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Time Machine

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"At my old school the bus couldn't turn into a time machine."
Scott Lang: Time works differently in the Quantum Realm. The only problem is, right now, we don't have a way to navigate it. But what if we did? I can't stop thinking about it. What if we could somehow control the chaos, and we could navigate it? What if there was a way to enter the Quantum Realm at a certain point in time but then exit at another point in time? Like... Like before Thanos.
Steve Rogers: Wait, are you talking about a time machine?
Scott: No, no, of course not. No, not a time machine. It's more like a — yeah, a time machine.

A Time Machine is the main prerequisite for Time Travel and all the other fun that goes along with it. Time Machines in fiction can boil down to a few simple types. The type of machine can combine with any of the different ways of experiencing the process of time travel and with the various degrees to which the past can be changed.

  • With the Back to the Future-type machine, one simply gets into a vehicle of some sort, and the vehicle is transported to a certain time. When a traveler wants to go back, they use the machine again. This is pretty much the most common type, possibly having to do with the fact that one of the earliest time travel stories (The Time Machine) used this type.
  • A TARDIS-type machine works like a Back to the Future-type one except not only can you program it to go anywhere in time, but also anywhere in space. Basically it's a vehicle that can go anywhere in 4 dimensions.
  • Terminator-type machines usually involve some sort of big device that projects a traveller back, but does not come with them. Once back in time, the person has no way back to the future besides The Slow Path, unless they can somehow build another device, or if they were able to bring an entire additional time machine with them to leave behind on that trip also. (And this is sometimes precluded by time machines being too big, or the rules not allowing you to take things, or just time machines, with you.) Sometimes these only allow backwards trips to start with.
  • Timecop-type machines are a cross between the Back to the Future-type and the Terminator-type; the traveller is sent back by a machine that does not come with him, but has some sort of way (such as a remote or prearranged time portal) to make a trip back, utilizing the future time machine. Can also being used as a "time scoop" to bring things from the past into the present without going there. Losing the signaler or missing the prearranged portal can require past travelers Writing Back To The Future to get home.
  • A Time Portal provides a direct gateway between two points in space and time is another variation. These can be random, appear and disappear in a predictable way, or be permanent. A pre-existing Time Portal is a way to introduce Time Travel to a series without opening the Pandora's Box of "why didn't they just go back in time and stop the bad guy".
  • A Time Dilation Field is a device that causes time inside a certain area to either go faster or slower. While not a backwards time machine in the classical sense, as in that sense it only provides a trip to the relative past, but a field with time set to go slower is a way to travel forward in time.
    • In Real Life, Time Dilation is an actual effect that occurs when bodies are moving at different relative velocities, or at different depths in a gravity well. This is generally too tame and prosaic for all but the hardest Science Fiction, though.
  • Although disputable, a Cryogenic Chamber can be viewed as a time machine as the suspended animation within one causes anyone within it to be frozen in time, so when they are thawed out later, from the perspective of the one frozen they went from the present to the future, however this type of time travel is strictly forward-only.

Having a time machine can (but not always) have the side effect of Reed Richards Is Useless - as a little Fridge Logic one can think of many ways to better use it than visiting your grandparents or paying your bills on time.

Time machine types that supposedly move a person through time alone but not space, and which don't require another machine or portal at the other end, generally completely ignore the problems caused by planetary rotation and the movement of astronomical objects through space. Time machines are also rarely shown to be calibrated across calendars such as the Gregorian to the Julian Calendars, time zones, and even the speed of the Earth´s rotation that changes how long days were in the distant past and will be in the far future.

Other types exist, but these are the most common. Compare Interdimensional Travel Device.


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  • There were a couple of Super Golden Crisp commercials in 1993 where Granny used a weird-looking magical clock to pull a "Granny Goodwitch Time Switch" to travel into the past to try to get away from Sugar Bear, like this one. Unfortunately, he was always a step ahead of her.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Astro Boy, 1980 series: "The Time Machine" features a visitor from the 23rd century with a machine that looks like a flying car but can travel to any place on Earth at any time in history.
  • Billy Bat: Fake!Chuck Culkin is able to figure out that the scroll is this, sorta, thanks to the real Chuck Culkin explaining the basics of Einstein's Theory of Relativity and Time Travel.
  • In Doraemon, Nobita's desk houses Doraemon's Time Machine. It is one of the most commonly used gadgets in the series.
  • In the Bad Future of Dragon Ball Z, Future Bulma created a time machine so her son Future Trunks could go back in time to find a way to defeat the rampaging Androids that ravaged their world, or to bring back Goku to help. Because of the way time travel works in DBZ-land, however, Trunks's trip through time created a new timeline that split off from the original timeline.
  • Dr. STONE: The story's ending has Senku decide to build a time machine in order to stop the petrification before it ever happens, exploiting the unique physics-defying properties of the Why-Man to do so. In the Sequel Series, Dr. STONE: 4D Science, a prototype version of the machine has been made, but it would require large amounts of Helium-3 to power. However, in its current form, it can already be used to receive messages from the future... which it does, from someone claiming to be Byakuya Ishigami.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • The TPDD (Time Plane Destruction Device), which the Time Travelers use. No one really knows what it is because its "Classified Information", but it seems to be a handy device.
    • The Integrated Data Sentient Entity is capable of producing a Time Dilation Field (technically Time Stands Still, but functionally the same), as demonstrated in Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody.
  • Little Jumper has Terminator-style time machines which disintegrates the particles of both user and machine in order to time travel. There are also clear omages to the Terminator series with both Naked on Arrival and time travelers being cyborgs due to the side effect of the time machine integrating with the user during the process.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi has the Cassiopeia, which is essentially a time-traveling pocket watch.
  • Homura of Puella Magi Madoka Magica has a magical buckler that allows her to travel back in time, but only as far back as her first meeting with Madoka because of her wish, making it a variant of the Terminator style of time travel.
  • Steins;Gate features both Terminator and Back to the Future type time machines.
  • Tamagotchi: Miraitchi and Clulutchi own a doorknob-shaped time machine called the Knock Tap. The machine, when attached to a wall, creates a sort of door in the wall that leads into a time-travel portal.
  • Time Machine in Yu-Gi-Oh! and its card game, except it doesn't work like one. Instead it re-summons the monster that just died.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Season 9 of Happy Heroes, we are shown a flashback revealing that Doctor H. built a time machine in an attempt to prevent his father from being kidnapped by aliens. The time machine is made out of cardboard, but somehow still works anyhow; unfortunately, Doctor H.'s attempt to save his father falls flat. Later in that same episode, in the present day, the heroes find the time machine and end up staying in the past for the remaining duration of that season.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Wolffy invents one in episode 499, where he and Wolnie go back in time and meet Martial Wolf.

