[[quoteright:350:[[Film/TheTerminator http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/terminator_sleeping_6095.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:He came across time for this.]]

->''"I like you watching me sleep. I miss it."''
-->-- '''Raven''' doing a very bad job of letting Beast Boy know that she's not interested, ''ComicBook/TeenTitans''

This is a romantic trope where one half of the couple or [[WillTheyOrWontThey potential couple]] falls asleep and the other one winds up watching them. Sometimes they initially consider waking the sleeping person up, but decide against it upon seeing just how cute and peaceful they look. Very often a soft, tender smile passes over the watcher's face, giving the viewer a hint of their affection towards the slumberer. [[AffectionateGestureToTheHead Hair and/or skin-stroking]] may also ensue, as well as a ComfortingComforter.

Not to be confused with the type of behavior {{stalker|WithACrush}}s frequently partake in. If it's played for a [[{{Squick}} creepy, disturbing effect]] rather than a [[RuleOfRomantic sweet and romantic one]], it does not belong here. (Although with some works it can be [[StalkingIsLove hard to tell]].)

May lead to a DudeShesLikeInAComa moment. Compare SleepCute. See also LongingLook.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'':
** On many occasions, Mikasa watches over a sleeping Eren, and one such occasion leads HopelessSuitor Jean to leave the room looking defeated.
** Subverted and parodied with Bertolt, via NoodleIncident. Jean mentions their classmates used to like to watch him sleep, on account of how ''bad'' he looked -- his bizarre postures while sleeping were used to predict the next day's weather.
* In ''Literature/BattleRoyale'', Shuya is shown to watch Noriko while she sleeps [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/battle_royale/c012/2.html here.]] Of course, she likes him more than he does towards her at this point... but nonetheless, he still has a crush on her.
* In ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'', Jill (the village girl from the Fairy Arc) does this to Guts when she finds him sleeping in a wrecked, abandoned house. She ends up sitting next to him, watching him sleep until she [[SleepCute falls asleep on his lap]] more in a DaddysGirl style than romantic, considering she never gets a good night sleep with her [[AbusiveParents real parents]]
* Ciel Phantomhive from ''Manga/BlackButler''. Subverted in that everyone seems to like watching him sleep, so it can be taken in a non-romantic way as well.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** There's a scene in which Yoruichi lays her head on Sui-Feng's lap, with red petals and during the full moon. [[LesYay They're both girls.]]
** In the UNMASKED comic, Orihime says she watched Ulquiorra nap. She watched him sleep because she didn't know he ''could''.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'': Rolo once watched over Lelouch while he slept. Part of this is because monitoring Lelouch is his job, but also because he has a surrogate-little-brother complex.
* Invoked in ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' when Amber deemed the scene of Hei watching his sleeping sister romantic-looking. Then again, for Amber he looks as romantic as possible in any situation.
* In Volume 3 of ''Manhwa/DemonDiary'', [[TallDarkAndSnarky Eclipse]] watches [[HairOfGoldHeartOfGold Raenef]] sleep briefly after he starts [[{{Flashback}} reminiscing about the past]] and feeling uncharacteristically sentimental.
* In ''Manga/DetectiveConan'', according to his girlfriend, [[spoiler: Wataru Takagi]] looks ''really'' adorable when he's asleep. [[spoiler: This RunningGag [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar subtly implies]] that [[OfficialCouple Takagi and Satou]] [[DidTheyorDidntThey are sexually active]].]]
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'': Bulma watched a sleeping [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Vegeta]] suffer through [[BadDreams nightmares]] with concern as she [[FlorenceNightingaleEffect nursed him back to health]]. It is implied that this (and seeing through his act of a jerkass) eventually led to their RelationshipUpgrade during the TimeSkip.
* Hilariously subverted in ''Manga/FairyTail''. In episode 172 (chapter 293) Ichiya, [[BlatantLies the most handsome man in the series]], uses this trope as an attack against [[spoiler: Bacchus and Rocker]] in the Grand Magic Games arc. He was clearly going for {{Cuteness Overload}}. The result is.... [[http://www.mangahere.com/manga/fairy_tail/v26/c293/15.html Well, you know how one picture is worth a thousand words?]] Still, his opponents were [[OneHitKO stunned]], [[BloodKnight Natsu]] was impressed by his strength and the [[StressVomit audience]]... was eager to move on to the next battle. [[TheStoic Erza]] ''fainted'' at the start?
* Happens twice in BoysLoveGenre ''Manga/{{FAKE}}''. First when Ryo falls ill and Dee watches him sleep leading to a DudeHesLikeInAComa moment. The second time is when Dee is ill, falls asleep and Ryo watches over him. Ryo says to himself that he thinks Dee is "pretty hot too".
