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[[quoteright:350:[[Literature/SleepingBeauty http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/BlascoBeauty995_5337.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:So once TrueLovesKiss clears the cobwebs, help everyone [[FashionDissonance upgrade their clothing]].]]

A character settles down for a nice nap. When he wakes up, it's several decades later. He sees the effects of his absence - anything he did wrong can now never be fixed; those who loved him are miserable after his long absence; and everything has changed. TheFutureIsShocking trope may ensue.

A combination of YetAnotherChristmasCarol and WonderfulLife sans Christmas elements, often with some TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture mixed in.

This is OlderThanFeudalism, with the story it's named after being an old American folktale, which itself is derived from an earlier Dutch folktale, having variants stretching back to the third century CE.

Compare the KingInTheMountain and HumanPopsicle. Compare ColdSleepColdFuture and AsleepForDays. See also YearOutsideHourInside, where the victim doesn't sleep away the years but spends them in an enchanted place. When the character is conscious during this it's TheSlowPath. An extreme version of this trope is SleptThroughTheApocalypse, where the [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt world has ended]] while the protagonist slept. If you want to add humor when that person wakes up, use RipVanTinkle. When someone is deceived into believing this trope it's FakedRipVanWinkle.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'', Princess Sakura wakes up for the first time after losing her feathers... about a day ago. [[spoiler:She will spend the entire series between now and the Tokyo arc effectively sleepwalking.]]
* Happens to [[spoiler: Shinji Ikari]] in the third ''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'' movie, who has the misfortune of spending fourteen years - more or less as long as he'd even been alive before - as a HumanPopsicle, with the double whammy of finding out that he [[NiceJobBreakingItHero accidentally annihilated the Biosphere]] in a [[spoiler: futile]] attempt to [[AlwaysSaveTheGirl save his love interest]]. The earth is a post-apocalyptic Wasteland, most of his friends are dead, and those who aren't are ten years older and now hate his guts for the aforementioned catastrophe, including his former ParentalSubstitute who gives him the [[IHaveNoSon no-son-of-mine treatment]] and puts an ExplosiveLeash on him, and his former friend/comrade/flat mate who tells him in no uncertain terms that she despises him, shattering a wall of security glass to do so.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' had a controlled example where [[spoiler: Asuna]] willingly went to sleep for one hundred years to help strengthen the base of the Magical World. [[spoiler: Since she's a HeavySleeper, she overslept by thirty years, and woke up to discover that her {{Vitriolic Best Bud|s}} Ayaka had died the year was supposed to wake up ([[IWillWaitForYou having kept herself alive through sheer willpower in hopes of seeing her one last time]]). [[TearJerker Asuna didn't take that revelation well]].]]

* PlayedForLaughs in ''ComicBook/TheBeano'' in an early comic strip called Rip Van Wink about a man who had been asleep for 700 years so was completely unused to the then modern world.
* ComicBook/CaptainAmerica. Believed to have died in [=WW2=], he was in fact kept alive as a HumanPopsicle in an iceberg in the Arctic (his super-soldier serum kept him from [[HarmlessFreezing freezing to death]] for decades before being found and rescued in [[ComicBookTime the Modern Era]] (originally 1964) by ComicBook/TheAvengers.
** Captain America ends up referencing this trope when he confirms that [[spoiler:Peter Parker is back in his body after the whole ''ComicBook/SuperiorSpiderMan'' mess]]. [[ComicBook/FantasticFour The Human Torch]] tells [[spoiler:Peter]] this, referencing the time he was dead.
** One interesting aspect of this is that Cap's service in World War II is one of the few comic stories not subjected to ComicBookTime, as all they have to do is extend the time he was frozen.
* Pretty much [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]]'s whole cast. He, his family, and many of his enemies took long naps as an explanation of how they transfered from [[ComicBookTime the Golden Age]] to [[ComicBookTime the Modern Era]].
* ComicBook/RichieRich dreamed one time that he somehow slept into his old age and now appeared on Jackie Jokers' version of "Here Is Your Life" with all his friends, family members, and even adversaries being much older.
* ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty 2015'' begins with Opus waking up from a 25-year nap.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* A common theme in ''MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfiction is taking advantage of the fact that this effectively happened to Luna as a result of her being SealedEvilInACan for a thousand years.
** One that doesn't use Luna is ''FanFic/TheBridge'', where it is Princess Cadance that is an unknowing example [[spoiler: given it is heavily implied Princess Amore of the Crystal Empire a millennia ago was her mother. King Caesar spirited her away as a baby to escape from King Sombra after Sombra killed Amore. We next see them 1,000 years later with Caesar giving her away to a kindly young couple.]]
* In ''FanFic/TangledInTime'' instead of dying, Ganondorf was comatose for decades with his body being taken care of by the Twinrova before he wakes up.
* In "How Things Smurf" from ''Fanfic/TheSmurfetteVillage'' series, Hefty and Toughette are trapped in a CrystalPrison for half a millennium, and wake up to find themselves in the modern world circa 2005 with their fellow Smurfs Brainy and Brainette now elderly.
* Sassette in ''Fanfic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'' was actually a real female Smurf who was trapped in a CrystalPrison for a century since she was a little Smurfling and awakened by Nat, Snappy, and Slouchy with no knowledge of how she became trapped in there in the first place. In "Little Sister Smurf Lost", though, she does find out that an evil wraith named Avengelica put her into the crystal, since Sassette expressed a desire to get even with the male Smurfs who at that time were mistreating her, and thus her hatred for them resurfaces as she exacts her revenge against them, particularly against her older brother Hefty.