    Comic Books 
  • Avengers: Back to Basics: In the third story, Kamala returns to her time by using Doctor Doom's old time machine. While using it, she notices that it also moves one in space as well as time and muses that time machines must need to do this to account for the motion of the Earth through space and not leave erstwhile time travelers stranded in space.
  • Blake and Mortimer: "The Time Trap" features a Back to the Future-style time machine. But the Mad Scientist who created it rigged it so the time traveler has little control over when he ends up...
  • Fantastic Four: Doctor Doom made use of a time machine in his first appearance in the comics.
  • The Flash: The Cosmic Treadmill used by various Flashes in the multiverse can transport them through time.
  • Subverted by Herbie. When he needs to travel through time, he often flies in his family's grandfather clock. Note that it's an ordinary clock, as Herbie can travel through time without it thanks to his lollipops.
  • I Killed Adolf Hitler: The time machine is a round capsule that takes fifty years to charge for one travel.
  • Judge Dredd: Time travel technology was invented by scientists in the 22nd century, first showing up in "City of The Damned". It has sporadically appeared since then. Johnny Alpha (who lives in the 23rd century) also uses his own transportable time travel device to visit Dredd's time during Crossover stories.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes:
    • The team possesses a time bubble that they often used to visit Superboy and Supergirl. In their first story, the time bubble is quite different from its later appearances: the shielding sphere is simply massive -around ten meters in diameter-, and houses a wide platform, a large control panel, and seats for at least four persons.
    • They also used a stationary, room-sized Time Cube to project and retrieve travelers, who had to return to the physical location they arrived at and be there exactly 24 hours later, or be stranded in the past. Braniac 5 invented the Time Sphere (a mobile, miniaturized improvement on the Cube built into an environmental bubble) in his pre-teens... so he could go back in time and prove Superman was real.
  • Meanwhile: The time machine is one-way and can only go as far back as when its receiving end was originally built. When Timmy first encounters it, the Professor has locked it so that it can only go a maximum of ten minutes into the past.
  • Paperinik New Adventures: Chronosails, which usually take the form of bracelets. The Raider, being Crazy-Prepared, wears two of them... And, according to the inserts his Badass Cape is another.
  • Runaways: Dale and Stacey Yorkes pilot a stationary two-seater TARDIS-type time machine.
  • Suske en Wiske (Spike and Suzy): The "teletimemachine" is a Timecop-type; the machine does not come with the time traveler, but an operator who stays behind can retrieve the time traveler at any moment. This feature was often used for last second rescues.
  • PS238: In the time-travel arc, Zodon and two time-traveling 20th Century metahumans who are the archnemesis of each other and also the same person, as repeated unshielded exposure to the 4th Dimension has left him so loopy he developed a split personality all have Back To The Future style machines. Tom, meanwhile, has the innate metahuman ability to travel through time and space like a TARDIS.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: While Paula's Space Transformer is usually treated as a holographic chronoscope on at least two occasions it was used as a straight up time travel device, transporting Steve Trevor, Etta Candy and the Holliday Girls into the past to help out Diana after she was tossed into the past by a time beast.

    Comic Strips 
  • Arrowhead: The "hop watch", as Deena calls it, lets the user jump to a time of their choosing.
  • Nero: Nero, Petoetje, Petatje and Madam Pheip accidentally travelled back to Ancient Rome in De Rode Keizer, where they meet the real emperor Nero.

    Fan Works 
  • The Forever Captain series: The temporal GPS Tony built in Avengers: Endgame.
  • Maybe the Last Archie Story: Mad Doctor Doom devises a magically-powered time machine. It looks like a slightly rectangular cube that opens time rifts when activated.
  • Oversaturated World: Group Precipitation: "Taking A Strange Turn": Pinkie Pie decribes a very small magical time machine:
    Pinkie chose now to give her own input. "Ooooh! I know! Maybe Doctor Turner is some kind wibbly-wobby timey-wimey aspected person, and the blue hourglass he always carries around is like a magic wand, ONLY A TIME MACHINE!"
  • the story of lard beepus: Both Gorg... and Future Trunks's group each have one, and it's possible others do too.
  • Where on Earth, Spies has the Chronoskimmer, a TARDIS type.

