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->'''Cobb:''' "We create the world of the dream, we bring the subject into that dream, and they fill it with their secrets."\\
'''Aridne:''' "Then we break in and steal it?"
-->-- ''Inception''

The opposite of a DreamWeaver, this is a character that steals/destroys/eats the dreams of others, usually because they gain something from doing so. Perhaps they themselves are normally unable to dream and want to experience it, perhaps dreams are the food source of their species, or perhaps they're just doing it for fun.

The effects of having one's dreams stolen vary greatly. Victims of dream theft may [[TheSleepless become unable to sleep properly]], [[CreativeSterility lose their creativity]] or even go completely insane. In some cases, there may not be any side effects at all, particularly if the dream is merely being shared or copied rather than completely removed.

Dream Stealers are usually villains, although [[BadPowersGoodPeople heroic and neutral examples do occur]].

Can lead to CannotDream. Compare AnatomyOfTheSoul. Contrast DreamWeaver.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Campari from ''{{King of Bandit Jing}}'' has the ability to steal dreams from other people and encapsulate them in a ball. He usually sells them to other people so they can dream about some specific thing, though he can also turn them into reality in emergency situations.
* ''[[HelloKitty Hello Kitty and Friends]]'' had an episode where a monster was eating the dreams of Kitty and her friends. The monster was part of a race of monsters whose job was to eat nightmares, but this monster was a mischievous child who was eating pleasant dreams because they tasted better...until they gave him a stomachache.
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' has Tapirmon, who is based off the dream-eating Baku and is said to have the same abilities.
* ''HellTeacherNube'': A baku is one of the creatures encountered in the course of the plot, and this one is the kind who eats ''all'' dreams and eventually [[spoiler:steals the disillusioned souls of its victims to add to its growing bulk]].
* A baku appears in the second ''UruseiYatsura'' movie to help bring the (extra) weirdness to a close.
* Muma (Dream Demons) in ''YumekuiMerry'' can do this, though they usually just place themselves in the dreams their host have
* A recurring thing in ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', the manga. Black's mind is preoccupied with his dream of winning the Pokemon league, so his Munna, named Musha after what it will evolve into, lands on his head and eats his dreams during a battle or when he needs to focus. (see the video game section as well).

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Strips ]]

* SuskeEnWiske: The entire concept of the album "De Dromendiefstal" ("The Dreams Theft") is built around this idea.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* A variation is used in ''{{Inception}}''. Cobb does not steal the dreams themselves, but rather uses the dreams to steal thoughts and ideas from people's minds.
* Synonamess Botch's vulture minions from ''TwiceUponATime'' will sometimes find Figmen, who provide good dreams to people, and kill them, destroying the good dreams with them (the vultures deliver nightmares).
* ''Film/TheCityOfLostChildren'' is about a mad scientist who cannot dream and kidnaps children to try to steal their dreams.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* German author Creator/MichaelEnde wrote the book ''Das Traumfresserchen'' (The little dream eater) where for once the Dream Eater isn't evil or mean and in fact helpful: It eats the nightmares of a princess.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The baku (listed below) makes an appearance in ''Series/LostGirl'' as a heroic creature who helps people by eating their bad dreams.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* A rare protagonistic example: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLYCjovMtpo Dream Eater On The Sand]]. It's a song sung by [[{{Vocaloid}} Megurine Luka]] that tells the story of a distressed boy with terrible memories and nightmares meeting a strange girl who can take them away by eating them.
* And a villainous example appears in [[{{Vocaloid}} Kagamine Len's]] "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmOeqLHwn5g Dream-Eating Monochrome Baku]]," where the titular character eats the nightmares of a young girl but later returns to take away all her aspirations as payment. This is a rather unusual depiction of the baku, which is generally portrayed as a benevolent spirit.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Mythology ]]

* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baku_%28spirit%29 baku]] of JapaneseMythology is a creature which devours bad dreams, and is the base for many references in {{anime}} and {{manga}} series.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* [[http://magiccards.info/lw/en/145.html The faeries of Lorwyn]] in ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering''.
* An option in ''ChangelingTheDreaming''. While most changlings prefer to obtain [[{{Mana}} glamour]] by inspiring creativity, some are willing to "ravage" a human and simply take the glamour that they want.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Toys ]]

* [[spoiler:[[EldritchAbomination Annona]]]] from ''{{Bionicle}}'' is an entity that feeds on dreams, inducing madness in its victims. [[spoiler:It was responsible for the Dreaming Plague that wiped out the Iron Tribe.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Morrigan Aensland]] is said to be of a particular kind of succubus that, [[HornyDevils in addition to the usual features]], can also feed on the dreams of mortals.
* The move "Dream Eater" from ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' is a powerful HP-draining attack, but works only when the opponent is asleep.
** The Pokémon species Drowzee and Hypno are particularly famous for this in the games' [[GameplayAndStorySegregation canon]], where they have been known to [[MemeticMolester kidnap children]] to feed off their dreams.
** Munna and Musharna are also famous for this in the canon, but unlike Drowzee, all they do is just go to people's houses at night.
* The Slumbering Coven in ''NeverwinterNights2: Mask of the Betrayer'' steal and trade dreams and knowledge.
* In ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice: The Devil's Playhouse'', after [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity unleashing his full psychic potential, going insane and becoming an]] [[EldritchAbomination Elder God]], Max subsists on making people fall asleep and eating their dreams. One of his [[LiteralSplitPersonality aspects]] can be asked what nightmares taste like, to which he has eight different responses, one of which is "Pepsi".
* Nightmare from {{Kirby}}'s Adventure/Nightmare in Dreamland, by corrupting the Fountain of Dreams.
* ''VideoGame/DreamfallTheLongestJourney'' is ALL about this (the title is a hint). The most obvious example would be the Starkian BigBad [[spoiler:Alvin Peats]] who literally leeches off people's dreams. We also have an EldritchAbomination called Undreaming, which is implied to be this UpToEleven.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Animation ]]

* Invoked in an episode of {{WebAnimation/Bonus Stage}}
-->'''Elly:''' "This show ruins everyone's dreams."
-->'''Joel:''' "It also eats them and grows stronger."

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* The 'Cubi race from ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'' are the mind-reading {{Emotion Eater}}s, who ''can'' enter and manipulate dreams and have an inaccurate reputation for stealing them, but are advised against entering people's dreams because [[AlwaysABiggerFish bigger]] [[EldritchAbomination fishes]] like to do it, too.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In ''StrawberryShortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie'', The Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak takes over the Land of Dreams and plans to keep all the dreams for himself, because he never got any dreams as a child.
* ''{{Daria}}'' uses this in a throwaway line by [[CloudCuckooLander Artie]], a minor character who claims to have been [[AlienAbduction abducted by aliens]]:
-->"That's why they come at night. It makes it easier to steal your dreams. They got this big, big suction device that..."
* [[spoiler:Nocturne, the ghost of sleep and dreams]] from WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom can draw power from dreams.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamcatcher Dreamcatchers]] are objects originally used by the Ojibwa First Nation peoples, but now much more widespread. They're said to be able to filter out their users' bad dreams, and ensure that the users only have good ones.

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