Created By: Larkmarn on April 27, 2014 Last Edited By: Larkmarn on May 28, 2014
Troped

Mad At A Dream

A character is angry because their friend slighted them in a dream.

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We can't control what we dream about. We can barely control what we do in our dream, and we certainly can't control what we do in someone else's dream. However, people aren't purely rational. Sometimes it's possible to be mad at a friend not for something that they've done, but rather something they did in a dream or a simulation, which they'd have no control over. Very likely to involve a Bewildering Punishment. Of course it's impossible to know what you did when you didn't actually do it. Especially if You Know What You Did is in place and the "slighted" party doesn't share why they're so angry. Especially if their only description of what's transpired is a Non Sequitur that makes no sense to anyone else.

An easy source of drama, this allows a character to be slighted by another without actually having done something bad, creating a conflict and a simple resolution.

Can be Truth in Television.

Examples

Film
  • Discussed in Reservoir Dogs, where Mr. White tells Mr. Blonde that if he so much as shoots him in a dream, he'd better wake up and apologize.

Live-Action TV
  • One episode of How I Met Your Mother revolves around Marshall finding out who his wife Lily had an Erotic Dream about. When he figures out who, he treats the subject of the dream with disdain as though he actually did it.
  • Discussed in Girl Code, where some of the cast mention that they've gotten angry at a friend for things they did in a dream. Of course, they also discuss the opposite, where they wind up attracted to a friend for their actions in a dream.
  • In Friends, Phoebe and Ross have a Feud Episode where she's mad at him for something... then reveals at the end of an episode that she's mad for something he did... and then he pulled off his energy mask. She then finally realized that it was a dream.
  • Wimzie's House. Deconstructed in the episode, "You're Not My Friend," in which Wimzie has a nightmare that Jonas was never her friend, and never liked her, and the next day during daycare, Wimzie is very hostile and abrasive towards Jonas, leaving him very confused and rather sad, since he's unaware that she's getting back at him for hurting her feelings in her dream. In the end, when he does finally learn about it, he tells her it was All Just a Dream.
  • I Love Lucy:
    • In "Ricky's Old Girlfriend", Lucy dreams that Ricky left her for Carlotta, leaving her poor and homeless on the streets with only a button given to her in her coin cup. Ricky, of course, doesn't get why she's so angry at him when she wakes up.
    • In, "Lucy Goes to Scotland," Lucy has a near-entire episode dream sequence, in which being the last of the McGillicuddy Clan, she's to be fed to a cantankerous two-headed dragon (Fred and Ethel) that awakens every thirty years, and eats only McGillicuddy's. At one point in the dream, she meets Scott McTavish McDougal McCardo (Ricky), who falls in love with her, and vows to prevent the dragon from eating her, even if it means sacrificing his own life... but when the dragon is brought to the village for its meal, Scotty chickens out at the last minute, and Lucy is thrown to the dragon. Lucy then wakes up, and proceeds to hit Ricky with her pillow in a fit of rage, despite Ricky not knowing why she's upset with him.
  • One episode of Ally McBeal started with Ally waking up angry with Larry because she had a dream where he dumped her.
  • An episode of Boy Meets World had Cory receive some bad advice from Feeny in a dream, for which he blamed the real Feeny.
  • Home Improvement had an episode where Tim and Jill are both dreaming of what they'll be like when they'll be old. In Jill's dream, Tim does something stupid with her life's work, and she angrily wakes up and starts berating him.
  • An episode of Frasier, which showed one dream from all the main characters, had Daphne dream that Niles was surrounded by young women while her pregnancy weight was hugely exaggerated. She woke up and punched him.

Newspaper Comics
  • Calvin and Hobbes: After having a dream that his parents were replaced by aliens who were experimenting on him, Calvin greets his mother at his next meal with a great deal of suspicion.

Stand-Up Comedy
  • Tim Hawkins, a comedian, lists being on your wife's wrong side for doing something bad in her dreams as one of the dangers of marriage.
    I had a dream. I was being chased by a grizzly bear. it was going to eat me. And you know what you did? You were playing poker with a rabbit. And that's something you would do, too. You'd play poker with a rabbit while I was getting eaten by a bear.

Video Games:
  • Solatorobo: Inverted when Red (unconscious after a Virtual Training Simulation) stumbles across Elh in the shower and gets slapped for it, since he's the one dreaming.
  • Elsword: in one supplementary comic, Aisha dreams about her and her friends suddenly growing up with only her noticing, and in particular, Elsword has changed from a brash hothead to a more levelheaded and compassionate young man - and she gets flustered at him. When she wakes up and meets Elsword (who, as usual, is being an insensitive jerk) she almost blurts out that he was nice in her dreams... before she stopped and shouts "YOU'LL NEVER TURN OUT TO BE LIKE THAT! NEVER!!"
    Elsword: ...WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!

Webcomics
  • Survivor: Fan Characters Season Eight: Madison, a pretty but shallow model, gets angry at her showmance partner, the handsome but stupid Brenton Bubbles, because he yelled at her. In her dream. The onlookers are baffled by this.

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • April 27, 2014
    justanotherrandomlurker
    Live Action TV
    • Wimzies House. Deconstructed in the episode, "You're Not My Friend," in which Wimzie has a nightmare that Jonas was never her friend, and never liked her, and the next day during daycare, Wimzie is very hostile and abrasive towards Jonas, leaving him very confused and rather sad, since he's unaware that she's getting back at him for hurting her feelings in her dream. In the end, when he does finally learn about it, he tells her it was All Just A Dream.
  • April 27, 2014
    Omrega
  • April 27, 2014
    Tuckerscreator
    • In the I Love Lucy episode "Ricky's Old Girlfriend", Lucy dreams that Ricky left her for Carlotta, leaving her poor and homeless on the streets with only a button given to her in her coin cup. Ricky, of course, doesn't get why she's so angry at him when she wakes up.
  • April 27, 2014
    HellKillUsAll
    • Near the end of the Popeye cartoon Wotta Nitemare, Popeye wakes up from a dream involving a devil version of Bluto nearly killing him, so he goes into town to punch the real Bluto in the eye, who shrugs to the camera about the seemingly unprovoked attack.
  • April 27, 2014
    justanotherrandomlurker
    ^^ Oh, and here's another Lucy one:

    • In, "Lucy Goes to Scotland," Lucy has a near-entire episode dream sequence, in which being the last of the McGillicuddy Clan, she's to be fed to a cantankerous two-headed dragon (Fred and Ethel) that awakens every thirty years, and eats only McGillicuddy's. At one point in the dream, she meets Scott McTavish McDougal McCardo (Ricky), who falls in love with her, and vows to prevent the dragon from eating her, even if it means sacrificing his own life... but when the dragon is brought to the village for its meal, Scotty chickens out at the last minute, and Lucy is thrown to the dragon. Lucy then wakes up, and proceeds to hit Ricky with her pillow in a fit of rage, despite Ricky not knowing why she's upset with him.
  • April 27, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Live Action TV
    • One episode of Ally Mc Beal started with Ally waking up angry with Larry because she had a dream where he dumped her.
    • An episode of Boy Meets World had Cory receive some bad advice from Feeny in a dream, for which he blamed the real Feeny.
  • April 27, 2014
    SKJAM
    • Survivor Fan Characters Season Eight: Madison, a pretty but shallow model, gets angry at her showmance partner, the handsome but stupid Brenton Bubbles, because he yelled at her. In her dream. The onlookers are baffled by this.
  • April 27, 2014
    Chabal2
    Often results in Bewildering Punishment, especially if it's a woman dreaming her man cheated on her.

    • Home Improvement had an episode where Tim and Jill are both dreaming of what they'll be like when they'll be old. In Jill's dream, Tim does something stupid with her life's work, and she angrily wakes up and starts berating him.
    • Solatorobo: Inverted when Red (unconscious after a Virtual Training Simulation) stumbles across Elh in the shower and gets slapped for it, since he's the one dreaming.

  • April 28, 2014
    Arivne
    • Capitalized the title.
    • Examples section formatting.
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Sorted examples by media and added media section title(s).
    • Added blank line(s) for readability.
  • April 28, 2014
    DAN004
    • Elsword: in one supplementary comic, Aisha dreams about her and her friends suddenly growing up with only her noticing, and in particular, Elsword has changed from a brash hothead to a more levelheaded and compassionate young man - and she gets flustered at him. When she wakes up and meets Elsword (who, as usual, is being an insensitive jerk) she almost blurts out that he was nice in her dreams... before she stopped and shouts "YOU'LL NEVER TURN OUT TO BE LIKE THAT! NEVER!!"
      Elsword: ...WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!
  • April 28, 2014
    DaibhidC
    • An episode of Frasier, which showed one dream from all the main characters, had Daphne dream that Niles was surrounded by young women while her pregnency weight was hugely exaggerated. She woke up and punched him.
  • April 29, 2014
    Omrega
    Tim Hawkins, a comedian, lists being on your wife's wrong side for doing something bad in her dreams as one of the dangers of marriage.
    I had a dream. I was being chased by a grizzly bear. it was going to eat me. And you know what you did? You were playing poker with a rabbit. And that's something you would do, too. You'd play poker with a rabbit while I was getting eaten by a bear.
  • April 29, 2014
    justanotherrandomlurker
    ^ I think Henry Cho has touched on that in his comedy once, too.
  • April 29, 2014
    Omrega
    I don't think the Calvin And Hobbes one was an example though. I remember him just waking up screaming "I wasn't asleep! I'm not tired!" I think you got it mixed with one where Calvin dreams of being worked with by alien scientists. They use a puppet of his mom. The next morning when his mom gives him breakfast, Calvin demands, "Prove you're my mom."
  • April 29, 2014
    Larkmarn
    You're absolutely right; I mixed up the comics. It's still an example, though, as he's suspicious of his mother solely because of a dream.

  • April 29, 2014
    Elfkaiser
  • May 1, 2014
    MetaFour
    • Ultra Fast Pony had a drawn-out example of this. In episode 11, "Random Eye Magic", Rainbow Dash pranks Twilight by giving her no work assignment and no vest for Winter Wrap Up. At the end, the entire episode turns out to be All Just A Dream. In episode 16, "Shameless Self Reference", Rainbow Dash brings up the incident from the dream (among several other, real incidents), as if she remembers actually doing it:
      Rainbow Dash: Wait. You're not still mad at me because of that one time I ruined your hair, and then there was that one time that I didn't give you a vest, and also for that one time I ruined your house?
      Twilight: Gee, I don't know, maybe! Maybe that is the reason I'm still mad!
  • May 16, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Often the "wronged" person may spout some random reference to the "wrong", which the "offender", of course, won't understand. "And for your friends in the tabloids, I do not dance disco in my sleep!"
  • May 16, 2014
    Chabal2
  • May 27, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • You were one hat short of launching, and I think this is definitely tropeworthy, so have a hat.
  • May 28, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Launching soon?
  • May 28, 2014
    Larkmarn
    Who, uh, who marked this Up For Grabs? I sure didn't...
  • May 28, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    I wasn't planning to launch myself; I was asking whoever has it.
  • May 28, 2014
    Larkmarn
    Nah, I didn't think that was the case. Just... sorta weird.

    Anyhoo, I'm prolly gonna launch tomorrow. Maybe tonight if I'm free.
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