The writers, however, were left unimpressed, because they have been familiar with a similar principle for ages untold: for you see, it is a trivial matter to derive from the Theory of Narrative Causality that — just as things happen because the plot damn well needs them to — they also happen when it is convenient for the story.
This phenomenon is known as Plot Time, and it crops up in a lot of Tropes, such as:
- Bait-and-Switch Time Skip: It seems like a long time has passed, but it's only been a little while.
- Comic-Book Time: A long-running series fudges the passage of time so that the main characters barely age (if at all) while time appears to pass as normal for the rest of the world.
- Conversation Cut: A conversation continues across a scene change without interruption.
- Correlation/Causation Gag: A gag where a small action is mistaken for the cause of a large action because they correlate.
- Frozen in Time: A fictional universe is limited to a specific time period, no matter how much time passes in real life.
- Inaction Sequence: Characters ostensibly in the middle of an action sequence spend most of the time talking.
- Just in Time: A rescue arrives just in the nick of time.
- Magic Countdown: Time flows differently on time counters that are currently not onscreen or discussed.
- Plot Detour: The plot is put on hold for a trivial reason.
- Real Time: Media shown in real time, with nothing sped up, slowed down, or cut.
- Refugee from Time: A character's backstory never changes with the time period.
- Ridiculously Fast Construction: Buildings and units are produced at improbably high speed.
- Scotty Time: Someone has much less time than they need to get the job done, yet they get it done.
- Sneeze Cut: You sneeze when people elsewhere are talking about you.
- Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: A character inexplicably becomes older between appearances.
- Talking Is a Free Action: When a character is in danger, they somehow have enough time to talk about something right before getting out of harm's way or falling victim to the disaster.
- Time Skip: A work skips to a specific amount of time later.
- Transformation at the Speed of Plot: The Virus progresses as quickly or slowly as required for dramatic effect.
- Transformation Is a Free Action: When a character goes through a transformation sequence, no one does anything until after the transformation is complete.
- Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Characters or vehicles travel as quickly or slowly as the plot demands.
- Video Game Time: A video game trope where actions that should require vastly different timescales occur at the same rate.
- Webcomic Time: Real time progresses much faster than in-universe time due to the rate at which a serialized story is produced.
Not to be confused with Time Travel Tropes, though the two do frequently cooperate. Compare 24-Hour Trope Clock, for how times are used in plots.