Strange as it seems, it appears we don't currently have a trope meaning just "We're shown what a character is imagining." Imagine Spot
is sometimes used as if it means that -- even its Laconic version says that -- but its description actually makes it a more specific subtrope, basically "brief cut to a Fantasy Sequence
and back". So this would be a Missing Supertrope
. Something like this:
A sequence in which the audience is shown what's going on in someone's imagination instead of things that are actually happening. This may be clear from the beginning, or it may be made to look real at first. Similar to a Dream Sequence
, but daydreaming or similar instead of actual dreams. Sometimes several characters can have a mutual Fantasy Sequence
. One can also be used to represent imaginary events being narrated in the story's real world.
Sometimes but not always a Fantasy Sequence
There are probably plenty of examples outside those sub tropes, though I can't think of many off the top of my head just now.
- Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin is constantly living in his own world(s), but the use of this trope is actually pretty complicated. In summary, there are a lot of clear-cut fantasy sequences and also a lot of deliberately ambiguous scenes.
- In the clear-cut cases, Calvin imagines riding dinosaurs or being a heroic space pilot (or an endless number of other things), and it can typically be clearly seen that the real world exists around him as he imagines things. Even Hobbes doesn't see these as real. For whatever reason, he also almost never appears in them, absolutely never as himself, whereas other characters may appear as aliens or something else.
- But then there are the events where Hobbes is present as a real if somewhat anthropomorphic tiger, and these also involve fantastic things like time travel or aliens. Hobbes turns into a toy tiger when adults or even other children are present, but by Word of God neither the idea that he's Calvin's imagination or that he's real is more true than the other.
- Sometimes others also can't see things that are real to Calvin and Hobbes, such as Calvin having turned into an owl, but usually these are also left ambiguous, like Calvin's copies of himself just never happening to show themselves to his parents more than one at a time, or the question of how Calvin managed to tie himself to a chair if Hobbes didn't do it.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- In "The Ticket Master", each of Twilight Sparkle's five friends who want her extra ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala imagine, and we are shown, what they would do there. (Make a lot of sales, meet her idols, party like mad, meet the stallion of her dreams, see the exotic plants and animals in the garden.) In "The Best Night Ever", during the song near the beginning, these are recapped with new sequences with the same content, as well as one for Twilight herself.
- In "MMMystery on the Friendship Express", we're shown various crazy explanations Pinkie Pie imagines about who did the crime and how, each of them parodying some work or genre.
- The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: In "Paw and Order", the whole Wild West play the characters are doing turns from a small stage with a few actors into a collective fantasy sequence with several sets, tons of extras who don't have any known actors, and a villain who doesn't either but who still manages to be so willful as to defy the script.