Not a Morning Person
their hair perfectly in place, ready to face their Morning Routine with a song and the help of cute animal critters. Then there are ''these'' characters. These are probably the night owls. They don't want to get up in the morning at all if they can help it, and when they do they wobble around as if they're some sort of zombie, often sporting bags under their eyes and Messy Hair that would devour combs whole. It's best not to talk to them in the morning, because goodness knows they'll take everything you say as an insult. From the merely lethargic to the downright dangerous, these characters are just not a morning person. No Instant Waking Skills for them. In anime and manga, it seems to often be implied that characters are this way because they have low blood pressure. In the west, these characters are more prone to desperately need coffee in the mornings instead. Of course, coffee isn't exactly known to lower blood pressure, so both can go hand in hand. If you Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World, you will most likely be like this. Crime-fighting always beats out sleep, for some reason. Sometimes these characters are also Heavy Sleepers in general, but not always. They may also have a tendency to kill roosters and smash alarm clocks. Then again some days you really don't want to wake up early. Is Truth in Television, as many a troper could probably tell you.
Who the heck let the morning people run things?
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Ryoma from The Prince of Tennis. A whole anime episode was dedicated to him sleeping in before the Saint Rudolph match and his friends trying to fill in before he gets to the courts.
- Kyouya Ootori from Ouran High School Host Club. He's sometimes referred to as the "Low Blood Pressure Overlord" because of it. Also, Token Mini-Moe Hani has been known to beat up a soldier for waking him up too early.
- More like annihilating an entire platoon, complete with bunny shaped mushroom cloud. Of course, it may not be accurate given that the narrator is not known for his reliability.
- According to an extra chapter in the manga, Mori becomes sociable and flirty when he's sleepy. Considering his character, it's hard to say whether or not this is being played straight.
- A bonus story in a volume of D.N.Angel shows Satoshi's morning routine. It says that he gets up early in the morning and spends "half an hour wandering around in a daze" before he fully wakes up and gets ready for school. Again, the cause is given as low blood pressure.
- Yuki from Fruits Basket, to the point that he often gets up and sleepwalks in the morning. His karate-trained reflexes are still in effect however, and he'll often swing punches at his rival in his sleep without being fully aware of it. This actually makes him more dangerous because he's not holding back while in a stupor.
- Nayuki from Kanon is this, as well as a Heavy Sleeper. She says that she got her spot on the track team because she often has to run to school in the morning.
- In Azumanga Daioh, while the characters are on vacation at Chiyo-chan's summer home, Osaka wakes up and announces that she's going to wake Yukari up by banging on a frying pan. However, she's not yet fully awake herself, and the implement that she retrieves from the kitchen is a large knife, much to the shock of the other characters.
- Yukari herself is not a morning person, often needing her mother or Nyamo to wake her up for work.
- Phantom Quest Corp.: A large part of Ayaka's problem is, she's a heavy drinker and, usually, the only way she can deal with the resulting hangover is to sleep it off. But since she has a business to run, her assistant, Mamoru, has to find creative ways to get her out of bed.
- Asuna in Mahou Sensei Negima! is known for being bad at mornings (she gets up early on weekdays for her paper route, then sleeps in heavily on weekends).
- Nabiki Tendō of Ranma ½ is portrayed as such, especially in the anime. It tends to be played up in fanfiction. That is probably because she often gets woken up at around the crack of dawn by the sounds of Ranma and Genma sparring. If your "alarm clock" was two guys audibly beating on each other, accompanied by insults and random battle cries, you wouldn't be particularly energetic either.
- Naru from Ghost Hunt is not good when he wakes up. Then again, it's his fault for sleeping in a van (vol. 1) and being possessed by a spirit, to which Lin forces him to sleep with a series of spells and charms in vol. 8 to 9. Needless to say, he was not in a good mood when he woke up. Lin and Masako witnessed it first hand and they'll never be the same again...
- Roger Smith from The Big O has this problem, credited both to his character and to his late-night "negotiating". Other characters have repeatedly complained about his tendency to wake up past noon. Thankfully, Dorothy's there to play a little "Run Down" on the piano...
- If Kyon's sister from Haruhi Suzumiya doesn't wake him up every morning with glomps, he'd most probably be late for school.
- Misato Katsuragi from Neon Genesis Evangelion has this problem, even if she has not been drinking the evening before. Well, that and the fact she's incredibly lazy when it comes to household chores.
- Funnily enough, the thing that gets her fully alert is...more beer.
- Naruto: In the words of Deceptive Disciple Kabuto, Sasuke "can be a bit cranky when he wakes up." Sasuke then proceeds to blow up half the base. Yeah, thanks Captain Obvious.
- It's justisfied with Ryuuji's mother in Toradora! because she works as a late night bar hostess.
- Mako from Girls und Panzer uses any chance she has to sleep, and nothing short of a cannon salvo will wake her up at 6:00AM.
- Lewis Black:
I know this because I took economics. And I'd explain it to you, but I flunked that course. It wasn't really my fault; they taught it at eight o'clock in the morning, and there is absolutely nothing you can learn out of one bloodshot eye. After I flunked the first two tests, I grabbed the professor by the throat and said, "WHY ARE YOU TEACHING THIS SHIT AT THIS UNGODLY HOUR? ARE YOU TRYING TO KEEP IT A SECRET?"
- Captain Boomerang from Suicide Squad. His reaction to being waken before dawn for a mission was "Why have I got to be up before the sun? I ain't going to make the flowers grow!"
- Garfield is often shown to be like this. Lampshaded by the following exchange:
Garfield: I'm not a morning person.
Jon: Good afternoon, Garfield.
- Roger Fox, the father of the household in FoxTrot, tends to be... rather incoherent before his morning coffee. In one strip, he remarks on the irony of needing a cup of coffee to make a cup of coffee after trying to put several pieces of the coffee maker together backwards and finally pouring the water from the pot into the toaster.
Roger: (shuffles into the kitchen, eyes still closed) Coooooffeeee...
Andy: The pot's over by the fridge.
Roger: (wanders aimlessly) Coooooffeeee...
Andy: (points) The fridge is that way.
Roger: (continues to wander aimlessly) Coooooffeeee...
Andy: See that thing with the little red light?...
Roger: (off panel) (glug glug glug)
Andy: (off panel) Roger, that's the answering machine!
- Jeremy from Zits, as amply demonstrated by the image above. For those who are not morning people, what he is describing is familiar — that time between being rudely awakened by an alarm, and actually being able to get out of bed.
- In another strip, he asks his mother to sign a note reading "Please excuse Jeremy from this morning's classes due to excessive gravity."
- In yet another, he is shown mowing the lawn in the dead of night, fully alert.
- Scott Pilgrim qualifies, if only because there isn't much morning, if any, left by the time he wakes up.
- In fact, the one time he does get up early, it's the first sign that something is wrong.
- Dagwood from Blondie.
- A Heart of the City comic deals with this. Heart comes down and complains that she hates morning people like Mrs. Angelini, who responds that it's noon.
"Ain't summer vacation grand?"
- Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. In a particularly memorable strip, his mother dragged him out to the bus stop still clinging to his bedding.
- This trope is also inverted sometimes. If it's a weekend or a holiday and Calvin wants to watch cartoons or play outside, he'll leap out of bed at the crack of dawn. His frustrated parents occasionally remark that just once, they'd like to see him manage this on a school day.
- In Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman, Reid has a whole wastebasket full of alarm clocks he's destroyed in his fury at been waken.
- Batman, since he fights crime at night, tends to sleep in late and doze off during work meetings. This fits his cover as a Rich Idiot with No Day Job, so no-one thinks twice about it.
- Basile from Léonard le Génie, when left to his own devices, will wake up at half past five... in the afternoon, and considers anything before noon the middle of the night. Leonardo tends to spend a lot of time and resources on just getting him out of bed at the beginning of every episode.
