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Instant Wristwatch

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Instant wristwatches, the latest fad in superhero gadgetry!
"You know, if I had a watch I'd be looking at my wrist really condescendingly right now."

A character glances at their watch for the time, usually during tense situations where a deadline is looming or to show the character's growing impatience.

Then the Fridge Logic hits you: Since when has this character ever worn a watch? In this trope, a character will suddenly have a wristwatch or some other accessory worn merely for a single use, after which the article will be immediately forgotten. In extreme cases, the watch in question is obviously seen not on the character's person before and after its use. Although it can be justified by cleverly hiding such with long sleeves and other concealing clothing.

Sometimes sarcastically defied with a character who isn't wearing a watch looking anyway and commenting, "wrist-o-clock" or something to that effect.

Subtrope of The Law of Conservation of Detail. See also Chekhov's Gun, Schrödinger's Gun. See Sudden Anatomy for this trope applied to body parts.


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    Asian Animation 
  • Lamput:
    • In "Airport", Fat Doc looks at his watch along with Slim Doc while both are on the airplane. The watch appears out of nowhere since Fat Doc typically has nothing around his arms.
    • In "Lamput & the Elephant", while the docs are waiting for Lamput to fall into their pitfall, a watch once again spontaneously appears on Fat Doc's arm so he can check the time.

    Comic Strips 
  • One Calvin and Hobbes strip has Hobbes check his watch, despite usually not wearing anything at all, being a stuffed tiger.

  • Animorphs: One meeting with the Drode sees the alien suddenly pull an oversized wrist watch out of nowhere to remind them that his Deal with the Devil is temporary. Not played for laughs, it's the Drode reminding them he (or rather his boss Crayak) is a Reality Warper.
  • Harry Potter somehow acquired a muggle wristwatch after he left the Dursleys (it's mentioned that he wished he had one as he had no way of measuring the passage of time during the long hours he was locked away in the cupboard under the stairs). It stops working when he goes diving in the lake for the second task of the Triwizard Tournament. The Weasleys later give him a pocket watch that used to belong to Molly's brother for Harry's 17th birthday.
  • Averted in Jim Butcher's Ghost Story. Dresden glances at his wrist, despite not actually wearing a watch (Harry's Walking Tech Bane status prevents him from wearing one). Another character calls him out on this.

    Web Animation 
  • Happy Tree Friends:
    • In "Royal Flush", Lammy gets an instant watch when she starts wondering why Flaky is taking so long in the bathroom.
    • In "Ski Ya, Wouldn't Wanna Be Ya", Flaky gains a Cro-Marmot watch while on a ski lift, which cracks from the altitude.
  • Spooky Month:
    • In "The Stars", right before Skid and Pump enter the Candy Club, Kevin checks the time on his watch. The watch disappears after he puts his arm down, and it's the only time in the series that he's drawn with one.
    • In "Unwanted Guest", Lila stares at her watch after realizing how long Dexter has been in the attic. It stays on her wrist as she walks out of frame, but disappears after this scene.

    Web Videos 
  • Don't Hug Me I'm Scared: In "TIME", Tony lifts up Yellow Guy's wrist to make a point about time, showing a watch. The watch prop was made just for that scene, and is not part of Yellow Guy's puppet. Humorously, when DHMIS was retooled for its television run, the watch was made a permanent part of Yellow Guy's design.

    Western Animation 
  • Patrick does this thrice in SpongeBob SquarePants.
    • In "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost", he checks his watch after Squidward asks if he knows what time it is. It's actually a cruel joke by Squidward: Patrick's holding his bottle of bubble soap with the same hand the suddenly materialized watch is on, so he accidentally spills it when he turns his wrist.
    • In "Patty Hype", the watch is quite clearly drawn on his wrist (he draws a new battery for it).
    • In "New Student Starfish", he hangs a lampshade by asking, "When did I start wearing a watch?"
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Party of One", Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy need to make a hasty exit, so Rainbow says something along the lines of, "Oh, just look at the time!" and draws a wristwatch on her front leg with a pencil.
    • In "Too Many Pinkie Pies", when all of the Pinkies are challenged to seeing who can watch paint dry the longest without moving or talking, it turns out to drag on a bit longer than expected; during one of the time skips, Rainbow looks at an actual wrist(?) watch she never had up until that point and is never seen again from then on.
    • In "The Maud Couple", upon first meeting Mudbriar and urging him to speed up, Pinkie points to a blue wristwatch that suddenly materialized on her foreleg.
    • In "The Parent Map", Sunburst checks his non-existent wristwatch on his foreleg to get out of an awkward conversation with his mother.
  • The Simpsons regularly has characters suddenly wearing accessories like watches only in scenes they'll be used, and sometimes only in the shot they're using them. The DVD commentary likes to point it out each time it happens.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM): Sally wears a ring with a royal signet that only appears when the plot calls for it, and her hands are drawn without it otherwise.
  • At least one Gumby cartoon had Gumby check his wrist, which resulted in a watch suddenly materializing when nothing was clearly there a second ago. It was even given a sound effect when it appeared.
  • This happens a lot in Ready Jet Go!. At any given moment, Sydney's Commander Cressida watch might randomly appear on her wrist.
  • Subverted on Camp Lazlo: While Raj and Clam are waiting for Lazlo to resurface from snorkeling, Raj questions how long has he been under. Clam looks at his wrist, which has nothing on it, and remarks "Don't have watch".
  • Middlemost Post: When Parker challenges Angus to hug him for 30 seconds, he instantly gets a watch on his wrist when it wasn't there before.
  • Let's Go Luna!: In "Didgeridoo and Carmen Too", Luna gets a watch on her wrist at one point, when it wasn't there before.