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"A Kind of a Stopwatch" is the 124th episode of The Twilight Zone.

Episode Details

Opening Narration

"Submitted for your approval or at least your analysis: one Patrick Thomas McNulty, who, at age forty-one, is the biggest bore on Earth. He holds a ten-year record for the most meaningless words spewed out during a coffee break. And it's very likely that, as of this moment, he would have gone through life in precisely this manner, a dull, argumentative bigmouth who sets back the art of conversation a thousand years. I say very likely would have except for something that will soon happen to him, something that will considerably alter his existence - and ours. Now you think about that now, because this is the Twilight Zone."

Episode Summary

Patrick McNulty is in his 40's and is the biggest bore on the planet. He holds a 10-year record for the most meaningless things said. One day McNulty is asked to go to his boss, who fires him for putting meaningless suggestions in the suggestion box. McNulty goes to a bar, where everyone leaves after being annoyed by McNulty. At the bar, a drunken man gives him a stopwatch for buying him a drink. Thinking of it as an odd gift, McNulty uses it and realizes that it actually stops time. McNulty goes back to the office to try to show his former boss the power of the stopwatch. McNulty says if he figures out how it works, they would be the biggest company on the planet. His boss, Mr. Cooper, does not even let McNulty speak. McNulty leaves but messes things up in the office before he goes. McNulty realizes that with the stopwatch, he can get a ton of money. McNulty goes to rob a bank, but drops the watch, breaking it and thereby freezing time permanently. McNulty runs off worried that he will be left for the rest of his life with no acquaintances, forever alone in a lifeless world.

Closing Narration

"Mr. Patrick Thomas McNulty, who had a gift of time. He used it and he misused it, now he's just been handed the bill. Tonight's tale of motion and McNulty - in the Twilight Zone."

Preview for Next Week's Story

Next on Twilight Zone, a gentleman of myriad talents in a story written especially for him. Mr. Mickey Rooney appears in "The Last Night of a Jockey". He plays the role of a diminutive little man screaming for help in the bottom of a barrel and the help he receives is unexpected and quite incredible. On The Twilight Zone, a cast of one: Mr. Mickey Rooney. I hope you'll be able to be with us.

Critical Response

Star Pulse ranks this as the best episode of the series, and it was well-received by critics for its interpretations of greed and loneliness.


Production Companies


  • Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1959) (USA) (TV) (original airing)

Home media release

This episode is included on the Image Entertainment Vol. 15 DVD along with "Escape Clause", "Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room" and "The Midnight Sun".


Errors and Goofs

  • When McNulty moves things in the bar, the "frozen" bartender blinks.
  • When McNulty gazes around the bank in the last scene, just before the watch falls, someone "frozen" moves in the background.

Memorable Quotes

Main article: List of memorable quotes from the first series

External Links