Your favorite books, movies, television shows and video games tend to state, specifically, what year they happen. Sometimes it's a very specific year, a vague decade/century (199X, 24th-and-one-half century), or a completely made up timeline (Universal Century, Second Age). Want to quickly see when your favorite work happened? Do you want to know what was happening in fiction while Rapture was explored? Want to know how many works set in World War II feature the leader of the Third Reich dying in any way other than suicide? Just look it up here.
The idea was inspired by a personal project being undertaken by Gorblax at the Penny Arcade forums, where he created a timeline for video games, using years from the Gregorian calendar. It can be found online. The timeline has since migrated to selectbutton and then to its own dedicated page (which currently requires a login of some sort).
The only events listed here should be ones that are dated under a Gregorian calendar or something very similar. If the events happen under a fictional calendar, but said calendar can be correlated to the Gregorian calendar somehow, then feel free to list those events. For long-running comics or television series, you should only list major arcs or events that significantly change the status quo. Fanfic events are acceptable, but should also be limited to major arcs and events. (Please make it clear when something is fanfic rather than canon by linking to the TV Tropes page for that fanfic.)
For each example you list, make sure to put the source in parentheses at the end (if not, that article will be deleted unless the source can be named). Try to place more specific dates before vague dates (For example, put July 4, 1954 before July 1954 and 1954). However, if a vague date definitely occurs before a more specific one, put the vague date first (for example, July 1954 goes before August 13th, 1954). This goes for years as well; for example, 'early 18th century' would go before 1775.
Because this is a timeline, spoilers are very likely to appear. To avoid line after line of spoiled text, tropers should stick to using general summaries and descriptions, and try to avoid specific details. If these kind of spoilers are unavoidable, or the troper believes they're important, then the details should be listed in a labelnote like so .
Please also note that we are not using the B.C. or A.D acronyms because the acronym B.C. stands for Before Christ, or Before the Messiah, and A.D. stands for Anno Domini, or In the Year of Our Lord. These are statements of worship of him and as such are both unfair to and/or technically not accurate because of those tropers that do not worship him, as we are fairly well represented among Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists, and almost certainly have a Scientologist or two, among innumerable other non-Christian groups. Instead, denote with the terms B.C.E. (Before the Common Era, which takes the place of B.C.) and C.E. (Common Era, taking the place of A.D.), please.
For timelines of specific series refer to Timelines. For a chronological list of tropes rather than specific series, see The Trope History of the Universe. If you were looking for tropes about multiple works sharing a timeline, try Canon Welding or Shared Universe.
Notes on datesFor consistency, please convert any dates given in the Julian calendar to the proleptic Gregorian; this includes virtually all dates before 1582, most dates in English-speaking countries between 1582 and 1753, and a small number between 1753 and 1923. This can be done here. Please be aware that this timeline excludes the year 0, and so output from that converter will need to be corrected appropriately. Julian calendar dates can be included in a labelnote.
This timeline should be hemisphere-neutral. An entry listed as "spring" could refer to March-May or September-November depending on the hemisphere, so please be aware of this when editing.
Certain series can be correlated to the Gregorian calendar, but require fairly lengthy justifications. To avoid excessive labelnotes, they will be explained here in alphabetical order.
- Albedo: Erma Felna EDF: Deserves a lengthy explanation: By Word of God, the whole story takes place in the distant future, but it doesn't explain in which time period the story takes place in the Common Era calendar, since this is one of the biggest mysteries of the whole saga. The closest explanation, according with the Refractions fanzine, an Albedo-themed magazine written by both Word of God, his friends and fans, is that the anthropomorphic society was awakened in early or in the middle of the 21st century, most probably in 2050 C.E., which is equivalent to the Standard Calendar (SD) used in-universe as SD (-)54. The Battle of Derzon, the very first battle in the comic, happens in-universe in SD 195-05-08 (May 8th, SD 195), being possibly the Common Era equivalent as 2299 C.E. and the current plot happens in SD 201 (2305 C.E.). Albedo: Birthright, the sequel of the comic, happens in SD 418. (2522 C.E.), while Albedo Combat Patrol 164, its prequel, takes place at SD 164 (2268 C.E.), which also retcons the events from Platinum Catalyst.
- Analogue: A Hate Story: It is established at the very start of the game that *Hyun-ae's last log in was 221,432 days prior, the same day that everybody died. *Hyun-ae and *Mute both confirm that this was 622 years ago; however, 622 solar years is 227,185 days. 221,432 days does evenly divide into 622 periods of 356 days, which is remarkably close to the 353-355 days in a non-leap year in the traditional Chinese calendar which was also in use in Korea until 1896. Given how society on the Mugunghwa reverted to the Joseon era, and having no need to keep the year in sync with the sun, it is reasonable to conclude they would have also reverted to the Chinese calendar and not bothered with leap years. If every year was 355 days long, the interval between the mass death and the investigator's arrival would be 220,810 days, which leaves 622 days unaccounted for; any reasonable attempt to add intercalary months results in overshooting the time interval. Hence, it looks like the Mugunghwa uses a 356 day calendar of alternating 30- and 29-day months with two additional days; New Year's Day would thus be day 0 and not be part of any month, and one extra day each year is also not part of any month, possibly the last day of the year. Hate Plus establishes that the first day 0 was March 9 4045, with the first day of the first month of the first year of the Neo-Joseon Era taking place on March 10.
- Andromeda: Commonwealth Year 6811 is intended to synch up with 1891, most clearly referenced and explained here.
- Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog: Mobian year 0 is 10,779 C.E. This is explained best on Wikipedia's page on the Archie Sonic comic and the Mobius Encyclopaedia page on Mobius.
- The works of Isaac Asimov: Only the 20th and 21st century robot stories are assigned conclusive dates in the Gregorian calendar. The Elijah Baley stories take place approximately 3,000 years after the founding of the city of New York, sometime in the 47th century. The timeframes for the later novels are inconsistent from book to book, and may be anywhere between 13,000 and 52,000 C.E.
- The Bible: We are using the Ussher chronology, as that is the most well-known and popular Biblical timeline. Note that Ussher gave his dates in the Julian calendar, so they need conversion. The original source is available from Early English Books Online. A better formatted edition can be read on the Internet Archive, but that edition contains some questionable additions from its editor.
- Broforce: According to the ending of the game, the whole plot takes place in 1993 C.E. Bill Clinton (or someone who looks a lot like him) also appears.
- Code Geass: The main dating system is 'Ascension Throne Britannia' (a.t.b.) but most events with historical antecedents happen at the same numerical date as in ours. Widely circulated claims that the epoch is 55 years before the Common Era's are false since the epoch is known to fall within Augustus' reign (27 B.C.E. - 14 C.E.). Placement thus assumes the systems match up. The first year of the Revolutionary Calendar used in Europia begins in September 1789 a.t.b. (= C.E.).
- Dragon Ball: Dates are given in the DragonBall Daizenshuu, via Dragon Ball Encyclopedia. Note that the source material uses "Before Age" and "Age", but there has been, for a long time, no logical epoch or real-world basis for this, so were just assumed as "Before Common Era" and "Common Era", until any more information came in regarding this. However, some sources indicate that Age 720 is unanimous with Akira Toriyama's birth year of 1955. However, since this is as of yet unverified, it will not yet be implemented.
- Dune: 1 A.G., signifying the beginning of the Spacing Guild, is approximately 13,000 C.E. (over 110 centuries after humanity developed space travel). The date 10191 used in the beginning of the first novel is A.G. Dune Timeline
- Dune Encyclopedia: The few dates that can be matched up with known events imply that 0 A.G. corresponds to either 16,200 C.E. or 16,100 C.E.; however, this ignores any changes in the year, and it is known that a "Standard Year" roughly 20 hours shorter than Earth's year has been used since before 5000 A.G. The 16,200 offset is assumed here; this timeline gives a quick overview. No attempt has been made to reconcile the dates with Torkos's timeline.
- Fighting Fantasy: The 10th Anniversary Yearbook establishes 1993 to be 285 AC.
- Harry Potter: In Chamber of Secrets, Nearly Headless Nick's 500th deathday celebrates his death in 1492, during Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts. This puts Harry's first year at Hogwarts in 1991. On top of this, in Deathly Hallows James and Lily Potter died when Harry was a year old in 1981.
