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, [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman they may or may not stop caring about their well-being.]]

[[OurGhostsAreDifferent Ghosts are a separate trope.]]

[[InsideAComputerSystem Virtual entities]] are covered by ProjectedMan and DigitalAvatar.

Compare ImaginaryFriend, IntangibleMan.

See also DreamLand, DreamApocalypse.
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!!Examples:

[[AC:{{Anime}} And {{Manga}}]]
* Most of the [[spoiler:inhabitants of Mars]] in ''MahouSenseiNegima''. Revealed when they start getting erased.
* The inhabitants of the DreamLand in ''{{Paprika}}''.
* Possibly the Ijin in ''Anime/ReadOrDie''. Either that or they are [[CloningBlues clones]].
* Princess Adina from ''Anime/YuGiOh'', as well as the other inhabitants of Simlow.
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'', [[spoiler:the entire Cait Shelter guild]] ends up being an illusion caused by Roubaul.

[[AC:{{Comics}}]]
* In ''ComicBook/TheAvengers'', [[ComicBook/TheIncredibleHercules 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 BatmanGambit to expose his wife Hera's plans to harm his son, knowing that she would [[StuffedInTheFridge 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 [[IHaveNoSon violent falling out]] between Hercules and Zeus and the latter revoking his son's immortality.

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* [[spoiler:Parcher, Charles and Marcee]] from ''Film/ABeautifulMind''.
* ''Film/{{Inception}}'': The projections of the characters' subconscious in the dreamworld. [[spoiler:[[MindScrew And everyone else.]]]] [[OrWasItADream Maybe.]]

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs' Barsoom novel ''Thuvia, Maid of Mars'': The inhabitants of Lothar are able to mentally create illusions of the ancient warriors of the city. One of the warriors is created so often that he becomes real.
* In ''Literature/{{Solaris}}'', the mysterious "visitors" that appear on the ship are [[{{Doppelganger}} doppelgangers]] of the crew members' loved ones.
* ''Literature/AnElegyForTheStillLiving'': The entire cast, even including Francis.
* Tommy Hazzard in ''The Boyfriend List''.
* ''Literature/TheRavenCycle'' has the Orphan Girl and [[spoiler: Aurora Lynch.]]

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* Harry Morgan [[spoiler:and Brian Moser]] in later seasons of ''{{Series/Dexter}}'', since the resulting {{Dead Person Conversation}}s are more to different aspects of his subconscious than the actual people themselves.

[[AC:TabletopGames]]
* Manes in ''TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression'' are the inhabitants of pocket realities called [[DreamLand Bardos]]. They're rather fragile outside Bardos.
* ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' 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.

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* This trope is EVERYWHERE in "VideoGame/YumeNikki". The whole game takes place in the dreams of a young girl, so you should expect some interesting characters. Things like walking clocks, faceless technicolor people, walking whistles, deformed bird witches, pixel sculptures, mouths in wigs, ghosts, candle people, and even some unique characters in between, all haunt the regions of the game.
* The strange beings of ''VideoGame/LSDDreamEmulator'' (naturally), especially the mysterious Grey Man who [[ParanoiaFuel intermittently appears from thin air and drifts toward the screen]], waking you up if it catches you.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVI'', the inhabitants of the DreamLand.
* [[spoiler:Tidus and the other inhabitants of Zanarkand]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''.
* [[spoiler:The inhabitants of Magicant, excluding Queen Mary]] from ''[[VideoGame/{{Mother1}} Earthbound Zero]]''.
* In ''TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'', it turns out that [[spoiler:everyone except]] Link is just a dream of the Wind Fish.
* Agent Francis York Morgan from ''VideoGame/DeadlyPremonition'' has an invisible friend named Zach. Zach acts as a stand-in for the player; whenever York addresses Zach, York is speaking through the FourthWall. The in-game explanation is a bit more [[MindScrew complicated]].
* Part of VideoGame/TheDreamMachine takes place inside dreams. The only people you can interact with for the majority of these sequences are examples of these.

[[AC:{{Webcomics}}]]
* Zimmy's mental constructs in ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt''.
** Disconcertingly, they're ''not quite'' people; their faces are scribbles that vaguely resemble QR codes, [[{{Dissimile}} except not]].
* ''NinthElsewhere'': Carmen's dreamscape is inhabited by figments, each of which represents a different aspect of her personality.
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