- Emma Frost of the X-Men. She has specifically instructed her students (who, keep in mind, are knowingly being taught by a group of fugitives) to never wake her. There's also her hilarious sleeping position◊, described by the artist as "one of those totally epic destructive toddler sleeps where she destroys the bed in the process."
- In Cerebus the Aardvark, getting out of bed is a massive struggle for Jaka's husband Rick, and even when he's finally up and moving he's slow and sluggish, with a tendency to drift right back to sleep as soon as he comes to a stop. Jaka can wake him in a hurry with a "wet willy", but he's back out soon after.
- Katchoo from Strangers in Paradise is not a huge fan of waking up before 10, resulting in Ring... Ring... CRUNCH becoming a Running Gag.
Films — Animation
- Princess Anna in Frozen is shown having a lot of trouble waking up for Elsa's coronation day, or, as she mumbles in her semi-conscious state, "corneration." She also wakes up sporting comically disheveled bedhead.
- Used very hilariously to show just how human-like WALL•E has become. When the title robot wakes up in the morning, his battery his low and he stumbles around his trailer much like a person would: groaning, arms drooped, running into things, and fumbling for his "shoes" (his caterpillar tracks). He's not really "awake" until he has a breakfast of sunlight.
Films — Live-Action
- The opening shots of Shaun of the Dead feature dozens of Londoners shuffling zombie-like to work, pretty much all of them looking like they're not morning people. The actual zombies blend in rather well at first.
- Black Jewels: Jaenelle Angelline is a delightful person before her first cup of coffee. Not.
- Nick Mallory in Diana Wynne Jones's Deep Secret/The Merlin Conspiracy is very much not a morning person. Not only is he grumpy, he can't even speak coherently or open his eyes until he's had four cups of coffee. It's later shown that he can wake up... he just feigns being really out of it so no one will bother him until he's less grumpy. Apparently, this is based off of Wynne-Jones' friend Neil Gaiman's actual morning routine.
- Running gag in the Aubrey-Maturin books. Aubrey sleeps easily and wakes fresh as a daisy, while there's at least one book where Dr. Maturin is woken up to perform a vital surgery on a dying patient. His response? Cussing, throwing things and then refusing to go anywhere near the sick bay until coffee had been provided.
- Stephanie Plum considers five in the morning to be the middle of the night. Most of her associates disagree, to her disgust.
- In Child of the Hive, Will is oblivious to all of Alex's attempts to encourage him to wake up. When Alex then phones Ben, his reaction is, "Bugger off, 'm hungover."
- In The Hunting of the Snark, this is one of the signs by which snarks can be known:
Its habit of getting up late you'll agree
That it carries too far, when I say
That it frequently breakfasts at five-o'clock tea,
And dines on the following day.
- Bertie in Jeeves and Wooster is like this, complete with Must Have Caffeine. In his Establishing Character Moment, he describes being rudely woken up "in the small hours"—at half-past eleven. If you insist on waking him before noon, don't try talking to him until he's had his Spot of Tea and a bit of breakfast—he's pretty patient after that, but not before.
If I ever breakfasted at half past eight I should walk on the Embankment, trying to end it all in a watery grave.
- Also from the ranks of Wodehouse, there's Mike from the Psmith series:
Mike was a stout supporter of the view that sleep in large quantities is good for one. He belonged to the school of thought which holds that a man becomes plain and pasty if deprived of his full spell in bed. He aimed at the peach-bloom complexion.
- Also from the ranks of Wodehouse, there's Mike from the Psmith series:
- In Galaxy of Fear, Zak objects to snooping at dawn.
"Tash, even secret Imperial plots don't get going until after breakfast."
- A running theme pf the Garrett, P.I. novels is Garrett's intense aversion to hauling himself out of bed before noon, and his crotchety housekeeper's various ways of nagging, aggravating and/or threatening him into doing so. Made more ironic by Garrett's own need to hassle the Dead Man into waking up at any hour of the day.
