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DAYS SINCE LAST INCIDENT:
THERE ARE NEVER ANY DAYS BETWEEN INCIDENTS

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A trope usually seen in comedy. Occurs where an institution holds a sign outside their facility stating "X days since the last [bad event]", usually a sign like this is used to indicate the building has No OSHA Compliance, with work-related accidents or outlandish catastrophes being the most frequent bad event. Sometimes being reset by occurrences within the episode. An increasingly common variant is the sign having to be reset as it is being updated. Very much Truth in Television (the sign, not the comedy).

Examples of X Days Since... include:

Anime and Manga

  • The Trigun manga, in an interesting variation of this trope, showed a sign in one city counting the number of murders and serious injuries that had occurred that day.

Comic Books

  • Incredible Hulk has the occasional counter indicating number of days without incident (in this case, "incident" means "Bruce getting pissed off enough to Hulk Out and break lots of things").

Film

  • Transformers had one of these inside the Hoover Dam.
  • During a shooty shootout in a shooter factory in Shoot Em Up, numbers are predictably shot off the sign until it displays 0. Shoot.
  • Done in the movie Speed. In the finale, as the subway train crashes out of control through the construction area, there's such a sign. The subway train crashes through it.
  • Played for Drama in Super 8, when an accident counter (at a very high count) at the Lillian steel mill is seen reset to zero before it is revealed that the accident caused the gruesome death of the protagonist's mother.
  • Used in Monsters, Inc.. The sign is reset to zero after the first "twenty-three-nineteen" incident.
  • In Young Doctors In Love the sign is reset after the assassin smokes next to gas tanks, and explodes.

Literature

  • One of the Star Wars Expanded Universe stories mentions a sign in the lobby of the New Republic Senate reading "xDays Since The Last Shot Fired in Anger. Remember, Peace is No Accident!"
    • When a new war breaks out, Chief of State Leia Organa Solo notices the sign and angrily orders that it be taken down.

Live-Action TV

  • On Countdown with Keith Olbermann: "X days since the (previous) President declared Mission Accomplished in Iraq."
    • Occasionally used to count other things, though none have lasted as long. 'Days since the start of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster' is the most recent.[when?]
      • The most common one now[when?] seems to be "X days since Republicans took control of the House. Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?"
  • An episode of The Office featured an "X Days Since Last Accident" sign in the warehouse. Michael caused an accident, requiring the sign (which had a high number on it) to be reset.
  • Happens non-comically in Lois and Clark, the counter is reset to zero because of something happening in the episode.
  • When the film 'I Was a Teenage Werewolf' was featured on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the following comment was made at a shot of a high school sign:
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Tom Servo: Ten days since last teen pregnancy.

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  • Jon Stewart's first televised reaction to the Henry Louis Gates incident:
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Now we have to reset the sign!
[Large sign reading "191 days without racial tension"]

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  • An episode of Monk began within with a janitor being killed in an industrial trash compactor, with blood spattering onto the sign.

Newspaper Comics

  • There was a Dilbert strip where somebody is putting up a sign that reads "8 days since the last accident", and then falls off the wheeled chair they're standing on.
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Dilbert: That's ironic.
Injured co-worker: No, it was ironic when it happened nine days ago.

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Sports

  • English Premier League club Everton FC are in the midst of serious financial problems that have left them unable to buy or sign any new players for the team for quite some time. Disgruntled fans have set up a web site called "Everton Time" that tracks how many years, months, and days it's been since the club's most recent player purchases and signings.

Theme Parks

  • The ride Stitch's Great Escape at Walt Disney World has the Galactic Federation's "Days Since Last Escape" as you exit the ride. The very high number is, of course, resetting since Stitch just escaped.