* One of the earliest narrative films ever made, ''Film/RipVanWinkle'', is a 4 1/2-minute film dramatizing the Trope Namer's visit with some strange spirits, followed by his 20-year nap and revival in the woods.
* Tom Canboro (Gary Busey) in the Christian film ''[[Film/{{Apocalypse}} Tribulation]]'' (from the Apocalypse series) wakes up a few years into the Tribulation period after being in an automobile accident, complete with TimePassageBeard.
* The [[ExecutiveMeddling original ending]] to ''Film/ArmyOfDarkness'' had Ash take too much of the potion that was to return him to his own time. He overshoots his own time by one hundred years and awakes to a post-apocalyptic world.
* In the film ''Merlin's Apprentice'', [[Myth/{{Merlin}} the titular wizard]] rests out in a cave after Camelot comes to peace and wakes up 50 years later to find Camelot in ruins and Arthur dead.
* Justified in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'', where Steve Rogers gets frozen in the arctic in the 1940s and is woken up again in modern times. Needless to say, he's a bit surprised when he puts it together (because Steve had been at the baseball game SHIELD put on the radio to put him at ease).

* Epimenides the Cretan, according to Diogenes Laertius (early 3rd century AD), was sent to a farm to get a sheep but went to sleep for 57 years. When he woke up he thought only a few hours had gone by so he continued on his quest for the sheep. When he arrived at the farm he found it had been sold and the style of dress had changed. It is also said he died at the age of 157.
* The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus were said to have hidden in a cave to escape persecution and fallen asleep there, only to wake decades later, after Christianity has triumphed, and be caught when one of them tries to buy coins with the old emperor's head on them.

