfolds more or less in Real Time (with a couple of minor jumps), with Split Screen being used to show what is happening simultaneously in different locations.
  • Pig Hunt covers one weekend.
  • Pineapple Express takes place in two or three days.
  • The Live-Action remake of Disney's Pinocchio manages to cover an even shorter timespan than the original animated film's 2-3 days and compresses it all down to only 24 hours, all while still managing to fit in all of the same events of original animated movie and more. The movie lampshades this in a priceless exchange between Pinocchio and Geppetto once they finally meet again:
    Pinocchio: I'm sorry I got kicked out of school!
    Geppetto: You got kicked out of school?!
    Pinocchio: And I joined the puppet show and became famous!
    Geppetto: You became famous?!
    Pinocchio: But then I got scooped up and we jumped off a cliff into the sea! And now, we're here!
    Geppetto: (beat) You did all that in ONE DAY?!
    Pinocchio: Yes!
    Geppetto: My goodness. I haven’t done a fraction of that in my whole life.
  • Pool of London covers three days. The film opens with the Dunbar docking in the eponymous Pool of London on Friday afternoon, and ends with her sailing on the morning tide on Monday.
  • Predators begins at the morning of one day and it ends at the morning of the next... but given it's not Earth, days are not necessarily 24 hours.
  • Preservation unfolds in less than 48 hours.
  • Korean film The President's Last Bang, a dramatization of the assassination of President Park Chung-hee, takes place over less than a day, the afternoon-evening-night of Oct. 26-27, 1979.
  • The majority of Primer takes place over about three days. Multiple times. Probably.
  • Project X takes place over 24 hours or so.
  • Prom Night (1980) takes place over the course of a single school day leading up to the prom, and then the prom itself that evening. The opening scene takes place six years prior before a Time Skip. Likewise the 2008 reboot takes place exclusively on prom night, except for the opening scene a year prior. Averted for the three in-name-only sequels.
  • Barring the prologues of both films, A Quiet Place and its sequel takes place over the course of about a week. The first film explicitly takes place during two days, and Part II takes place during around four days.
  • The Raven (1963): Dr. Bedlo arrives at the Craven estate around dusk one morning and the characters ride to confront Scarabus the next day. They reach his castle at night and the remaining action and final scene take place before morning. All told, the film seemingly encompasses less than 36 hours.
  • Excluding The Teaser, Razors: The Return of Jack the Ripper takes place over two days.
  • Red Eye takes place over the course of about four very stressful, hectic hours. (And about three of those hours take place on an airplane.)
  • Red Hill starts on the morning of Constable Cooper's first day in Red Hill, and ends at sunrise the next day. It is a very eventful day.
  • With the possible exception of up to the graveyard scene, the entirety of Repo! The Genetic Opera takes place over the course of one day.
  • Reservoir Dogs. The majority of the movie is set during a scant few hours immediately following the heist.
  • Revenge (2017) takes place over one weekend.
  • The Rocketeer: Despite all of the plot developments and intrigue, it's implied that the entire movie takes place over approximately 48 hours.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show mostly takes place in one night apart from it starting with a wedding that afternoon.
  • Rocky Mountain covers approx. 36 hours.
  • Rogue (2020) starts with the assault on the jihadist compound in mid-afternoon and ends at dawn the next day when the helicopter arrives to extract the survivors.
  • A Room in Town covers about three days of time, in which lives are completely ruined and forever changed.
  • Rope takes place more or less in Real Time, covering the length of a dinner party, as well as a few minutes before and after.
  • The Run All Night plot begins during an afternoon and ends the following morning.
  • Run Lola Run covers the "same" twenty minutes three times, with an intro sequence and a few flashbacks in between.
  • The Sadist takes place over ninety minutes, almost in Real Time.
  • Santa Hunters: Apart from the first scenes with Alex and Elizabeth at their school, the movie takes place on Christmas Eve day overnight into Christmas morning.
  • Scarecrows opens on the hijacked plane in the late afternoon. It is dawn when the final showdown occurs. A news bulletin playing over the closing credits indicates that the plane touched down no more than an hour or so later.
  • Scavenger Hunt (1979): The movie starts in the late morning with the reading of the will, and ends just after 5 pm when the points from the Scavenger Hunt are tallied. Total time elapsed is probably not more than six hours.
  • Scenic Route also takes place in only a few days.
  • Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed: Apart from the opening scene taking place the night before and a following act set inside an old mansion during the day, about two thirds of the film happen over the course of a very long and packed night. Counting the final scene being set in the morning after the Big Bad is defeated, the entire conflict spans maybe a day and a half for the gang.
  • Sheitan starts on the evening of Dec. 23 and ends on midnight Christmas Eve.
  • Shampoo takes place over the course of one day, with some footage of the next day.
  • Other than the prologue and epilogue, Shaun of the Dead takes place over two life-changing days.
  • Shrooms covers two or three days; depending on exactly when the opening scene on the plane takes place, and how long Tara is unconscious in the woods before being found.
  • The entirety of Silver Lode plays out over the course of a single day in near-enough Real Time, with no appreciable change in the time of day evident from the lighting or other factors.
  • Skyscraper, with the exception of the opening introduction, the film starts in the morning, the evil plot gets underway in the afternoon, and the main action takes place overnight, all within 24 hours.
  • Sleepy Hollow High starts at midnight (the radio announcer says its approaching the witching hour) and ends at the finish of the school day (the last scene is Shannon and Diana walking home after school).
  • Excluding the prologue and epilogue, Slaughter High encompasses a little over 24 hours: running from when Carol gets up in the morning, until slightly after noon the following day (April 1st).
  • Small Town Santa: The movie happens over the day and night of Christmas Eve.
  • Smokin' Aces takes place in less than 24 hours, ending at the night of the same day it began, from different points of views, with a couple of flashbacks here and there.
  • Aside from the opening elevator sequence and a subsequent Time Skip, Speed takes place over a single action packed morning.
  • Speed Zone opens on the day before the Cannonball road race. The movie ends just after the race does about two days later. There are no flashbacks in between.
  • Stag's events cover one night, following the events of an extremely eventful stag party. It starts in the late afternoon and ends at around sunrise the next morning.
  • The Standoff At Sparrow Creek: The film takes place over less than twelve hours, and that counts the minute or so at the beginning where Gannon shoots a deer during the daytime and then the scene cuts to that night.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: The strain of the time warp to 1986 threatens to de-crystalize the Klingon bird-of-prey's dilithium crystals, which, according to Scotty, would become unusable in around 24 hours, which means they have that long to track the humpback whales and restore the dilithium crystals.
    • Star Trek: First Contact takes place in approximately 24 hours, with the Enterprise arriving in the evening of April 4, 2063 and then departing after first contact is made the following evening on April 5.
    • Star Trek (2009): Even though the first half hour-or so passes over 25 years, the second and third acts occur roughly within just a day and a half. The epilogue is presumed to be some time very shortly after.
    • Star Trek Into Darkness seems to take place in a couple of days (not counting the epilogue) even though it would probably take more time to travel from Earth to Qo'noS in the series, but in the movies it only takes a couple of hours tops.
    • Star Trek Beyond opens with Kirk making a log entry on stardate 2263.02 (January 2, 2263) and closes on Kirk's thirtieth birthday on stardate 2263.04 (January 4, 2263) with the very last scene rapidly fast-forwarding through the construction and launch of the USS Enterprise-A.
  • Star Wars:
    • A New Hope appears to take place over the course of a few days, which Darth Vader lampshades shortly before the Battle of Yavin. (There were apparently some scenes written that took place days or weeks earlier, and they were expanded for the later radio version, but they didn't appear in the movie.)
      "This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi; it will see the end of the rebellion."
    • The major part of Revenge of the Sith takes place over three days.
    • Like A New Hope, The Force Awakens also takes place only in a couple of days; The Last Jedi is an Immediate Sequel that itself takes place over a few days; and The Rise of Skywalker starts a year later and takes place over a single day.
  • Still Walking unfolds over one summer day.
  • Sweet Smell of Success plays out over the course of less than two days.
  • Tales of Halloween covers the events of one Halloween, combined with a couple of short flashbacks.
  • Terminator
    • The Terminator takes place over 2-3 days, apart from an epilogue set a few months later; the story begins on a Thursday night, and the last shot before the epilogue takes place on Sunday morning.
    • Terminator 2: Judgment Day takes place over about 48 hours, from the arrival of the terminators to the final showdown two nights later.
    • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines takes place in the span of about 12 hours.
    • Except for the prologues, Terminator Salvation seems to take about 2-3 days, but is less clear on it.
    • From Kyle Reese's point of view, Terminator Genisys also spans about 2-3 days, during which he time travels twice.
  • The events of Terror By Night unfold on an overnight train trip from London to Edinburgh, and the movie ends before the train reaches Edinburgh.
  • Barring the prologue, the action of Terror Train takes place over a single night.
  • Apart from the prologue showing Kelly's injury, the events of Tiger House take 12 hours.
  • The events of Train take about three days. The party occurs the first night, the second night is on the train, and the third night is at the medical facility: putting the events of the climax on the morning of the next day. The brief epilogue (a few minutes) takes place an unspecified time later.
  • Training Day, as the name suggests, begins in the morning and ends at dawn.
  • The action of Transit takes less than 48 hours (confirmed when Nate states that the robbery took place 'yesterday').
  • Triangle plays out in less than a day.
  • The events of Trick 'r Treat unfold over the course of several hours on Halloween night. This is somewhat masked by the film's Anachronic Order.
  • TRON takes place during a few hours, from late afternoon to late evening. The bulk of the action occurs in a period of only a few seconds - in the real world; in the computer it seems longer. The same goes for its sequel, which takes place over the course of one night.
  • Unknown (2006) takes place over the course of less than 6 hours.
  • Vantage Point covers roughly 23 minutes, shown from 8 points of view throughout the movie.
  • Varsity Blood covers about 36 hours. The film starts in the afternoon of Oct. 30, and ends at what must be the early hours of Nov. 1.
  • The events of Vice (2015) seem to encompass about 48 hours (although the City Noir setting makes it appear to be Always Night).
  • Violent Saturday unfolds over two days; starting on Friday and ending on the evening of the eponymous Saturday.
  • Volcano: The entire film takes place over the course of less than twenty-four hours, the bulk of the action in about two hours, from 5:10 AM to around sunrise.
  • The Warriors: All the action takes place over the course of about 12 hours; the protagonists have to travel by both train and by foot from the Bronx to Coney Island (it takes around eight hours if you're walking, which they end up doing more than they expected), running into a lot of mishaps along the way. They make it back to Coney for the movie's climax as the sun is rising.
  • A Wedding (1978): The film covers less than a day, despite tons of characters having character arcs and the movie running at over two hours.
  • Wendigo takes place over a single weekend.
  • We're No Angels (1989): The movie begins the night of the jailbreak and ends two mornings later.
  • Absurdist summer camp comedy Wet Hot American Summer takes great pleasure with this trope. 95% of the film takes place over the course of a single day (August 18th, 1981, with the opening and ending scenes taking place on the previous night and next morning respectively), even showing regular updates about the time of day, but an absurdly large quantity of events are packed into that day, stretching the timeline almost beyond belief.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit happens over the course of two eventful days. A notable Deleted Scene would've made it three.
  • The Wicker Man (1973) begins, depending on which cut you watch, on the evening of April the 28th or the morning of April the 29th, and ends at sunset on May the 1st.
  • The Widow (2020): The bulk of the movie spans one day and one night.
  • Barring the prologue in Ancient Persia, Wishmaster takes place over two days. This is confirmed by Alex's final wish when she wishes that Mickey Torelli hadn't been drinking on the job two days ago.
  • The World's End takes place over three days: The Teaser, the Distant Finale, and everything in between.
  • Zola, despite all the wild events that happen, takes place over one weekend.

