A character dreams himself being perfect in every way, to the point that it resembles a Mary Sue Self Insert fanfic. Often if this fantasy becomes known to others, it's a source of acute embarrassment to the dreamer. Usually a Fantasy Sequence, sometimes a Dream Sequence. A Sister Trope to Her Code Name Was Mary Sue (where it's written down for all to see). See also Power Fantasy.
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Anime & Manga
- Azumanga Daioh: Tomo is a Jerkass Genki Girl, overshadowed in class by Chiyo and in gym by Sakaki. One episode focuses on her dreaming of herself as extremely popular, beating Chiyo and Sakaki in their specialties, and becoming the hero of the town.
- Shiratori in Yandere Kanojo is like this, and he normally would be right, if he wasn't in a Gag Series. As it is, he's the Butt Monkey and Unknown Rival.
- Early on in Naruto, the titular character imagined himself as a smug Marty Stu who always has to bail Sasuke out of trouble and save the day while winning Sakura's love. Any fan of the show probably found that to be incredibly laughable.
- Although not onscreen, Black Star from Soul Eater probably does this all the time, since he views himself as a god who will surpass God himself. In reality, he's actually not bad, and these very delusions are precisely what drives him to be great at everything he does.
- Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club views himself as the one man who can charm anyone. This sorta works on half of the student body, since their rich stereotypes, but doesn't work on the normal (or "poor"). He often has fantasies with himself charming Haruhi and winning her love. This dream is unique as it not only shows Tamaki as a Dream Sue, but Haruhi as an Asian Airhead, laughing "Tee hee" as she wears a dress (despite having to pose as a boy), letting Tamaki twirl her around, stopping only to eat fatty tuna. The other members have given this fake Haruhi the nickname of "Dream-Haruhi".
- Played for laughs when a new transfer student who looks a lot like Haruhi transfers, and happend to be both a genius, an air head, and head-over-the-heels in love with Tamaki.
- Usopp in One Piece sees his alter-ego Sogeking as the courageous warrior and hero he couldn't be. In Ussop's mind, Sogeking even has his own choreographed opening theme song... but to anyone else in reality, Usopp is just spacing out while singing badly.
- Gaston Lagaffe: Lagaffe falls asleep listening to the sports results, and in his dream sees himself punching out a boxer, get simultaneously tackled by an entire rugby team and still scoring, etc.
- C'ren Amethyst Le Heart Bieber is this to Kataryna Simovitch of One Less Lonely Gurl.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic series The Shadow Wars, especially An Extended Performance and The Romance Of The Open Road, Trixie Lulamoon imagines herself the near-flawless heroine of a never-ending high fantasy adventure as her stage persona, and this bleeds over into her real self-perception until it seems that she has trouble telling her own fictions from her real life as an itinerant showmare.
- Probably the most charitable interpretation of North. Since it ends with the title character waking up, it's not too hard to blame his Black Hole Sue status and the film's numerous offensive stereotypes on him.
- One of the witnesses in Rashomon. Tajomaru's story has him seduce a man's wife with but a kiss, releases the samurai to let him die honorably, and proceeds to win a duel against him while controlling the fight completely. He also insists he did not fall off the horse he stole which resulted in his arrest, but got a stomachache from what must have been some bad water he drank.
- John Brown from the Live-Action Adaptation of Inspector Gadget has one at the beginning of the film.
- The main character from A Christmas Story is a child named Ralph who often imagines himself as a genius whenever nervous or angry. These include being a boy who charms his teacher without even trying, or a child star who loathes his parents for cleaning his "dirty mouth" with soap after he let slip the Atomic F-Bomb.
- In a more depressing example, the titular character from the novel-based movie, Precious, often escapes her cruel reality by imagining herself as things she believes she can never be, such as a successful celebrity loved by everyone, a girl capable of getting a very handsome boyfriend, a beautiful white teenager, or, in the saddest example, a girl who's recognized in her yearbook, with friendly teachers and a loving family. This is a Tear Jerker, as in reality, she is often outcasted, has to resort to extremes to get what she wants, is morbidly obese, is despised and abused by her mother, and raped and impregnated twice by her father.
- In the opening scene of Kung Fu Panda, Po dreams that he's a legendary kung-fu warrior who can makes his enemies blind just by his pure awesomeness.
- Animorphs: When Jake becomes a Controller early on, one way the Yeerk tortures him is by replaying an embarrassing fantasy of Jake's from years prior, where he won the big basketball game with a difficult shot and was then congratulated by his brother (a much better basketball player).
- In The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Walter constantly dreams of himself being the best of anything, whether a brilliant fighter plane pilot, or a skilled surgeon, or a noble martyr, as opposed to his real life as a Henpecked Husband.
- In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy", the Doctor installs a daydreaming subroutine where he imagines himself constantly having to assume command of Voyager as the Emergency Command Hologram, who gets the crew out of situations even more single-handedly and hammily than most real Star Trek captains, and scores with Seven of Nine, Janeway, and B'Elanna. It turns out an alien race monitors these daydreams and thinks they're reality, eventually causing the crew to find out, much to his embarrassment.
- In the Boy Meets World episode "Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow," Eric dreams he is the star of an imagined TV crime drama, The Good-Looking Guy, complete with opening sequence and theme song.
"When a crime breaks out, all the cute girls shout, 'Get the good-looking guy.' (Good-looking guy)"
- In the Supernatural episode "Tall Tales" (which is The Rashomon), Dean retells an evening in a bar to Bobby as if he is a romantic Dream Sue, with hints of being a perfect hunter as well. The entire setting is glamorized, and a girl just completely swoons over him and showers him with praise, while he insists that he has to do his "duty" of interviewing her because lives are at stake. Sam by contrast is turned into a whiny jerk who simply wants to interrupt Dean and his lover, eventually just descending into whining "Blah Blah Blah".
- On GLOW, one of the regular skits involved Mountain Fiji, a very large Samoan woman (she was listed as weighing 350 pounds), asleep and dreaming of herself as a sexy Mae West-type whom men adore and women want to be like.
- Mario & Luigi: Dream Team actually uses this as a gameplay mechanic. The plot involves Mario jumping into Luigi's dreams, where Luigi is capable of numerous super-useful abilities such as multiplying himself many times over for both exploration and combat and turning himself into a giant in order to take on giant bosses. The one giant boss who gives him the biggest run for his money is Bowser, who basically dreams himself into a Dream Sue as well.
- Sarah from El Goonish Shive dreams herself as one of these for obvious reasons.
- Yume-Hime is about what happens when an Occidental Otaku's childhood Dream Sue comes back in her nightmares later in life.
- In one Nodwick story, we see the henchman protagonist dreaming like this and treating Artax the same way Artax treats him in reality (like a pack mule). When he wakes up it's hinted he has dreams like this a lot.
- In "Only a Dream", the opening sequence is John Dee single-handedly crushing the League and then being congratulated by the whole of the Legion of Doom (mainly by Luthor, the Joker and Grundy). The sequence ends and it's revealed to have been a dream induced by an experimental machine. Later on, John Dee, alias Doctor Destiny, does get his chance to Mind Rape the whole of the Justice League.
- On The Simpsons, Homer Simpson occasionally indulges in this; he imagines or portrays himself as thin, muscular, hairy and witty (as opposed to shamefully intoxicated) when he is recalling past events or throwaway anecdotes of his life.
- Lisa does this often, which isn't surprising since she practically views herself as the Goddess of education. Most of these involve her doing something normal for a kid (like leading a musical, winning a competition, or being class president), and doing it all with no fail. Though Lisa herself is often viewed as a Mary Sue, in these instances she always either fails at it or wins by use of her family.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Dog and Pony Show", Rarity is kidnapped, and Spike imagines himself as an unstoppable Knight in Shining Armor who'll Save the Princess (as Rarity is dressed as a Princess in his fantasy).
- In Doug. the titular character has several moments per episode where he seems to break from reality and imagine himself as this perfect kid doing things even most adults can't do, like lead an army despite being 12, solve an impossible equation, and save the world as a superhero who conserves his identity without even trying.
- In The Looney Tunes Show short The Wizard, Daffy Duck spends 3 days of sleep dreaming that he's the most powerful wizard in the universe.
- In the Hey Arnold!, episode Married, Rhonda, using a folding paper fortune teller, shows that Arnold and Helga are meant to be married. The rest of the episode shows them dreaming about what it would be like . Helga dreams about being Happily Married with Arnold, watching him drop Lila, becoming President, and later saving him from a terrorist who turns out to be Lila. Arnold's dream, however is a whole other trope...