- Sam Vimes showed some signs of this, expressing some irritation at being woken up at 9AM when he normally doesn't get up "until the afternoon's had the shine worn off it" at one point in Men at Arms, but that's probably acclimatisation from spending most of his adult life working the night shift. Promotion to Commander of the City Watch brings more normal working hours... for a given value of "normal", and even that ended up being a Defied Trope.
- Auntie Mame.
Morning, I soon discovered, was one o'clock for Auntie Mame. Early Morning was eleven, and the Middle of the Night was nine.
- Seitokai no Ichizon: Chizuru's difficulty with mornings is revealed and discussed in the student council joint long-distance trip to Tokyo by train (season 1 ep. 7 in anime adaptation). She's drowsy, slow, far from the usual chirpiness and seems to want to devote herself fully to non-romantic cuddling with the Student Council President rather than getting up.
- In John M. Ford's Star Trek novel How Much for Just the Planet?, "Bones" McCoy reveals that he isn't much of a morning person when ordering breakfast: "Plergb hfarizz ungemby, and coffee.".
- The Wind in the Willows - Toad is seen to be one of these when, insisting Rat and Mole go along with him on his latest obsession, life on the road in a gypsy cart, they have to forcibly drag him out of bed.
- Our Miss Brooks sometimes suffers from this trope.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Willow mentions 3 PM is when Oz usually wakes up.
- It's been established that Columbo isn't coherent until he's had his coffee.
- Friends: Rachel is not a morning person, as Monica observes when the cockerel's early-morning crowing sends Rachel into a snarling charge for the boys' apartment. Desperate to be rid of the bird, Rachel agrees to a wager that will either force the boys to give up the birds or the girls to give up their apartment. The girls lose and Rachel ends up with Joey's room, which is next to the apartment of a man who cheerfully sings every morning to greet the rising sun. When his singing wakes her up even on the weekend, Rachel's temper again explodes, which leads to the girls reclaiming their original apartment.
Monica: Boy, you are really not a morning person-
Rachel: BACK OFF!
- Captain Lewis Nixon in Band of Brothers, mostly due to frequent hangovers. He even shouts at the Singing Guy!
- Charlie in Two and a Half Men rarely wakes up before early afternoon.
- Susan Ivanova in Babylon 5 has problems waking up when it's still dark outside — and she works on a space station.
- The short-lived sitcom Pearl gave us this gem between Rhea Perlman and Malcolm McDowell:
Professor: Questions about ethics can be answered with one simple thing: a mirror. [...] After the fact, can you wake up the next morning, look into the mirror, and like what you see?
Pearl: At what time in the morning? [...] 'Cos I've never seen anything in the mirror before 8 o'clock that didn't belong in a horror movie...
- Father Ted generally will not start his working day until at least 11 am and frequently later. Consequently, being woken at 5am with an airhorn during Lent comes as something of a shock.
- In Red Dwarf, the reason that Lister gave for not finishing college was that there were lectures at half past twelve every day.
Lister: Come on, who's awake then? You can still taste the toothpaste.
- Penny in The Big Bang Theory. She has a "Don’t knock on my door before eleven o’clock or I punch you in the throat" rule.
- The very first time we meet Anna, the senior housemaid on Downton Abbey, she's groaning and clutching a pillow over her head, grumbling about how she wishes she could wake up naturally just once in her life.
- One first-season episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 revealed that neither Joel nor Tom Servo likes mornings — in direct contrast to Crow, who does.
Crow: Hey, good morning, Breakfast Clubbers! Heh, heh, hey! How ya doin'? Hey, here's a little morning poem: "Birdie with a yellow bill, hopped upon my window sill, cocked his shining eye and said... what's for breakfast, Grandma?" Heh heh heh...
Tom: ...Oh, I hate morning 'bots!
- The Young Ones:
Neil: Lads? It's two o'clock in the afternoon. Maybe it's time we got up. Lucky I didn't sleep through the alarm or we'd have missed half the day!
- When Tracy on 30 Rock goes through a brief phase of shaping up to make his wife happy, it includes getting up at a reasonable hour for apparently the first time in his adult life, but he takes to it okay. As he reports to Liz, "Did you know that in the morning they have food, TV, almost everything? It's pretty good."
