Sometimes a speaker, be it a speaker delivering a speech, or just a person conversing, is so boring or unintersting that the people listening to them can't stay awake.
This trope is used to drive home just how boring the speaker is being. It's often played for laughs, especially when the speaker fancies herself to be interesting or profound. It usually, but not always, occurs when the speaker is delivering a long monologue.
In general, the speaker isn't aware that people are falling asleep on her at first. Sometimes this fact will be revealed to the audience but not to the speaker
, as a way to clue the audience into the irrelevance of what the speaker is saying. Other times, the speaker and the audience will discover the listeners' sleepy state together (often in the form of a sudden loud snore).
Upon discovering what has happened, the speaker may magnanimously cover his sleepy victim with a blanket or tuck them into bed.
Oftentimes the speaker is Windbag Politician
. Can result in Asleep in Class
. Related to Long Speech Tea Time
, but this trope is about characters unintentionally falling asleep on the speaker rather than deliberately ignoring them.
This trope is not the same thing as a lullaby, which is a deliberate attempt to lull someone to sleep (and thus carries none of the embarrassment for the singer that this trope carries for the speaker).
Anime and Manga
- In One Piece, when Jinbe tells Luffy and co a 7-chapters long Exposition, Luffy (in his usual fashion) is revealed to be sleeping at the end.
- In Jormungand, this happens to Tojo when he tries to explain to his comrades the significance of the Defense Intelligence Headquarters' SR unit. Unfortunately, his talk made Jonah fall asleep. He was later criticized for the long speech that also tried to make the others doze off.
- In Scrapped Princess, this happens when Zeferis tries to explain the reasoning behind her and Natalie's actions against Shanon and the others, and her resulting conflict of interests, to Pacifica who just doesn't get it. This is because her explaination consisted of Techno Babble set to holographic imagery, so Pacifica fails to understand any of it. Instead, it causes her to nod off and fall asleep. Zeferis even has to tell her to wake up so she can repeat it; this time, in simpler terms that Pacifica can understand.
- In the Sonic the Hedgehog OVA, Dr. Robotnik's long-winded speech about how the Robot Factory in The Land of Darkness needs to be shut down or there will be a massive explosion puts everyone (The President, Princess Sara, Sonic, Tails, even his own robots) to sleep. He wakes them up by popping his demonstration orb.
- In After Hours, Kiki falls asleep and starts snoring while Paul is rubbing her shoulders and telling her a story about being burned.
- Inverted in The Big Green: During one of Miss Montgomery's lessons, the class decides to show her she's wasting her time trying to teach them by all of them faking snoring sounds.
- Blazing Saddles. After Bart finishes telling Jim his life story, Jim snores because he's fallen saleep. Bart says "Always like to keep my audience riveted."
- In A Goofy Movie, some of the students start dozing off while Principal Mazier gives his speech, particularly when he says "we don't want to waste our vacation sleeping..."
- The stinger in Iron Man 3 revealed that Tony Stark had been unburdening himself by narrating the entire story to Bruce Banner—and that Bruce had been asleep through most of it.
- In Mrs. Doubtfire, a cameraman filming a children's television show begins nodding off (and the screen shifts for a second) because the host is so boring.
- The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell Of Fear:
- Near the end, Dr. Meinheimer finally presents his environmentally-friendly recommendations for an energy policy... and promptly causes everyone to fall asleep.
- Inverted a little later, when he's given a trashy romance novel to read, and everyone promptly wakes up.
- Michael Jordan delivers a never-say-die speech to the morose Looney Tunes at halftime of the Ultimate Game in Space Jam. The result puts every 'toon to sleep except Bugs Bunny, who remarks, "Great speech, Doc. You had them riveted."
- Bored of the Rings. When Frito and Spam first meet Goddam, he starts telling them a boring hard luck story. Spam immediately falls asleep and Frito has to keep himself awake by slapping himself in the face. Goddam continues with his story and Frito falls asleep too.
- Harry Potter: Professor Binns, the History of Magic teacher, is so boring that students routinely sleep during his class. He can't remember his students' names, and he doesn't even seem have noticed that he's dead, continuing to lecture as a ghost. He's thus really surprised when Hermione actually asks him a question in the second book, as it's the first time in a while that he's seen a student react to anything he's said.
- In this A Modest Destiny strip, an intruder is momentarily bored to sleep by an evil snake god's "who dares" speech.
Zonkafth: I am all knowing! All powerful! All...hey, are you listening to me?
- Order Of The Stick
- Happens early when Vaarsuvius is telling a roomful of goblins how powerful she is and how thoroughly she will destroy them. The other members of his party actually decided that she must have been casting an extremely powerful area-effect sleep spell.
- After Redcloak finishes his long explanation of his battle strategy he finds Xykon has fallen asleep -though it's largely implied Xykon was faking it to make a point.
Xykon: Oh, sorry I just fell asleep right in the middle of that.
Redcloak: You're a lich. You're actually physically incapable of sleeping.
Xykon: Which should just emphasize how boring that was!