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For the video game genre, see Real-Time Strategy.

"The following takes place between Midnight and 1 AM on the day of the California Presidential Primary. Events occur in real time."
Jack Bauer, introducing the 24 pilot

There are no artificial attempts to show time compression; everything is occurring as it is happening. One minute onscreen equals one minute in show time.

The Super-Trope to this is Extremely Short Timespan. Compare Back to Front, Anachronic Order, Magic Countdown and Comic-Book Time. All examples of The Oner not involving over- or undercranking are in real time by nature.

Sometimes, TV series will do a low-key Bottle Episode entirely or mostly in real-time.


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  • Honda once broadcast a live TV advert in the UK, taking an entire ad break to broadcast a parachute display team form the letters to spell out HONDA in mid-air. They succeeded.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Variation: The Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch manga was released in Real Time, except in chapters that were tied too closely together to be a month apart.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has many scenes that are drawn-out pauses, with no attempt to "speed up" the action: sometimes this is actually realistic. In one episode, Rei and Asuka are in an elevator and both are completely still for about 30 seconds, the length of a long elevator ride. Presumably this is to make the awkwardness of their interactions more prominent; it is also very cheap to film. NGE also shot the final battle of the ninth episode in real time (and synced it to music).
  • The Maison Ikkoku manga also ran in real time, as the series, which was published from 1980 to 1987, spanned seven years in the characters' lives.
  • The Tsukipro franchise takes place in real time overall. The characters have conversations on Twitter every day, about what they did that day, and when it's their birthdays, they talk about the age they actually are. Some of the younger ones have also gotten taller over the years - Koi and Iku, who started out small and childlike, have gotten to be some of the tallest members. The first two groups, Gravi and Procella, were all 15-17 when it started, but now, they're all adults (the youngest, Koi, turned 20 in 2018). The second anime series, Tsukipro the Animation note  does contain flashbacks, but the main part of each episode takes place the week it aired (including Eichi's birthday).
  • What Did You Eat Yesterday? progresses in real time. It began in 2007 and is on-going as of 2018. Shiro and Kenji were respectively 43 and 41 years old when the series began, but are 52 and 50 years old as of chapter 101.

    Audio Plays 

    Comic Books 
  • Jeff Smith's third Bone graphic novel, Eyes of the Storm, has a chapter which was designed to get readers to read it at a rate similar to the time in-universe.
  • The DC Comics series 52 is a year-long weekly series where each issue covers a week of story time; the name refers to (among other things) the number of weeks in a year, and is a Shout-Out to 24.
  • In the famous The Spirit story "Ten Minutes", about the last ten minutes of a man's life, Will Eisner times the comic to take approximately ten minutes of the reader's time. This was in 1949.
  • Marvel Comics' The New Universe was supposed to run in real time, but due to the whole line being canceled after only three years, the intended effects could hardly be noticed.
  • Y: The Last Man generally kept time passing at the same rate as it did for the reader. It generally had a few issues covering a set few days, and then a time skip filling the difference.
  • Judge Dredd. Dredd canonically ages in line with the strip itself (one year's worth of published stories equals one year passed within the comics).
  • The Punisher MAX explicitly runs on real time since it exists outside of the mainstream Marvel Universe.
  • Marvel Comics' The Nam was billed as "an 8 year limited series", for how long the Vietnam War took after the US got involved. Each story takes place one month after the previous one did.

    Comic Strips 
  • The three comics by Bill HolbrookOn the Fastrack, Kevin & Kell and Safe Havens — all run in approximately real time. Single storylines may use up several days to portray the events of a few minutes, but then there are periods of inactivity again, so that we get regular scheduled real life events spilling over into their world, such as Valentine's, summer camp or Christmas. Safe Havens followed school kids through their school years, Safe Havens and On the Fastrack have a common 'Mars Mission' plotline that evolves in real time, too.
  • Each comic strip of Gasoline Alley is a small slice of the events of that day, and characters go through their lives and age accordingly. As of The New '20s, the youngest characters are the great-great-grandchildren of the original characters.

    Film — Animation 
  • Coco: Backstage at the Sunrise Spectacular, the stagehand tells Ernesto he's on in 30 seconds. Exactly 30 seconds later, the announcer is announcing Ernesto's entrance while Imelda is rising to the stage.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 1917 takes place in real time, following British soldiers sent across No-Man's Land to deliver a message. The film does cheat towards the end by having a character get knocked out to allow the film to jump ahead in time.
  • 12 Angry Men takes it even further, with not only almost all of the movie taking place in real time, but almost all of that period is set in one room. Even more remarkably, it had to be shot four times, each from a different angle with one of the walls removed to accommodate the camera, with the jurors getting progressively more sweaty and dishevelled. When all four angles were cut together it worked perfectly in continuity.
  • In the climax of The Avengers, two minutes and thirty seconds of screen time actually pass between the deployment and explosion of the nuke intended for Manhattan.
  • The climax of Tim Burton's Batman (1989). The Joker tells his crew to meet him with their helicopter on the top of the cathedral in ten minutes. They arrive during the fight in the belltower, which is almost exactly ten minutes later.
  • Before Sunset takes place in the hour-and-a-half following Jesse's appearance at the bookstore. Before Midnight is basically four, five long scenes of conversation in Real Time, with some time passing between those scenes.
  • Boiling Point (2021) is shot to look like a continuous shot. As a result, there are no obvious time jumps, meaning that the movie takes place roughly over a stressful hour and a half in a busy restaurant.
  • Cash on Demand unfolds in real time: covering the approximately 90 minutes following the opening on the bank on Dec. 23.
  • Cleo From 5 to 7 follows a young singer over the course of about 100 minutes as she stresses over a cancer test. Stretches the bounds of Real Time sometimes, like when Cleo changes from a white nightie to a black dress in about five seconds.
  • Conspiracy (2001). Like the German original, the events within the conference room strictly follow the minutes of the meeting that took place, which was over in less than 90 minutes.
  • Crimson Tide. The second half of the film takes place in real time, beginning when the USS Alabama, an American nuclear missile submarine, receives orders to fire their nukes on a hostile target within the next sixty minutes. The following hour includes two submarine combat sequences, three mutinies, philosophical discussions about the nature of warfare in the nuclear age, excessive amounts of sweating, and a lot of clock-watching.
  • Free Fire takes place entirely in real-time (barring a Slow Motion sequence). Characters lean on the fourth wall when they note that it takes 90 minutes to bleed out from a gunshot wound, and the film is almost exactly 90 minutes long.
  • The Guilty takes place during the last hour and a half of Asger's shift at the dispatch center.
  • High Noon is arguably the most famous cinematic use of this trope. The film takes place between 10:35 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., as Marshal Will Kane finds out right after he gets married, on the day he's retiring and leaving town, that gunfighter Frank Miller is coming to town on the noon train to kill him.
  • I, an Actress (1977) is a ten-minute improvised short film that was done in one take.
  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World manages to juggle this, all while following multiple groups of people and several different sub-plots all at once. Though the film is infamous for having several different cuts, the most recent Criterion release clocks in at just over 3 hours and 17 minutes, a realistic length of time it would take to travel the 125 miles from Palm Springs to the Portuguese Bend (especially considering all the constant delays each character ends up having to deal with).
  • The Man from Earth takes place in real time, except for the final shots. And almost completely in one room.
  • Miracle Mile: After the inciting incident, in which the main character answers a phone call telling him that nuclear missiles will land in his location in one hour, the film takes place in real time.
  • My Dinner with Andre takes place mostly in real time, what with most of the film being Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • The film Nick of Time (starring Johnny Depp) plays out a thriller in real time and frequently references the passing time.
  • Phone Booth takes place in real time. Interestingly, the antagonist was played by Kiefer Sutherland, the star of 24.
  • The entire film Real Time takes place in, well, real time.
  • Reservoir Dogs is an hour of real-time in one location with 30 minutes of flashbacks.
  • Alfred Hitchcock's Rope not only unfolds in real time but was actually filmed in single continuous takes, each the length of a reel of film, with reel changes disguised by having the camera pass behind an obscuring object for a second as one reel ends, and emerging again as the next reel begins.
  • Run Lola Run has three 20-minute sequences that each play out in real-time, with short sequences between them.
  • Running Time is another one that not only takes place in real time, but looks like it is done in one continuous take.
  • Russian Ark is a single take. All 93 minutes of it. Since it was shot digitally, there was no need to stop and change reels.
