Created By: Gamecubist on June 4, 2014 Last Edited By: StrixObscuro on July 12, 2014
Troped

Forced Sleep

The power to put people to sleep.

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Trope
This is a kind of spell or power that induces sleep in the target. Typically, it's not the character's only ability; it may be one application of Functional Magic, Charm Person, Compelling Voice, or Magic Music.

In video games, this will take the form a Standard Status Effect.

Instant Sedation is the technological equivalent.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • In One Piece, Brook once plays a special tone on his violin that puts his foes (and his own captain) nearby to sleep.
  • In Naruto, Gaara has the Forced Sleep Technique. Instead of using it on others, he uses it on himself, because his Bijuu takes over his body while he's asleep.

Comic Books
  • Runaways has two instances. First, prior to her escape, Molly's evil mutant parents use their psychic abilities to force her to go to sleep (and it's implied that they've done this before.) Much later, Nico uses the "Settle Down" spell to force Klara to sleep after the latter suffers a panic attack... which, of course, pisses of Molly after she finds out about it.
  • In The Sandman, Dream is capable of compelling mortals to sleep.
  • In Shadowpact, the villain White Rabbit has an enchanted sword that causes instant sleep when it draws blood.
  • In Marvel Comics' DP7 Lenore exudes an energy from her skin which sucks up the life energy of those exposed to it, so if anyone sees any of her their energy gets sucked out of them and they pass out. One of the other Displaced is a Speedster who can't turn off his speeding, so she exposes her face to him so he can sleep once in a while.
  • At the end of Tintin: Flight 714, aliens use their psychic powers to wipe everyone's memories of the events on the island, then compel them all to sleep.
  • Inverted in an issue of Legion Of Superheroes where the government of the planet of Naltor, most of whose citizens have precognitive abilities, transmits a signal that prevents the planet's youth from sleeping, because sleep is necessary to their precognition and the government don't want them to see the future, in which there is a war coming that will necessitate a draft.

Film Live Action
  • In Dark City, the Strangers are capable of putting humans to sleep at will simply by waving their hands and saying "sleep". They do this quite regularly in order to perform their experiments on the people in the city. One of the Strangers has the Meaningful Name Mr. Sleep.
  • The Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz seems to have the ability to create poppies that cause this effect.
  • This is an ability of the rogue angel Gabriel in The Prophecy. It takes inspiration from The Bible, where the Archangel Gabriel has the ability to make people collapse in a stunned heap with his mere presence.

Folklore and Mythology
  • In European folklore, the Sandman is said to bring sleep and good dreams to children.

Literature
  • In The Dresden Files, putting people to sleep is one of the few mind-influencing effects that is not considered illegal by the White Council. That's because it's used exclusively to induce dreamless sleep in victims of psychic attacks, providing relief from their mental suffering.

Live-Action TV
  • Sam, from Sam & Cat has the ability to pinch someone KO, as seen in the episode "#peezyB". It's (very lightly) implied that the victims fall asleep, as the victims are being told "good night" beforehand and are referred to as sleeping FAR more often than as unconscious.
  • In the Supernatural episode "What Is And What Should Never Be" the djinn induces a sleep state, where a person's greatest wish is true, while he drains blood from his victims.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?. The guys seem to invoke this from time to time. For example, from the U.S. version:
    • In a game of Greatest Hits, Colin is able to put Ryan to sleep, simply by tapping his temple, and wake him up again by doing the same.
    • In a game of Helping Hangs, Ryan has Colin grab Kathy Greenwood's face, then says, "Aaaaaand... sleep!" Kathy starts to stumble, as if to fall asleep on the spot, until Ryan says, "I'm kidding, I'm kidding," then she regains herself.
  • A recurring joke in Mystery Science Theatre 3000 has one of the characters yelling "SLEEEEEEEP!" at another, oftentimes in the middle of otherwise typical hypnosis-styled scenes in order to put someone to sleep.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Spells
      • The wizard Sleep spell puts opponents to sleep.
      • The cleric/priest spell Symbol has a Sleep variant that sends multiple opponents to slumberland.
    • Monsters
      • Some creatures have breath weapons consisting of sleep gas, such as the brass dragon (cone 70 feet long), moonstone dragon (cone 30 feet long) and kamadan (cone 30 feet long).
      • The bite of a homonculous causes its target to fall into a comatose sleep for from 5-30 minutes.
      • The gaze of a jackalwere makes its victim fall asleep.
      • Certain monsters have the innate ability to cast the Sleep spell, such as ice lizards, night hags, ogre magi and the slaad lord Ygorl.
      • Pixie, sprite and hybsil arrows cause the target to sleep for 1-6 hours.
      • A satyr can use its pipe to play a tune and put other creatures to sleep.
      • The sussurrus gives off a "dronesong" that could put undead to sleep.
      • In Module IM3 The Immortal Storm, while in a technological plane where their magical powers are suppressed, when the Immortals use a direct Power attack on mortals, it puts the mortals into a comatose sleep for several minutes.
      • Any creature coming within 20 feet of a sandman must make a saving throw or fall asleep for 30-130 minutes.
      • The Brood Gibberling can infect another creature with a burrowing gibberslug by biting or spitting at it. When the burrowing gibberslug reaches the brain it will put the victim in a sleep from which they can't be awakened and cause them to suffer from horrible nightmares.

Video Games
  • Most Final Fantasy games have a Black Magic spell called Sleep.
  • Sleep in Warcraft III is a powerful Dreadlord spell when used correctly, as it keeps a single unit (including heroes) out of the fight for a long time along with interrupting channeling spells. It can be interrupted by attacking the sleeper, but fortunately units will only do so if ordered to.
  • A multi-target spell in Golden Sun, represented by sheep falling all over the targets (but doesn't work that well). Several weapons have this as a side effect.
  • Many Pokémon have attacks that can do this. Jigglypuff is famous for it. There's also a self-inflicted sleep attack, where the user regains full health on the first turn and sleeps for two. Some can continue to fight by using the "Snore" attack or using a random move.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, Tear can induce sleep using the first Fonic Hymn, Nightmare.
  • In Dragon Age: Awakening, the Architect uses magic to put the Warden and their party to sleep.
  • In Sly 2: Band of Thieves, the Music Box is a power-up that, after thrown, starts to play music that lulls all nearby guards to sleep.
There's a class of folk in Folklore designed around sleep, which can send its victims into a temporary state of helplessness (though only two folk actually occupy the class.) Ellen can gain a cloak in the Faery realm that makes her immune to it, and the effect is required to catch or defeat certain other folk later on.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog. In, "The Sandman Sleeps," the Sandman is actually unable to sleep himself, so he decides to steal Muriel's sleeping sand to give to himself, causing Muriel to suffer from serious sleep deprivation. As it turns out, Courage finds the Sandman's lost teddy bear, so he returns the sleeping sand to Muriel so she can sleep again herself.
  • Near the end of The Flight of Dragons, an entire flight of dragons is disabled by an enchanted flute that puts dragons to sleep when it's played. All except Bryagh, Ommadon's dragon, who, since it also put the good dragon to sleep, descends on the party all but unopposed.
  • One episode of Gargoyles has Oberon put the entire city of New York to sleep by shouting "SLEEP!"
Community Feedback Replies: 63
  • June 4, 2014
    SharleeD
    The title isn't very clear, as it could be a line of dialogue or just someone falling asleep naturally. The fact it's a compulsion should be made clear by the trope name.
  • June 4, 2014
    Gamecubist
    Yeah, I couldn't think of a very good name.
  • June 4, 2014
    Arivne
    Put To Sleep?

    Add this to Stock Superpowers when it's launched.

    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • Spells
        • The wizard Sleep spell puts opponents to sleep.
        • The cleric/priest spell Symbol has a Sleep variant that sends multiple opponents to slumberland.
      • Monsters
        • Some creatures have breath weapons consisting of sleep gas, such as the brass dragon (cone 70 feet long) and kamadan (cone 30 feet long).
        • The bite of a homonculous causes its target to fall into a comatose sleep for from 5-30 minutes.
        • The gaze of a jackalwere makes its victim fall asleep.
        • Certain monsters has the innate ability to cast the Sleep spell, such as ice lizards, night hags, ogre magi and the slaad lord Ygorl.
        • Pixie, sprite and hybsil arrows cause the target to sleep for 1-6 hours.
        • A satyr can use its pipe to play a tune and put other creatures to sleep.
        • The sussurrus gives off a "dronesong" that could put undead to sleep.
        • Module IM3 The Immortal Storm. While in a technological plane where their magical powers are suppressed, when the Immortals use a direct Power attack on mortals it puts the mortals into a comatose sleep for several minutes.
        • Any creature coming within 20 feet of a sandman must make a saving throw or fall asleep for 30-130 minutes.
  • June 4, 2014
    partner555
  • June 4, 2014
    Astaroth
    • Played for laughs in The Order Of The Stick #10. The party assumes that Vaarsuvius cast a sleep spell on the goblins... when all V did was put them to sleep with a boring and long-winded speech.
  • June 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Induced Sleeping gets my vote.

    • In One Piece, Brook once plays a special tone on his violin that puts his foes (and his own captain) nearby to sleep.
  • June 4, 2014
    bulmabriefs144
    The film Dark City has noir-style Reality Warper aliens who can put people to sleep simply by saying "sleep now."
  • June 4, 2014
    Snicka
    How about Sleeping Spell?
  • June 4, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ not limited to magic.

    Sleep Inducer?

    Videogames
    • In Tenchu, Sleeping Gas is a recurring projectile item that is thrown/shot at people in the form of a cloud. and works a la Instant Sedation in that it puts the target to sleep immediately.
  • June 4, 2014
    Gamecubist
    ^ That's Knockout Gas. This is about an ability, not tech.
  • June 4, 2014
    Notthegrouch
    there's always the famous myth about the Sandman. He could be a tropenamer too.

    Sam, from Sam&Cat had the ability to pinch someone KO, as seen in the episode #peezyB. It's (very lightly) implied that the victims fall asleep, as the victims are being told "goodnight" beforehand and are referred to as sleeping FAR more often than as unconscious.
  • June 4, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    • The ability Sleep Powder from Pokemon.
  • June 4, 2014
    AP
    • The Strangers in Dark City have the ability to put people to sleep with a simple wave of their hands and the command, "sleep".
  • June 4, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Comic Books
    • Runaways has two instances. First, Molly's evil mutant parents repeatedly used their psychic abilities to force Molly to go to sleep, and much later, Nico uses the "Settle Down" spell to force Klara to sleep... which, of course, pisses of Molly after she finds out about it.
  • June 5, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Gamecubist

    No, Knockout Gas is distinct.

    It's filling a room (or an open space) with sleeping gas, putting everyone in the vicinity to sleep.

    My example is shooting sleeping gas, which cannot be lumped under Tranquillizer Dart which is the closest equivalent given you're calling it "tech".
  • June 5, 2014
    Chabal2
    • Sleep in Warcraft III is a powerful Dreadlord spell when used correctly, as it keeps a single unit (including heroes) out of the fight for a long time along with interrupting channeling spells. It can be interrupted by attacking the sleeper, but fortunately units will only do so if ordered to.
    • A multi-target spell in Golden Sun, represented by sheep falling all over the targets (but doesn't work that well). Several weapons have this as a side effect.
    • Pokemon has a self-inflicted sleep attack, where the user regains full health on the first turn and sleeps for two. Some can continue to fight by Snoring or using a random move.
  • June 5, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    In Marvel Comics' DP7 Lenore exudes an energy from her skin which sucks up the life energy of those exposed to it, so if anyone sees any of her their energy gets sucked out of them and they pass out. One of the other Displaced is a Speedster who can't turn off his speeding, so she exposes her face to him so he can sleep once in a while.
  • June 5, 2014
    adrianleverkuhn
    In the Supernatural episode "What Is And What Should Never Be" the djinn induces a sleep state, where a person's greatest wish is true, while he drains blood from his victims.
  • June 6, 2014
    TheWanderer
    • This is an ability of the rogue angel Gabriel in The Prophecy. It takes inspiration from The Bible, where the Archangel Gabriel had the ability to make people collapse in a stunned heap with his mere presence.
  • June 6, 2014
    bitemytail
    In Naruto Gaara has the Forced Sleep Technique. Instead of using it on others, he uses it on himself, because his Bijuu takes over his body while he's asleep.
  • June 7, 2014
    Gamecubist
    It is possible to use that technique on other people, right? I don't think abilities that can only be used on oneself should count (the move Rest from Pokemon, for instance).
  • Erm...