Video Games

  • Inverted in the first Oddworld game: One of the scrolling information bars in Rupture Farms, a meat packing plant, reads "Only 1,234 work related injuries this month! Keep up the good work"
  • Several Team Fortress 2 maps have a sign that reads "This Job Has Worked [0] Days Without an Accident".
  • BioShock (series) has several of these signs throughout the game. At least one has fallen off the wall entirely.
  • The new[when?] Ghostbusters video game has one of these signs shown in the firehouse just outside the door to the sleeping quarters/showers.
  • One derelict spaceship in Mass Effect 2 has an "It has been five days since our last workplace fatality" announcement.
    • Of course, said derelict spaceship is actually an Eldritch Abomination. It's to be expected. The only reason it's been as much as five days is the whole work crew are husks already!
  • Eggman really is cutting corners with his attractions if they come with a MINUTES without accidents counter!
    • "Come aboard the asteroid coaster! Accident free for 45 minutes!"
  • Dead Space has a "Days Since Last Accident" sign which predictably reads '0'. It shows up as a background image on its Steam library page.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • Somewhere in Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series Little Kuriboh adds a sign to an establishing shot of the school "X days since last Godzilla attack."
  • In one of the Acts of Gord stories, he comes up with the idea of having an "X days since I've had to deal with an idiot" sign. The idea being that while dealing with an idiot, he would sigh and flip it back to 0, right in front of them. He hoped they'd be offended enough to leave.
  • Yahtzee doesn't have that kind of restraint; he counts time since his last gay joke in hours instead of days.
  • There are numerous images of one office or another's version of an "It Has Been X Days Since Our Last Velociraptor Incident" sign. Like this one. Or the one on our Raptor Attack page.

Western Animation

  • In The Simpsons:
    • In the new opening: Lenny & Carl are changing the "days without an accident" one higher, then the quittingtime horn goes off and Homer runs out, knocking them over in the process.
    • A prison holds a sign counting the number of days since the last break.
    • A trailer park has a sign counting the number of days without a tornado. And it's reset between scenes.
    • When Apu takes his citizenship test, the sign outside says something like "130 years without a civil war"
    • Then there's the "days since a suicide" sign at a divorcee hotel. As we see it, there's a gunshot and it resets to zero.
    • In the computer game Virtual Springfield, there's one of these on the wall in Sector 7G. If you click on one button, Homer presses it, then suddenly Lenny and Carl come running through screaming and on fire, then a countdown begins, stopping when Homer casually presses a button, and says "So that's what that button does!" If you look at the wall again, the counter has reset.
    • The sign at the Springfield International Airport says "no crashes since Tuesday", then immediately a plane crashes.
  • In a Futurama episode a sign counts the days since Omicron Persei 8 last invaded Earth and in another episode there's one in a working ground for slaves counting the days since the last accident (and Fry accidentally nails his own hand to the sign while changing the number, then reaches for the "1" sign anyway). Also, there's one on the door to the cryogenic tubes Fry got frozen in.
  • On an episode of Chilly Beach, one of the townspeople is changing a sign marked "Number of days Since Last Polar Bear Attack" from "0000" to "0001". He gets eaten by a polar bear and the number blows off.
  • An episode of Back at the Barnyard has Freddy attempting to change the "Days since last accident" sign. When he does, he falls off the ladder he was using prompting a long and exaggerated cycle of him falling.
  • In the King of the Hill episode "The Accidental Terrorist", just after Bobby got a ride on a car lift in a car dealership, the camera zooms towards the background showing the sign "2 days since the last accident."

Real Life

  • From T-Shirt Hell (NSFW): "03687 days since the last time I gave a shit."
  • The road running from Fort Irwin (California) to Barstow, the nearest town, has a sign reading: "This road is deceptively dangerous. It has killed __ injured __ this year. Please drive carefully." For symbolic effect, the sign includes a "map" of the road—pictured as a rattlesnake with a lane divider running down its back.
    • Several British roads have a similar but rather more understated sign, saying "__ killed, __ injured this year. Drive Carefully."
    • Similarly, Route 9 (AKA "Killer 9") in New Jersey during the 1960s and 1970s, before it was rebuilt entirely, actually had warning signs (like the one in this article); at least one kept a running tally of deaths and injuries for the current year.
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