History Main / SchrodingersButterfly

9th Jul '16 11:55:00 AM nombretomado
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* In ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'', a character asks the question of whether [[spoiler:Metus]] is a snake dreaming he's an Agori or an Agori dreaming he's a snake.

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* In ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'', ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'', a character asks the question of whether [[spoiler:Metus]] is a snake dreaming he's an Agori or an Agori dreaming he's a snake.
2nd Jul '16 11:49:48 AM shawnvw
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[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* Happens in-universe in the ''StarTrek'' fan story "A Private Anecdote". Cpt. Christopher Pike was captain of the ''Enterprise'' when it visited Talos VII, where he was subject to very realistic mental illusions by the Talosians. In this story, years later, he thinks back over his adventures he's had since then; each time, he would briefly wonder: "What if this isn't real?" In other words, was he actually still on Talos experiencing yet another illusion?

[[/folder]]
1st Jul '16 7:50:44 PM nombretomado
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* In AndreNorton's ''Storm Over Literature/{{Warlock}}'', Thorvald wonders if they could tell whether meeting each other was another of the dreams.

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* In AndreNorton's Creator/AndreNorton's ''Storm Over Literature/{{Warlock}}'', Thorvald wonders if they could tell whether meeting each other was another of the dreams.
20th Jun '16 7:19:07 PM SuperFeatherYoshi
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* Two examples from ''Videogame/{{Touhou}}'''s [[AllThereInTheManual print works]]. Gensokyo's historian Hieda no Akyuu mentions a theory that the outside world is nothing but a dream of Yukari Yakumo, the resident [[RealityWarper youkai of boundaries]]. Meanwhile in the near-future, a student named Maribel Han, who has the ability to see and sometimes cross supernatural boundaries, has inadvertently stumbled into Gensokyo in ''her'' dreams. As if that wasn't enough, Maribel looks very much like a younger version of Yukari...

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* Two examples from ''Videogame/{{Touhou}}'''s [[AllThereInTheManual print works]]. Gensokyo's historian Hieda no Akyuu mentions a theory that the outside world is nothing but a dream of Yukari Yakumo, the resident [[RealityWarper youkai of boundaries]]. Meanwhile in the near-future, a student named Maribel Han, Hearn, who has the ability to see and sometimes cross supernatural boundaries, has inadvertently stumbled into Gensokyo in ''her'' dreams. As if that wasn't enough, Maribel looks very much like a younger version of Yukari...
7th Jun '16 4:04:52 PM TheOneWhoTropes
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* ComicBook/TheQuestion (whose Sensei nicknamed him "The Butterfly") is [[CatchPhrase fond of]] throwing around the {{Zhuangzi}} quote, [[NonSequitur whether the context calls for it or not.]] He's even used it as a pick-up line.

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* ComicBook/TheQuestion (whose Sensei nicknamed him "The Butterfly") is [[CatchPhrase fond of]] throwing around the {{Zhuangzi}} Creator/{{Zhuangzi}} quote, [[NonSequitur whether the context calls for it or not.]] He's even used it as a pick-up line.
12th May '16 8:48:53 PM Pastykake
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* ''Series/DoctorWho'' plays with this in the episode ''Amy's Choice'', when the "Dream Lord" traps the Doctor and his two companions in two deadly situations which they switch between by falling asleep every five minutes or so, claiming one of them to be real and one of them to be a dream, and that if you die in the dream you wake up in reality, while if you die in reality, "[[DeadpanSnarker you die, stupid, that's why it's called reality]]". [[spoiler: In the end, the Doctor, in a twist of genius, realises that the Dream Lord gave them a choice between two dreams, because he "conceded defeat" and revived the dead TARDIS, while the Dream Lord is supposed to have no power over reality. He subsequently blows up the TARDIS to [[KillEmAll kill them all]], and they all get returned to reality, where they were brought into a collective hallucination by a few grammes of psychotropic dust, and the Dream Lord is just an inner demon within the Doctor.]]
** ''DoctorWho'' does it ''again'' in the 2014 Christmas special "Last Christmas" all while {{Deconstructing}} the show's 'isolated base under attack' trope. there are enough dream layers and ambiguities that viewers have questioned if the 'top level' was still just the dream.