    Film — Animated 
  • Meet the Robinsons features a TARDIS-type time machine: It is essentially a jerry-rigged (flying) car like the DeLorean, and can be driven like a regular car, but has instantaneous space/time-travel capabilities as well.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember features the Back to the Future-type.
  • In Avengers: Endgame, the Avengers use a time machine to go back in time and retrieve the Infinity Stones. The Avengers' time machine is a repurposed quantum tunnel that leads to the quantum realm. However, thanks to technological wristwatches that can then lock the Avengers to precise coordinates in spacetime, the tunnel effectively becomes a way to travel to the past and then return to the present.
  • As mentioned in the lead, Back to the Future has one built out of a DeLorean, because Doc Brown thought that "if you're gonna time travel, why not do it in style?" (and the writers thought a car time machine fixed the problem of the time traveller needing to go between places). It also acknowledged a potential problem: if you're bringing the time machine with you... what happens if it gets damaged or otherwise rendered inoperable?
  • The Bill & Ted movies have a TARDIS-type that runs on San Dimas Time.
  • The movie Déjà Vu (2006) has a Terminator-type.
  • The Soviet comedy Ivan Vasilievich features a Time Portal version, connecting the inventor's apartment to Ivan the Terrible's throne room. However, given that the part about the time machine working is All Just a Dream, we can't be sure if it would have ever worked, although Shurik's intention is, at least, to build a Time Portal-like device.
  • Looper appears to have the Terminator-type time machine 30 years from the film's time, which The Mafia uses to cleanly dispose of those they want to kill (i.e. they send a message into the past, warning their predecessors about the time and the place, who then send a Looper there with a gun; the future mafia send the target with a bag over his head and payment for the hit in the form of gold bars; the Looper kills the target, incinerates the body, and gets paid).
    • A case of Fridge Brilliance with gold bars, by the way, as finding 30-year-old currency in large amounts would probably be more trouble than its worth. It would also attract the attention of the cops, considering time travel is illegal.
  • The film Primer has an interesting variation on the Time Machine that doesn't quite fit into any of the above types, but can be imagined as a sort of unique combination of Time Dilation Fields and Time Portals that only go backwards a la Terminator. It gets worse; see the film's Wikipedia entry.
    • Summary: The time machine is a box containing a volume that exists over time. Turning the box on causes this volume to (slowly) dissociate from the rest of the universe, and turning the box off reverses that. Within this mini-universe, time flows like it usually does, but it cycles back and forth between the two endpoints - inside the box, time reverses when the box is turned off, and back again when the box is turned ("back") on. Turning the box on, waiting a minute and getting into the box just before it turns off, and waiting another minute before getting out means...
  • Retroactive: A scientist named Brian builds a time machine that allows one or more people to travel back to where they physically were at that point in time.
  • See You Yesterday A rig on a backpack, one per person is what Claudette and Sebastian use to Time Travel.
  • Time After Time, naturally, has a Back to the Future-type, since it stars the author of The Time Machine.
  • For the record, Timerider uses a Back to the Future-type.
  • In Time Trap, the main characters are trapped in a Time Dilation Field within a cave, in which slows down the time for anyone down there compared to the outside, the people in the cave are also able to meet humans from previous generations due to them also having their time slowed down.