    Live Action TV
    • Whose Line Is It Anyway. The guys seem to invoke this from time to time. For example, from the U.S. version:
      • In a game of Greatest Hits, Colin is able to put Ryan to sleep, simply by tapping his temple, and wake him up again by doing the same.
      • In a game of Helping Hangs, Ryan has Colin grab Kathy Greenwood's face, then says, "Aaaaaand... sleep!" Kathy starts to stumble, as if to fall asleep on the spot, until Ryan says, "I'm kidding, I'm kidding," then she regains herself.
  • Actually, here's this:

    Western Animation
    • Courage The Cowardly Dog. In, "The Sandman Sleeps," the Sandman is actually unable to sleep himself, so he decides to steal Muriel's sleeping sand to give to himself, causing Muriel to suffer from serious sleep deprivation. As it turns out, Courage finds the Sandman's lost teddy bear, so he returns the sleeping sand to Muriel so she can sleep again herself.
  • June 7, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Film Live Action
    • In Dark City, the alien race is capable of putting humans to sleep at will. One of the characters has the Meaningful Name Mr. Sleep.
  • June 8, 2014
    Gamecubist
    I changed the title from "Go to Sleep" to "Forced Sleep" (though if someone can think of a better name, that's fine). I'm putting it Up For Grabs.
  • June 8, 2014
    Statzkeen
    The Wicked Witch in The Wizard Of Oz seems to have the ability to create flowers with aromas that cause tis effect.
  • June 8, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    I'll take it, if it's up for grabs now...
  • June 9, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ I was about to, but if you wanna, go ahead.
  • June 9, 2014
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Chaosium's Stormbringer RPG. A Demon of Combat can have the special ability Sleep, which allows it to put an opponent within 10 meters to sleep if it overcomes the target in a POW vs. POW struggle. The sleep lasts 1-6 hours or until the demon moves more than 10 meters away from the victim, whichever comes first.
  • June 9, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Okay, I've added all the suggested examples, except for the Tenchu one. Is this trope limited to psychically or magically-induced sleep, or would tranquilizer darts also count?
  • June 9, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ I guess it doesn't. This is about sleep-inducing powers, not weapons (like Playing With Fire vs Fire Breathing Weapon)
  • June 9, 2014
    randomsurfer
    ^^^^^^Not just any flowers, poppies. The flowers they make opium out of.
  • June 9, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    ^ Well, that raises questions about whether it's a part of this trope, doesn't it?
  • June 9, 2014
    TheTitan99
    • A recurring joke in Mystery Science Theatre 3000 has one of the characters yelling "SLEEEEEEEP!" at another, often times in the middle of otherwise typical hypnosis-styled scenes in order to put someone to sleep.
  • June 9, 2014
    Tallens
    • The Flight Of Dragons: Near the end, an entire flight of dragons is disabled by an enchanted flute that puts dragons to sleep when it's played. All except Bryagh, Ommadon's dragon, who since it also put the good dragon to sleep, descends on the party all but unopposed.
  • June 10, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    DAN 004

    Where do you put the Tenchu one then?

    That can't be either Knockout Gas or Tranquilizer Dart.
  • June 10, 2014
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • Monsters
        • The Dreamweaver spider's bite injects a poison that causes the victim to fall into a coma-like sleep for 1-4 hours.
  • June 10, 2014
    DAN004
    Tenchu is Knockout Gas.
  • June 10, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    from Knockout Gas.

    In fiction, one of the easiest ways to incapacitate an opponent or group of opponents is to get them in a closed room and pump in Knockout Gas. Knockout Gas is an area-effect form of Instant Sedation

    ...

    Knockout Gas can be delivered through special vents just for that purpose, or it can be pumped in through the regular ventilation system.

