Mad at a Dream
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
Anime and Manga
- In Is This a Zombie?, Haruna has an Erotic Dream about Ayumu where he removes her clothes and seduces her. She is at first scared and confused, but then starts enjoying it. When she wakes up, she angrily beats Ayumu up.
- Yotsuba&! "#56: Schedules" opens with Yotsuba having a nightmare in which Yousuke (her adoptive father) eats a large portion of a bag of her candy. She wakes up crying and chews him out for it. Even after he explains to her that it was a nightmare and proves it by getting her to see that it's all still there, she still demands "Even if it was a dream, say you're sorry!!"
- 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 asks if he would like to take her out, Jimmy retorts that he definitely won't after the way she kept messing with his and Superman's relationship.
- During one Archie Comics strip, Jughead dreams he's about to devour a mountain of burgers, only for Archie to get in the way and stop him before he can start feasting. Jughead wakes up extremely peeved, to the point that when he later comes across Archie, who gives him a cheerful greeting, Jug coldly tells him to mind his own business, much to Archie's natural confusion.
- 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 and was Cameron Diaz. 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.
- In the Walker, Texas Ranger episode "Silk Dreams", assistant district attorney Alex Cahill keeps having nightmares of Walker getting shot, eventually working up to his partner, Trivette, shooting him. At the end, when everything has been worked out, Walker makes a comment which Alex interprets to mean she looks terrible. She begins saying it was all his fault for getting shot in her dreams and worrying her, and when he points out it was Trivette who shot him in her dreams, she turns her irritation on him. Then Walker puts an end to it by pulling her onto the dance floor.
- 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.
- One Foxtrot comic has Paige falling asleep while Jason tells her about the upcoming Jurassic Park movie, causing her to have a dream that she's on an island where a character based on Jason has genetically engineered dinosaurs from Quincy the iguana's DNA and, for reasons never explained, made the carnivorous so that they only will eat females named Paige. The dream ends with Paige running for the ocean upon hearing that the "Quincyraptors" have escaped and she wakes up to glare daggers at Jason.
- Solatorobo: Inverted when Red (unconscious after a Virtual Training Simulation) stumbles across Elh in the shower and gets slapped for it, since he's the one dreaming.
- Elsword: in one supplementary comic, Aisha dreams about her and her friends suddenly growing up with only her noticing, and in particular, Elsword has changed from a brash hothead to a more levelheaded and compassionate young man - and she gets flustered at him. When she wakes up and meets Elsword (who, as usual, is being an insensitive jerk) she almost blurts out that he was nice in her dreams... before she stopped and shouts "YOU'LL NEVER TURN OUT TO BE LIKE THAT! NEVER!!"
Elsword: ...WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!
- In The Simpsons Game, after completion of the first level, The Land of Chocolate, Homer Simpson rants about the following below after he wakes up:
Homer: Not...wha?? Damn it, I was dreaming!! Why is life so unfair? All I want is the ability to eat everything inside and turn into a giant ball! Is that too much to ask? Damn you, reality!!
- 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.
- In the episode "The Dream" of The Amazing World of Gumball, Gumball holds a grudge against Darwin after seeing him kiss Penny in a dream.
- The Popeye short "Wotta Nitemare" primarily takes place in a bad dream Popeye is having where things are just not going right for the sailor and Bluto is mistreating both him and Olive Oyl. When Popeye finally wakes up, he's so mad that he gets out of bed to find and punch out a bewildered Bluto.