* ''Manga/FruitsBasket'':
** Shigure watches Akito sleep in a slightly creepy way.
** In a more platonic sense, Tohru watches Kisa, Hiro, and Momiji all sleeping together on the floor.
* The final opening of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist:Brotherhood'' has Winry watching Ed sleep, bathed in sunlight. Compared to his near constant anger in his waking state, he's smiling as he dreams.
* ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'': Happens ''how'' many times to Sousuke? First, apparently Tessa got into a habit of creeping out of her bed and watching him happily while he sleeps. And then, Kaname gets her turn when she's giving him a [[ImportantHaircut haircut]], and he falls asleep. Instead of waking him immediately, she stares longingly at him (er, his lips, that is). And then it's implied that a whole ''group'' of guerillas that used to be his comrades did this to him while he was sleeping - he was so [[{{Bishonen}} pretty]], apparently all of them were watching him and [[EvenTheGuysWantHim getting close to jumping him]]. This includes Zaeid, who is shown in a flashback to have been lovingly watching Sousuke as he sleeps.
* ''Manga/ICantUnderstandWhatMyHusbandIsSaying'' has a variation. When Kaoru wakes up from a FlashbackNightmare, she spends a few seconds staring at Hajime lying in bed because it reminds her that [[YouAreNotAlone she isn't alone anymore]].
* In episode 15 of ''Anime/ImGonnaBeAnAngel'', Raphael explains to Mikael that the reason he didn't wake him up was because he got lost in admiration of his cute sleeping face.
* Manga/{{InuYasha}} and Kagome both see each other sleeping at one time or another. Each one remains surprised at how peaceful/beautiful/defenseless/whatever the other looks no matter how many times they see each other asleep... Guess some people are just ''that'' cute when sleepy.
* In ''Anime/ItazuraNaKiss'' As her co-worker Moto-chan notes, Kotoko really looks sweet when she's sleeping. [[spoiler: It's why Naoki secretly kisses her when she falls asleep in the woods.]]
* In an extra chapter of ''Manga/NatsumesBookOfFriends'', a girl from Natsume's middle school comes across him inexplicably sleeping on the steps of a shrine. She gets close enough to notice that the ([[SilentScapegoat supposedly]]) disturbed boy from her class is [[{{bishonen}} quite pretty]]. And then he wakes up and freaks the hell out.
* In ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' Haruhi [[spoiler: finds Tamaki asleep in the music room, exhausted by his new after-school activity of learning about the Suoh family business. She watches him sleep, pushes his hair out of his face, and thinks his sleep talk is cute.]]
* In chapter 13 of ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' Gilbert watches Oz sleep.
* ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'': Kurumu certainly thinks Tsukune's a Beautiful Dreamer.
* In one of the volumes of ''Manga/RoseofVersailles'', Oscar falls asleep on Andre's shoulder. He notices and is about to wake her up, until she does so herself and declares that she won't marry anyone.
* In the ''Anime/SailorMoon S'' movie Usagi comments that she likes to watch Mamoru sleep, Luna then later thinks about Usagi's statement as she watches Kakeru Ozora - who she has developed a crush on, despite her being a cat and he human - sleep.
* In ''Manga/SakuraGari'', Masataka ends up falling asleep on Souma's shoulder during their carriage ride back to Souma's residence. Due to Masataka being a BeautifulDreamer, Souma [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/sakura_gari/v01/c002/55.html instructs the coachman to take the long way, since he suddenly doesn't feel like going back]].
* ''Anime/SwordArtOnline'': In Episode 11 of Season 1, Asuna watches Kirito as he sleeps, while the two are in the house they purchased to live together after marrying (in-game), and she thinks about how he's usually so bold, yet now he looks naive and innocent, almost like a child. And all of a sudden it strikes her that he might actually be younger than her (and she's right).
* ''LightNovel/{{Toradora}}'': Ryuuji watches Taiga sleep multiple times because the tiger is less ferocious at this time.
* This occurs frequently with Kaoru in ''Manga/VirginLove'' and its sequels because he can only sleep well when Daigo's around, leaving Daigo to just watch him.
* In ''Manga/WildOnes'', Sachie sees Rakuto sleeping a couple of times and comes closer to realizing her genuine affection for him.
* At the end of ''Manga/WildRose'' Mikhail falls asleep on Kiri's shoulder which shows he's changing from his old, [[EmotionlessBoy distant]] self.
* In episode 6 of ''Manga/YourLieInApril'', Kousei watches Kaori sleeping while she's accompanying him practicing piano in the school's music room. While covering her with his jacket, he mutters that she looks like an angel...''as long as she's quiet''.
* In chapter 109 of ''Manga/YonaOfTheDawn'', Yona finds Hak napping after he stayed up the previous night on nightwatch and giggles to herself about how cute he is. The scene provides an adorable parallel to her usual insistence that he's [[{{Tsundere}} "not cute"]].

* An ''Comicbook/{{Empowered}}'' comic has Thugboy describing the way he comforts Elissa when she's having a nightmare as he does it.
* Somewhat subverted in another ''Comicbook/{{Empowered}}'' comic. Sistah Spooky is sleeping with her girlfriend, the blind and mute telepath Mindf**k (yes, it's spelled like that in the comic). She discovers that the reason Mindf**k had put off staying overnight previously is that she often has vivid nightmares about her brother (an even more powerful telepath) forcing her to render herself blind and mute, and that when she's asleep, she can't help broadcasting that nightmare to anyone nearby. Sistah Spooky reassures her that's she's seen worse and tells her to go back to sleep. As she watches Mindf**k sleep, she's terrified, but determined to suffer through the shared nightmares so her girlfriend won't have to sleep alone anymore.
* Played with in the ComicBook/{{Catwoman}} miniseries ''[[ComicBook/CatwomanWhenInRome When In Rome]]'' (the conclusion to ''ComicBook/TheLongHalloween''). Selina is rendered briefly comatose after being frozen by an ice gun stolen from Mr. Freeze. The Riddler (whom she brought along to help piece together the mystery of her parentage) watched her the whole 3 days she was unconscious, which Selina initially thought was very kind of him, until he adds, "Of course, getting you out of the outfit was hardly unpleasant."
* There is one point in a run of ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' when Beast Boy resists the urge to wake ComicBook/{{Raven}} because of this. She admits that she liked it, but she's still not interested. [[SarcasmMode Yeah]], [[EveryoneCanSeeIt sure]].
* Spoofed, naturally, in an early issue of ''{{Deadpool}}''. Deadpool watches his X-men girlfriend Syren sleep through her bedroom window. He thinks how what he's doing used to be considered romantic, but nowdays is considered "stalking" and generally frowned upon.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* General: This gets used a lot in fanfiction, [[{{WAFF}} romantic]] and [[{{Lemon}} pornographic.]]
* Mackenzie does this to a sleeping Brittnay in [[https://www.wattpad.com/49797714-a-turn-of-events-brittany-and-mackenzie-fanfiction this]] ''WebAnimation/TheMostPopularGirlsInSchool'' fanfiction.
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Shinji]] [[BattleCouple and]] [[BrokenAce Asuka]] do this several times to each other while they are healing [[DespairEventHorizon their emotional scars]]:
** In chapter 7 Shinji is watching Asuka as she sleeps, feeling guilty because he knows she is hurting but he does not know how helping her.
** In chapter 19, after hugging her as she slept, Shinji can not help to think that "She was beautiful in rest, when the nightmares didnít seize her."
** In chapter 24 Shinji opens her eyes, finds Asuka is holding him as she sleeps and he -wrongly- thinks it is a dream, so he spends a long while gazing at her.
--->Shinji woke up, opened his eyes, and was then absolutely certain that he hadnít done either. He could not possibly have woken up, for several reasons. Number one, that he was still alive. Number two, this was exactly like other dreams heíd had in the past, so it must be one. Number three, it had to be a dream, since the likelihood of him actually being awake, alive, and having Asuka not just in his arms but also smiling in her sleep must have been astronomical. That he was in fact holding her tightly against him and looking at the impossibly beautiful smile on her sleeping face from a few inches away, pre-dawn light giving her a surreal pale glow, was so unlikely that he must still be asleep. Q.E.D.\\
Right. Had to be. So, since this was one of the nice dreams, he might as well enjoy it. He cuddled Asuka closer and took a deep breath of the scent of her hair. Strawberry Balsam, it never failed to make him think of her. Gods, she smelled good and felt so warm. He could feel her pressed against him all the way down his body. This was a very nice dream.
** In chapter 44 Asuka wakes up after [[spoiler:their first time]] and spends a while gazing at Shinji as he sleeps.
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'': In chapter 1, after sleeping in the same bed for first time, Shinji wakes up and spends a while staring at Asuka.
-->''He stood by the bed for a moment, burning the sight into his memory.''
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'':
** In chapter 2 Shinji contemplates Asuka as she is sleeping, and he thinks she looks like an angel.
--->''Shinji is looking down at Asuka. She has a dreamlike smile on her face.''\\
'''Shinji''' (to himself):''"When she wants, she can be a real little angel..."''
** In chapter 9 Shinji hesitates about waking Asuka up because she looks cute as she is sleeping.
* ''Manga/Evangelion303'':
** In chapter 3 [[FieryRedhead Asuka]] climbs into [[HeroesWantRedheads Shinji]]'s bed. Shinji is unable to get any sleep that night, but he blushes as he stares at her sleeping.
** In chapter 14 Shinji wakes up and realizes Asuka has been watching him as he slept.
* ''Fanfic/TheOneILoveIs'': After her [[spoiler:MindRape]] Shinji and Asuka sleep together. During the night Asuka wakes up due to a [[CatapultNightmare nightmare]] and stares at Shinji for a while, thiking of how beautiful he looks and how much she loves him.
* ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'': Done by Shinji and Asuka several times in the [[AfterTheEnd post-End of the World]] chapters when they start sleeping together.
** Chapter 6 begins with Shinji looking at Asuka as she sleeps and thinking of how much he enjoys staring at her beautiful face.
* ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': In chapter 19 Shinji gazes at Asuka as she sleeps and he marvels at how peaceful she looks and thinks he could spend hours watching her.
-->''Turning his head, he saw that he and Asuka were mostly still in the same position they'd fallen asleep in; her head wasn't on his shoulder anymore, but her arm was still draped across him.''\\
''She looked so peaceful, a far cry from her state during most of her recent waking hours. He felt like he could've watched her for hours.''
* There is a non-romantic example in ''Fanfic/HopeForTheHeartless''. After [[Disney/TheBlackCauldron the Horned King]] saves [[MoralityPet Avalina]] from drowning and is left in a painful state due to the [[WeaksauceWeakness water]] inside him, Avalina uses a prayer to [[CosmicEntities the Fates]] to [[EmpathicHealer transfer his pain into herself]]. He's forced to hold her still and sedate her in order to prevent her from hurting herself from trashing around in pain. Before she recovers, he finds himself marveling the new sensation of holding in his hands a living being that he's not going to hurt in any way and suddenly feels himself unworthy of such (because of her fragility and purity, his monstrosity and [[KickTheMoralityPet his hurting of her through his anger for weeks]]). After Avalina wakes up and they reconcile, she falls asleep against his chest, exhausted but content. The Horned King is touched by the fact that the girl feels safe to sleep in ''his'' presence and swears to himself to protect her, making his PapaWolf status towards her final.
* A nonromantic example in ''FanFic/AtGatesEdge''. As a ghost, [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist Edward]] doesn't need to sleep but he would find it soothing to watch his friend Roy sleep. Roy admits that he would have found it creepy for anyone else. Since itís Edward, who he knows is harmless, he just finds it cute.
* In chapter 10 of ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'', Asuka sleeps next to Shinji. He spends a while contemplating her and thinking what she looks beautiful:
-->He looked over at Asuka. It was then that the image of the redhead's body fully struck him.\\
There was hardly any light in the room, but he could clearly distinguish her slender contour under thin sheets that barely managed to cover down to her knees, leaving her exposed from the top of her calves to the tip of her toes. Though she had her back to him, he could still see the profile her sharp features made in contrast to the white pillow on which her head rested, amidst an ocean of red locks.\\
She looked so peaceful now, so far away from everything, and yet she was lying right here next to him. And so close, in fact, that he could smell the perfumed scent of her hair, along with the clean, familiar essence of her musk. And he could most certainly feel her heat.\\
Asuka's mouth moved gently, a soft moan escaping her parted lips.
* ''Fanfic/ShadowAndRose'' gives the trope a playful TakeThat, when [[VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins Alistair]] notes, "I probably shouldn't watch her sleep. It's kind of creepy."
* ''Fanfic/TangledUpInYou'' has a fairly brief one, when Marinette notes that Adrien is "so adorable when he's asleep" but lies down to sleep herself soon after, not really lingering on him.
* ''Fanfic/CorrinReacts'': Corrin thinks this of Flora when he finds her asleep on his shoulder during the Festival two-parter. He [[LampshadeHanging lampshades the weirdness of watching her sleep]] and muses that [[TheGadfly Azura]] would never let it go if she caught him.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'':
** This happens after Ariel rescues Prince Eric. She smiles at him and strokes his hair affectionately before he regains consciousness.
** A non-romantic example is Sebastian watching Ariel fall asleep in the palace and softens a little, having previously been very disapproving of her various antics.
* Howl of ''Anime/HowlsMovingCastle'' watches Sophie sleep after a hard day's work cleaning. Of course, he's also motivated by the fact that [[spoiler: it's the only time the aging spell cast on her by the Witch of the Waste wears off, revealing her true age.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Happens in Disney's ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'', when Robert is about to call a cab and get Giselle out of his apartment, but changes his mind when he sees her sleeping serenely on his couch. After he hangs up, he watches her a moment longer, and can't help smiling warmly.
* In the movie ''Film/ThePaintedVeil'', Kitty stumbles upon Walter who has fallen asleep at his desk. This marks the point in the movie where she does start to feel affection towards him. The scene isn't in the original novel, however, and there's generally less of an indication that she has any feelings for him in the novel.
* Pictured above: In ''Film/TheTerminator'', Kyle Reese gently strokes Sarah Connor's hair and watches her while she's sleeping in his arms.
* Slightly averted in ''Film/BladeRunner'', when Deckard, fearing Rachael was killed by Gaff in her sleep, cries and kisses her when he hears her breathing.
* ''Film/WhatAGirlWants'' has a ([[ParentalIncest hopefully non-sexual]]) scene in which Colin Firth sees Amanda Bynes sleeping.
* ''Film/{{Sunshine}}'' has a scene in which Capa wakes from a nightmare to find Cassie in his room, presumably having been watching him sleep. (Deleted scenes stated that Capa and Cassie were in fact sleeping together, which would give a better reasoning for her being in his room watching him.)
* ''Film/{{Wimbledon}}'' has Kirsten Dunst watching Paul Bettany sleep.
* ''Film/TheBreakUp'' has Gary find his now ex-girlfriend Brooke asleep in their condo's living room. He watches her for a moment, smiles, and then makes his exit instead of waking her up.
* In ''Film/TheIcePirates'' when Jason first sees Princess Karina she is sleeping. He leaves her asleep after being rudely interrupted just as he was about to grope her breasts, then comes back for her before the pirates leave her ship.
* In ''Film/DonJuanDemarco'' there's a sweet little bit where Dr. Mickler keeps watch over the peacefully slumbering 'Don Juan'.
* In ''Film/HellboyIITheGoldenArmy'', Hellboy and Abe are gazing on a sleeping Liz after they've had a beer or three, and getting rather maudlin about it.
-->'''Hellboy:''' Look at her. She's it, Abe. She's it. She's my whole wide... You know?\\
'''Abe Sapien:''' Yeah. Yeah.\\
'''Hellboy:''' I would give my life for her. ''(grumbling)'' But she also wants me to do the dishes.\\
'''Abe Sapien:''' [[InsaneTrollLogic I would die and do the dishes.]]
* Played for creepiness in ''Film/AnimalKingdom''. Pope carries the teenage girlfriend of his brother to bed, then lingers and stares at her as she sleeps. The brother catches him looking at her, prompting Pope to hastily leave.
* ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'': Used humorously rather than for romance when Captain America hears the following from his biggest fanboy, Agent Coulson:
-->'''Coulson:''' I watched you while you were sleeping. (''{{beat}}'') I mean, I was present when you were unconscious from the ice.
* A short and platonic version occurs in ''Film/TheThinRedLine'': Sgt. Welsh spends several seconds watching the peacefully sleeping Witt, betraying that he does harbor affection for his men and is not as cold-hearted as he seems.
* ''Film/{{Colombiana}}''. This causes trouble for Cataleya when her boyfriend takes a photo of her sleeping and shows it to a friend, who decides to run a check through another friend in the police department to find out who the mystery girlfriend is, right when the FBI are trying to match a security camera shot of an unknown female assassin.
* In ''{{Film/Miao Miao}}'', Ai finds the titular character sleeping and takes to chance to put fake whiskers on her face, take pictures with her, and cuddle. It's LessDisturbingInContext.
* ''Film/IngridGoesWest'': Played for disturbing effect; on day two of their friendship, Ingrid takes dozens of pictures of her Instagram idol while she's sleeping for no reason but to satisfy her idolatrous love.

* ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' tries to invoke this trope with Edward sneaking into Bella's house at night to watch her sleep, but since he's ''[[StalkerWithACrush actually sneaking into her house at night to watch her sleep]]'', the effect sort of [[{{Squick}} backfires]]. It fits better with this after Bella and Edward are actually in a relationship, and she allows him to snuggle with her every night and watch her sleep.
* The protagonist of ''Literature/BeggarsInSpain'' who doesn't sleep ends up doing this multiple times. Her boyfriend jokingly accuses her of having a fetish for it.
* Katsa admires Po this way at least once in ''Literature/{{Graceling}}''. Of course, after making sure he's really asleep. This being because [[spoiler:while he's awake he can hear her thoughts.]]
* Bones from the Literature/NightHuntress books thinks that Cat is cute when she's sprawled on the bed snoring with her mouth open and hogging all the covers.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'': Luke Skywalker, in ''[[Literature/HandOfThrawn Vision of the Future]]'', watches Mara Jade sleep while trying to convince himself that he can't love her. Three guesses how that turns out! In an earlier book, ''Literature/SplinterOfTheMindsEye'', he wakes up while camping with Leia and looks at her while asleep, tempted to kiss her. Fortunately this ends differently, and he vows instead [[BigBrotherInstinct to protect her from everything.]]
* Happens in ''Literature/{{The Trumpet of the Swan}}''. The eponymous character watches his love interest sleep, and contemplates what song to play to wake her up. He picks ''Beautiful Dreamer,'' the trope namer.
* There's a charming scene in ''Gaudy Night'' in which Harriet Vane watches over Literature/LordPeterWimsey after he falls asleep in their punt. In the narration, author Dorothy L. Sayers even points out that one must love someone for the sight of them sleeping to inspire tenderness rather than mockery.
* The last book of ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' Artemis watches Holly while she's unconscious, but she was knocked out earlier and isn't actually sleeping. It either case, it doesn't go anywhere.
