Follow TV Tropes


Time-Passage Beard

Go To
Nine months later...

"Know your beard," Holmes had once taught him. "It is a reliable measure for the passage of time, when in extremis."
A Study in Murder by Robert Ryan

A long amount of time passes. A clean-shaven character is shown in the next scene with a beard. Or, if the facial hair is minimal, a full and/or longer beard (and sometimes additionally longer hair on their head) will be seen. Often used in animated media as Rule of Funny and sometimes involves the beard disappearing in the next scene, growing on children, or even being ripped off. Nearly Always Male, except in the very few occasions where it is used with women (usually limited to hair length or Girls With Mustaches parody). A form of Show, Don't Tell.

A Sub-Trope of Expository Hairstyle Change. Compare Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow, Perma-Shave, and Beardness Protection Program. Can overlap with Beard of Sorrow.

Not to Be Confused with Growing the Beard, though growing a beard can be such a harbinger.

Waiting Skeleton is a more extreme version of the same type of gag.


    open/close all folders 

  • Done in an old Chuck E. Cheese commercial. The voiceover says, "Boring restaurants make you wait...and wait...and wait," while time lapses are shown with a kid sitting at a table waiting, ending with cobwebs and a ridiculously long beard. This is contrasted with the kid excitedly playing games at Chuck E Cheese.
  • In 1933, several movie theaters added beards to posters advertising the popular short subject The Three Little Pigs to illustrate how long it's been held over.
  • A commercial for World of Tanks shows a gamer playing a hard sci-fi game with no Faster-Than-Light Travel. He flies his ship for ages, alternating between his fighter and his increasingly Santa Claus-ish beard and growing collection of spider webs. After getting sniped by a battleship, he quits in disgust and plays WoT instead

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball Super, Goku and Vegeta grow beards after training in isolation for a while. While Vegeta ends up looking like his father, seeing Goku with facial hair is just weird.
  • Fist of the North Star: Not only does Kenshiro grow a beard in the animated movie in between his assault by Shin and encountering Bat and Lin (And then shaves it using some thug's knife), but he also develops a beard at the start of the second series, shaving it once he finally begins to fight again.
  • Lupin III:
    • In episode 4 of Lupin III: Part 1, Lupin deliberately turns himself in to Inspector Zenigata and refuses to allow the others to help him escape from prison, instead he comes up with his own method that involves waiting for a year. After the year-long time skip, Lupin has a long scraggly beard.
    • Episode 89 of Lupin III: Part II had Lupin holing himself up in a cabin for four months trying to figure a way around a safe's complex security system. His short hair has become shaggy and he's grown a beard in the interim. (Jigen also notes Lupin's in dire need of a bath.)

    Asian Animation 
