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The Tumor, a device that exploits two circumstantially simultaneous events as triggers and fuel for its detonation.

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Circumstantial simultaneity is a concept that is responsible for a great deal of weird plot shit in Homestuck and, depending on interpretation, may or may not be a type of time shenanigans. Doc Scratch describesHS the concept as follows:

Circumstantial simultaneity is a concept more complex than its temporal analogue, and is valuable for examining the properties of paradox space. It is the agent responsible for the major cosmic event which pre-extinction Alternians came to refer to as The Great Undoing. The same concept rules the innumerable lesser events by which this critical moment shall be catalyzed, including the break, my employer's arrival, the detonation of a very powerful bomb, and my own death. It is an abstraction weaving together the fortunes of otherwise perfectly disparate chronologies, such as those bound to a pair of distinct sessions.

Rather frustratingly, he concludes that

It's not fully comprehensible to a mortal mind, and the length I will go to explain it to you will not extend beyond this sentence.

Circumstantially simultaneous events generally are not temporally simultaneous for the simple reason that if they take place in different continuities of time, as they frequently do by being in different regions of paradox space (e.g. different sessions), it is not possible to make meaningful temporal comparisons. However, events that are circumstantially simultaneous often have some kind of similarity of circumstance, hence the name.

Event examples[]

Possibly simultaneous[]

  • Another case that might possibly constitute a type of circumstantial simultaneity is Calliope intentionally striving to ensure that the session she shares with Caliborn is in some sense synchronised with the session of the post-scratch kids.
  • The ascension of Caliborn as Lord English and his presumed defeat when Vriska deploys The Treasure are presented together in [S] Act 7, implying that, like Doc Scratch's birth and death, these may be circumstantially simultaneous events.
  • It is also possible that many of the callbacks and recurring gags could be explainable in-universe as examples of circumstantial simultaneity.

Countdown examples[]

  • The Mysterious Countdown and the countdown on the Tumor in session B1. They are both first seen at 10 hours 25 minutes (HS, HS), and end with circumstantially simultaneous events.
  • If the journies of three years of both the Prospitian battleship (with John, Jade and the planets onboard) and the trolls' meteor (with Dave, Rose and the remaining trolls onboard) are seen as countdowns, they are circumstantially simultaneous: both begin with circumstantially simultaneous events and are believed to end with temporally simultaneous events. John indirectly acknowledges this when he tells Jade that he never sees Dave or Rose when dreaming; he first wondersHS if they are "just not sleeping at the same times", but Jade points out that "at the same times" doesn't make sense because they are in two different universes.


  • Circumstantial simultaneity is vaguely reminiscent of the concept of synchronicity defined by the psychiatrist Carl Jung, although there are also important distinctions between the two. Both deal with coincidences of events being connected by meaning rather than causality; however, synchronicity generally involves some form of temporal alignment of the events in question, while circumstantial simultaneity does not.