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Your favorite books, movies, television shows and video games tend to state, specifically, what year they happen. Sometimes it's a very specific year, a vague decade/century (199X, 24th-and-one-half century), or a completely made up timeline (Universal Century, Second Age). Want to quickly see when your favorite work happened? Do you want to know what was happening in fiction while Rapture was explored? Want to know how many works set in World War Two feature the Third Reich dying in any way other than suicide? Just look it up here.
The idea was inspired by a personal project being undertaken by Gorblax at the Penny Arcade forums, where he created a timeline for video games, using years from the Gregorian calendar. It can be found here.
The only events listed here should be ones that are dated under a Gregorian calendar or something very similar. If the events happen under a fictional calendar, but said calendar can be correlated to the Gregorian calendar somehow, then feel free to list those events. For long-running comics or television series, you should only list major arcs or events that significantly change the status quo. Fanfic events are acceptable, but should also be limited to major arcs and events. (Please make it clear when something is fanfic rather than Canon by linking to the TV Tropes page for that fanfic.)
For each example you list, make sure to put the source in parentheses at the end (if not, that article will be deleted unless the source can be named). Try to place more specific dates before vague dates (For example, put July 4, 1954 before July 1954 and 1954). However, if a vague date definitely occurs before a more specific one, put the vague date first (for example, July 1954 goes before August 13th, 1954). This goes for years as well; for example, 'early 18th century' would go before 1775.
Because this is a timeline, spoilers are very likely to appear. To avoid line after line of spoiled text, tropers should stick to using general summaries and descriptions, and try to avoid specific details. If these kind of spoilers are unavoidable, or the troper believes they're important, then the details should be listed in a hottip .
Please also note that we are not using the B.C. or A.D acronyms because the acronym B.C. stands for Before Christ, or Before the Messiah, and A.D. stands for Anno Domini, or In the Year of Our Lord. These are statements of worship of him and as such are both unfair to and/or technically not accurate because of those tropers that do not worship him, as we are fairly well represented among Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists, and almost certainly have a Scientologist or two, among innumerable other non-Christian groups.
For a chronological list of tropes rather than specific series, see The Trope History of the Universe.
A note on dates:
Certain series can be correlated to the Gregorian calendar, but require fairly lengthy justifications. To avoid excessive hottips, they will be explained here in alphabetical order.
- Andromeda: Commonwealth Year 6811 is intended to synch up with 1891, most clearly referenced and explained here.
- Archie Comics Sonic the Hedgehog: Mobian year 0 is 10,779 C.E. This is explained best on Wikipedia's page on the Archie Sonic comic and the Mobius Encyclopaedia page on Mobius.
- The works of Isaac Asimov: Only the 20th and 21st century robot stories are assigned conclusive dates in the Gregorian calendar. The Elijah Baley stories take place approximately 3,000 years after the founding of the city of New York, sometime in the 47th century. The timeframes for the later novels are inconsistent from book to book, and may be anywhere between 13,000 and 52,000 C.E.
- The Bible: We are using the Ussher chronology, as that is the most well-known and popular Biblical timeline. However, since Ussher gave his dates in the Julian calendar, they must be converted into Gregorian dates; this can be done here. Due to different methods of calculating leap years and the fact that the Gregorian calendar includes a year 0 CE, Gregorian dates will tend to differ from those stated by Ussher by a year and several weeks. Answers in Genesis has created a handy PDF of said timeline.
- Code Geass: The dating system ('Ascension Throne Britannia'; a.t.b.) is jumbled, with an epoch 55 years before the Common Era's, but most events with historical antecedents happen at the same numerical date as in ours. (Washington's Rebellion is still placed in the 1770s, for instance.) Placement will assume the systems match up, with a note on the possible alternate year for events.
- Dragon Ball: Dates are given in the DragonBall Daizenshuu, via the Dragonball Wiki. Note that the source material uses 'Before Age' and 'Age', but there is no logical epoch or real-world basis for this, so these are just assumed as 'Before Common Era' and 'Common Era', until any more information comes in regarding this. As for GT, according to official sources, it is set 5 years after Z (i.e. 15 years after the Buu saga), however the Funimation dub changes this to ten years after Z.
- Dune: 1 A.G., signifying the beginning of the Spacing Guild, is approximately 13,000 C.E. The date 10191 used in the beginning of the first novel is A.G. Dune Timeline
- Harry Potter: In Chamber of Secrets, Nearly Headless Nick's 500th deathday celebrates his death in 1492, during Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts. This puts Harry's first year at Hogwarts in 1991. On top of this, in Deathly Hallows James and Lily Potter died when Harry was a year old in 1981.
- Half Life: All but one timeline places Black Mesa's deployment of the resonance cascade in the unnamed year of 200-.
- The Incredibles: Syndrome's computer file on Elastigirl says that her last superhero activity (and therefore, the rough date of the Superhero Relocation Act) was in 1955.
- Judge Dredd: If there is a contradiction, dates in stories by John Wagner are assumed to take precedence, as he is the creator of the comic. See also the note on Strontium Dog for some irregularities regarding "Judgement Day"
- Killer 7: Dates not given in the games are taken from the timeline given in Hand in Killer 7.
- Lexx: In a 2001 episode, set in "the very near future", a U.S. presidential candidate is said to have hidden in Vietnam "for 32 years" — from "1969" to "earlier this year." (There being an election in '01 is presumably down to the machinations of Prince.)
- The Lord of the Rings: JRR Tolkien, once stated in a letter (#211 in Letters by Tolkien) that the War of the Ring ended about 6000 years ago. This letter was written in 1958, putting the fall of Barad-Dur around 4042 BCE.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: The year 0065 of Mid-Childan New Calender is assumed to correspond to the Common Era 2006 on Earth. Refer to the MGLN Wiki for details.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: This timeline indicates that UC 0001 is likely 2081.
- Gundam Wing: The novelization says that the circus where Trowa Barton works is almost 600 years old; the circus' logo bears the text "Since 1667", placing Wing in the mid- to late 2200s.
- Portal: This timeline puts GLaDOS's initiation on take-your-daughter-to-work-day in 1998. Portal 2 makes a few retcons to the timeline, however.
- Star Wars: The comic Star Wars Tales #19 has an alternate history story where Han Solo and Chewbacca crash the Millennium Falcon on Earth. The ship is found 126 years later by Indiana Jones and Short Round after Indy's 1939 visit to Atlantis (so around 1940). Because of this, A New Hope is assumed to take place in 1814.
- Strontium Dog: "The Final Solution" is stated to take place in 2180, but this is inconsistent with both previously-established chronology and the way 2000 AD works. A date of 2190 is consistent with established canon. Subsequent events in the series, as well as dates of events in "Judgement Day", are based on this dating.
- Prehistory (before 3000 B.C.E.)
- Ancient and Medieval History (3000 B.C.E. - 1500 C.E.)
- The Renaissance and Industrial Revolution (1501 C.E. - 1800 C.E.)
- The Nineteenth Century (1801 C.E. - 1900 C.E.)
- The World Wars (1901 C.E. - 1945 C.E.)
- Mid Twentieth Century (1945 C.E. - 1979 C.E.)
- The Eighties and Nineties (1980 C.E. - 1999 C.E.)
- The Near Past and Future (2000 C.E. - 2019 C.E.)
- The Next Two Centuries (2020 C.E. - 2200 C.E.)
- The Third Millennium (2201 C.E. - 3000 C.E.)
- The Far Future (3001 C.E. and onward)
- ↑ use this template throughout the article