    Literature 
  • With the exception of the first few chapters and a few chapters at the end, the bulk of Acid Row takes place over several hours on Saturday 28th July 2001, which proves to be a highly eventful and terrifying day for Acid Row, later known to the public as Bloody Saturday.
  • The book After Dark by Haruki Murakami takes place over the course of one night.
  • And Then There Were None: The guests arrived on Indian Island on the 8th of August. According to the epilogue, a distress signal was spotted on the 11th and a rescue party was sent on the 12th. They arrive on the island to find everyone is dead.
  • Each of the Artemis Fowl books take place in three days, if not less. Although in The Lost Colony three years pass for the rest of the world, while the trip in Hybras only lasted minutes for Artemis. Also, time was flowing differently there so it passed differently for their minds and bodies. As Artemis figured out: An hour per second for a count of forty, followed by a deceleration to thirty minutes per second for a count of eighteen, then a slight jump backwards in time, one minute per second back for a count of two. Then it repeats. Then in The Time Paradox, most of the book takes place in the span of ten seconds, though it was roughly three days in the past.
  • Not counting flashbacks to the past, the beginning of Ptolemy's Gate from The Bartimaeus Trilogy is said to take place just a few days before the premiere of the great Quentin Makepeace's premiere of the play From Wapping to Westminster. The play itself is when the big climax of the book goes down and everything wraps up the next day.
  • The Blonde Cried Murder: This pulp fiction detective story takes place over 2 1/2 hours. The first frantic call to a hotel front desk about a murder in a room takes place at 9:32 pm. The end, where protagonist Michael Shayne catches the killer and then embraces his Sexy Secretary (after two violent encounters with a bad guy, and another murder), takes place just after midnight.
  • Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun consists of four volumes, but covers only a handful of days.
  • Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions takes place over a few days at most; one of the main characters spends most of it on a cross country drive. Vonnegut would later write Galápagos, which takes place over a million years.
  • Dan Brown's books, being thrillers, usually take place within less than a day.
  • The Catcher in the Rye spans only two or three days.
  • Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, the Immediate Sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, takes place over several hours; it's telling that at the end Grandpa Joe notes he and Charlie have had quite a day between the tour of the factory in the first book and the events of this one. And to top it all off, Charlie notes that the day isn't even over yet.
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and other books in The Chronicles of Narnia (and TV/film adaptations): a negligible amount of Earth time passes when people spend ages in Narnia, and each narrative takes place over a few Earth days at most.
  • The build-up to the climax of The Culture novel Consider Phlebas, by Iain M. Banks, features several different series of events taking place all at once until they converge in a massive train-crash and laser battle. It all takes about 30 minutes or so in story, but spans dozens and dozens of pages as the narrative jumps back and forth as each piece moves incrementally into place. The train crash itself lasts 5 seconds of intense action with about 30 seconds of aftermath and then some additional violence among the survivors, described over several pages in slow detail because there is A LOT going on all at once.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul: Compared to previous books which last for at least a few months, this one only lasts for nine days, three of which take place during a Time Skip after the family gets home.
  • Discworld: Hogfather takes place entirely on Hogswatchnight, although a lot of it is spent in various Anthropomorphic Personification realms where time doesn't pass normally (including the "congruent reality" that enables the Hogfather to visit the entire Disc on a single night). Some other Discworld books have short time spans too. Unseen Academicals has a timespan of a few days; the game at the end of the book is within the same week as the wizards' discussion at the beginning.
  • Most epic poems take place over entire lifetimes, while the The Divine Comedy just focuses on a crazy week where a middle-aged poet becomes a celestial pilgrim. This is most obvious in Inferno, where the characters walk through the center of the Earth to the opposite side of the planet within 24 hours while wasting plenty of travel-time talking to the locals in Hell.
  • Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, best known as the film Blade Runner was based on, takes place over the course of a single day. However, the extreme volume and variety of events, life-changing revelations, emotional paradigm shifts, financial windfalls and disasters, and new people met and bonded with in various bizarre ways makes the short timespan seem staggering, especially as it includes the perspectives of both a primary and secondary protagonist. The main character himself can't believe events that happened earlier in the novel were the same day and not another lifetime.
  • Similar to the above, the book series Dreamhouse Kings have each of its books taking place in a timespan of usually no more than three days. Blame Xander and his constant reckness.
  • In The Dreamside Road, almost the entire Wintertide Festival arc takes place over a single night, from the train derailment in the early evening, to the final battle with Tucker, the next morning.
  • Each book of The Dresden Files covers somewhere in the area of two or three days, which is an incredibly short time given all the abuse the main character takes. Some are even shorter time periods, with the bulk of Cold Days taking roughly 24 hours, and the 15th and 16th books (Peace Talks and Battle Ground) take it even further, with the latter half of Peace Talks and almost the entirety of Battle Ground taking place over the course of a single night. Of course the books also generally take place about a year after the one before it. So barring a few exceptions, Harry is fully recovered when it's time to get the crap kicked out of him again.
  • For Therin Knite's Echoes, most of the books in the series take place over the course of a few days, due to the time-sensitive nature of the echoes themselves.
  • The Latin textbook Familia Romana takes most students a year or two to work through. Most of the book tells (in Latin) about events befalling a fictional Roman family. All of the events described in the book happen within a span of two days.
  • Finnegans Wake happens during one night.
  • The first eight chapters of The Grim Reaper's Apprentice take place within a day; only the ninth chapter is set the next morning.
  • While each Harry Potter book takes place over roughly one year, often times the climax takes up a large portion of the book, while covering the events of a single day. Most of the last 30% of Prisoner of Azkaban takes place over just four hours, and the last third of Deathly Hallows (the Gringotts raid, Hogsmeade, the Battle of Hogwarts) takes place over about 24 hours. Also, all of Dumbledore’s backstory, which affected his entire character for the next century up until his death, lasts just about two months from the time his mother dies and he’s Promoted to Parent, Grindelwald moves next door, Albus befriends and falls in love with him, they make plans to take over the world together, his brother rebukes him for neglecting their disabled sister, a fight breaks out, the sister dies, Grindelwald’s evil is revealed, and Albus blames himself. His old school friend goes on their planned grand tour without him, and returns to find him a changed man.
  • In Heralds of Valdemar, normally Herald-Trainees take between three and five years between being Chosen and becoming full Heralds. They have to have their Gifts trained, learn fighting with and without various weapons, learn to ride their Companions exceptionally well, and be very knowledgeable about their country, its laws, and its many cultures and languages. Naturally, it takes years for anyone who didn't have a head start in any of that to become proficient enough, and then they have an internship where they're partnered with a more senior Herald for a period of one to two years. Sometimes, this gets compressed.
    • In Brightly Burning, Lavan's Playing with Fire gift is awakened in the fall and he's Chosen almost immediately. Not long after Midwinter he's shoved into Whites so he can be sent to the border and use his fire powers in a war, soon dying in a conflagration. The epilogue is stated to take place months later and it's still not spring.
    • The Last Herald-Mage Trilogy takes place in an era when Herald-training is not as codified as it becomes later. After his quite extensive powers are awakened and he is Chosen, Vanyel is taken to the Tayledras to get his Power Incontinence contained and controlled. Almost immediately upon getting some conscious control he participates in the fight against an evil mage, and while he's recovering his aunt presents him with his Whites. This timespan contributes to Vanyel being Lonely at the Top.
      • In Magic's Price, the Bardic Trainee Stefan is promoted to full Bard after only three months as a Journeyman, so that he can disregard the Journeyman mandate to travel and instead stays in court to use his Magic Music to help the ailing king. This also means he never learns to fight.
  • Vivian Vande Velde's young-adult science fiction novel Heir Apparent features a teenage girl trapped inside a VR game with time-distorting qualities. While several weeks pass from her perspective, her story is alternated with the attempt to revive her in the real world, where only a few hours pass.
  • Horrorstör takes place within a single 24-hour period (with the exception of the epilogue), with the vast majority of the events depicted happening overnight.
  • The House of Night is a pretty big offender. The whole series takes place over about a year, with fairly large time skips between each of the twelve book, but the books themselves each take up about 4-5 days. For perspective: that means that in the first book, it takes Zoey four days to gain control of all five elements (something that no other vampyre has ever done), get appointed as apprentice High Priestess and get her magical tattoo almost as elaborate as an adult. It didn't even take that long to find a group of new friends and a cute boy who are all obsessively devoted to her.
  • In stark contrast to his other famous book, Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame takes place over the course of a few days.
  • InCryptid: Imaginary Numbers and its immediate sequel Calculated Risks each take place over the course of a few days, though thanks to Narnia Time in the second one, a year passes back on Earth.
  • Similar to the It: Chapter Two film example above, the part of the novel It that focuses on the now adult members of the Loser's Club begins with Mike Hanlon making calls to his childhood friends and ends about 3-1/2 days later, not counting the epilogue.
  • A few of the Just William short stories take place over a single day, as does the only novel in the series, Just William's Luck.
  • Kes describes a single school day in the life of the protagonist. This one just happens to be more eventful than most others.
  • Patrick Rothfuss's The Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy has each book being a spoken retelling of a large part of Kvothe's life. Each book in spite being very lengthy represents only a day of his storytelling even though that storytelling covers several years of his life. The strange part is that the actual retelling (with the book read out loud via Audiobook) is well in excess of a 24 hour day in length. To be fair, it's never mentioned that a day is 24 hours in this world.
  • The Left Behind book The Indwelling takes place within three days, from the time of Nicolae Carpathia's murder to the time that he is supernaturally resurrected in front of millions of people. Glorious Appearing takes place in no less than two days at the most, since it covers Jesus' Second Coming.
  • Georges Perec's Life: A User's Manual technically takes place over the course of a few seconds on the evening of June 23rd, 1975, though largely told through flashbacks.
  • The Little House takes place in the span of a few hours, beginning with Mélite's arrival at Trémicour's petite maison for a house tour and ending just after dinner.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Though the main events of the books take place over the course of about a year (going from Frodo leaving Bag End to him reaching home), the famous War of the Ring takes up a rather small part of that period. Sauron declares war on March 9th, and the Battle of the Black Gate and the destruction of the One Ring happened on March 25th, meaning that the entire main conflict lasted a little over two weeks. If you count Saruman's war with Rohan as a part of the conflict, that brings it up to a whole month, starting on February 25th with the Battle of the Fords of Isen. That single month covers all of Two Towers and about two-thirds of Return of the King. Funnily, this means that the War of the Ring, indisputably the most famous conflict Tolkien ever wrote about, was also one of the shortest.
    • The time when Saruman's Isengard was a major, quasi-independent faction in open service to the forces of darkness was almost exactly a week, if one goes from the aforementioned Battle of the Fords on February 25th to the annihilation of his army at the Battle of the Hornburg on the morning of March 4th. It's even shorter if you consider the Last March of the Ents (March 2nd) to be the break point. Saruman did spend some decades building up in secret beforehand and had revealed himself to Gandalf some months prior, though, as well as seeing a rather pathetic tenure as a gang boss in the Shire that lasted about a month.
  • The Malazan prequel novel Night Of Knives takes place within 24 hours, which is unusual for a series known for taking huge and epic up a notch.
  • Nicholson Baker's novel The Mezzanine takes place in the span of a single escalator ride.
    • His follow-up, Room Temperature takes however long it takes a baby to finish a bottle.
  • Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway takes place over a single day.
  • Murder on the Orient Express: Unusually for Christie novels, this one and its well-known film adaptations cover less than two days. The book begins with Poirot seeking passage on the eponymous train. A passenger is murdered that night, and Poirot investigates the case over the next day, solving it sometime in the afternoon or late morning.
  • The Night of Wishes starts at New Year's Eve and ends a few minutes after midnight.
  • Night World: Some of the books take place over only a few very eventful days. The Chosen is especially notable: with the exception of the first few chapters taking place during protagonist Rashel's childhood (which themselves take place over a single day) and the twelve-year Time Skip, the novel takes place over about three days, during which Rashel infiltrates a vampire slave ring, meets her soulmate, faces off with her vampire archnemesis and ultimately decides to give up vengeance, her soulmate has a Heel–Face Turn and they both decide to join Circle Daybreak.
  • No Talking: The book takes place over seventy-three hours. It begins an hour before the school's Monday's lunch period and ends during Thursday's lunch period, at the end of the 48 hour no talking contest between boys and girls. Additionally, everything after Wednesday's lunch period is confined to the last chapter.
  • The Noob novels all happen within three days, two of which are usually connected by the characters having an all-nighter. The only exception was the first half of the third novel, that adapts a plot-essential chain of events that happen over a longer time in the original webseries.
  • Piece of My Heart: The bulk of the plot takes place over nine hectic days, with the exception of the prologue (which is set five years earlier), a single chapter depicting the murder of Lou Finney (set eighteen years earlier) and the epilogue (which takes place five weeks after the climax). Given it revolves around the search for a kidnapped child, time is of the essence.
  • Rachel Griffin: The Unexpected Enlightenment Of Rachel Griffin begins on the first day of Rachel's term in Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts. The events of the book (uncovering a world-spanning conspiracy, saving classmates' lives several times on different occasions, making friends, and saving the school from a dragon) cover five days. Rachel wonders if the rest of the term is going to be as exciting. She certainly hopes not.
  • Reflections of Eterna: The fifth volume of Sunrise covers seven days on the same number pages that the first book in the series, Red on Red, covered well over a year. This has been an escalating problem for the series for some time before that, but Sunrise Part 5 definitely took the cake.
  • Stephen King's book The Regulators takes place over the course of a single day (Desperation, an AU version of Regulators published under the King name, does so as well), while The Running Man (written under his Bachmann pen name) happens within three days or so.
  • Where many fantasy novels separate their sections into "book 1, book 2, book 3", and so on, the first four books of The Runelords are separated by the day. Very nearly every minute is accounted for, often from multiple perspectives. With time-skips of maybe a week or two in between each book, the entire first tetralogy takes place over a couple months at most.
  • Each book in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series takes place with a timespan of two days. This is very ironic, since the plot involves supernatural Elders that had been waiting for thousands of years.
  • The (quite action packed) Western novel Savage Texas: a Good Day to Die. There are Two Lines, No Waiting for the first half but it's still a bit startling when one main character notes, right before the climax:
Since coming to town with Luke on Saturday-was it only yesterday?- he'd been crowded by gunmen, lawmen and Indians.
  • Most of the plot of Shadows of Self takes place over a period of only two days. Which is a plot element, because it means that the main characters don't have any time to rest and are running ragged by the end of the story.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Much of the Jedi Apprentice series takes place in the year Obi-Wan is thirteen. During that time he and Qui-Gon unseat a criminal syndicate from planetary rule, resolve an abdication crisis, then Obi-Wan leaves the Jedi for a few months, resolves a generational conflict, he and Qui-Gon bring the Big Bad to justice and save a planet from environmental exploitation, Obi-Wan rejoins the Jedi, and finally they end a well-intentioned fascistic regime. It's only after the ninth book that Obi-Wan is said to be 14.
    • While the twelve-book series Galaxy of Fear takes place over a period of six months or so, each book encompasses a variable period, ranging from a few to forty-eight hours, and only rarely more. These are always exceedingly eventful hours. Most of the unmentioned time seems to be spent in transit from one place to another.
  • Stinger: The 500 page book takes place over 24 hours.
  • While the trope's averted in the second book, Stuck uses this twice:
    • Stuck at the Galleria, aside from the very beginning, takes place over the course of one very busy night.
    • Likewise, Stuck at the Wheel takes place over a week and a day, including the epilogue.
  • This Is Where It Ends takes place over the course of 54 minutes, with each chapter covering a two-minute period.
  • Toliver's Secret: Toliver's mission in delivering her grandfather's message and subsequent mishaps form the plot, which takes place over one whole day (plus the next morning).
  • The notorious Door Stopper Ulysses takes place over the course of a single day.
  • Worm: The Slaughterhouse Nine are first detected on June 3rd in arc 9. Arc 14, in which they are driven off, takes place entirely on June 12. Arc 16 chapter 7 begins on June 19, and apart from arc 17 being an extended Travelers flashback, everything from then through arc 19 takes place in the next 24 hours.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 24 is most likely the most well-known example of this trope, as each season takes place, wait for it, in twenty-four hours; and each episode takes place over the course of a single hour.
  • While many episodes of 100 Things to Do Before High School last for about one school day, "Sit at a Different Lunch Table Thing!" lasts only for one lunch period (minus the epilogue).
  • The plot of the KiKa teen drama Allein gegen die Zeit (Alone Against The Clock) takes place in only thirteen hours in both seasons (from 8 am to 8 pm).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Season 5's "The Body " takes place entirely in real time, which means the episode covers roughly forty minutes - barring the Christmas flashback that plays over the opening credits.
    • The last four episodes of season five all take place over two days, with the last three all taking place in a single day and night. The trend continues in season six, with the last four episodes covering a three-day timespan and all of them picking up right where the other left off.
    • Season 7's "Conversations With Dead People" takes place only within a couple of hours at night. Enough time for Xander to have been asleep (and thus not in the episode) and get woken early when the next episode starts.
  • The first five seasons of Cobra Kai takes place about two years. Few characters aged considerably during the course of the series, most notably Anthony LaRusso (who was eleven at the beginning both in-universe and out but is fifteen playing twelve by Season 5).
  • Community: While many episodes take place over a longer period of time, whenever the school descends into absolute anarchy it always happens remarkably quickly.
    • In the first season Jeff takes a one-hour nap in his car and finds a game of paintball has thrown the school into chaos, with themed groups appearing.
    • In the second season finale another game of paintball results in the school collapsing and a new social order being formed, with Pierce setting himself up as the leader of his own little sanctuary team over a few hours.
    • In the third season a war is fought with pillows over about three days.
    • In the fifth season a game of The Floor is Lava takes a few hours to create a punk-themed post-apocalyptic setting, with culturally distinct factions and legends.
      Troy: You used that bench to upset the balance. By the vapors of Magmarath we will restore it!
      Britta: You have gods?
    • Again in the fifth season, it takes a new app for rating things 8 days to result in a complete restructuring of the schools hierarchy, with the leaders of the new system using Bread and Circuses to appease the masses, before a revolution overthrows the "old" order.
      Britta: Nonsense! All fives were reduced to oneness in the Great Purge of about 2 minutes ago.
  • The "Off To See The Wretched" episode of The Cosby Show takes place within a few hours over one night. We even get a time stamp of 5AM at the beginning of the last scene, even though we hadn't gotten any before.
  • The Coupling "Rashomon"-Style episode "Nine and a Half Minutes" takes place over nine and a half minutes.
  • Day 5's two seasons (14 episodes) take place over the span of about 48 hours. (Though most episodes have at least one flashback from before that time period.)
  • Deadwood: Every episode takes place over a day, except for one case where one day is covered by two episodes.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The entirety of season 12, along with the first few stories of season 13, which all lead into each other, takes place in only a few days.
    • The events of the TV Movie unfold over New Year's Eve 1999 and the early hours of New Year's Day 2000.
    • In the new series, most of the time, a new companion's first few episodes will take place over a few days before they are initially returned to their home time, with little-to-no off-screen adventures.
      • For Rose, from "Rose" to "Aliens of London" is only a few days. For the Doctor, on the other hand, it's been over a century (because he popped out briefly near the end of "Rose" and went adventuring for that long before he came back). And, for Jackie and Mickey, it's a year, due to the TARDIS bringing them back to London a year late.
      • The first 6 episodes of Series 3 ("Smith and Jones", "The Shakespeare Code", "Gridlock", "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks" and "The Lazarus Experiment") take place over the span of not more than four, maybe five, days from the Doctor and Martha's POV. After this, however, there are some fairly substantial time skips.
    • Prior to the Time Skip, the Harold Saxon arc encompassing series 3 occurs over a couple of days (from Saxon and his cronies' viewpoint).
      Martha: That's so weird, though — 'cause the day after the election, that's only four days after I met you!
      The Doctor: We went flying all around the universe, while he was here all the time...
    • The war in "The Doctor's Daughter" has lasted "many generations" due to cloning technology. In reality, it lasted roughly a week.
    • Each incarnation of the Doctor lasts a couple centuries on average, as a lot of off-screen adventures happen, and numerous episodes take place over a long period of time. However, due to the Davies-era generally following the "1 season = 1 year"-rule, the Tenth Doctor regenerated after only six in-universe years (possibly five, as it's unclear if he counted the year that never was).
    • From the Doctor's perspective, everything from stepping out of the TARDIS on the Oodsphere in "The End of Time" to leaving the War Rooms with Amy in "Victory of the Daleks" probably takes less than a week, as "The End of Time", "The Eleventh Hour", "The Beast Below" and "Victory of the Daleks" all lead straight into each other.
    • From Clara Oswald's perspective, the events of "The Time of the Doctor" and "Deep Breath" take place over the span of less than three days. For the Doctor, on the other hand, the episodes cover over 900 years.
    • For the Doctor, everything from defeating the Cybermen in "The Doctor Falls" through "Twice Upon a Time" to the climax of "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" likely takes place over the span of maybe 12 hours at most.
    • "The Woman Who Fell to Earth", with the exception of the denouement, takes place over the span of a single evening and night.
  • The entirety of the first season of Emerald City takes place over the course of 10 days at the most. In "Mistress - New - Mistress", both Elizabeth and Anna concur in their estimation that the Beast Forever will manifest in 8 days, when the two moons align. This event takes place at the end of ""No Place Like Home".
  • Friday Night Dinner is about a Jewish family having dinner on Friday; the entire plot of most episodes usually takes place over a few hours.
  • The Australian sci-fi series '"Glitch'' takes place over the course of about a month (not counting the Distant Finale final scene. Individual episodes tend to cover only a few hours to at most, a day or two.
  • Spoofed in The Golden Girls, where Dorothy mentions not having read Apartment 3-G in over twenty years and Blanche, who reads it every day offers to fill her in on what's happened since. Although her exposition is interrupted, it starts with "Well, let me catch you up - it is later the same day..."
  • Season three of Haven starts with Audrey finding out she will disappear when a meteor shower called "the Hunter" hits town...in 40 days. The season finale is the day the meteor shower happens. The latter half of season 4 and all of season 5 similar take place over about a month and a half, owing to the fact that most episodes pick up immediately where the last left off.
  • Hi-de-Hi! ran for nine series over eight years, but takes place over just two summers.
  • Grey's Anatomy:
    • The "Its The End of The World/ ...As We Know It" two-parter in Season 2 take place over only a few hours, in which time a patient comes in with a bomb in his abdomen, Bailey gives birth, and her husband is injured in a car accident.
    • The three-episode ferry boat arc in Season 3 takes place over less than a day.
    • The hospital shooting plays out over two episodes and may have taken place in real time.
    • Season Seven's "Golden Hour" takes place in real time, covering one hour.
  • The Hogan Family: The episode "Leave It To Willie" (aired during Season 2, the Valerie era), where Valerie makes clear to her son Willie that while TV shows (including his favorite show, Leave It To Willie) might have typical "resolved in 30 minutes" timelines, real life doesn't work that way and that the problems he (Willie) caused will take far longer to resolve. (Willie and a buddy, bored one afternoon, had stolen his father's car to go out for a joyride, caused a hit-and-run accident, tried to cover it up and allowed his older brother, David, to take the blame.)
  • Though the main plot of How I Met Your Mother has taken place over several years, the Framing Device (Older Ted telling the story of how he met their mother to his kids) is implied to be taking place in a very short period. The kids don't age, change clothes or move from their spots on the sofa so it's likely this is all taking place over one very long afternoon. Parodied in the season 9 promo. And where the first eight seasons have generally each covered a year each (give or take), the final season all takes place over the course of three days (not counting the odd Flash Back or Flash Forward).
  • Kamen Rider Ghost, with the exception of the Denoument Episode, takes place over 198 days. Justified, as that is how long Takeru has to live before his Cessation of Existence.
  • The Longest Day in Chang'an is forty-eight episodes long, and most of it takes place in a single day.
  • The first four seasons of Lost cover exactly 100 days from the day of the plane crash to the Oceanic Six escaping the Island, but season four takes the cake, with the main plot on the Island lasting for 14 episodes in real-life while only covering nine days In-Universe. This actually affected the plot in season two, as Walt's actor Malcolm David Kelley was aging too fast for the show's timeline and had to be written out. Seasons five and six then continue this trend, with the last 22 episodes of the show taking place over 14 days.
  • The events in the first seven episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power happen in roughly a week, and here we talks about traveling to Valinor, than to Numenor than to the Southlands in only 2 days, from Eregion to Lindon to Moria in a day, from the Southlands to Eregion in only 6 days, when in the books such a travel would take at least weeks to cover. Than in the episode 8, three weeks pass.
  • Numerous episodes of the series M*A*S*H follow this trope, with this being an important plot point in the episode Life Time. Other notable episodes with this trope include It Happened One Night, and the Christmas episodes.
  • The 2014 sitcom Mixology depicts a single night at a bar over the course of a season.
  • Most episodes of NUMB3RS take place over the course of days if not weeks, but there are a few exceptions:
    • "One Hour" is probably the shortest. While it doesn't literally cover only an hour note , the first scene takes place in the early morning and the episode wraps up before lunch. It's short enough that Don misses the entire thing because he's at a therapy appointment.
    • Between the lack of night scenes and the timeline of events, "Trust Metric" appears to take place over a single day, though this is never made explicit.
    • "Jacked" is set around a four-hour bus hostage crisis.
  • The first four seasons of One Tree Hill is set during a two-year period (junior and senior year high school).
  • Orange Is the New Black
    • Season 4's last three episode take place over about a day each, and lead directly to Season 5, which takes place over the course of four days, depicting an ongoing riot where there is essentially anarchy in the prison. Thus, a full 17% of the entire series takes place over a single week.
    • The entire 95-episode series takes place over roughly a year to fifteen months.
  • Sherlock is prone to this, what with Holmes being able to solve mysteries fairly quickly. "A Study in Pink" takes place in just a little over a day, "The Blind Banker" and "The Great Game" in about three days each, and "The Hounds of Baskerville" lasts two or three days. "The Sign of Three", however, takes the cake by taking place almost exclusively over the course of a single speech, with much of the actual action taking place in flashbacks. "A Scandal in Belgravia" and "His Last Vow" then avert the trope by lasting for months.
  • Orphan Black: The entire series is implied to take place over the course of a single year based from the following events.
    • The Pilot is set on late November 2012, but two episodes before the inaugural Season Finale mentions that only two weeks have passed.
    • Donnie's Accidental Murder of Dr. Leekie happens near the end of Season 2, but was said to have happened a few months ago in Season 4.
    • Helena was impregnated late in Season 2. She gave birth in the Grand Finale.
  • Slasher: Season 3 takes place over the course of 24 hours. Each one of the 8 episodes has a span of three hours note  The season goes from 6 AM of one day to 6 AM of the next.
  • Stargate:
    • One episode of Stargate SG-1, appropriately titled "Forever in a Day", appears at first to take place over several days, but in the end is revealed to have taken place entirely in Daniel's head, with barely a second or two having elapsed from where the Cold Open left off.
    • Stargate Atlantis has "38 Minutes", which takes place in approximately real time. 38 minutes is how long a Stargate can be kept open with a reasonable amount of power, and an hour-long TV episode is actually around 40 minutes.
  • Stella takes it even further. The episode "Vegetables", for example, has the main characters decide to grow crops on the floor of their apartment, bring in migrant workers to harvest the bounty, run out of produce due to over-farming, have their apartment foreclosed on by the bank, become forced to take jobs as migrant workers themselves, and finally be rescued by their boss, who turns out to be one of their previous workers they accidentally inspired to become wealthy. All but the last event happens to them in the space of one day. The three leads also created Wet Hot American Summer, not surprisingly.
  • St. Elsewhere: "Newheart" and "Qui Transtulit Sustinet" take place over the course of about thirteen or fourteen hours on the same day.
  • Barring the epilogues of each season's finale and a prologue in the third season's premiere, every episode of Stranger Things takes place over about twenty-four hours, usually beginning late one night and ending late the next night. This gets more pronounced as the seasons continue and the pacing heats up, with multiple episodes late in a given season often happening on the same day. With eight or nine episodes a season, this means each season occurs over one increasingly hectic week.
  • True Blood takes up so far about 45 days with a 1 year time skip between seasons 3 and 4. Episodes tend to be about 1 day long, but several are real time except for perhaps a final scene.
  • The original two seasons of Twin Peaks seem to take place over a month or two, at most, although we were never given an exact timeline indication internally.
  • The Walking Dead: From the beginning of season 4 to season 6, less than 2 months have passed, being that the entire first half of season 6 takes place in one day and a half.
  • Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp shares this trope with the film it's a prequel to, covering the first day of camp (as opposed to the film's focus on the last.)
  • Younger takes place in roughly real time with each episode taking place over several days to a week and not much time between them this leads to each season taking place over a couple months with no time skip between them leading to the show's 6 year run taking place over around 2 years.