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* ''Series/DoctorWho'' plays ''Series/DoctorWho''
** Played
with this in the episode ''Amy's Choice'', when the ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E7AmysChoice Amy's Choice]]''. The "Dream Lord" traps the Doctor and his two companions in two deadly situations which they switch between by falling asleep every five minutes or so, claiming one of them to be real and one of them to be a dream, and that if you die in the dream you wake up in reality, while if you die in reality, "[[DeadpanSnarker you die, stupid, that's why it's called reality]]". [[spoiler: dream. In the end, the Doctor, in a twist of genius, realises that the [[spoiler:the Dream Lord gave them a choice between two dreams, because he "conceded defeat" and revived the dead TARDIS, while the Dream Lord TARDIS when he is supposed to have no power over reality. He The Doctor subsequently blows up the TARDIS to [[KillEmAll kill them all]], all and they all get returned to reality, where wake up in reality. It turns out that they were brought into a collective hallucination by a few grammes of psychotropic dust, and the Dream Lord is just an inner demon within the Doctor.]]
** ''DoctorWho'' does it ''again'' in the The 2014 Christmas special "Last Christmas" all plays out this trope while {{Deconstructing}} the show's 'isolated base under attack' trope. there are enough dream layers and ambiguities that viewers have questioned if the 'top level' was is still just the dream.



* The GrandFinale of ''Series/{{Community}} features a parody of the idea. In TheTag, we see a fake commercial for the family playing Community the board game. The characters have a debate as to whether the show is really just them playing the game or if the game is a part of the show. At one point, after revealing the snow globe that claims the show is their game, another character reveals the script of the episode they are in. At that point, the first character comments that this means they don't actually exist.

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* The GrandFinale of ''Series/{{Community}} ''Series/{{Community}}'' features a parody of the idea. In TheTag, we see a fake commercial for the family playing Community the board game. The characters have a debate as to whether the show is really just them playing the game or if the game is a part of the show. At one point, after revealing the snow globe that claims the show is their game, another character reveals the script of the episode they are in. At that point, the first character comments that this means they don't actually exist.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}''. A special episode between the third and fourth seasons goes back and forth between the present-day setting and a 19th-century setting. Sherlock is dreaming one of them and keeps "waking up," but it's unclear which one is the dream. On one hand, the episode is framed as an alternative special set in the 19th century; on the other hand, the present-day setting continues where the third season finale leaves off. In the end, it's left ambiguous which setting is "real": present-day Sherlock claims he went deep inside his mind to run an elaborate thought experiment and 19th-century Sherlock claims [[AllJustADream he imagined what a future world might look like and how he would fit in it]].
12th May '16 8:08:28 PM Pastykake
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The trope name is a reference to a poem by the 4th century BC Chinese philosopher {{Zhuangzi}}, a Taoist philosopher who influenced Chinese Buddhism. It refers also to [[UsefulNotes/SchrodingersCat Erwin Schrödinger's thought experiment relating to quantum uncertainty]]. If you can't tell, we like to be well balanced in our {{geek}}ery on this wiki.

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The trope name is a reference to a poem by the 4th century BC fourth-century-BC Chinese philosopher {{Zhuangzi}}, Creator/{{Zhuangzi}}, a Taoist philosopher who influenced Chinese Buddhism. It refers also to [[UsefulNotes/SchrodingersCat Erwin Schrödinger's thought experiment relating to quantum uncertainty]]. If you can't tell, we like to be well balanced in our {{geek}}ery on this wiki.
12th May '16 8:03:37 PM Pastykake
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Compare: EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory and DreamApocalypse. Compare also OpeningACanOfClones, which has this effect regarding a character's uniqueness. Contrast OrWasItADream. See also: UnreliableNarrator, MentalWorld, CuckooNest, DyingDream, ThroughTheEyesOfMadness, {{Masquerade}}, TheEndingChangesEverything, and {{Brainwashed}}.

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Compare: Compare EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory and DreamApocalypse. Compare also OpeningACanOfClones, which has this effect regarding a character's uniqueness. Contrast OrWasItADream. See also: also UnreliableNarrator, MentalWorld, CuckooNest, DyingDream, ThroughTheEyesOfMadness, {{Masquerade}}, TheEndingChangesEverything, and {{Brainwashed}}.
12th May '16 8:02:43 PM Pastykake
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->''"Once I dreamt I was a [[TropeNamers butterfly]], a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with myself and doing as I pleased. I didn't know I was myself. Suddenly I woke up and there I was, solid and unmistakably myself. But I didn't know if I was myself who had dreamt I was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was me."''

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->''"Once I dreamt I was a [[TropeNamers butterfly]], butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with myself and doing as I pleased. I didn't know I was myself. Suddenly I woke up and there I was, solid and unmistakably myself. But I didn't know if I was myself who had dreamt I was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was me."''
17th Apr '16 11:37:28 PM fdsa1234567890
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* The GrandFinale of ''Series/{{Community}} features a parody of the idea. In TheTag, we see a fake commercial for the family playing Community the board game. The characters have a debate as to whether the show is really just them playing the game or if the game is a part of the show. At one point, after revealing the snow globe that claims the show is their game, another character reveals the script of the episode they are in. At that point, the first character comments that this means they don't actually exist.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.SchrodingersButterfly