  • The events of the boxing film The Set-Up correspond almost exactly to its 73-minute runtime, which is emphasized by shots of a clock at the beginning and end.
  • Silver Lode plays out in near-enough real time. The entire eighty-minute movie plays out during a single day, with no appreciable change in the time of day evident from the lighting or other factors.
  • Sorry, Wrong Number unfolds in real time, as can be seen by the clock on Leona's bedside table.
  • The film Timecode combined it with cinema verité; its action was shot in a single take, by four steadicam operators. The film was a four-frame Split Screen, like a security monitor, and sometimes action took place on more than one camera at a time.
  • Titanic switches to a more-or-less real-time narrative from the moment the Titanic hits the iceberg to the ship's sinking.
  • In United 93, the entire film plays out in this way for the most part, albeit the plane spends a slightly longer amount of time in the air during the film than it did in real life. The actual plane was in the air for approximately one hour and 21 minutes.
  • Utřya: July 22 depicts the 72-minute-long massacre in real time and no cuts with some character introduction beforehand.
  • Victoria (2015) plays out in real time due to the fact that it's been shot in a single take.
  • The sequel of the German screwball crimedy Der Wixxer is "set in real time. Only much faster".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Numerous Reality Shows have dabbled with 'Real Time' episodes, ranging from live tasks (say, for shopping budgets or other prizes) all the way up to 24-hour streaming.
  • Rachael Ray's "Thirty Minute Meals", this is the whole point of the concept.
  • 24 is the most notable example of "real-time", with the script writers conveniently forgetting that if the show were really happening in Los Angeles, Jack Bauer would be spending the majority of each show stuck in traffic. The very first episodes of the program features Kiefer stating at the beginning "Events occur in real time." The show was not very rigorous about this, ignoring the limitations of the Real Time format constantly and generally using it simply to build suspense. The final episodes of 24: Live Another Day and 24: Legacy have a 12-hour Time Skip after the last commercial break.
  • There was an episode of the 1970s British kid's drama Ace of Wands where a character had been poisoned and had 23 minutes (the length of the episode minus titles) to find the antidote.
  • Played with in the KiKa teen drama Allein gegen die Zeit (Alone Against The Clock), which has thirteen episodes per season, each covering one hour in thirty minutes (thus, each season lasts little more than half a day). Despite making two hours one, there is a frequent clock focus, the essence of urgency and (reasonable) passing of time is always present, and the plot is furthered greatly by various timespans and deadlines.
  • The All in the Family episode "Mike the Pacifist", which takes place on a subway car.
  • The American Gothic episode "The Beast Within" takes place in real time, although with a bit of cheating at the climax.
  • The Babylon 5 episode "Intersections in Real Time" plays out in real-time, but only between commercials. During commercial breaks (the "intersections"), it is assumed that much time passes.
  • An episode of The Bill consisted entirely of a squad of Sun Hill police waiting in a van as backup during a demonstration. In a subversion the exciting things are happening off-screen, as relayed over the radio.
  • The Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode "Ticking Clocks". It's lampshaded in the very beginning, as Hitchcock and Scully put a lasagna in the microwave and set it to bake for exactly 21 minutes and 30 seconds. The episode finds the 99 trying to catch a hacker who's in the building and attempting to hack into their servers.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Conversations with Dead People" begins with an accurate to the minute (at the time of airing) title and time card, intended to imply that all the titular conversations are real time.
  • Cheers tenth-season finale "An Old-Fashioned Wedding". It was an hour-long episode where the Cheers gang is running the bar for Woody and Kelly's wedding. Roughly 2/3 of the episode, namely everything after the gang gets to the Gaines kitchen, is in real time, as they engage in a chaotic scramble to avert several disasters before the wedding starts.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "42" supposedly takes place in Real Time, however, there are a few conspicuous breaks from the gimmick. Here, the title refers to the number of minutes the protagonists have in their Race Against the Clock, and is a Shout-Out to both 24 and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
    • In "Mummy on the Orient Express", all scenes in which the Foretold attacks are timed to take exactly 66 seconds, as per the legend. There's even an on-screen countdown shown.
    • "Face the Raven" is built around a countdown. The final 15 minutes or so of the episode take place in real time. Although this is not explicit, one can work this out by comparing dialogue with the episode timing, though this only works when watching the DVD or the non-commercial BBC broadcast. This is a good example of how much can be accomplished, dialogue-wise, within just a few minutes.
  • First Wave: season 1 episode The Box begins with Cade being (wrongfully) arrested for his wife's murder when he comes to visit her grave on their anniversary. After the title card, one of the cops mentions that someone is coming to take him away soon, so they have forty minutes to get him to confess to some other, similar murders. The rest of the episode, up to Cade's escape, take place in real time.