    Multiple Media 
  • Most of the present-day storyline of BIONICLE (from the Toa Mata arriving on Mata Nui to the awakening of the Great Spirit) takes place in roughly one year, which would seem like a decent amount of time in almost any other narrative, but the story is about bio-mechanical beings who have lived for millennia, so a year would seem like no time to them. The 2006-2008 story arcs in particular only encompass a few days or weeks at most, meaning the Toa Inika team only existed for a couple days at best before being upgraded to their Mahri forms. Since there is a 1000-year Time Skip between the Prequel storyline and the the present-day story, that leaves the timeline with 1000 years in which almost nothing happens followed by one year of significant, world-shaking events, most notably the entire Matoran Universe being destroyed, the foundation of the inhabitants' 100,000 year culture and beliefs turned upside down, and everyone evacuating to a new planet. This timespan is in all likelihood a retcon, as early media sometimes alluded to entire years taking place between story arcs.

    Music 
  • Johnny Cash song 25 Minutes to Go. The protagonist is about to be hanged, and each verse deducts one minute off his lifespan.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Roughly the last half of the book of John in the Bible takes place during the last week of Jesus' life.

    Podcast 
  • Episode 55 of Jemjammer, "Thirty Seconds of Shark Fight", is named as such because even though it's 53 minutes long, the rules of Dungeons & Dragons state that the entire fight against a giant shark took thirty seconds of in-game time.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A game of One Night Ultimate Werewolf takes place over the course of one night as the title suggests.
  • A single round of combat in Dungeons & Dragons occurs over six seconds. That can encompass a lot of actions and bonus actions from a variety of sources, especially if there are a lot of creatures, complex spells, and additional actions in the mix.

    Theatre 

In General:

  • Aristotle wrote in his Poetics that tragedy tends to take place over a short period of time (no more than a day), as contrasted with epic poetry which generally takes place over a much longer period. In the Renaissance, this was taken by many dramatists to be a hard-and-fast rule (the "classical unity of time") though Aristotle seems not to have intended it as such. As a result, virtually all Renaissance drama (from tragedy to comedy) from continental Europe is an example of this trope; English drama developed independently, and as a result is less likely to follow the unities especially in its earlier forms.

By Writer:

  • From our good friend Mr. Shakespeare:
    • Romeo and Juliet is a classic theatrical example, taking place over the course of roughly five days—the story starts off on Sunday morning and ends on Thursday morning.
    • Othello is even worse, if you ignore the boat ride to Cyprus at the beginning of the play. Everything takes place in three days. Some scholars have remarked that this hectic schedule is required for the suspension of disbelief, because Iago's plans would fall apart if everyone would just stop and actually think about what's going on.
    • There's a reason A Midsummer Night's Dream is called such — the action onstage all takes place in less than 48 hours, and all but the very beginning and end happens in one night.
    • The Tempest is said to take place over the course of approximately 3 hours, which is barely longer than its running time.
    • The Comedy of Errors starts at noon and ends at 5 o'clock on the same day.

By Work:

  • * The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee: Since the show presents itself as a real spelling bee, the performance takes place over a few hours, with a majority of it in real time.
  • The Barber of Seville takes place over a single day, starting at dawn and ending at midnight. Lampshaded in the title of the play's sequel, The Marriage of Figaro, or: The Mad Day. It covers about the same period of time.
  • Black Friday takes place over less than 18 hours, beginning around 6:30 in the morning on Black Friday and ending exactly at midnight.
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof takes place in real time over the course of about two or three hours. Each act even begins with the last few seconds of the previous one.
  • A Chorus Line is basically one long audition, with no intermission or scene changes.
  • Craig's Wife takes place over barely 16 hours, from 5:30 pm to 9 the following morning. Rather unrealistic in this case, as a marriage unravels and falls apart in the course of a single evening after one argument.
  • Played doubly straight in The Drowsy Chaperone: the Show Within a Show takes place over the course of a single day, and the show itself takes place over exactly as long as it takes to perform, because we're just watching a man listen to a record. Lampshaded when, during "Bride's Lament", Janet is "bathed in the pale blue light of a sympathetic moon, which is ridiculous because it's the middle of the day".
  • Hedda Gabler takes place over two days.
  • Hell-Bent Fer Heaven, in which a jealous schemer tries to re-start a family feud in order to get a love rival killed, takes place over a span of five hours one evening.
  • Idiot's Delight, a satire about the people stuck in an Italian border resort as war looms, takes place over 24 hours.
  • In the Heights takes place over the span of three days, centered around the 4th of July.
  • Into the Woods: Act I takes place over three days. While most of the cast isn't too encumbered, this means that Jack, in three days, goes into the woods, sells his cow to the Baker, goes home (day 1), climbs the beanstalk, climbs back down, climbs back up and down to steal the golden hen, finds the Baker again (day 2), runs into Little Red Ridinghood, climbs back up a third time to steal the harp, climbs back down, cuts the stalk to kill the giant, and then gets back into the woods to help the Baker with his spell (day 3). After a Time Skip a few months later, Act II then takes place in essentially Real Time.
  • Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem takes place over the course of a single day. It's still three hours long, mind you.
  • Journey's End starts on a Friday with the arrival of Lt. Raeligh. It finishes on the Monday when everyone is killed.
  • La Cage aux folles is set over a single 24-hour period starting on a typical evening show at La Cage and ends one full day later in the climactic evening dinner with the potential in-laws.
  • Part of Les Misérables: The show itself takes place over a span of 15 years, according to the movie adaptation, but roughly half of Act I and most of Act II take place over three days in June, 1832.
  • As the name implies, Long Day's Journey Into Night takes place over the course of a single day. It shows the struggles of a very dysfunctional family as they fall apart, although its implied that it's basically just another day for them.
  • Lampshaded and parodied in Niccolò Machiavelli's satire Mandragola. It takes place over the course of two days, so it apparently violates the classical Unity of Time rule; however, Machiavelli inserts a monologue in which he explains that none of the characters are actually going to sleep that night, so it doesn't really violate it.
  • Mamma Mia!: The entire show takes place over two days, with the intermission happening overnight and Act II opening with Sophie having a nightmare.
  • The Matchmaker takes place in a single day, beginning in the morning and finishing the same night. The musical adaptation, Hello, Dolly!, takes slightly longer, moving the final scene to the following morning.
  • The Marriage of Figaro takes place in one day.
  • Euripides' Medea takes place over the course of one day.
  • The Moon is Blue takes place over what is more or less twenty-four hours.
  • The Mousetrap lasts at most a day and a half, from guests arriving in the evening of one day and concluding close to dinnertime the second day.
  • The protagonists of On the Town have only twenty-four hours for their adventures.
  • The Playboy of the Western World takes place over the course of a single night and day.
  • The Play That Goes Wrong is a comic disaster that unfolds in real time.
  • The first act of RENT takes place over the course of one night. The Movie stretches it to two, but it's still a stark contrast to the second act, which spans an entire year.
  • Tosca begins at lunchtime on June 17th, 1800, and ends at dawn the following day.
  • Turandot takes place over a single night. The second aria refers to how the Moon is rising, and the opera's crucial deadline is dawn the following morning.
  • Under Milk Wood takes place over a single day in the life of a Quirky Town in coastal Wales.
  • Both acts of Waiting for Godot last a few hours each.
  • West Side Story encompasses two days.
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? sets over a single night.
  • Why Marry?, a satirical take on marriage and gender relations in 1917, starts on a Saturday afternoon and ends on Sunday evening.

