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Time Stands Still

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"Stand still, you ever moving spheres of heaven,
That time may cease, and midnight never come."
Faustus, Doctor Faustus

Time freezes (or seems to) for everyone and everything in the entire universe, except for the main cast of the story. The characters find themselves in an eerie, calm, silent world where the people and objects around them have become motionless statues. In some stories, this phenomenon happens by accident; in others, the heroes can stop time by using magic, a super power or Applied Phlebotinum.

In some cases, a world frozen in time is depicted in deliberate monochrome, perhaps evoking a visual analogy of a still photograph. When time starts moving again, expect color to gently flood back into the world. Another color pattern often used is color reversal—whites become blacks, greens become reds, and so on.

Can be a source of Fridge Logic for those who have a mild grasp of physics. If the formula for power is work divided by time, what happens if the value for time is zero? Or if sight is the process of photons entering the eye and striking the retina, what happens when photons are frozen in place?

Occasionally Hand Waved by saying that the characters aren't really stopping time, they're just speeding up themselves (and their minds) to a point where everything else seems stopped. To emphasize this, sometimes you'll get a shot of something that should move really quickly, like the wings of a hummingbird, moving very slowly. This means that the illusion of time standing still can be achieved with enough raw Super Speed. Sometimes it goes the other way, with time manipulation being the explanation for a character's Super Speed. Of course, if the character is really going that much more quickly than everything else, he would need lots of Required Secondary Powers to move normally.

More rarely Hand Waved or semi-justified if the character's power behaves like a personal Alcubierre Drive, allowing time to progress normally within a set radius around the character while it has stopped or slowed for the rest of the world. This also gives an excuse to have projectiles fired or thrown by a character stop in midflight at the edge of the zone of normal time.

Sometimes the characters who are still moving will be able to change the frozen world around them (leading to a Time-Freeze Trolling Spree if they're feeling naughty); other times, anything frozen is virtually untouchable.

Tends to require (often contrived) reasons for the character not being able to win every fight he ever participates in... which, depending on how Super his Speed really is, could be every single fight in a city, country, or planet. Usually doesn't offer any reason whatsoever for the character being able to move through and breathe time-frozen air, see despite the time-frozen light, etc.

Compare Super Reflexes and Year Inside, Hour Outside. Can be a result of Klatchian Coffee. Not to be confused with Frozen in Time. Also not to be confused with the Degrassi episode. Sometimes may be visually represented as a Colour-Coded Timestop. Can be used to justify an extreme Speed Blitz. Often ends with Un-Paused. Many believe this is how Santa delivers his gifts.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Adventures of Mini-Goddess: On Gan-chan's birthday, the goddesses got him a robot able to grant three wishes before midnight. The first two were wasted when the other goddesses spoke too loudly, and the time drew ever and ever closer to the deadline. Finally, in a fit of panic, he wished the day would never end.
  • It is eventually revealed the Esdeath of Akame ga Kill! has this ability as the logical extreme of her abilities: she can literally freeze time and space around her.
  • In Akumetsu, the final novel that Katsuragi writes has a plot of future people in space disaster with a last survivor falling in time to find a frozen world until he notices that after a while, the statues of events he walks past has moved ever so slightly and begins affecting the world by doing subtle things like slightly moving bullets so that they miss their targets.
  • In Bakugan Battle Brawlers, this happens whenever anyone starts a Bakugan battle. The players are transported to another realm whilst this happens, whilst everything outside the playing field is frozen. At one point, when two of the main characters are sneaking around and are about to be apprehended by an adult, they accidentally trigger a Bakugan battle between themselves; because time stopped, they were able to escape the adult by moving to the equivalent position in the arena and then ending the game to resume time.
  • Used as a Nightmare Fuel-tastic weapon in Bleach, where Mad Scientist Mayuri inflicts this on his opponent Szayelaporro via being Crazy-Prepared- he hid a vial of super-serum in his daughter Nemu, in case of chestbursting- and incapacitates the victim of the time slowdown. It is then explained that the serum speeds the senses up to the point time seems to be frozen, but ability to move remains the same. Cue stabbing the guy through the heart for what feels to him like millennia. One second real time on this "super-serum" was said to be perceived as over a century, and the aforementioned Mayuri spends a couple of minutes explaining this to the nearly paralyzed victim, before slowly stabbing him with his sword. Szayelaporro's final thoughts before death have him seeing himself as wrinkled and dessicated, desperately pleading to finally be allowed to die.
  • In Blue Reflection Ray, when a Fragment is extracted and the Leap Range is activated, time stops for everyone except Reflectors. This allows the Reflectors to freely fight without having to worry about being seen by any civilians.
  • [C] – Control: Asset Q's "Economic Blockade" does the color shift and paralyzes Yoga and Msyu, but they still talk somehow... despite their bodies not moving at all.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura has the Time card, which can perform this function. The downside is that it requires lots of magic energy to use, as demonstrated by Syaoran using it when Sakura is under the effects of The Dream. Once he releases the Time, he's extremely weakened.
  • Joshua Christopher of Chrono Crusade gains this ability when Chrono's enemy, Aion, bequeaths Chrono's demon horns to Joshua in order to "grant him perfect health." In actuality, in addition to the ability to freeze time, the horns gradually drive Joshua insane since they were never meant to be infused with a human. Thankfully, by the end of the manga, at least, he gets better. In the anime, on the other hand...
  • Rolo Lamperouge's Geass ability from Code Geass doesn't stop time per se but affects others' perception of it.
    • The effect is about the same (to the subjects) but it isn't the target of usual contradictions with physics. Instead of stopping time and space indefinitely, Rolo affects only living beings (save himself) within a certain radius from him for a few seconds: the subjects are paralyzed and lose consciousness until the effect wears off, which Rolo uses to kill them. It also has the unfortunate side effect of stopping his heart for the duration, which is why he cannot and does not use his Geass back-to-back. In the end, it's what actually killed him, when he voluntarily overused it to save Lelouch's life.
    • Strangely, the show is rather inconsistent about depicting this. When shown from Rolo's point of view, they tend to get it right. People stop moving but everything else keeps going. For example, some flight-capable Knightmares drop out of the sky when the pilots suddenly stop flying them. From an outside perspective, however, things that should have kept moving in the interim don't, making it look like teleportation. The biggest offender is the first episode, where he fights other Knightmares at high speeds, which never go crashing into walls when suddenly deprived of a pilot.
    • In Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally, his Geass, "The Ice," allows him to slow time to the point where it's infinitely close to stopping within a certain area. Alice manages to defeat him by achieving infinite speed.
  • In Cyborg 009, Joe Shimamura/009 accessed his Super Speed ability by pushing his tongue down on one of his molars. In one episode, he temporarily lost the ability to switch it off, so he had to stop the Monster of the Week without being able to interact with it. 009's accelerator got stuck in a far higher speed than he had ever reached before (or since), causing him to initially think time has actually stopped. There was no monster in that episode, but he did save a bunch of people from an explosion that had begun just as his accelerator got stuck. The trick was that he couldn't simply carry them to safety, because if he touched anything while super-accelerated, the friction he generated would have caused it to catch fire. And as he couldn't turn it off and continued stuck in that sort-of loophole, his Heroic BSoD continued escalating and 009 almost went insane, until the effect wore off by itself (after he lived a subjective week in the time it took 003 to blink).
  • In Darker than Black, Amber can stop time (among other things) and allow anyone she chooses to move through it with her, at the "price" of her aging backwards.
  • In Devil Hunter Yohko 6, the Monster of the Week has the power to stop time.
  • Doraemon has a number of gadgets that slow or stop the normal flow of time. One of them - the Stop Watch - even becomes a plot point in Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend where it's premature activation prevents the world from being wiped out in an Apocalypse How.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Guldo from the Ginyu Force can freeze time itself, but only while holding his breath. Makes sense, since the oxygen is frozen and all.
    • The series also uses the Super Speed version of this. For example, after Frieza transforms into his final form, he kills Dende so fast that everyone appears to be standing still as the energy blast heads right for Dende. The same thing almost happens to Gohan, but Vegeta is able to see the attack and pushes Gohan down.
    • Dragon Ball Super introduces Hit, a professional hitman who possesses the ability to freeze time for one-tenth (and later one-half) of a second, making him look so fast that even Goku and Vegeta (who have become Physical Gods) can't keep up with him. In this case, it works more like a combination of Super Speed and Hyper-Awareness. Goku is able to move during the frozen time to block one of Hits attacks after boosting his Super Saiyan Blue form with the Kaioken, which shocks Hit who thought such an act was impossible.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Oracion Seis member Racer fakes Super Speed by using magic similar to Rolo's Geass from Code Geass. His victims' warped perception of time makes them see him as an insanely fast blur when he's really moving at normal speed. It only has a set radius and anything outside of the field won't be affected, and it seemingly doesn't work on inanimate objects either.
    • Later on, Dimaria and Ultear demonstrate more traditional versions, though in different stripes. Ultear's only works on inanimate objects and can't work on people, while Dimaria's can work on a seemingly world-wide scale with no limit thanks to literally having the power of the God of Time, though the former can interfere with the power of the latter, including unfreezing those trapped in the frozen time.
    • Zeref and The Celestial Spirit King are also capable of doing this, though they never use it in combat (it's not entirely clear if they can, at least for the latter while Zeref has the excuse of wanting to die, so why bother making it harder for himself when he's already immortal?) and instead use it to have private conversations with persons of interest.
  • Fragtime is a yuri love story between Moritani Misuzu, a girl who has the ability to freeze time for three minutes a day, and Murakami Haruka, a popular girl who is mysteriously immune to her power.
  • This was what the villain did in The Movie of Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star to get the magical girls after him.
  • Spoofed in one the Tachikomatic Days shorts at the end of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. One of the Tachikoma claims to have gained superpowers from communing with their dead ancestors, including the ability to stop time. When demonstrated, time indeed does stop... for everyone. Including the Tachikoma using the ability.
  • In Gintama, a minor story arc has everything save for the Yorozuya trio affected by this, as a result of Gintoki accidentally breaking a device that regulates the universe's flow of time (Which a dying alien entrusted him with while he was drunk). They soon realize they can still progress time forwards and backwards by manipulating the hands of the device, which they take advantage of to try and fix it, only to have their efforts hindered by the fact that people they know keep dying for various reasons whenever they turn time forwards. It turns out that the device was actually out of batteries, though that just presents a whole new problem...
  • In The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, the main character and her love interest find themselves in such a frozen moment near the end of the movie. It is also implied that this is the fate of any time traveler who cannot or does not return to their own time. In order to preclude any possibility of the traveler surviving to meet themselves, the universe simply removes them from the time stream altogether.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Hanyuu has this power, although it's not really useful for anything other than talking.
  • Himechan No Ribon:
    • Erika does this to prevent the secret from being discovered, with disastrous consequences.
    • Himeko also freezes time in several instances.
  • Inuyasha:
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Stardust Crusaders:
      • DIO's Stand, The World, can do this. An interesting example, in that this is played up as every bit as devastating a power as it seems (especially since, unlike many of the other examples, DIO is perfectly capable of damaging objects and people in the time-frozen world). Most of the cast, good and bad, is terrified of him. Only Jotaro comes out of the fight with him still able to stand on his own, and that's only because his own Stand, Star Platinum, has the exact same power. And the only reason the heroes survived at all, as Joseph realized, is because DIO hasn't yet properly synchronized with The World to be able to keep time continuously stopped (he can only keep time stopped for a few seconds from his perspective before he has to let it flow again for a while; only through continuous usage of his Stand and furthering his assimilation with Jonathan Joestar's body can he increase the length of his time-stops). By the time he drains Joseph's blood to complete his assimilation of Jonathan's body, The World is able to rapidly improve its duration with each successive use, to the point it's clear that if he hadn't been killed by the end, DIO would have been able to make good on his earlier boast that eventually he would be able to stop time for as long as he wants.
        ZA WARUDO! Toki yo tomare! (THE WORLD! Time, stop!)
      • Then Jotaro gains the ability as well, though not as long as DIO because he lacks a vampire's stamina and Healing Factor to handle the strain. Activating it while trapped by DIO's The World lets him move freely during the time stop. However, DIO doesn't figure out how to do this before nearly being killed by Jotaro. During Diamond is Unbreakable, the amount of time Jotaro's body can handle being in stopped time has decreased from the 5 seconds it was at the end of Part 3 to just 1-2 seconds due to lack of practice, but it's still powerful enough to make Jotaro The Dreaded. By the time of Stone Ocean, Jotaro had completely mastered time stop, being able to push every time stop to his maximum limit of 5 seconds. However, the strain the ability puts on his heart has caused his stand's durability ranking to drastically decrease from an A all the way down to an E, meaning it's now significantly more fragile than even your average joe.
    • From Golden Wind, DIO's son, Giorno, has Gold Experience Requiem. Its primary power is to remain locked within a single timeframe, letting Giorno No-Sell everything (presumably, given Gold Experience Requiem was completely overpowered by The World Over Heaven in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven, which can be considered of dubious canonicity) from Universal Resetting to Temporal Eradication.
    • In Stone Ocean, this is inverted by Father Pucci's final Stand "Made in Heaven" (which is indirectly derived from The World). It infinitely accelerates time while keeping living beings moving at normal speed, making it appear that food rots instantly, vehicles become supersonic and crash instantly, and the cycle of day and night strobes faster and faster until the sun is just a golden streak dividing the sky. Pucci alone is included in the accelerated timeframe, granting him effective Super Speed. However, this is just a side effect of Made in Heaven's true purpose, to accelerate time so far that it triggers a new cycle of the universe.
    • In Steel Ball Run, it is revealed that Diego Brando from Another World doesn't have Scary Monsters for a stand, he has The World which can stop time for five seconds.
  • There is also Kyousuke from Kimagure Orange Road and his family's heirloom pocket watch that can freeze time for 60 seconds. Cue in Kyousuke accidentally winding the watch backwards and freezing himself instead of the world around him and making everyone else think that he's dead (no pulse). Fortunately, Hikaru gives him a Kiss of Life, and Kyosuke is revived.
  • In The Mage Will Master Magic Efficiently in His Second Life, Zeff's Time Square spell basically freezes time for everyone but him. He can't move in that frozen span of time, but he can essentially cast double the spells without a chance of interrupting, making it seem instant. The cost of the spell increases, but so does its effectiveness as well.
  • Through expert use of the time-travel device in Negima! Magister Negi Magi to repeatedly jump to the same time and space at super high speed, it is possible to obtain a very brief "pseudo time stop" effect.
  • In Noein, one of the first things that happens to an unstable dimension is a time stop, wherein everything turns red/blue and translucent. Only quantum existences (and Haruka) are able to detect this and move around while it's in effect.
  • One Piece: Foxy the Silver Fox ate the Slow-Slow Fruit, which lets him control 'Slowmo Photons' in the form of beams. Anything these photons strike slows down drastically for 30 seconds. Once that time runs out, whatever momentum they were subjected to — such as a barrage of punches that they had no chance of dodging — hits all at once.
  • In Onegai My Melody, Kuromi granted Uta's dad's wish for more time by locking him in a state of super speed, where a minute of normal time felt like an hour to him. Trying to communicate was difficult, because things would break or go flying unless he touched them very gently. By the time the others were able to turn him back to normal, he had been in that world where everything was frozen or in slow motion for over two days from his perspective, and was exhausted.
  • Aun Freya in Photon can do this in a wide area, but isn't immune to it herself. Fortunately, Photon himself is immune to it, and the effect ends if he knocks her unconscious.
  • Homura Akemi of Puella Magi Madoka Magica has the ability to stop time as her main magical girl power. This affects anything or anyone she touches meaning that she can still use her guns but the bullets stop mid-air after being fired, for as long as time remains frozen. As shown in Rebellion, however, there are two key weaknesses: There is a slight delay between when she activates the source of her power (her shield) and the time stop, so an enemy fast enough to attack the shield can stop it. The second is that anyone or anything touching her while time is stopped will remain unfrozen as well, i.e. Mami attaching a ribbon to Homura that she holds onto, thus preventing her from being trapped.
  • Robotics;Notes plays with this trope: Kaito suffers from a condition where, under significant physical or psychological duress, his perception of time slows to a crawl. During these episodes, his reflexes, while still slowed down, move significantly more quickly to outside observers. Each time his perception of time slows down, however, he is left physically exhausted.
  • As you might expect from the Guardian of Time, Setsuna Meiou/Sailor Pluto in the Sailor Moon canon has this ability. However, she is not allowed to actually use it: if she does, then she forfeits her life. (She does it anyway- multiple times, if you count the manga, anime and musicals — and always gets reincarnated in the end. In the SNES RPG Sailor Moon: Another Story, this is a costly (taking all 12 of her EP) but not fatal special ability that prevents the enemy from doing anything for three rounds. Given that the cost can be trivially recovered in one round, and the fact that no enemy has any defense against it, it quickly becomes a Game-Breaker. The Fighting games also have it as well which if it hits freezes the opponent long enough to land a few extra hits in.
  • Super Dimension Century Orguss: By the last story arc, Kei and Olson reach the Great Singularity Point just as it is about to be destroyed by a meteor... only to find that the GSP is actually the Space/Time Oscillation Bomb locked in the moment before its activation along with the Kei and Olson from the prologue.
  • In one of the myriad different Tenchi Muyo! comic continuities, the driving force behind one story is a pair of headbands Washu has invented which she says slow time down to the point of nearly stopping it for the wearers, but in practice really acts more like heavily-enforced privacy; it works by "slowing the synapses" of everyone within a certain radius, forcing them to perceive time as moving at a highly accelerated rate while they move imperceptibly slowly to the people wearing the headbands. So, naturally, they end up on a toddler-shaped Ryo-Oh-Ki, and an actual toddler the gang is babysitting.
  • Time Stop Brave: Kuzuno Sekai is a modern teen sent to a fantasy world. His only initial equipment is a video game controller that freezes time when he hits pause and unfreezes it when he hits pause again. He will often freeze time for weeks to figure how to defeat enemies and solve problems.
  • From Trigun, Dominique pretends to be able to do this. In fact, she uses hypnosis to suspend the awareness of anyone in her line of sight and make them freeze in place.
  • In Umineko: When They Cry it is said to happen that every time a Voyager enters a kakera. The anime adaptation also presents meta-world in a similar fashion.
  • In UQ Holder! Touta and Kirie end up stopping time for the rest of the world when they accidentally kiss. They're stuck for months until Kirie kisses him again. They later find out that they can stop and start time by kissing each other. This is kept from being a Story-Breaker Power by Cutlass, one of the villains, possessing the same power (and people with this power are always unaffected by time stopping, regardless of who initiates it).
  • In Wizard Barristers, Moyo Tento does this when a wizard shoots Cecil with a gun. Time stands still just before the bullet hits Cecil and Moyo appears out of nowhere and picks up the bullet, changes the direction it is heading and then restarts time, causing the bullet to head to the direction she pointed the bullet at prior to restarting time.
  • In one chapter of Witch Watch, Kanshi has Nico cast a spell on him that causes him to move perceive time at ten times normal speed. Much like the Dexter's Laboratory example, this proves horribly inconvenient when the things and people around him remain slow. And the spell can't be stopped once cast, he has to wait until it ends after three days—which is thirty days from his perspective.
  • Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches: During a witch ceremony, from the time the ceremony officially starts, and until the wish is made, time will stand still for everyone except for the one making the wish and the seventh witch.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL: Kaito's Robot Buddy Orbital 7, while unable to completely freeze time, can slow it to a 1/10000 rate within a given area. Owners of Numbers cards are immune to this effect, allowing Kaito to locate them easily and take their Numbers (and souls).
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Sartorius/Takuma Saiou uses this effect of one of his Arcana Force, namely Arcana Force XXI - The World monsters to skip his opponent's turn. Coincidentally, this Arcana Force monster is The Worldnote .