  • The Accidental Time Machine is an irreplicable device that initially transports only itself into the future. Its usefulness is much improved by the discovery that it will bring with it any metal objects it's wired to, as well as the contents of any such Faraday cage.
  • Older Than Radio: El Anacronópete by Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau, published even before Wells' The Time Machine.
  • The Time Matrix, from the Animorphs mythos, appears at first to be a basic TARDIS-type, though it's notable that it's (realistically) regarded consistently by the characters as the greatest weapon ever created. Then it gets really weird. For example, if mixed or vague coordinates are given, it will actually create new universes to fit the specifications.
  • In The Chronicles Of Saint Marys the St. Mary's team travel the timeline in "pods" - these come in a variety of sizes, but most are the size of a smallish shed and are disguised to look like a dilapidated hut from the outside so they'll blend into most historical locations. While not indestructible they are extremely sturdy, and inexplicably their interiors always smell of cabbage.
  • The mechanics of the trip back in Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court are never explained, but time travel forward was due to the wizard Merlin, even though there was no magic in the book before this.
  • The M.I.N.D. Machine of Dinoverse is between a Terminator and Timecop type device, which can also breach dimensions. When it comes to time, you Can't Take Anything with You, including your body, but you end up in a new one and have to get something done before it lets you come back. There is no such restriction with interdimensional travel, but it doesn't take you back.
  • In The Extraordinaires, the Neanderthals construct a Timecop style device as part of their plan to Make Wrong What Once Went Right. The machine sends people into the past with belts that allow them to return to the present.
  • Gerald Durrell's The Fantastic Dinosaur Adventure, the sequel to The Fantastic Flying Journey, turns a hot air balloon into a Back to the Future-type time machine.
  • Near the end of The Forever War we find out some humans are using a spaceship as a time-dilation type of time-machine in order to get reunited with people separated by FTL travel.
  • Harry Turtledove's The Guns of the South features South Africans using a time machine to go back to The American Civil War. The machine goes back by a fixed amount, so time passes at the same rate on both sides.
  • The Time Turners of Harry Potter, first introduced in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, are a Terminator type. Due to the obvious potential dangers of misuse, they are heavily regulated by the Ministry of Magic, and the two most important laws those who are issued them must follow are: never be seen by your past self, and don't change time (this one may be moot, as Harry's actions in the past turn out to be a Stable Time Loop).
  • The trolley (shopping cart) in Johnny and the Bomb is a Back to the Future-style time machine.
  • Time Dilation Fields are used extensively in Larry Niven's Known Space stories, most notably ARM and World of Ptavvs. These are effectively time machines that only operate forward in time. The Slaver Stasis Field is a special kind of Time Dilation Field: inside one, time stops. World of Ptavvs has a character who's been in one for a very long time (in the outside universe, of course; from his perspective he just now turned it on).
  • "Mimsy Were the Borogoves": Unthahorsten built a Box which could travel in time and sent it to the past. But it didn't return, so he built a second one and sent it to the past as well, but that one failed to return as well. This would probably be the end of the story, except he put toys in each Box.
  • The book Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus is another Terminator.
  • Several of Robert Rankin's novels involve time travel, most often by means of a talking time-travelling Brussels sprout named Barry, who can share his powers with people if shoved in their ear. Largely, it seems implied that Barry is a Back to the Future type 'time machine' - although physical locations rarely seem to be a bother. Barry was also cited to be the driving force behind H. G. Wells' The Time Machine, inhabiting a metal box in the back. Oh and he's Elvis Presley's best mate.
  • The Ruby Red Trilogy: The chronograph is a time machine that's triggered by blood (only a drop is needed each time). The characters who have the time-travel gene are able to travel through time without it, but travel without the chronograph is uncontrolled and dangerous because they could jump at any time to any era. People who don't have the gene can't travel in time at all, time machine or not. It can only send people into the past, not the future, sends them back to the same location where the chronograph is currently located, and sends them for a fixed, preset amount of time that cannot exceed 4 hours, resulting in the need for careful planning to accomplish missions.
  • In the book Sonic the Hedgehog in the Fourth Dimension, Sonic the Hedgehog and Tails use a Time Treadmill to race back to the beginning of time. Physics is slightly more realistically applied than usual, as both Sonic and Tails get exhausted and have to take turns running, and their previously indestructible shoes, made specifically to withstand the force of their running, get demolished.
  • Ray Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder has them recently invented.
  • The Outlandish Watch in Sylvie and Bruno is another early example, allowing the user to travel up to a month into their past and return to the present. It also allows its user to experience events backwards for an hour.
  • Time travel in Dan Bayn's Tempus setting is Terminator style. You can only travel to the past, and once you've arrived, you cannot go back — time is like a funnel in Tempus, with an infinity of possible futures spiralling into the present until just one becomes the past, and going forward in time would scatter you among those many futures like dust in a hurricane. Basically, it's an excuse to have cool futuristic tech in the modern day.
  • Named for The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, which might even be the trope maker.
  • The Time Machine gamebook series is all about traveling to the past with a time machine to unravel mysteries, then traveling back and forth between various eras once you're in the past. You never actually get to see what the time machine looks like, and your amount of control over where and when it deposits you varies heavily from page to page.
  • In Poul Anderson's series of short stories and novellas about the Time Patrol, the members of the Patrol use distinctly TARDIS-like vehicles, ranging from one- or two-person motorcycle-like "time scooters" to larger, multi-passenger time transports.
  • The book To Bring The Light involves a guy sent back to the late Roman Empire by way of lightning.
  • The book To Say Nothing of the Dog has an interesting variation on the Timecop-type machine mixed with Time Portals; it's mostly used for historical purposes.
  • As the quintessential hard sci-fi time travelling epic, the Xeelee Sequence has enough time machines to rival that of Doctor Who. In the Sequence, any FTL-capable ship is effectively a time machine as, under general relativity, travelling faster-than-light breaks causality. Ergo, nearly every space-capable race in the Sequence has an armada of time machines. And they are weaponised on a tactical and strategic level.
  • Voidskipper: Strictly speaking every single Voidskipper is a limited TARDIS-type example, due to the nature of general relativity. However, going to a position in time and space from which you could violate causality will simply result in the timeline branching and the time traveler being unable to return to their home timeline. Well, unless they thought to bring along one end of a wormhole connecting back to it. Even then you can't alter your own past.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 7 Days (1998) has a Terminator-type that goes back, you guessed it, exactly seven days, except when it's eight days one time due to an upgrade.
    • Or seven years in one case due to another alien ship crashing, providing more fuel.
    • Or only a couple days due to an unexplained breakdown. Honestroy, the Sphere broke down more times than it worked right.
  • Doctor Who: While the TARDIS in theory can go anywhere in four dimensions, in practice she's rather unreliable and, by her own admission, tends to take the Doctor where he needs to be instead of where he wants to go.
    • "Carnival of Monsters" and "The Five Doctors" had Timecop style Time Scoops, machines that could beam in objects from anywhere and anywhen to the machine's present, without needing any equipment at the other end.
    • "The Girl In The Fireplace" revolves around Time Portals.
      • Also totally random in their targeting, and their reliability in the case of the titular fireplace.
    • The Daleks' time-travel technology has varied over the years. In "The Chase" and "The Daleks' Master Plan" they use TARDIS-like time vessels, but in "The Evil of the Daleks" and "Resurrection of the Daleks" they use portal-style "time corridor" technology. (According to fanon, their minds are too hidebound to be really comfortable with the job of navigating a time vessel.) But then in the 21st-century series, the Cult of Skaro, at least, have time-vessel capability built into their power armour.
  • Kamen Rider Den-O has time-traveling trains, which generally work in Back to the Future fashion. The biggest difference is that you can't travel freely: the trains require a ticket to a specific point in timenote , and then can only go between that time and the "present". There's also an extremely rare Infinity Ticket that lets the bearer go whenever he wants, but the DenLiner's Owner has it and only lets the heroes use it in times of immense crisis.
  • Legends of Tomorrow has Rip Hunter's ship, the Waverider, which also counts as a spaceship. The Time Masters turn out to have an entire fleet of ships just like it.
  • The Ministry of Time works with the Time Portal version: special gates connect two points in space and time within Spain, letting people from the past visit the future or viceversa. The Ministry of Time is an organization that keeps watch on gates as they appear, in order to ensure history does not change and to prevent people from (mis)using them for their own benefit.
  • The New Adventures of Robin Hood: In "The Time Machine", a teenager named Elvis, a descendant of Barkley's travels back to Nottingham via his father's time machine, only to have it stolen by raiders.
  • El Tobogán del Tiempo (the Time Slide) in Odisea Burbujas use for the Burbujos to travel in time, is exactly how it sounds like.
  • Phil of the Future has the Diffys' van as a time machine. It's always broken, though, for some reason or other.
  • Stargate SG-1, while mainly using Back to the Future-type machines, also uses Time Portals and Time Dilation Fields.
  • Star Trek often uses Back to the Future-types, especially Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. (In fact, the Federation has a Time Police force, the Department of Temporal Investigations.) They've used other types from time to time (no pun intended), though:

  • Kids Praise: Psalty managed to invent a Time Machine by accident in the seventh album. He'd wanted to invent a machine that stretches time, to give the kids the time they needed to perform weeks of research for a project that was due the following day. He showed his "Take Your Time Machine" to the kids without testing it first, which led to Adventures in the Bible.
  • Miracle Musical: "Time Machine" begins with the narrator regretting how he used to spend his time, but then he realizes that he can regain it with his time machine. Over the course of the song, he becomes accustomed to it and admires that he can do anything instantly and with no urgency. The song ends on an ominous note with the first two lines of the chorus being repeated multiple times, suggesting that he's now entered a time loop.
    Ooh, live the dream with a time machine
    You've been waiting forever
    But you can make ever wait for you
    Do what you want to do


    Tabletop Games 
  • Feng Shui uses the Time Portal method of going through time. Characters travel time by means of going through the Netherworld, a weird mystical realm made up of loamy grey tunnels as well as whatever stuff its inhabitants can Shape into being that acts as a Portal Network between different junctures in time. The main method of effecting changes in the timestream is by capturing or destroying Feng Shui sites, Places Of Power that generate Chi.
  • Timemaster: The "chronoscooters" used by the Time Corps are visually inspired by Wells' The Time Machine, but travel in space as well as time, making them closer to the TARDIS-type. Though they could also jump between different time streams as well.

  • The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd is an Edutainment Show featuring two time and space travel devices allowing Dr. Floyd, Dr. Grant and C.H.I.P.S. to follow Dr. Steve and Fidgert through time and space as the latter attempt to steal historical artifacts and sell them on eBay.

    Theme Parks 
  • At the Disney Theme Parks:
    • DINOSAUR has the Time Rover, a vehicle designed by the Dino Institute to take guests on a tour of the Mesozoic time.
    • The vehicles for Spaceship Earth are said to be this, as it's how guests are being taken on a tour of the history of humanity.
    • The Timekeeper features a time machine created by the title character, which serves as the basis for the entire plot.

