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Oh crud, it's quarter past zeppelin already!?

In Comedyland, there is always time for cramming more jokes, and sometimes clocks, and the ones who keep times with clocks, are in the joke too. Since timekeeping is more flexible than humor lets in, why no make the clock and the time of the day a joke too?

This trope comes in two flavors (that sometimes tends to intersect):

Timepieces with Text: An ordinary-looking clock whose dials have one or more of the numbers replaced by a non-numerical word or picture telling what will happen on the hour.

Character Chronology: A character creates a fictional time based upon the actions of one or more other characters.

Note that while this is mostly a comedy trope, it can be present in more serious works.

Examples of Cue O'Clock include:

Timepieces with Text

Comic Books

  • Skalman from Bamse got an alarm clock like this. And he always follows it (there has been only one exception).


  • Harry Potter: The Weasley family has a clock that tell their matriarch Molly to do things like "Time to make tea", "Time to feed the chickens" and "You're running late". They also have a clock-like device with nine hands (marked after each family member) that doesn't tell time at all, it just shows where each of the family members currently are (the dial has in lieu of numbers words like "home," "school," "work," "travelling," "lost," "hospital," "prison," and "mortal peril.")

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • The title character of the Classic Disney Short "Donald's Cousin Gus" has a watch that tells mealtimes.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Baby Cakes", Pinkie Pie glances at a wristwatch with a picture of her face at the top while waiting for her chance to play with the Cakes' newborn twins some more.

Other Media

Character Chronology


Live-Action TV

  • In the House episode 'Simple Explanation' Kutner does not turn up for work and Taub puts forward an obviously fictitious cover story for him, saying that his dog is sick and he will be there by lunch. At lunchtime House looks at his watch and says "Look at the time. It's half past Taub-was-lying-about-Kutner."


  • A magazine article from the 1920s said that it was "Sex O'Clock in America".


  • In the song "Party on Fountain":

What time's it at?
It's at Party O'Clock


New Media

Stand-Up Comedy

  • An ATC Tower relaying local time to an inbound aircraft, "...If you're a civilian, it's 3:00; if you're Air Force, it's 1500; if you're Navy, it's Six-Bells, if you're Army, the big hand is on '3' & little hand is on '12'; if you're Marine, it's 2 hours until the bar opens!

Video Games

  • The description for one of the watches you can put on your Rock Band character claims it to be "rock o'clock".

Web Comics

Other Media

  • Otaku O'Clock is the semi-informal name given to the anime time block that airs around 11 PM to the early hours of the morning. It has gained that name due to the fact that most of the series aired at those times tend to be more oriented to the Otaku demographic, which can cover anything from series based in mangas with small but loyal followings, to series that are Hotter and Sexier/Darker and Edgier than mainstream fare, to Moe material that appeal to otaku's tastes but had not that much mainstream appeal otherwise.

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