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Anime and Manga
- In Appleseed, Deunan sleeps on the floor instead of the bed after being taken from the wasteland into Olympus. She's spent the last few years roughing it in a battlezone environment, so curling up into a corner for rest is the only thing she was used to.
- Sousuke Sagara of Full Metal Panic! makes a habit of sleeping under his bed, as a manifestation of the paranoia he carries over from his years as a Child Soldier. And, considering the extremely limited space and the decided uncomfortable-ness of the area in question, sleeping there tends to noticeably deter any of his many admirers from trying to cop a feel on him while he's asleep. He usually keeps a weapon nearby too, and on some occasions, he sleeps with his eyes open. Creepy
- Another Child Soldier example, Jonah from Jormungand sleeps curled up in a corner with a weapon close at hand.
- In Strike Witches, Francesca Luccini often sleeps in high, perched, narrow structures like tree branches and beam girders, possibly reflecting her Cat Girl nature.
- Roronoa Zoro of One Piece tends to sleep on the deck of the Straw Hat's pirate ship whenever possible... even in the middle of devastating storms. He's also been known to take naps in snow drifts while half-naked.
- THE iDOLM@STER - Miki can sleep most anywhere, this includes the trunk of a van, two or three foldable chairs, and even while Haruka is piggybacking her in the Live For You OVA.
- Claymores only bother to sleep every few days, but Theresa of the Faint Smile was seen as unable to even rest in the best room of a local inn until she planted her BFS into the floor and sat to lean against it.
- Coyote Starrk sleeps on a green beanbag chair. If an omake is to believed, Lilynette can sleep on top of Starrk.
- Rukia prefers to sleep in Ichigo's closet, because it was the only appropriate space available when she "moved in". When she returns on a more formal mission, she makes herself pass as a New Transfer Student to Ichigo's family and they agree to have her move into Karin and Yuzu's room. Though she didn't fool Isshin; as a former Shinigami, he had sensed her presence from the start but decided not to say anything.
- Likewise, Ren from DearS sleeps in Takeya's closet because she thought that it was the space that he appointed for her to sleep in. It wasn't, as he didn't even want her to live with him in the first place, but she does anyway and makes it her happy home.
- In A Certain Magical Index, Touma usually sleeps in his bathtub. It's uncomfortable but necessary because his roommate Index tends to sleepwalk and bite him.
- In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Sakura first met Nozaki when she was late to school and she saw that he had fallen asleep on top of the school gate while climbing it to get into school, as he was also late.
- Played for comedy in Tokyo Ghoul:Re, with the rumor that Arima has a habit of taking catnaps in the middle of battle. It's accompanied by a comical image of Arima sleeping standing up, complete with a Snot Bubble and panicked subordinates yelling for him to wake up. Sasaki and Juuzou confirm that this actually happened, because he goes long periods without sleeping while on major assignments.
- Bertholdt Hover from Attack on Titan apparently had some unusual sleeping habits. According to Jean he turned sprawling out into an art form, often waking up in weird poses or even falling off his bunk. The rest of the 104th got a real kick out of this, and even started using his positions to predict the weather.
- In Your Servant Mistress, Maleficent sleeps in a hammock whenever she feels particularly bad. It Makes Sense In Context.
- In Intercom, Joy (the emotion mind you) sleeps in a bathtub. With water still in it. And yet she uses a dry pillow as well. It's...more than a little strange, but at least it means she can take a bath every morning before the day starts.
- This isn't original to the fanfic; that part was based on concept art from the movie.
- A Funny Background Event in At Chirei shows Kisume sleeping in her bucket.
- In the most recent movie adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes is shown to sleep on the floor instead of in a bed after being imprisoned for so long.
- In the 1980s Batman movie, Bruce Wayne is briefly shown sleeping hanging upside down from his rack. This is never mentioned again.
- In the Daredevil film, the title hero is shown to sleep in a sensory deprivation tank because his Super Senses prevent him getting to sleep.
- Cast Away. Tom Hanks sleeps on the ground, because of course there's no beds on a deserted island.
- Munich. After planting a bomb in a terrorist's bed, one of the protagonists can only sleep in a cupboard.
- During the dropship transit from the Sulaco to LV-426, Cpl. Hicks falls asleep in his restraint harness. Sgt. Apone even says as they're about to start landing, "[...] and someone wake up Hicks!"
- After spending months hiding from the aliens in the colony's ventilation ducts, Newt is only able to sleep by crawling under a bed.
- In the Abbott and Costello film Buck Privates Come Home, Herbie finds it too hot to sleep inside the apartment, he rigs up a makeshift hammock on the clothes line that runs between the buildings.
- Apparently, somebody likes to sleep in an Art Gallery in the film adaptation of Madeline.
- The protagonist of I Am Legend sleeps in a bathtub, perhaps because it's easy to clean (you can't leave out the laundry easily with flesh-eating zombies running around).
- In The Nightmare Before Christmas, when Jack slips inside a Christmas Town bedroom to look at the sleeping elf children, the ones to the left of the window appear to be sleeping in dresser drawers rather than beds.
- In the Discworld novel Wyrd Sisters, one of the late King of Lancre's servants unexpectedly finds himself the new king. A later novel reveals that he sleeps on the floor just inside the door of his bedchamber instead of in his bed, because he's always slept on the floor, usually the floor just outside his master's door — and now that he's king, the kingdom is his master.
- In Unseen Academicals, Trev, a Brilliant, but Lazy young man, "could sleep anywhere, and usually did." Places he's slept include at work (the candle vats of Unseen University), on the floor of a friend's house, and in a stable, which is rather amusingly noted to be "a more fragrant option" than the friend's house.
- In Dragon Bones, on a travel by ship, Ward sleeps in a hammock, because it makes him less seasick than the bed (which he could also sleep in).
- In one Ghosts of Fear Street book the protagonist is bitten by a vampire and, naturally, gains more vampiric symptoms as time goes on. This includes going to sleep one night and being surprised to wake up hanging upside-down inside his closet.
- In the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue of Big Trouble, it's revealed that Puggy was hired as a handyman for Elliot and Anna, and moved in with Nina. Every so often though, the two would spend the night in the tree house Puggy used to secretly live in. According to the narrator, they did this for old time's sake.
- In Eva Luna, Eva Luna's "grandmother" Elvira purchased a coffin since she was scared of dying and then being tossed into a common hole. She then took to sleeping in the coffin itself, freaking out the maid of the house. This saves her life years later, as the capital gets horribly flooded while she was sleeping and the coffin was so well-built that it didn't let the water get in, saving her from drowning. When they opened it, Elvira was still asleep; this got caught in the news, and the now adult Eva is soon happily reunited with her "grandmother".
- The Hunger Games: In "Mockingjay" Katniss Everdeen will frequently hide away in closets or storage rooms and end up falling asleep.
Live Action TV
- The vampire aliens of Korean sit-com Vampire Idol sleep inside a piano.
- Jim Profit in the short-lived television series Profit regularly sleeps naked in a cardboard box, just like the one he was raised in by his abusive father.
- Mork & Mindy: Mork sleeps upside down in the closet because he's an alien and that's how they feel comfortable.
- The Addams Family: Uncle Fester likes to sleep on a bed of nails.
- In an episode of Dexter, Dexter breaks into Lumen's hotel room and sees that she has made up a bed in the closet, since a closet was the only place where she felt safe from the men who raped her.
- The eccentric genius protagonist of Probe sleeps in a cupboard. When he was young he couldn't afford a proper sensory deprivation tank; by the time the series starts, he can afford as many as he likes, but he's got used to the cupboard.
- Early on in The X-Files, Mulder sleeps on his couch (when he does sleep), in large part because he's using the bedroom for storage. This does change in later seasons.
- In Kyle XY, Kyle prefers sleeping in a bathtub, because it mimics the shape of the pod he was grown in.
- In the early episodes of NCIS, it was mentioned on more than one occasion that Abby Scuitto sleeps in a coffin. At one point, McGee was with her.
McGee: You told me it was a box sofa bed!
- Ash in Supernatural was introduced sleeping on a pool table.
- In Episode 178 of Running Man, one challenge was to play Jenga...with giant Styrofoam blocks making a tower 7 meters tall...while someone sits on top of it (Song Ji Hyo). The group manage to pass the initial challenge of removing a number of blocks, then argued with the producers over the reward for an additional challenge, during which time Ji Hyo was caught asleep on top of that tower.
- The Minbari in Babylon 5 sleep on lightly padded boards held up at a 45-degree angle. According to Minbari culture, to sleep horizontally was to tempt death.
Sheridan: (on trying to sleep on a Minbari 'bed') "I sleep on this I might be tempting fate."
- Laharl from Disgaea: Hour of Darkness sleeps in a coffin, despite not being a vampire.
- Gravelord Nito from Dark Souls sleeps his days away in a coffin, overseeing death. Siegmeyer can fall asleep anywhere. This includes volcanic lava filled ruins, and while standing in a deathly poisonous swamp.