  • In the Lamput episode "Cast Away", Skinny Doc grows a beard as he spends time searching for Specs Doc and Lamput, who have both been stranded on a remote island.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Mighty Little Defenders episode 47, Wizard waits for General Wolf for so long that he grows a goatee. The goatee spontaneously disappears after General Wolf comes to the door.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie: Archie Andrews grows one while he is waiting for his date Veronica Lodge to be ready. She shows up, asking if she has kept him waiting long, while he is sleeping on a chair with a Rip Van Winkle beard.
  • In The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw Learoyd shaves near the beginning of the story and his stubble visibly grows as the days pass.
  • In the Gold Key comic book adaptation of the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century movie, Buck Rogers grows a beard during the time he spends in suspended animation while on a deep-space mission.
  • Female version in Fables after Snow White is shot in the head by Goldilocks at the end of the Animal Farm storyline, she spends the next year recovering, which is shown by her post-surgery clean-shaven head growing out to her usual past-the-shoulder-length locks in the end-of-book montage. This montage also shows the time that was spent cleaning up the mess from the failed revolution, allowing a reset without trivializing the scenario.
  • This is a Running Gag in Mortadelo y Filemón, where it is usual for characters to have a beard after doing (or waiting for) something like going up a very high building elevator for months.
  • In Revenge of the Green Goblin, Peter's facial hair gradually increases in "Trick of the Light" to show the amount of time that's passed as he remains Norman's prisoner. By the end of it, he has a full beard.
  • In a Richie Rich comic book story, Richie has a Rip Van Winkle dream where he wakes up years in the future wearing a beard.
  • Subverted in one issue of The Simpsons, "Tic-Tac-D'oh!", where it looks like this had happened to Homer after a two-month time skip. He's actually just looking at a photo taken from the time he tried to join ZZ Top.
  • In The Smurfs comic book story "The Strange Awakening Of Lazy Smurf", the Smurfs wear fake beards while pretending to have aged 300 years during Lazy's "long sleep".
  • Superman:
    • In a Silver Age story where Superman travels to the future where the Earth's sun is now red and all its water is depleted and its citizens have gone into outer space, he eventually grows a beard as he looks for a way to return back to the past, though before he does go back, he shaves off the beard since returning to his own time would make his beard invulnerable.
    • Superman, in the Time and Time Again story arc in 1991, gets a Time-Passage Beard as he is stuck in the prehistoric past with no way of getting home except to expose himself to explosions and powerful energy discharges. The beard is magically removed by Merlin when he removes the spell that Morgan le Fay puts upon him to be her black knight attacking Camelot.
    • Superman also gets one during the time he spent in space during the Superman: Exile story arc that followed sometime after The Supergirl Saga, which he ended up removing when he gets his hands on the Eradicator relic given to him by the Cleric.
  • Done in Thorgal: after he escapes from caves where time flow was slowed, he wakes up with a long beard the next day. Not at all played for comedy, as the girl he was with had spent most of her life there and got aged into a shriveled husk overnight.