    Video Games 
  • Both Another Code games each occur in the span of one day.
  • Armored Core: Last Raven's plot spans a good 24 hours.
  • The events of each game in the Batman: Arkham Series always take place in the span of one night.
    • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the first game of the series, takes place over one night. You can even see Batman gain stubble as the night wears on.
    • Its sequel, Batman: Arkham City, takes place over the course of about 12 hours, as announced over intercom by Big Bad Hugo Strange. If one plays through just the missions that drive the plot forward, this doesn't strain plausibility too much. If one doesn't, however...
    • The prequel, Batman: Arkham Origins takes place over the course of one night: Christmas Eve (about halfway through the plot, Alfred will reveal it's midnight and wish Batman a merry Christmas).
    • Finally, Batman: Arkham Knight, the last game of the series is even more crazy, since even though it also takes place in one night, Halloween, there's an overwhelming amount of things to do aside from the main quest.
  • The Ben Jordan: Paranormal Investigator series takes place entirely in the second half of 2004note . The first four cases alone take place over the span of late July and early August.
  • The Blackpine Outbreak: The events of the game happen over a single night.
  • The first BlazBlue game takes place on a single day. The second technically covers a week but 99% of the plot occurs over another single day - the week gap is basically to explain how the cast get back to being fighting fit again. There's then a timeskip of a few weeks before Chronophantasma, which itself only takes place over a few days maximum. The time loop, however, means that the first game technically also takes place over several hundred thousand years, and attempting to calculate the timeframe of Central Fiction is probably an exercise in futility.
  • Bloodborne begins in the evening, progressing to dusk and then nighttime as bosses are killed and the story is advanced, with morning arriving by the ending. So 12-ish hours, maybe a little more. This in spite of the fact a playthrough will probably take about on average forty hours, though quite a lot of the game is spent in "dream" realms rather than in Yharnam proper, and time might flow differently in them.
  • The entirety of Brigador takes place on the same night as Great Leader's death. Justified through the framing device; the SNC is contracting numerous mercenaries to exploit the chaos so most missions are happening at the same time.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day supposedly takes place over the course of one very hectic day.
  • Contradiction takes place between 5 PM and midnight, just over seven hours. Inspector Jenks still manages to go down a pretty deep rabbit hole.
  • Criminal Case:
    • The Wastes district in Criminal Case: Pacific Bay, which spans the final three cases of the game, takes place over the course of a single day, with Amy and the player setting foot in the district at daytime and defeating Albert Tesla later that night.
    • Criminal Case: The Conspiracy:
      • The Misty Grove district, which is composed of six cases, only takes two in-game days to be cleared by the police department, with three cases taking place on each day.
      • The Airport district, which is made up of six cases too, only takes three in-game days to be completed, as the police department arrives to the district and solves the blackout on the first day, returns to the dome and solves Zoe's murder on day two, and investigates Leroux's office and solves his murder on day three.
  • The events of Crysis 2 take a little over 48 hours, with Alcatraz's insertion happening at 5:13 A.M. on August 23rd, and his deactivation of the Ceph Lithoship in Central Park happening by 9:20 A.M. on the 25th.
  • Cuphead: As the Devil gives Cuphead and Mugman until midnight of the next day to bring him the soul contracts, that means the brothers travel between three isles, beat up 17 bosses and collect their soul contracts, defeat King Dice and his Quirky Mini Boss Squad and finally beat the Devil himself (freeing Inkwell Isle in the process) all within one very hectic day.
  • Day of the Tentacle, as indicated by its name. While Time Travel shenanigans mean that the events of the game technically span a total of 400 years, no more than a day passes for each of the main characters as they do everything they need to do in three different time periods, return to the present, and manage to wrap everything up and go home on the same night they arrived at the Edisons' mansion.
  • The events of Dead Rising take place over 72 hours (3 days) of being trapped inside a zombie-filled mall. For the player, this translates to six hours of gameplay in real-time. Overtime mode adds another 24 hours to the timernote , another 2 hours of gameplay. The sequel follows suit, even having its own Overtime Mode, but Dead Rising 3 downplays this by giving Nick an entire 7 days (or a week) to escape the citynote  (though for old time's sake, there's a hard mode that reduces the available time).
  • Aside from the prologue set a few months prior, the events of Detroit: Become Human take place over six days. Given that Markus's story has him joining an enclave of sapient androids, rising to a leadership position, then potentially leading a movement preaching acceptance of androids as living beings to victory within this timeframe, it's pretty incredible.
  • Each chapter of Deltarune takes place over a single school day, with the player entering the Dark World around late morning to after school, and exiting at sunset.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Devil May Cry opens in Dante's shop at night, and the rest of the game seems to take place over a single night, with the first level at dusk and Dante and Trish escaping as the sun rises.
    • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening has the first few missions seemingly taking place as the sun sets, the action in Temen-ni-gru happening at night, and the end credits during the following morning.
    • Devil May Cry 4 is a bit more vague, but seems to take place over a couple days - the game starts at daytime, the second boss is fought at night, daytime returns at the halfway point, night returns for the second trip through Fortuna Castle, and the final boss and credits sequence is during the sunset.
    • With the exception of the Prologue and Mission 10 taking place a month before, the main portion of Devil May Cry 5 takes place over the course of a single day, the 15th of June, for about 11 hours from 5AM to 4PM (helpfully illustrated by the Title In present at the start of every mission). Mission 1 begins just before dawn, and the sun appears to be setting during the credits sequence.
  • Final Fantasy X feels like it takes place over several months, but if you actually count the number of times the sun sets and the characters rest, it becomes clear the entire story (in which a lot happens both to individuals and the world as a whole) happens in less than two weeks, and maybe as little as eight days.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has the DLC campaign, Cindered Shadows. It begins late at night, when the house leaders, Byleth and a few others spot a suspicious individual and invstigate the caverns under the monastery. Their exploration takes place from that night until the start of the next day, and the climax takes place at night, concluding with the dawn of the following day.
  • The Firemen seems to take place during one mission in the predawn hours of Christmas Day.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach: Unlike all previous mainline games which took place over, well, five nights, the entirety of this game takes place over a single night.
  • Ghost Trick takes place over the handful of hours between sundown and sunrise in one night, since Sissel's told he'll disappear once the sun rises. An incredibly complex amount of stuff happens during that time, though. And then you time-travel ten years into the past, if only for four minutes.
  • Half-Life:
    • The events of Half-Life and its expansions take place over a period of no longer than 48 hours, as it's 8:47 AM when the game starts (as announced on the tram), night time of the same day by the end of "On A Rail" (followed by Gordon getting knocked out in "Apprehension"), morning/early afternoon the next day after Gordon gets outside in "Surface Tension", and late afternoon by the time Gordon got to the Lambda Complex. Of the expansion packs, Blue Shift and Decay both end around the time Gordon gets knocked out in "Apprehension" (in the former Barney can even see Gordon being dragged unconscious by HECU marines), and Opposing Force only continues for a few hours after Shepherd sees Gordon go to Xen.
    • Half-Life 2 starts in the morning, going through sunset in the boat sequence, night-time in Ravenholm, through to day in the car sequence, then night-time again by the time you get to Nova Prospekt. After that is a time-skip, which is instantaneous for Gordon, and the rest of the game takes place from sometime during the day to around sunset. So from Gordon's point of view, the action is over the course of at most about fiftyish hours.
      • Ignoring the time skip over several days in the introduction, Episode One begins at sunrise and ends sometime in the late morning.
      • Episode Two again picks up where the first one ends and starts with Gordon and Alyx knocked out by the explosion. Assuming they didn't sleep through the night and wake up the next day, Gordon and Alyx wake up when it is still day out and travel all afternoon, and get to the resistance base near sundown.
    • While 20 years pass between the first and second games, it's implied Gordon doesn't experience any of this due to being put into a pocket dimension at the end of the first one and leaving at the start of the second one. The games could occur consecutively for him, which means that for Gordon the entire series could be, from his point of view, six incredibly busy days.
    • Half-Life: Alyx begins just after 7 A.M. and sees Alyx spending the day travelling through the Quarantine Zone to reach the Vault. She ends up reaching it as night falls, placing her journey at a little over 12 hours.
  • A few Halo games follow this trope. Halo: Combat Evolved takes place over three-to-four days, while Halo 3: ODST starts at 4 P.M. and ends at sunrise the next day, with the exception of a short epilogue that takes place one month later. Halo 4 takes place over four-to-five days, Halo 5: Guardians takes place on multiple planets in the span of about a week, and Halo Infinite takes place over less than 24 hours. Lampshaded by Buck in ODST.
    Buck: What can I say? It was a hell of a night.
  • In Jade Empire, each of the seven chapters seems to take place over the course of a day, so the entire game seems to last, at most, for a week or two.
  • Everything in King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella takes place in 24 hours.
  • While Kirby games tend to be vague about their plot and timeline, Revenge of Meta Knight from Kirby Super Star covers no more than a handful of hours.
    • Kirby and the Forgotten Land however is heavily implied to take place over two days as shown by the level selection map and level backgrounds. World 1 and 2 take place from morning to early afternoon. Most of World 3 takes place in the late afternoon except for the House of Horror which takes place during the evening, Wondaria Dream Parade and the world boss which takes place to night. World 4 and 5 take place during the entire next day, with Alivel Mall: Staff Side and Midnight Canyon becoming evening and progressing to night halfway through the latter all the way to the boss. World 6 happens that same night and the Final Boss fight happens during the next dawn)
  • The whole story of The Last Express takes place in just under four days, starting in the evening of July 24th, 1914, and ending in the early morning of July 28th.
  • Most of The Last of Us Part II takes place over three days, although the first part takes place a few months earlier and the last part takes place a year later.
  • Later Alligator takes place entirely on Pat's birthday over a period of about 12 hours, minus the epilogue of the Golden Ending, which is a week later.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II takes roughly a month for the main game. While that is indeed a lot longer than most entries, the first game spans roughly six months in comparison. Meanwhile, Cold Steel III's final chapter takes place all in a single day.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie, ignoring both the prologue that takes place a month before the events of the game and several side stories which all take place on different dates, happens over the course of eight days.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask takes place over the course of 3 days, in the sense that you only have 3 days of game time to finish up before the moon crashes down on Termina. Since it's not possible to do everything in that 3-day span (not that it hasn't been tried), the first iteration shows you how to reset time back to the beginning of day 1 and another method exists which slows down time, effectively doubling the game time.
  • Some versions of Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards take place over the course of two hours (it starts at 10:00PM, and you get a Game Over at midnight). It is shorter regardless if you breeze through the game.
  • Life Is Strange:
    • The original Life Is Strange takes place over just five days, approximately one day per episode, and the prequel Life Is Strange: Before the Storm followed suit with its three episodes, which take place across four days (beginning in late evening of the night before the three "main" days in the story). Considering the intensity of events and emotions involved (not to mention the time travel factor in the first game), it can be surprising to remember that both stories happen from start-to-finish in less than a week.
    • Life Is Strange: True Colors, which patterned itself quite closely on the original, takes place over the course of a month, more or less to the day. Notably, it's the only instance in the franchise to date where two episodes take place in their entirety during the course of a single day. (Chapters 3 & 4, with Chapter 5 beginning in the early hours of the next morning.)
    • The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit (the teaser game for Life Is Strange 2) all happens over the course of a single Saturday morning, while in the Farewell bonus episode to Before the Storm, in-game clocks show that two hours elapse between the beginning and end of the chapter (even if the player takes longer to reach the end). These are the only entries into the franchise to take place in more or less real-time, since it takes an average of 2 hours to complete each one.
  • Lil Gator Game, other than the brief A Minor Kidroduction scene at the beggining, takes place entirely during an afternoon at the park.
