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->''"You're sorta stuck where you are,\\
But in your dreams, you can buy expensive cars,\\
Or live on Mars and have it your way.\\
And you hate your boss at your job,\\
But in your dreams, you can blow his head off.\\
In your dreams, show no mercy."''
-->-- ''The Music/FlamingLips'', "Bad Days"

Sometimes people can be really mean to you. The JerkJock and the AlphaBitch will mock you in school, the SadistTeacher and ObstructiveBureaucrat won't leave you alone, the [[TyrantTakesTheHelm vile new boss]] can turn your beloved workplace into hell on earth. Even your [[AbusiveParents parents can hurt you]]. And sometimes your whole city will [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer hate you]] [[LoserSonOfLoserDad for some reasons]]. And you know what the worst part of it is? You can't take revenge. You can't tell your boss what you really think about him, unless you want to lose your job. Standing against the bully will just get you a serious beatdown for your trouble. And how the hell are you going to fight with the whole town? Sometimes the only thing you can do is give in to your [[MrImagination imagination]]. Because there, you can be anyone -- TheChosenOne, a SuperHero or just {{Badass}} with a cool [[BadassLongcoat longcoat]]. And everyone who ever pissed you off will have to pay. You can give villains the faces of your abusers, or just imagine them being beaten by you or [[AuthorAvatar your avatar]].

The SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism shows two possibilities of this trope played seriously. In more cynical settings, a person stuck in this situation will never get to stand up against his abusers, always living under their heel and either will become [[NoDoubtTheYearsHaveChangedMe a completely broken person as time passes]] or just [[BreakTheCutie cracked up]]. In more idealistic settings that person will at some point stand against those who turned his life into a living hell, either verbally or [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome with fists]].

Sometimes, this can be played for laughs: Sam pissed off Bob and Bob imagines himself beating the tar out of Sam, but this was just a separate incident -- Sam and Bob are friends, or at least don't have a reason to hate each other.

Most definitely TruthInTelevision.

See also IJustWantToBeBadass, arguably the same basic desire; DreamSue, where the characters imagine themselves to be ridiculously perfect; and WishFulfillment.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Isao Kako in ''{{Bokurano}}'' has a disturbing dream in which he takes revenge on everyone who was mocking him, including beating up his older sister alongside two bullies and trying to rape the AlphaBitch.
* The black suit of armor from ''AfterSchoolNightmare'' embodies this trope; in the dream world, it acts for the real-world character as a way to do this in dreams.
* One episode of ''GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' involves Section 9 looking into the daydreams of a refugee from the last world war who fantasized about killing his boss and rescuing the girl as an escape from his mundane life as a helicopter pilot and society at large. The episode itself is an homage to ''TaxiDriver'', but in the end it is concluded that the man poses no actual threat to society, and that his daydreams are just that.
* ''Manga/CardCaptorSakura'': After being teased over being heavy-footed despite her height by her brother Touya, Sakura imagines [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever growing into a fifty-foot monster]]. Then grinding him into the asphalt under her foot.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* The entire SuperHero genre has been described by some as "adolescent male power fantasy".
* In one storyline, ''{{Superman}}'' has a particularly realistic dream; once he figures out it isn't real, he uses it as an opportunity to vent by massacring the villains who [[CardboardPrison keep coming back]].
* At the end of ''{{Youngblood}}: Judgement Day'' it's revealed that all DarkerAndEdgier state of ImageUniverse and his own power and position are [[spoiler: Sentinel's]] PowerFantasy turned into reality.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/{{Brazil}}'' Sam Lowry dreams of being a winged hero as a means of escape from his bureaucracy-filled dystopian world.
* An alternative interpretation of the [[HappyEnding Happy Endings]] of both ''TaxiDriver'' and ''Film/TheKingOfComedy'' (both of which were made by Creator/MartinScorsese and star RobertDeNiro) is that they occurred all in the protagonists' heads.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* The short story ''The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'' by Creator/JamesThurber is all about this.
* Holden Caulfield in ''Literature/TheCatcherInTheRye'' after the pimp beats him up.
* ''Shredderman Rules'' is all about this trope.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Lt. Barclay does this in his first appearance on ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' but unlike most other examples he has the holodeck to make his power fantasies reality.
* TV adaptations of ''ShreddermanRules'', which are for the most part faithful to the book.
* Played for laughs in ''Series/TheYoungOnes'' in the episode "Summer Vacation," where [[TheEeyore Neil]] imagines himself turning into the IncredibleHulk and attacking his housemates. While none of that actually happens, he ''does'' actually take his shirt off, much to Vyvan's confusion.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music Video ]]

