open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In Fruits Basket, after Kyo falls asleep recalling his relationship with Kyoko Honda, he dreams of her and his mother and sees Kyoko's dead body. A brief Nightmare Sequence culminates with Kyoko's body turning into Tohru's, and seeing blood on his hands. He takes it as a sign that he should give up on Tohru, lest he should hurt her the same way he seems to hurt everyone else he gets close to.
- Ai/Shiho from Detective Conan. Once she had a dream about Gin knowing her secret identity and watching her and her friends from his car, planning to kill them. Later, when she and Conan find Gins car, Ai is terrified.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic After That Fateful Night, for a time after telling her friends that she chooses to stay with Nightmare Moon, Twilight starts having nightmares about her friends rejecting her.
- In Composure, Princess Celestia has dreams in which her sister becomes Nightmare Moon again and attacks her. It later leads to a mild misunderstanding when she wakes up in a hospital with lightning burns and Laser-Guided Amnesia.
- In the Glee fanfic Hunting the Unicorn, Blaine has these kinds of dreams, which turn out to be symbolic.
- In the AU Pokémon fanfic Symbiosis, Ash starts to have flashbacks of his parents' death and Misty having her eyes gouged out by Spearow.
- The Alarmaverse: Alarm Clock: Twice.
- First, Ditzy dreams about the destruction the Eyeless King could wreak. She sees a vision of Equestria reduced to a lifeless wasteland while Carrot Top offers vaguely-Biblical sounding narration.
- Second, Ditzy dreams that she's in a ska band, about to play a career-making live show, but she missed all the band's practice sessions and doesn't how to play the songs. And she's forgot to bring her suit, too.
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius's anxiety dreams are revealed by his Talking in Your Sleep — "He's at Hogwarts" — although explicably so only with the knowledge that he just learned Peter Pettigrew was at Hogwarts, ready to strike the moment Voldemort started regaining strength.
- In Eleanor Cameron's The Court of the Stone Children, Nina dreams of trying to look up her phone number in the book although they have just moved there and wouldn't be in it. (She's already gotten lost once.)
- In Adrian Tchaikovsky's Dragonfly Falling, the Emperor has dreams about his sister, his only living relative and so the only other person who could claim the throne.
- In L. M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle, Valancy dreams that she is confronting someone whom she told something that proved to be false, and he proves to be made of glass and breaks.
- In Devon Monk's Dead Iron, LeFel does not sleep because he will only dream of dying, which is near.
- In Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom book Magic to the Bone, Allie comments on how she does not have them, sleeping on the drive to a friend's, escaping a city where she's suspected of murdering her father.
- In John Hemry's The Lost Fleet novel Invicible, Geary's Bad Dreams are mixed with this; he tells Desjani that he dreamed of her death. She tells him that His Heart Will Go On will be his duty.
- In Wen Spencer's Tinker, she suffers them regularly, a mix of current events tossed up with a dream maze.
- Also by Wen Spencer, in A Brother's Price the Princess Rennsaeler has been having Bad Dreams about the theater explosion that killed her husband and older sisters. When she falls in love with Jerin, she starts dreaming that he's there too.
- In Homer's The Iliad, he uses an anxiety dream of being unable to flee when chased, or unable to pursue when chasing, as a metaphor for Achilles's chase after Hector, where Hector couldn't get away, and Achilles could not catch him.
- Patricia A. McKillip:
- In "The Kelpie" Wilding suggests that Emma is sleeping poorly because of these; a future of matrimony and children will give her little chance to paint.
- In The Riddle-Master of Hed, Raederle is promised in marriage to whoever won the crown. After they learn it was won, and before they learn who it was, she confesses to her brother that she is having dreams of some unearthly bridegroom.
- In Seanan McGuire's October Daye novel One Salt Sea, Anceline offers to take Toby swimming fast. Toby says she looks forward to that — in her nightmares, she thinks.
- In Jasper John Dooley: Public Library Enemy #1, a children's chapter book, the title character has a comic misunderstanding after accidentally ruining a library book, believing that the cost of the book is $2,500. He has a nightmare in which he actually manages to raise the money, only to realize he can't find it anywhere, and then discovers it in the oven, going up in flames just like the book.
- One late episode of Frasier is dedicated to the main characters' anxiety dreams — Frasier dreams that Roz is berating him because his radio booth is full of cobwebs and no one has called in six months, reflecting his worries that his show might be declining as well as his fear of being alone, Niles dreams about accidentally baking his unborn baby into a pie, reflecting his fear that he's going to be a bad father, and Daphne dreams about inflating comically while Niles cheats on her with several supermodels, reflecting her fear that motherhood and age will affect her marriage. Martin, on the other hand, just dreams about singing and dancing with his new girlfriend in the style of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers — without his cane.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- In the first series, everyone's dreams start to come true. Most are "classic" anxiety dreams such as being in class in one's underpants (Xander), having to sing in public (Willow), losing the ability to read (Giles), and having to sit a test for which she had not taken the class or studied (Buffy).
- In "Restless" Willow dreams that she's turned up for a play (with everyone she's ever known in the audience, including the cast) without having learnt the lines, then she has to deliver a talk in her Season One nerd persona before a classroom full of her jeering friends. Xander's dream involves him going to the toilet, only to find the entire Initiative is watching him and taking notes.
- A more subtle version is in "Hush" when Buffy has an Erotic Dream of kissing Love Interest Riley Finn — except it's taking place in front of an entire class, showing her nervousness about trying to get his First Kiss.
- In Flight of the Conchords, Mel has a song about wanting real life to be more like her dreams. Some of the dreams she mentions are stock anxiety dreams, like being naked in public and taking an exam you don't know any of the answers to. (Oddly, this doesn't seem to affect her desire to live in a dream world at all.)
- Dork Tower: Once he had them about school, now about running games.
- In Sinfest:
- Pooch dreams that Percy vanished -- much to Percy's discomfiture.
- And Li'l Evil dreams of himself as good.
- And Squigley of his debt problems.
- Crimney dreams of the Boggle game producing more demonic words.
- the fembot is in the middle of one before she wakes to realize that Lil' E and Tangerine brought her to Lil' E's home.
- In Prickly City, the voter who cast the deciding vote to elect Kevin, Lost Bunny of the Apocalypse, to the Senate (and get him out of Prickly City), has dreams of his campaign for the presidency — combining this with Bad Dreams.
- In Squid Row Randie has them about Christmas -- in October.
- In Sandra and Woo, Woo dreams of being replaced.
- In Doc Rat, Doc, in a high fever, dreams of being attacked for not being at work — and then bringing disaster upon them by going to work.
- Phase of the Whateley Universe has anxiety Dreams regularly, and often wakes up in a sweat from them. They're not prophetic, just symptoms of his stress.
- Happens to Aang repeatedly in the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "Nightmares and Daydreams" about his upcoming key role in the invasion of the Fire Nation, and subsequent battle with Fire Lord Ozai. He tries not sleeping because the nightmares are so bad, but then he goes into sleep deprivations and starts hallucinating.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Bloom and Gloom", Apple Bloom has a series of nightmares about bad things happening once she gets her cutie mark: her special talent turns out to be something uncool; she's no longer part of the Cutie Mark Crusaders; her family rejects her because it doesn't involve apples. There's a hint that an outside force is giving her the dreams, but that turns out to be a Red Herring; it really is just her own anxiety.
- Played for Laughs in the Milo Murphy's Law episode "Sunny Side Up." The day that their assignment is due, Melissa and Zack both have dreams where they wake up and see the things that they need destroyed, only to act relieved when they really wake up and see that everything's fine. Then we get a sequence where Milo wakes up, sees that everything's fine and comments, "Well, that's peculiar." Then he actually wakes up and sees that a tree has crashed through his window.