  • A majority of the chapters in Live A Live take place during a short amount of time with three days at most, such as the Twilight of Edo Japan chapter taking place in a single night before sunrise at the end and the Near Future and Distant Future chapters taking place within a single day. The only exceptions are the Imperial China chapter which explicitly takes place over an extended amount of time as the Shifu raises his pupils and the Present Day chapter which features its protagonist travelling between different countries to fight his opponents.
  • Luigi's Mansion, which apparently took place over the course of just a single night according to the ending. The mansion itself vanishes as well.
  • Mad Rat Dead begins with Mad Rat's death. The rest of the game then takes place in the 24 hours prior to that moment.
  • The events of Manhunt take place over the course of a single, violent night.
  • The first Max Payne game took place over the course of three nights (although it includes a flashback to three years prior to that). The sequel lasts about the same amount of time.
  • Metal Gear Solid takes place over one helluva night.
    • As do Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. The Tanker chapter of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty takes place over two or three hours, while the Plant chapter begins in the early morning hours (pre-sunrise) of April 29th, finishing at around eight in the morning on April 30th.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater the Virtuous Mission takes an hour or two, while Operation Snake Eater (after a time skip of a week) should take about three days: Snake begins the mission at night, sleeps in the abandoned factory at Rassvet, and wakes up in the morning. It is night again by the time he reaches Granin's lab, and day once he leaves. He sleeps for a third time under the waterfall with EVA after losing his eye, then wakes up, infiltrates Groznyj Grad, and completes his mission. However, the game takes place in real time including when the player has saved the game and shut off the console, so the missions can last indefinitely. Exploiting this feature by not fighting The End for a week or more is one way of defeating him. As lampshaded in Hiimdaisy's abridged comic:
      Snake: This is the worst week ever.
    • Rising averts this at first; there's a three-week gap between the prologue and first chapter, as the protagonist recuperates; later, he zips from Abkhazia to Mexico to Denver, and between each various characters were rebuilt (implied to be over a period of days for each of them). Once in Denver, however, the rest of the game ends up taking place over one helluva night and said night ends on the other side of the world in Pakistan.
  • Modern Warfare takes this to a rather ridiculous extent; the first game only takes place over the course of a week, while the second sees Russia launch an invasion of the USA one day after being given a motive to do so. The same invasion force manages to serverely damage and occupy much of the eastern seaboard before being forced to withdraw four days later. It's barely more reasonable that Russia manages to launch an unprovoked invasion of most of Europe three weeks later with their troops occupying as far as Prague within four days.
  • Natamin's Big Adventure takes place over a weekend.
  • Night Trap takes place over half an hour.
  • The entirety of Otter Island takes place over several hours; the trio of friends arrive on Otter Island in the afternoon and after a Time Skip to sundown, the rest of the game takes place in a single. The monster really didn't waste any time trying to hunt the friends down and they don't waste any time trying to escape.
  • Outlast takes place in a single night, the DLC whistleblower is also set on the same night, on the same building from a different point of view.
  • Persona 4: Arena takes place over the span of one day, and its sequel Persona 4: Arena Ultimax takes place not even three days later, the events this time spanning a single evening with most of the action taking place in a single hour. And as if that's not enough Inaba's residents are pulled into, another series of supernatural events just a couple of months later which similarly only take place over about 3 days. This is all quite the contrast to the spinoffs' parent game Persona 4 which takes place over the course of an entire year with most of the individual days actually experienced by the player.
  • Police Quest 1: In Pursuit of the Death Angel: The first game has Sonny go from beat cop, to Narcotics Detective, to organizing and performing a drug bust on the "Death Angel" in under twelve hours.
  • Portal is in Real Time, and the average player will take about two to three hours to finish it on a first playthrough. The sequel is only about seven hours long, with only a few hours of unconsciousness between certain scenes.
  • Barring the final segment, the entirety of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time takes place over two consecutive days. The first day dawns with Persia's attack on the Maharajah's city, they spend the rest of the day traveling to Azad, that night the Sands are released, the Sun rises while they travel from the baths to the mess hall, and sets as the Prince climbs the Tower Of Dawn for the second time. You can even see the light changing in each level, from night to morning to midday, finally ending in the evening.
    • The non-meta outside perspective is even worse, as only maybe a few hours pass while the Prince runs from his tent at the Persian camp to Farah's room and tells her his story (and that's a whole different trope in itself). By the time he's done, the Sun is already up.
  • The majority of Professor Layton games take place over just a few days, the most impressive being Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, which occurs over one very long, very packed day.
  • Project × Zone. Granted, a lot of dimension-hopping was involved, but by the time you finish the game, it's only sunset at the Kouryuuji estate.
  • Psychonauts has the first cutscene at night, and the game starts the morning after. By the final cutscene, it's the next morning. Since Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin and Psychonauts 2 pick up immediately after one another, the three games overall have taken place in a matter of about three or so days.
  • The Radio Station: The events of the game happen over the course of one night.
  • Red Dead Redemption II:
    • The main story of the game takes place over a couple of months in early 1899. You can, of course, take quite a bit more time than that to actually complete the story in-game, with potentially hundreds of days passing.
    • Arthur Morgan contracts tuberculosis and dies of it in a matter of weeks. Although there was no effective treatment for TB in 1899 other than rest in a dry climate, "consumption" nonetheless was a disease which typically, in its latency period, took years to slowly consume its victims. Although it's possible that Arthur unwittingly chose to hasten the TB progression with his smoking, drinking beer, and getting beaten by physical trauma and malnutrition, all of which are risk factors for TB.
  • Resident Evil 0, 1, 2 and 7 each take place over a single night. Furthermore, the events of 0 and 1 take place on consecutive nights. 4 takes place over two days, at most. Code Veronica is a bit more vague.
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police: Most of the Telltale games individually happen over a single day, but are too short to qualify for this trope, being about 2-4 hours each. However, the episodes in the third season all directly follow each other: the first starts in the morning, night falls during the second (which is technically entirely indoors, as the actual gameplay is Sam and Max putting themselves into a movie), and the next two both take place in the same night (albeit part of the third episode took place in an altered reality, during the daytime).
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero takes place over the course of a single day despite all the running around that Shantae does. This gets Lampshaded In-Universe after the fifth boss, with her companions noting that stopping evil five times in one day is a personal best for her.
  • Subverted in The Silent Age as the actual gameplay only takes around a day, but between Joe gets into a cryogenic capsule and is recovered from it, it's actually forty years.
  • All of The Simpsons Hit & Run takes place over the course of a single week, as revealed by the Spinning Paper loading screens. Each level is set on a different day, with the last one taking place on Halloween.
  • The Siren games tend to feature this trope, especially due to playing multiple characters in the same timeframe. The first game's main events take place across three days, labelled Day 1, 2 and 3 respectively, featuring a timetable that maps out everything (called the Link Navigator). However, there's also flashback sequences to 683AD, 1976, X Days Before, Yesterday (before Day 1) and X Days Later.
    • Forbidden Siren 2's a little less obvious. While the number of days aren't listed, it's replaced by hours, going from -31:00 to all the way to 33:00 hours, which is when Kyoya Suda is around in his mini-game scenario, clocking in at over sixty-five hours, almost three days. Aside from this, there's a flashback to three years ago (specifically focusing on the aftermath of the first game), as well as a flashback to 27 years ago (which crosses over to the events within the main narrative...kind of).
    • The first game's reimagining/remake Siren: Blood Curse featured time travel to play with this trope. Nearly half the game takes place over three days, but the timeline collapses due to accidental screw-ups with predestination, causing everyone to experience Mental Time Travel, reliving the same three days plus a fourth one. So in total, Blood Curse takes place over a week but technically three days plus a repeat.
  • Sonic Heroes begins with Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles reading a letter (supposedly) from Eggman announcing that he has a new weapon that will allow him to take over the world in 3 days. Furthermore, the first two zones apparently take about one day each, and the remaining 5 occur on the same day.
  • The Streets of Rage games take place over the course of a couple of hours, beginning at night (or sunset, in 3's case) and ending at dawn. 4 is a little longer, beginning and ending at daybreak, but it still takes place over the course of a day at most.
  • Spec Ops: The Line takes place over two or three days, with a couple of flashbacks.
  • Thimbleweed Park takes place over a single night, save for Boris's murder which happens 24 hours earlier.
  • Tomb Raider (2013) takes place over a 3-4 day time period, judging by the number of times that characters are seen making a camp for the night. The only other possible indicator of time suggests that the entire game takes place over the course of one second, as Lara's watch always states that it is 5:43:17 PM (The watch must have broken during the storm that wrecked the Endurance).
  • Um Jammer Lammy takes place over the course of fifteen minutes, plus the finale song.
  • Until Dawn takes place in around 10 hours, from dusk until dawn, with the exception of the prologue which takes place a year prior to the main events.
  • The Walking Dead episodes 3, 4 and 5 of the first season are set on a timespan of 4 horrible days.
  • Wick (2020) appears to take place in a single night with Wick traversing a cathedral in that time, which is understandable given that he's only got little legs.
  • The Wolf Among Us also takes place in a couple of very hectic days, mostly at night because of the noir nature of the game.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • The entirety of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, minus a flashback case, takes place in less than 72 hours. Edgeworth is quite a sharp mind considering the first case happens the night before the fifth case and he's working into the wee hours of the morning, and then does the same thing during the fifth case as well. Combining this game with its sequel, both Ace Attorney Investigations games span less than a month (again not counting flashback cases), in contrast to earlier games, where there will usually be weeks if not months between cases. The sequel itself contains an example where Edgeworth solves a case overnight and then is immediately thrust into another one the following morning.
    • Cases 1, 4, and 5 of Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies take place on consecutive days. The first part of case 4 happens, then the incident that sparks case 1 happens and case 1 plays out between the events of case 4, and then the remainder of case 4 and the whole of case 5 happen on the remaining days. In fact, the final trial day of case 4 and case 5 are the same day (meaning Phoenix went to trial, defended the case, and then did all the stuff that happens in case 5 in less than 24 hours). It's very tough to imagine so much happening in a single day (play the game to find out the whole story).
    • Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice takes it to an extreme case, like Ace Attorney Investigations above. Cases 3 and 4 happen on consecutive days in different countries. Normally this isn't an issue with the game except they have the same prosecutor, Nahyuta Sahdmadhi. Which means, in the span of his plane ride he prepped an entire murder case, including witnesses, as well as learned an extensive history of rakugo. Case 4 is also an example of this, having taken place over the course of only TWO HOURS. Even with the relative shortness of the case, with everything that happened during it, it's still hard to believe.
    • Enforced in-universe. Due to a three day limit being placed on initial trials, each individual case in the series takes place over a maximum of four days, including the initial investigation. In fact, only the latter two cases of the first game (three if you count Rise From the Ashes) actually take the full three days, so in most cases, that's three days.
  • Hotel Dusk: Room 215 takes place on a single night. Its sequel, Last Window, is just ten days.
  • The infamous Plumbers Don't Wear Ties takes place over the course of a single morning.
  • Most of Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair takes place over the course of a single night, at a Halloween party that goes into the wee hours of the morning and turns deadly.
  • We Know the Devil takes place over the course of twelve hours as the main characters spend a night in a creepy cabin.
  • Zero Escape:
    • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors spans over a bit more than the titular 9 hours. This is justified by the fact that the characters need to escape the Nonary Game within that time.
    • The best timeline of Virtue's Last Reward occurs in around 14 hours of relative time, though it's about three times as long (36 hours) in real time because everyone's brains were running slower from a virus they were infected with.
    • Zero Time Dilemma can take less than or more than 12 hours depending on the timeline you play. Especifically, from noon on December 31 to the wee hours of the morning of January 1. The exception to this trope is the Stranded Pair ending, where two characters are trapped in the shelter for eleven months.