* In ''Literature/TheHungerGames'' Peeta tells Katniss that he likes watching her sleep because she doesn't scowl.
* In ''Literature/RogueSorcerer'', Aiden watches Claron sleep after she rescues him from the Tower, taking solace in her peaceful appearance.
* A non-romantic example occurs in ''Literature/WingsOfFire''. [=RainWings=]' scales are [[ChameleonCamouflage constantly changing color]]. So, Queen Scarlet captures a [=RainWing=], she treats her like a living piece of art- to be admired even during sleep.
* ''Literature/UseOfWeapons''. Cheradenine Zakalwe falls for a female poet for a brief time, and waxes lyrical on this trope.
* Rek and Virae in ''Literature/{{Legend}}'' by Creator/DavidGemmell.
* Underplayed in ''Literature/TheWitchlands'' - when Iseult sees Aeduen unconscious, she notes that he looks far less terrifying and actually likeable when he's not on his guard, and she keeps watching him until he awakes (though from a [[TriggerHappy safe distance]]).
* In ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfTomSawyer'', Tom watches Becky drowsing off to peaceful slumber when they are lost in the cave.
* ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'': Tiza suffers a PowerStrainBlackout during a mission and so Nolien carries her into an ally's airship to rest. He tucks her into bed and [[AffectionateGestureToTheHead strokes her hair]], coaxing a rare smile from her sleeping face. He delays rejoining the others and this prompts Kallen to ask how long they've been dating.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Radio/OurMissBrooks'': At the end of "Wake Up Plan", Mr. Boynton falls asleep on a chair in the hall. Miss Brooks doesn't wake him up, but sits beside him. Mr. Boynton [[WolfWhistle whistles]] in his sleep!
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'':
** In epsidoe "Fever", Chloe watches Clark sleep. It's paired with an AnguishedDeclarationOfLove.
** In "Abyss", Clark returns the favour when he carries her unconscious form to [[spoiler:the Fortress as Brainiac is slowly destroying her memories.]] He even kissed her on her forehead before [[spoiler:Jor-El restores everything ''except'' his secret.]]
* An important part of Minbari courtship in ''Series/BabylonFive'', and something of a final test: The female watches her prospective husband while he sleeps, to see what he is like when at his most peaceful and vulnerable. If she doesn't like what she sees, she can end the relationship right there. Naturally, the way we learned about this was when Delenn explained it to Sheridan. She liked what she saw.
* ''Series/PushingDaisies'' has an instance where they're already a couple - Ned watches Chuck sleep [[SleepingSingle in the bed next to his]], and when she wakes up she asks if he was watching her sleep, and he says watching her sleep and wake up is like seeing her come back to life [[FirstEpisodeResurrection again]]. However, it turns out that this is a DreamSequence, and when Ned actually wakes up and sees Chuck wake up, she asks him if he was watching her sleep. He dodges the question because he doesn't want to repeat dialogue from the dream.
* In the ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' episode, "My Nightingale" Dr. Cox realizes he likes his ex-wife again when he catches himself watching her sleep.
-->'''Dr. Cox:''' I like you...again. There, you win. You can ahead and do your victory dance or slaughter a goat or whatever it is you do when you're happy.\\
'''Jordan:''' You don't like me.\\
'''Dr. Cox:''' I watch you when you sleep.\\
'''Jordan:''' Well that just gives me the heebie-jeebies.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Angel manages to watch Buffy sleep both in the cute way ''and'' in the stalkery way, albeit on different sides of a FaceHeelTurn.
** Spike watches Buffy when she is asleep in his arms in the episode "Touched". It was very heartwarming and had major character development. When this happens, Buffy has been chased out of her house by her friends and her own sister. To comfort herself, she let herself sleep in the arms of the guy with which she had a self-destructive purely sexual relationship not more than a year prior that ended up in her being almost raped by him [[note]] he was soulless when he tried to rape her but had had his soul restored by this point, making the moment much sweeter and much less disturbing[[/note]]. To make it even more poignant, during this time, Willow was having sex with Kennedy, Xander was having sex with Anya and Faith was having sex with Robin Wood.
** Buffy does the exact same thing the next morning in "Touched"; she wakes up before Spike does, and spends a few moments tenderly stroking his hair and watching him sleep. Awww.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'': Used fairly frequently when one of them was in the hospital (which happened often) and the other kept a vigil at the bedside.
** The following quote is from "Redux II" when Scully is dying of cancer.
---> '''Mulder:''' I came by last night, but I... I didn't have the heart to wake you.
** At the end of episode "[[AllLowercaseLetters all things]]", Scully falls asleep on Mulder's couch while they talk; he looks lovingly at her for a moment before tucking a lock of hair behind her ear and covering her with the blanket on the back of his couch. Adorable.
* In the ''Series/{{Alias}}'' episode "Salvation," Sydney wakes to Vaughn watching her sleeping while they are both being held under quarantine.
* ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'':
** Elena watches Stefan (the vampire) while he sleeps. He calls it creepy, while she defends it as being romantic. Almost certainly a TakeThat to ''Literature/{{Twilight}}''.
** Damon has watched Elena sleep, he even reached a hand out to tenderly stroke her face.
* ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'':
** Despite the rampant amount of HoYay in the show, it is actually the PlatonicLifePartners Merlin and Guinevere who end up doing this to each other. In an early episode Gwen nurses Merlin while he's in a fever, and Merlin later repays the favor by lending her his bed after her father is killed and stays ''all day'' with her, just watching and waiting as she sleeps off her exhaustion.
** Toward the end of series four, Guinevere is injured in the forest; once again Merlin stays by her side all night, watching her sleep.
** In a late season two episode, the entire kingdom is put under a sleeping spell. Arthur finds Guinevere on the floor, moves her to a bed and watches her for a few moments. Extra points for brushing a curl off her face.
** Tristan watches Isolde sleep after she's been injured in a sword-fight.
* In ''Series/BeingHumanUK'', Nina wakes up in one episode to find George watching her. He confesses that he loves watching her sleep. Nina replies that that was sweet, though creepy.
* Dean Winchester of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' has made his opinion on this trope very clear: he calls the ''{{Literature/Twilight}}'' example "rapey" and refuses to let Cas watch over him while he sleeps.
-->''"Dammit, Cas, how many times I gotta tell you? It's just creepy!"''
* In ''Series/{{The 100}}'', Clarke and Lexa had a significant amount of subtext during the second season, which came to a crashing halt when [[spoiler:Lexa betrayed Clarke and the Sky Crew during the second season finale]]. The third season opened with Clarke violently hostile to Lexa and only slowly softening in her anger as time progressed. However, her resentment ''did'' fade and the two grew closer, and in the opening scene of "Bitter Harvest" Clarke sketches a portrait of Lexa as she sleeps on a couch in Clarke's room.
* On ''Series/{{ER}}'', Carol's Bland Perfection DisposableFiance admits to doing this when describing to her how much he loves her.

* "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" (also known as "The Film/{{Armageddon}} Theme Song") by Music/{{Aerosmith}} is about this.
* The TropeNamer, "Beautiful Dreamer", written by Stephen Foster.
* Music/{{Queensryche}}'s "Silent Lucidity".
* Music/{{REM}}'s "You Are the Everything".
* Music/EmersonLakeAndPalmer's acoustic ballad "Watching Over You". It's a pretty generic take on the subject (what else would one expect from Greg Lake?), so it can easily apply to either guy-love interest or parent-offspring. The second interpretation seems slightly less prone to causing [[FridgeLogic Fridge]] {{Squick}}.
* The song "En Sólo Un Segundo" by Amaral.
* "Song for a Sleeping Girl" by Devics.
* Music/PetShopBoys' ''Liberation'' is from the POV of a person who has their LoveEpiphany as they watch their beloved falling asleep on their shoulder.
* Music/TomWaits' "Innocent When You Dream" from ''Music/FranksWildYears''
-->''It's such a sad old feeling\\
The fields are soft and green\\
It's memories that I'm stealing\\
But you're innocent when you dream''
* This line from "Last Kiss" by ''Music/TaylorSwift''
-->''So I'll watch your life in pictures\\
Like I used to watch you sleep''
* The 1975 released an album in 2016 called ''I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It'', which was also the name of one of the songs on the album.

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* In Myth/ClassicalMythology, Selene, the moon, loved the way Endymion looked when he was sleeping in a cave so much that she asked Zeus to give him eternal youth. Zeus gave him eternal sleep.

* In the ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' radio drama "The Dead Line", Ianto watches over Jack while the latter is in a coma and reminisces about how he likes to watch Jack smiling in his sleep in his [[TearJerker Tearjerker]] monologue.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/Persona3'':
** Aigis (RobotGirl) watches the male main character sleep at more than one point. She doesn't just watch him sleep, she picks the lock of his room (and has gotten good enough to time her improvement) and watches him all night; making sure his pillow is fluffed, etc. It would be creepy if she weren't utterly and completely innocent.
** At the [[spoiler:very end of the game]], it looks like the story is going to invoke the trope in the most basic form... [[spoiler:but the sleep he's falling into [[BigSleep is final]].]]
** Note that all of the above is also applicable to the ''female'' protagonist in ''Portable''. LesYay ahoy. A NewGamePlus will let you choose who gets to be with you at the end, for both genders.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'':
** If Leliana is successfully romanced, the scene after she and the PC consummate their relationship will have her doing this.
** Happens in a romance with Alistair. After he and the PC spend their first night together, there is a brief shot of the PC sleeping and Alistair watching her with a look of tender affection.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', Elly tells Fei that she watched him sleep through the whole night [[spoiler:after their love scene]].
* ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV'' features this briefly at the beginning of Act 3, where a ''very'' exhausted Ryu sleeps with his head on Nina's lap. [[MoodWhiplash Made jarring]], however, [[SuperpoweredEvilSide when you learn why]] [[UnstoppableRage Ryu was like that]] in the first place...
* If you romance Aerie in ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'' (and provided you don't screw it up), there'll come a point where she'll admit to having watched you sleep the night before and how it made her feel safe doing so.
* ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'':
** Hisao has a moment like this in Lilly's route, after Hanako's birthday party. He notices that when she's asleep, she no longer has the confident facade she does when she's awake.
** Hisao watches Rin when she sleeps on her desk. Then Rin kinda cries in her sleep...
* ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'': As protagonist Riki has narcolepsy, several times he wakes up to find a person watching him and waiting for him to wake up, but the only unquestionably romantic example is when he falls asleep while on a date with Kud.
* When Rean catches the chronically-overworked StudentCouncilPresident Towa napping in one of the classrooms in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel'', he puts his jacket on her and lets her rest until she eventually comes around. It happens again in ''Cold Steel II'', but this time she wakes up almost right away, and laments that he always seems to find her this way.
* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', Tharja tells the Avatar that he turned over 12 times in his sleep during their first support conversation.
* In the ''VideoGame/MysticMessenger'' Christmas special content, at the end of Jaehee's route the main character [[spoiler:travels to where Jaehee is working at the office, having fallen asleep from exhaustion. On choosing '(Go to her and tell her your feelings)', the only possible option, the main character stands beside her and kisses her cheek, and has the option to say either 'Merry Christmas...' or 'One day... I'm going to tell you how I truly feel...' Jaehee then says in a solo chat that she dreamed the MC was there and hugged her warmly, and that when she woke up, she found the files and also a cup of hot chocolate waiting for her.]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', at one point Princess Zelda falls asleep on [[HumongousMecha Divine Beast Vah Naboris]] while [[CoolBigSis Urbosa]] keeps her comfortable. Link, who has had trouble getting along with Zelda at this point, comes across Zelda sleeping in Urbosa's arms, and Urbosa gently brings up the various reasons Zelda [[InferioritySuperiorityComplex has resented Link for being able to fulfill his own destiny]] in the fight against Calamity Ganon.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Misfile}}'':
** Ash watches Em sleep in [[http://www.misfile.com/index.php?page=223 this strip]].
** Em returns the favour here along with a [[DudeShesLikeInAComa Coma]] moment [[http://www.misfile.com/index.php?page=698 here]].
* This happens in chapter fifty of ''Webcomic/OrangeMarmalade'' when Jae-min uses Ma-ri's lap as a pillow and falls asleep. [[spoiler:He wakes up as she starts stroking his hair and he kisses her.]]
* ''Webcomic/EerieCuties'', with [[http://www.eeriecuties.com/strips-ec/Hello%20Aceford Brooke falling asleep on Aceford's shoulder]]. [[LuminescentBlush Blushes]] abound.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In season two of ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'', Barriss Offee and Ahsoka Tano are trapped aboard a MeatPuppet-infested starship in "Brain Invaders." Barriss is herself taken over and turns against Ahsoka, who can not bring herself to kill her friend. When Ahsoka finally manages to subdue Barriss, [[LesYay she cradles her in her arms and holds her unconcious body until Ahsoka passes out as well]] and [[SleepCute lies with her]].
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', Jimmy finds Heloise in hibernation. He's desperate to wake her up, and finds a book about [[DudeShesLikeInAComa kissing the fair maiden to wake her]]. He [[ShipTease looks at Heloise for a moment]]...then tosses the book aside, muttering "Can't believe everything you read."
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'': This happens between Mako and Korra while she's recovering from being kidnapped by Amon. One morning, you see him sitting by her bedside while she's resting and place his hand over hers. It's not treated as an "aww, look at how cute she looks" thing in the show (as he seems rather troubled while doing it). He was more likely thinking about all the danger she had been in and trying to receive some comfort from her presence. Later on, we find out that that whole worrying experience had made him realize he loved her, so he was likely going through that as well.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' has a more comedic example, with [[ParentalSubstitute Pearl]], [[TheNeedless who doesn't sleep herself]], admitting that she likes to watch Steven sleep.
-->'''Pearl''': I like to watch you sleep sometimes. And by "sometimes", I mean "often".
* Briefly mentioned in ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' during a musical montage of [[EverythingTalks living objects around Elmore]] in "The World": a pillow on a bed creepily mentions that "I like to listen to your dreams."
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', a sleep-deprived Agent P is too tired to stay awake to stop Doofenshmirtz. Fortunately, Doof thinks his sleeping nemesis is adorable and totes him around for the rest of the episode. (Naturally, Agent P wakes up at just the right moment to thwart Doof's latest evil scheme).
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', Finn admits watching Jake sleeping.