    Video Games 
  • In Achron, human and vecgir players can build chronoporters / slipgates (which act as Terminator-type projectors) while grekim units can all time travel without external assistance (making them living Back To The Future-types).
  • The first Ape Escape is built off of this: main antagonist Specter, a white monkey that got his hands on a helmet that supercharged his intelligence, uses a newly invented time machine to attempt to change history so that monkeys ruled the world, and main protagonist Kakeru (Spike in the dub) must use the same machine to go after him.
  • In Braid Tim's ring allows to create a Time Dilation effect when laid down.
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped: The Time Twister Machine, built by one the villains, Dr. N. Tropy, which they're going to use to collect Power Crystals from different time periods for the bad guys' Evil Plan. Our heroes Crash and Coco also use it to try to collect the crystals before the villains could. It works by stepping on the buttons on the ground and then a sphere portal will be projected, which sucks in and carries Crash/Coco into the levels.
  • Chrono Trigger has an interesting mix of three types: the Epoch is Back To The Future-type, while the Timepod is a Terminator-type, and the gates are Time Portal-types.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert Series:
    • The Chronosphere is a time travel device invented by Albert Einstein, who first used it to assassinate Hitler but only wound up creating an alternate timeline. It's also an in-game structure, but due to Gameplay and Story Segregation, it effectively just works as a pretty standard teleporter.
      • According to the manual, it's supposed to be stopping time when it does this so that the units can walk across the screen.
    • The Soviets come up with their own in the 3rd game, which they use to remove Einstein (before he could invent most of the Allies tech, but after he'd removed Hitler) just before they're overrun by the Allies. This results in the Allies being nearly defeated... but then the Empire of the Rising Sun shows up, the Soviets no longer have nuclear weapons because Einstein never worked on the Manhattan Project... and the Allies still have a Chronosphere somehow.
  • Dinosaur Safari has the Chronosphere, a gigantic orb that the Player Character uses to travel back to the Mesozoic Era to photograph dinosaurs.
  • The Journeyman Project uses a Timecop approach (which helps since that's what the player is), depositing the agent at points where time has gone all ass-over-teakettle... by comparing all of history to a flimsy CD containing all known history or something (lolwut?). Each trip has a time limit that seems surprisingly lenient, as long as the agent doesn't achieve catastrophic failure.
    • The sequel has a cooler time machine entirely self-contained within a metallic space suit (mobile TARDIS-type?). In addition to allowing instantaneous time travel, the suit has a cloaking mechanism, a temporal anachronism detector, and permits instantaneous translation of the written and spoken forms of all languages (except Latin written backwards). Notably, the suits worn by the live action actors in the game's cutscenes were designed by the same group responsible for the suits from the Turtles films.
    • The third game has a modified version of the spacesuit time machine, equipped with holo-projectors and voice synthesizers, allowing the wearer to imitate any person he scans. This is done so the player can actually interact with characters in the past (and get punched by Genghis Khan).
  • The Master Sword in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a Time Portal that transports Link 7 years into the future when he picks it up (also aging his body in the process, so it shows traits of a Time Dilation Field as well), and 7 years back when he returns it to the Temple of Time.
    • The ocarina can also move objects in time, as is shown during the ending scene of Ocarina of Time, and exploited more fully in the sequel The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, where it can take Link to the start of the three day cycle, setting up that game's "Groundhog Day" Loop.
    • In The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages, the Harp of Ages can at first only open Time Portals in fixed spots, is later upgraded twice: The first upgrade makes it Timecop-style, transporting Link to the present from the past while opening a return portal; the second upgrade allows Link to freely travel between the game's two time periods; the present, and 400 years into the past.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has two time portals, one in Lanayru and the other at the Sealed Grounds. Past!Impa uses one to help Zelda in the present day, but she has to destroy it halfway through the game to get Zelda and herself away from Ghirahim. The latter half of the game sees Link obtaining the means to get the other portal up and running so he can follow Zelda into the past.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny has a time machine Lost Logia as central to the plot. Unfortunately, normal humans can't use it since it puts too much strain on their bodies. Ridiculously Human Robots, on the other hand...
  • Dr. Richtofen from Nazi Zombies found that the Teleporter is capable of time travel through overcharging it with Element 115: first on accident, bringing them to an abandoned theatre in Berlin, 1962; then on purpose to present-day Siberia.
  • Persona 3 FES has multiple doors which open to different points in the main cast's history. Most of these doors only allow you to see what is happening and not interfere but the door in the lounge of the dorm travels to the mall where they can interact with what is happening. This door is eventually used to travel to the moment when the Silent Protagonist makes his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Pokémon:
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time actually features three methods!
    • The first is a lever in The Great Clock that physically rewinds time like a cassette tape, at the risk of the Clock breaking through the stress (it's similar to the Terminator method, as the reversal usually means the user is no longer anywhere near the lever). A smaller example is the effect of Clank hitting a broken object with his Chronoscepter; the object reversed in time until it's in a fixed state. Lastly, some spots of planet Quantos are stuck in a tape-like forward/rewind loop, which provide platforming puzzles for Ratchet to navigate.
    • The second are Time Portals that are created through a hack in the Great Clock's systems; while they don't directly risk the Clock's integrity, going through Time Portals is an incredibly easy way to cause paradoxes that put the Clock under more stress.
      • These two methods have actually been a source of confusion for fans: Word of God has it that the Time Portals can only be created in Time Anomaly vortexes, all of which are repaired by the time the story ends. However the game never explains this, leading to many fans asking why Ratchet didn't just use the Time Portals to save the Lombaxes!
    • The third and final method are the Time Bombs utilized by Clank that create a Time Dilation Field; these can be used to slow rotating platforms down or make enemies easier to deal with. They also appear early in the story when the Great Clock is being effectively ransacked, and certain levels feature Time Anomaly vortexes with things slowed to a stop. In All 4 One, Clank's unique gadget is this as a gun that affects individual targets with Time Dilation Fields.
  • In Scribblenauts, you can summon a time machine that can take you to a few predetermined time periods. One of these led to a meme:
  • Serious Sam has a interesting take on the time machine, the Time-Lock The machine itself is a stationary object found in Eqypt, you can only travel backwards and only to another time the machine was 'armed'.
  • The Silent Age provides two kinds of time machines. The first and the most modern one is a small portable device of Back to the Future-variety that uses solar panels for charging. The more outdated kind is a large round capsule somewhat in between the same kind and the Timecop-variety in that it transports to the destination alongside the user but is programmed to return back to its present on its own after a while.
  • Tales of Phantasia has a combination of TARDIS- and Terminator style time machine in the sunken city of Thor. It can send the user anywhere in time and space but does not come with them. The game also features Time Travel by magic spell, but only two NPCs can use that spell.
  • The Alpha and Beta suits from TimeShift. The beta suit has the interesting adaptation that damage to the 'jump' drive allows you to use time powers.
    • Actually its designed to work that way, the jump drive just lets you go back and forth much more greatly than the 10, 15 seconds you can in combat. It was designed for military purposes, presumably they would remove the jump feature so everyone couldn't screw with the timeline.
  • At the beginning of the time-travel-themed action game, Time Slip, the human resistance base is about to be qiped out. However, you managed to hop into a prototype time-machine and goes back to the past to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • Tyler: Model 005: Tyler uses one specifically sized for him to use to Time Travel.

    Visual Novels 
  • Time travel is the theme of Steins;Gate and there are a couple different kinds. Or rather, there's one kind, but how well you can use them is fairly limited. SERN in the future has your classic go back in time kind of machine as does Amane Suzuha but the device normally seen in the present, the Microwave Phone (Name subject to change), is only able to send small data packets. If you go over the threshold protected size in any time travel, errors appear, which for physical objects is turning into a mysterious green goo. Data merely gets corrupted and cut off after the size limit is reached. Naturally, this is hard to work with.
  • SOON: Atlas had theirs disguised as a "super cool retro 80s-style digital wristwatch."