- Half-Life: All but one timeline places Black Mesa's deployment of the resonance cascade in the unnamed year of 200-. The date of 1998 (see Portal below) has been confirmed to be incorrect by Marc Laidlaw.
- Honor Harrington: Honorverse dates use the PD system. It is eventually revealed that 1 PD is 2103 C.E., and the year length stays the same.
- The Incredibles: Syndrome's computer file on Elastigirl says that her last superhero activity (and therefore, the rough date of the Superhero Relocation Act) was in 1955. During the movie Bob reads a newspaper dated Monday, May 16th, 1962. This implies an 8-year gap between the opening scene and the Superhero Relocation Act.
- Judge Dredd: If there is a contradiction, dates in stories by John Wagner are assumed to take precedence, as he is the creator of the comic. See also the note on Strontium Dog for some irregularities regarding "Judgement Day".
- Kaamelott: Under the assumption that Caesar Imperator is Roman Emperor Valentinian III, this puts the prequel season at the year of his death (455 C.E.), and that the "last Roman emperor" from the start of the series is Romulus Augustulus, being noted as 10 years old in season 1 (hence 470 C.E.); correlated by a stated 15-year span with the prequel.
- Killer7: Dates not given in the games are taken from the timeline given in Hand in Killer 7.
- Land of Oz: Getting dates for this series is admittedly tricky due to Continuity Snarl, but some dedicated fans have produced perhaps the best timeline possible for the series using bits and pieces of information from the books, although they do include the continuation of the series after L. Frank Baum's death as well as modern fan works produced after most of the original books became public domain, which some purists may dismiss. It can be assumed though that if, as the canon goes, the books are histories told to Baum which he then published, the books all took place before their publication date, perhaps by several years in some cases.
- League of Legends: Although much of the early canon has since been retconned by the developers, the item Ionian Boots of Lucidity still refers to have been added to the game 'in honor of Ionia's victory over Noxus in the Rematch for the Southern Provinces on 10 December, 20 CLE'. This corresponds to a real life eSports event on 10 December, 2010, which the Ionian team won. Events and dates referring to a specific character skin (since each skin set in League lore comprises its own Alternate Universe) can be taken from that skin's Flavor Text in the game client's Collection tab.
- Legend of Galactic Heroes: While the calendars themselves have clear starting years, there can be some confusion regarding the names and abbreviations. To avoid questionable translations the names will be based on those used in the official Viz Media translations and not those used in the animated OVAs, i.e. SE (Space Era) instead of UC, and IC (Imperial Calendar) instead of RC.
- Lexx: In a 2001 episode, set in "the very near future", a U.S. presidential candidate is said to have hidden in Vietnam "for 32 years" from "1969" to "earlier this year." (There being an election in '01 is presumably down to the machinations of Prince.)
- The Lord of the Rings: J. R. R. Tolkien, once stated in a letter (#211 in Letters by Tolkien) that the War of the Ring ended about 6000 years ago. This letter was written in 1958, putting the fall of Barad-dûr around 4042 BCE.
- Lux-Pain: Atsuki arrives in Kisaragi City on Monday 1st October, beginning the plot. The closest year to the game's release in which this occurs is 2007. Since this is the year before the game's release, this seems likely.
- Lyrical Nanoha: The first episode of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's shows the date in Hayate's clock as June 3, Saturday; the closest year to the series broadcast in which this occurred was 2006, thus this is equated to 0065 of the New Mid-Childan Calendar.
- Malcolm in the Middle: The episode "Lois vs Evil" is shown to take place in the year 2000 in Francis's plot. Based on the weather and the fact that the boys are in school, it appears to be spring.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: This timeline indicates that UC 0001 is likely 2081. The rationale is explained on this page.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: The novelization says that the circus where Trowa Barton works is almost 600 years old; the circus's logo bears the text "Since 1667", placing Wing (After Colony 195) in the mid- to late 2200s.
- Monsters, Inc.: Zooming in on some paperwork on Roz's desk early on in the film shows a date of May 6th, 2000. Calendars in Monsters University have been found to match those of 1987, which is consistent with Pixar's rough figure of a ten year gap between films.
