The Sleeper [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin is asleep]]. And must remain so. Waking them up would be the worst idea EVER, and for that reason there might even be some powerful guardians trying to keep you from disturbing their slumber.

The Sleeper might have a name and/or proper title. But even so they are, in many cases, ''still'' referred to as "The Sleeper" or "The Dreamer" rather than by name or title.
Different works have very different reasons why The Sleeper must remain asleep, but the four major types of reasons are:
* The Sleeper is dangerous and will cause havoc if they wake up. In effect, this is SealedEvilInACan, with a pillow instead of a canister.
* The Sleeper is doing something very important in their dreams: protecting something, defending the world from something, maybe even dreaming a world into existence.
* [[KingInTheMountain You should wait until they are needed.]]
* Waking up would be traumatic. [[NeverWakeUpASleepwalker Often about a sleepwalker.]]

If the Sleeper does wake up, a DreamApocalypse might occur (even in the real world, if the sleeper in question is a RealityWarper).

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* The Kishin [[spoiler: who's sealed in a prison below Shibushen]] in ''Manga/SoulEater''. [[spoiler: They fail to prevent Medusa's minions from waking him up.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* The fantasy adventure heroine ''Zethari'' once encountered a temple protecting a man who was eternally asleep, [[RecursiveReality dreaming up the universe]]. She is hired to protect the temple from a villain who is trying to end the world by waking him up.
* Near the end of ''{{Bone}}'', Fone, Thorn, and Bartleby find that the valley they have to pass through is blocked by [[MegaNeko Roque Ja]], sleeping. They've [[WildCard no idea whose side Roque Ja is on]], and they know they can't beat him in a fight, so they sneak past without waking him.
* In one DonaldDuck comic, Donald and his nephews have to stop the villain from waking up a Chtulhu-like monster, as the world as we know it is controlled by the monster's dreams. Of course, it wakes up, and while it's awake, the Ducks' bodies [[BodyHorror mutilate horribly]]. Donald manages to make it fall asleep again by singing a lullaby for it.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fanworks ]]

* In one of ''FanFic/DragonBallInsanitySchool'' chapters, Goku is sleeping and the rest of the main cast try to take a magazine from his clutch without waking him up. When this happens he's so angry that blast them all away with a kamehameha.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''PansLabyrinth'', this is the secret objective of one of the quests given. The protagonist is not told that there is a sleeper, or that horrible things will happen if she wake him up.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* Ur-Example: Kumbakarna, from the ancient Indian epic ''Literature/{{Ramayana}}''. He was a giant demon prince who was cursed by the god Indra to sleep for six months of each year, and was cursed with death if he was woken during that sleep. His brother, the demon-king Ravana, woke him so he could help turn the tide of a decisive battle. It was working for a while, but then guess what happened.
* In Steven Erickson and Ian C. Esslemont's shared ''[[Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen Malazan]]'' universe, the whole world is a sleeping goddess, Burn, whom it would be a ''really'' bad idea to wake.
* This is a discussed trope in ''[[Literature/AliceInWonderland Through the Looking Glass]]''. Alice talks with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum about the Red King sleeping under a tree. The Tweedles suppose that he's dreaming their world.
* In ''Jinx High'' by Creator/MercedesLackey, there's a Dangerous Sleeper under Tulsa, Oklahoma.
* In Creator/LordDunsany's "Literature/TheGodsOfPegana", the gods created the world, but [[/folder]]

[[folder: Māna-Yood-Sushāī ]]
created the gods, and from this task he now rests, lulled by the endless drumming of Skarl the Drummer (who is technically not a god, despite having been created along with the gods). If Skarl were to cease drumming even for an instant, [[/folder]]

[[folder: Māna-Yood-Sushāī ]]
would wake up, and his awakening would destroy the world and the gods.
* Jody Lynn Nye's "Waking in Dreamland" and its sequels are set in the world of dreams. All dreams contribute to the setting, but Seven Sleepers give it structure and coherence. When one of these Sleepers wakes up, there is a cataclysmic event called a Changeover in which some other dreamer's vision replaces the previous one. The BigBad of the first novel [[ScienceIsBad wants to find out what happens]] if [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt they all wake up at once]].
* The first ''Literature/GuardiansOfTheFlame'' novel, ''The Sleeping Dragon'' by Joel Rosenberg has the titular creature, which guards the way back into the characters' reality.
* Mark Thirteen in [[Literature/MonsterHunterInternational Monster Hunter Legion]]. An army experiment ''GoneHorriblyRight''. They tried killing him. It didn't take. So scientists put M13 into coma and buried him in nuclear/toxic/nerve gas disposal ground.
* A running theme in the [[Creator/HPLovecraft Cthulhu Mythos]], with mad cults trying to wake up Great Cthulhu.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Seen a few times in ''Franchise/DoctorWho'', most notably in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS26E2GhostLight "Ghost Light"]] and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E7TheRingsOfAkhaten "The Rings of Akhaten"]]. Per the Doctor's usual M.O., sleepers are invariably woken.
* The ''Series/HorribleHistories'' skit "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxG4DqFns1g Don't Wake the Fuhrer]]" is this trope. It's about how Hitler failed to react in time to the D-Day landings because he was insistent that his sleep not be disturbed. So our messenger becomes insistent, but the two guards refuse him access because Mr. Grumpy Pants will be in such a paddy if he's woken up prematurely. Then the soldier stationed in the room opens the door and tells the guards that Hitler is awake and has issued his order. The messenger reads it, and to his shock it's "marmalade on toast und apple strudel." The guards explain that that is Hitler's breakfast order, which must be carried out ''immediately''!
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* ''Tarsk Tavern'' has the song "Sleeper", based on the EverQuest raid dungeon Sleeper's Tomb, urging the listener to abstain from waking him up.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Mythology ]]

* Later addendums to the [[KingArthur Arthurian myth]] have Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, hidden in a cave and magically kept asleep, only to be awoken when he is truly needed. Waking him up ''early'' would be a very bad plan indeed (although in that case, one wonders why Merlin apparently included a giant gong in the cave.).[[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Their success would be a very bad thing]].
* In the ''Literature/TainBoCuailnge'', Fergus notes that ''nobody'' dares to wake Cu Chulainn when he's asleep - the last man who tried found his forehead smashed all the way into the back of his skull.

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* The 1992 board game ''[[http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/6535/dont-wake-daddy Don't Wake Daddy]]''. We'll give you one guess as to how you lose.
* In the board game ''DungeonQuest'' (original title: "Drakborgen"), the goal is to reach the [[DragonHoard Dragon's hoard]] and steal as much as possible from it. But if you steal so much that you wake up the dragon, you die.

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[[folder: Toys ]]