    Web Comics 
  • Breakpoint City has a few of these. We've seen two cars, a portal, and a brain swapper.
  • Casey and Andy portrays almost all variants. The final story arc has a BTTF version in the form of an armband, a Timecop version with a return button, and a Fixed Destination Tardis version - travels through time and space, but only to The White House during Grover Cleveland's time in office.
  • In Homestuck, Dave gets a pair of turntables that can accelerate or reverse the flow of time around him. He uses them to go back to the past to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. The turntables also have the distinction of being one of the very few forms of time manipulation in the series that doesn't outright create Stable Time Loops (thanks to the universe's built-in precautions against Temporal Paradoxes).
  • The various starship drives in Starslip are kind of incidentally time machines of the TARDIS type. There's also Deep Time's timesuits, which are also TARDIS-like, but in suit form.
  • In Times Like This, the time machine in question is a handheld device cobbled together from a cell phone, two lasers and a piece of Sesquicentium. Once activated, temporary time portals (or "time windows") can be generated at will.

    Web Original 
  • Danny from Bravest Warriors built a time machine so he could kick the crap out of his childhood bullies and tell his past self to wear more flattering clothing. When his friends expressed concerns that doing so might cause a Time Paradox or worse, he dismissed them claiming that if anything went wrong his future self could go back in time to destroy the time machine. Immediately after he says this, Danny's future self appears and smashes the time machine to pieces with a bat. Wallow claims this happens every time someone builds a time machine.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-1968 is a bronze torus of unknown origin. Officially it merely alters a person's memories so that they do not match current historical records. The truth, and what makes it qualify for Keter status, is that it's actually a time machine. The person's memories don't match history because of Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory. The Foundation is keeping the torus on hand as a last resort. They speculate that this might not be the first time someone used it to save the world either, but there's no way to confirm it.
    • SCP-1739 is a laptop that can work like this. By using a special program, any user can time travel between January 1st, 2004 and today, and talk back to the program through a chat client. There's even a cute little animation of a dog to go along with it! Turns out, the timeline that the user is sent into is unstable, and will be actively destroyed by an extremely powerful entity, which is represented by the dog. The laptop is the only thing that's keeping this entity from destroying everything.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius:
    • In "The Tomorrow Boys", the Chrono-Arch: this is a Terminator-like type of time-travel machine (Jimmy had to find it back when he went 15 years into the future, which he luckily did), and has an additional view-mode.
    • In "The League of Villains", Jimmy built a wormhole generator: the Wormhole Generator 9000. The invention sent all of Retroville (except Jimmy, the gang and Tee) to the prehistoric past with no hope of ever returning, until Jimmy appears. This can't really count as a time-traveling-machine, though, since Jimmy had to disrupt the wormhole in order to get all of Retroville back to their time (leaving the bad guys in the past).
    • In another episode, Jimmy invented a small gizmo which could accelerate or reverse time. And he ended up in the past by it, so he had to use Bamboo Technology in order to get them back. Ultimately, someone uses the gizmo on all of Retroville, sending them back to the point where the adventure didn't even start! "Deja vu"!
  • In an episode of Babar the cast meets Jules Verne who is the owner of a time machine. Of course, most of the adult characters are skeptic about the claim but the children —and especially Alexander who is a big fan— believes him and they are right, he is the real Jules Verne and his time machine was how he predicted so many things in his books.
  • In Back to the Future: The Animated Series, the DeLorean is a TARDIS-type.
  • The Danger Mouse episode "The Hickory Dickory Dock Dilemma" had a grandfather clock that took the hero and his assistant Penfold through time, from prehistoric days to a future London. Contained a gratuitous Doctor Who reference.
  • Family Guy has Stewie's time machine as a TARDIS-style booth which also requires the use of a 'Return Pad' once you're done with your business in the past or future. Naturally this winds up causing problems in the timeline to the point where Stewie destroys it in "Life of Brian" to prevent any further temporal disasters after cleaning up the most recent one. Then Brian dies, and Stewie learns that his plutonium supplier was killed, so he can't build a new time machine to save Brian...
  • Gargoyles has a few episodes with a TARDIS-style amulet, the Phoenix Gate. The characters can't use it to change the past because they didn't. Time travel's funny that way.
  • In Jem and the Holograms, Techrat uses his own Timecop''-type time machine to send the Holograms back in time in "Journey Through Time".
  • The main cast of Kaeloo own one of these, which they use in numerous episodes for random purposes.
  • The Kim Possible movie A Sitch in Time had an ancient Time Monkey Idol that created a Time Portal used by the villains, and unexplained Time Portal-opening watches for the heroes.
  • Oscar and Friends: In "The Time Machine", Doris and Bugsy show Oscar a magic clock that can allow him to travel through time by moving the hands on its face. Doris uses a drill to spin the hands so much that the three of them end up ten million years in the past.
  • The Patrick Star Show: The Star family has a time closet. Everyone in the house can use it and go to any time, including far into the past and the far future.
  • In the Al Brodax Popeye cartoons made by Jack Kinney, Professor O.G. Wottaschnozzle had a time machine that he used to take Popeye to historical points in time. The only time he sent Popeye to somewhere other than time is when Olive Oyl accidentally got sucked in and taken to a metallic planet. The Professor was never really sure where Popeye would end up.
    Narrator: But where is he going, Professor?
    Professor: I don't know. We take pot luck.
  • The Raccoons: The Pigs bought a time machine in episode "Time Trap" and it seems at first that Cyril uses it to travel back to previous episodes and change the result in his benefit (yes, it's a Clip Show, although they do remade some scenes of the previous episodes altered) but it turns out is All Just a Dream.
  • Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja: McFist had Viceroy build one in "Randy Cunningham: 13th Century Ninja". To Viceroy's disappointment, instead of using it to destroy the Ninja, McFist wanted to use it to travel back to a time his favorite breakfast cereal still hasn't been discontinued.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Jet's Time Machine", Jet builds one, but dismantles it at the end of the episode so the gang won't mess with time anymore.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: Mr. Peabody's WABAC (Wayback) Machine took him and Sherman to visit historical figures.
  • In the Rugrats episode, "Toy Palace", the Wee Willy Warp Time Translator is a fully functional time machine. This isn't one of the babies' imagine spots, eithernote . During the episode's climax, the life-sized Reptar doll that Tommy turns on pushes the life-sized Thorg doll that was chasing him and Chuckie throughout the store into the time machine, causing it to send Thorg back to the time period when Washington crossed the Delaware River. The time machine also serves as the basis for the Time Travellers video game for the Game Boy Color, where it sends the babies to different time periods, and the goal of the game is to rescue them all.
  • The Simpsons: Homer travels back and forth between the dinosaur age and his own time in the Crime and Punishment segment in Treehouse of Horror V. His time travels have consequences on future events, though, which haven't been solved by the end of the episode.
  • Squidward uses one of these in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "SB-129", trying to go back to the past after being stuck in the future as a Human Popsicle.
  • Transformers: In Beast Wars any ship equipped with Transwarp Cells has Back to the Future-style time travel. This includes ships that were never intended for Time Travel, like the Autobot Shuttle the Maximals use at the end of the series.
    • The whole Golden Disc plot involves the original Megatron leaving a message for his descendants, expecting transwarp drives to develop to the point where they can be used to travel to a specific point in time in order to alter the course of the Autobot-Decepticon war.
    • The ridiculous point is the episode where the Maximals start sending out transwarp probes to search all of time and space for Optimus Primal and his crew. The amazing thing is that they almost succeed, considering this is an impossible task, and the probes can't scan for shit (it passes right above the stranded Maximals and doesn't see them or the Axalon). There's also the question of why they'd go into all this effort to find them, given that they're not terribly important figures. Optimus Primal is not the leader of the Maximals unlike his ancestor.
    • Doc Greene finds one in Transformers: Rescue Bots. It was built in 1939, and the only reason it remained unused for so long was because there was no power source capable of sustaining it until nuclear power was invented.
  • The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: "Have Time, Will Travel" has Ronald McDonald and friends travel through time using a time machine shaped like a grandfather clock invented by Franklin's father Dr. Quizzical.
  • In Xiaolin Showdown the ineffectual villain Jack Splicer had apparently built a working Terminator-style time machine years ago. It only goes backwards and there's no forward counterpart since he was never able to provide sufficient power to make it useful (he could only go back two seconds in time).