* The TropeNamer is 1819 short story "Literature/RipVanWinkle", in which Rip goes into the woods, meets some strange beings, drinks of their liquor, and takes a 20-year nap. He winds up pretty pleased about it, as he has outlived his nagging shrew of a wife and gets to live the life of a respected senior citizen.
* ''Literature/SleepingBeauty'': Due to a curse, the title princess falls asleep. She wakes up 100 years later. Much has changed since then, including the fashions - the prince notes how outdated her dress looks.
* The novel ''Son of Rosemary'' brings the heroine of ''Rosemary's Baby'' up-to-date by having her awaken from a twenty-plus year sleep, just as her demonic son's plotting to bring about TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.
* In Creator/AndreNorton's ''Literature/AndroidAtArms'', the protagonist is one of several important political figures who were kidnapped, stored as {{Human Popsicle}}s, and replaced with {{Ridiculously Human Robot}}s. When they are initially decanted from cold storage by a power failure, they compare notes to learn that they were all kidnapped in different years, and that several of them have been prisoners for decades.
** That's the short and not quite accurate version - they were "defrosted" previously but were under MindControl until the power failure knocked out the MindControlDevice.
* Creator/HGWells' ''The Sleeper Awakes'', where a man previously in a coma for centuries happens to awaken to find himself now not only in a bleak, dystopian future, but also the richest man in the world due to the compound interest on his bank accounts which had been compiling for so long.
* Creator/ArthurCClarke's ''3001: The Final Odyssey'', the last and final volume in his ''Space Odyssey'' series, finds Frank Poole--previously killed by HAL in the first book--discovered by a space-tug after floating about the Kuyper Belt for a millennium; the absolute zero temperature of deep space having preserved his body, which the ultra-advanced society of 3001 is able to heal and bring back to life.
* In a supporting-character example, Wulf Saxon from the [[Creator/SimonRGreen Hawk & Fisher]] novel ''The Bones Of Haven'' got trapped inside a booby-trapped magical portrait for 23 years while attempting to rob a sorcerer. No time passes for him, but by the time he's set free, his family are all dead or penniless, his friends have become callous and hostile, and the city he'd once hoped to reform has become a WretchedHive far worse than he remembers.
* Spider Robinson's "The Time Traveler" in ''Literature/CallahansCrossTimeSaloon'' is a variant on this - the protagonist hasn't been sleeping, but he is imprisoned by a dictatorship in the early Sixties and not allowed any contact with the outside world. When he's released in the early Seventies, the culture shock between the era of JFK and the era of Vietnam/ Watergate makes him contemplate suicide.
* ''Literature/SholanAlliance'': Thanks to spending 1500 years in an alien stasis cube, Rezac and Zashou get to experience a mix of this trope and ColdSleepColdFuture.
* In the children's picture book ''[[https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frog-Durrington-Dormouse-Smith-1978-03-01/dp/B01K3NJIBK/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1496942318&sr=8-12&keywords=frog+band The Frog Band and Durrington Dormouse]]'', Durrington, after a life at sea, runs into the woods to escape a press gang. He runs into Mad Maude the Toad, who gives him a drink. This sends him to sleep and he awakes to find everything completely different. It's not made clear how long he was asleep, but, given that he went to sleep in an age of press gangs and woke up in the twentieth century, it was probably over 100 years.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', episode "Twilight." Captain Archer wakes up many years in the future, after the destruction of Earth, to learn that he contracted an alien disease causing a form of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anterograde_amnesia anterograde amnesia]]: every six months, he wakes up with no memories since he contracted the disease. It all ends with a ResetButton as they use TechnoBabble to ''retroactively'' cure the disease, returning us to the [[StoryArc plot arc]]. It's really just an excuse to run an AlternateUniverse plot about the Enterprise's mission failing.
** ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]]'' also previously did a somewhat similar story with the episode "Future Imperfect". It had Riker falling unconscious after exploring a cave that was flooded with toxic gas and waking up to discover that at that moment he had contracted a strange alien disease that apparently wiped all his memories between the time he fell unconscious and the 16 years since. However at the end [[spoiler:it turned out to be an elaborate holographic illusion created by a lonely alien (played by the kid from ''Dream On'') who had captured Riker and was impersonating his fictional future son.]]
** ''[[Series/StarTrekVoyager Voyager]]'' did one as well: a backup copy of the Doctor stored in a piece of the ship that had ended up in an alien museum was reactivated and discovered that 700 years had passed since Voyager left the planet. From his point of view, he was on Voyager just yesterday. There's also "Timeless," in which the Doctor is reactivated 15 years in the series' future and discovers that he, Harry and Chakotay are the only three members of the crew still alive.
* Jeannie from ''Series/IDreamOfJeannie'' technically qualifies. She wasn't asleep, but she was trapped in her bottle for 2,000 years before Nelson found it, and she clearly had no contact with the outside (as proven by the fact that she couldn't speak English until he wished for her to be able to).
* The premise of ''TheMunstersToday'', as told in the opening theme song, was "We went to sleep some twenty years ago / And woke up with a brand new show!"
* Parodied in the sketch comedy ''Series/TheState'': A man is in a coma for "one hundred and nineteen.[[BeatPanel .]].almost two hours." However, the world at large seems to have changed as if he'd been in a coma for decades.
* Parodied on ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'', where they had a sketch where a man fell asleep for 20 minutes and woke up to a world largely the same, except for everyone, including the man, acting as if years had gone by. And "the Elongulator," which is not described any further.
* Invoked by some train robbers in ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'' episode "The Rip Van Winkle Caper". The robbers' intent was to remain in gas-induced suspended animation until their theft of gold bullion had been forgotten.
* From ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'', Creator/AidyBryant plays 13-year-old Melanie, who goes to slumber parties only to fall for her friend's father each time. It's slowly built up on when she mentions that her father is "like 72 years old", and she had to take a Vicodin after hurting her back once, but then Vanessa Bayer as her mum arrives to deliver the WhamLine.
-->"She's not 13, she's 25. We lied to her about how long she was in that Vicodin coma; she's all horned up now and doesn't know why."

* The song "Four of Two" by Music/TheyMightBeGiants does this to a man who falls asleep waiting for a date to arrive, not realizing that the clock he's looking at is broken & the girl has stood him up.
* "We Won't Get Fooled Again" by Music/TheWho is an interpretation of the original story, which used the twenty-year nap to illustrate that the Revolutionary War (which happened while he slept) really didn't change anything at all, and he was basically living in the same world. It's a bit hidden in the song, but certain lyrics like "And the marching on the left/ Is now the marching on the right/ And the beards have all grown longer overnight" make it a definite reference.
* The song "L Dopa" by Music/BigBlack is about a girl who falls asleep in her teens and wakes up as an old woman. The woman decides that she'd rather die than continue living since she literally slept her entire productive life away, however the doctors feel that all life is worth saving regardless of the patient's input on the matter, so she's unable to have her request fulfilled.