* ''{{BIONICLE}}'': [[BigBad Makuta Teridax]] used a virus to weaken Mata Nui to the point of causing the latter to sleep and cause the Great Cataclysm. A very long time later, Mata Nui is awakened, only to also cause him to slowly dying. Again he is put back to sleep and revitalized until the state of matters improves for him to be reawakened.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has the instance Sunken Temple, where the final boss is asleep and his underlings are fighting to keep you from waking him up. He was originally a guardian, his dreams protecting the world from an evil God - who managed to corrupt him and twist his dreams into nightmares.
* ''EverQuest'' had The Sleeper--or rather, his guardians--as one of the major bosses of the Scars Of Velious expansion. Waking him up results in destroying his dungeon permanently, robbing the community of an important source of loot. The Sleeper himself comes back in a later expansion.
* ''TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'' has the Wind Fish who is dreaming the entire island that the game takes place on, all the dungeon bosses try to stop you from waking it up and try to warn you about what you're doing. Ultimately, it turns out that [[spoiler:both Link and the Wind Fish are sharing the same dream]].
* The MilkmanConspiracy segment of ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'' revolves largely about the DrivingQuestion of "Who is the Milkman?" and various forces preventing Raz from waking him up.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', the summonable "[[SummonMagic aeons]]" are each the dream of a "fayth", who sleeps in that aeon's temple. There are also a whole bunch of fayth together on a holy mountain, dreaming ''something'', but nobody knows what. [[spoiler: It's Dream Zanarkand -- [[DoomedProtagonist Tidus]]'s home town.]]
* In ''SuperMario64'', you must walk slowly around sleeping Piranha Plant enemies otherwise they will wake and attack you. While they are attacking you they are invincible, but you can kill them while they're sleeping.
* A level in ''[[{{Scribblenauts}} Super Scribblenauts]]'' had an objective to sneak past a sleeping dragon to get a key. Naturally, the path is filled with chandeliers and piles of junk that will shift and wake the dragon if you so much as touch them.
* ''VideoGame/{{Gothic}}'' has the "Sleeper" as a deity worshipped by the cult that inhabits an entire camp in the prison colony. The members of the cult believe that if the Sleeper is woken up, he will free them from the colony. [[spoiler:Then they all find out that the Sleeper is actually a powerful destructive demon, and waking him up is a ''very'' bad idea. Unfortunately, a particularly high-ranking guru of the cult refuses to accept this, and takes a band of loyal followers to wake him up anyway...]]
* ''The Adventures of Alice who Went Through the Looking-Glass and Came Back Though Not Much Changed'', an InteractiveFiction game based on Creator/LewisCarroll's Alice books, includes a version of the scene with the sleeping king who may be dreaming the world. If the player wakes him up, everything disappears and there is a NonStandardGameOver.
* ''[[BanjoKazooie Banjo-Tooie]]'' has two instances in the first world: a sleeping snake and a sleeping caveman, both of whom need to be approached quietly.
* The ''{{VideoGame/Gauntlet}}''-clone ''Demon Stalkers'' has an entire enemy type devoted to this: man-eating plants that don't move until you shoot one of them, at which point they all come alive at once.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In one ''WebComic/{{xkcd}}'' strip, Cueball [[http://xkcd.com/1013/ accidentally wakes up the Sheeple from its 10,000 years long slumber]], prompting everyone to run for their lives.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* The ''[[VideoGame/UnlimitedAdventures UA Newsletter]]'' has a series of articles by Alex D. Karaczun, supposedly about creating a setting and a plot, but the articles seem to mostly be an excuse to showcase Alex's invented setting about the sleeping god "Primion", whose dream is the entire setting of Rothon, and nobody knows if waking him up would cause a DreamApocalypse or make Rothon a real place. (The articles: [[http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/uanews/nlhtm07/write.htm Part I]], [[http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/uanews/nlhtm08/write.htm Part II]], [[http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/uanews/nlhtm09/write.htm Part III]].)
* One of the [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt S Class]] threats in ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' is a supervillain named the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Sleeper ]]. As of the epilogue we know [[NothingIsScarier nothing about him]] except for that fact that him simply entering an AlternateReality is grounds for it to be written off as a lost cause and quarantined [[spoiler: and contacting him is considered more dangerous than recruiting an army of superpowered serial killers and an EldritchAbomination]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* There's a ''WesternAnimation/SylvesterTheCatAndTweetyBird'' cartoon in which Sylvester has to get past dozens of {{angry guard dog}}s to get to Tweety. At the end he tries to sneak in at night when they're all asleep, but then Tweety turns on the alarm clock.
** Same gag is used in the ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short "Roman Legion-Hare", this time with WesternAnimation/BugsBunny, Yosemite Sam and a cage full of lions.
** Another ''Looney Tunes'' short, "A Pest in the House", involves a tired hotel guest asking manager Elmer Fudd for peace and quiet as he sleeps in his room, and threatening to punch Elmer in the nose otherwise. His slumber is constantly disturbed by the blundering of bellboy WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck, with the expected results.
* The main plot for the ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' short "Quiet Please!", in which Spike tires of Tom's racket in trying to catch Jerry, threatening violence if Tom wakes him up one more time. Tom immediately has to sabotage Jerry's vigorous attempts to wake Spike. A later short, "Royal Cat-Nap", replays this scenario with the Mouseketeers, Tom having to prevent them from waking the king he is guarding. They relent and help Tom get the king back to sleep when they realise the penalty is a beheading, however.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'', Woody and Buzz try to sneak past Sid's dog Scud. Then Woody's pull string is caught and his voice box wakes Scud up.
* A villain in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', Plasmus, is a not-actually-evil guy who has to be kept constantly asleep or he will transform into a mindless, nigh-unstoppable purple goo monster.
* The ChillyWilly short "The Legend of Rock-A-Bye Point" is half this and half MusicSoothesTheSavageBeast.
* This trope figures into ''Disney/TheFoxAndTheHound'', the scene where Todd is poking around Chief when Chief is asleep in his barrel-house.
* In the Tex Avery-directed short "Rock-A-Bye Bear", a dog is rescued from the pound by a [[NoIndoorVoice loud-mouthed bear]] who wants someone to make sure things stay quiet while he's hibernating. A rival dog tries to make noise to get the first dog in trouble.
* The ''Main/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' episode, "Operation: Q.U.I.E.T." has Numbuhs Two through Five protecting the tree house from enemy intruders (in the form of some of the show's villains), keeping them quiet so that Numbuh One can be well-rested for his Defense Grid Award acceptance speech the following morning. In the end, it's [[spoiler:Numbuh Five]] who ends up waking Numbuh One.
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