* The video for Music/{{Disturbed}}'s ''Voices'' centers on an office drone and his revenge fantasies on his JerkAss coworkers.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' is probably the most iconic example of this
** Calvin has ''three'' different imaginary alter egos -- Spaceman Spiff (which provides the header picture), Stupendous Man, and Tracer Bullet -- of this trope as major recurring characters, plus other fantasies of being a dinosaur.
** There's also the strip where Calvin fantasizes about being an all-powerful, sadistic god who enjoys tormenting the denizens of his little world. The final panel reveals that he's playing with Tinker Toys.
* ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'': Peter gets these whenever he is left in charge of his younger siblings, including fantasies of being an all-powerful god.
* ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey'' once takes the advice to think of something nice during a long march to make the time pass faster. He has so much fun imagining abusing an unresisting Sarge that he doesn't even notice when the march is over.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* Arguably most tabletop role playing games. Most of these games let you play some larger than life character doing heroic things. Though there are occasional subversions such as ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}''. TheMunchkin is an example of someone who lets this desire overcome their sense of fairplay.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Countless video games fulfil a power fantasy. This is especially true for modern video games produced in the early 21st century. Aside from most puzzle games, some survival horror games, some abstract action games, and a few other exceptions, modern video games in general are based off this trope.
** This was only partially true for older video games in the late 20th century. While older games also provided a limited power fantasy, they were generally a lot more difficult, requiring more work and dedication from the player, and with death usually meaning GameOver. Modern video games have generally become a lot easier, with very little consequences to death, in order to provide a greater power fantasy to the player, without much difficulty getting in the way.
* Mewt in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' breathes the trope. In the real world, he is painfully shy at school and he is constantly picked on and bullied by the other children. Mewt's mother passed away some time ago and his father is an emotional wreck who barely gives Mewt any emotional support. When he and his friends get thrown into the fantasy world of Ivalice, Mewt becomes a prince, his mother is alive again and is a queen, his father is the a Judgemaster, he has a personal assistant that will tend to all of his needs, no one bullies him anymore, and everyone does what he tells them to do. Only when Mewt listens to his friend, Marche, about standing up for himself and being true to his self does he give up the power fantasy and agrees to go home.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' (1998) deconstructs the trope. The game constantly reminds the player that being a SuperSoldier that can kill dozens or even hundreds of generic men and that war isn't as fun or glamorous that other forms of media may make it seem to be and that you will always lose people that you grow attached to during war. Most players missed the point and saw the game as nothing more than a power trip with SolidSnake being so badass for taking on a tank, a helicopter, Metal Gear itself, and a slew of characters with special abilities.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' (2001) deconstructed the trope much further, and was made to specifically attack the audience that thought being a badass during a war or hostage situation was so fun. It replaced the badass Solid Snake with an amateur {{Raiden}}, in many ways meant to represent the player. The game often mocks the player, with various comments directed at Raiden also directed at the player. At times the game even punishes the player, rather than rewarding them, after beating a boss or clearing an objective. This only got worse as the player progresses through the game, with the Colonel at one point [[spoiler:mockingly telling the player/Raiden to turn off the game console.]] Read more about how it deconstructs the power fantasy trope [[http://www.deltaheadtranslation.com/MGS2/DOTM_TOC.htm here]].
* The trope is also deconstructed by ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'', a game which looks like it will fulfil this need on the part of the player. For the first hour, it even imitates the military shooter ubiquitous in the late 2000's and early 2010's. Then it becomes clearer and clearer that by wanting to be the "hero" of the story, the PlayerCharacter is worsening the situation, which was already disastrous and desperate. Some of the loading tips are brutally sarcastic and suspiciously ambiguous about whether they refer to the protagonist or the player. One developer stated that the ultimate answer to the moral quandaries the player encounters is to ''stop playing'', thus letting go of the expected Power Fantasy.
-->[[spoiler:'''John Konrad:''' The truth, Walker, is that you're here because you wanted to feel like something you're not. A hero.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* Played for laughs in ''{{Weregeek}}'' -- after having an argument with his boss, Mark imagines him being attacked by his ''DungeonsAndDragons'' character.
* ''{{Sonichu}}'' is an unpleasant combination of this and LifeEmbellished. If the author has a problem with you in real life, a thinly-veiled version of you is going to show up and get beaten up.
* Lewis from ''FullFrontalNerdity'' mentioned once he was imagining himself getting {{Superman}}'s or [[ComicBook/{{X-Men}} Phoenix's]] powers and use them to kill JerkJock that was mocking him in High School and not only win the heart of his LoveInterest from that times but get her admitting [[AGodAmI he is a God]].
* Taken to absurdly literal levels in ''ProblemSleuth'', where most of the plot takes place in the imaginary world. As such, anything the characters can imagine manifests physically.
* Sarah from ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2004-08-02 dreams of defeating Hedge]] the night after she [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2003-11-04 fails to prevent him from kidnapping Elliot]] and does so [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2012-04-05 again]] several months later. The latter even occurs during a storyline ''called'' "Power Fantasy".

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'': "We should hang out." "Agreed."
* Done hilariously in ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited''. When Dr. Milo, a high-ranking Cadmus employee, is told by his boss (Amanda Waller) he's fired, he at once pulls out a huge laser cannon and kills everyone else at the conference table. Of course, it's a fantasy and in real life he just meekly takes his pink slip [[spoiler: before releasing Doomsday as payback.]]
* In the ''FairlyOddParents'', Timmy Turner has created so many imaginative alternate personae that the rest of the town starts asking him which one he is each day when they notice he's not looking or acting like his usual self.
* ''AngelaAnaconda''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Prior to emancipation, American black slaves told stories about Brer Rabbit outwitting Brer Fox and Brer Bear as a way of fantasizing about turning the tables on their white tormentors.
* The philosopher BertrandRussell dismissed Creator/FriedrichNietzsche's entire body of work as mere "power phantasies".
* Really who hasn't done this at some point in their childhood?
** ''Just'' their childhood?

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