  • The Flash (1990) used this in the episode "Beat the Clock", where Flash had an hour to save an innocent man from death row.
  • Frasier did two real time episodes, Season 1's "My Coffee with Niles" and Season 6's "Dinner Party". In each, the real time even continues during the commercial break, as Frasier goes to the bathroom just before the break and returns straight afterward. In the latter, he's on hold for the first intermission, giving Roz the opportunity to go down, get her dry-cleaning, and come back up. However it does not hold true for the second intermission.
  • Friends episode "The One Where No One's Ready" where Ross keeps track of the time left before the gang have to leave for a dinner event. The end credits scene breaks the formula as it's set several hours later at the dinner.
  • Season seven of Grey's Anatomy uses this in "Golden Hour", which takes place between 6 and 7pm.
  • Most episodes of In Treatment take place in real time, as they are half-hour therapy sessions. A handful break the format, but not many. It was taken a step further in its original broadcasts, as each patient came on a specific day of the week, which was the day the episode came out.
  • The first season finale "Johnny B Gone" of Married... with Children takes place in real time, it is basically one long scene. This concept was reused ten years later for the penultimate episode "The Desperate Half-Hour".
  • The M*A*S*H episode "Life Time", which has the 4077 racing against the clock to save a couple of severely wounded soldiers. There's even a clock at the bottom of the screen that tells the time as the episode progresses.
  • Mister Rogers' Neighborhood eschewed quick cuts and jarring transitions. As described in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: A Visual History, "Each television visit was designed to resemble the flow of real life, with time to think or complete simple tasks." In Episode 1697, after Mister Rogers asked viewers to take a long, careful look at an African violet, the camera stayed fixed on the flower for 25 seconds.
  • A first-season My Three Sons episode has Steve and the boys racing to get out of the house and off to work and school after Bub mistakenly sets the clocks ahead an hour instead of turning them back at the end of Daylight Savings Time. The action unfolds against the background of a televised NASA satellite launch.
  • In the NUMB3RS episode "One Hour", the cast have one hour to resolve a kidnapping—minus Don, who's spending the hour in a therapy session and has turned off his phone at the insistence of the therapist.
  • Real Time with Bill Maher: The central gimmick of the show is that it's a live broadcast of a one-hour show without commercial breaks. The show's theme music begins with someone announcing "Start the clock," and the set features digital displays of the current time, with the seconds ticking up. Maher talks about how challenging this is in Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, causing an apathetic Jerry Seinfeld to ask why he bothers.
  • Roger & Val have Just Got In is a bittersweet SitCom featuring two characters in a house, and every episode not only takes place in real time, but (as the title suggests) at the same time of day, as the two each get home from work.
  • Most episodes of The Royle Family before "The Queen of Sheba" appear to take place in real time, and entirely within the Royles' house. Since then they've used a more conventional format.
  • Seinfeld's famous "The Chinese Restaurant" episode was in real time. The commercial break is spanned by a Long List that Jerry rattles off.
  • The aptly-named Stargate Atlantis episode "Thirty-Eight Minutes" is the only Real Time episode (except for the last scene) in the Stargate-verse. The title refers to the maximum length of time a Stargate can be open after a puddle jumper (a ship capable of travelling through the gates) becomes stuck in an active Stargate with its control room in the wormhole, giving all parties thirty-eight minutes to figure out a means of getting the ship unstuck and moving through the gate before it's basically cut in half and exposed to space once the Stargate shuts down.
  • Most of Starsky & Hutch's "The Shootout", in which the restaurant our heroes happen to be at is taken over by two Mafia hitmen; Starsky is seriously injured and Hutch has to keep him and everyone else alive while the clock ticks away.
  • Titus was designed to imitate a play. Thus, most episodes take place on a single set in Real Time. It was even filmed in order, for the benefit of the studio audience.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): "A World of His Own" takes place in real time as there are no discernible time skips in the narrative.
  • The SitCom Watching Ellie was initially shot entirely in Real Time. This format was ditched after the first season.
  • Each episode of Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego began with a 2-minute introduction sequence, followed by the Chief telling the contestants "you've got 28 minutes to get it back, or history will change forever." They always succeeded, since it happened at the end of Round 2, and catching Carmen was just the icing on the cake.
  • The "Triangle" episode of The X-Files is set in real time or close to it. It switches between 1939 and 1998 and covers roughly the same amount of time in each period. The episode is comprised of four 11 minute shots.

