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We can't control what we dream about. We can barely control what we do in our dream, and we certainly can't control what we do in someone else's dream. However, people aren't purely rational. Sometimes it's possible to be mad at a friend not for something that they've done, but rather something they did in a dream or a simulation, which they'd have no control over. Very likely to involve a Bewildering Punishment
. Of course it's impossible to know what you did when you didn't actually do it. Especially if You Know What You Did
is in place and the "slighted" party doesn't share why they're so angry. Especially if their only description of what's transpired is a Non Sequitur
that makes no sense to anyone else.
An easy source of drama, this allows a character to be slighted by another without actually having done something bad, creating a conflict and a simple resolution.
Can be Truth in Television
- During an old Jimmy Olsen comic, Jimmy awakens from a dream where he is married to Lucy Lane, only for her to keep harassing him about his bond with Superman at every turn. When she calls him saying that she no longer has a date for that night and would he like to take her out, Jimmy retorts that he definitely won't after the way she kept messing with his and Superman's relationship.
- Discussed in Reservoir Dogs, where Mr. White tells Mr. Blonde that if he so much as shoots him in a dream, he'd better wake up and apologize.
- One episode of How I Met Your Mother revolves around Marshall finding out who his wife Lily had an Erotic Dream about. When he figures out who, he treats the subject of the dream with disdain as though he actually did it.
- Discussed in Girl Code, where some of the cast mention that they've gotten angry at a friend for things they did in a dream. Of course, they also discuss the opposite, where they wind up attracted to a friend for their actions in a dream.
- In Friends, Phoebe and Ross have a Feud Episode where she's mad at him for something... then reveals at the end of an episode that she's mad for something he did... and then he pulled off his energy mask. She then finally realized that it was a dream.
- Wimzie's House. Deconstructed in the episode, "You're Not My Friend," in which Wimzie has a nightmare that Jonas was never her friend, and never liked her, and the next day during daycare, Wimzie is very hostile and abrasive towards Jonas, leaving him very confused and rather sad, since he's unaware that she's getting back at him for hurting her feelings in her dream. In the end, when he does finally learn about it, he tells her it was All Just a Dream.
- I Love Lucy:
- In "Ricky's Old Girlfriend", Lucy dreams that Ricky left her for Carlotta, leaving her poor and homeless on the streets with only a button given to her in her coin cup. Ricky, of course, doesn't get why she's so angry at him when she wakes up.
- In, "Lucy Goes to Scotland," Lucy has a near-entire episode dream sequence, in which being the last of the McGillicuddy Clan, she's to be fed to a cantankerous two-headed dragon (Fred and Ethel) that awakens every thirty years, and eats only McGillicuddy's. At one point in the dream, she meets Scott McTavish McDougal McCardo (Ricky), who falls in love with her, and vows to prevent the dragon from eating her, even if it means sacrificing his own life... but when the dragon is brought to the village for its meal, Scotty chickens out at the last minute, and Lucy is thrown to the dragon. Lucy then wakes up, and proceeds to hit Ricky with her pillow in a fit of rage, despite Ricky not knowing why she's upset with him.
- One episode of Ally McBeal started with Ally waking up angry with Larry because she had a dream where he dumped her.
- An episode of Boy Meets World had Cory receive some bad advice from Feeny in a dream, for which he blamed the real Feeny.
- Home Improvement had an episode where Tim and Jill are both dreaming of what they'll be like when they'll be old. In Jill's dream, Tim does something stupid with her life's work, and she angrily wakes up and starts berating him.
- An episode of Frasier, which showed one dream from all the main characters, had Daphne dream that Niles was surrounded by young women while her pregnancy weight was hugely exaggerated. She woke up and punched him.
- Happens to Jack Torrence's mother in the The Shining. Apparently his father dreamed she did something he didn't like. When he wakes up, he beats her into a coma for it. This is one of Jack's defining memories of his childhood.
- Calvin and Hobbes: After having a dream that his parents were replaced by aliens who were experimenting on him, Calvin greets his mother at his next meal with a great deal of suspicion.
- Ultra Fast Pony. The episode "Random Eye Magic" involves Rainbow Dash playing a very irritating prank on Twilight Sparkle—then the entire episode turns out to be All Just a Dream. Several episodes later, in "Shameless Self Reference", Twilight admits that she's still angry at Dash for the dreamed prank (among several other, real incidents). Oddly enough, Rainbow Dash mentions that prank first, as if she remembered actually committing it.
- Survivor: Fan Characters Season Eight: Madison, a pretty but shallow model, gets angry at her showmance partner, the handsome but stupid Brenton Bubbles, because he yelled at her. In her dream. The onlookers are baffled by this.
- In Nedroid, Beartato has gone missing and Reginald is searching for him. He decides he needs to think like Beartato in order to find him, then through a bizarre train of logic, the Beartato in his imagination threatens to kill Reginald. The Alt Text reads "For weeks afterward, Reginald is angry at Beartato over this."