Abstract Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a common movement disorder that is associated with chronic neuroleptic exposure. To better characterize the clinical aspects of TD, we investigated the diurnal pattern of involuntary movements by blindly rating videotaped examinations of patients from the morning shortly after awakening and later in the same afternoon. In 10 patients, average TD ratings were worse in the afternoon than in the morning, especially in the case of limb-trunk dyskinesias. These findings suggest that it is important to rate patients at the same time of day in TD studies. Moreover, patients should be evaluated at least several hours after awakening.