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* There is an ancient Christian martyrological tale of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus -- seven Christians who flee to a cave to escape persecution by the Roman Emperor Decius (around 250 AD), fall asleep, and awake decades later (usually during the reign of Theodosius II, 408-450 AD) to find the Roman Empire has become Christian.
* The Literature/{{Talmud}} contains the story of the ancient Rabbi and scholar Honi ha-M'agel, who slept for 70 years, and awakened to find his teachings misinterpreted and all of his friends dead. The texts probably dates from the early 3rd century AD.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'', the main character Laharl planned to take a ten day nap... and slept for 2 years. He would have slept longer, but his 'loyal' vassal Etna woke him up.
* This happens to the main character, their sibling, and adopted parent in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}: The Third Phantom''. Luckily, the protaganist takes it better than the others, or else things would've really gone to hell.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'', [[HeroicMime Chell]] gets caught in cryogenic stasis for an indefinite amount of time (the "hotel room" she was in started out intact, and afterwards was severely decayed) at the start of the game.
* In the backstory for ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'', a previous princess named Zelda (separate from the one encountered in the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI preceding game]]) had a cruel brother who mistreated the citizens of Hyrule with the help of an evil wizard. When Zelda refused to tell her brother what she knew about the location of the Triforce, the wizard tried to kill her with a spell that instead killed him and put Zelda in a deep slumber. The remorseful brother placed his sister in a castle tower in the hope that she would one day be woken up. The plot of the game involves Link finding the Triforce of Courage to do so.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Ever17}}'', [[spoiler:Takeshi]] spends 17 years in cryo-stasis, and upon waking up, discovers that [[spoiler:he has 16-year-old children]]. The story of Rip van Winkle himself is [[{{Foreshadowing}} discussed]] in some of the routes.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In the ''Webcomic/PokeyThePenguin'' strip ''[[http://www.yellow5.com/pokey/archive/index87.html Rip Van Pokey]]'', Pokey gets a 20-minute power nap to find out he is no longer welcome in the Arctic Circle.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'': In "Rip Van Flintstone", Fred dreams that he's been asleep for twenty years, "like in that Rip Van Winklestone story", and finds that Barney has become an oil tycoon and that Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are married.
* {{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}: Pizza delivery boy Fry accidentally [[{{HumanPopsicle}} freezes himself]] during New Year’s Eve of 1999. He wakes up a thousand years later, kickstarting the whole plot of the show.
* A ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' cartoon (The Old Grey Hare) featuring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd has the latter sleeping for over sixty years to reach the [[ZeeRust unimaginably distant year 2000]], where he and a geriatric Bugs still battled each other amidst pop culture references [[WeirdAlEffect whose meanings have long vanished into history for the modern viewer]].
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'' did this.
** So did one of the original comic strips.
%%* ''Series/TheSuperMarioBrosSuperShow''
* ''VideoGame/PacMan'': The cartoon's ep #42, "Pac-Van-Winkle."
* Inverted in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheAngryBeavers''. The two beavers spend the entire episode trying to stay up all night, only to realize their clock is broken. When they go outside, decades have passed and they can see a futuristic city on the horizon.
-->'''Norbert:''' ''Dag!'' How long have we been awake?!
** Played straight in "Up All Night 2: Up All Day - The Reckoning", where the beavers struggle to get to sleep after "stupidly staying up for a bazillion years". When they finally manage it, they end up sleeping for [[HereWeGoAgain the same amount of time as they spent awake last time]], only this time [[MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext sheep have become the dominant species]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' episode "[[BadFuture Future Tense]]" did this to Goliath. [[spoiler:Fortunately, it was AllJustADream.]]
** Also, the protagonists spent centuries as stone statues in the backstory before Xanatos breaks their curse.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' features a guy who fell into a coma in the '70s.
-->"Do Sonny and Cher still have that stupid show?"
-->"No. She won an Oscar, and he's a Congressman!"
-->"GOOD''NIGHT''!" (flatlines)
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' did this in an early episode where the boys discover a man frozen in the ice of a cave. He'd been trapped there for 2-3 years, but everybody treats him like a defrosted caveman. When he tries to return home to his wife, he discovers she's remarried (after a few weeks) and has a pair of (somehow) nearly teenage children with her new husband.