    Comic Strips 
  • One FoxTrot strip evokes this trope, showing Paige on the phone, and Jason walking by wearing an obviously fake beard, bald cap, and cane. Paige's response is "I haven't been on the phone THAT long!"
  • Garfield:
    • In the October 19, 2001 strip, Jon grows a beard and long hair while waiting by the phone for a woman to call him.
    • In the April 5, 2020 strip, Jon goes from being clean-shaven to having a beard that almost covers his entire face while binge-watching for the first time.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • In the Futurama movie Bender's Big Score, Fry's continued meddling with time travel after returning to his former era creates two identical versions of himself, one of whom goes back to 3007 while the other picks up his old life right where it left off. The movie follows the latter until the year 2012 when he returns from a long voyage to the North Pole with a particularly impressive beard. It's eventually revealed that Lars, Leela's new paramour, is this version of Fry and that his more civilized beard is just the remnants of Fry's after he was singed when Bender blew up his apartment.
  • In Joseph: King of Dreams, Joseph grows a full beard during the time that he spends in prison between his service to Potiphar as a servant and his becoming the governor of Egypt after correctly interpreting the Pharaoh's dreams.
  • In Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Puss goes into retirement after losing his first eight lives. After a short montage, he's shown with a beard for a decent portion of the movie.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Happened to Ash in the deleted alternate ending of Army of Darkness, when he "slept too long" and overshot the 20th century.
  • In Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan Kenobi turns up with a beard that he has grown since the last movie. This was filmed three years after The Phantom Menace, but ten years have passed in-story. Thus in addition to showing the passage of time, the beard helps baby-faced Ewan McGregor, now several years younger than his character is supposed to be thanks to the Time Skip, look a little closer to his character's age. Also, it moves him visually closer to the older version of his character in A New Hope, who also has a beard.
  • Avengers: Infinity War shows Steve Rogers with a beard after his time on the run after the Sokovia Accords. Doubles as a Beard of Sorrow, given his more grim demeanor after the breakup of the Avengers.
  • In Ben-Hur, Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) grows a beard while a Slave Galley.
  • In Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, the titular duo time travel to spend 16 months of guitar lessons and return to the present soon after they left with Bill sporting a long ZZ Top beard and Ted with a mustache and goatee.
  • Das Boot: The German World War II submarine crewmen grow beards over the course of several months at sea (even the initially always well groomed First Watch Officer lets his grow eventually, once he's disillusioned enough from Nazism). All of the film's scenes were actually shot in order so that the beards would grow accordingly.
  • In the third act of The Bounty Lt. Bligh and several of those hands loyal to him are set adrift during the mutiny. They grow beards that correspond to their 47-day journey to safety.
  • Tom Hanks' character in Cast Away after living for four years on an island.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • In Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne grows a beard in the time between leaving Gotham City and meeting Ducard several years later.
    • In The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce Wayne begins the movie with a beard, indicating that years have passed since the end of the previous movie. He shaves it off, but later grows another beard while being held prisoner for months by the League.
  • Die Another Day: When James Bond is finally freed by the North Koreans more than a year after his capture, he's grown a beard (as well as a mustache and long, shaggy hair).
  • In The Edge, Anthony Hopkins grows a beard while stranded in the wilderness, along with his love rival, played by Alec Baldwin. However, it comes across as unintentionally hilarious since he goes from Perma-Stubble to a full beard within minutes while fashioning a fish hook.
  • Excalibur: Arthur begins the film as a young man. After a Time Skip in which he's become a mature king, he's shown with a dignified beard.
  • Forrest Gump: Forrest grows a beard during his three years of running cross-country.
  • In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Clint Eastwood's unnamed character grows a beard.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Harry (Colin Firth) grows one in his hospital bed. It (along with the dogs' growth) helps convey how long the Kingsman assessment actually took.
  • In Major Dundee, Dundee grows a beard during a period of convalescence.
  • Matt Damon's character in The Martian grows a scraggly beard after a seven-month time skip. He shaves it off before taking off.
  • In The Mask of Zorro Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins), the original Zorro, is imprisoned for twenty years, emerging with long hair and a grey beard, which he keeps and trims for a period, before shaping into a moustache and goatee and finally shaving off entirely as part of a disguise. The reverse happens with his successor Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas), who (as an adult at least) starts off with a plentiful beard and gets groomed to a suave mustache.
  • In The Outlaw Josey Wales, Josey Wales grows a beard.
  • In Passengers (2016), Chris Pratt's character grows one, although he does shave it off before he wakes up Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence).
  • In Planet of the Apes (1968), Taylor (Charlton Heston) grows a beard while in hypersleep.
  • In Rescue Dawn, Dengler grows a beard while captive in a prisoner-of-war camp.
  • Parodied in Superhero Movie, where after breaking up with his girlfriend Rick is next shown with a Beard of Sorrow indicating that a lot of time has passed. Then it turns out the beard is fake.
  • In The Ten Commandments (1956), Moses (Charlton Heston again) grows a beard in the wilderness.
  • In the Apocalypse film series movie Tribulation, Tom Canboro wakes up with a beard a few years into the Tribulation after being in a coma from a car accident.
  • Chrysagon (Charlton Heston yet again) grows a beard over the course of The War Lord.
  • The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar: To show his obsession with reading cards from the back over the next three years, Henry goes from coiffed dandy to having long, unruly hair and an accompanying wild beard.