  • Roger Waters' The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. The first song is titled "4:30 AM (Apparently They Were Traveling Abroad)" and the last song is "5:11 AM (The Moment of Clarity)." While the events don't unfold this way, the album runs 42:07 and the time when each dream starts is in the title of each song.

  • One iconic episode of radio drama Dragnet, "City Hall Bombing" (July 21, 1949), gave Sergeant Joe Friday and his partner Ben Romero less than thirty minutes to stop a bombing at city hall.
  • In the 1990s BBC Radio produced an adaptation of Len Deighton's Bomber that not only took place in real time, but over the course of an entire day. In other words, it comprised several acts which were broadcast at various times during the entire day's schedule, with the events of each act taking place at the time of day they were actually broadcast.
  • Orson Welles' broadcast of The War of the Worlds was initially presented as a live news program, with real-time breaking reports streaming in. Notably, however, while the broadcast was skillfully produced to encourage suspension of disbelief, it would be wholly impossible for the events portrayed to all occur (including, e.g., the mobilization of large numbers of troops, government cabinet meetings, and several major battles) within its mere one hour running time. Basically, only the first third of the program, up to the death of radio reporter Carl Phillips at the scene of a Martian spacecraft landing, is actually real time.
  • The Cabin Pressure Bottle Episode "Limerick" is all done as one scene in real time. Unlike most other examples, though, virtually nothing actually happens in the episode - they fly over a really boring bit of Russia, have Seinfeldian Conversation and play word games, and cook a pie.

