What’s Your Plan for a Groundhog Day Time Loop?

I try to be prepared for a variety of different challenging situations, but I recently realized that I haven’t thought at all about what I would do to survive, thrive, and make it past a Groundhog Day time loop.

This came to mind recently while watching, of all things, an episode of The Mindy Project. I’m catching up on the Hulu seasons, and even though the show is largely grounded in reality, there’s an episode in Season 5 when Mindy gets caught in a time loop. It’s great.

So my only research amounts to watching Groundhog Day, Edge of Tomorrow, and The Mindy Project. That isn’t a lot, but it’s given me some ideas on what I should do if I encounter a day-long time loop:

  • Make sure it’s a real time loop and not just deja vu. Otherwise it could end badly.
  • Realize at any time that the time loop could end. This is crucial, and it impacts several of the other steps below.
  • Don’t tell anyone. People react in different ways to time loops, particularly if they believe their actions don’t have consequences. While this won’t matter much if the time loop continues, if it ends at any time, you could really screw up someone’s else’s life.
  • Invest, bet, and check the lottery. This is Time Travel 101. It’s your chance to use your future knowledge to set yourself up for life. With a day-long time loop, you have limited options. I’m thinking I would invest aggressively in a few penny stocks in the the morning, then place a few bets on sporting events in the afternoon. I’d also try to find an in-progress lottery ending the same day.
  • Take risks (within reason). I’m a risk-averse person, so a time loop seems like a way to challenge myself in ways I wouldn’t normally try. Again, though, I wouldn’t want to do anything that I wouldn’t be happy with the next day if the time loop ended.
  • Learn information about people. In a time loop, I have the chance to try out different scenarios that I wouldn’t otherwise of having the luxury of trying. Like, is there something you’ve always wanted to ask someone but you were afraid of the consequences? This is the perfect chance to give it a try.
  • Try new things to determine my favorites. I’m always indecisive at restaurants because I don’t know what I’ll like the most. A time loop seems like a great way to try a bunch of different dishes at different restaurants.
  • Catch up on friends/family/things and learn new skills. While I don’t think a time loop would be a great time to write a novel (because the computer is going to revert back to its previous state every day), it seems like an ideal way to read books, watch movies/TV, chat with old friends, learn new skills, etc.
  • Do some good. This is a tough one, because I can’t help everyone everywhere. Rather, I need to selectively right a few wrongs, most likely locally.
  • Figure out how to end it. As fun and useful as a day-long time loop would be, I think it would get tiring after a while. In both Mindy and Groundhog Day, the idea is that the universe is trying to teach them a lesson. I struggle a bit with that explanation in real life–I’m open to it, but I think more likely there’s an issue with the space-time continuum that somehow (coincidentally/mistakenly) ended up revolving around me. I’d have to figure out what that causation is and prevent it from continuing.

That’s my strategy. What’s yours? What am I missing? The good news is if you ever encounter a Groundhog Day time loop, you can always look up this article as a reference.

4 Responses to “What’s Your Plan for a Groundhog Day Time Loop?”

  1. Joe Pilkus says:


    I would take full advantage of traveling to as many places on the planet as possible. Even with two dozen countries under my belt, I’m always up for the adventure of visiting a new place.


  2. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    Comments don’t seem to be working in Safari, so I’m posting a comment for Dorothy here:

    “What you describe has been one of my favorite fantasy games as far back as I can remember, but somehow I missed that it is called time loops. Now that I know it’s not just my idiosyncratic nonsense, maybe I can work it into my board game! Thanks for mainstreaming me and for the inspiration!”

  3. Well, it would let me finally get caught up on playing all my games.

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