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Misused: You Have 48 Hours

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Feb 22nd 2017 at 4:03:24 PM

According to the description, this is is a subtrope of Race Against the Clock dealing specifically with a given time limit of 48 hours (no flexibility allowed).

However, the majority of examples talk about other time ranges. It's not helping that current page image also doesn't depict the 2 days limit.

    Misused examples (roughly 50% checked) 
  • The Saints of Athena in Saint Seiya have 12 hours to save Saori/Athena.
  • In one episode of Code Geass, Lelouch is given five hours to find his sister Nunnally who has been kidnapped by a Geass-using psychopath, who may or may not have stuck to the assigned limit.
  • This is one of the central plot points of Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit - a Chosen receives the titular document 24 hours before they are killed by the nanocapsule imbedded in their heart rupturing. Each Episode revolves around what that particular Chosen chooses to do with that time.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Hitomi gives Sayaka 24 hours to confess her love to Kyosuke before she confesses her own instead. Unfortunately, because Sayaka believes she's no longer human, she does not think she can ever confess, and knowing that Hitomi will leads her to despair.
  • In Final Crisis, the human Green Lanterns are given 24 hours to save the universe. So, no pressure...
  • In Bookhunter, the Oakland Library Police are investigating the theft of an irreplaceable book which was on loan from the Library of Congress. The book was scheduled to be returned in three days, so our protagonists have that long to solve the case before the feds learn of the theft and take over the investigation.
  • The hero of Taken is told, based on prior experience, that he has 96 hours to find his kidnapped daughter before the trail runs cold.
  • 88 Minutes takes this a few steps further.
  • Snake in Escape from New York had 24 hours to save the President, or the tiny explosives they injected him with would detonate, open up his jugular veins, and kill him.
  • In Stardust, Tristan has a week to travel into a neighboring magical universe and bring back a fallen star to Victoria before her birthday, or she'll marry Humphrey instead of him. Ironically, he eventually leaves the heroine, his actual true love, after making love to her so he can let Victoria down within that time frame—leading to the heroine's instant near-suicidal depression, as she doesn't realize he's going to (literally) dump his former crush and come back to her the same day.
  • Sheriff Will Kane has roughly one hour to raise a posse to confront notorious villain Frank Miller before Miller's train arrives at High Noon. He doesn't.
  • Man of Steel: General Zod delivers an ominous message when his spaceship arrives in Earth's orbit. Then he addresses the lone Kryptonian on the planet.
    Zod: To Kal-El I say this: Surrender within 24 hours, or watch this world suffer the consequences.
  • Subverted in Donnie Darko when the titular protagonist learns of the countdown very early in the movie, but does very little to stop it, only morosely goes through life waiting for it to happen.
    Frank: 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 12 seconds. That is when the world will end.
  • In Captain America: Civil War, Ross gives Tony 36 hours to bring in Cap.
  • Among the many Idiot Plot moments in Space Mutiny, the mutineers give The Captain 12 hours to surrender after seizing his daughter as a hostage. One would think 12 minutes would be enough — how long does it take to surrender? The extra time only encourages our hero to launch a rescue mission.
  • In The Emperor's Soul, Shai must complete her task to Forge a new soul for the Emperor before the 99 day mourning period for his wife is over, because his advisers don't want anybody else to find out that he was rendered comatose.
  • The title of the James Bond novel Zero Minus Ten comes from tha fact that Bond has only ten days to investigate the truth behind the assasinations in Hong Kong before it handed back to China after decades of British rule.
  • In Apparatus Infernum, the murder mystery of the first book involves a daughter of a noble House, meaning that there is very strong political pressure on the Criminal Investigation Division to produce a result immediately. Da Chief, Gunwood, tells Mikani and Ritsuko that if they can't solve the case by a certain deadline, he'll have to replace them, even though he knows it isn't really their fault.
  • In the Dramatic Audio version of the Left Behind book Glorious Appearing, a Global Community agent threatens the network broadcast crew to cut the signal of Chaim Rosenzweig's message by giving each member, starting from the top brass down, sixty seconds to get the signal cut before they are murdered.
  • Law And Order uses the final "can only be held so long" variant frequently, along with the statute of limitations.
  • Parodied on "The Office," kind of, when Michael apparently misunderstands the threat:
    Michael: (being blamed for an obscene watermark on a paper order; making a video) If I could leave you with one thought, remember... it wasn't me. They're trying to make me an escape goat. If I am fired, I swear to God, that every single piece of copier paper in this town is going to have the F-word on it. The F-word. You have one day.
  • On Scrubs, Laverne is annoyed when Colin Farrell's character is ousted from the hospital:
    Laverne: You have one day to get us another gorgeous Irishman.
    The Todd: One day. (off JD's and Turk's looks) What? The Todd appreciates hot, regardless of gender.