- Hawkeye from M*A*S*H tends to be extremely vocal about his dislike of mornings, particularly when he's hung over and/or exhausted from a long OR session.
Hawkeye: No wonder they execute people at dawn. Who wants to live at 6 a.m.?
- Jerry on Seinfeld, according to this standup routine.
- GURPS offers the Slow Riser disadvantage, in which, for an hour after waking up, your character suffers -2 to self-control rolls and -1 to IQ rolls and IQ-based skill rolls. So, in other words, they're irritable and can't think properly. They also get an extra penalty for missed sleep.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade, Kindred fall asleep earlier and wake up later as their Humanity degrades, and they generally can't use more dice than their Humanity score for any action while the sun is up. Particularly wicked Kindred aren't "evening people" at all.
- There's also a cheap Flaw, "Late Riser", that has you wake up about an hour later than usual for Kindred. It's cheap because there isn't a real mechanical drawback, but you can expect to be late to most important faction business.
- In Chez Geek The Slacker / Unemployeed job quote: "It's only 2 o'clock, they might not be up yet."
- Link in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.
- And The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. And The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. And The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. Possibly also The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past — OK, let's just say, Link's Not a Morning Person in general...
- It's actually a bit of a plot point in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Zelda was always the one who had to wake Link up when he slept late, but when Zelda must go to sleep for a thousands of years to make sure Demise stays sealed, she makes Link promise to wake her up in their own time once Demise has been defeated.
- And since it's always at the beginning of the game, it overlaps with Good Morning, Crono.
- Though apart from the games' openings Link tends to qualify as The Sleepless.
- Rin Tohsaka from Fate/stay night. She's not quite as bad as the other examples but tends to be decidedly grumpy in the mornings... Actually, it clashes with her perfect schoolgirl image so badly that even after knowing her for awhile, people are outright shocked to see her dragging about in the morning, completely at a loss for words and unsure if what they've just seen was real. And then they forget about it. This ties into the above-mentioned Japanese stereotype of having low blood pressure, since Rin draws a measure of her own blood nightly to store her magic.
- A Running Gag in Mega Man Battle Network is that it's nearly impossible to wake up Netto/Lan Hikari on time. On one occasion in the anime he woke up, assumed he overslept, then got all the way to school before realizing it was Sunday.
- In Harvest Moon: Animal Parade, the Wizard is not a fan of mornings. Until a certain quest event, you can only meet him around or past 2 AM. He also loves coffee.
- Grumpy-type villagers in the original Animal Crossing sleep in until around 10 in the morning, most days. In all games, they'll also gripe about it being early in the morning until around noon. New Leaf introduces Uchi-type villagers, who don't get up until 11:00 AM—and if you enter their house around that time, there's a good chance they'll still be asleep...
- Rose from Street Fighter is this. Low blood pressure...
- Lady Sialeeds from Suikoden V is generally a pleasant person to be around, but enjoys her sleep and gets very cranky when someone disturbs her. Servants will actually thank you for not making them wake her up and poor Lyon wound up with a black eye one time after doing so.
- Ayane from Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball remarks that she hates mornings, and if you give her a gift during the morning you'll earn less approval with her than if you give her a gift during the afternoon or evening.
- To quote Auron in Final Fantasy X, "Once Lady Yuna fixes her hair, we leave."
- Since Dechs "Shadehawk" Rashart — a.k.a. Antihero for Hire — habitually "works nights", he takes this to extremes. Forget mornings — waking him up before sundown has this kind of effect.
- There's a Casey and Andy strip where Andy has made coffee — despite not drinking coffee himself. The question of "why" is answered when Satan enters — in the form of a seven-feet tall, winged, clawed, fanged, bright-red and particularly grumpy-looking demon. One gulp of coffee later, she reverts to her familiar form, brightly remarking "Morning, all!". "Yeah," comments Andy, "It's best if she gets her coffee right away."
- See it here.
- It's Walky!: "Morning people suck ass."
- K from Blip. "I am Monday's bitch."
- Eric Remington, as seen in this strip of Loserz.
- Arthur in Arthur, King of Time and Space, as seen (amongst other places) here. Also Morguase, in order to contrast with her son Gawaine, who rather famously is.
- Sarah of El Goonish Shive, as seen here and on the next page.
- White from Grey is..., he likes to sleep in and if you wanna wake him up early you'd better have coffee
- Baby Blue in Sinfest. Then, she is disgruntled for additional reasons.
- In Knights of Buena Vista, Mary gives her player character this as a flaw. The Game Master confuses this for oversleeping, but she corrects him. It does include bedhead for extra points though, which surprises fellow player Adriana.
- The Onion: "I Tell Ya, Until I've Had My Morning Coffee, I Am Just a Rapist."
- Angry Joe is one of these in To Boldly Flee, when he threatens to kill Paw Dugan for waking him up.
- Britanick presents: The Morning Routine
- The protagonist of the short film ALARM. At the end, he takes this Up to Eleven by shooting his alarm clock and implicitly destroying it.
- Dexter's Laboratory: Dexter's parents are like this before they have their coffee. The coffee is a magical elixir that turns them into the parents we see the rest of the time.
- Jane and Trent Lane from Daria are both like this, and according to Daria, so is Quinn.
- Sokka from Avatar: The Last Airbender. In Bitter Work, Toph wakes him up by firing him into the air with a rock column, and he was reduced to incoherent growling for the rest of the morning. Still in his sleeping bag.
- The Legend of Korra: According to the heroine of the series title, "the morning is evil."
- The Real Ghostbusters: It's a Running Gag throughout the cartoon that Peter Venkman is not a morning person.
Winston: What'd he say?
Egon: Sounded like "coffee", possibly "cookie".
Ray: Translation, Egon?
Egon: Sounded like "get out of my face or eat flaming terror".
- A Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog cartoon opens with Sam Sheepdog leisurely waking up and prepping for a days' work, while Ralph Wolf huddles in bed hiding from the sunrise — until his Acme gadgets propel him out, through a shower and breakfast, getting him to punch in just in front of Sam.
- People who routinely stay awake during the night and sleep in the morning are usually stereotypically considered terminally lazy, but science now tells us they might just have delayed sleep phase syndrome.
- Mental health can have a bearing on this trope. For those whose cluster of symptoms includes depression, this is more likely than not to be Truth in Television. To the extent that depressed people have a daily cycle of moods - a "diurnal variation", in psych-speak - it's the mornings that tend to be harder. Dementia patients, on the other hand, are more likely to invert this trope: the "sunset effect".
- This can be really common for theatrical actors and actors in general. They run really crazy hours because of rehearsals in theater and filming in well, film. Theatrical actors traditionally have night shows, therefore they are most alert and energetic at night when they perform. As a result it's very common for them to be Night Owls and not be all that big of fans of the early morning.
- Lindsey Stirling is a morning person, but those she travels with definitely aren't. For Easter 2013, Stirling arranged an Easter Egg Hunt for everyone else on the tour bus. She was up bright and early setting out eggs, baskets, and a trail of footprints supposedly by the Easter Bunny, but trying to wake up those touring with her didn't quite go so well. They wondered at how she could do it given that they'd done a show the night before.
- It's been theorised that people who sit in front of a computer screen at night have their sleeping schedule disrupted by the screen's glare. Naturally this affects video gamers and many people who work out of the office at home. And people stuck in a perpetual cycle of opening more and more tabs whilst reading online catalogues of the tricks of the trade for writing fiction.
- Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte never got up before noon if he could help it. As King of Sweden, he actually spent a good part of the day ruling from his bed (to the point that the Bernadotte gallery in the Royal Palace of Stockholm has a painting◊ that depicts him doing exactly that).
- The aristocracy in general is not very good with getting up early. That's why matinee shows are in the afternoon.
Who the heck let the morning people run things?