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Analysis: All Just a Dream
There are a few reasons to use All Just A Dream plot that won't lead to people shouting "CHEAT" at the author.

  1. Character Development, showing us hidden anxieties, hopes, and fears that drive the dreamer.
  2. A setup/justification for a Bizarro Episode.
  3. A setup/justification for a full episode Out-of-Genre Experience. (Note that this one works best if it's known going in that it's a dream.)
  4. A Dream Walker / Dream Weaver / Dream Stealer plot.

Note that setups that explain beforehand that the dream in question is a dream also cut down on people yelling "CHEAT". And that acknowledging Real Dreams Are Weirder helps a lot.
Aliens Steal CableAnalysisAll Germans Are Nazis

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