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Real-Time Timeskip

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When the real-world time between franchise installments is acknowledged in-universe. Say, if Alice and Bob get married at the end of the first movie, then the sequel comes out three years later and the characters say they've been married for three years. This trope is all but guaranteed if the gap is particularly huge, like ten years or more, especially if the work is live-action due to the aging of the actors. Anything less, it's usually just understood that an unspecified amount of time has passed since the original.

Character Aged with the Actor is a common result of this, especially for very large gaps.


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    Anime And Manga 
  • The manga for Inuyasha began serializing in 1996, and the anime premiered in 2000. The Spin-Offspring sequel Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, premiering in 2020, is set approximately 20 years later.
  • Carnival Phantasm was released in 2011 and was based on popular material from the Nasuverse such as Tsukihime and Fate/stay night. The carnival in question is said to take place every 10 years in-universe. Fast forward to New Years 2021, and the spinoff Fate/Grand Carnival is aired, this time focusing on Fate/Grand Order.
  • Psycho-Pass season 1 ends in March 2113 with Mika Shimotsuki joining the Bureau as a new Inspector, which parallels its real-life season finale airing in March 2013. The second season begins in October 2114 and Mika mentions she's been an Inspector for a year and a half, which is precisely how long it took for the second season to begin airing in October 2014.
  • The first episode of Lupin III: Part II begins with Lupin and his gang (and Zenigata) reuniting five years after their last caper. Lupin III: Part 1 finished its run in March 1972, with Part II premiering in October 1977, a five-year gap.

    Comic Books 
  • When Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse came back in 2017 after almost a decade-long hiatus, it was revealed that Wormwood had spent the intervening period in-universe sulking on a jungle world after a love affair went bad.
  • After DC Comics purchased the rights to Captain Marvel in 1973, they explained the characters' twenty-year absence from comics by revealing that all the characters were put in suspended animation for 20 years thanks to one of Dr. Sivana's experiments Gone Horribly Wrong.
  • It's not quite exact, but the 1986-87 comic Watchmen takes place in an Alternate History version of 1985. The 2020 Distant Sequel, Rorschach (2020), takes place in the same timeline's version of 2020.

    Comic Strips 
  • A Shared Universe example: Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean share the same universe, and normally runs on Comic-Book Time. But the events of Funky Winkerbean happen ten years later than those in Crankshaft, due to the former strip skipping ahead ten years after Lisa died in 2007 and aging everyone up (for the second time). Characters who appear in both strips are visibly older in Funky Winkerbean, especially title character Ed Crankshaft, who is hospital-bound and near death.

    Animated Films 
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet was released in 2018, six years after the first Wreck-It Ralph. In the early scenes of the movie, it's stated that it's been six years since Ralph and Vanellope first met.
  • The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part begins with a brief scene that shows what happened right after the final scene of the original movie, and then it cuts after a five years timeskip. The movie came out in 2019, five years after the first.
  • Toy Story 3 takes place eleven years after the events of Toy Story 2. Old home movies of a young Andy and Molly are shown in the film's prologue, and the film's plot involves Andy's toys being donated to Sunnyside when Andy tries to decide what to do with them since he hasn't played with them in years. The third film itself was released in 2010, eleven years after the second.

    Live Action Films 

  • Twenty years after his first published story, "Marooned Off Vesta", Isaac Asimov wrote a sequel to it called "Anniversary", where the heroes gather to celebrate twenty years since surviving the incident.
  • In the Ulysses Moore series, between the sixth and seventh novels, two years had passed both in Real Life and in the novels. This is part of the author's "playing with reality" style.
  • The Wild Cards series of novels presents a superhero universe in a somewhat realistic light. One of the major differences between it and comic book universes like the Marvel and DC Universes is that time passes and characters age and change, and even die for real. The series was put on hold during the mid-1990s. The newer books published after 2008, acknowledge the real-life gap of 13 years.

    Live Action TV 
  • Twin Peaks plays with this. Although the television series ended in 1991, it was followed by a film that is both a prequel and a sequel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, that aired in 1992 (which periods set before the series aired around 1990, and then in 1992 itself...or thereabouts). Twenty-five years later, the series returned with the followup season (technically sort of Season 3), called 'The Return'. These twenty-five years that have passed are implied to be a part of the overall mythos of the show, although why is left ambiguous, as Laura (who last appeared in Fire Walk With Me, where she was the protagonist) implies.
    Laura [to Dale]: I'll see you again in twenty-five years.
  • Season 5 of Billions was forced to suspend production for over a year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the episode "Liberty" (shot after production resumed in Summer 2021) features a months-long timeskip to reflect this.
  • Cobra Kai takes place thirty-some years after its predecessor The Karate Kid, equivalent to the real-life time since the movie's original release.
  • Star Trek: Picard takes place twenty years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, which is fairly close to the real-life gap of eighteen years between the two. It's referenced that Picard resigned in protest from Starfleet roughly fourteen years before the start of the series and the Enterprise-D crew have gone their separate ways.
  • The 1995 revival for the French-Canadian sitcom Moi et l'autre had 30 years pass in-universe. The real-life gap is only slightly shorter (about 24 years after the airing of the original series' final episode).
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall: The second instalment of the made-for-tv movie trilogy was filmed two years after the first one, and the third came along another six years later. The ages of Jacob's children and the length of his and Sarah's marriage coincide throughout the series.

