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Webcomic Time

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Prophets have No Fourth Wall whatsoever. Roy, however, does.

"Here's hoping for a few more decades! I'll get these jerks into college yet."
Dan Shive of El Goonish Shive on the comic's tenth anniversary

Related to Comic-Book Time, Webcomic Time takes place when the events of a serialized story take place over a shorter (in-universe) time than the (real-life) time it takes for the story to be produced.

This occurs because it usually takes more time to create an artistically pleasing depiction of an event happening than it does for the event to actually occur. Drawing a twenty page comic book could take weeks, but all twenty pages of the comic could very well be spent on a single conversation. While this can be counteracted by skipping over large stretches of time between scenes (or, for prose stories, describing scenes very tersely), if events in the story mostly happen one right after the other (and are given any degree of detail) it can be hard to keep this from happening. It's especially common in Webcomics, hence the name.

This can also happen due to the series missing deadlines or going on hiatus and being unable to make up for the lost time.

Over time, this slippage can add up to years; topical references early on may become incredibly dated later, even if it was supposed to take place on the same day. This especially affects Two Gamers on a Couch series, since technological progress can quickly make references to new consoles and top-of-the-line gaming machines obsolete. If Exponential Plot Delay gets involved, things can get really bad. Though remember, Tropes Are Not Bad as this can sometimes benefit the story. See also Present-Day Past.

There are several ways authors compensate for this:

This doesn't (necessarily) apply to stories that are set outside of the present day, except for cases where it does, such as if an in-universe character decides to hang a lampshade on the relation to real time.

In yet another example of Tropes Are Not Bad, Webcomic Time really isn't a problem, just a fun little thing to hang that lampshade on.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan has its Final Battle take place over a single day, but it took 2 and a half real-world years to cover it.
  • Akagi has spent over two decades on the events of a mahjong game that's supposed to have taken place in the span of a single night.
  • Ayakashi Triangle ran three years, covering Suzu and Matsuri's first half-year of high school.
  • Bleach:
    • The Soul Society Arc took place over two years and covered around three weeks of in-world time, mostly focused on the last few days.
    • The back-to-back Hueco Mundo and Fake Karakura arcs took over three years in real time, but in-story happened over the course of less than 24 hours.
  • Dragon Ball's sagas are sometimes (the Saiyan saga, and some of the Tournament Arcs are notable exceptions) set over the course of no more than a month. Major events which take a year or more in real-time to draw or animate last maybe one to three days in-story. In an inversion, the Time Skips catch up to the present and then some — 35 years pass over 10-11 years real time.
    • A straighter example would be the Buu Saga in Dragon Ball Z, or more specifically from the tail-end of the Great Saiyaman Saga to the climax of the Kid Buu Saga, which depicts the events of less than 24 hours, but lasts for nearly a hundred chapters and episodes, and for 2 years in real time.
    • Then there's the Tournament of Power in Dragon Ball Super, where a year's worth of episodes took place over forty minutes.
  • The penultimate arc of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the Infinity Castle, takes place over the course of a single night, until just after dawn, but lasts for over 50 chapters, it is also the biggest arc in the series due being a sequence of final battles to finally pit the entire Demon Slayer Corps and the remaining most powerful demons in one last assault.
  • Fly Me to the Moon has been running for over two and a half years, but in-universe, only two and a half months have passed since Nasa and Tsukasa's wedding at the start of the series.
  • The climax of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, covering almost two years worth of chapters, takes place over a single day.
  • The Nurarihyon Alien Mission (also known as the Osaka Arc) in Gantz only takes place during one night in-universe, as any other mission. However, the 54 manga chapters which covers this arc took 2 years to be finished in the real world time.
  • GTO: The Early Years ran from 1990 to 1996, but takes place over about two years (1991 to 1993, going by the characters' canon birth dates). The sequel Great Teacher Onizuka ran from 1997 to 2002, but covers less than one year in-universe. And then the Interquel GTO: 14 Days in Shonan supposedly takes place in 1998, but has pop-culture trends more like those of the late 2000s-early 2010s, when it was published. The sequel GTO: Paradise Lost, despite taking place only one year after the original manga, is set in a world where social media and smartphones are the norm.
  • Similarly, in Hellsing, the Millennium invasion of London and the following battle between Hellsing, Iscariot, and Millennium lasts from chapter 35 until the deaths of the Major and the Doktor in chapter 94 -and it all takes place during a single night. Schedule Slip on the part of Kouta Hirano meant that those chapters took the better part of six years to come out.
  • I Married My Female Friend was published over the course of about three years of real time, with 32 monthly chapters, and takes place over the course of several months, before jumping ahead a few more for the finale.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Most of the main Story Arcs occur over the span of a few months, each having a publication length for three years. Golden Wind notably takes place over the course of a single week. It's even more blatant once the series switched over to Ultra Jump as subsequent Parts took over 7-10 years while having a nominal length in-universe.
  • Liar Game arcs are usually more than twenty chapters—five or six months in the real world. However, they almost always cover only a day or two. Most obvious in the back-to-back "Epidemic Game" and "Steal-a-Chair Game" arcs (the former game was intended to lower the player count before the latter) which took a year to cover three days of story time.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • The series has been running since 2014, and while the first few chapters cover the year between when Midoriya meets All Might and enters U.A., most of the series takes place over the course of just over a year of in-universe time.
    • The raid on the Shie Hassaikai during the Internship arc took an hour and fifteen minutes in-universe, but lasted over the course of about 22 chapters; a few months in real-time.
    • The Paranormal Liberation War arc took about a year in real time to cover the events of a single day in-universe.
  • Naruto:
    • The combined Chunin Exams and Konoha Crush arcs took two years to publish but only covered a month in-universe, the majority of which was offscreen.
    • The Fourth Shinobi World War was published over the course of four years in real life. The whole thing was a couple of days long in-universe. This was mostly thanks to the hefty amount of flashbacks (two backstory arcs grinded the plot to a halt) and the multiple perspectives used in the first half of the event.
  • No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! has being published for 12 years by now, yet in-universe it has only being between 2 and 3 years since the story started. With the first year of high school being covered in 2 years, the second year of high school being covered in four years and the third year being covered in 6 years (and counting). This is particulary prominent in longer arcs, given they often happen in limited time periods, like the Kyoto arc is a 3-days field trip yet is covered in 11 chapters (6 months in real life). The Disneyland arc are 7 chapters dedicated to one single day (4 months in real life), the summer Vacations of the third year are covered in 14 chapters (10 months), and by far the biggest one, the Movie Arc covers the events of one single month in 40 chapters (3 years in real life)
  • One Piece:
    • The entire story in general is subject to both Webcomic Time and Comic-Book Time. It can be gathered that the Straw Hats spent less than 6 months together before the Timeskip despite about 13 years worth of publication at that point. However, even with the logical assumption that at least a few months must have passed, Comic-Book Time takes over as they don't age in the slightest until the 2 year timeskip.
    • Not long before the Time Skip, over a year of real world time was spent depicting a period of approximately 33 hours. Approximately 20 hours of which were mostly skipped while Luffy recovered from Magellan's poison, effectively making it a 13 hour period that was actually covered.
    • The Dressrosa Arc covers the events of one day and lasted over two-and-a-half years real time.
    • While Act 1 and Act 2 of Wano Country Arc played this barely straight with events of 3 weeks covered in more than a year, the ongoing Act 3 plays this completely straight with events of one night taking nearly three years to complete (not helped by the manga's longest flashback taking place in the beginning), greater than the example of Dressrosa above, meaning the entirety of Wano Arc has been taking place for four years real-time.
  • Ouran High School Host Club ran for eight years, but spans only around two years in-universe.
  • Late in the Rurouni Kenshin manga, a subtle gag Leaning on the Fourth Wall slips in as Sanosuke tries (not too hard) to remember a pair of villains from the beginning of the series.
    Sanosuke: Yeah, I guess I remember that... four years and a half ago, wasn't it?
    Brothers: Half a year!
  • Saki takes dozens of chapters to cover the events of a single day in the mahjong tournament, both the Nagano prefectural finals and each round of the tournament barring the first one (which is almost entirely offscreen). The Saki Achiga-hen spinoff does the same thing with the quarterfinals and semifinals, and while the pacing is significantly faster, the effect is still present.
  • Sing "Yesterday" for Me was published over nearly 20 years, but takes place over about a year in-universe. The manga continued to be set in 1997 (when publication started) even as the world changed dramatically over the course of publication.
  • The Summer You Were There, which ran for a total of 32 monthly chapters, or three and a half years, takes place over the course of a Japanese summer vacation- late July to the start of September, or just over a month of in-universe time.
  • In Wandering Son nine years real-world years was only six years in-series. The series tries to stay contemporary for the best of its abilities though. A calendar in volume 11 clearly states "2010", though earlier chapters seem very early 2000s. Characters owning a PlayStation 2 are shown several time within the manga, but it's been a popular console throughout the 2000s so it doesn't date the series to any particular year.
  • The World God Only Knows took six months of chapters to cover three days.
  • The Battle City arc in Yu-Gi-Oh! lasts 88 episodes (covering nearly all of seasons 2 and 3). Said arc encompasses the in-universe Battle City Tournament, which lasts a grand total of less than 72 hours from Yugi's and Jonouchi's registration on the afternoon before the the tournament's kickoff to the tournament contestants parting ways on the evening of Day 3. Even more extreme: within this arc, Day 2 of the Battle City tournament, which encompasses about 16 hours of onscreen in-universe time (starting with the first duels of the day to the characters going to bed that night on the Duel Disk Blimp) lasts 35 episodes and is packed with a back-to-back conga line of kidnapping, brainwashing, repeated attempted murder, near-drowning, fisticuffs, dinner, partying, scheming, extensive flashbacks and exposition, death matches, getting struck by lightning, nervous breakdowns and transformations, torture and mindrape, ghost apparitions, personal drama, and soul-stealing. Fans understandably nickname Day 2 of the Battle City tournament "The Day That Wouldn't End." Within this arc, there is also a 23-episode Filler Arc at the beginning of Day 3 of the tournament that spans less than a single morning (the characters were trapped in virtual reality, making their perception of the passage of time not exactly in line with real time). Further demonstrating this trope is that Kaiba announced the tournament a full week ahead of time, and the events of that week are pretty much skipped over completely.
  • In Yuri is My Job!, the events of the month of July last from the start of Volume 5 to late in Volume 8, covering years' worth of manga chapters for a month of in-universe time. The author lampshades how long the series spent on a single month in the bonus pages.
  • In one page of the YuYu Hakusho manga, at the end of the Chapter Black Saga, Yusuke remarks that he feels "like he's been fighting for a year". It's also used at the end of the Dark Tournament Saga, a series that takes place over the course of a week and lasts for over a year's worth of manga chapters.

    Comic Books 
  • Scott Pilgrim was produced from 2004 to 2010, but roughly takes place over the course of a year from late 2004 to 2005-ishnote . Lampshaded at least once;
    Sandra: Like, a whole new generation of bands has come and gone since you guys opened for the Demonheads in '05.
    Scott: That was THIS MAY!

    Fan Works 
  • Most fanfictions, if you think about it, fall under this trope. Most multi-chapter stories may take place over the span of a few days to a few months at most. And many of them, especially long ones, can take the author over a year to fully complete it.
  • The Total Drama story, Courtney and the Violin of Despair inverts this trope. It consists of a series of loosely-connected vignettes that cover ten years (200+ years if you count the prologue), but the entire story was posted in a couple of months.
  • Averted, and possibly inverted, in the case of Gender Confusion, where the one year anniversary since the first published chapter in real-world time takes place approximately three years after the first chapter in in-universe time. This is likely due to the fact that the author has a tendency to skim over boring parts that she's fairly sure no one will read anyway, and the fact that she updates at least once a week.
  • The Legend of Total Drama Island gets new chapters bimonthly, but some chapters cover only a few hours' worth of events.
  • The Ranma ½ Elsewhere Fic Boy Scouts ½ started being written in 1997 as a contemporary work. As of 2013, the story has progressed as far as the fall of 1998.
  • Although taking about eight years to complete and involving characters from a dozen independent game canons, the third Ultimate Video Rumble had some flexibility here due to its premise. Namely, the participants could be pulled out of any point in their respective timelines to fight in the Rumble, and returned when done to continue their stories as before. As a result, official plot and character development from after the Rumble started could be ignored as "hasn't happened yet from their perspective" (though it would sometimes be acknowledged through foreshadowing). The writers played further fast and loose as the story progressed by introducing characters who didn't exist when the Rumble started, including one who was key to the finale, and by writing the fighters as using moves from their most recent games (while explicitly noting that the character histories were not also updated).
  • Puella Magi Adfligo Systema began in 2014, taking place at the start of April 2011. As of 2020, it is not yet May. This is something of an occupational hazard for Puella Magi Madoka Magica-based stories, as the show's canon events happen over the course of a single month (between Homura's arrival and Walpurgisnacht's arrival), locking most fanworks into a fairly narrow band of time.
  • Vow of Nudity: The series as a whole averts this due to taking place in a medieval fantasy setting, but the side serial starring Kay’la isn’t against lampshading its frequent schedule slips:
    Kay’la: I know it’s only been five days since I started chasing that mithral plate, but it felt more like 5 months!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Blood Over Water (viewable here) has a time span of no more than five or six days tops in which everything could have taken place. Mark vanishes on the first narrative day's evening, Aaron discovers the problem at dawn a few hours after, he interviews Chris either the next day or day after that at the very most, gets abducted the same evening, discovers the pond a few hours after that, gets abducted again that same day, and quite possibly discovers where Mark is one evening later. In that one week, however, the weather patterns seem to have shifted from summer to winter rather quickly, as can be evidenced by the actors wearing progressively warmer clothes in each episode. In real life, it took four months to shoot the entire production. Instead of one full movie, it was originally released as a mini-series by TV Practicum class students at Ferris in the fall of 2009. The clothing issue's strain on Willing Suspension of Disbelief is one reason that the video's current promoter has proposed a novel or graphic novel series to reboot the premise, thereby allowing plot elements to take time to develop, so transitions in what characters wear is a tad more believable.
  • Steps Trodden Black has a mild case of this. The movie takes place over the course of three days but took two years to film. Since the cast is comprised of high school aged actors, their facial features slightly vary in age over the course of the film. Other things, like weather and hair length mildly fluctuate, although extreme weather changes are averted due to the film being shot in the subtropics.
  • Back to the Future came out in 1985, and its two sequels followed in 1989 and 1990. Since they are Immediate Sequels, 1985 remains the present year in-universe. This is not a huge issue all by itself since most of the trilogy is spent visiting other eras anyway, but it does mean that Michael J. Fox aged from 23 to 28 while Marty McFly stayed 17.

  • The Alex Rider series currently spans 11 books, released over a period of 20 years, but the entire series chronologically takes place over a period of just over 18 months. The year the series is set in seems to update itself with each new book, which creates its fair share of continuity problems; the eponymous Stormbreaker computer of the first book isn't that impressive by current standards despite being meant to be cutting-edge technology, and is eclipsed by the iPhones that appear in later books set less than a year later.
  • The first book of The Familiar was published in 2013, set in 2013. It's at book #4 (of the planned 27), which is set in 2014.
  • The first book of the Feliks, Net & Nika series was published in 2004 and covered one school year. However, a book whose plot happened during the 2004 holidays was published in 2005, and then the plots of the next six books (the last of them published in 2011) all happened during the 2004/2005 school year. Two final parts (published 2012 and 2013) happen during the holidays of 2005.
  • The Heroes of Olympus was published over the course of five years. The events depicted happened in less than a year (from winter to summer).
  • The Princess Diaries: The story spans Mia's four years of high school, but was published across nearly a decade (2000-2009), with each book seemingly taking place in the year it was released, going by the cultural references. Hence when Mia is a freshman, she is still using dial-up internet and the World Trade Center is still standing, but by the time she's a senior, she's using Twitter on an iPhone and mentions having mourned the death of Benazir Bhutto (which happened in 2007).
  • Endemic in The Shadowhunter Chronicles:
    • The Mortal Instruments was published over the course of seven years but took place over ten months in-universe.
    • The Infernal Devices, covering nine months of time, was released over a period of three years in real life.
    • The Dark Artifices took three years to publish but covered only three months of time.
  • Tea Shop Mysteries: Books one to nine covers one year In-Universe, while eight years had passed in real time.
  • The plot of the A Song of Ice and Fire series takes place over just under 3 years in-universe. George R.R. Martin has been working on it for over 25 years, although this owes more to Schedule Slip than anything-with the first book covering one year, the second and third another, and the fourth and five the last.
  • Worm is subject to this despite its rock-steady update schedule: the first story part was posted on June 11th, 2011, covering story events of April 8th, 2011; Chapter 16.7, posted on December 15th, 2012, covers the morning of June 19th.
  • The Young Wizards series covers about four years of time over the ten books released over 33 years. While the series avoids actual dates and real-life events for the most part, technology changes significantly from the magic being conveyed via books to being used via a cutting edge Apple IIe clone to spells being stored in iPods.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Each season of 24, true to its name, takes place over a single 24-hour period, aired over a span of 22 weeks. The series as a whole avoids this trope by having Time Skips between seasons which are longer than the Real Life gaps; the first eight seasons aired across eight and a half years (from November 2001 to May 2010) but took place over a course of fourteen.
  • The first four seasons of The 100 were broadcast from 2014 to 2017, but take place over the course of less than a year (most seasons covered the events of a single month, with a three month Time Skip between Seasons 2 and 3). By the last scene of Season 4, though, this is counteracted by another Time Skip, this one going six years into the future.
  • Breaking Bad: The first four and a half seasons ran from 2008 to 2012, but only covered a period of a little over a year. Lampshaded in the fifth season episode "51", where Walt has his first birthday since the one in the first episode and remarks that with all he's been through it "seems like longer" than a year. This trope ends up being averted for the last half season though, as it takes place over about a year by itself, ending right after Walt's 52nd birthday.
  • In the first couple of seasons of Doctor Who, each episode would end with a Cliffhanger leading straight into the next story — even ones finishing off serials (for instance, "The Edge of Destruction" ends with the TARDIS crew opening the doors to find a footprint in the snow outside, leading directly into the next serial "Marco Polo"), giving the impression of directly consecutive time. Even in places where there is a timeskip (such as the four-month timeskip in "The Romans" and the long timescale of "Marco Polo") it's done in such a way to establish that the crew couldn't have been travelling anywhere else (one of the show's rules at that time is that leaving a place and time means leaving it forever). Still, Ian complains to the Doctor that he's been trying to get him home for three years, the real time elapsed during his story - it is possible to arrive at that figure by Fan Wanking timeskips in certain stories which provide the room for it ("The Daleks" comes to mind), but the real time elapsed seems to be much shorter as most of his adventures take place over the course of a few hours. The Expanded Universe deals with the difficulty of shoehorning in extra adventures for Ian and Barbara by applying Broad Strokes.
  • The second season of Farscape accidentally suffers from this. Most episodes are standalone enough that you could fit large gaps between them - but if you put statements made by several characters together, you're forced to conclude that everything from episode 3 until the following season's opener takes place in less than four months. This also implies that there is about an eight-month gap between episodes 1 and 2.
  • The final season of Him & Her takes place on Beta Couple Laura and Paul's wedding day.
  • Holby City appears to take place over the course of a single day, but in Real Time it would take a week to shoot the scenes for location filming. However, it's murky about what timescale the show follows, yet Comic-Book Time does not apply here as the characters do age In-Universe.
  • Lost has explicitly covered 108 days (not counting flashbacks and flashforwards) in four seasons. Michael and his son Walt were Put on a Bus in season two because the actor playing Walt was growing conspicuously (this is lampshaded at one point in season four when Walt, "but taller," appears to Locke in a vision). An even better indication of this trope: Aaron was played by 57 different infants between the character's birth and leaving the island, because of how quickly the babies grew out of the part. After the three year Time Skip between the fourth and fifth seasons, the remainder of the series consists of a couple of weeks which is a little over a year real-time.
  • Mr. Robot ran from 2015 to 2019, while covering the events of barely ten months in 2015, from February to December. The final season takes it even further: it covers events happening in Christmas week of 2015.
  • Orphan Black's five seasons ran from 2013 to 2017. The most definite anchor for the internal timeline is Helena's pregnancy, as she became pregnant mid-season 2 and gave birth in the series finale. Combined with other statements, it seems the show took place over about 10 months.
  • Pretty Little Liars: Not counting the prologue and epilogue, the first season to the sixth season midseason finale runs from the girls' first day junior year to their senior prom. Particularly egregiously, season three's "This Is a Dark Ride" is set on (senior year) Halloween and season five's "Taking This One to the Grave" is set on Thanksgiving, with 46 episodes between the two, plus the entire run of spinoff Ravenswood. Attempts to fit this to an actual calendar fail spectacularly.
  • Teen Wolf ran for six years, ending with Scott's graduation, but he was already a high school student in the beginning. It took a few seasons to cover a year of school.
  • Every episode of True Blood takes place over about twenty-four hours with each episode picking up the minute the previous episode ends (with the exception of a two-week time skip in Season 1). The first two seasons take place over 43 days.


  • BIONICLE's first eight years of story (save for the 2004-2005 Metru Nui prequel arc) all apparently take place over the course of about a year, as stated in an issue of the comic released in 2008. This was actually a retcon, since in a much earlier issue released in 2003 the Big Bad Makuta recounted that his first defeat at the hands of the Toa Mata happened years prior.

    Video Games 
  • The modern day story of the first five Assassin's Creed games take place from September 2nd to December 21st, 2012, but the games themselves were released over the course of five years between 2007 and 2012. After Assassin's Creed III, however, the story of the games begins progressing in real-time.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, dwarves only need to eat, drink, and sleep about once or twice per calendar season, and they can spend multiple days just traveling the fortress or fighting a goblin. Scale in general runs more on Rule of Fun than realism, though.
    • Subverted with werebeasts which only transform for a couple of days around full moon, which on larger maps this means they will change back before they even reach the entrance of the fortress and flee in their human/goblin/elf/dwarf form again from the map without any damage done.
    • Averted in Adventure Mode, in which you have actual day and night cycle. It takes less than a day to start getting hungry, thirsty, or tired.
  • Ensemble Stars! has been running and putting out four stories per month since 2015, but almost all stories are set within the same school year, because if the game moved on it'd mess with the complex web of characters and relationships already set up, sending away all of the third years (the most plot-relevant and usually most popular characters) and requiring a whole new year of first-year students. With the release of Ensemble Stars!!, this is no longer be the case as the entire cased aged by one year and moved on to Ensemble Square.
  • Fate/Grand Order typically sets its major story arcs in the span of a year, while the first two stories, "Observer of the Timeless Temple" and "Epic of Remnant", were mostly able to avert any noticeable instance of it, the third story, 'Cosmos in the Lostbelt', took four years to reach the one-year mark in-universe. This is HandWaved by liberal use of Timey-Wimey Ball as time flows very differently in various areas on Earth now after the planet was rendered blank white to the point where the protagonist has no idea if they've reached legal drinking age.
  • Half-Life 2 was released in 2004, whilst its two episodic continuations were released in 2006 and 2007, but the in-universe time scale is much smaller than that. Whilst 3 years might have passed between the releases of Half-Life 2 and Episode Two, only a matter of, at most, a week or two passed between the beginning of the original title and the ending scenes of the second continuation.
  • Street Fighter fell into this after the third game; the previous games were all set right around the time when they released, but since the SFIII subseries was intended as the franchise's Grand Finale, interquels were needed to keep it going afterwards. By the release of Street Fighter V the series had been going on for about thirty years, but their events are all set within just eleven, from 1987 (the release of the first Street Fighter) to 1998 (one year before the release of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike).

    Web Animation 
  • The first three volumes of RWBY all take place within the same school year, while they aired from 2013 to 2016. In later volumes time passes via Time Skips, but still much slower than in real life. The characters have all only aged about two years between the start of the series and volume 9, which aired in 2023.
  • Madness Combat episode eleven takes place directly after episode ten, with only a few seconds passed in universe. Episode eleven was released over seven years after episode ten.

    Web Original 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged took several months to get through the Namek arc, which canonically only takes six days. Of course this is lampshaded.
    Krillin: You know, Gohan... it just occurred to me.
    Gohan: Yeah Krillin?
    Krillin: We're still on Namek.
    Gohan: What do you mean?
    Krillin: Well, I mean it feels like we've been here for like... a year.
    Gohan: But we've only been here for six days.
    Krillin: I know right?!
  • Played for Laughs in a Liar Town USA post depicting a fictional TV show called Cabin Pressure which appears to be about a single commercial airline flight, but has somehow reached its eighth season. (Of course, if the flight really is a week long, then it could be an example of Real Time instead.)
  • The Nostalgia Chick's Dark Nella saga was released over two and a half months but seems to only take place over one or two days at most, if that.
  • This was always bound to occur with PATHCO, being a once-weekly two-hour Pathfinder campaign - however, it became particularly glaring with the 'Sea Storms and Scum Ports' and 'Return to Arbelo' modules. They take up less than 4 or 5 weeks in-game, however, it's taken the players over a year to progress as far as they have.
  • Over ten years of The Saga of Tuck have produced one calendar year of plot where it is still canonically 1997.
  • Smash King started in 2008 not long after Super Smash Bros. Brawl was released. In the time between Brawl and Ultimate's release (2008-2018), it's managed to cover about a month worth of content including a 25ish day time skip and is still ongoing, along with a Sequel Series and spin-offs.
  • Tales of MU has been running since June of '07, the protagonists first semester of college doesn't end until March of '11. Then there is a time skip to the start of her Sophomore year, the first semester of which doesn't end until October of '14. Her week long vacation over winter break still hasn't ended as of March of '15.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Since the series started in 2004 at an in-universe time of 2006, by 2015, they've gotten all the way to April 2007. With the first Esoteric story, released on March 1st 2016, the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year of Whateley Academy has been shown, and the 2006-2007 Graduations were shown in Pomp and Conspiracy, released on 02 May 2016.
    • Generation 2 (Gen 2), which starts around the 2016-2017 terms of Whateley, had its first release on 28 December 2015 with The Big Apple Comes With Calamari (Part 1), which, in-universe, starts on September 5th, 2016. The release on Halloween 2016, Following the Path of Cute, showcases some of Sept 17th, 2016, in-universe.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad! employs Comic-Book Time, but skirts with this trope every once in a while, via Lampshade Hanging. For example, in 2019's "Stan and Francine and Connie and Ted", Barry mention events in 2006's "With Friends Like Steve's" as happening only months ago In-Universe, even though it "seems like" they may have happened years ago. Steve is confused that he would even make the distinction.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender ran for three years but only took place over three literal seasons (from winter to summer).
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy has its first four seasons take place over a single summer, with the fifth season taking place the following autumn. The Cut Short sixth season would have taken place during the winter, while The Movie that was produced in its place occurs during the next summer. The series aired over the course of ten years.
  • Gravity Falls is set during the summer of 2012, with the series itself airing from June 2012 to February 2016.
  • Miraculous Ladybug has been on the air since 2015, but so far have been taking place over the course of less than one school year.
  • The first three seasons of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic are stated take place over the course of a single year, which were about three years in real time. Just pay no attention to season one episode taking place explicitly in autumn airing after the season one episode explicitly taking place during winter.
  • Pepper Ann has all its events take place during the 1997-1998 school year, despite episodes airing over about four years.
  • Phineas and Ferb took place entirely over a single summer vacation, which lasted 104 days according to the theme song. The series ran from August 2007 to June 2015.
  • While Recess ran from 1997 to 2001, it's firmly established in Recess: School's Out that it takes place during the September 1997 - June 1998 school year. Meanwhile, the two Direct to Video films in 2003, "Taking the Fifth" and "All Growed Down" take place in the autumns of 1998 and 1993, respectively.
  • South Park has events such as the kids going from 4th grade to 5th grade and Stan's birthday being celebrated. A very rough estimate would be one in-show year for every 10 seasons. Regardless, technology and politics keep pace with the real world.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man starts on the first night of Peter's junior year of high school and was intended to last five seasons, ending when Peter and his classmates Graduate from the Story. As is, it was Screwed by the Lawyers after two seasons, only making it to spring of the first year after a year-and-a-half real time.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil was on-air for about four years and takes place over the course of about two: the first two seasons take place during a single school year, the "Battle for Mewni" arc takes place during the summer, the remainder of season three goes into spring, and the final season ends sometime during the second summer.
  • Steven Universe: The way the series airs roughly matches the time progression in the show. For example, Steven begins the series at age 12 and "Steven's Birthday", which premiered a little over two years later, has him turn 14. However, the show rarely has episodes occur during winter, and forty episodes (from "Catch and Release" in the middle of season two to "Onion Gang" near the middle of season four) take place over the course of two months. "Reunited" is apparently set eight months after "The Answer", which aired two-and-a-half years earlier. Steven Universe: The Movie skips forward to when Steven is sixteen, and along with Steven Universe: Future seems to be over about a year. By the end, the show covers around four years in a little over six years real time.
  • The Venture Bros.: Between "Past Tense" and "Arrears in Science", only two years and fourteen days pass, compared to about fourteen years real time. That said, pop culture and mundane technology have remained contemporary with when episodes are written.

Alternative Title(s): That Night Felt Like Months