    Web Animation 
  • While other volumes of RWBY take place over several months, Volume 3 takes place in under a week. The first three episodes occur on the same day, the next three on the following consecutive days, and while Episode 7 is a Whole Episode Flashback, the last five episodes of the season take place the night of a fifth day (barring the final scene). Volume 8 ups the ante, taking place over the course of two days as the heroes figure out how to save Atlas and Mantle from Salem.
  • Mystery Skulls Animated: "Freaking Out" and the following videos take place over a few hours in a single night, depicting Lewis and Shiromori chasing after the Mystery Skulls to get revenge on Arthur and find Mystery, respectively.
  • The Season One finale of BIGTOP BURGER reveals that the entire season of episodes takes place within a single day, as evident by a customer who returns from the first episode and asks the Bigtop employees about "this morning".
  • Gwonam's Gweat Advenuwe by Walrus Guy: Gwonam wakes up after his bungled suicide attempt, revealing he was in a coma. When he wakes up he sees Zelda holding a baby (that looks a lot like Ganon), Link sporting a goatee and King Harkinian with his hair turned gray. He asks how long was he gone.
    Link: A month.
  • One Minute Fly: The main character of each video is a fly with only one minute to live, and each video consequently takes place within that amount of time; the first installment implies that this is a regular trait of the flies' species, with another fly being seen exhausting his lifespan and the main fly being described in a museum exhibit as "The Unique Prehistoric One Minute Fly".
  • Ducktalez episodes 4 through 7 all take place over one evening, with 4 to 6 being one after another while the events of 7 happening simutaneously.
  • Animator vs. Animation: Animation vs. Minecraft Season 3 - In Real Time shows that the entirety of the adventure took place over an hour and 20 minutes.