Solution A:

  • Move all examples with non-fitting time ranges to the supertrope Race Against the Clock.
  • Remove trope image/send to IP for finding a new one.

Solution B:

edited 13th Mar '17 2:00:44 PM by eroock

SeptimusHeap Christmas worms from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Christmas worms
crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Feb 23rd 2017 at 7:52:14 AM

The decision to choose 48 hours seems arbitrary and irregular. I don't see a need to keep this as a subtrope to Race Against the Clock.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Feb 23rd 2017 at 8:19:14 AM

While there's a good case that this is simply The Same But More Specific, 48 hours is a number that quite a few works use. "I don't see the need for this trope" is not a valid reason to misuse it, or to shoehorn non-examples into it. If it's specifically "48 hours" then any other period of time is a shoehorn and should be moved to the more appropriate supertrope.

Doing away with this page won't make the work any easier. The examples will still need to be moved and the wicks corrected.

edited 23rd Feb '17 8:20:24 AM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
Feb 23rd 2017 at 8:27:36 AM

I don't see a specific time limit as the tropeworthy part of this. I think the association with cop shows in the description's second paragraph is a better angle.

Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Feb 23rd 2017 at 9:00:17 AM

That makes it even more specific, and leaves us with "where do we put cop show examples that use 24 or 72 hours? "

It's a good point though, perhaps the trope here is not the time limit, but why it's imposed, who it's imposed on, and what the consequences of not meeting it are.

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Feb 23rd 2017 at 9:15:49 AM

It's a good point though, perhaps the trope here is not the time limit, but why it's imposed, who it's imposed on, and what the consequences of not meeting it are.
I'd absolutely consider those to be reasonable sub-tropes; [X] time until a bomb explodes, [X] time before the missing person is more likely dead than alive, [X] time until the suspect is released/leaves-jurisdiction, [X] time until the morning press is released...

But I don't think "all examples with [X] time" is anything more than a sorting strategy.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Feb 23rd 2017 at 10:28:50 AM

All else being equal, I don't think there's a meaningful difference between having 48 hours and 72 hours to complete something, especially if the time limit is based on the same law, but is different times in different states. 48 hours is more common, but that's the only thing that sets it apart. It's sort of like if you figure out that a Flunky Boss has five flunkies more times than any other number, you make a trope for that specific number. It's not like the Ensemble Tropes, where different numbers of people give different dynamics between them.

If there's a great deal of misuse on the trope page (which is true), it implies something is wrong with it, and in this case, I suspect that tropers just don't see the significance in the specific number either.

Subtropes for specific types of time limits make more sense.

Check out my fanfiction!
Xtifr World's Toughest Milkman Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
Feb 24th 2017 at 12:59:15 AM

[up][up] I think Maddy & Crazysamaritan have put their fingers on the exact problem. The different ways that "we have a deadline" are played in fiction have to do with what the deadline is for much more than the exact number of minutes/hours/days the deadline lasts.

edited 24th Feb '17 12:59:51 AM by Xtifr

Speaking words of fandom: let it squee, let it squee.
Feb 24th 2017 at 12:23:03 PM

Whoever wrote up the trope description saw something special in the number 48. Is this just made up or is 48 hours indeed the sweet spot for writing a plot set against a clock?

... most popular is the 48 hour limit, since it gives the story a deadline that's reasonably urgent but not too restrictive. It also allows for scenes set both in the daytime and at night, maximising the storytelling possibilities.

Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Feb 24th 2017 at 1:04:48 PM

"48 hours" is really common. I don't know why, probably because it's long enough to make success not too implausible, but too short to be able to do a thorough investigation in.

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
Feb 24th 2017 at 1:12:42 PM

It really depends on if "48 hours have shown that it has lots of examples" is justifying its merit as a subtrope or not.

I vote for "not".

We don't need justice when we can forgive. We don't need tolerance when we can love.
Larkmarn Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
Feb 24th 2017 at 1:16:36 PM

See, I was under the impression that this trope was "characters are given an arbitrary deadline to accomplish a task to create a Race Against the Clock scenario" which seems suitably distinct from just Race Against the Clock.

Karxrida Smash the Salt from Darkness within Darkness Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Smash the Salt
Feb 24th 2017 at 1:38:28 PM

48 hours is really common because of cop shows/movies giving the heroes that deadline to finish their investigation (e.g. Zootopia) for some legal reason that may or may not be Truth in Television. Probably just Hollywood Law, though.

Ultimately I think the trope could be expanded to just be about an arbitrary time limit imposed on the heroes for reasons separate from the actual conflict, like what Larkman said above. The specific time isn't important so much as how and why it's being enforced.

edited 24th Feb '17 1:46:38 PM by Karxrida

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody remembers it, who else will you have ice cream with?
Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Feb 24th 2017 at 1:51:43 PM

The write-up is explicit that as it stands now, that the only thing that makes this different from its supertrope Race Against the Clock is the "48 hours", limit, no matter who is given the deadline or why.

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Mar 13th 2017 at 8:43:57 AM

Do we need a crowner, or is there enough general consensus to cut this (and move all examples back to Race Against the Clock)?

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
Larkmarn Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
Mar 13th 2017 at 8:47:23 AM

So, I'm torn.

On one hand, as-is, this can clearly be merged.

But the (fairly widely) perceived definition of "an arbitrary deadline is given to the protagonists to do something for no reason other than to create a Race Against the Clock situation" is a viable and separate subtrope.

... that said, it isn't the trope so if it came up in a single-action crowner (Cut or keep) I'm honestly not sure how I'd vote.

SeptimusHeap Christmas worms from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Christmas worms
Mar 13th 2017 at 8:56:44 AM

Creating a new trope would be a task for TLP. I don't think there is a point to make this repair contingent on making that trope.

Mar 13th 2017 at 12:42:43 PM

"an arbitrary deadline is given to the protagonists to do something for no reason other than to create a Race Against the Clock situation" is, ironically, the whole reasoning for Race Against the Clock.

We don't need justice when we can forgive. We don't need tolerance when we can love.
Berrenta MOD Time Cat from Texas Relationship Status: Can't buy me love
Time Cat
Jun 7th 2017 at 8:53:15 PM

Clock is ticking.

Jun 8th 2017 at 11:37:41 PM

Merge.

We don't need justice when we can forgive. We don't need tolerance when we can love.
crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Jun 9th 2017 at 10:54:18 AM Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
Berrenta Time Cat from Texas Relationship Status: Can't buy me love
Time Cat
Jun 9th 2017 at 11:58:07 AM

Great. [tup]

Hooked; will shut off clock.

crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Jun 12th 2017 at 12:41:12 PM

9:0 in favour of the cut.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
Karxrida Smash the Salt from Darkness within Darkness Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Smash the Salt
Jun 12th 2017 at 12:46:42 PM

Are we making this into a redirect to Race Against the Clock or outright cutting the page? It has ~650 inbounds and is a phrase with a decent amount of use, so I think redirecting is a viable move.

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody remembers it, who else will you have ice cream with?

Single Proposition: You Have 48 Hours
9th Jun '17 10:46:54 AM
Vote up for yes, down for no.
At issue:
The trope description defines a time limit of 48 hours (no flexibility allowed). Misuse is incredibly high, citing numbers other than the strict 48 hours.

The TRS thread has not reached a formal consensus on action, so the decision is left to a crowner. If cut/merge fails to reach consensus, the page/wicks will be repaired and a new Image Picking thread will be created.

Total posts: 34
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