A convenient way of framing a {{Flashback}} to fit in the narrative flow.

Some people, when they sleep, get chased by giant hot dogs, fall down bottomless pits (where they presumably die of dehydration), see their best friends wearing crowns, or have other disturbing, sometimes Freudian experiences cooked up specially for them by their subconscious.

Then there are these people. The subconscious barely has to lift a finger. Their exact real-life experiences can provide plenty of finished material, and their dreams are moment-for-moment replays of something that happened to them before.

Some dreamers may have stretches of Flashback Nightmare in other dreams. As, for instance, dreaming of an encounter with a villain, but at the moment they actually meet, the villain is walking about with the wounds the hero gave him at the end of it.

Subtrope of BadDreams and NightmareSequence. See also AlternateIdentityAmnesia, which provides for these nightmares.

Technically the opposite of DreamingOfThingsToCome, but they can overlap if the Flashback Nightmare is a portent of the villain from the past events turning up again.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* Used in ''Anime/CodeGeass'' to show how Lelouch was disowned by the royal family and sent to Japan.
* ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'': In the first season, Zelgadis has a flashback about when his great-grandfather, the priest Rezo, turned him into a [[CursedWithAwesome chimera]], igniting his HeelFaceTurn.
* In the ''Manga/{{Guyver}}'' OAV, Sho has a nightmare about his fight with Lisker/Guyver 2, and how he subsequently melted/disintegrated.
* In ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'', during the Central Library fight between Scar and the homunculi, the camera pans out and shows the glass of the windows shattering as they first start to charge at each other. Later, the fight is shown as part of a nightmare Scar is having, and he wakes up in the Ishvalan refugee camp.
* Happens to the resident angst factory Ken at least twice in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'': Once in a flashback to his being infected with the Dark Spore during a [[Anime/DigimonTamers Tamer's cameo dream]], the other during a WholeEpisodeFlashback that basically explained his entire rather [[TearJerker tear jerking]] backstory in one go.
* Used in both versions of ''Manga/ChronoCrusade''. In the manga, Chrono has two nightmares that hint at his past without fully revealing it--first, a very symbolic dream that mixes a typical nightmare with bits of truth into it, and then a brief flash of a battle that later gets shown in a proper flashback. In the anime, Rosette has a dream about Joshua that starts off normal before turning into a nightmare that symbolically shows how he was kidnapped by the BigBad. This introduced Joshua before the flashback episode that explained Rosette's backstory.
* [[NobleDemon Evangeline]] of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' conveniently remembers her defeat at the hands of Nagi when Negi spies on her dream. Of course, later revelations about Evangeline's [[StoryBreakerPower real power level]] imply that the real battle probably wasn't ''quite'' as one-sided as the one in the dream.
* Ciel from ''Manga/BlackButler'' has a nightmare of him on a table and a shadowed figure with glowing eyes hovering over him. He jerks awake and pulls out a gun from under his pillow and points it at Sebastian who was trying to wake him up. One other instance, although Ciel wasn't asleep, is where he recalls some of his horrific past events [[spoiler: while at Baron Kelvin's estate which was set up like the hellish room Ciel had been taken to before he was supposed to be a child sacrifice. He watches as the [[MadScientist psycho doctor]] working with Kelvin stabs a child who had been laid on a table and he recalls more of his own terrifying past. It's so bad that Ciel vomits and drops to his knees. When he looks up reaching out his hand we see the panels flash from the present to his past of him in a cage and masked figures grinning down at him. Sebastian pulls him out of it and reassures him that he's outside of the cage.]]
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'':
** Agito receives these in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'' a few episodes after she was introduced, showing her life as a lab subject in an illegal research facility before she was rescued by Zest and Lutecia.
** Einhart Stratos also receives these in ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaVivid'', though in her case, it's drawn from the memories of the long dead [[WarriorPrince Ancient Belka King]] [[GeneticMemory whose blood]] [[{{Reincarnation}} had awakened in her]].
* [[spoiler:Filicia]] from ''Anime/SoundOfTheSky'' gets this as part of her package deal as a ShellShockedVeteran. She's become a convincing StepfordSmiler to hide it, but [[NotSoStoic doesn't always work]].
* In the ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' OAV, Zelos has one of these about [[spoiler:his mother's death]].
* ''Anime/HeartCatchPrettyCure'' plays with this. There's a dream showing Cure Moonlight fighting and losing to Cure Dark. For the other Cures, it's a CallToAdventure. For [[spoiler:Yuri]], it's this. And boy does [[spoiler:she]] suffer from it.
* In the ''AudioPlay/SaintBeast'' [=OVAs=], both Goh and Shin have dreams of the war in heaven. These are used as a framing device at the beginning and end of the two episodes. Zeus has a flashback daydream in the middle first [=OVA=] as well.
* Guts from ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' has a few, both of his [[DarkAndTroubledPast horrific]] [[ChildSoldier and]] [[ABusiveParents abusive]] [[RapeAsBackstory past]], and later of the [[ForcedToWatch Eclipse]].
* ''Manga/KotouraSan'':
** Yuriko had one in Episode 2, when she was reminded about [[spoiler:posthumous abuses on her mother's abilities]], complete with a BigNo.
** Haruka in episode 6, when she recalled the time when her mother disowned her. [[spoiler:Which {{foreshadow|ing}}s something at the {{stinger}}.]]
* The entirety of episode 11 of ''Manga/ICantUnderstandWhatMyHusbandIsSaying'', which covers Kaoru's adult life before she met Hajime (though it ends with an ''incredibly'' heartwarming scene). [[UnexpectedlyDarkEpisode It's rather jarring]] since the rest of the series is a SliceOfLife Comedy.
* Happens to Taishou in the beginning of the third issue of ''Manga/MekkoRarekko'' and he's pretty disturbed and shocked by it.
* The first episode of ''Manga/MissKobayashisDragonMaid'' ends with Tohru having one of her battle against the gods, followed Kobayashi's detached attempt to comfort her.

[[folder: Comics ]]
* In ''ComicBook/HackSlash'', Cassie has a recurring Flashback Nightmare of destroying her undead mother, which she uses to defeat Ashley at their first meeting when he tries to pull a YourWorstNightmare on her.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Empowered}}'', Mindf███ has a recurring Flashback Nightmare of [[spoiler:her brother forcing her to cut out her own eyes and tongue]], which gets transferred to her girlfriend Sistah Spooky due to telepathic PowerIncontinence.
* Franchise/{{Batman}} is [[DependingOnTheWriter sometimes depicted]] as having recurring nightmares about [[DeathByOriginStory his parents' murder]].
* ''ComicBook/SpiderManAndBatmanDisorderedMinds'' opens with Bruce and Peter having nightmares about the deaths of the Waynes and Uncle Ben respective, which end with [[spoiler:the Waynes' killer turning into Carnage and the Burglar turning into the Joker.]]

[[folder: Fan Fiction ]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' fanfiction ''FanFic/BlueSky'' has plenty of these, mostly from Wheatley [[spoiler: remembering his time as a WhiteCollarWorker in Aperture Science.]] Early on [=GlaDOS=] forces Wheatley to relive his worst memory (taking over the Facility, betraying Chell, and pretty much going insane with the need to Test) over and over again via invasive connections into his mind.
* In the ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4562981/ Goku's Wish: The Return of Broly]]'', Broly, while knocked out from exhaustion from being revived, sparring with Goku (whom, thanks to his specifying in his wish towards reviving Broly that Broly won't have any of his negative emotions, Broly no longer hates Goku), and then having to fight Vegeta after the latter grew enraged at Goku's decision to revive him after he was sore about his previous wound to his pride from their last encounter, ends up having a nightmare that initially seemed to be flashbacks to his past where he basically was destroying various galaxies, although it then turned more into a premonition nightmare where apparently a duplicate of Broly mocks the current Broly for his growing "soft" from his revival and proceeds to destroy the Earth before Broly wakes up in shock, and it is implied shortly thereafter that Broly was disturbed at the possibility of a duplicate, or worse, that he still has some evil in his heart that somehow avoided purification before revival. Vegeta, while knocked out, also ended up having a flashback to when he fought Broly on New Planet Vegeta, which was enough to actually reopen his wounds.
* ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6260492/1/Happy_Families_Are_All_Alike Happy Families Are All Alike]]'', a ''Franchise/{{Naruto}}''[=/=]''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' crossover, begins with a flashback to a meeting with the Third Hokage.
* Cadance has one of being captured by Chrysalis in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fic ''[[FanFic/TheNuptialverse Honeymoon]]''.
* The ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' fic ''[[FanFic/ACaptiveLight A Fading Hope]]'' has one of a sort.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' [[AlternateUniverse AU]] fic ''FanFic/ADifferentLesson'', a guilt-ridden Tai Lung has one of these near the beginning of the story, a [[RecurringDreams repetition]] of [[BadDreams old dreams]] [[FlashbackNightmare about his rampage]] which has returned to him [[MoralEventHorizon now that he's truly aware of]] [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone the magnitude of what he did]].
* In the ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'' [[AlternateUniverse AU]] fic ''FanFic/AStudyInRegret'', this used several times for poor Holmes.
* [[spoiler: Ania]] is tormented by these towards the end of the ''Literature/TheHungerGames''[=/=]''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia'' crossover ''[[FanFic/BrutalSeries Horrible]]''.
* Introduced in the very first "episode" of ''FanFic/ChildrenOfTime'' with [[Series/DoctorWho the Doctor]] and continues on to [[Literature/SherlockHolmes Holmes]] and Beth in the finale.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fic ''FanFic/{{Composure}}'', Princess Celestia keeps dreaming of the moment her sister [[GreenEyedMonster turned evil]] and [[CainAndAbel tried to kill her]].
* In the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' [[AlternateUniverse AU]] fic series ''FanFic/{{Dangerverse}}'', Harry and Draco have to deal with these after being rescued from their respective "caretakers".
* In ''Literature/AGameOfThrones'' Ned Stark suffers from nightmares about the events in Tower of Joy, and his sister dying asking him to keep a promise.
* Used several times for Literature/SherlockHolmes in the fic ''[[FanFic/DeliverUsFromEvilSeries Mortality]]''.
* Occurs in the ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing''[=/=]''[[Literature/TheWarGods Oath of Swords]]'' fic ''FanFic/DemonOfJustice''.
* In ''FanFic/DotHackGUTheStaircaseToNowhere'', [[spoiler: Haseo has a dream where a friend of his commits suicide right in front of him. He admits that it's a memory]].
* Ursa has many in the ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' fic ''Fanfic/GuideMeHome'', to the point where she actually finds it "refreshing" to have a normal nightmare.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' fic ''[[FanFic/LittleMoments Breaking Point]]'', [[spoiler: Ben has nightmares where he thinks he lost his cousin that time he finally killed Vilgax.]]
* Opening the ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' fic ''FanFic/MakeMeYourRadio'' is General Iroh awaking from a nightmare where his ships burned around him, bombarded from aircraft above.
* Happens in the ''Manga/DeathNote''[=/=]''Literature/TheHouseOfNight'' crossover ''Fanfic/NoHoper''.
* Happens in the ''Manga/DeathNote'' [[AlternateUniverse AU]] fic ''FanFic/{{Paladin}}''.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}''[=/=]''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' crossover ''FanFic/PrinceOfDarknessNoMore'', Ivan has these in order to foreshadow [[spoiler:Carmilla's]] return.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' [[AlternateUniverse AU]] fic ''FanFic/QueenOfAllOni'', Jade has one in the fifth interlude to her torture by Lung.
* Most the younger characters in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' DeconstructionFic ''FanFic/StrangeAndInvisibleHistory''. Viktor sometimes dreams of seeing blood and brains on the floor of the British Ministry and Draco has the 'chorus of screams' from the various battles he fought in.
* Talia has one about being assaulted at a party in the ''Literature/TheHungerGames''[=/=]''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia'' crossover ''FanFic/{{Terrible}}''.
* Topaz has several of these in the ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'' series ''Fanfic/TheForeverTrilogy'', and it is mentioned the others do as well.
* In ''FanFic/TheNewCaptainN'', Bowser's backstory fluctuates back and forth between this, narrative, and his own mind.
* The fates of Ienzo's parents are seen in his nightmares in the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' fic ''FanFic/TheVioletRoom''.
* Prowl has one in the ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' fic ''FanFic/ThingsWeDontTellHumans'', revealing what happened when he learned that Jazz had died.
* In ''FanFic/ZeldaIIITheSecretOfGanon'', much of Link's past is told through his dreams, and helps set up some of the creepier nightmares he later has in the story.
* The ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' fic ''Fanfic/{{Bait and Switch|STO}}'' opens in one, telling an incident about ten years earlier when now-Captain Kanril Eleya, then an energy weapons noncom, was nearly killed while helping fight off a BoardingParty. Part of it reappears in chapter nine but ends early when she accidentally punches the person she's in bed with and he shakes her awake.
** Reappears in the {{prequel}} "Fanfic/ShakedownShenanigans" and is interrupted this time by Tess, her roommate for the passenger liner trip to Vulcan, yelling for her to shut up.
* Shepard has one where he remembers dying in the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' fanfic ''FanFic/AStarToSteerHerBy''.
* In chapter 15 of the ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' fanfic ''[[FanFic/BoundDestiniesTrilogy Blood and Spirit]]'', [[spoiler:Zelda has one about Hylia finding the corpse of the very first Link. She's so traumatized by said dream that she ends up assuming a TroubledFetalPosition for several moments.]]
* {{Discussed|Trope}}, ironically enough, in a {{Flashback}} in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic ''FanFic/FriendshipIsOptimalAlwaysSayNo'', when Greg is trying to convince his parents that he isn't suffering from them after his tour in Afghanistan.
* In the ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' fanfic ''FanFic/GhostBoy'', Turbo suffers from BadDreams chronically throughout the fic. Many are actually [[spoiler: FlashbackNightmare dreams of the time he spent as King Candy.]]
* Hanyu has one in the first chapter of the ''VideoGames/AuditionOnline'' fanfic ''FanFic/LearningFromNightmares''.
* In the ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' fanfic ''FanFic/ShinraHighSOLDIER'', Julia has one related to her time as a prostitute and her rape by Jenova-controlled Sephiroth.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic ''FanFic/SophisticationAndBetrayal'', the protagonist [[RecurringDreams often dreams]] of the disaster that transported him to Equestria, and his near-drowning in the process.
* The ''Disney/LiloAndStitch''[=/=]''Franchise/StarTrek'' crossover ''[[FanFic/StarlightSeries Starlight]]'' starts off with Lilo dreaming about the car crash that kills her parents. A few chapters later, Nani dreams about the day she received the phone call telling her of the outcome.
* In the ''StarTrek'' fanfic ''FanFic/MemoriesBornOfFire'', Spock has multiple nightmares about the ''kal-i-fee'' in which Kirk does not survive.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' fanfic ''Fanfic/TargetAcquired'', Wheatley has one of the core transfer scene, [[spoiler:except he doesn't realize it's a flashback, [[TearJerker but thinks Chell is forcing him to go through the core transfer all over again.]]]]
* Siren has one in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''[=/=]''VideoGame/BioShock'' fanfic ''FanFic/{{Vision}}''.
* ''FanFic/KyoshiRising'' has a variation in Chapter 9; it isn't Kyoshi remembering a traumatic experience in her own life, but instead she witnesses Avatar Yangchen executing fifty Waterbenders who had opposed her (she sees this through Yangchen's eyes, and only later learns it was something the earlier Avatar did).
* In ''FanFic/PokemonBlackandWhiteTaleofaLegend'', Thrin dreams of the time her friends dared her to go into the forest north of Lacunosa Town, where she ran afoul of Kyurem.
* ''Fanfic/AnEmeraldUnearthed'' opens with Emerald's dream about the BigBad, [[LoanShark Randall Silva]], shooting her mother about a debt her father, Cole, failed to pay. She watches while waiting on the stairs while Cole begs Silva not to do it. She implies that this isn't the first time.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'', Lilo thinks Stitch is having these about his parents.
-->'''Lilo:''' I hear you cry at night. Do you dream about them?
* A deleted scene in ''WesternAnimation/TheIronGiant'' had the Giant broadcasting his memories onto Dean's TV in his sleep, showing the Giant and other robots like him laying siege to an alien civilization.
* ''Disney/TheLionKingIISimbasPride'' has Simba remembering Mufasa's death, with Scar preventing him from saving his father. Once Mufasa falls, Scar morphs into Kovu, who then proceeds to toss Simba from the cliff.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheBlindSide'': Michael occasionally has the awake version of these, when thinking about his DarkAndTroubledPast.
* The opening of ''Film/BatmanBegins''.
* The opening of the ''Film/MortalKombat'' movie.
* At the beginning of the film version of ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Two Towers]]'', Frodo has a dream that [[PreviouslyOn reminds us what happened to Gandalf]], although in this case it continues into a sequence which he [[UnreliableNarrator couldn't possibly have seen]].
* The villain actually has one in ''Film/ManiacCop'', dreaming about his mutilation in Sing Sing by inmates he put there.
* In ''Film/TheTerminator'', Kyle Reese frequently had nightmares relating to the war against Skynet as well as his hiding from the various [=HK=]s and Terminators.
* {{Implied}} in one scene of ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'' with Wolverine where he is screaming in bed and apparently accidentally injured Fox with his (regular) claws, where he explained that he had nightmares on [[UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar every]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI single]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII war]] [[UsefulNotes/VietnamWar he fought in]].
* ''Film/TheBourneSupremacy'' begins with one, with the amnesiac Jason Bourne having a nightmare about a hitherto forgotten assassination mission in Berlin.
* ''Film/TheLastSamurai'': Algren's [=PTSD=] gives him flashbacks to the times he was ordered to slaughter Native Americans. He tries to drown them out with alcohol, but when he is forced to [[GoingColdTurkey quit cold turkey]] he suffers severe nightmares combined with fever dreams caused by his wounds. Later in the film, Algren and Katsumoto discuss them.
-->'''Nathan Algren:''' Every soldier has nightmares.
-->'''Katsumoto:''' Only one who is ashamed of what he has done.

[[folder: Literature ]]
* Eugenides of ''Literature/TheQueensThief'' is often woken screaming from nightmares of the Queen of Attolia, the woman who [[spoiler: cut off his right hand]] and is also his ''[[spoiler: wife]]''.
* One of the favorite tropes of ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''. Hardly a surprise, considering what they had been through.
* Literature/HarryPotter mostly had [[http://www.hp-lexicon.org/wizworld/dreams.html semi-prophetic and psychological dreams]], but ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'' mentioned that his experience in the graveyard in the previous book had supplied a few of these.
* Scott from ''Literature/ThePowerOfFive'' had several of these, after a nice spell of MindRape and ColdBloodedTorture.
* In ''Literature/DarkLife'', Ty has one of these about [[spoiler: his time as a medical research subject.]]
* Eve has these constantly in the ''Literature/InDeath'' series.
** As she finally begins to deal with her issues her dreams become more surreal, but rarely any less disturbing.
* In the novel ''Literature/OrdinaryPeople'', Conrad Jarrett has some of his flashbacks to the sailing accident that killed his older brother, during which we gradually learn more about it, while asleep.
* ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'': Ren dreams sometimes about the moments before - and just after - a theater exploded. Sometimes they're AnxietyDreams and details are mixed around, new characters added, but other times they're pretty true to life.
* Katniss and Peeta have them after being in ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', but even before that Katniss had ones about her dad dying in the mine explosion.
* In ''Literature/WarriorCats'', Dovepaw has one about [[spoiler:Rippletail]]'s death in ''Fading Echoes''.
* In ''Literature/VampireAcademy'', Lissa has nightmares of the accident that killed her parents and brother. "Fire and blood, the smell of smoke, the twisted metal of a car."

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Part of the Slayer package is flashbacks to battles of other Slayers in the form of nightmares. Angel Season 5 shows what happens when a crazy person gets them.
* The 2010 season of ''Series/HomeAndAway'' started out with Hugo kidnapping Charlie, meaning these formed a part of her arc for the first few weeks.
* In ''Series/JessicaJones'' Jessica has these sometimes, flashing back to her time under Kilgrave's control.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': some of the show's characteristic flashbacks are presented as nightmares. One example is Sawyer's flashback in "Outlaws" to his father killing his mother, then himself.
* ''Series/MaddigansQuest'' used this to illustrate Timon and Eden's backstory, in particular their parents' execution and the boys' subsequent escape from [[CrapsackWorld the future Solis]].
* In the first part of the ''Series/{{Monk}}'' two parter ''Mr. Monk Is On the Run'', Monk experiences a nightmare of the day Trudy was killed via car bomb, and he couldn't stop it. It was also implied in the same two parter that these nightmares were frequent.
* Thomas Shelby of ''Series/{{Peaky Blinders}}'' has opium-induced nightmares of his time as a sapper in WWI.
* In ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'', John gets one of these in the first episode, about when he got shot in Afghanistan. [[spoiler: It's also likely he's having them again after the latest.]]
* In ''Series/TheXFiles'', Mulder often has flashback nightmares of his sister's abduction. It may explain [[TheInsomniac his insomnia]]. It stands out particularly in the episode "[[Recap/TheXFilesS04E10PaperHearts Paper Hearts]]".
** Scully has a flashback nightmare to her own abduction in "[[Recap/TheXFilesS04E14MementoMori Memento Mori]]".

[[folder: Radio ]]
* Parodied in ''Radio/{{Nebulous}}'', where Nebulous often has horrific flashbacks to his childhood - working in the circus.

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* The Changelings of ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' suffer from flashbacks to [[FateWorseThanDeath their durance in]] [[EldritchLocation Arcadia]] in their dreams. One downside to gaining [[PowerLevels Wyrd]] is that these dreams become clearer and more powerful, until eventually they can recall Arcadia with absolute clarity - and their own [[SanityMeter Clarity]] suffers as a result, driving them closer to losing their grip on reality entirely [[spoiler: and, at extremely high Wyrd, [[AndThenJohnWasAZombie potentially becoming]] [[TheFairFolk True Fae]] [[AndThenJohnWasAZombie themselves]]]].

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* Ashley of ''VideoGame/AnotherCode'' has the events of her third birthday come in a dream near the start of both games. Then again, [[spoiler:seeing your mom get shot to death tends to be hard to forget.]]
* Shadow had some in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', revealing that [[spoiler:he was a train robber named Clyde who couldn't MercyKill his wounded partner and spent the rest of his life regretting it. They also underline the implication that he is Relm's DisappearedDad]]. Since the nightmares appear at a very low chance when staying in inns, and even then only if you knew to save his life at the FloatingContinent, many players don't even know of their existence.
** Terra had something similar in the same game: Shortly after she attempts to escape from Narshe (while amnesiac), and ends up falling down the Narshe Caves, she passes out and then a flashback occurs where it is revealed that she was unwillingly subjected to being outfitted with a Slave Crown by Kefka Palazzo, leaving her brainwashed, and then killing over fifty imperial soldiers completely against her will with Kefka cheering her to continue burning them to a crisp, and then witnessing Emperor Gestahl's war speech, a flashback that would certainly have been very horrifying.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'', when Old Snake finds out he has to return to Shadow Moses Island, the setting of the first ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', he has a playable nightmare flashback complete with [=PS1=] graphics.
** It is implied in ''VideoGame/MetalGear2'' that Solid Snake frequently experienced nightmares relating to his mission in Outer Heaven.
** The severity of Raiden's nightmares about his ChildSoldier past is the main reason he won't allow people (like Rosemary) to stay with him when he sleeps because he's afraid of hurting them.
* Marshall Anderson of ''VideoGame/{{Outlaws}}'' has a recurring nightmare of the man who shot his father, and [[CruelMercy left him for dead]]. The nightmare repeats a few times before we finally see the entire scene, and the villain's face is revealed. It isn't until the final confrontation between Anderson and [[BigBad Bob Graham]], that we see a MatchCut of Graham and the assailant that we find out that the two characters are one and the same. [[YouKilledMyFather Que mandatory one-liner]].
* Zero has one of these at the start of ''VideoGame/{{Mega Man X}}4'', and it is also implied that this wasn't the first time he had the nightmare.
* ''VideoGame/{{Super Robot Wars Z}}2: Hakai-Hen'' had [[Anime/ArmoredTrooperVOTOMS Chirico Cuvie]] experiencing one during the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayezowZz52U prologue of Scenario 39]]. It was about the final battle he had with the Barcoff Squadron and it showed how he was sad at the loss of their lives.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'', Emil dreams of [[spoiler:Richter killing him]].
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsMX'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58btwrZOIrA Hugo has a nightmare/flashback of the final moments he had with the Cry Wolves]]. After failing to neutralize the Devil Gundam, the Cry Wolves are taken out one by one. Alberto's son Foglia is turned into a zombie by the Devil Gundam and Hugo tries to reason with Foglia but ultimately gets his Gespenst blown up.
* Emma gets these in ''VideoGame/TelepathTactics'', to her childhood as a slave in the vibra mines. They are easily among the most chilling scenes in the story.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsV'', [[Anime/Daitarn3 Banjo Haran]] dreams of the time he confronted Koros and Don Sauzer before the mission to infiltrate the Ameterasu. Koros wants Banjo and Daitarn 3 to join them and help them spread humanity across the cosmos, but Banjo refuses because of his hatred of the Meganoids.

[[folder: Visual Novels ]]
* Riki of ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'' has been having recurring nightmares since recently as of the beginning of the game, though it isn't until later that we find out what they're of, and it isn't until much later that we find out that they are this trope. [[spoiler:Specifically, memories of an event that have been repressed when he's awake as long as he exists in the created world.]]
* Kei of ''VisualNovel/AkaiIto'' gets nightmares of things taking place in the past, including [[spoiler:[[FantasticRacism the last days of Sakuya's people]]]].
* Happens in ''VisualNovel/SongsOfAraiah'', where Jason has dreams in which [[spoiler: he remembers seeing the execution of his best friend by the Reformists]]
* The regular story chapters of the VisualNovel ''VisualNovel/{{Planetarian}}'' are interspersed with "The Junker's Dream" chapters, which describe the main character's flashback nightmares of his past as a [[ChildSoldiers child soldier]].

[[folder: Webcomics ]]
* Susan of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2004-08-13 has one]] of finding out about her father's affair.
* Sarine Elle, central figure in ''Webcomic/ErrantStory'', has a real [[http://www.errantstory.com/2006-06-05/518 honker]] of a flashback nightmare about the disastrous birth of her stillborn daughter, which goes far toward explaining her [[LikeASonToMe relationship]] with Meji Hinadori.
* Jade's second dream in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' after [[spoiler:her dreamself's death]] ends up being this, though to be fair, Jade was going off the rails and Feferi [[spoiler:(who had died)]] probably didn't mean to startle her. She's just kind of [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004894 weird]] like that.
** In general Sburb players with dead dream selves experience flashbacks in their dreams, though they are not nightmares most of the time.
* Vashiel gets a couple of these in ''Webcomic/{{Misfile}}''.
** Leading to some fans to label him a mass murderer.
* Vaarsuvius from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' gets flashback nightmares of a certain traumatic experience he/she suffered months earlier. To make it worse, trancing, the equivalent of sleep for elves, actually consists of reviewing memories in minute detail for the sake of self-reflection and committing those events to very long-term memory. This makes V's Flashback Nightmares far more literal than any regular example and handily explains V's reluctance to trance.
* The seedlings from ''Webcomic/{{Morphe}}'' get [[http://morphe.thewebcomic.com/comics/1790280/chapter-2-page-19-sweet-dreams/ a fully animated one]] in the second chapter which hints to the traumas they each suffered when in captivity. [[http://morphe.thewebcomic.com/comics/1901549/chapter-3-page-18-open-your-eyes/ A second has been made which includes one of the captives waking up and being discovered by the knife-wielding woman from the prologue.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Terra}}'' introduces Alexis Hawke in her nightmare of being captured and enslaved by the [[NebulousCriminalConspiracy Shadow Cabal]] during the Titan Colony massacre, then segues into the present day when she wakes up.
* In WebComic/DanTheSnowman, the eponymous hero seemingly has a nightmare that may or may not be his [[http://danthesnowman.com/comic/liars-scientists-and-thieves/ailleurs origin story]].

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* The main character of the ''Literature/ReconstructionSeries'', Isaac, has these frequently. Often used to establish his backstory, but sometimes just to show his mental state.
* Used to establish the backstory in ''Literature/SailorNothing''.

[[folder: Web Animation ]]
* Played with in ''WebAnimation/BrokenSaints'', for each of the heroes' {{Dark and Troubled Past}}s.
* In the beginning of the fifth episode of ''WebAnimation/SuperMarioBrosZ'', Sonic is experiencing a nightmare harkening back to the day when Mecha Sonic mercilessly slaughtered his friends, and pretty much every single inhabitant of Planet Mobius while torching a large portion of the planet, while Sonic was knocked out from his fight with the Koopa Bros.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'', Lt. Marsh dreams about Alice Noretti's death, [[NewMeat the newest member of his squad who was killed on her very first mission]], and it is implied that he has such nightmares quite often but hides it from everyone.
* In the very first episode of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Aang has one of these about the horrible storm that nearly killed him and led to him becoming a HumanPopsicle.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Toilet Paper", Kyle gets flashback nightmares after [[FelonyMisdemeanor toilet papering a teacher's house]].
* In a ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' sketch spoofing [[Franchise/TheBourneSeries the Jason Bourne series]], [[Disney/TheJungleBook Baloo]] has nightmares about [[WesternAnimation/TaleSpin his former life as a pilot]].

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* This can and does happen to people with [[ShellShockedVeteran Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder]], including but not limited to combat veterans. While not always in dreams, reliving the traumatic experience in high detail is literally known as a "flashback".
* People who have experimented heavily in psychotropic drugs also have flashbacks to previous trips.