    Comic Books 
  • The Flash uses the "moving really fast" version of this trope, and has since the origin of the Silver Age Flash in 1956. In a Swamp Thing appearance by the Justice League, Alan Moore described Barry Allen as "a man who moves so fast, his life is an endless gallery of statues."
    • Barry's grandson Bart Allen takes this to the logical extreme as Impulse; this is a kid who, in the words of his guardian "gets bored waiting for the light to come on after he hits the switch."
    • "The Ballad of Barry Allen", related to above, waxes melancholic about how The Flash perceives time.
    • The Flash villain Zoom has the ability to alter time relative to himself, effectively giving him superspeed.
    • This is taken further when Wally West, already the fastest of the speedsters, uses Johnny Quick's mental speed-formula to get an extra boost, resulting in time coming to a complete dead stop. What makes this different than other examples in the Flash franchise is that they're moving so fast that he struggles to see or hear anything because light and sound aren't moving fast enough for him; he can barely see anything but faintest colour and can only hear another speedster when they're in physical contact (as the sound vibrations travel through their bodies). The first time he does this was to save people in a copter, but being unable to slow back down causes Wally to freak out, until Max Mercury (who was able to reach a similar speed through his zen methods) and gives him an Aesop on how he needs to learn he can't save everyone (though he does save the copter). Later, Jesse Quick induces this in him herself by giving him all her speed so he can fight Zoom (who, noted above, exists in this state naturally) on relative even ground. He'd later do it again to boost himself, Jay, Barry, and Wallace so they can escape an army of Dark Multiverse Black Flashes weaponised by the Batman-Who-Laughs.
    • An earlier issue has him boosting himself fast enough so bullets fired seem to stand still. Problem is, it's in a dark theater and he can't -see- all of them.
  • Early on in The Books of Magic comic, Tim Hunter accidentally freezes time in shock at discovering he has a girlfriend. Much later the comic takes a brief look at an alternate timeline in which he never worked out how to unfreeze everybody, and has gone completely insane.
  • Spawn was able to do this while in his 'King of Hell' form.
  • When the Silver Surfer temporarily had possession of the Quantum Bands, he could also pull this off.
  • Anyone with the Time Gem (and, of course, the completed Infinity Gauntlet) in the Marvel Universe can do this.
  • Kang the Conqueror can do this via technological means.
  • The Marvel Universe speedster Quicksilver once explained his angry personality by asking his psychologist to imagine living in a world consisting entirely of the slowest queue at the checkout.
  • The "speed yourself up so fast time seems to stand still" variant is briefly deconstructed in a scene of Neil Gaiman's Eternals mini-series. A character with newfound Super Speed accelerates himself to that point in response to terrorists firing on a party. When he disarms the terrorists, he recognizes that he has to do it as carefully as he can, or he'll kill them by touching them at the speeds he's moving (he still ends up breaking their arms). And when he plucks the bullets out of the air, he makes sure to put them in a safe place because he recognizes that they'll still have their momentum and kinetic energy when time goes back to normal from his perspective.
  • In The Ultimates vol. 2, Quicksilver interrupts another speedster, Hurricane, who's been smacking Hawkeye around, and time stands still around them while they duke it out. Hurricane comments that if they so much as bump into Hawkeye, they'll practically disintegrate him. Quicksilver then pushes Hurricane as fast as he can, which turns out to be more than she can handle; it's rather messy. All this happens in between Hurricane knocking Hawkeye down and Hawkeye hitting the ground. Then Hawkeye tells Quicksilver, hunched over and sweating, to stop goofing off and help him out...
  • In X-Statix, a girl named Lacuna with this ability tries to join the team. While trying to prove her usefulness by playing pranks on the team while they're frozen in time, she gets the attention of a TV producer and she ends up rejecting the team's offer in order to host her own talk show, in which she uses her power to spy on celebrities. She still helps the team every now and then, such as when she killed Reality Warper Arnie Lundberg.
  • In Ultimate X-Men, a different continuity from regular X-Men comics, Professor X uses the perception of slowed time to punish his students. In short, a six hour detention takes six minutes.
  • In Alan Moore's Miracleman there was a pair of aliens that moved so fast they were never seen moving and as a result seemed to be perpetually frozen in time.
  • Happened during Chris Claremont's run on Fantastic Four; the team travels to an alternate Earth which is covered in an endless ocean that seems to have frozen time.
  • A backup story in Omega Men have the evil Spider Aliens send a team to conquer an out of the way planet populated by giants who perceive the world flashing by. To them, the sky is grey because of the 'effect' of the sun rising and leaving so fast. The Spider Aliens all go mad because they can't find a way to affect the time-slowed giants.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
    • Played with in one Donald Duck comic story, "Super Snooper Strikes Back". Donald gains temporary superpowers, and tries to prove it to his nephews by running around the world super fast. But he soon realizes that his super-speed manifests itself by making everything else seem to stand still—so, even though the trip might seem fast to his nephews, it will still be incredibly long and boring to him! He decides to come up with a different test.
    • In another story (both are from Don Rosa by the way), "On Stolen Time", Gyro has invented a stopwatch. A literal stopwatch. It freezes time for everyone who's not standing within about thirty feet/ten meters of the watch when it's activated. While others see the user teleporting from place to place and things disappearing and appearing, the user sees world frozen around him. At one point, Donald and his nephews manage to get into stopped time with the Beagle Boys, and a chase ensues, with such tricks as the ducks cutting across a pond to catch up with the Beagle Boys, Donald crashing against a butterfly, the ducks (being barefoot) being unable to chase the Beagle Boys across a time-stopped lawn, and the Beagle Boys using flying pigeons as a ladder to escape. Rosa later lamented that he didn't simply make the device stop movement instead of time within a certain radius, pointing out all the practical problems of stopped time, like solid air.
  • Marvel character Kiden Nixon, main character of NYX, can slow down time to an almost complete stop. She can return to a normal state by touching someone. She has to be extremely careful: the first time she did this, she broke someone's arm by simply poking it.
  • The Billy & Mandy story "Time Waits For No Mandy" (Cartoon Network Block Party #56) has Mandy sending Father Time on a permanent vacation so time will stand still and, ageist as she claims to be, she won't have to go through another birthday.
  • One of the 2000 AD "Future Shocks" stories has a female student build a machine that can, according to her claims, stop time. Her professor finds the idea ludicrous and decides to show her that it's impossible by starting the half-finished machine, against her protests. The result? All time, frozen forever.
  • Waverider of Armageddon 2001 has the power to literally make time stand still, which he acquired by stealing a Linear Man's time control device, created by an alternate version of himself that became a Linear Man. He did that on one particular occasion when Superman witnessed the death of young Matthew Ryder's grandfather in a restaurant, enabling him to change from his Clark Kent disguise without being seen by anyone except Waverider, who is (or in the new timeline, was) the future version of Ryder. In one Superman story, Superman takes advantage of Waverider's ability to freeze time so that he could position himself to rescue two falling construction workers before time resumed.
  • The Avengers:
    • As seen in Avengers Forever, those who wield the Destiny Force can stop time.
    • In Infinity Wars (2018), Gamora uses the Time Stone to freeze the Avengers while she grabs the remaining Stones from them. Thanos' ghost takes a moment to snark at Captain America on how he's frozen in time again.
    • In Mighty Avengers (2013), Monica Rambeau fights an enemy who can slow down time. Good thing she can move at the speed of light.
  • Superman:
    • Superman, his family and Kryptonians in general have the ability to speed themselves up so fast than everybody and everything else seem to stand still.
    • At one point during Brian Michael Bendis' run, Zod wants to take a private talk with Superman in the middle of a battle, so they talk at super speed as the world around them seems frozen.
    • In "Plain Sight", Kara Danvers has to sneak out of school without arousing the suspicions of the agent questioning her. So Kara turns around, heat-blasts the fire alarm and turns back again, moving as fast than the person talking to her seems frozen in her spot.
    • In The Dominus Effect, Waverider causes time to stand still in modern day Metropolis so that he could talk privately to Superman about the goings-on regarding Dominus altering reality. This time Superman takes advantage of this and positions himself before time resumes its course so that he could rescue some construction men who were falling from a building that was collapsing.
    • In Time and Time Again sequel stories "Time And Time Again Again" and "Time Ryders", Waverider and Superman alternately experience time standing still in the situations they happen to be in, with Superman in the latter instance changing from Clark Kent to Superman while time is frozen. In the first story, Superman also remembers a time when he was alone with Lois Lane and all time had stood still between them, which Liri Lee reveals was her doing in order to make up for the time lost between Superman and Lois Lane during the Time And Time Again story arc.
  • In Mega Man (Archie Comics) comics, this ability makes Flash Man one of the most dangerous Robot Masters. He nearly kills Mega Man as Doc Robot by stopping time and aiming his Buster at Mega Man's head. He only fails because of a power overload.
  • Starbrand & Nightmask: Kevin and Adam both have the ability to stretch out their own perception of time to give themselves more time to react to/do things.
  • One of the relaunch events in The New '10s for Marvel Comics has the narrative consistently emphasize that time cannot ever be truly stopped, only drastically dilated between frames of reference. One Time Master describes "pausing" as feeling like twisting a running water hose. You can slow the flow but the pressure behind it is ever-present until you don't have the strength to hold it back anymore.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In Child of the Storm, resident Time Master Doctor Strange does this every now and then, usually on individuals.
  • In Fractured (SovereignGFC), a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands crossover a medical capsule slows time drastically for the patient inside (who as Half the Woman She Used to Be would die very quickly otherwise).
  • The Homestuck fanfic "Scratch". It features Dave, as described below in Homestuck's entry in the webcomic section, who accidentally damages the magical turntables that give him time powers, thus freezing time permanently unless he keeps moving the turntables by hand.
  • Homura of Puella Magi Madoka Magica tries this on Doctor Who's Dalek Sec in the crossover story A Hero. Because he's linked up to her temporal abilities, it doesn't work.
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series has the Time Pauser, an invention of Calvin's that invokes this effect. Only its tendency to run out of batteries keeps it from breaking the plot, though other times nobody thinks of it. A later invention, the Time Discs, are held by a person in order to survive the effect without having to touch the person using the Time Pauser (along with some awesome-looking effects for the hell of it).
  • In Fate/Parallel Fantasia, this is the power of False Archer's Noble Phantasm, Faust Buckler. It turns out to be less useful than expected, since if she touches an enemy (such as by attacking them), they become unfrozen along with her.
  • Oversaturated World: "A Minty Fresh Adventurer" has its title and story be a Shout-Out to the Pony Platforming Project's Minty Fresh Adventure!, taking the concept of a time-stopping Minuette, who was called "Colgate" in the original game. Her powers in that game are a copy of Kamen Rider Kabuto's Clock Up ability. Minuette's time-stop spell is cast by call "Clock up!" and dispelled with "Clock down!". It's used to foil a bank robbery, with the effect described:
    The thieves stood frozen, dust hung still in the air. Nobody even looked like they were breathing.
  • In Intrepid, Emma's power is that she can freeze time and then move through solid objects, making it seem to others like teleportation. However, she can only maintain this state as long as she can hold her breath.
    Emma: "When I woke up some time after passing out, I'd had the power to stop time for as long as I could hold my breath, the ability to stretch brief moments out. I'd had the ability to think, plan, and consider my actions. Every action I took, my power gave me the time to think them through."
  • Of Quirks and Magic: To demonstrate magic to Izuku away from prying eyes, Strange freezes time at 9:10 a.m. on the day Izuku is to be released from the hospital.
  • In Atonement, Elias Anders has the power to create 'tunnels' of normality within otherwise stopped time, allowing him to effectively teleport.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Kryptonians are able to move and think so fast that the world around them seems to slow down to a crawl.
    Even though only three seconds had gone by between Kara's red boots touching the dirt of the ancient arena and the first blow being struck, it was enough time for her to size up her adversary, her surroundings, and her situation.
    Time slowed down, subjectively, for normal human beings in a crisis situation. It gave you time to react in a way that might save your life.
    Kryptonians were no different. Except that, under suns that weren't red, their senses were much superior to that of a normal human's, and their memory capacity so much greater. Their motive ability was beyond lightspeed. When activated, their reaction time rivalled that of The Flash.
    So Kara had the time to note the presence of about 8,500 people packed into the stands.
  • In Infinity Legion: Heroes Unite, the assembly of godly beings freeze time so they can give the heroes an Info Dump on the Darkentors without alerting G3.
  • In Building Faith, the main character's power allows her to slow her perception of time to a crawl.
  • Tales of Blaze and Artemis: According to Claww, Artemis's Flash Freeze can freeze anything, including time itself, though she has yet to actually use it in this manner.
  • There Was Once an Avenger From Krypton: Petrosapien crystals completely block the flow of time around anything encased, rendering it timeless. This is used to capture Vilgax in the climax of Changing of the Guard.


  • Spoofed in Big Fish: Edward Bloom, narrating a flashback to when he meets his future wife, explains "They say that when you meet the love of your life, time stops. And that's true." Past Edward makes his way across a circus big top, past all the frozen performers, to where his wife is standing. "But what they don't tell you is what once time starts again, it moves extra fast to catch up." Cue the funny carnival music as everyone zips around Past Edward as super-speed.
  • Cashback plays around with this trope a lot, although it may just represent a daydream of the lead character. Or an excuse to show a lot of boobs.
  • Played (mostly) for laughs in Click, where Adam Sandler's character gets a "universal" remote control that enables him to pause, rewind, or fast-forward through time.
  • Clockstoppers has a wristwatch which can move the wearer into "hypertime," where time seems to stand still. (It doesn't though. It just moves really slowly). For some reason, this doesn't seem to affect whatever moving vehicles they occupy. It gets weirder. Towards the end, the entire villain base enters hypertime (the villains also have hypertime). Cue the protagonist then pulling out the watch, and being warned that doubled-up hypertime is ultra-dangerous/deadly. He still uses the watch, and becomes some sort of ethereal energy being temporarily. Weirdly enough, time doesn't appear to have stopped when he's in double hypertime, but being ethereal negated the need for Time Stands Still.
  • Constantine (2005): Time freezes when Lucifer comes to Earth to collect Constantine. He's able to allow time to flow normally for objects or spaces around him, first having a leisurely conversation with Constantine, then shattering glass in a very cool Bullet Time effect, then snatching away Angela from Gabriel just as he allows time to continue, causing them to "miss" with the spear.
  • This is Kaecilius's goal in Doctor Strange (2016): He strives for a world without suffering, death, destruction, or hardship. What he really means is that he wants Dormammu to incorporate Earth into his dimension—as time doesn't exist in Dormammu's dimension, time suddenly stopping is how it would appear to an observer on Earth. Well, one immune to Dormammu's effects anyway.
  • Henry's time bubble power in Freaks (2018) creates the superspeed sort of time standing still. People are still moving slowly outside of his bubble while he can move at regular speed. Used for drama in the final act when he freezes time just as a Hellfire missile is striking his house.
  • The 1980 movie The Girl The Gold Watch And Everything (based on the novel by John D. MacDonald, which see) along with the movie sequel, The Girl The Gold Watch And Dynamite.
  • In The Hudsucker Proxy, time miraculously stops when a broomstick jams the gears of the clock tower, allowing Norville to survive the fall from the Hudsucker building ledge, have a chat with the angel of the late Mr. Hudsucker in mid-air, and learn that the company is all his according to the infamous Blue Letter. Oddly, the snow continues to fall around them.
  • In Inspector Gadget 2, Dr. Claw's evil plan is to freeze time so that he can rob the Federal Reserve in Riverton.
  • In Into the Woods, this occurs during "On the Steps of the Palace".
  • In the B-Movie Journey To The Center Of Time (1967) the scientist protagonists return to the (apparent) present in their time machine only to find themselves (from earlier in the movie) frozen in position. Apparently they've turned up a fraction too soon, and are existing in a "hyperaccelerated state" for some vague time-related reason.
  • The MacGuffin in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider could control time, allowing the owner to freeze time as well as travel through it.
  • A Man Called Nereus: This is one of Nereus's powers once he realizes his full potential. He freezes time and takes the guns away from the people who were going to shoot his friends.
  • The super-speed version shows up in Megamind as Metroman decides to take some time out mid-confrontation for some self-reflection.
  • One Wish Too Many (1956) has a scene where a wish-granting magic marble is used to freeze time so the protagonists can get to school without being late. Obligatory Un-Paused prank (involving a roller skate) occurs as well.
  • In Over the Hedge this happens to Hammy after he drinks a can of soda. Time slows to a very near stop allowing him to slowly and playfully cross the yard, grab a cookie from the roof, activate the Depelter Turbo, and make it back behind the hedge before the lasers are fully formed. He outwalks a laser.
  • This is the central premise of the 1924 French short silent film Paris Qui Dort, also known as At 3:25 in the US. A night watchman on the Eiffel Tower returns to the ground at the end of his shift and discovers that time has stopped for everyone in Paris.
  • In R.I.P.D. death or near-death results in this, until the person's soul is sucked up or someone revives them.
  • When Peter's Spider-Sense first activates in Spider-Man, it has this effect.
  • Occurs rather infamously in Starcrash:
    The Emperor of the Galaxy: "Imperial Battleship! Halt! The flow — of time!!!"
  • Happens in Star Trek: Insurrection when Anij slows down time almost to a stop for Jean-Luc Picard. In her case, it appears to be a romance-induced superpower.
  • Suspension contains a magical camera that happens to drive the plot.
  • The erotic movie Timepiece (not to be confused with Time Piece) features a female protagonist who uses a time-stopping watch for... illicit purposes.
  • The Trancers series of film gave the Protagonist Jack Deth a watch that didn't wholly stop time, but stretched it for him. Explained in the film as 1 second stretched to 10, in the film it appears to last for about 90 seconds.
  • In Troll 2, Grandpa Seth has this ability, and stops time to allow his grandson to urinate on his family's food.
  • Key to the plot in Twice Upon a Time, a comedy about a conflict between the good and evil sides of a Dream Land. Villain Synonamess Botch tricks the innocent fool heroes into stealing the spring of the (Deliberately Monochrome, live-action) land of Din's Cosmic Clock. With the clock stopped, time in Din stops as well, at a moment when its resident Rushers are awake. He intends to start the clock back up once nightmare bombs have been planted everywhere — then detonate them and trap the Rushers in waking nightmares.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X2: X-Men United: The audience is momentarily led to believe this happened at the museum, although what had actually transpired is that Professor X had applied his mind-controlling powers to put everyone on "pause."
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Peter Maximoff uses his super speed to mess with some Pentagon guards, and to redirect the bullets they had just fired. From his perspective, everyone and everything is frozen in time. A similar scene happens in X-Men: Apocalypse, where he arrives at the X-Mansion shortly after an explosion begins yet pulls everyone out except Havok, who had already been caught in the explosion in a few nanoseconds.

  • In Adam R. Brown's Alterien series, whenever the Alteriens enter 4-dimensional space, all time around them appears to stand still.
  • In Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, the Incarnations of Death and Time are able to freeze time - the former with his Deathwatch, the latter with his Hourglass. Mars/War can also freeze time. Chronos is the one who actually gave Death the Deathwatch.
  • Nicholson Baker's Fermata the main character and first-person narrator possesses this ability, which he uses to undress various women.
  • In Jorge Luis Borges's story The Secret Miracle, the protagonist — an unsuccessful Jewish playwright who was been sentenced to death by the Nazis — is granted by God the gift of a whole year of subjective time passing for him in the moment that the firing squad shoots. He cannot move or escape, but he can think, and thus finish in his mind the last and greatest play he was working on.
  • The Arthur C. Clarke story All The Time In The World is about a criminal who is given a device that freezes time in order to steal some works of art. It turns out that his Mysterious Benefactor is a time traveling alien, who wanted to save the most precious relics of Earth before it's destroyed in a nuclear fireball. This has already started, and he's left in the frozen seconds before the end, with all the time in the world...
    • There is a handwave that a sphere around device is affected by normal (or superfast?) time flow. So the hero is instructed to avoid coming too close to passer-bys.
  • In Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series, agents of both The Light and The Dark have the ability to suspend time for muggles in their immediate surroundings.
  • Although it doesn't actually happen (and it's implied they'd fail at it), newly created robotic magicians from Diane Duane's High Wizardry consider doing a time stop on the entire universe in order to "fix" entropy. This is a very bad thing for all the reasons listed above. Utter darkness, no thought, no real life. One second of living every one hundred thousand years. Part of the idea is exaggerated such that all these processes wouldn't be continuing so much as having to start all over again during the points when time was flowing again...
  • In the second Molly Moon book, the eponymous Molly discovers by accident that she has this skill; we soon after learn that a very adept hypnotist, as long as they're wearing a diamond somewhere on their body, can have the power to both freeze time and stay alert and mobile during the freeze. Other hypnotists who have this skill are able to resist it and also Move in the Frozen Time as long as they're also wearing a diamond and have a quick enough reaction time to steel themselves against the freeze, which takes effect within seconds if not instantaneously. It requires extreme concentration while also filling the time-stopper's body with severe fatigue and cold the longer they hold the world still.
  • In David Eddings's The Elenium and The Tamuli, one of the special abilities of the Troll Gods is to go into "No-Time", the space in between seconds, to traverse distances near-instantaneously. The characters, however, cannot affect the real world in this state. In the words of the Bhelliom, in order to move so much as a pebble in No-Time, you'd have to move the entire universe. Which ends up having horrific repercussions for several of characters.
    • Lampshaded in the same series. In The Tamuli, one character who has "No-Time" described to him says something along the lines of "That's logically impossible. It can't work." To which a goddess replies "I know it's logically impossible, but Ghnomb (one of the Troll Gods) believes that it works, and Ghnomb's belief is strong enough to override logic."
      • At a later point, the same Troll God makes some of the characters "invisible" by breaking each second into two pieces, with the invisible guys only present for the smaller piece...again, he believes it works, so it does.
    • Other gods are able to do similar things, but due to differences in how they think the details tend to vary. Aphrael prefers to just fly really fast when on her own, but when groups of people need to move quickly she uses a never fully explained method that involves some sort of time manipulation, while also manipulating people's minds so they don't notice they're travelling much faster than normal.
  • The final showdown between the titular heroine of Michael Ende's Momo and the Men in Grey happens after the local God stops time in the whole world, leaving only Momo (because she is carrying a certain MacGuffin), the Men in Grey, and a magical turtle (who is a fully-functional MacGuffin of her own right) able to move.
  • In the David Farland novel trilogy The Runelords, where The Hero and Big Bad each received a large number of metabolism endowments, effectively causing time to slow down for them. Moving in this state was depicted relatively realistically, with a "thickening" of the air and some care required in movement to prevent injury, particularly when they weren't endowed with proportionate strength.
  • Thursday Next's father has "a face that could stop a clock," meaning he can stop time for himself and whoever else he wants.
    • Allies of her father freeze pockets of time, in time. A villain is stuck in the same minute or so it takes to get to the front of a checkout line. Only she realizes it.
  • Roger Zelazny's Chronomaster has pocket universes (all manmade) that have had their time frozen from the inside. The main character (and several other people) use devices called "bottled time" to be able to move around. Everything within meters gets normal speed.
  • The fairies in Artemis Fowl can stop time within an area by surrounding it with a pentagram (and warlocks, originally, though they developed Magitek generators since there is a limit to how long a warlock can hold up his arms). They often use this in combination with a bio-bomb to contain its effect. Escape from a time-stop is possible, but the method is unusual: the time-stop preserves all beings in the state they were in when time stopped - people who are awake stay awake, while people who are asleep go on with the normal flow of the world. When an awake person uses something like sleeping pills to artificially change their state, the stop shunts them into normal time, making them disappear from inside the stop.
  • In Frank Herbert's Heretics of Dune, one of the protagonists (Miles Teg) gets Super Speed as a power, and his subjective time slows to a crawl as a result. He is not Made of Iron, however, so he has to be careful to avoid hurting himself, and he uses energy at a rate commensurate with his increased activity level.
  • Dean Koontz's Dragon Tears features an antagonist whose "Greatest and Most Secret Power" is time-stopping. He can control who is and is not affected; late in the book, the two protagonists find themselves in a frozen world being stalked by a Golem. It's unusual in that Koontz actually lampshades all the Required Secondary Powers that would be needed for this to work. Doesn't explain them, and it's pretty out of character given that the protagonists didn't have any background in physics, but still.
  • In the John D. MacDonald story The Girl The Gold Watch And Everything, the main character inherits a golden watch with this ability.
    • Spider Robinson wrote the same watch (with a nod to MacDonald) into his book Lady Slings The Booze.
    • MacDonald's novel tries to address some of the physics problems noted: Although the watch seems to freeze time completely, it actually slows it to a crawl, as a fired bullet still has a perceptible movement. Due to the slowdown, the air is thick and hinders movement, and everything appears to be red (presumably due to photon speed alterations).
  • The Kadingir series extends this courtesy to the reader, since Ishtar's first encounter with Kasdal in The Shapla Case happens so fast that nothing can be said before it is over. Therefore, the narration stops on its track, rewinds half a minute and goes all over it again in slow motion.
  • Larry Niven's Known Space series features several time-stopping force fields, e.g. the Slaver stasis field technology.
  • Discworld:
    • The History Monks have a version of this ability — the Stance of the Coyote, for example, freezes time when in midfall (a Shout-Out to the Road Runner cartoons). This may or may not be distinct from their ability to slow time to a near-standstill through "time-slicing".
    • Slicing may be a Deconstruction, since it has a number of requirements to avoid the "solid air" problem. At deeper levels, you see red/blue shift and have to keep moving so the air in your personal Bullet Time pocket won't all get used up.
      • They also have "the wall", the point at which time is sliced so thin that not even the most experienced of History Monks can take it; one named Zimmerman discovered what's now known as "Zimmerman's valley", a level of time-slicing which is relatively easy to maintain in spite of being so deep that hummingbird wings have all but frozen, and figured there was a second valley even closer to the limit, but never found it. Not if the way he exploded was any indication.
    • Thief of Time had as its major plot point a clock being constructed that could perfectly measure time... and in doing so, completely halt it.
    • In the same series, characters such as Death, his fellow Horsemen, and his granddaughter Susan, can move around "outside time" (time stops but duration continues). Milkman Ronnie Soak, the Horseman Formerly Known As Kaos, uses this talent to get milk delivered on time every morning. That is to say he delivers the milk at 7 am every morning, to everyone in the city at the same time.
    • Bel-Shamharoth from The Colour of Magic kept its temple intact for untold centuries, as the place succumbs to rapid decay, collapse, and overgrowth by the forest once the Eldritch Abomination is driven off. This is implied to because Time itself was too scared to get close to it.
  • Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos features "The Shrike", a creature that may or may not have been sent back in time by a computer god; it can move so fast it's like Time Stands Still. In fact, one character is given a power suit that increases his speed to the point that dodging laser beams becomes practical, and he can barely see the Shrike.
  • H. G. Wells' story The New Accelerator is about a drug that causes anyone who takes it to move at Super Speed, making the rest of the world seem to be moving extremely slowly. In the story, the characters move so fast that the friction of their movements through the air nearly causes their clothing to ignite before they figure out what's going on.
  • Mark Steinberg, aka Stasis in The Infected has this power. The first time it activated, he spent a subjective decade in frozen time before learning to shut it off. He doesn't age in frozen time, but still needs to eat. He will automatically freeze time when he falls asleep or unconscious.
  • In Scott Westerfeld's Midnighters series, people who are born at midnight experience the "blue time", an extra hour where everything else is frozen.
  • The Ellimist will sometimes use this to speak to the Animorphs privately.
  • In the Rod Allbright Alien Adventures series of books, the villain BKR plans to freeze the entire universe in time because, as an ultra-sadist, he loves the idea that anyone suffering at the moment he freezes time will be stuck with that suffering forever, and especially the fact that the heroes will be frozen at the moment of their failure, while he will be frozen in the moment of his victory. The plan actually involves creating a "Groundhog Day" Loop that ripples out across the universe, but the loop will become shorter and shorter each time it happens, until it's just a single moment in time.
  • Keys to the Kingdom: In Superior Saturday, Arthur uses the Fifth Key to stop time to keep it from passing to the next day, to keep Leaf and the rest of his hometown from being nuked at 12:01 Saturday morning. It wears off after a while, and stops affecting Leaf, giving her a chance to try and get people to safety.
  • In Robert Rankin's Raiders of the Lost Car Park, the main characters get trapped like this, and one of them points out the various scientific issues that would arise from such a scenario. She concludes that it's the effect of a spell: in fact the spell that allows Santa Claus to do his yearly round.
  • In the Principia Discordia, time is said to have stood still in the all night bowling alley in which the Erisian Movement was born.
  • In Robert L. Forward's novels Dragon's Egg and Starquake, humans exploring a neutron star discover that it is inhabited by life forms based on nuclear rather than chemical bonds. As a result, they live about a million times faster than humans — they are relatively primitive when the visitors enter orbit around their world and incredibly advanced a month later.
  • C. S. Lewis based The Great Divorce on a half-remembered story in which everything but the main characters are temporally frozen — since they cannot change or affect anything in this frozen time, blades of grass and drops of rain cut right through them.
  • In There and Back Again by Pat Murphy, Bailey finds a metal Mobius strip with the ability to alter the flow of time in a bubble around it, and frequently uses it to speed himself up to the point where everyone else is effectively stopped.
  • This is a focal point of Stephen King's short story "The Jaunt" - the titular teleporation system appears to send things through it instantaneously, but sentient minds perceive the transit as an "eternity", to quote the first human test subject, with corresponding physical aging.
  • The Alloy of Law contains Wayne, who can generate a speed bubble where time goes much faster than outside, and Marasi, who can make one where time goes much slower. The second one is considered useless. Until they need to stall for time
  • Sean Williams' Astropolis series features both this trope and its inversion, of a sort, with the advent of Overclocking. Most individuals have the ability to alter their relative perception of time, meaning that their relative movement etc will increase as well. This means that a person perceiving time normally would see only blurs moving around them as people overclocked in the same room. (The inversion is that the overclocking can run the opposite way: a person who reduces their "tempo", or a normal "tempo" from the perspective of an overclocking person, will be perceived to be moving incredibly slowly, if not at all, although they are in fact simply operating at a much lower relative speed.) However, moving when overclocking is extremely damaging to the body; bones can be broken by bumping into a wall, or landing badly, and the friction of movement can ignite clothes and materials. Light becomes red- or blue-shifted, too, so this one is actually pretty realistic, relatively speaking.
  • Windcrafters in Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series can 'borrow speed' from their wind furies to invoke this. Interestingly, it alters their perceptions much more than their physical actions. Their minds process much more, seeing the world through Bullet Time (and they do move faster), but their muscles and reactions cannot bypass the body's limits.
  • From the same author, in the ninth book of The Dresden Files Harry and co. are all paralyzed by a 'psychic bullet'. Lash intervenes in Harry's case, and speeds up his thought processes so much that they have a long conversation and a touching goodbye in about six seconds. However, it is mentioned that she can't do it for long because it would cause brain damage.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, time is stopped when the girls are in Fairyland.
  • In the world of Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure, when two gods get close enough, they're able to create a pocket "outside time" around themselves. It's said to be unstable to the point where any violence will rupture it, but it's useful for having a conversation.
  • In Pact, the Behaim Circle, a family of chronomancers, give people the impression that they're using this effect, but it is in fact a bluff-while they can manipulate time directly, to do so they must Cast from Lifespan, so in combat they instead manipulate the perception of time, which is almost as useful and not nearly as expensive.
  • In Orson Scott Card's A Planet Called Treason, the Ku Kuei can manipulate the flow of time around them. Depending on which way they manipulate it, Time Stands Still for them, or for those around them.
  • The Stars My Destination: Gully Foyle activates this ability by pressing down on one of his teeth, and briefly wound up in a position of being unable to turn it off.
  • The Day Time Stopped Moving by Bradner Buckner. A scientific experiment freezes time except for those people who are on the brink of death — the scientist who was killed by the experiment, the protagonist who just shot himself, and a dog struck by a car. Anything that's not on their bodies can't be moved, so they have to use every piece of metal they are carrying to construct a makeshift wire to reverse the experiment. They succeed but the protagonist is the only one to survive, having not fully passed the threshold.
  • The Infected: This is Mark Steinberg's power, and it is used often and to great effect. It is also examined in how while Mark seems to get instant results, he routinely spends weeks or months walking or cycling across the country without human interaction.
  • Villains by Necessity: Kaylana manages to cast a spell with magical plants Sam gathered for her to briefly stop time and save the party from a dragon.
  • Mouse (2017): During the fight with the azazim, Mouse uses Hermetic Magic to stop time for about ten seconds, enough time for him and Bliss to run to a better position.
  • Fate/Apocrypha: This is one of the effects of Achilles' Duel Field, which allows himself and another opponent to have a completely fair one-on-one fight. To prevent outside interference from disrupting the duel, time freezes for everyone except the combatants within the Duel Field, only resuming when a victor is declared.
  • Yuki Nagato, the Sufficiently Advanced Alien / Artificial Human from Haruhi Suzumiya, is also capable of freezing time. And if she wishes so she can hold time and everything within a defined place in the space-time continuum, yet the time not in this area is still flowing (as she did in "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody").
  • In High School D×D, Gasper Vladi's Sacred Gear, Forbidden Balor View, can temporarily freeze everything.
  • In Overlord (2012), Ainz has the power of time-stop, demonstrated when he freezes time in his duel with Gazef immediately as the fight began, and ends the battle when he casts instant-death on Gazef, killing him instantly.
  • Shakugan no Shana's Phantom Zone (fuzetsu) freezes everything in place (except non-muggles) and turns everything gray. Time doesn't ''really'' stop, and events proceed normally outside the barrier, but it certainly makes a good imitation.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime:
    • True Dragon Velzard has the Ultimate Skill [Patience King Gabriel], which weaponizes the concept of "deceleration/slowing down". The "Suspended World" allows her to stop time on a planetary scale at least for several minutes at a time.
    • Velzard's "partner" and True Demon Lord Guy Crimson also possesses the ability to stop time, presumably thanks to his own Ultimate Skill [Prideful King Lucifer], which gives him the ability to copy other Skills, even Ultimates.
    • Chloe Aubert possesses this power via the Ultimate Skill [Space-Time King Yog Sothoth]. When she and Guy have a "mock" battle with each other after she unlocks this power properly from merging with her Superpowered Evil Side Chronoa, both of them using their time-stopping abilities at once makes the battle to the onlookers (True Demon Lords Rimuru, Luminous, and Leon) look like rapid flashes of movement from their swords none of them can properly perceive, despite the fact all of them have Super Reflexes and Super Senses to the point they can perceive light-speed movement. However, due to Chloe's inexperience with the Ultimate Skill at first, a latter fight has her use her time-stopping power for too long in a single duration and forcibly returning to her child form from the strain.
  • Tomoyo Kanzaki of When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace has a power that lets her do just that.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Adventures of Superboy TV series episode "Test of Time", two alien beings speed up Clark Kent/Superboy, who they think is a normal human being, to the point where time appears to have stopped for everyone but him. The aliens refer to this as "acceleration mode", and they use it to test Superboy to determine if they can win a war against the Earth's inhabitants.
  • In the first episode of Andromeda the Andromeda gets caught in the event horizon of a black hole which makes time stand still for Dylan Hunt. A salvage crew pulling the ship out 300 years later kicks off the plot.
  • Angel:
    • "Happy Anniversary" revolves around a scientist's efforts to create one of these so that he and his girlfriend won't break up, but will stay frozen forever. In the midst of having the break-up sex. At the moment of climax, in fact. There are worse moments to be stuck at.
    • In "Tomorrow", Skip also manages an apparently localized version of this when introducing Cordelia to the idea of becoming a higher power. Considering it happens on an LA freeway during a rush hour, the resulting otherworldly effect is subtle but stunning.
    • Before the loss of her powers, Illyria is able to perform a version of this trope in "Shells", selectively slowing down or stopping time while she moves freely amid the resulting slow-motion. It's so slowed, when she throws Angel out of a window near the top of the building they are at, at a walking pace, when she and Knox reach the street, Angel was now 8 feet from the ground and she walked under him. Afterward, the heroes view the building's security camera footage, making it clear that Illyria literally slows time down, not just their perception of it, as the footage shows her leaving the building at Flash-like speeds. So either she slows down time for the entire universe except for herself and anyone she sees fit to exempt from it, or she speeds up time for herself and whoever she sees fit to include. Which basically amounts to the same thing.
  • This was the central plot device of the children's television programme Bernard's Watch.
  • Used frequently on Bewitched. Samantha or another witch or warlock would freeze time when things were getting out of hand in order to give themselves a chance to figure out what to do.
  • Frank Gorshin stars as Clockwise in an episode of Roger Corman's Black Scorpion TV series. However, he can only stop time for 3 second periods.
  • Charmed (1998):
    • Piper could freeze opponents (or Muggles that the Masquerade needed to be kept around) temporarily. Although her power is explained not as stopping time but slowing molecular motion. She develops the ability to speed up molecular motion, causing things to explode.
    • The Cleaners also had the power to stop time, and it was a much more grand effect than Piper's; also angels of fate could do it, the demon of time can do it for a quick burst. In the comic book Wyatt can perform a version of slow-time which only makes things appear to stop at first.
  • Mel has the time-stop power in the Charmed (2018).
  • The Collector: It's used by the Devil sometimes to talk in privacy. Or to offer a deal to someone who is seconds away from death.
  • The episode "Revenge of the Goblins" in Deadtime Stories involves a magic ball that freezes and unfreezes time, while having the reverse effect on goblins. When time is frozen, the goblins can move again. When it's moving, the goblins are frozen. This is a major plot point of the episode. The heroes also use the magic time freezing ball to get revenge on some bullies.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Several planets have been placed into time loops by the Time Lords, including the War Lords' planet at the climax of "The War Games", Planet 5 in "Image of the Fendahl", and the Vardan homeworld in "The Invasion of Time".
    • The Third Doctor puts the Axos in a time loop in "The Claws of Axos".
    • The Master's invention TOMTIT in "The Time Monster" makes time stand still in an area around the apparatus.
    • And then there's the Key to Time, which briefly stops time for the entire rest of the universe.
    • The Doctor and Romana wound up in one, called a Chronic Hysteresis, in "Meglos".
    • There's a moment in "The End of the World" when the Doctor appears to slow down time to solve a pendulum-of-death puzzle. However, this is probably a Flash-type scenario where he's actually speeding up his mental perceptions so that time seems to slow around him.
    • In "Journey's End", Gwen and Ianto are saved from a Dalek invading the Torchwood Hub by a "time lock", freezing everything outside the door.
    • Something similar to the Sarah-Jane example happens in "The Wedding of River Song", only it happens to all of history instead of just a few people. The result: Holy Roman Emperor Winston Churchill, pterodactyls in public parks, and cars being carried across London by hot-air balloon. People are still aware and moving, but all the clocks have stopped and the date is always the same. Only a few people notice anything wrong with this.
    • In "The Day of the Doctor", the part where the Two Doctors and his other regeneration go into the "Time Lord Art" probably counts. And, after a little thought, the "Time Lord Art" itself as well.
    • Happens again at the start of "Twice Upon a Time".
  • In the Mexican superhero comedy El Chapulín Colorado the hero occasionally had a gadget that allowed him to do this. He mostly used it to arrange embarrassing accidents for the bad guys.
  • Eureka:
    • In one episode Henry messes with the bridge device under the influence of NLP-infused music and causes it to create a time-dilation field that keeps expanding. Everything trapped in the field appears to be standing still, even though it actually moves imperceptibly slowly. When the time is sped back up, one of the characters actually manages to outrun a bullet.
    • One client asked for the power to make time stop around him. The result was somewhat closer to actual time stoppage than the usual frozen world, and he did not like it.
  • In the later seasons of The Flash (2014), Barry's Super Speed gets so fast he's able to do this from his perspective, which is eventually dubbed "Flashtime". Even bullets barely creep along when he's in this mode. In one episode, he even somehow manages to pull another character into the same frame of reference, having a conversation with her, while barely a second passes for everyone else. A few episode later, almost the entirety of the episode takes place over a millisecond, while lasting hours for Barry, Jesse, and Jay, as they're trying to save the city from a nuclear bomb that has already detonated. There was also the Turtle in Season 2, who made it seem as if this trope was in effect. In fact, he was simply draining the kinetic energy of everything around him.
  • In the Friday The 13th: The Series episode "13 O'Clock," the cursed item is a stopwatch that can stop time and allow the villains of that episode to commit crimes. The moment the heroes get the watch back, the villains freeze in time, becoming black and white statues.
  • Hiro Nakamura from Heroes uses this ability often, as part of his more general ability to manipulate time. Season 3 reveals that he doesn't actually stop time, he just slows it down. Daphne, a speedster, is able to notice when using her powers and can speed herself up to compensate. It's also revealed that Hiro doesn't know whether or not his ability is localized. However, since he later carries a frozen Ando a considerable distance in a wheelbarrow with time staying frozen all around him, it seems likely that he's actually speeding himself up relative to the Universe as a whole rather than freezing time in a localized area around him. The best example is when he proves his ability to Charlie by blinking and then showing her hundreds of origami cranes that suddenly appear around her. This scene is shown from Charlie's point of view, as showing Hiro make these would take awhile.
  • In an episode of the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids series, Wayne invents a device that speeds him up. He keeps a fancy model for himself while his boss stumbles upon the prototype. However, they then set the dial to 10, at which point everything around them slows down to extreme crawl. They attempt to turn off the devices or take them off, but the use of the untested setting results in Phlebotinum Breakdown, and they are stuck that way until Wayne thinks to use a freezer-like device to slow down their molecules to normal speed.
  • Happens almost once an episode on Hustle although it is merely a visual device as the previous planning of the characters for the current situation is revealed. Also used in the BBC previews, to the extent that the technique is one of the best-known things about the show, and inevitably mocked on Dead Ringers.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
  • Kamen Rider:
  • In Life on Mars (2008), Sam walks through the precinct as Hunt and then Annie freeze. It is eventually revealed that this and everything odd Sam experiences throughout the series is caused by a malfunctioning virtual reality machine.
  • In The Lost Room, the ability of the Comb is to stop time for everyone except the user. The effect only lasts about 10 seconds (from the comb user's perspective), and the user isn't able to physically affect anything that's still frozen.
    • The user can affect things that aren't being affected by some force other than gravity. For example, the user can pick up a shovel leaning against a wall, but can't take a wallet someone is holding in their hand.
    • Also, the constant jerks back and forth have a negative long-term effect on the user. Then again all Objects are Artifacts of Doom.
  • In Lucifer (2016), this is the angel Amenadiel's power. Typically, an indicator that Amenadiel has appeared is everything slowing down to a crawl for everyone but Lucifer. One episode involves Lucifer deliberately summoning his brother in order to make use of his ability as part of his plan to punish a killer (catching a bullet in mid-air and then seemingly teleporting several yards away).
  • The Magic Boomerang. As long as the boomerang of the title was in flight (which usually lasted a few minutes) time would stand still for everyone except the person who threw it.
  • October Faction: Alice's favorite way to spy on people is to freeze everything but herself and just walk wherever she wants to snoop around.
  • The Outer Limits (1963):
    • In "Controlled Experiment", two comical Martians use a "Temporal Condenser" that can pause, rewind, and fast forward time to study the human "custom" of murder.
    • In "The Premonition", after they simultaneously crash in a jet and a car, a test pilot and his wife find themselves out of sync with time, with everything outside of their vehicles immovably stuck. At first, time seems to be frozen, but it's actually moving imperceptibly slowly because the characters are Just One Second Out of Sync with the timestream.
  • The Outer Limits (1995) has an episode titled "In the Zone" with a performance enhancer that gives the user Super Speed. The guy uses it so much that he goes into this trope.
  • In Out of This World (1987), Evie could freeze time by touching her index fingers together, and release any individual person from the spell by touching him/her. Pressing her palms together would cancel the effect. It was her most-used trick.
  • Inverted at the end of every episode of Police Squad!. The actors would all freeze at the end, mimicking the film pausing while the credits rolled. There would always be one thing that still moved though, such as coffee continuing to pour until it overflowed, and an arrested villain noticing all the police had frozen and trying to use the opportunity to escape (the doors froze too).
  • In the Red Dwarf two-part episode "Pete: Part 1 & Part 2", the main characters obtain a device that can store and manipulate time. Besides freezing time for everyone else, it can also rewind time (so no one else will know they have it), change people's age, change people's clothes (so they dress in 1960s style instead), and un-evolve living things. The target of the last one is a small bird. Now think about what you learned from Hollywood science...
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: When the Doctor crashes Sarah-Jane's wedding, the Trickster yanks the church out of time and splits up the main cast by trapping them in two separate seconds.
  • In Saved by the Bell, Zack could stop time by saying "Time out". This would allow him to address the audience or merely play pranks on the cast. He'd say "Time in" to return things to normal.
  • Smallville uses the Super Speed variation.
    • In the early seasons, everything except Clark would be in slow motion. Then, as he grew more powerful, people would be frozen while bullets and other fast objects would be in slow motion.
    • In "Run", Clark sees time frozen as he runs to save his dad from a runaway truck, but is shocked to see Bart Allen, "the Flash", still moving just as fast as him.
    • "Jinx" has one of the lengthiest displays of frozen time when Clark goes into Super Speed a moment before being tackled in a championship football game, runs into a nearby building, easily defeats a (frozen) villain, and runs back to take the tackle without anybody noticing he moved.
    • In one season eight episode, Clark seems to kick it into overdrive as even a bullet was frozen.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • In "A Matter of Time", an SG team had been sent to a planet that was close to a newly formed black hole; they tried to gate back home, but by then the time dilation effects were too strong, and the gate deactivated at Earth's end...the other end would be open until the end of time. The SGC blew the connection to keep the Earth from being pulled through the gate into the black hole. The time dilation also caused everyone in the mountain to be several weeks behind everyone else once the crisis was over.
      Hammond: By my reckoning, I was gone 20 minutes.
      Carter: Well, sir, accounting for time spent coming and going, I would guess that time within the SGC facility has slowed to an average of about 600 percent below normal. When you ordered Colonel O'Neill to wait 5 minutes, you were really telling him to wait 6 hours, maybe more.
      Hammond: Captain, relativity gives me a headache!
    • The Asgard use a time-dilation field as a trap for the Replicators, drawing them all to one planet with the intention of freezing time there until they can find a more permanent solution. Unfortunately, in the time before the device activates, the Reps are able to reverse its operation, speeding up time massively inside the field and giving them subjective centuries to evolve the Humanform design and convert the entire mass of the planet to replicator blocks. At this point, Thor calls in SG-1 to help fix the problem, Carter resets the device to work properly and reactivates it, and the episode ends with a frozen tableau of replicators inches from the device controls, which they wouldn't reach until a season later.
    • In "The Quest, Part 1", the protagonists must navigate a maze that will dilate time for anyone who strays off the path, thus effectively trapping them. Thus, time stands still for all the people stuck in the field, but the protagonists can still (very cautiously) navigate the maze unimpeded, just by throwing sand around and avoiding where it stops in midair.
    • The technology mentioned above returns in the Grand Finale "Unending": the Odyssey is seconds from destruction and Carter needs more time to find a solution, but they were just given the specs for all Asgard technology, including the Time Dilation device. As a result, the seconds to destruction become decades, with the incoming energy beam slowly creeping toward them as Carter tries to find a way to stop it.
  • Star Trek has dealt with this several times:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series: "Wink of an Eye" features aliens who move so fast that they're invisible to the naked eye and everyone else appears frozen to them. (Interestingly enough, so long as none of the aliens or the people they abducted into their 'timeframe' by means of a drug are actually around to watch, both they and the crew seem to function in parallel and on the same timescale just fine. This point is never addressed.) Kirk receives the drug when it's slipped into his coffee, inadvertently making it look like a Klatchian Coffee effect.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Like its predecessor, this trope comes into play.
      • In "Timescape", several crew members return to the Enterprise to find it and a Romulan warbird frozen in time. It's actually very slowly progressing, but this is only noticed by an android while looking at an explosion that would destroy the ship in seconds.
      • In "Journey's End", Wesley briefly freezes time just as a fight breaks out between human colonists, Starfleet and the Cardassians. This is meant to prove that he has truly ascended to a higher plane of existence.
    • The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Blink of an Eye" (unrelated to the above "Wink of an Eye", mostly) features a planet where time passes very quickly. They eventually send a pair of astronauts up to Voyager, who spend several minutes walking among the seemingly frozen crew until they begin to synchronize with Voyager's time-rate (the transition is fatal for one of them). To be specific, to the people on the planet, Voyager had been in the same part of the sky for millennia, becoming part of their religions, fairy tales, and pop culture in general. For Voyager, only a few days passed.
  • Supernatural: Fate is shown to have this power, and uses it to set up elaborate accidents to kill people.
  • Taken: In "God's Equation", Allie displays the ability to manipulate time. When Mary, Dr. Wakeman and two other agents of the UFO project attempt to capture her, she runs across a road and freezes the oncoming traffic so that she can get safely across. She later freezes Charlie, Lisa, Dr. Harriet Penzler and the other members of the Alien Abduction therapy group for two hours so that the UFO project won't be able to hurt them and her parents won't be able to stop her from turning herself over to the project.
  • In the Dutch children's series Ti-ta-tovenaar, the character Tika has the power to do this. It's the only true magic power she has, but it proves quite useful to help keep the Masquerade around her wizarding Bumbling Dad.
  • In Tracker, Cole (AKA Daggon), as well as every other Cirronian, has an ability that allows them to step into "hypertime" for several seconds, which slows time down to a crawl. He uses it once to trick a mobster into thinking that he has killed him by going into hypertime and moving his head away from the bullet until it has passed him and then back. When normal time is restored, he makes sure to fall into water after the gunshot. There was also an episode where he and another Cirronian use this ability simultaneously to save a falling human. The Big Bad later invents a device that is a better version of this ability, as it takes only minutes to recharge, while Cirronians need a day.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • Discussed in "Elegy". Professor Kurt Meyers speculates that the motionless people that he, Captain James Webber and Peter Kirby encounter on the asteroid are frozen in time. However, he admits that he does not really believe it himself.
    • In "Still Valley", the warlock Teague uses Black Magic to freeze numerous Union soldiers in time.
    • In "The Fugitive", Ben's pursuers freeze Mrs. Gann and the doctor in time so that they can leave with Ben without them noticing.
    • In "A Kind of a Stopwatch", Patrick Thomas McNulty is given a watch with the power to freeze time by a drunken man named Potts.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "A Little Peace and Quiet", a woman named Penny finds a pendant in her garden that can stop time. When she says "Shut Up" out loud, time stops for everyone but her. Saying "Start talking" out loud causes time to start again. She's free to move around, but everything else is frozen in place. A henpecked housewife who is constantly harassed by her demanding husband and bratty children, Penny's happy to use it to get some "me-time," to do her shopping, and other mundane chores. Meanwhile, as told through a series of news reports, an increasingly desperate political crisis develops between the United States and the Soviet Union. One night, Penny is taking a relaxing bath and doesn't have a care in the world ... until air raid sirens begin sounding, and she and her husband hear a panicked news reporter revealing "this is the end," as the Soviet Union has just declared war on the United States and has launched its nuclear missiles. She uses the pendant one last time, a split second before an ICBM detonates over their town. The final shot shows the frozen town, people fleeing and frantically seeking shelter, several looking up at the sky in frozen terror as they are about to be incinerated.
  • In the UFO (1970) episode "Timelash", the main character finds everything stilled in the base, but can pick up any item that wasn't moving when time stopped.
  • The Wild Wild West: In the episode "The Night of the Burning Diamond", a criminal scientist develops a formula (based on diamond dust) which gives anyone who drinks it Super Speed so fast that it appears to them that the rest of the world is standing still.

  • Brandon Heath's Music video for Give Me Your Eyes had this.
  • Mused upon metaphorically in the appropriately titled Rush song "Time Stand Still". Notably, it's "Time Stand Still", as in asking for time to stand still. As opposed to the song by Gary Lewis and the Playboys (at the end of which, said lead singer does a spot-on imitation of his father).
  • The Ready Set has an app for that in the video for "Young Forever".
  • The XTC side project The Dukes Of Stratosphear did a song called "25 O'Clock," about causing this (or perhaps a Time Crash) in order to capture the object of the singer's desires: "Each timer that I break will halt the flowing sands." It was later covered on their Cover Album by They Might Be Giants.
  • Todd Rundgren (credited as TR-i), "Time Stood Still" from his No World Order album.
    "...And nobody knew, but me and you..."
  • From The Lonely Island:
    The check out counter and I saw a face / My heart stood still so did time and space
  • "When Time Stood Still" by Electric Light Orchestra, a b-side from Time.
  • A line in Elton John's ballad, "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me", contains the phrase.
    I've grown tired, and time stands still before me

  • In The Bible God stopped the rotation of the earth so that the Israelites could finish off the Amorites.
  • In one of the apocryphal Infancy Gospels the whole world stopped for a moment when baby Jesus was born.
  • Chinese astronomers have described supernovae similarly.
  • The Koran has a bit where Allah causes a man to die, then revives him 100 years later, and the man doesn't believe more than a day has passed (the food and drink he carried with him, and the donkey he was riding, are similarly preserved/restored).

    Tabletop Games 
  • It shows up as Time Stop, one of the highest-level spells available in Tabletop Games Dungeons & Dragons. In the 1st and 2nd editions, the spell actually caused time to halt within a certain radius of the caster. Since third edition, however, the spell description has changed and the caster himself speeds up, merely creating the impression that time has stopped and altering the way actions play out while the spell is in effect. Either way, it was one of the most Game-Breaker powers, essentially granting the caster several entire rounds to do whatever they liked unopposed. It got a serious nerfing in 4th edition, where it became an epic tier (it had been a level 9 spell before) Utility spell that could only be cast once per day and simply the caster a few extra actions for that turn, which could not be used to attack... though there were still some shenanigans which could be pulled off with it. It was buffed up a bit again in 5th edition, though still nowhere near as broken as before; once again, like in the old editions, time is stopped around the user, and the user is given 1d4 + 1 extra rounds with a major caveat: if the caster does something that affects another creature or an object they are carrying, time resumes early. This is purposefully open for abuse to allow for creativity, because another spell, Delayed Blast Fireball, gains power the longer it has been left out in the field of battle, making it a perfect 'finisher' for Time Stop, and the spell only specifies that affecting objects carried by others will end the spell; nothing says you can't use telekinesis to prop up a few boulders over your foes until time resumes.
    • The expansion book Book Of Nine Swords: Tome Of Battle introduced a high-level ability that was actually called Time Stands Still. It allows the user to make two full-round attacks in one turn instead of one. With a certain build from that book, this makes it possible to make up to fourteen attacks in a single round (six seconds). And don't even think about how many you get with a Thri-kreen (four arms).
    • Psionic characters can learn the Temporal Acceleration power, which is similar to Time Stop, except available six levels earlier but not lasting as long.
    • Pathfinder adds a minor version called "Time Stutter" to the table, which can be learned much earlier by Wizards but only gives one round to act during stopped time. It's still enough to summon a few creatures and get out of dodge.
    • The psionic prestige class Elocater gains the "Accelerated Action" ability at tenth level, which gives them five extra rounds each day that they can make use of whenever they want. It is perfectly possible to use them all at the same time, getting six rounds of actions in one shot.
    • The Cuprilach is a creature that can use a "complete attack" in a single action... and possibly inflict sneak attack damage on each hit. They are able to do this at will, but it has a "tiredness" cooldown.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Arcana Force XXI - The World's heads effect allows it to sacrifice two monsters to skip the opponent's next turn. In the anime, this was represented by a time stop, a likely Shout-Out to Dio Brando. Furthermore, there are loops you can exploit to continue doing this indefinitely, effectively freezing your opponent in time.
  • In GURPS players can pay a few character pointsnote  to freeze time for a moment. The spells Accelerate Time and Time Out are also similar to this. The stasis fields exactly like the ones in Known Space are available with superscience technology.
  • The Magic: The Gathering card Time Stop.
    • A few other time-related cards (e.g. Time Warp and the famous Time Walk) achieve mostly the same general effect with a slightly different mechanic.
    • Spells with the "Split-second" ability work a bit like this as well. Until they resolve no other spells or abilities can be put on the stack, meaning that nothing can be done until the spell's effect has already happened.
  • This quote from Nobilis shows the dark potential of this sort of power:
    As the sky catches fire, Octavia will reach out and stop the world. For the first time since the bombs began to fall, there will be silence.
    "It's no good," the djinn will say. "The missiles are launched. The world is dead. It just doesn't know it yet. It doesn't matter what you do- once you start time going again, everybody dies."
    "I don't plan to start time going again," Octavia will answer.
    And that is how the universe will end
  • The obscure True Brujah vampire clan from the Old World of Darkness can do this with their unique discipline, Temporis. To prevent it from being too much of a Game-Breaker, Temporis damages the user and can be lethal if they're not careful. After time resumes, the player must roll to see how much aggravated damage they accumulated from using Temporis, and trying to stack Celerity on top of it is instantly fatal.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Necrons are capable of doing this via technological means, though not to any great tactical or strategic effect. Yet...
    • In order to take their prey alive, the Ravenwing Company of the Dark Angels use a number of stasis weapons, such as the stasis bombs dropped by Dark Talon aircraft and the stasis shells fired by Ravenwing Grenade Launchers, that freeze time in the area that they hit. How this works in game depends on the edition with the 7th Edition rules reducing the close combat abilities of units hit (representing them being briefly frozen in time) while the 8th Edition rules deal mortal wounds to represent the model being frozen for the rest of the battle.
    • In the Thousand Sons novel Ahriman: Unchanged, the daemon possessing Astraeos stops time in order to have a one-sided chat with Ahriman. Ahriman remains conscious and aware of his surroundings while time is stopped, but cannot move or speak, and his emotional reactions to the daemon’s revelations are delayed until time starts moving again.
  • In Exalted, the Lunars can use Charms to achieve this effect using the Charm Blinking Eye of Chaos.
  • Mutants & Masterminds defined it in two different ways in the last two editions. In Second Edition, it's built as a variation of an Area Paralysis effect that also paralyzes the mind as well as making everyone under the effect unaffected by the outside world. Targets that make their save are not effected. In Third Edition, it's instead built as a combination of Quickness and Speed to allow a larger range of movement and more non-combat actions in a short period of time.

  • This happens at the end of Hamilton during the musical number "The World Was Wide Enough" immediately before Alexander Hamilton is shot by Aaron Burr in a duel, as Hamilton thinks out loud about his legacy and how he should act in a big free-verse number before aiming his pistol to the sky and being shot between the ribs.
  • An iconic example of this trope is in West Side Story when Tony and Maria first meet during the dance at the gym, and time slows down as they dance together and eventually share a kiss.
  • The musical adaptation of Matilda has "Quiet," where Matilda discovers her powers against Miss Trunchbull.

  • A pair of BIONICLE masks have powers like this. The most obvious being the Mask of Time, which can slow down or speed up time around a target. The Mask of Speed overlaps this trope with Super Speed (and perhaps Super Reflexes), in that for the user, everything else almost stops to a halt. This way, the user can deliver blows without the target even having the chance to react.

    Video Games 
  • Achron uses an interesting multiplayer version of this trope; while all players can freeze time whenever they want to, this doesn't affect the other players when someone triggers the ability. It's possible to start "falling behind" on the timeline as meta-time waits for no man!
  • In Aero Fighters 1 and 2, the Smart Bomb of the F-15 stops time for a couple of seconds.
  • In Alundra, the Big Bad does this when Alundra enters The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in an attempt to stop him. In order to get time going again, Alundra needs to start two clocks located in the castle's towers. While time is stopped, the castle is gray and misty, and apart from the two clocks, nothing can be interacted with.
  • The pocket watch in American McGee's Alice allows you to freeze time and everything around you (except for Alice) for around 30 seconds or so.
  • This is the main power of Anutpada, the time arcana, in Arcana Heart. Activating the arcana during the round only stops the round clock, but using the arcana blaze freezes the opponent as well.
  • Being based on Dungeons & Dragons, Baldur's Gate eventually gives you access to the Time Stop spell, as well as traps that have a lesser version of the effect. This allows mages to cast multiple damage spells set to go off the moment the effect ends, and is extremely potent. However, the Superboss and the Final Boss of the expansion are both immune to the effect, so casting it traps a squishy mage all alone with a Physical God, who is free to butcher your comrades while they're frozen. The Shadowdancer's special ability Shadowstep is a less powerful version.
  • Dodging an enemy attack in Bayonetta at the right moment activates Witch Time, which will cause the world to slow down around Bayonetta for a few seconds while she is still able to move at normal speed and can inflict a bit of high-speed damage against her foes without fear of retaliation. Mastering this ability is the key to victory for Hard mode (Non-Stop Infinite Climax in the first game does not allow the use of Witch Time). Father Balder possesses a similar ability.
  • Blinx: The Time Sweeper has a special vacuum cleaner that allows him to Rewind, Fast Forward, Pause, Record and Slow the flow of time. Each power has its own color of Deliberately Monochrome while it's active.
  • The Superboss in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has this ability. You can also poach it off him as a Shard by defeating him. Like its spiritual predecessors, Bloodstained plays the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure angle even further by adding a very distinct sound effect that sounds extremely similar to The World's "dubstep fart", complete with a slowing ticking sound.
  • In one of the worlds in Braid, the movement of time is linked to Tim's movement. When Tim walks forward, time flows forward; when Tim walks back, time flows backwards. Time stops when Tim stands still. You can also stop time at any moment if you start rewinding it and slow down the speed of rewinding to zero.
  • In Bravely Default, you gain a power called 'Bravely Second' (Not to be confused with the sequel of the same name) that lets you stop time during battles, even during enemy turns, and take free actions. That said, you gain the points needed to use it by either leaving your 3DS asleep for 8 hours or more or paying real world money, so it's meant to be used as a last resort.
  • Breath of Fire I gives us the village of Carmen, in which time is frozen due to the power of the Time Key That Cerl tricked the Princess of Tunlan into giving her. The heroes arrive in town and no one can be interacted with except for Alan, who arrived in town after the key was used.
  • The protagonist of Bunny Must Die can use this power. And much like Dio and Sakuya, she loves throwing knives.
  • Castlevania:
    • The stopwatch in the games freezes enemies in time. Most bosses are immune, of course, with the first game's Medusa being the most notable exception. Later games gave it a reverse-color effect on the background to show it was in effect (like in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure) and in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, and weapons thrown while it's in effect will freeze in place after they're thrown (this includes knives, JoJo's fans...). The Shout-Out boss, Zephyr, comes complete with "toki yo tomare" and knife-throwing action.
    • Aeon from Castlevania: Judgment is also able to inflict this as part of his finishing move.
    • Certain enemies in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are not frozen by this effect - particularly spirits and ghosts - and others are only slowed in a Bullet Time-esque fashion rather than outright stopped. It's also necessary to use the stopwatch in certain rooms in order to access a couple of hidden areas. Using it in the Clock Room is the only way to open the right-hand tunnel, for example.
    • Koumajou Densetsu II, one of the two Castlevania-style Touhou Project fangames, gives the stopwatch to Sakuya, owing to her ability to stop time, as detailed below.
    • A variant of this trope appears in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, where the in-game clock stops anytime Simon is in a mansion (or Castlevania itself). This is crucial to getting the game's "best" ending.note 
  • In Chrono Cross, the party finds themselves in an entire world frozen due to a Time Crash. One of the mildest effects of it is being able to walk on the time-stopped Giant Wall of Watery Doom like it's a solid surface.
  • In the Roger Zelazny-authored game Chronomaster, the protagonist travels through pocket universes which have had their time stopped. After he finds out this was done for a just cause, he joins forces with the perpetrator and helps him stop several more. The protagonist and some NPCs carry devices ("bottled time"), surrounding them by a bubble of normal time allowing to breathe and interact with the world and characters. Walking next to a bird frozen in mid-flight, for example, would see this bird continue flying while it is inside the field of this time bubble. One puzzle also involves giving a bottled time to an NPC, to gain his help, in one cutscene a criminal is disabled by having his bottled time broken.
    • The game's tagline:
      Time stands still. Thousands of lives are at stake.
  • Chrono Trigger: Late in the game, you receive the eponymous Chrono Trigger, an item that can "have a powerful effect on time". Once triggered, it sends the party back to an earlier Hopeless Boss Fight, with everything now frozen in time. This enables the party to bring Crono Back from the Dead.
    Magus: A time freeze. I never thought it possible.
  • City of Heroes has two main examples. First is Anti-Matter's Time Stop power, which holds your entire team in place. The second is the Time Manipulation powerset, which, among other ways to speed up your allies and slow down your foes, includes a single-target hold and a field that has a small chance to hold anyone inside of it. Since these holds also affect a targets recharge rate, regeneration rate and/or movement speed, it makes them functionally unique compared to other holds in the game.
  • In Clustertruck, one ability allows you to stop time, making all trucks and your downward momentum to stop.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: Uprising's Soviet campaign includes a machine called the Sigma Harmonizer. It is a large particle accelerator (bearing an uncanny and un-accidental resemblance to the CERN LHC) that can stop time selectively, for certain units in the game.
  • Copy Kitty: Time Stop is an ability Boki can pick up and use, and it's ZA WARUDO in all but name, right down to details like the visual effects when it is activated, and the four second time limit in which time can remain frozen. Boki even imitates Dio's famous stance when she activates it.
  • In Dark Devotion, the final boss can create patches of swirling stars on the floor. If the player steps in one, they will be frozen in time for a few seconds (or until they get hit by one of the boss's attacks).
  • Devil May Cry:
    • In the original Devil May Cry, Dante can find and use an item called the Bangle of Time, which stops time for all non-boss enemies around him while consuming Devil Trigger energy.
    • In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Dante gains the Quicksilver Style. Similar to the Bangle of Time from DMC1, this style allows Dante to slow all Mooks' movement. Geryon also uses this power.
    • Dante's new Devil Trigger in DmC: Devil May Cry not only stops time, but also sends all enemies floating, allowing Dante to rack up any combos.
    • In Devil May Cry 5, one of Nero's Devil Breakers he can equip is the Ragtime, which creates a mini-temporal field that can slow a single target to a crawl. When charged, however, it becomes powerful enough to slow down everything around him for a few moments before breaking.
  • Disgaea 5: Killia's initial Overload Skill, Alma Ice Sculpture, allowed him to freeze time around a target. However, due to how much energy it consumed, it is noted as being Awesome, but Impractical for combat. Before the events of the game, Void Dark stole it using his Overload Skill, Brigante Eclipse alongside several other Overload skills throughout the story in order to revive his older sister, Liezerota, whom he accidentally killed when she took a hit intended to finish off Killia. When the party does face Void Dark near the end of the game, he cycles through all the Overloads he stole throughout the story; when Alma Ice Sculpture is active, anyone he strikes will be unable to take their next action.
  • In Dishonored:
    • The Bend Time power allows Corvo to slow down time for twelve seconds with the first level of this power, and the augmented second level allows Corvo to stop time altogether for eight seconds, letting Corvo escape from battle, line up multiple shots on targets, insta-kill everyone he's fighting, or just run across a room without being seen. However, it doesn't work on the Torturer, who has similar Outsider-granted powers, nor does it work on Daud when you confront him. Of course, Daud tends to No-Sell everything you try on him, turning him into one of the most challenging and awesome boss fights in the game.
    • Daud in the DLC can also stop time with his personal variant of Blink, so long as he stands still while aiming it. This doesn't allow for the same game breaking insta-kills, but it's an even quicker way of getting out of trouble, and doesn't even consume mana until you actually teleport with it.
  • In Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey, the Bogs stop time in Cinderella's world just before midnight.
  • Timevoids in Downwell are bubbles that stop time for everything outside of them when you enter.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition:
    • An ancient Tevinter laboratory in the Western Approach aptly named the Still Ruins. Within the facility, a number of Tevinter mages and demons who were locked in battle are frozen in time, along with a Fade rift. The building itself is also collapsing in certain sections, and the rubble hangs mid-air. This effect was created through the mages' experiments with Fade energy and time; it is strongly implied that the experiment got out of control, and one of the mages was only barely able to restrict the effect to the facility. The Inquisitor must restore the flow of time in order to close the Fade rift.
    • The upgraded Lightning Flask ability of the Tempest Prestige Class for rogues allows Sera and the Inquisitor (should they choose this specialization) to slow time down to a crawl for everyone else, effectively giving them several seconds to pummel the enemies with impunity.
    • Completing the "Jaws of Hakkon" DLC leads the Inquisitor's party to the site of battle between Ameridan, the MIA last Inquisitor of the old Inquisition, and the eponymous demonic dragon Hakkon, who have been frozen in time by the former's final spell for almost a thousand years. Undoing the spell frees both of them, but Ameridan dies after a brief dialogue due to overexertion, while Hakkon breaks free, and the Inquisitor has to pursue and kill it in the final boss battle of the DLC.
  • In Dragon Slayer, the FLASH spell freezes all enemies for a certain amount of time.
  • The fourth ending of Drakengard. Trying to describe the logic behind it would drive anyone insane, so here's what happens: Seere, who is immortal because his time was taken away from him as a result of his pact, meets up with the Queen Mother of the Grotesqueries, who can, for some reason, control time. When they meet, all time around the Queen Mother freezes, manifesting physically as a giant black conical spire that can be viewed from space. This is admittedly one of the weakest plot points in the whole game, but they really backed themselves into a corner with that ending anyway.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • This is one of the many powers possessed by the Psijic Order thanks to their thousands of years in the study of magic. Only they and those they choose remain unaffected by the time stoppage, allowing them relay messages or perform secret rituals right in front of groups of people who are none the wiser as a result.
    • In Skyrim, the "Slow Time" Shout enables the Dragonborn to slow down time to a significant extent, but it seems to slow down player just a little, too.
  • In Eternal Fighter Zero, Mizuka Nagamori's Final Memory move, "Eternal Poem", freezes time and allows her to freely wail on the opponent for a while.
  • Fable II has this behind one of the demon doors for creepy value. Complete with monochrome. Both games also have a slow time spell that goes monochrome, but that's not a full stop.
  • In Faxanadu, the Hour Glass can be used to freeze enemies.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • A common status effect is Stop. It does Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The victim is essentially petrified, unable to take any actions. Sadly, it's usually far more effective on you than it is on your enemies.
    • Starting with Final Fantasy V, some Final Fantasy games also contain the usual variant. The Quick spell accelerates the caster to the point that they can take two combat rounds' worth of actions without any interruption from their enemies. In Final Fantasy VI, this is especially useful for Cyan, whose special ability requires him to wait in real time to charge up an attack. Quick allows him all the time in the world to do that, as all the enemies are frozen for the duration. Interestingly, Final Fantasy VI contains Quick and Stop.
    • Special mention goes to Oran Durrai of Final Fantasy Tactics - a temporary NPC ally who wields the awesomely overpowered 'Stop Galaxy' ability, which inflicts Stop AND a variety of other Status Effects on EVERY ENEMY on the map, regardless of range. Which might explain why legendary Game-Breaker Cidolofas 'Thundergod' Orlandu adopted him...
    • The Time Trip Psionic on the Psychic Dressphere in Final Fantasy X-2 freezes everything except the caster for ten seconds, inverted colors standard.
    • Ultimecia gets this ability in Dissidia Final Fantasy, both in cutscenes and in-game when she's in EX-Mode. It takes a bit of warm-up time, but once used it leaves the enemy wide open to attacks.
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Stop is a Time Mage ability that freezes a single target in time, delaying their turn and reducing their evasion to zero. Babus has an area-of-effect version called Stillness.
    • In Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia, Ultimecia uses Time Stop in her Finish Burst and Shantotto's Force Ability. Kurasame does this as well that his Finish Burst, Freeze, even freezes time up after encasing the enemy in a frigid block of ice. In both cases, even the background BGM stops until they are done.
  • The first power-up you encounter in Ghostrunner causes time to slow down enough for you to walk through a crazy-fast giant fan without getting sliced in half. You mainly get this power-up in areas with those giant fans, but there are also a few times you get it when surrounded by enemies and you can take your time running circles around their bullets and cutting them down.
  • Time stands still when you're in the ghost world in Ghost Trick, allowing a ghost time to move from objects to object without losing precious seconds during the four minutes before death. It's represented in shades of red, with 'cores' outlined in blue, though it's green for Missile and blue for Yomiel. Time can be paused at any point but tricks can't be used unless time is flowing again.
  • In Gotcha Force, this is the special ability of the Chrono Samurai. The colours all invert, and projectiles stop in midair, except for its own.
  • In Half-Life and the following games, the G-Man and the Vortigaunts are capable of stopping time, as well as teleporting themselves and others into alternate universes where time is meaningless.
  • In the Henry Stickmin Series, one of the items Henry can use to attempt an escape from prison is an energy drink that gives him Super Speed and slows the world down. He easily makes it out, only to die of a Hollywood Heart Attack as soon as he steps outside.
  • I Miss the Sunrise has a very, very limited version of this—the main character can analyze the situation while time is stopped, but they can't take any action until they speed up again. This is mostly a justification for the Turn-Based Strategy nature of the game.
  • Heading to the "Mile High Club" in Just Cause 2 causes the in-game time to shift at super-speed towards 3 AM and freeze once it gets there. This continues even after you leave, however; the only way to get time running again is loading a save, either from the menu or after dying.
  • In The King of Fighters 97, the world mysteriously got frozen in time when you fought either riot Leona or riot Iori. The same thing happened in The King of Fighters XIII boss fight with Saiki, though it was due to his power to "turn time into ashes".
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In the original game, Stop is one of the seven spells. Very useful in most cases, where any enemy hit by this spell is frozen for a few seconds, allowing you to score some free hits. Once the spell effect ends, every hit lands at the same time. Almost every boss is immune, but it's quite effective against Mooks, and downright vital if you're going to take on the Clock Tower Phantom, a Superboss that gives you the spell's final upgrade.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Stop returns as a spell card with the higher Spell Levels being sleights that combine increasing numbers of Stop cards. Re:Chain of Memories also has Lethal Frame (Lethal Flame in the American PS2 release), which freezes time using Stop magic so Sora can do a Blade Spam.
    • In Kingdom Hearts coded, once Jasmine and Aladdin are reunited, Jafar uses the glitch lamp he got from Pete to stop time in Agrabah, and Sora has to track down Iago, who has swiped the real lamp, which Aladdin had, before the Keyblade's protection expires and he is frozen in time as well.
    • Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]:
      • Young Xehanort pulls this on you ("Toki yo tomare" included) when you deplete his HP, in order to get into position to attempt a time reversal. He also did this to the player when reversing being knocked back in his secret battle in Birth By Sleep.
      • Mickey freaking Mouse pulls this off on almost every member of the new Organization XIII during a cutscene. Freezing Ansem, Xemnas, Saix, and Xigbar in place with one spell is really impressive (especially since Stop spells have no effect on them in gameplay) - Young Xehanort is only able to keep fighting due to Master Xehanort temporarily possessing him. The spell in question? Stopza.
      • In Kingdom Hearts III, Master Xehanort casts his own version of Stopza when Mickey tries to blast him with Ultima for seemingly killing Kairi, freezing the king and Riku in midair and buying himself time to escape to Scala ad Caelum. This version is much flashier, featuring bright clock-themed Instant Runes that go up to XIII.
  • In La-Mulana, the Lamp of Time allows Lemeza to stop time for a few seconds. There is one type of enemy which does not stop when it is used, and is invisible otherwise. The original version makes you wait 3 minutes to recharge it, which can make puzzles requiring it annoying to retry if you mess up.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In the original game, some enemies may drop a stopwatch, which makes any enemies in the room freeze in time until you leave the room.
    • Played with in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Despite being able to manipulate time (slow it down to half-speed, advance it half a day, or even rewind to the start of the first day), the one thing you cannot do is freeze the In-Universe Game Clock, which only stops when you're inside the clock tower. Or inside the moon.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, The submerged Hyrule is frozen in time, with several Moblins and Darknuts frozen in the middle of an apparent siege on Hyrule Castle. When Link draws the Master Sword, time starts again... giving Link a hall full of monsters to try his new toy on.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, you gain the ability to stop time for several seconds during the final boss battle.
    • A localized version exists in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: the Stasis rune allows Link to stop a single object, but what makes this special is that he can attack the frozen object to build up kinetic energy, which is resolved as soon as the effect breaks. The upgraded version of this rune can stop enemies as well.
    • In Hyrule Warriors, the "Don't get hit" missions in the Master Quest Map have a rarely-spawning unique item not seen anywhere else, the clock from the original The Legend of Zelda: picking it up stops all enemies for a brief period of time, which evens the playing field a good deal.
  • Lie of Caelum:
    • Lunari's Overdrive, Alter Boundary, freezes time for the enemy party for a few turns and also freezes any active in-game time limit. However, the turn count will still increase, so any event that happens on a specific turn will still occur on time. Unfortunately, it doesn't work on Syou during his Hopeless Boss Fight.
    • In the second fight against Gigarths Alkazen, he'll somehow copy Lunari's Alter Boundary and uses it to buy a few turns for his robotic minions' self-destruct attack.
  • Life Is Strange: Max manages to freeze time for several minutes near the end of Episode 2 when Kate is about to throw herself off the Dormitory roof. The sheer amount of energy this requires leaves her unable to use her powers for at least an hour (and even then she still has a migraine).
  • In Lilo & Stitch 2: Hämsterviel Havoc, if Stitch drinks a cup of coffee, he will become so hyperactive that everything else in the level slows down, making it easier for him to dodge plasma fire and fire back at enemies.
  • Weapons that do this show up from time to time in the Mega Man games.
    • Flash Man's Time Stopper from Mega Man 2 is probably the most famous.
    • In Rockman No Constancy, Flash Man's weapon is called Za Warudo/The World.
    • Bright Man's Flash Stopper seems to be this kind of attack in Mega Man 4, but later data files say the attack is actually an incredibly bright flash of light that blinds a robot, paralyzing them. Doesn't explain how being affected by it will still cause you to freeze if you're in the air, though.
    • Two other examples are Centaur Flash (but not the weapon you gain) in Mega Man 6, and the Dark Hold in Mega Man X5.
    • Chronoforce from Mega Man ZX Advent, who slows down time around him. An odd power in that it works on all bosses, unlike most time stop powers in the Mega Man universe which only work on a few bosses, and it also affects stage hazards too. As well, the Time Bomb can be countered with another Time Bomb. This is because it doesn't slow time itself, but rather affects the enemy's and his own sense of time, giving the sensation of time actually slowing when it's really not. For reference, when he uses it as a boss against you, he speeds up.
    • Zero also has an EX Skill called Time Stopper in Mega Man Zero 4, but it just freezes one enemy rather than the whole field.
    • Spark Manbow in Rockman 4 Minus Infinity has a secondary function. If you hold up when you press the fire button, Mega Man holds up a lightbulb, which causes every enemy to freeze in place for a few seconds.
    • In a homage to Flash Man, Freeze Man can freeze time in the romhack Rockman 7 EP.
  • In Neverwinter Nights, Time Stop is a spell that can be learned by Wizards or used via magic scroll. It does exactly what its name implies. Unfortunately, whenever you meet an NPC Wizard of sufficiently advanced level, they have a tendency to just sit there and do nothing during the entire duration of the spell.
  • Ōkami:
  • Oriental Legend have a magic scroll power-up that when activated, freezes time around the player for a short time, with every onscreen enemy (even those in mid-jump!) being fixed on the spot with the Chinese word "ding" (定, as in "hold") on them. It only works for a few seconds, but they player can slice them up while they're frozen.
  • In Painkiller, using the final bullet time upgrade has this effect - everything is slowed 8 times, allowing you to outrun whatever your enemies are shooting and if you kill them in this state, they won't manage to fall down by the time the effect is over.
  • The time warp gadget you can craft in The Persistence stops time for a relatively short amount of time.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 3 has "The Dark Hour", a "hidden" sliver of time occurring exactly at midnight accessible only to a select few (including Persona users). During this time, ordinary people are Transmogrified into coffins and unable to detect what goes on. It occurs instantaneously to the rest of the world, but Persona users and a few people who have learned to access the Dark Hour can move around, while everything else is, from their perspective, perfectly frozen in time— the light changes, electricity can't flow, moving vehicles are frozen in place, and so on. Though that last one can be altered by powerful Shadows - the first real boss battle, against Priestess, takes place on a bullet train that the boss has unfrozen... and which is about to crash into another train just up the tracks. The fight's a Timed Mission as a result.
    • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: The Final Boss has this ability, which gives it four actions per turn while each of your party members only has one. Said boss is Chronos, the Greek god of time, and this isn't even his most annoying time-based ability.
    • Persona 5: When the protagonist first unwittingly activates the Meta Nav app, everyone around him in a crowded intersection freezes; the only other motion is a demonic blue fire nearby that quickly reveals itself to be his Shadow. It's possible that it was mostly in his mind.
  • Featured as an important plot element in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky, as the threat of this happening to the whole world becomes problematic. This actually happens to areas the Time Gears are stolen from, and the player even 'gets' to visit the Bad Future where the planet is completely paralyzed.
  • Prince of Persia:
    • Various Sands of Time artifacts, like dagger or medallion of time, give this ability to their bearer in two flavours: there's standard version of this, which freezes enemies and gives the Prince Super Speed at the same time (it also changes light color to red) and mild version, that slows down both enemies AND Prince, but leaving unchanged Prince's perception of time and reaction, which gives him a slight advantage.
    • Dahaka, the Avatar of Fate, and Kaileena, the Empress of Time also possess these abilities, which bites you in the ass in their bossfights: they both can and will neglect your advantage, and Kaileena will also slow down the time whenever she wants, forcing you to use Sands just to keep up.
  • Psychic Force : One of Richard Wong's moves which stops his opponent for a few seconds, unless the opponent is Wong himself.
  • Quicktime/Overdrive in the SaGa series. There is even one character in Sa Ga Frontier whose specialty is time magic.
  • In Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, Ashikaga Yoshiteru is literally a Dio Brando Expy. He can stop time with his Golden Super Mode, which also causes the colour of everything around him to turn negative.
  • The Sims 2 expansion Apartment Life brings back magic into the game. The highest level neutral magic spell is Tempus Interruptus, which stops time for everything except the caster and any magical beings on the lot. The clock does not advance, your sim can interact with objects (and any witches, wizards, or familiars), and wears off in a few hours of game time or until cancelled.
  • Singularity has the Deadlock power, which lets you create a bubble where time is slowed to a near-imperceptible crawl for everyone but you. Fully-upgraded it can be an utter Game-Breaker - drop it on a bunch of enemies, then calmly unload your shotgun into each enemy's face one by one well before it has a chance to run out.
  • The last unlockable power in Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus is this. It lasts about 5 seconds.
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog games, Chaos Control is referred to as "space-time control". In layman's terms, this means it can be used to for Teleport Spam or to stop time depending on which one the user wants to use it as. Shadow makes liberal use of both of these in all his appearances, particularly the time stop.
    • In the two-player mode of Sonic Adventure 2, in the Action Race mode, the 40-ring move is usually a time stop of some kind. Sonic's Time Stop, Shadow's Chaos Control, Amy's Amy Flash, etc.
    • In Sonic Heroes, Metal Sonic copies Shadow's data and gains access to Chaos Control, which he uses to stop time for ten seconds during the final parts of his boss fight as Metal Overlord while he wails on Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. The true danger isn't his attacks; however, as their own Super Modes protect them, but the fact that their Ring counter maintaining their transformation ticks down while time is frozen.
    • In Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic travels through a collapsing but time-unstable room in Night Palace. During the second visit to this room, everything is frozen in place, with crumbling columns and other debris suspended in midair.
    • This even pops up in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate if Shadow is summoned through an Assist Trophy: time is slowed down and then stopped altogether for everyone except the player that summoned him. (Note this only applies to Ultimate, the other games he appears in only have the 'time slows down' part.)
  • Spectacle: The "Overload Clock" spell (shortened to "O. Clock") stops the in-game time from passing for five moves and makes certain bugs catchable. Don't think this stops monsters from killing you, though.
  • In the Infocom Interactive Fiction game Spellbreaker, you can do this with the GIRGOL spell.
  • Spelling Jungle: One of the five varieties of potions allows the player to stop time for ten seconds when activated, allowing Wali to pass through hazardous areas without being hurt.
  • START AGAIN START AGAIN START AGAIN: a prologue: The land of Vaugarde is suffering from this thanks to The King. Many of the world's inhabitants have been Frozen in time, and this can also happen to your party... though The Housemaiden has a special resistance to it, due to being blessed by the Change God, and can cure any of her friends who fall to it.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • A stopwatch appears in Super Mario Bros. 2 if you pull up five large vegetables. The freeze effect is accompanied by a ticking sound.
    • Pulling from multiple Mario games, Super Mario Bros. X includes the stopwatch as an item, though instead of pulling up five vegetables it can be obtained like any other normal item. There's also a rarer green variant that's stored in your reserve item box, and as such can be used anywhere. Typing in the cheat "captainn" allows you to do this on demand by pressing the pause button.
    • This is the effect of using the Gold and Miracle Badges together in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. All enemies are frozen in time, attacks don't actually kill them until time starts again (it stacks, with the full force of the blast hitting its target when they get to move again) and Mario and Luigi can move and attack in the meantime. It's more than a tad overpowered, since it can be used multiple times in a row before the enemies can even move, and can do things like stop the final boss protecting its weakpoint.
    • Super Mario World: Piranha Island: Piranha Pipe contains a hidden level path where DIO stops time. To ensure the time stop lasts through the level, Mario has to collect watches to keep time stopped.
    • In Paper Mario: Color Splash, objects and people drained of color function in this way, though always in ways with the least amount of interference with their surrounding environment. People become frozen in time only if their heads are drained; otherwise, they are partially paralyzed. Plants and non-living objects cease to move if they are even partially drained, such as a non-moving waterfall with one single bit of drained color at the bottom. Objects and people frozen in time can be moved around and manipulated to a limited extent (such as the postmaster folded into an envelope to be sent to Mario) but cannot be harmed or interacted with beyond restoring them of color. When entire areas are drained of color, they are, for all intents and purposes, suspended in time—this happens to the sea by the harbor at Violet Passage, for instance, with Mario and some NPCs running around on the suspended water's surface.
  • In Super Robot Wars Judgment, a number of evil organizations from many different series threaten the earth - but the biggest threat facing the heroes are the 'original' enemies, The Fury, due to a device called the Larseilam - which creates a localized time stop for any non-Fury unit, allowing them to easily annihilate any opposition. The only thing that can stop them is the Larseilam Canceller installed in the protagonist's mecha. There's no hand-waving here - if the Fury are free to use the Larseilam, they cannot be stopped. Any battle in which they're involved will fail if the protagonist's mecha is shot down, since this would enable the Fury to simply activate their time stop and finish off the rest of the heroes - and, soon afterwards, the rest of humanity.
  • Sword of Paladin:
    • Durandal's soul allows Nade to use Chrono Drive to stop time in battle, giving him three actions before time flows again. In the postgame, Nade learns an upgraded version, Chrono Full Drive that gives him five turns.
    • In the postgame duel with Zechs, Nade realizes his opponent can also stop time, so they activate their time stops simultaneously.
  • Time Stop/Stop Flow is a recurring spell in the Tales Series. In some instances, it causes a color reversal to the environment and everyone affected by it. There's also the recurring Hourglass item that has the same effect, but it tends to be in very short supply.
  • In TimeShift, one of the time travel powers causes a white filter haze and allows you to move around; you can even steal enemies' weapons. The enemy comments reflect this nicely. If you freeze time while in view of an enemy, and then move away, you'll hear them explain that "he must've warped" once time resumes.
  • In Timespinner, stopping and restarting time is one of the first abilities you get and is necessary to resolve several puzzles and even, in a few cases, evade the attacks of particularly dangerous bosses.* At the end of the game Tomba! 2, the villain freezes time as a last-ditch effort to stop Tomba. He actually says "Even colour is gone!", lampshading the Deliberately Monochrome effect of the time stop.
  • Sakuya Izayoi, from the Touhou Project series, uses time-manipulation as her main power, allowing her to perform feats as throwing an unlimited barrage of knives (retrieving them midway via time-stop), or doing all the housework perfectly. Not coincidentally, one of her spell cards is named "The World". Saying that fan works which make reference to DIO whenever Sakuya shows up are common would be an understatement.
    • Interestingly, in Touhou Ibarakasen ~ Wild and Horned Hermit (an official manga penned by Touhou creator ZUN), Sakuya herself explains that even she isn't skilled enough to actually stop time - what she's really doing is moving at incredibly high speeds with no mass. It's been suggested her ability is closer to manipulation of the flow of time, in the sense she can slow it or speed it up, unable (so far) of actual Time Travel.
  • Trauma Center features the Healing Touch, an ability Derek possesses that lets him slow down time if things get critical. During the operation on the Savato GUILT, it proceeds to attack the patient's heart, forcing Derek to use his ability, but when Savato is still capable of moving at fast speed, Derek uses the Healing Touch a second time, causing time to stop completely and allowing him to eliminate the Savato.
  • Unreal Tournament provides an example of this: start a match against bots, bring up the console and type in: playersonly. This will freeze time. Your hitscan weapons will work as usual, the various projectiles of the other weapons will come a full stop after leaving the barrel. The possibilities are endless: you can surround a bot with rockets from every direction and when typing playersonly again (which lets the flow of time continue) watch them explode. Or shoot every bot with your sniper rifle and after starting time again, watch as all of their heads are propelling into every direction. Works only against bots, but it can be loads of fun.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: Slowed, but not stopped, time: The Saecelium Circlet's Flavor Text says that "Time slows around this, giving the wearer more time to think."
  • Wild ARMs:
    • In most games, summoning the Time Guardian, Dan Dariam, will stop time for everyone except the summoner.
    • Hugo of Wild ARMs 4 has the ability to do this whenever he's moving, letting him outspeed Jude's Accelerator.
  • In The World Ends with You, during the fight on the last day against Megumi Kitaniji, AKA "Shades", one of his attacks has him extending his arm forward, and then making a fist with his hand while saying the line "Time Be Still!"... And it happily obliges...
  • In World of Warcraft the Bronze (acting as Time Police) and Infinite (interlopers trying to change timeline) Dragonflights have access to this amongst other time-related magic. On some occasions these powers are granted to players to use, such as in an Oculus instance where you can ride Bronze Drakes who can freeze everybody except your party in the whole area – it gets the most use during the final boss battle of the instance, where you have to freeze him when he increases his attack.
  • Yandere Simulator: The Witch Mode Easter Egg allows Ayano to stop time after calling "Time Stop!", which stops time, and starts it up when calling "Time Start.". However, items like the school gate can still be activated and move even in the time stop. Colors are inverted when time is stopped.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Dies Irae, protagonist Ren Fujii have a strong desire to retain the happy days he so cherish. As a result he is able to manifest time manipulation through his Beri'ah. At first this manifests as him simply speeding up his own time but eventually he becomes able to slow down the time around himself on top of that. It all culminates with the manifestation of his law, "Res Novae - Also Sprach Zarathustra", which would completely halt time on a multiversal level if ever fully unleashed. He is also able to make it selective so that only he or his allies can move while his enemies becomes frozen in time.
  • In Kajiri Kamui Kagura the antagonist Tenma Yato can use this power with his Law: Res Novae - Also Sprach Zarathustra. The Law was created from his desire “I want to enjoy this moment forever”. After activation, time, in all levels of existence, are completely frozen, even in areas where time in all its forms does not exist. Through an extension known as "Time Armor", Yato is also capable of completely negating change, making all damage done to him effectively null unless the opponent's power outright exceeds his own. Using this power he was able to halt Hajun's Law from being completed for over 8,000 years, which by completion would have destroyed all of existence.
  • In Time Hollow, when the main character uses the Hollow Pen (the pen-like tool he uses to change the past), time stops for everyone except himself and anyone else with access to a Hollow Pen. This also applies to people on the other side of a time portal made using the Hollow Pen. People pulled to the present from the past using a portal made with the Hollow Pen are also exempt.

  • In Blur the Lines, Rick accidentally stops time while imitating Hiro from Heroes and uses the opportunity to get... intimate with a friend of his.
  • DICE: The Cube That Changes Everything: Time Pause, one of the A-ranker abilities makes everything still until touched by the user. Dongtae and Mooyoung have it and are mutually immune to it, and can use a command to cancel it.
  • In Endstone, Cole has this power.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, Coyote has the power to freeze time in order to carry on side conversations. Also, earlier in the comic, Antimony mentioned that she would talk with the Guides for hours "while time stood still", but it's possible she was just being metaphorical.
  • Several characters in Homestuck have this power. Interesting enough, it IS ordinarily a Game-Breaker, but their game is so broken that it ends up being one of the only ways they can even damage their enemies, let alone defeat them.
  • This is the effect of Any/Blue Destiny's Time Master skills in M9 Girls!. Any can create a bubble inside of which time slows to a crawl. Though Any herself can be frozen in time, her Psychic Powers allow her to communicate with the exterior world.
  • This is Monk's superpower in Sidekicks. Although it doesn't stop more powerful supublics from bypassing the superpower.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Inverted during the "Oceans Unmoving" arc. Rather than freezing the rest of the world in time, the characters are trapped inside Timeless Space, a world where time naturally stands still, and it takes immense effort to keep themselves from being frozen in time as well.
    • Played straight during the "Holiday Wars" arc where Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are revealed to have Super Speed that makes everyone else seem like they're standing still. This is how they're able to deliver millions of presents/eggs in a single night.
  • Gained in a super-speed version by Doc in The Whiteboard at one point due to too many caffeinated energy drinks. We first see the world from everyone else's perspective involving multiple things (that Doc had touched) exploding and Doc suddenly being found several buildings over with multiple broken walls between his origin and destination. Then we see Doc's side of the story. While he doesn't have to deal with light shifting and air friction isn't much of a problem, he does have to deal with lack of friction between his legs and the floor and with inertia, both that of other objects and his own.
  • The Whistle Of Time storyline in Bruno the Bandit.
  • Played fairly realistically in Mindmistress with Messenger in the Gift storyline, who has a device that lets him enter into a personal time reference faster than that of others as well as other devices to help protect him. The initial researcher who came upon the effect, Iris, was found without nearly every bone in her body broken from attempting to interact with her environment and aged by 30 years over 6 months.
  • Early on in Angel Moxie, Tristan is tricked into breaking the statue seals that keep the demon Vashi imprisoned. Breaking the second seal causes time to slow down for all non-magical entities. This - along with the fact that Tristan was capable of breaking the seals - leads to a bit of Foreshadowing that Riley and Tristan have powers of their own, as they weren't affected by the slowdown.
  • The Order of the Stick: The Archfiends stop time because they don't like to be rushed when they're making Faustian bargains - though they're perfectly willing to rush the other party. After accepting the deal, V uses the normal Time Stop spell in their battle with the Ancient Black Dragon, to get off seven defensive spells and a Delayed Blast Fireball.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Sarah gets the ability to accurately simulate this in her head at an accelerated rate.
  • Girl Genius:
    • It's apparently happened only twice, and only the most powerful Sparks can achieve it, but stopping time completely within an area can be done. However, it comes with consequences so nasty even the Heterodynes of old didn't want to mess with it. Consequences that come in the form of indescribable things from the hidden corners of time that notice when time isn't flowing properly somewhere, and don't seem to like it one bit.
    • Prende's lantern stops the perception of time. Whether or not it simply halts all conscious thought or partially stops time itself is not clear, but it doesn't really matter when the user can just stab those exposed to the light to death. Unfortunately for the protagonists, demiurges can develop a resistance to the lantern's effects the longer they're exposed to it.
  • In Paranatural, spectrals who either have a possessed tool or are mediums for a spirit can enter a state of heightened perception to converse with said spirits. While doing this, they appear to be moving and talking extremely fast, while to them the world not only is moving really slowly, but they also perceive their surroundings differently thanks to their spirit's influence; for example Max's spirit allows him to magnetically control metal with his bat, so he perceives his surroundings like a giant scrapyard, while Isaac's spirit, which provides Weather Manipulation (and has quite a stormy temper to boot), causes him to see everything as a decaying temple with a storm outside.
  • L's Empire has a variation in the final story arc. Rather than time stopping, the story itself grinds to a halt when the Big Bad incapacitates the authors.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: Ki Rata has a breathing technique that enables users to enter a state of Super Speed. When activated it makes them move so fast that time stands entirely still from their point of view. When Solomon David is seen moving under this power, his movement compresses air in front of him into mist. Later, he pulls out the “stopped time within the stopped time” technique, resulting in him moving so fast he performs a Doppelgänger Spin during the time stop.

    Web Original 
  • In one The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids short story, the Cupids stopped time within the confines of a warehouse by filling it with clocks, using the reasoning that to get a reading on time, a clock presumably worked by excising a "piece" of time from existence and analyzing it — meaning if you put enough clocks in the same place, they would remove all the time in that place.
  • In Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Dr. H. wants to create a "freeze ray" that will stop time, so he can conquer the world and think of something to say to Penny, the girl of his dreams.
  • Before his burn out in series one of Phaeton, Tom's time freeze seemed to have unlimited range.
  • YouTube TV show PoPs has a character with this as her superpower.
  • In Red vs. Blue, the Meta uses Wyoming's time-distortion unit to create this effect. It is, however, horribly inefficient when used this way, so he more often than not fails to get a kill before it shuts off. At one point, it malfunctions and causes the Meta to move in slow-motion. Unfortunately for Doc, the Meta still carries the same amount of force, so when his fist finally reaches Doc, it knocks him through a wall.
  • In Roll To Dodge: Savral, the Witch Louise has the ability to manipulate time and by extension freeze it. On turn 69, she uses this ability to isolate Brah from a group of dragonborn soldiers and torment her with a swarm of puking Scarfy-like creatures. This scene even has the world turn monochrome.
  • Dan from Trinton Chronicles has this power. He also has a few Required Secondary Powers which act as a fail-safe to this ability and prevents him from creating holes or friction burns on objects and people, allows him to see as if everything was at normal pace (this could also be explained by the fact that he isn't moving faster than light), and gives him the ability to breathe even if the air seems to become slightly more like water. This time-stopping power is his most power gift but he rarely uses it, instead relying on the ability to decelerate or accelerate people and objects in time.
  • RWBY: This effect occurs when the Relic of Knowledge is activated and Jinn, its avatar, is summoned to answer questions. While Jinn speaks with whoever summoned her, time is stopped for everything but them. Ruby takes advantage of this in one fight, summoning Jinn with no intention of asking a question, because she was just about to get hit with a lethal attack and needed a couple of extra minutes to compose herself before retaliating. Jinn states that she'll let this abuse of her power go just this once, but it won't be happening again.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-5510 is a TV remote that can do this. The researcher studying it had pressed the pause button.
  • The Shock Series is famous for Mr. Red's "Shock" ability that let's him move at such Super Speed that everything else freezes/slows down by comparison. At the end of "Shock 3", Mr. Green does the same.
  • Sara Waite does this once in the Whateley Universe, speeding up fast enough to save someone who is currently being shot in the head. She does have superpowers: she's actually a Great Old One. Still, her superspeed means she has no light to see with, the friction from the air molecules burns her clothes and skin off, her speed causes her to punch through several walls before she finally stops, she ends up embedded in a bank vault wall, and it takes time for her body to grow back afterward. At which point she's naked.
  • WitchCraft SMP: Two of a Time Witch's abilities revolve around this trope:
    • The starter version allows them to "move at light-speeds fractions for a short time". In doing so, it renders the Time Witch briefly invisible.
    • An acquired, upgraded version allows them to inflict this on other entities, rendering them immobile for a short period of time. Meanwhile, the Time Witch themself is granted the Speed effect and allows them to travel around. This ability, however, can be somewhat negated by the Shadow spell and Storm Witches' lightning teleportation ability.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Adventure Time, Magic Man steals Jake's sandwich and creates a molasses-based time bubble around himself to prevent Jake from retrieving it. Unusually, it slows down Magic Man and leaves Finn and Jake free to move at normal time- unless they enter the bubble. Jake is able to move at regular speed through the bubble when he's sad (but not judgmental or angry.)
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Countdown", when Gumball and Darwin are racing to school Gumball slams into the screen and ends up freezing time for both of them. Things go downhill from there.
  • In the Animalia episode "The Mist of Time", time in present day Animalia gradually slows down, then stops entirely, because of G'Bubu's accidental time trip to the prehistoric past while carrying a time spore.
  • Arthur: In "Go to Your Room, D.W.!", D.W. is sent to her room for ten minutes after she threatens to pinch Baby Kate. When D.W. sees that the time on her clock hasn't changed, she thinks that time is standing still. When she comes downstairs, she sees Arthur sitting still on the couch, and finds out she was right. She then takes Pal, who is suspended in the air from trying to jump over his ball, and sets him down in the Tibbles' front yard. After she calls Tommy and Timmy, who are suspended on their bicycles "Booby-faced baloney heads", it is then revealed to be an Imagine Spot and D.W. got caught sneaking out of her room by David. When she gets back to her room, it is revealed that the whole ordeal only took two minutes.
  • Prock from The Awesomes can stop time by saying "Stop" and restart it by saying "Start." It does come with a very bad Blessed with Suck condition however - he's been warned that continued use of it could kill him, and he does get a Psychic Nosebleed at one point.
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Time Out of Joint", the Clock King steals a device that allows him to slow time to a crawl. In addition to committing the usual super-fast crimes, he puts the device to one particularly unique application. By attaching another one to the Batmobile, he slows down its time-frame so that the world around it seems to be moving at a large fraction of light-speed; the first vehicle to even cherry-tap the Batmobile (as it appears to sit motionless in the middle of the highway) will trigger a massive explosion. Batman and Robin disarm the device, and find that several days have passed during the minute or so they were in the field.
  • In Captain N: The Game Master, one of Kevin's abilities with the Power Pad device is hitting the pause button, which allows him to pause the world around them and escape from dangerous situations. However, since the Power Pad only has a limited amount of energy and all of his abilities run on it, he has to use it sparingly.
  • Centaurworld: Episode 7 reveals Zulius has the power to stop time for everyone but him, which he really just uses to deliver exposition and Aside Comments to the audience. It has the side effect of often causing excrutiating, burning pain in others, hence why he calls it "Hot Goss".
  • Danger Mouse:
    • Evil alter ego ("two percent of me," in his words) makes time stand still with Penfold frozen in it and challenges DM to a fight in "The Good, The Bad and the Motionless."
    • In the Remake, the episode "Groundmouse Day" has Count Duckula create a machine that can pause reality and using it to frame DM for cheese theft and attacking Colonel K. As the title suggests, it can also rewind if someone hits the wrong button.
  • Naturally, the time traveling episode of Danny Phantom has Clockwork, the Ghost of Time, easily able to do this.
  • Dexter's Laboratory did this with the "main character is way faster than everyone else" version in the short "Morning Stretch". Dexter tries to use a "time-expansion helmet" to get his morning routine done and finish his homework in under a minute, but preparing breakfast and taking a shower when everything else is moving in exaggerated slow motion is problematic, and he finds that writing with a pencil at normal (to him) speed while using his Applied Phlebotinum causes so much friction that the paper catches fire. To top it all off, at the end of the cartoon, Dee-Dee informs him that it's a snow-day, so Dexter went through all that fuss for nothing.
  • Happens in the Donkey Kong Country episode 'The Day the Island Stood Still'. DK wishes that he could sleep forever, forgetting to Be Careful What You Wish For. The result is that the sun, clocks, and blooming flowers freeze in motion. Oddly enough, all of the characters are still able to move. The problem is fixed when they wake DK up, but that required some Prophecy Twist.
  • DuckTales (1987): "Time Teasers", another time-freezing comedy. The Beagle Boys get their hands on a device invented by Gyro Gearloose that lets the user stop time, and attempt to use it to rob Scrooge's money bin. However, a Phlebotinum Breakdown ends up transporting them back to the days of pirates. Earlier in the same episode, Huey, Dewey, and Louie also use this watch to put their favorite baseball team ahead 32 to 16. They still lose. This episode presumably inspired Don Rosa's Donald Duck comics story "On Stolen Time."
  • DuckTales (2017) also has an episode featuring the Time Teaser. Glomgold uses it to make Scrooge look crazy, altering things when time is frozen, even going so far as to add a page to Huey's Junior Woodchuck Guide explaining Scrooge's symptoms. If all of that sounds too smart for Glomgold, he did balance it out by failing to realize that time had actually stopped the first time he used it. For a year. He did things like wander around a park, pluck a frozen pigeon out of the air, and lose a staring contest with a baby, and he still assumed everyone was just ignoring him.
  • Futurama:
    • Fry perceives time slowing down after drinking Klatchian Coffee.
    • This happens again with Fry and Leela in the Series Finale when an invention of The Professor's breaks. Fry and Leela spend their entire lives together frozen in that same point in time, happily married into old age.
  • The Garfield Show episode "Time Master" has Garfield discover a stop watch that has the power to temporarily stop time.
  • Red Rush in Invincible (2021) was an expy of The Flash whose powers worked like this. However, unlike the Flash, he couldn't turn it off meaning life was constantly in slow-motion for him. Conversations were especially painful for him, as the briefest ones resulted in him needing to spend "hours" to process each syllable. His death at Omni-Man's hands was especially traumatic, as he could feel his skull being slowly crushed as his eyes burst and he was helpless to do anything about it.
  • Jelly Jamm takes place on the planet Jammbo, which runs on music (being the source of all the music in the universe) and would freeze in place if it stopped. This actually happens in the episode "The Jelly Must Flow", with Goomo being the only one unaffected by the time freeze since he's listening to a personal music player and having to get the flow of time going again. The cause of the music stopping was the King placing his soda bottle on a button in the palace's music factory that does just that.
  • Spoofed in the Johnny Bravo episode "The Day The Earth Didn't Move Around Too Much", where a series of coincidences falsely convinces Johnny that time has frozen for everyone but him. The best part of that episode is that after committing a few crimes because "no time means no rules", the judge of his case lets Johnny off the hook because he also experienced a time where the thought he was in the middle of a time freeze as well.
  • Justice League:
    • In "Only a Dream", the Flash suffers a nightmare where he winds up locked in super-speed, effectively freezing him in time. Again, the color is black-and-white. (He mentions that he used to have a similar dream often when he first got his powers)
    • Metron also does this during the Grand Finale (saying that they "exist between two ticks of the clock") to warn Lex Luthor of the consequences of his actions.
  • When Kim Possible and Rufus entered hyper speed by overusing her Super Speed shoes the time stopped for her, while time ran as normal for everyone else. Fridge Logic like to mention that by the time the plot had resolved in normal speed, it would have taken an eternity in hyper speed, which it didn't. Time just moved as fast as the plot demanded.
  • Krypto the Superdog: The episode "Barrump Barrump" involves a wristwatch that can freeze time.
  • The Little Prince (2010): On the Planet of Time, each town's time is self-contained and is controlled by the town's clock. Stopping that clock leaves its inhabitants frozen in time.
  • One episode of The Mask includes a poorly made time machine that is looping an ever-decreasing period of time. If not stopped, it will eventually lock all existence in a single instant eternally.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "It's About Time", when all other attempts to prevent a Bad Future fail, Twilight Sparkle decides that the only option left is to stop time forever. She fails, but fortunately the Bad Future never happens.
  • Ninjago:
    • When the Pause Time Blade (one of the four blades with time-altering abilities) lands in Ninjago it causes time to stop for a moment.
    • In a Season 12 episode the Big Bad Unagami pauses time twice for everyone in the video game world except NPC Okino, promising to take him to the real world if he betrays the ninja. This turns the atmosphere red.
  • In one episode of The Penguins of Madagascar, King Julien gums up one of Kowalski's inventions, freezing time for everyone except the two of them. They basically goof around in New York until Kowalski figures out how to fix the watch.
  • Rick and Morty: At the end of the first season, Rick uses a time-stopping gizmo of his to freeze the world so he, Morty and Summer can clean house after a Wild Teen Party just before the parents get home - but they're not too keen on cleaning up so they play around, pants random people, watch movies and generally have a good time together, and haven't gotten around to unfreezing time at shows' end. The second season reveals that they stopped time for about six months, which leads to them severely destabilizing their timeline.
  • In the Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch episode "No Time", Sabrina accidentally sends a magical hourglass through a portal into Witch World, causing "The Fog of Infinity" to freeze time in the human world. Time will stay frozen forever unless Sabrina and her friends retrieve the glass within an hour, so a literal Race Against the Clock ensues.
  • SilverHawks: "Stop Timestopper" and "Gold Shield" both feature a juvenile delinquent villain named Timestopper; no prizes for guessing what his power is. Whenever he uses it, the picture changes from color to black and white. He can only maintain the freeze for one "Limbo minute" from his perspective, and he can't use his powers in the dark because they're solar powered.
  • Simon In The Land Of Chalk Drawings: In the episode "Calendar Chaos", when the Sun and Moon get stuck in the top of the sky, the Land Of Chalk Drawings gets stuck between day and night, represented by everyone there (minus Simon) being stuck in poses such as kids going to school while yawning, the Cowboy's cows walking into each other, birds laying on the ground, and a rooster standing on his head.
  • The Simpsons: Pictured above, used for comedy in "Stop the World, I Want to Goof Off", the third and final segment of "Treehouse of Horror XIV" (based on The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "A Kind of a Stopwatch"). After breaking a magic stopwatch and stranding themselves in stopped time, Bart and Milhouse raid a bookstore and spend fifteen years teaching themselves watch repair, finally returning to normal time as adults.
  • In The Smurfs episode "No Time For Smurfs", Handy, Brainy, and Clumsy accidentally cause time to stand still when they break Father Time's Sands Of Time hourglass.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: In "Freeze Day", Star casts a spell to stop time, and she and Marco goof around for a good long time (about sixty hours, according to Marco). Unfortunately, in order to start time again Star and Marco have to persuade Father Time to get back on the Wheel of Progress... and since this is literally the first time in forever he's been able to get off, he's not too keen on it.
  • The villain Speedwarp in Static Shock had this as his main power, and can control it as well. Speedwarp is naturally stopped when Gear makes a similar device for Static, which the villain confiscates and tries to use, with the result that he slows down to the point of almost being a statue.
  • Raven of Teen Titans (2003) manages this in the episode "Birthmark." Unfortunately for her, Slade, the one she was trying to stop, was immune to the time freeze because he had been given powers by her father, Trigon.
  • The Tom Terrific episode "The Everlasting Birthday Party" had Crabby Appleton freeze time so that his birthday would last forever.
  • Transformers:
    • The Transformers: Elita One can completely stop time within a certain radius of herself, however using the ability is very draining and prolonged use is fatal.
    • Transformers: Cyberverse: The post-series movie The Immobilizer has a group of Cybertronian Mercenaries use time blasters to trap most of Cybertron in suspended animation while they start looting. Grimlock and the Dinobots are the only Transformers unaffected, leaving it up to them to stop the Mercenaries.
  • The T.U.F.F. Puppy episode "Puppy Pause" has the time-stopper gloves that stop time for everything but the user.
  • Nox from Wakfu is a Xelor, a race of beings with the power to manipulate time. So far, he hasn't stopped time per se, but he has slowed it down to the point where everything appears to have stopped. Furthermore, anyone who manages to break his spell suffers from Rapid Aging and other debilitating side-effects, though Nox is nice enough to restore Alibert to normal later.
  • The Shard of Lightning on Xiaolin Showdown enables whoever touches to Shen Gong Wu to move so fast that they are capable of freezing time.

  • The improvisational comedy group Improv Everywhere did this in Real Life - with 250 people in Grand Central Station. They all went in and, at the same second, froze in place for five minutes. Details of the prank, along with pictures and video, can be found here.
  • Not so much freezing, but the perception of time passage for some people is alterable, not necessarily at will - this may be a case of Exaggerated Truth in Television, where the passage of time can be perceived as "speeded up" or even "slowed DOWN" in a Bullet Time-like way without the special effects.
    • A soldier in the Middle East was shot in the head (he survived, thanks to his helmet), and claimed that he actually saw the bullet move through the air toward him, as though it were moving in slow motion. It probably happened as a result of intense adrenaline, as he actually remained conscious after it struck him long enough to take aim and put out a burst of fire, killing the shooter, before collapsing.
    • Experiments with millisecond-tracking digital stopwatches suggest that the brain's perception shifts into an actual approximation of "bullet time" when its levels of adrenaline are highest. This happens because neurons' activity is devoted so tightly to whatever danger or challenge a subject is confronted by, the person actually picks up enough details so that time seems slower. Another experiment claims that details are not perceived quicker in high-adrenaline mode. Although they used details not too related to the perceived danger source.
  • The short lived reality show On The Lot had a small group of filmmakers working off the pitch phrase, "Out of Time." They decided for two people to suddenly be involved in such an event. The judges were incredibly impressed with the results, considering they had a day to film and edit it. Brett Ratner, the director of X-Men: The Last Stand and other SFX heavy films, said he had no idea how they did that.
  • The plot of the Langley's Ark story Killing Time. The chapter immediately following the time-stop itself begins with one of the protagonists, a first-year Academy student, handing in a semester essay months before the due date. Her explanation: "I got bored. ... Very, very bored."
    Aelisha: Great job Brin. I think you just killed time.
  • Exists as a sub-genre of pornographic literature, generally with no attention whatsoever paid to how the mechanics would work out what with friction, immobile body parts, bodily fluids and organs, and other things that would make such an act impossible.
  • Gravitational time dilation at the event horizon of a black hole will make this appear to happen from an outside observer's point of view. Inside the event horizon, no change in time's passage is perceptible.
  • Should the Universe meet its 'end'note  in a heat death scenario, time can be described as both moving to infinity whilst simultaneously standing still, as without any events to witness to perceive the motion of time, there will be no way of knowing if time is even progressing forward or not.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Time Stop, Za Warudo


Flash Man

Flash Man is one of the eight robot masters in the second Mega Man game. His special weapon is Time Stopper, an ability that stops time for a short amount of time. Defeating him grants Mega Man his weapon. (Gameplay done by NafrielX) (

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Example of:

Main / TimeStandsStill

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