  • Helloween has "Who is Mr. Madman", from 7 Sinners (2010), a sequel to "Perfect Gentleman" from Master of the Rings (1994). At the beginning of the song, the narration specifies that "fifteen years have passed" since the titular Gentleman was locked in a mental institution because his narcissism led him towards insanity.
    "Sixteen years have passed since he, one perfect of his kind, the Casanova of his time, crowned himself to conquer the land in craving for lust. Lust, one of the seven deadly sins. Punishment he has suffered. Look at him what did he become, who is he now?"
  • Queensr˙che's Concept Album Operation: Mindcrime was released in 1988, with the ending all but stating that Nikki, the main character, got locked up in prison after the events of the album. The sequel, Operation: Mindcrime 2, was released in 2004, and the beginning has Nikki being freed from prison after sixteen years.

    Video Games 
  • The Andro Dunos sequel, Andro Dunos 2, is released on the first game's 30th anniversary and set three decades later, and a Happy Ending Override where despite defeating the aliens in the original game, it turns out in the interim the aliens have return and took over earth.
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • Banjo-Tooie takes place two years after the events of the original game. As a result of being trapped under a boulder for two years, Grunty has been reduced to a living skeleton, and once she is rescued by her sisters, Mingella and Blobbelda, she kills Bottles as retribution. The goal of the game is to get into the Cauldron Keep so Banjo and Kazooie can use the Big O. Blaster (which Grunty plans to use on herself to restore herself to her former glory) to bring Bottles back to life. Tooie was released in 2000, two years after the original game.
    • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts takes place eight years after the events of Tooie. As a result of not having any villainy to fight for eight years, Banjo and Kazooie have become fat, lazy, and have forgotten how to do all of their special moves from the first two games, resulting in the game's shift from an action platformer to a driving-based game. Grunty, now reduced to a skull, has spent the past eight years making her way back to Spiral Mountain. Nuts and Bolts was released in 2008, eight years after Tooie.
  • Coffee Talk: Episode 2 takes place in 2023, three years after the first game, which is the same gap between the release dates of the two games.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, Palutena mentions that it's been 25 years since Pit defeated Medusa. Uprising was released 25 years after the original Kid Icarus game.
  • Games in the Like a Dragon series take place on or around their real-world Japanese release dates, with the exception of Yakuza 0 (which is set in The '80s).
  • Sort-of example: Mortal Kombat X was released 23 years after the original. After Mortal Kombat 9 rebooted the franchise, MKX had a 25-year time skip to acknowledge the time that has passed.
  • Pokémon Gold and Silver are set 3 years after the first games. They were released in Japan in 1999, while Pokémon Red and Green first appeared in 1996. Similarly, Pokémon Black and White came out in Japan in 2010 and their sequels Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 set two years later came out in 2012.
  • The Ratchet & Clank games between 2002 and 2012 all referred to previous entries this way. For example, 2012's All 4 One referred to Dr. Nefarious' defeat in 2009's A Crack in Time happening three years beforehand. A famous example is the Gadgetron employee discount Ratchet earns in the original 2002 game: he's told it wouldn't kick in for another two years, which it finally does in 2004's Up Your Arsenal so long as the player has a save of the original where Ratchet got the discount.
  • Rocket Knight (2010) takes place fifteen years after the events of Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2, the previous game in the Rocket Knight Adventures series. In between the events of the two games, Sparkster took up farming, got married, and raised a son. Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 was released in late 1994, while Rocket Knight was released in May 2010.
  • Splatoon: The difference between Splatoon and Splatoon 2 is two years (the difference between their release dates). Meanwhile, the difference between Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3 is five years (again, the difference between their release dates). In these time skips, new Idol Singers rise and previous ones become old news, fashion trends change, and characters grow, age, and become legends for their deeds.
  • Lampshaded in Starcraft II Legacy Of The Void, where one of Kerrigan's Stop Poking Me! statements is that the past seven years feel more like seventeen (seven years have passed in-game, but seventeen in Real Life).
  • Played with for The World Ends with You and NEO: The World Ends with You. The original game came out in 2007, but had an Updated Re-release in 2018 titled Final Remix with an additional storyline as a Sequel Hook for NEO, "A New Day". The sequel chooses to use the added storyline's 2018 release date as the jumping off point for its Time Skip of three years between the two games with the game's release in 2021, rather than the 14 year gap between the original base game and its proper sequel.

  • Homestuck progresses in Webcomic Time, and most of Acts 1-5 (released in 2009 through 2011) take place in one day. At the end of Act 5, a Wham Episode reveals that there will be an Act Break as all characters must split up and travel, and their journey will take three years to complete. When they arrive at their destination (in 2012) they have aged with the comic and matured from 13-year-olds to 16-year-olds.
    • The same applies to The Homestuck Epilogues. Released on Homestuck's 10-year anniversary (2019), all the characters are exactly a decade older than they were at the beginning of the comic.
  • The Wonder Momo webcomic is set 25 years after the events of the original arcade game, and was released 25 years after the arcade game in real life (1987 to 2012). As a result, the series features Momo's daughter, Momoko, who takes up the mantle of Wonder Momo from her mother.

    Web Video 
  • Economy Watch: The release between episodes reflects on the timeline - If no new episodes are released for 3 months, then 3 months pass in-universe.

    Western Animation 
  • The 2020 revival of Animaniacs acknowledges the two decades between the last episode of the original series and the revival, given the main characters's habit of Breaking the Fourth Wall.
  • Total Drama All-Stars, the fifth season of Total Drama, took place one year after the events of Revenge of the Island, given that Chef Hatchet bailed Chris out of prison in time for season 5. Chris was arrested at the end of season 4 for dumping toxic waste on Camp Wawanakwa.