A story where what's going on in someone's head - be it their {{Dream World}}, {{Mental World}}, [[ImagineSpot imagination]], [[BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind inner struggles]], conversations with their ImaginaryFriend, or [[PowerFantasy power fantasies]] - is the main attraction, with not much happening in "reality."

Sometimes, the focus will be on mundane events in RealLife represented as all kinds of metaphorical weirdness playing out in the characters' minds.

A MrImagination will usually be the protagonist, unless the story revolves around seeing or entering other peoples' dreams, which is a major SubTrope, although one we don't have yet.

AllJustADream and DyingDream are {{Sub Trope}}s, but they are not this trope. '''Do not''' list examples that belong under those two tropes on this page. They have their own examples sections.

* ''Anime/{{Paprika}}''
* ''Manga/YumekuiMerry''
* ''Anime/WelcomeToTheNHK'' is mostly about the main character's inner strife, and no decisions are reached even in the end.
* ''Manga/OnaniMasterKurosawa'' is a little more plotty, but it's still mostly Kurosawa's head.
* ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' combines this with [[spoiler:NestedStoryReveal]] in Episode 8 -- most of the plot is [[spoiler:Toya Hachijo attempting to recreate the events of Rokkenjima 1986 as mystery novels in order to speculate on what happened on the island]].
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' dips into this as the series progresses and everyone's mental stability comes crashing down. The [[GainaxEnding original ending]] became this due to the budget running out. Finally, about 30% of [[TheMovie End Of Evangelion]] is entirely this.

* Quite a bit of ''Film/{{Inception}}'' happens in someone's head. Not always the same someone.
* ''Film/FightClub'' is this in large part, but [[{{Understatement}} some interesting stuff happens in reality, too]].
* ''Film/ShutterIsland''
* ''Film/{{Brazil}}'', partly.
* ''Film/SuckerPunch''
* Possibly also ''Film/SourceCode''.
* Creator/AkiraKurosawa's ''Dreams'', technically.
* ''Film/{{Identity}}'' is also a spoiler-example, as it's presented as being weird events happening in the real world until the reveal.
* ''Film/{{A Beautiful Mind}}''
* ''Film/UnfaithfullyYours'': An orchestra conductor who thinks his wife is unfaithful to him. We see him take revenge on her and her lover - which turns out to be a very long ImagineSpot type sequence he thinks of while conducting. He then tries to execute his plan, which [[UnspokenPlanGuarantee doesn't work nearly so well]].
* A significant chunk of ''Film/BeingJohnMalkovich'' takes place in Malkovich's head.
* ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'' is kind of a subversion, since although we see them from the main character's perspective via Flashbacks and {{Imagine Spot}}s, most of the events in the story really happened.

* In ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'', even leaving aside the question of whether or not Hobbes is real, a lot of stories take place in Calvin's imagination.
* "ComicBook/TheTick vs Proto-clown"

* [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/119688/1/you-obey/the-interrogation You Obey.]]

* ''Series/HermansHead''
* Nearly all the events of the ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' episode "My Life In Four Cameras" take place in JD's head. Only the BookEnds are real.
* ''Series/{{Roseanne}}'''s final season turned out to be a book that Roseanne was writing.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' - "Avatar" takes place in a virtual-reality scenario that's effectively going on inside Teal'c's head.
* ''Series/StargateUniverse'' - "Seizure"
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' - In "Home", the main characters apparently manage to return to Earth, but it's actually an illusion of Earth fabricated from the memories in their heads.
** "The Real World" combines this trope with CuckooNest for Dr. Weir.
* ''{{Series/Fringe}}'' - "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide"
* ''{{Series/Farscape}}'' has a few episodes like this.
** "Revenging Angel" is a TwoLinesNoWaiting episode. One plot is about D'Argo, Chiana, and Jool trying to stop D'Argo's ship from self-destructing, while the other plot takes place inside Crichton's head as he's lying in a coma (and is [[MediumShiftGag a Looney Tunes pastiche]]).
** "John Quixote" takes place in a virtual-reality game based on Crichton's memories.
* Much of ''Series/TheSingingDetective'' involves Philip Marlow playing out one of his detective novels in his head with himself as the protagonist, as well as flashbacks to his childhood.
* ''Series/SamuraiGourmet'' is Mental Story in two senses. There's the obvious gimmick of the OncePerEpisode IndulgentFantasySegue where a samurai shows Kasumi how his social dilemma might be solved, but those are relatively brief. The broader sense is that the show is very much ''about'' Kasumi's introspection and reflection. If you took away the samurai sequences, Kasumi's InnerMonologue, and reminiscent flashbacks, the show would be little more than an old guy wandering around wondering where to have lunch.

* Creator/JamesThurber's "Literature/TheSecretLifeOfWalterMitty" is about a man who escapes from his humdrum life into a series of daydreams about heroic adventures.
* Arguably the philosophical book ''Literature/SophiesWorld'', with the mains realizing that they are only fictional characters within a book (within ''another'' book) and undergoing an existential crisis because of it.
* The Creator/PhilipKDick novel "Eye in the Sky" takes place in a sort of shared mental world, with the current most-dominant personality warping it to their prejudices and worldview.
* ''Literature/ThePilgrimsProgress'' takes place entirely in two dreams (one for each part) by the narrator.
** On a similar note (due to it being essentially fan-fiction of the previous example), the short story "The Celestial Railroad" was a dream, but I can't remember whether it was only revealed at the end or not.

* Music/PoetsOfTheFall's "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfvtPTvuFTA Drama for Life]]" is about a BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind where the singer attempts to grapple with and embrace his creative GhostInTheMachine, and its aftermath, never really leaving the symbol-filled confines of the singer's head.

* ''VideoGame/{{Braid}}''
* ''VideoGame/TheCompanyOfMyself''
* ''VideoGame/HellbladeSenuasSacrifice'': Senua is a Celtic warrior who suffers from sever psychosis on a quest to rescue the soul of her lover from the Norse underworld.
* ''VideoGame/HitmanContracts'', until the final mission.
* ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'', though its a case where there are many different minds instead of just one.
* ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'' and, to a slightly lesser extent, ''VideoGame/AliceMadnessReturns'' both take place largely in Wonderland - in this case, the corrupted HappyPlace of a catatonic girl who blames herself for the death of her parents.
* ''VideoGame/YumeNikki'' is about a {{hikikomori}} lucid dreamer, whose primary interaction with the products of her subconscious is to stab them with knives.


* The plot-driving half of ''Webcomic/YumeHime'' takes place within the protagonist's dreams and day dreams, with the other half being a quiet SliceOfLife.