  • Like many of David Williamson's plays, the events of The Club unfold in real time: covering approximately two very eventful hours in the club meeting rooms.
  • Clybourne Park: The two acts of this play are separated by a 50-year time skip, as two sets of characters argue about the purchase of a house and changing the racial dynamics of the neighborhood. But each act plays out in real time as a single, increasingly hostile conversation.
  • The stage directions to play 'night, Mother, a single conversation between two people, specifically say that there should be clocks visible to the audience, that the clocks will run throughout, and there's no intermission.
  • Talley's Folly: In the Medium Awareness introduction Matt tells the audience that the play will run for 97 minutes without a break, and it does, a 97-minute conversation between Matt and Sally, the woman he wants to marry.

    Video Games 
  • Among single-player video games that have an In-Universe Game Clock, a few also utilize Real Time and simulate what happened while the game was off. Animal Crossing is one of the most well-known examples.
    • Pokémon also does real-time progression in this manner (Pokémon Gold and Silver was one of the first to do this), which is especially unique because RPGs in general rarely use this trope at all.
  • Jordan Mechner's The Last Express is set in real time, albeit sped up by a factor of six, and the ending changes based on where you are at certain times, meaning that the player must very carefully manage where they are to get certain endings. The only time this is broken away from is when the player character is knocked out or goes to sleep.
  • Thanks to some coding, Oracle of Tao has both real time, and an in-game clock. This Is Reality sets in, when the party insists that the clock that shows the real time is off, and has no problems accepting the game time.
  • Also from Mechner, Prince of Persia (the 1989 original); the protagonist of the game has one hour to rescue the Damsel in Distress, and you have one real-life hour to beat the game. The 1992 sequel does the same, but gives you slightly more time.
  • The SNES game SOS follows this concept. In the middle of a fierce storm, a luxury liner capsizes. In one real time hour, the ship will sink. The player character must reach the exit before then (and preferably bring a few other survivors with him). "Dying" advances the clock five minutes.
  • Impossible Mission. You get infinite lives, but the clock keeps on ticking.
  • While not entirely in real time, Fable II has the player receiving rent from owned properties in real time, even when the Xbox isn't on.
    • Which of course, means it's laughable easy to become a gazillionaire by simply setting the clock on your Xbox forward a few hundred years. Not that there's anything to buy with the real estate money anyway except...more real estate.
  • Portal has the player in control continuously, from start to finish barring some long elevators. Portal 2 has some timeskips and periods of unconsciousness in both the single player and co-op, so they don't pass.
  • Metal Gear Solid has only a single time skip while Snake is knocked out and taken to be interrogated. The second game plays in two chapters that are set several months apart, but also are continous without any breaks, except for a similar knocking-out-and-torture situation.
  • It's pretty easy to forget that King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella is a Timed Mission because of this.
  • Night Trap, Ground Zero: Texas and Double Switch are all played in real time, and as such, you'll be forced to ignore the story and check other areas to take care of the roaming enemies if you want a perfect score. Tellingly, in Night Trap, you miss trapping several augers if you actually sit and listen to Lt. Simms' entire introductory spiel (the 2017 edition averts this by removing the time limit and instead allows you to take your time in the new intro before the game begins).
  • Famously, Desert Bus plays out in real time, simulating the 360 mile drive from Tuscon to Las Vegas with the bus travelling 45 miles an hour, necessitating eight real-world hours to complete the journey. And your reward for doing so? Driving all the way back. Also in real time. Back and forth, endlessly.
  • X-Perts tasks you with guiding your three operatives through a base, swapping between them to complete timed objectives and take care of enemies. A computerized voice constantly informs you when characters get into and out of combat outside your control.
  • Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, or to be more specific its To D'ni expansion pack, makes partial use of this. An office belonging to a character named Douglas Sharper gains a second journal, which refers in an in-character way to Ubisoft pulling the plug on the multiplayer servers in 2004. Later, the player would check back and find that there are more entries in the journal - showing that Sharper is right there in the cavern with you. However, this falls a little flat in recent years, as the entries correspond to the system date of the computer playing the game, so Sharper's entries jump from the beginning of 2004 to several years later.
  • Pathologic is relentless in its story progression being tied to the In-Universe Game Clock: the entire plot is timed to occur over 12 in-game days, so you actually have to be in the right place at the right time to witness and to potentially influence its key events.
  • Britannic: Patroness of the Mediterranean features a sinking experience starting at about 8:10 AM, five minutes before she strikes the mine, and ends 55 minutes later at 9:10 AM, when she slipped beneath the waves. And there are no cuts in-between.

    Web Comics 
  • Oddly enough, the Webcomic Narbonic used this, as opposed to Webcomic Time - while certain storylines actually did take weeks to play out for the viewers, there was considered enough 'fluff' between events that Christmas, Valentine's Day, and particularly New Years' Eve wound up being bracketed by storylines around those time frames. Most notably, it was actually 6 years between Davenport moving into Narbonic Labs and breaking up with Helen, both IRL and in the comic.
  • Sluggy Freelance had a parody of 24 that took place over 24 hours. Of course, since the comic updates once every 24 hours, the parody started with the strip for January 17th... and ended exactly one strip later on January 18th, with the characters talking about how exciting it was.
  • The long-running Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan was supposed to be set exactly 1,000 years in the past, but that notion was eventually dropped due to Schedule Slip, so that by 2011 the characters were living about 1005.
  • Karin-dou 4koma: Outside of a few story arcs, most of the strips' events happens roughly when the strips are released. The series started in 2008, so this is reflected with Tamaryu slowly growing from a 8 year old girl to a 13 year old middle schooler.