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television / Portal to the Past - Okay fine, only sort of. But during the controversy over the Large Hadron Collider in the run-up to its activation, as media all over the world started blabbering about the end of the world due to some pretty poor evidence, some supporting scientists put out a reassuring theory. Apparently, after some calculations were done, it proved more likely that time travellers would come out of the first full-power collision, than the LHC bringing about the end of the world. There's a chance someone in the future will make a machine that can target wormholes in the past and use them for time travel, if they know about them. Given that the LHC may be capable of generating wormholes with fraction-of-a-second long lifespans, this may give them a 'year zero', an earliest point for time travellers to come back to, as it would be the first instance of a wormhole forming close enough to Earth to be useful. The LHC has not made a full-power collision yet.
    • Also in real life, Dr. Ronald Mallett has proposed a time machine that works more on lasers and particles than macroscopic objects, but otherwise is quite similar in manner of operation to the system from Primer, described above.
  • Any sort of Faster-Than-Light Travel, such as the Alcubierre Drive, could theoretically travel back in time. This would technically be Back to the Future-type, but given that this one can go a lot faster than 88 mph, it's somewhat TARDIS-type.
    • Except the key thing with the Alcubierre drive is that it avoids any time dilation effects because the ship is "stationary" within the bubble so the ship wouldn't actually travel back in time but could still arrive before a light pulse.
      • Arriving before a light pulse is "actually travel[ing] back in time". Relativistic physics is weird.
  • If you had a wormhole and used time dilation to make time pass faster on one end, you would eventually get a time portal.
    • A Krasnikov tube would be similar to this. It's built with the ends at different times. The entrance and exit time match the departure and arrival times of the space-craft making it. If you built one and went through it, you'd arrive a little after you left. But if you spend ten years building one in a giant circle, then anyone from the future can follow you back.
  • A Tipler cylinder would technically be a Time Dilation Field that lets you go back. Specifically, it skews time and space so moving to one side takes you back in time a little. If you move in circles around it fast enough, you go back in time. Practically, it's Portal To The Past.
  • The current physics models predict that if faster-than-light travel is possible, time travel is also possible; that as far as we know neither is possible; but that if you could travel into the past, it would create a Stable Time Loop, and you wouldn't be able to change any history. A few models add that everything nearby would explode the moment you (or anything else) arrived in the past, or even at the moment the two ends of the wormholes approached near to each other within space.


Wishbone's "The Time Machine"

As H. G. Wells' Time-Traveller, Wishbone travels forward in time to the year 802701.

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Main / TimeMachine

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