'''Basic Trope''': A dream made to keep TheHero from returning to reality.
* '''Straight''': Bob is in a world that is paradise to him, but fade...he's in Carl's machine!
** Bob is spontaneously good at everything he wants to be and can do no wrong, because Carl put a hallucinogenic microchip in his wristwatch.
** All of society live inside a giant virtual reality machine that allows people to live out their fantasies.
* '''Downplayed''': Bob is in a simulated world that's pretty much the same as the real world.
** Carl realized that Bob would never stop until his work was done...and so made a world where it was.
** The device is Bob's way of taking a vacation. A dream lasts 10 seconds, but can feel like ages. A quick nip into WhatCouldHaveBeen so he can remember what he's fighting for, and he's right as rain.
** Carl traps Bob in his worst nightmare.
** Carl puts Bob in this for the express purpose of [[SecretTestOfCharacter making him want to stop Carl.]]
** Carl gets rid of Bob by making him leave the machine everyone in their world is in.
** Bob ''thinks'' Carl has put him in a LotusEaterMachine, but the audience knows that this is reality.
** The machine was the fantasy, the paradise ''is'' reality.
** Bob's paradise becomes a nightmare.
* '''Double Subverted''':
** ...Except that was [[DreamWithinADream layering]] Carl used to trick Bob.
** ...And then is paradise again as soon as he deals with the threat. People love him even more now!
* '''Parodied''': Carl suggests that it would be easier for Bob if he weren't a hero, and the mere suggestion causes him to fall into a dream.
* '''Zig Zagged''': Bob's in a machine of Carl's [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment machinations]], except that's the reality. But not really, that was a clever ruse. And now it's becoming nightmarish, but Bob saves the day and makes everything ''better''...but that pushes it into UncannyValley perfection, making it no longer perfect...
* '''Averted''': Carl doesn't use this sort of manipulation.
* '''Enforced''': "We need Bob to be out of the way for the first half of the episode, but he would ''never'' let this happen..."
* '''Lampshaded''': "Ah, yes. Put me in a perfect world. I'll ''never'' figure it out."
** "I won't ''make'' you stay. I'll just make you ''want'' to."
** A huge amount of money is invested in creating a perfect virtual reality.
* '''Exploited''': Bob realizes early on he's in a fake world, but loves it so much he decides to just stay.
** "You can't give me a perfect world. [[WorldHalfEmpty Such things cannot be obtained,]] only [[WorldHalfFull sought after.]]"
** "What? No! I do have ''[[EvenEvilHasStandards standards]]'', you know."
* '''Discussed''': "And now you're going to get me out of the way by offering me a fake image of my heart's desire."
* '''Conversed''': "You'd think Carlos would know Bill's willpower is too strong for that sort of thing."
** Bob's dream world is perfect...but humans shouldn't be, and the fact that they are makes everything ''[[UncannyValley creepy]]''.
** Bob becomes horribly depressed at being the only person who ever makes a mistake.
** Carl realizes this in a simulation, and makes everything ''just'' imperfect enough.
** Carl mass-produces these machines as "mini-vacation machines".
* '''Played For Laughs''': [[AntiHero B]][[DarkAndTroubledPast o]][[BlackAndGrayMorality b's]] heart's desire is...half a cup of sugar. Turning it into a nightmare is spilling water into the sugar. Cue BigNo.
* '''Played For Drama''': Bob desperately wants to stay, and no one can manage to get him to leave even though they'll all ''[[WhatTheHellHero die]]''. Then [[LoveInterest Alice]] [[CannotSpitItOut spits]] [[AnguishedDeclarationOfLove it out,]] [[WhamEpisode forever changing the show]].
Go back to LotusEaterMachine. It's so nice...
%% Optional items, added after Conversed, at your discretion:
%%* '''Implied''': ???
%%* '''Plotted A Good Waste''': ???