    Web Video 
  • The BBCi and Big Finish jointly produced illustrated Doctor Who Audio Play "Real Time".
  • In We Are All Pokémon Trainers for the most part, a day IRL equals a day IRP, which means that characters age as the RP goes on. For example, Tagg aging in real time from 19 to 22 over the course of the RP.
  • The Great War follows World War One week by week, exactly one hundred years after the events depicted, as an ambitious four year project.
  • World War II: as pseudo-sequel to The Great War, covers the events of The Second World War week by week, seventy-nine years after they occurred.
  • James Rolfe has done this a couple times in his videos, albeit very subtly. In his Board James review of Dream Phone, the scene when he's talking to the killer over the phone with Night of the Living Dead playing on his tv in the background is done in real time and exactly a minute and thirty seconds of the movie go by in that minute and a half scene. He also, as a shout-out to the popular theory that /The Dark Side of the Moon was deliberately made to sync up with The Wizard of Oz, actually went so far as to sync his review of The Wizard of Oz to the album.

    Western Animation 
  • The Angry Beavers is unique in that all the clocks update in real time. That is, if 5 minutes pass between one scene and the next, the clocks will have advanced by exactly 5 minutes.
  • Similarly, the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Appointment in Crime Alley" took place in real time, with frequent shots of clocks counting down to a dramatic explosion. The episode came to be because the network wanted to see an episode showing a day in the life of Batman, hence the numerous events that pile up in the fifteen minutes of the countdown.
  • Blue's Clues gave every appearance of taking place in real time. Viewers follow host Steve or Joe (or Kevin in the U.K.) through events in the Blue's Clues house and backyard, or into skidoo, without cutting away or any indication of additional time passing. In one installment, viewers even sat with Steve for one minute as a clock appeared on-screen counting down one minute as an exercise in patience. Another installment with Joe, "Patience," was all about finding ways to be patient to pass the time until an egg hatched at the end of the episode. There was even a song to go with it— "Wait. Wait. Wait. What can we do while we wait?"
  • In Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, events are generally presented without any time skips or sudden scene changes. The creators (who also worked on Blue's Clues) have indicated that the show is made this way because they feel that doing that sort of thing is confusing to the young audience, who might not easily understand that the time-frame being presented has changed.
  • An episode of Garfield and Friends, in which Garfield has to not eat anything for five minutes. (Complete with a clock counting down in the corner of the screen.)
  • Used in an interesting way in The Hollow. The first season takes place over ten half-hour episodes, and despite night and day passing multiple times it's revealed during the season finale that the whole adventure from episode one to episode ten took place in only five hours in-universe, the same amount of time it takes to view the whole season.
  • The unfinished episode "Ten Minutes to Doom" of Invader Zim invokes this when Zim gets his PAK taken and has 10 minutes to get it back, or else he dies.
  • The Justice League episode "Wild Cards" takes place in real time, with the Joker's timer in the corner of the screen keeping track for most of the events. In between part 1 and part 2, there's a minor "rewind". Lampshaded by Joker when the clock starts at 22:51. "Oh what were you expecting from me? A round number?" The creators obviously designed the number to be the exact time between the timer's appearance and the Flash dealing with the final bomb, rather than trying to forcibly edit the length of that time to an exact number.
  • In the pilot episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the speedy pegasus Rainbow Dash claims she can clear the sky of clouds in "10 seconds flat". She lives up to her word; in exactly 10 seconds real time the sky has been cleared.
    • Also, in a later episode, Rainbow ends up in hospital, and there is a one minute-long montage of her trying kill time. Then she looks back at the clock, only to notice that the whole montage took place in Real Time.
  • In one episode of Phineas and Ferb Doofenshmirtz claims in the Once an Episode song that he'll probably pass out in 17 seconds. Sure enough, 17 real seconds later, he passes out without getting to finish the song.
  • The "24 Minutes" episode of The Simpsons, with a crossover appearance of some of 24's cast no less.
  • The South Park parody of 24's format.
    • Also the episode "The New Terrance and Philip Movie Trailer" from the sixth season.
  • Stanley and Stella in: Breaking the Ice is one scene and three minutes long. Extremely Short Timespan, indeed.
  • In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Fugitives", Sylvia points out a garbage barge will be leaving the planet she and Wander are on in "precisely three minutes." Exactly three minutes after she says that, she and Wander are tossed onto the barge as it is leaving.


Video Example(s):


Ten seconds flat!

When Twilight doesn't believe Rainbow can clear the sky that quick, she claims she can do it in "ten seconds flat." Her cloud clearing indeed takes ten seconds in real time.

How well does it match the trope?

3.5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / RealTime

Media sources: