Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Timey-Wimey Ball

Go To

Basic Trope: How Time Travel works is inconsistent within a single series.

  • Straight: In the series Just in Time, Tana often travels in time and changes the past, thus affecting the present, but it never has any unintended effects. When Timmy travels to the past to prevent the accident that killed his parents, they remain dead no matter what he does.
  • Exaggerated: In addition to the above: Tara is her own grandmother. Tom often observes the past with no ill effects, but when Tina tries to do the same thing for five minutes, she accidentally unleashes a Butterfly of Doom. This becomes a Temporal Paradox, which threatens to destroy the universe... but then Tana travels in time and prevents the entire disaster from happening.
  • Downplayed:
    • The time travel in Just in Time has a few oddities, for instance that a character may or may not be able to call someone in the present while time travelling.
    • Just in Time is a Long Runner. Time travel changes a little between seasons.
  • Justified:
    • Different time travellers have different means of time travelling. Different means of time travelling work differently and have different possibilities.
    • Timmy is less skilled in time travel/used outdated tech compared to Tana, which is why he can’t edit the timeline like she can.
    • The time travel is extremely complex such that even veteran experts find returning to roughly where you came from very difficult.
  • Inverted: The time travel makes little sense, but at least it isn't inconsistent.
  • Subverted: Tana explains that Timmy does something differently from her, and that's why he can't change the past.
  • Advertisement:
  • Double Subverted: When Timmy tries to do what she told him to do, he still can't change the past.
  • Parodied: Every time a character travels in time, a cosmic roulette determines which rules the time travel will operate under.
  • Zig Zagged: Tana can change the past. Timmy can't, but it's because he uses an older time machine. When he tries Tana's time machine, he's free to save his parents. One of Tina's observations of history ends with Godwin's Law of Time Travel, but that's only possible because Tina is under a curse. Tom tries to avert it, but finds out that You Can't Fight Fate. Then it turns out it was All Just a Dream... of a time traveller whose bad dreams are somehow caused by his time travels!
  • Averted:
    • The time travel is logical and perfectly consistent.
    • The time travel in Just in Time has clear, unambiguous rules from the first episode.
    • Advertisement:
    • There is no time travel in Just in Time.
  • Enforced: "Oh, Crap!, the time travel in this series isn't consistent at all." "Just leave it as it is. We don't have time to change it. Nobody will notice anyway."
  • Lampshaded: "She can Screw Destiny! Why can't I?"
  • Invoked: A mischievous Reality Warper decides to mess with the time travellers.
  • Exploited: Tana changes the past to her liking, knowing Timmy can't change it back.
  • Defied: ???
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "Sigh. Another show that doesn't care about getting its time travel consistent."
  • Deconstructed: Time Travel being so complicated leads Tina, Timmy and Tom to do much research on trying to figure out why it is so complicated; unravel the ball of yarn, so to speak. It's also leads to a lot of headaches as Ripple-Proof Memory is also influx, which makes their notes blink in and out of existence. They eventually gain a working understanding of the changing rules and apply this understanding.
  • Reconstructed: Tina, Timmy and Tom's research makes them more informed than laymen but they still get blinded occasionally.

Go back in time here, which may or may not cause a Temporal Paradox.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: