The best way to underline that a character has just been through a particularly harrowing experience is to have them wake up in a bed and be told that they've been Asleep for Days
. If you want to throw some Ship Tease
into the scene as well, you can also have the character's Love Interest
sleeping next to his or her bed, having exhausted him/herself watching over the sleeping character
There is a kernel of Truth in Television
to this, as recovery from any particularly grievous injury or sickness (or simply fatigue) can occasionally demand tens of hours of sleep
. Sometimes writers can get a little off mark
though, unceremoniously describing characters as having slept for weeks or months on end when such long periods of unconsciousness would most likely get a person admitted to an intensive care unit for coma treatment in Real Life
. Even if a character isn't literally unconscious the entire time but was merely bedridden or delirious, they would require extensive rehabilitation due to muscle atrophy before they were able to chase the Big Bad across the world or spring back into action defeating the evil vizier's mooks in hand-to-hand combat again. A person who cleanly awakens from this without the benefit of a nursing staff and a bedpan is certainly invoking the trope of Nobody Poops
Usually a form of Deep Sleep
. When they wake up, they'll likely comment on the Unfamiliar Ceiling
Rip Van Winkle
is the extended version of this trope.
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Anime & Manga
- Saito sleeps for three days after his first duel with Guiche in Zero no Tsukaima.
- When Kyon resets the universe in The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, he awakens in a hospital room, having apparently been sleeping away a bad concussion for days. He finds Haruhi asleep in a sleeping bag next to his bed, having insisted on staying by his side the entire time.
- Athena in Saint Seiya spends most of the series fliping in and out of this state.
- In One Piece, Luffy sleeps for three days after defeating Crocodile. After he's told this, he calculates that he missed 15 meals. This apparently has been happening to him so constantly he learned to eat whilst unconscious in order to not miss those meals again.
- Zoro, after taking in Luffy's pain, combined with his own injuries against Oz, was asleep for quite a few days.
- Happens to Keroro in the 100th chapter of Keroro Gunsou, "The Frog That Lost New Year's", after partying a little too hard on New Year's Eve.
- Happens a few times in Saiyuki after major injuries; the longest would probably be Hakkai after Gojyo shoves his guts back in.
- This happens with a bit of frequency in Ciel The Last Autumn Story, as a result of witches overusing their magic powers. Yvienne, the main character, undergoes it at least three times over the course of the series.
- Kamichu!: Yurie often falls unconscious after overdoing things with her powers; she was once out for days after granting a huge stack of school improvement wishes simultaneously.
- In Bleach Ichigo ends up asleep for a month after losing his powers.
- In Claymore this happens to Clare twice. First time it was two days after a fight against a particularly strong yoma. The second time she was asleep for a whole week after her first fight against Ophelia.
- This happens to Eren in Attack on Titan, in the aftermath of the battle at Trost. The exhaustion of using his Lovecraftian Superpower left him unconscious for several days, and every single time he uses it afterwards he falls unconscious for at least a few hours.
- A humorous example from FoxTrot has Paige perform her ritual of sleeping in on the first day of summer vacation. She wakes up around noon on the third day.
- Spider in Transmetropolitan got knocked out, came to and demanded a machine so he could write a promised column, and was told he'd been out for four days. Yelena goes on to say that she'd written it for him and submitted it, flinching as she expected his wrath. He kisses her on the forehead instead and thanks her.
- Occurs fairly often in Usagi Yojimbo, either due to surviving a grueling journey or encounters with poisons, monsters, and demons.
- In 'Blessing in Disguise' Peter awakes in a hospital bed after five days of being in a coma, and proceed to Freak Out when he found that he was now a girl.
- In Rescuing Dara, the titular Dara sleeps for 3 days straight after her kidnapper drugs her with Sleep Seeds.
- In the Chobits Mega Crossover(?) Eternal Flowers, Amber Lee-Young collapses into this trope from magical exhaustion after battling an opposing mage named Kupari.
- Agumon enters one at the end of Transcendence: Digital Curse. One of the first thing he says upon waking?
Agumon: Sooooo hungry.
Film — Animated
- In The Castle of Cagliostro, Lupin sleeps for three days after being severely wounded in a fight with the Big Bad. He's distressed to find that this is the case, because it means he might be too late to save the day, and demands large amounts of food so he can get his strength back quickly.
- In the movie version of How to Train Your Dragon Hiccup wakes up several days after the final battle with Toothless watching over him.
- ...And then is so excited that Hiccup is finally awake that he bounds around the room, one of his leaps being on Hiccup's stomach. This is funny when a twelve-pound cat does it. Toothless, I'm willing to bet, weighs a heck of a lot more than twelve pounds.
Film — Live Action
- In Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, Crow jokes that the departure of Cal Meachum prompts Joe to sleep off his depression: "I'm gonna curl up in his sock drawer and sleep for days."
- In In Harm's Way, Admiral Rockwell Torrey is badly wounded in a sea battle and wakes up in a hospital ship next to his love, Maggie Haynes, as head nurse. (Who, somehow, always seems to be assigned to where he is.)
- In the first Harry Potter movie, Oliver Wood tells Harry he was knocked out for a week after taking a Bludger to the head during his first Quidditch game.
- Jason after his gunshot wound in Mystery Team; this is merely implied.
- In Batman Begins, we see Batman get gassed by Crane and his men, and he calls Alfred for help before he passes out. When Bruce wakes up, Alfred informs him that he's been out for a couple of days and it's his birthday, and Fox has been working hard during this time synthesizing an antidote for Crane's toxin.
- In the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, the Doctor's heart is torn out. (It's okay, he has another one.) He consequently sleeps for a week, and wakes up still visibly wounded but mostly healed, with his friends by his bedside and "an enormous smile on his face".
- Happens to Frodo twice in The Lord of the Rings: once in Rivendell, and once after being rescued from Mount Doom.
- During his encounter with Quirrell at the end of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry falls unconscious and wakes up in the hospital wing three days later. As a tool, Rowling uses this to cut straight to the Dénouement.
- In Shatterglass, Tris exhausts her store of magical power (not such a great idea, btw) and as a result sleeps for a week. Literally. This is pretty consistent across both of Tamora Pierce's universes - exhaust your magic, and fall asleep for quite awhile.
- In Trickster's Choice, Kyprioth keeps Aly asleep for five days, then again for three more in Trickster's Queen.
- Her mother Alanna, like Tris in the above example, very often overuses her magic and knocks herself unconscious. She usually prefers the nonmagical solutions, but when she does bust out her magic, she really busts out her magic.
- At the beginning of the book Force 10 From Navarone, Miller tells the bosun of the ship they had just boarded after escaping from Navarone to not wake them until they reached Cairo. The bosun points out that they won't reach Cairo for another two days. Miller replies "I know."
- In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Lost, Miranda passes out before they reach the North Pole and sleeps for three days. Mab wishes she could have slept one more.
- Occurs a couple of times in Mistborn, when Vin uses pewter to compensate for fatal blood loss.
- In The Hunger Games Katniss sleeps for days after getting stung by tracker jackers.
- Happens to Harry more than once in The Dresden Files, usually after climactic combat sequences in novels like Dead Beat and Changes. Usually someone, typically Murphy or Thomas, keeps an eye on him while he does.
- Happens to Rachel of The Hollows in one book, Al mentions ah....having to cast a spell on her to ah, clean her up while she's sleeping. Other trope, averted.
- In The Lost Years of Merlin this happens practically Once Per Book. The last book is particularly notable: Merlin passes out while on a very strict deadline, since Fincayra is going to be invaded by Rhita Gawr in just a few days. He wakes up to notice the sun has barely moved and is relieved that he was only out for about an hour...only to discover it was more like twenty-five.
- In Ender's Game Ender basically sleeps through the entire war over possession of himself. He is heavily exhausted and traumatized by his ordeal of exterminating the Buggers.
Live Action TV
- Inverted on The A-Team whenever they drugged BA in order to fly anywhere. They would tell him he's been asleep for two days and they had driven the whole way.
- Towards the end of the epic of Gilgamesh, he was challenged to go without sleep for seven days and six nights as the first trial in proving he was worthy of godhood. Instead he ended up sleeping the seven days, with his host's wife baking a loaf of bread and leaving it by his side every day he slept as proof. Gilgamesh was then told that if he couldn't conquer sleep, he had no chance of conquering death.
- Disgaea: Hour of Darkness ramps this Up to Eleven, with Laharl planning for a ten-day "nap" and being asleep for two YEARS. He had help, though.
- Portal2 also takes it Up to Eleven, with Chell apparently being asleep for many years after the events of the first Portal. Well, actually the computer that tells her how long she's been snoozing for glitches out, but we can clearly see that the Test Chambers have become a Crapsack World and some Word of Gabe Newell says that it takes place way after Portal.
- Used in both Knights of the Old Republic games. In the first, the Player Character was injured while fleeing in an Escape Pod which crashed. S/he has been "in and out of consciousness for days" with Carth watching over them and tending to their wounds. The Estrogen Brigade really liked the scene. The second, like everything else in the game, is more sinister. The HK-50 unit poisoned the Exile, killed everyone else, and was waiting for G0-T0 to show up and collect the unconscious Jedi.
- Celes in Final Fantasy VI has been asleep for a whole year taken in care by Cid after Kefka tore the world apart.
- Tifa in Final Fantasy VII has been asleep for a week following the escape from the crater and the impact from the WEAPONs. She and Barret are awaited for execution in Junon.
- In Persona 3, the main character's awakening to their Persona ability puts him/her out for a week.
- Parodied on Danny Phantom:
Danny: What happened?
Tucker: You passed out
. We took you home. You've been asleep for four days.
Danny: Four days?!
- After her failed attempt to rescue the pixies from Lord Darkar at the beginning of the second season of Winx Club, Aisha was asleep for four days.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender. Aang is knocked unconscious by Azula's lightning bolt so long that his hair had enough time to grow back. He definitely isn't well when he first wakes up, and only Katara's extensive healing lets him recover so quickly.
- He wasn't knocked unconscious; he was actually killed and brought back to life by magic spirit water. He then fell into a coma for several weeks.
- In the famous "Wizard" music video from The Looney Tunes Show, Daffy wakes up from his dream and Bugs tells him that he's been asleep for three days.
- Kleine-Levin Syndrome, although in this case the cause isn't stress or injury.
- Some centenarians, particularly those who make it to 110 and over, tend to sleep for a few days at a time as they get on towards the end.