  • Arthur Dent grows one of these when he is trapped on Earth 2 million years ago in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books. He sticks a chicken bone in it because he's decided to go insane.
  • Homer Price: "Nothing New Under the Sun (Hardly)" has Michael Murphy sporting a very lengthy beard (and hair in general) to indicate that he's been away from civilization for thirty years.
  • In The Kingdom of Gods, Sieh keeps magically aging whenever he uses too much of his power or does anything particularly unchildlike, such as remembering he's a father. Each time this happens, he ends up with a massive beard and head of hair.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel "The Big Game" after an extended period of duty during a crisis Commander Sisko is on his way to having a beard which he looked forward to shaving off after the crisis was over.
  • A literal version in A Study in Murder by Robert Ryan. Dr. Watson gets thrown into solitary confinement while a POW in WW1 Germany and tries to judge the passage of time by the length of his beard hair.
  • Tech Detective Neshi in The Wandering grows one during the time he spends traveling through space and hibernating inside his spaceship, going from one world to another.

    Live-Action TV 
  • At the end of 24's fifth season, Jack is taken prisoner by the Chinese government and held there for nearly two years. When he's released in the following season he now has a long, unkempt beard as well as shaggy hair.
  • In an episode of 30 Rock where Tracy has Frank test out a porn-based video game, Frank thinks he has spent only three hours playing the game, and Tracy points out that he has actually spent three months playing the game... as evidenced by Frank now having long hair and a beard.
    Tracy: Yes! I'm going to be a billionaire!
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): At the end of the second season there's a nine-month Time Skip during which Chief Tyrol grows a beard and Bill Adama grows a moustache. In a female example, Starbuck lets her Boyish Short Hair grow down to her chest during this time. The beginning of the third season brings another skip of three months, during which Saul Tigh also grows a beard. All four actors grew their hair out for real for the third season.
  • The Big Bang Theory: At the end of season two the gang goes to the North Pole for three months; when they come back in the following premiere they all have shaggy beards (except Sheldon, who has a neatly-trimmed goatee).
  • Blake's 7: Blake disappears at the end of season 2, but Avon encounters him as a bearded patient in a hospital a year later (this is also a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, as actor Gareth Thomas had grown his beard for a theater role). However, this bearded Blake turns out to be an illusion. When the real Blake turns up at the end of the series, the passage of time is indicated by a nasty facial scar and Perma-Stubble.
  • Played for Laughs in episode 7 of Brass Eye where they show a policeman growing a beard that twists into a figure-eight as a part of their sensationalist news story.
  • Breaking Bad: In the episode "Granite Slate", Walt goes on the run when his crimes are exposed, and he's relocated to a remote cabin in New Hampshire. To show how long he's been stuck in hiding, his beard has grown out and his hair has grown back, on top of having gotten much gaunter.
  • Crashing: Referenced in one of Pete's go-to bits. He talks about how he can't grow a beard, so if he were ever stranded on a desert island for years, he would look like he'd just arrived there to his eventual rescuers. They'd assume that he just couldn't wait to wear a loin cloth.
  • Used in the series finale of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to indicate a Time Skip at the end of the episode. The episode primed the pump early by having the character mention growing a beard, but lamenting that it took him "six months" to grow one, then drove the point home really hard when the beard was revealed and another character said (paraphrased), "Wow, it took you six months to grow that."
  • A ninth-season episode of CSI features an inversion in the form of multiple cases at the same motel, all occurring within a year of each other. A long-term guest is initially introduced with long, messy hair and a wild-looking beard, but gradually cleans up over the course of that year, including trimming and then shaving his beard.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The artificially aged Fourth Doctor in "The Leisure Hive" grows an incredibly long beard as the result of the process.
    • In the sixth series, the opening two-parter has the Doctor (who had always been beardless previously) imprisoned for several months and growing a beard. It happens again in the season finale.
    • In "The Doctor's Wife", Amy stumbles across Rory's dead body in a Room Full of Crazy, having grown a beard, aged, and eventually starved to death. Don't worry, he gets better.
  • Crichton does this a few times in Farscape, notably while he's stranded on an alien planet in "Jeremiah Crichton", and the season 4 premiere.
  • In The Flash (1990) episode "Fast Forward" where Barry Allen jumps ten years into the future, his partner Julio Mendez (who is normally with squidlike hair and a goatee) is seen with long dreadlocks and a full beard.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • In "Flashpoint", the imprisoned Eobard Thawne has a stubbly beard in order to indicate that he and Barry have spent several months in the Flashpoint timeline.