    Webcomics 
  • The first two chapters of Blood & Smoke (Paul Mitzkowski) don't even cover an entire day.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Tedd gets knocked off his feet in the January 22, 2013 page. He lands five comics later. That's a week to depict two thirds of a second. The author lampshades this in the commentary of a subsequent update (where, ironically, we witness a Time Skip that covers six months, which is longer than the entire comic's run up until then).
  • According to An Epic Comic, the events of Team Fortress 2's "Meet the Spy" are only a day away from "Meet the Rabbid Heavy Taming Engineer." And then in just a few minutes, "Make a Mann Out of You"'s climax breaks loose, Team Fortress 2 is a VERY chaotic place.
  • The first five acts of Homestuck took two and a half years to recount the events of a single day. Lampshaded at various points.
  • The Mansion of E has been running at a rate of roughly one comic a day since 2003. Fourteen years later, battles have been fought, demons have run loose, a young nobody has become mayor of a new settlement, and much exposition has been exposited. Also, the sun has set and risen twice. 48 hours have not yet passed.

    Web Original 
  • The first three and half seasons of Courier's Mind: Rise of New Vegas somehow take place over a single day, in which time The Courier has fought geckos and other wildlife, liberated Primm, obtained his own personal Robot Buddy, retook the NCR Correctional Facility, saved Good Springs, pretty much reduced the Powder Gangers into a few scattered parties in the process, defeated at least four other raider gangs, exterminated giant ants blocking the highway, met The Legion, traveled almost all the way across the southern end of the map, and having to perform Self-Surgery on himself at least twice thought out, after just waking up from being shot twice in the head. This is repeatedly Lamp Shaded by The Courier:
    The Courier: Man E.D.E we're on a roll!
  • The Day the Music Died follows a fictional fandom's drama in the span of little over a week. What starts with excitement over a movie adaptation ends with a content leak scandal, the metaphorical and literal death of the original author, the Christian Right paying the author Last Disrespects, a Fandom VIP getting doxxed, a massive data breach stemming from the aforementioned leak, and the narrator accidentally starting a minor meme. Most of these events respectively happened in at least a day of that (over a) week, with the rest spent fanwanking over the revelations.
  • Fire Emblem On Forums:
    • Whereabouts Of Drink and Coin: The entire game takes place over the span of one night and early morning as the Wharf Street Warriors try to survive one night with the entire city's gangs trying to jump them.

    Western Animation 
  • Archer:
    • Played for Laughs in the episode "Vision Quest", which takes place in real time over the course of 22 long, long minutes as the cast are trapped in an elevator. The use of this trope works to the episode's comedy, since the cast practically descend into madness by the end.
    • The entirety of Archer Dreamland takes place over the course of one week, according to Archer. Deconstructed, since he doesn't get any sleep and has pretty much lost any semblance of sanity by the end.
  • The entirety of Avatar: The Last Airbender occurs in less than ten months, with each of the three seasons spanning a season each: winter, spring, and summer. This is justified by a Race Against the Clock to save the world before a Comet of Doom gave the Big Bad the power to bring about the end.
  • Carmen Sandiego: Season three starts a few days before Halloween and the start of Dia de los Muertos, goes over the weekend into November and ends on November 5th. During this time, Carmen and crew travel from Beunos Aires, Argentina, to Veracruz, Mexico, to Mexico City, to New Orleans, then to Venice, Italy, and finishes the season in London, England in time for Guy Fawkes Day celebrations.
  • Doc McStuffins: During Season 3, the episodes "Baby McStuffins", "Runaway Love" and "Hooty's Duty" all took place during the preparations of Maya's arrival. The episodes "Bringing Home Baby", "Baby Names" and "Night Night Lala" all took place on one whole day and one night like 3-part stories.
  • Gravity Falls takes place entirely over one summer vacation, spread across two seasons of twenty episodes each. Within this three-month span, main characters Dipper and Mabel went from having their first encounter with the supernatural to stopping an apocalypse caused by an omnipotent dream demon. The spoiler-event in question only lasted on the last week of summer, ending just before their thirteenth birthday. There was still a Halloween Episode with the explanation that the town loves the holiday so much that they also celebrate it in the middle of the summer, calling this second Halloween "Summerween."
  • The Hollow: The events of Season 1 actually take place in real time, over the course of five hours. Daylight and nightfall within The Hollow is the standard accelerated cycle seen in video games, with the characters failing to notice this for whatever reason.
  • The entirety of Phineas and Ferb takes place over the course of a single summer (excluding the episodes set on holidays like Christmas and Halloween, for obvious reasons), with each episode taking place within a single day. note  The Grand Finale of the series is set on the very last the day of summer break.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts has each season take place over the course of a few days, with several episodes serving as Immediate Sequels to each other. For example, the last three episodes of Season 1 take place on the morning ("Twin Beaks"), afternoon ("Mute-Eat-Mute World"), and evening ("Beyond the Valley of the Dogs") of the same day, with the first episode of Season 2 ("Paw of the Jaguar") taking place straight through the night. An episode later that season even has Kipo muse about how quickly things seem to progress for them.
    Kipo: Do you ever just think about what we do in a day and go, "Whoa?"
  • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, aside from the opening taking place far into the future, and the timeskip in the very last scene, takes place over the span of about a day, evening to evening.
  • Stanley and Stella in: Breaking the Ice is three minutes long, and consists of only one scene. The plot is a simple Interspecies Romance.
  • The last quarter-season of Star vs. the Forces of Evil is made of nothing but Immediate Sequels. "Sad Teen Hotline" takes place over an entire day, "Jannanigans" the following morning, and the remaining seven episodes (including the Grand Finale) that afternoon.
  • Star Wars Resistance: The last several episodes of season 1note , due to most of them being synchronous with The Force Awakens, take place over the span of only a few days, with the season finale reaching up to and shortly after the destruction of the Hosnian system.
  • Steven Universe has several stretches of episodes with a short, specific time span. Most are (part of) continuous story arcs, while others just flow from one to the other incidentally:
  • While Total Drama mostly avoids this, with Island and Action each specifically mentioning the competition lasting 8 weeks in the former and 42 days in the latter and most of the later seasons leaving it vague as to how much time passes between episodes, All Stars, with each challenge's prize being a night in the hotel cabin, has each episode take place the day after the previous, meaning that the whole season takes place in just under two weeks.

Wow, that was fast.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Very Short Timespan

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Filo the Filolial

Naofumi and Raphtalia spend time in Lute Village raising Filo from a newly-hatched chick to a full-grown Filolial... a process that takes only two days.

How well does it match the trope?

4.43 (7 votes)

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