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: The apocalyptic war known as The Seven Days Of Fire is described as taking place 1000 years after the Industrial Revolution (ie. the 1750s) and the events of the manga about another millennium after that.
- Pathfinder: The adventure Rasputin Must Die! establishes that 4713 AR is 1918 AD, and The Witch Queen's Revenge places Baba Yaga's birth in 75 BCE, or 2720 AR.
- Pokemon Tabletop Utopus Region: Stuart, the GM, confirmed at the end of Episode 244 that the Republic City tournament and crossover with Team Peasant Poppers takes place at Christmas 2018. Character ages will have been confirmed by their players.
- Portal: This timeline puts GLaDOS's initiation on take-your-daughter-to-work-day in 1998. That timeline is however contradicted by the dating of Half-Life since it is stated that both games occur within days of each other, but Half-Life occurs in the 2000s. The GUT uses the Half-Life date. Portal 2 makes a few retcons to the timeline.
- Robotech: Because of Robotech's unique nature, the series is treated as follows:
- Events before 1999 are omitted since the only two sources on the Tirolian calendar give wildly different year lengths (~91 Earth days and 2066 Earth days).
- Events from the Macross Saga are omitted where they duplicate events from the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross.
- Events from subsequent sagas are added based on the official Harmony Gold timeline.
- The Stainless Steel Rat: The Stainless Steel Rat Saves The World has James DiGriz sent back 32,598 years to 1975, dating it to 34,573 - and this is definitely not his first mission, given that at the start of Saves The World he is married to someone he met in a previous book.
- Star Wars Tales #19 has an alternate history story where Han Solo and Chewbacca crash the Millennium Falcon on Earth. The ship is found 126 years later by Indiana Jones and Short Round after Indy's 1939 visit to Atlantis (so around 1940). Because of this (and Solo and Chewie aren't affiliated with the Rebel Alliance), A New Hope is assumed to take place (somewhat arbitrarily) in 1815. It is also assumed that one standard year equals one terrestrial year. This converter can be used for matching other dating systems to BBY/ABY.
- This old timeline places the year A New Hope was released (1977) in 10,191 ABY.
- Strontium Dog: "The Final Solution" is stated to take place in 2180, but this is inconsistent with both previously-established chronology and the way 2000 AD works. A date of 2190 is consistent with established canon. Subsequent events in the series, as well as dates of events in "Judgement Day", are based on this dating.
- Vorkosigan Saga: An infodump in Captain Vorpatril's Alliance places the events of the series somewhat more than 700 years after an unspecified 23rd-century date. "Borders of Infinity" takes place in the year '97 (of an unspecified century); given the infodump, this is presumably 2997 and all the other series dates can be extrapolated from that.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: Billboards in episodes 74 and 94 indicate that it takes place in 2021.
- Prehistory (before 3000 B.C.E.)
- Ancient History (3000 B.C.E. - 801 B.C.E.)
- Classical Antiquity (800 B.C.E. - 500 C.E.)
- Medieval History (501 C.E. - 1500 C.E.)
- The Renaissance (1501 C.E. - 1750 C.E.)
- First Industrial Revolution (1751 C.E. - 1850 C.E.)
- Second Industrial Revolution (1851 C.E. - 1913 C.E.)
- The World Wars (1914 C.E. - 1945 C.E.)
- The Postwar Era (1946 C.E. - 1963 C.E.)
- The Age of Rebellion (1964 C.E. - 1979 C.E.)
- The '80s (1980 C.E. - 1989 C.E.)
- The Early Nineties (1990 C.E. - 1994 C.E.)
- The Late Nineties (1995 C.E. - 1999 C.E.)
- The Decade with No Name (2000 C.E. - 2009 C.E.)
- The Near Past and Future (2010 C.E. - 2029 C.E.)
- The Rest of the Twenty-First Century (2030 C.E. - 2100 C.E.)
- The Twenty Second Century (2101 C.E. - 2200 C.E.)
- The Twenty-Third and Twenty-Fourth Centuries (2201 C.E. - 2400 C.E.)
- The Rest of the Third Millennium (2401 C.E. - 3000 C.E.)
- To the Thirtieth Millennium (3001 C.E. - 30000 C.E.)
- The Far Future (30001 C.E. and onward)