    • In Season 4, Barry Allen is framed for murder and sent to prison for a time. He gets a beard.
  • House the season 2 finale has House awaken from a coma. He determines roughly how long he had been out (three days) by the amount of growth of his Perma-Stubble.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Ted becomes part of a very long discussion about Teddy Roosevelt with another man and a woman. He explains it went on for "days" and by the end, the other man and Ted have grown long beards.
  • In the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Out of Time", Ray Palmer is stranded in the time of the dinosaurs and has a massive, shaggy beard and hair by the time he is rescued.
  • In the Season 3 finale of Lost, the "flashbacks" are revealed to be flashforwards, making Jack's sorrow beard double as a time-passage beard.
  • Parodied in the Modern Family episode "The Old Man and the Tree". In the episode, Phil has bought a crosstrainer. After a while, he loses interest in it and throws a towel over a camera attached to it. When he removes the towel months later, he's suddenly sporting a huge, grey beard - which turns out to be part of the Halloween costume he's wearing.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: when a milkman's Pizza Boy Special Delivery is Subverted, he's locked in a room with many other milkmen with various lengths of beard.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Worlds Apart", the astronaut Christopher Lindy is stranded on an alien planet. At the end of the episode, he has grown a beard.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • In "Psirens", Dave Lister emerges from two centuries in stasis with not only long hair and a huge beard, but excessively long fingernails as well.
    • In "Lemons", the crew find themselves in first-century Albion (England) and discover that, to travel back to Red Dwarf, they'll need lemons, which haven't been introduced yet, and are only found in India. After the 6-month trek to India, Lister and the Cat are sporting gigantic beards.
    • In "The Promised Land", the boys from the Dwarf have been kicked out by Holly and are heading off towards a distress signal which has been sent nearby. Lister insists that they will find the ship in no time. Cut to three months later and the two biological members of the cast (the Cat and Lister) have gained long hair and notable beards.
  • Invoked in a Saturday Night Live commercial parody advertising Long White Beard, a fake beard meant to be worn when someone has kept you waiting for way too long.
  • Parodied in Scrubs when the show catches up with Elliot's ex-boyfriend, who has slipped into depression and not bothered shaving, resulting in a thick, bushy beard despite Elliot having broken up with him just days ago. He explains that he's part Hungarian.
  • Sherlock at the start of the Sherlock episode "The Empty Hearse", during which he'd been kept a prisoner in Eastern Europe. He has it all shaved off by a barber upon his rescue. (This is used as symbolic contrast to the moustache that John grows.)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: At the start of the episode "Hard Time", we see a traumatized Chief O'Brien with one at the end of his twenty-year sentence on an alien world. He then wakes up freshly shaven, as the entire experience was an implanted memory forced on him after a trumped-up accusation of espionage.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • Averted with Chakotay in "Resolutions", which according to Word of God they later regretted, as Chakotay spent months on the planet, but as this takes place within a single episode, it isn't obvious to the audience. Later played straight with the same character (to the point of at least growing a Time-Passage Mustache) in "Year of Hell (Part 2)" when Chakotay and Tom Paris are held prisoner on board Annorax's time ship.
    • Tom Paris grows one in the episode "Alice" as he spends most of his time fixated on fixing up the titular shuttlecraft and eventually becoming its slave.
  • Taken: In "Jacob and Jesse", eleven years after his last appearance, Russell Keys has a long, straggly beard as he has spent most of the last decade drifting around the country trying and failing to stay one step ahead of the aliens.
  • Zig-zagged in the That '70s Show episode "It's A Wonderful Life". As Eric is shown what life would have been like if he'd never dated Donna, his guardian angel shows him that Donna would have dated Hyde instead. At one point in this imagined timeline, Hyde is seen sporting a full-length beard as a biker. After a while, they flash forward to the gang's 10-year high school reunion, and Eric sees that his future self appears to have grown a mustache, which impresses him until the angel tells him that it's just chocolate frosting from the cake they served.
  • Since This Is Us covers three different decades, family patriarch Jack Pearson goes through a beard in the '70s, a mustache in the '80s, and a goatee in the '90s. Whichever facial hair he has onscreen is an indication of the decade.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Shelter Skelter", Harry Dobbs and Nick Gatlin both have full beards after six weeks in the fallout shelter. Harry eventually shaves his but Nick's becomes longer and more unkempt as the months pass.
  • Wiseguy: Used to show how Vinnie has let himself go after his 10-Minute Retirement from the OCB. He reluctantly comes shambling down from his bedroom to the dinner table, slumps in his seat, then lifts his head to show a beard that would make Serpico proud.