- Quite possibly the most disturbing exmple, is Fire Emblem's Jaffar, As Legault says at the end of their first support conversation; "There were countless corpses stacked one on top of the other... And there, atop of the bodies, they found a lone infant sleeping... You. You are death incarnate. You feel nothing, fear nothing, desire nothing... You kill. Nothing more. Angel of Death... The perfect name."
- Skies of Arcadia: The party's first Cool Airship is called the Little Jack and owned by a crusty old sailor named Drachma. While he's nice enough to convert a storeroom into a bedroom for the girls, main character Vyse gets stuck with a hammock slung up in the engine room. Granted, he doesn't seem to mind too much aside from a few complaints about the noise.
- Clorica from Rune Factory 4 is the queen of this trope. Sleeping while standing is normal for her, and she sleeps ridiculously often. Heck, her intro scene is of her sleeping while standing next to your bedside, and she's often asleep while she's supposed to serve as your wakeup call.
- Mario & Luigi: Dream Team has a justified example. There are pillow-shaped stone artifacts called Pi'illos that Luigi has to sleep on to open a portal to the dream world so Mario can free the spirit trapped inside. Very few of these pillows are located anywhere near a bed, meaning that Luigi has to sleep on the sandy ground of a desert construction site and a mountain summit in the middle of a blizzard, among other things.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent:
- Lalli, as a manifestation of both his Ambiguous Disorder and his mage powers. Give him a normal bed, he'll sleep under it and will sleep on the bed itself only if its design or location causes it to not have an "under" to speak of. Other than this, he can fall asleep leaning against just about anything, including the back of chairs with nobody sitting on them and under tables in a crowded room. This may have to do with the I See Dead People aspect of his powers, as some spirits are quite scary-looking and he frequently chooses places that can feel safe from a certain point of view.
- Mikkel did this once, standing against a wall in an abandoned city.
- Futurama: Bender, and by extension, all robots, prefer to sleep standing up in a room small enough to be a closet.
- Misery in Ruby Gloom sleeps on a bed of spikes. Anybody else who sits on her bed will usually have a pillow to sit on, too.
- Mike Chilton from Motorcity sleeps on the hood of his car.
- Tom and Jerry: Jerry can occasionally be seen sleeping in a strange location (such as on the hammers of a concert piano). This is usually when the cartoon takes place somewhere other than a house and is used to set up the conflict between him and Tom, as it tends to be inconvenient to one or the other.
- In The Legend of Korra, Desna and Eska were staying in a Republic City hotel and informed that they booked a room with only one bed. Apparently, Desna prefers to sleep in the bathtub.
- Thomas Edison kept a mattress in the closet in his lab. He was almost totally deaf, so the noise from people working didn't bother him.
- A Chinese ruler slept on a wooden bedframe and kept a piece of bitter gall hanging near it to lick, so as not to forget the hardships he went through as the prisoner of an enemy state.
- There's a man (possibly featured on Ripley's Believe It or Not) who had a medical condition that required him to never lie down. Therefore he made a box he could sleep in while sitting. He did get over the condition, but by that time had found his box so comfortable that he kept using it.
- Actress Sarah Bernhardt often slept in a coffin.
- Toddlers might spontaneously decide to take a nap in odd places, not yet grasping that they're not supposed to.
- Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, slept in a chair; his head was so heavy that if he slept lying down, his throat would close off and he would suffocate. It is believed by many that his death, caused when he did just that, was his committing suicide.
- If you've ever stuffed a hotel room before, there's a chance someone's slept in the closet or even in the bathtub. In the case of the latter, woe befall anyone needing to take a shower or even just conduct their bathroom routine.
- Cats. They will sleep ANYWHERE. As anyone who's had to push a moggy off a laptop or fish a cat off the top of a wardrobe or from the inside of a washing machine will tell you.
- No matter how many hammocks and sleeping pods and other such structures you provide, pet rats will often sleep in the darnedest places instead. Even when they do use the furniture, it's often not in the expected way (such as tearing up a hammock and stuffing it in a corner, then crawling underneath).
- Military personnel who are deployed forward and under constant threat of attack or harassing fire often sleep wearing all their gear, so they don't have to waste time putting it on if an attack happens. They also prefer sleeping on the ground in the open because a tent offers no protection anyway, and you can look around and see what is going on without having to leave a tent. Stay deployed long enough, or go on multiple deployments, and sleeping on the ground becomes so routine that sleeping on a bed feels strange, and you can't relax because being elevated makes you feel exposed. Sadly, this is just one of the many things that makes it hard for them to readjust to civilian life.
- Gratings of steam tunnels are popular sleeping spots for the urban homeless in cold weather, as the air they vent is often much warmer than the ambient temperature.