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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.


Anime & 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.

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.

Comic Strips

  • A Shared Universe example: Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean share the same universe, and the characters age realistically. 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. 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.
  • 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 18 years between the two. It's referenced that Picard resigned in protest from Starfleet roughly 14 years before the start of the series and the Enterprise 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).


  • 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?"
  • Queensrÿche'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 16 years.

Video Games

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.


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