    Print Media 
  • In an article about how to deal with the loading times of the Commodore 64 disk drive in an issue of Electronic Games, there is a cartoon of a person growing a beard and becoming old as he waits... and waits... and waits... for the game to finish being loaded on his computer.

    Video Games 
  • In Banjo-Kazooie, Gobi the Camel runs away to find the Lava World after Banjo and Kazooie jump on him to water a giant flower in Click Clock Wood. When Banjo and Kazooie next meet Gobi in Banjo-Tooie, Gobi is being held prisoner as an exhibit in Witchyworld's Cave of Horrors and has grown a gray beard from being imprisoned for two years.
  • In Crusader Kings, your character's portrait ages as the years pass (specifically, it shifts an age category higher at thirty and fifty years old, gaining wrinkles in the former and white hair in the latter). If they have facial hair, this trope comes into full effect: what starts off in the youngest age category as simply a full beard, covering the jawline but no more, becomes a full-on Methuselah!Beard in the oldest.
  • In Delicious: Emily's Hopes and Fears, Patrick grows a beard during his quest to find a flower for an ailing Paige. He keeps this beard in subsequent installments, although it's better groomed there.
  • Don't Starve has this as a game mechanic with the character Wilson. While he isn't the only character with a beard, he's the only one capable of growing it over time and shaving it to obtain beard hair to use for dark magic.
  • During the extended story mode of Fable the Hero grows a long beard during their ship ride to the Northern waste. Riding a ghost ship like he did it's understandable that he wasn't able to shave or maintain whatever facial style he had before. This also happens when you land in jail if it takes you a few tries to break out (as they Time Skip a year every time you fail).
  • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade has a short scene in the epilogue where Eliwood and Hector meet up several years after the events of the main plot, with Hector having grown one of these. By Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, which takes place over a decade later, it's grown even longer.
  • In the God of War series, Kratos' facial hair grows from a short goatee during his time in Greece to a full-on beard in Nordic Europe.
  • In LEGO Jurassic World, due to Muldoon, Gennaro, and Nedry being Spared By Adaptation, they have been left behind on Isla Nublar. At the end of the first Jurassic Park levels, Muldoon and Gennaro try to reach the helicopter that's leaving the island only to arrive late and Nedry flees from the Dilophosaurus by sticking a piece of chicken in its mouth. Then in the Jurassic World levels, we see that Muldoon, Gennaro, and Nedry have been living in Isla Nublar for the next 22 years, living in the old Visitor Center and sleeping in one of the Jeeps. Complete with big grey beards, but their character models are otherwise unchanged, including their hair.
  • In Max Payne 3, Max and his iconic Beard of Sorrow happen to be an example of this. He has some stubble in the first chapter and sports a full beard by Chapter 7, roughly a week and a half later. Passos counts as well, since he bears full facial hair in the first chapter but can be seen with a more modest amount of scruff when he meets with Max in Hoboken several weeks prior.
  • Poker Night 2 parodies it with the Necronomicon ending — all of the other characters Faked Rip Van Winkle the player and wears long white fake beards — including Claptrap, a robot.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 has dynamic facial hair growth mechanics. Arthur has ten different lengths for his beard as opposed to the seven for his hair, and almost every single one can be cut into a fashion to the player's liking, such as mustaches and goatees. His facial hair will also instantly grow by a few lengths following time skips.
  • Rival Schools: One of United By Fate's good endings depicts President Roy Bromwell with one 20 years after the game's events — complete with Hot-Blooded Sideburns.
  • The main male character's beard (or lack thereof) can help you navigate the timeline in Telling Lies.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt advertised its dynamic beard growth mechanics. Which is to say, Geralt's beard actually grows over time until it hits a max length (although you can shave it, at which point it starts growing from the beginning again).

    Web Animation 
  • The Bravest Warriors season four episode "Too High, Too Far, Too Soon" has Impossibear sent by the Bravest Warriors to investigate a planetoid. When they finally bring him back to the ship, he has grown a long beard because he was on the planetoid for a century.
  • Subverted in Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged when the party is stranded after the Tiny Bronco is shot down. Cloud is shown to have a full beard, but it's then revealed only fifteen minutes have passed and Cloud merely glued hair from his head onto his face.
  • Taken to almost parodying lengths in Walrusguy's "Gwonam's Great Adventuwe" [sic], where after Gwonam's Bungled Suicide, he awakens from a coma in the emergency room and sees signs that he was out for a long time, including Link now having grown a mustache and small beard. Gwonam was only out for a month.
  • In one scene in the "Blood Gulch Chronicles" of Red vs. Blue, Church spends a thousand years standing in a hallway waiting for a computer to fabricate a teleporter (...maybe). By the end of it, Church has a massive beard drawn on his sprite. Played for laughs, given he's in a robotic body at this point. Developer commentary revealed that at they wanted the computer involved in the scene to have one too, for Rule of Funny. They ultimately decided against it, citing it as too ridiculous for the storyline at hand.

