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Dream People
Characters in fiction are imaginary. Now extend the fact that characters that are imaginary within a work of fiction, and you get Dream People. They might be inhabitants of Dreamland or hallucinations, but that doesn't mean they don't have hopes and fears. If the real characters know about the imaginary nature of the Dream People, they may or may not stop caring about their well-being.

Ghosts are a separate trope.

Virtual entities are covered by Projected Man and Digital Avatar.

Compare Imaginary Friend, Intangible Man.

See also Dream Land, Dream Apocalypse.

Examples:

Anime And Manga
  • Most of the inhabitants of Mars in Mahou Sensei Negima!. Revealed when they start getting erased.
  • The inhabitants of the Dream Land in Paprika.
  • Possibly the Ijin in Read or Die. Either that or they are clones.
  • Princess Adina from Yu-Gi-Oh!, as well as the other inhabitants of Simlow.
  • In Fairy Tail, the entire Cait Shelter guild ends up being an illusion caused by Roubaul.

Comics
  • In The Avengers, Hercules falls in love with a woman named Taylor Madison. It is eventually revealed to be an illusionary construct created by Zeus as part of a Batman Gambit to expose his wife Hera's plans to harm his son, knowing that she would target the person Hercules holds most dear. Despite his son's pleas, Zeus erases Madison from existence once she has served her purpose, leading to a violent falling out between Hercules and Zeus and the latter revoking his son's immortality.

Film

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • Harry Morgan and Brian Moser in later seasons of Dexter, since the resulting Dead Person Conversations are more to different aspects of his subconscious than the actual people themselves.

Tabletop Games
  • Manes in Genius The Transgression are the inhabitants of pocket realities called Bardos. They're rather fragile outside Bardos.
  • Changeling: The Lost likewise features Incubi, ranging from simple "background players" to more aggressive concepts, such as Succubi, Night Hags, and a sentient play that convinces the actors to kill each other in a fit of jealousy.

Video Games

Webcomics
  • Zimmy's mental constructs in Gunnerkrigg Court.
    • Disconcertingly, they're not quite people; their faces are scribbles that vaguely resemble QR codes, except not.
  • 9th Elsewhere: Carmen's dreamscape is inhabited by figments, each of which represents a different aspect of her personality.

DramaticaCharactersDuo Tropes
Dream LandDream TropesDream Sequence
Dream LandOtherworld TropesThe Earth Prime Theory

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