    In other words: Requirements = Room + KO-Gas + (N Targets Area Of Effect)

    <A small projectile cloud that affects one person only> =/= Area Of Effect

    Therefore Tenchu is not Knockout Gas despite being—well, gas. in the same way than not all people capable of Invisibility is an The Invisible Man.
  • June 10, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ The Invisible Man is a literature...

    Tropes Are Flexible, KO Gas can be a gas bomb. Some examples there are gas bombs, actually.
  • June 10, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    Video Games
    • In Sly 2 Band Of Thieves, the Music Box is a power-up that, after thrown, starts to play music that lulls all nearby guards to sleep.
  • June 10, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ Point being My example is not Area Of Effect, which is what Gas Bombs still are, disqualifying my Tenchu example.

    My point on Invisible Man was the Coat Hat Mask ensemble. which does not apply to all people who have Invisibility.
  • June 10, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ that doesn't make Tenchu example counts here, mind you.
  • June 10, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Which is why I asked "Where do you put the Tenchu one then?"...
  • June 11, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ KO Gas, downplayed.
  • June 11, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ still would be a shoehorn effect wise. given a "Downplayed Trope" of it would still be AOE, only used on one target. like the mentioned "Gas Arrows"(wut) under Thief.

    Put it in another way, you can't downplay it in the same way you can't downplay Tranquillizer Dart.

    We don't have Cloud Projectile don't we?
  • June 11, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Of course you can. Tranq Dart may only work for a few seconds for instance... Or it doesn't really tranquilize, only slow down...

    Same with Tenchu's KO Gas - it's still a KO Gas even if it's not AOE. So downplayed.
  • June 11, 2014
    Gamecubist
    ^ I agree, it should go under Knockout Gas.

    The Sly 2 Band Of Thieves example is an object rather than a power, so it doesn't belong here.
  • June 11, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    DAN 004

    Not quite what I meant. Yes, that is downplayed, but as you can see, the "dart" part cannot be "downplayed" further. Just like KO gas cannot be "downplayed" to be a Tranquilizer Dart in the form of a cloud. A spraycan can still spread. a small grenade can still spread, etc.

    Paradisesnake

    Based on the current logic running here right now that would be Knockout Gas because of the Area Of Effect and the fact that it's not a spell.
  • June 11, 2014
    DAN004
    Eh... I'd rather stop talking about that Tenchu example. Once again, it doesn't fit here.
  • June 12, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Any more examples? Anyone want to give this a hat?
  • June 13, 2014
    littlemissmuffet
    • One episode of Gargoyles had Oberon put the entire city of New York to sleep by shouting "SLEEP!"
  • June 13, 2014
    SharleeD
    • In The Dresden Files, putting people to sleep is one of the few mind-influencing effects that is not considered illegal by the White Council. That's because it's used exclusively to induce dreamless sleep in victims of psychic attacks, providing relief from their mental suffering.
  • June 13, 2014
    hbi2k
    Per How To Write An Example, examples should be in the present tense. There are a few that need changing, the most glaring being the Dungeons and Dragons list.
  • June 14, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Okay, I think I've put all the examples into the present tense.
  • June 15, 2014
    TrueShadow1
    • The god Hypnos from Classical Mythology is the personification of sleep. Hera twice asked him to put Zeus to sleep so she can do her plans without him being aware of it.
  • June 15, 2014
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • Monsters
        • The Brood Gibberling can infect another creature with a burrowing gibberslug by biting or spitting at it. When the burrowing gibberslug reaches the brain it will put the victim in a sleep from which they can't be awakened and cause them to suffer from horrible nightmares.
  • June 15, 2014
    TomWalpertac2
    • Freefall: Ecosystems Unlimited has a remote control that does this to Florence.
  • June 17, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Any more examples?
  • June 17, 2014
    KZN02
  • July 11, 2014
    Gamecubist
    I think this is ready to go.
  • July 11, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    It still needs one more hat...
  • July 11, 2014
    Alucard
    Hatted.

    There's a class of folk in Folklore designed around Sleep, which can send its victims into a temporary state of helplessness (though only two folk actually occupy the class). Ellen can gain a Cloak in the Faery realm that makes her immune to it, and the effect is required to catch or defeat certain other folk later on.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=cw0mjabb2f329e3xcp6cot45&trope=ForcedSleep