  • In The Dragon Doctors Aki, who only recently became male, grows a beard while he and Goro (and later their daughter, who's an adult by the time they're out) are trapped in a field of accelerated time.
  • Subverted after the Time Skip in Looking for Group. Richard appears to have grown a full beard but several pages later, it's revealed to have been a live sheep he attached to his face. Becomes doubly funny when it's eventually revealed Richard is a woman.
  • Inverted by Roy on The Order of the Stick: after the group has been trapped in a Lotus-Eater Machine for an undetermined amount of time, he figures it couldn't have been too long since he doesn't have to shave.
  • Rain: The epilogue reveals that Gavin grew his Perma-Stubble into a mustacheless chinstrap beard.
  • One Sluggy Freelance has Torg attempt to gauge the time they've spent waiting at an airport by the length of Riff's beard, and going back and forth when it turns out to be a prop.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Become Jehovah's Friend episode "Lesson 35: The Best Use Of Time", Caleb is shown rapidly growing a mustache and also Rapid Aging the more time he spends looking down on his tablet.
  • In a rare serious female use of this trope, DuckTales (2017), Della's time on the moon is shown as this. She begins with short-cropped hair barely to her chin, but she lets her hair grow out during the numerous time skips in her episode, ending with her hair all the way down her back.
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • The episode "The Boss of Me" has Timmy's Dad and his boss Ed Leadly grow long beards after testing the ever-lasting pencil Timmy wished for to determine if it truly can't be used up.
    • In "Beach Blanket Bozos", Timmy's parents compete with one another to see who's a better surfer and it goes on until they, Timmy, Cosmo, Wanda and Poof have all grown beards.
    • Spoofed in "App Trapp", where Timmy is shown with a white beard after spending 9 days using his magic smartphone Chatty. Apparently, there was an app for it.
    • "Hero Hound" shows Chet Ubetcha and various other denizens of Dimmsdale growing beards after waiting ten days for Sparky to save Timmy from the well.
  • Family Guy: In "And Then There's Fraud", Peter and Quagmire set up a Cutaway Gag that leads to the unedited, 3-minute opening to The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show. When it's finally over, Peter and Quagmire look like they've aged 50 years, complete with them sporting long white beards.
  • Parodied in the Fanboy and Chum Chum episode "Schoolhouse Lock", where Fanboy and Chum Chum (who are prepubescent boys, mind you) manage to grow beards in the span of three minutes.
  • Invader Zim uses this a couple of times:
    • In "Invasion of the Idiot Dog Brain", GIR is accidentally uploaded into Zim's base computer, trapping Zim in the house and quickly driving him crazy with his antics. Zim decides to wait GIR out, only for a quick Time Skip of a year showing he's still stuck in the house and has grown a beard (despite the fact that Irkens don't normally have hair).
    • In "Future Dib", Dib gets trapped in a cage by Zim. The end of the episode shows that he's still stuck there, now having grown a full grey beard.
  • Happens to Superman in the Justice League episode "Hereafter".
  • Happens to Supes again in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, after Darkseid injects liquid Kryptonite into him, robbing him of his powers.
  • Kaeloo: Parodied. Stumpy, who is a kid, somehow grows a gray beard after being stranded on an island for less than a day. So does Kaeloo, who is also a kid... and female.
  • Another serious version in the Love, Death & Robots episode "Beyond the Aquila Rift". The protagonist Thom has a neatly-trimmed beard, but when he wakes from his Lotus-Eater Machine into the real world his beard is long and filthy and his clothes are rags.
  • Parodied again in Milo Murphy's Law. While trapped in the time stream, Dakota, Cavendish, Perry, and Doofenshmirtz apparently grow these. It's shortly revealed that Doofenshmirtz made everyone wear fake beards in an attempt to lighten the mood.
  • Muppet Babies (1984):
    • "Eight Take-Away One Equals Panic" features an Imagine Spot of all the children having long gray beards after reuniting with one another after 100 years, including the girls Skeeter and Piggy.
    • "Six-to-Eight Weeks" has a musical number called "Waiting for You", which has the children sing about how hard it is for them to be patient for their playhouse to arrive in the mail. One part shows Kermit and Gonzo playing with a ball while both of them have long gray beards.
  • The A Pup Named Scooby-Doo episode "Now Museum, Now You Don't" had Scooby and Shaggy falsely accused of stealing the samurai swords. In response, they have an Imagine Spot of spending the rest of their lives in jail, where they are seen with long gray beards and countless tally marks etched on the walls of their cells.
  • The hero of Samurai Jack grows one in the fifty years between seasons 4 and 5. But otherwise doesn't age. Lampshaded by Aku
    Aku: "But he hasn't even aged, like at all! He just grew that stupid beard!"
  • The Simpsons:
    • Parodied in the episode "Bart vs. Lisa vs. the Third Grade", when Homer and Bart spend day after day sitting on the couch watching TV. Bart grows a stubble of his own.
    • Many other episodes, when Homer spends a lot of time waiting or doing nothing, have his stubble growing into a beard (visually indicated by it getting a bit fuzzy).
  • Averted in The Smurfs (1981) episode "Smurf Van Winkle", where the only characters seen with any Time Passage Beards are the Smurfs that claim that Lazy has slept for a few hundred years. The whole thing was a Faked Rip Van Winkle, since the Smurfs were wearing fake beards.
  • South Park: When Cartman (and later Kyle) awakes from a coma, he's got a big beard. But it's just a facewarmer, he's only been out for a day or so.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Clams", Mr. Krabs makes SpongeBob and Squidward look out for the clam that ate his millionth dollar. After three days, all three have become ragged and grown beards; Squidward rips his off in frustration.
    • Parodied in the episode "Pressure". Sandy and Spongebob have a footrace, which Spongebob wins by a lot. When Sandy arrives at the finish line, Spongebob chides her for being slow while wearing a fake beard and speaking in an old man's voice. Afterwards, he rips off the beard.
    • "Squid on Strike" also has Squidward's Imagine Spot after realizing that he and SpongeBob are on strike "even if it takes forever!" (They are in the exact same spots, but are now old, with beards that trail on the ground.)
    • "Patty Hype" uses this as well. When Spongebob is waiting for customers to come to his burger stand, he repeats the phrase, "I'm ready!" as his present self, a middle-aged man, an elderly man, and a tombstone. Fortunately, it was All Just a Dream.
  • In The Super Hero Squad Show episode "The Saga of Beta Ray Bill", this happens to Thor when he winds up in the abandoned space station. He sits in a corner waiting for someone to show up, and eventually he's sporting a long, full beard, and treating Mjölnir as a Companion Cube.
  • The Teen Titans Go! episode "Birds" shows Robin to have grown a beard after the mutated mockingbirds forced him to live inside the chimney of Titans Tower when they took over his room.
  • Parodied in the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Fields of Honey", where Babs is looking for a personal hero in old cartoons. As she sits in the Acme Looniversity archive the camera pans around and when it comes back to her she has a long gray beard and a cane. She tosses the cane aside, then rips the beard off and is about to storm off in frustration but decides to watch one more film.
  • Total Drama:
    • In Island, Owen grows a full beard while stranded with nothing but the confessional and Mr. Coconut for company. Hilariously, Heather assumes his beard is fake and tries to rip it off, as it's only been a day, but is taken aback when it doesn't come off.
    • In Action, Owen grows his beard again while lost in the woods for two days. He's not the only one, as Chris is also sporting a beard while waiting for him, Courtney, and Duncan to find their way back to the film lot.
  • Parodied in the T.U.F.F. Puppy episode, "Dog Daze"; Dudley gets fired from T.U.F.F. when Snaptrap hypnotizes him into acting crazy and destroying the Chief's pies, T.U.F.F. Headquarters, and the carnival. When Kitty discovers the hypnotic email on Dudley's computer, she sets out to find Dudley, and when she finds him, he has a beard. Kitty points out that Dudley has only been gone for 20 minutes and is in a crowded coffee shop, then asks him if his beard is real. Dudley tells her that his beard is fake but came with the latte he bought.
  • In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Waste of Time," a time-stranded Wander and Sylvia take The Slow Path and wait fifty years to get to the point where they can prevent their former selves from ever deciding to time-travel in the first place. The "old" Wander has a beard. This is a particularly odd Invoked example as the same episode revealed that Wander is an extremely Long-Lived, potentially immortal being who hasn't visibly aged in at least a thousand years, and Word of God has it that he was wearing a fake beard to make Sylvia feel better about getting old.
  • We Bare Bears: In "Rooms", Panda stumbles across an amateur film that Grizz made called Crowbar Jones, in which he also plays a nerdy, whiny caricature of Panda called "Pando". In the film, Pando spends 40 years in the bathroom after promising that he won't take long, and he's greeted by an elderly Crowbar Jones, played by Grizz wearing a fake beard. It's here that the ticked-off Panda finally has enough and goes to confront Grizz about his movie.
  • Spoofed in the Yin Yang Yo! episode "Finding Hershel", Master Yo instructs Yin and Yang to watch a seemingly-harmless rock named Hershel for their training. After an unspecified amount of time, the twins started to grow beards. Growing impatient, Yang rips off his beard in frustration while Yin shaves hers off while complaining.
  • Parodied on Zig & Sharko. After waiting for some time, Sharko and Marina both end up growing these, and they are a shark and a mermaid woman respectively.