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Sleepyhead

Nearly everyone has had an experience where they've dozed off, or almost dozed off, at an inopportune moment. However, a select few of us, both in real life and in fiction, raise this odd habit to an art form, becoming the official Sleepyhead of their social circle.

These characters have a habit of nodding off anywhere, at any time. They constantly end up at the last stop on the train/bus because they fell asleep on the journey, the teacher routinely throws things at them because their snoring is getting in the way of the lesson, and their friends spend half their lives prodding them awake... or at least hauling them into a vertical position so that no one notices that they're actually unconscious.

There are two main character types that are prone to having the sleepyhead trait. The first is the Cloudcuckoolander, and it's part of their social inappropriateness schtick. They couldn't care less if they get caught sleeping, and may complain about being disturbed. Other characters, however, often yell at them and tell them to be more responsible.

The other sleepyhead is the hardworking-but-kinda-dim character, and unlike their more eccentric cousins, this is a source of major embarrassment for them. They'll blush and stammer when woken up, but by contrast, other characters usually see it as an endearing trait. Unlike the Cloudcuckoolander, whose snoozle-fits reflect their dissatisfaction with/divorce from reality, the implication with an earnest character is that they put so much of themselves into everything they do that they wear themselves out.

Both types will have exaggerated reactions to the things that naturally cause sleepiness, like a full stomach or a warm day. In anime at least, this character tends to be female. These characters seem to sleep pretty well at night. Characters who pull all-nighters and then go thwump at an inopportune time don't come under this trope — that's just exhaustion, while a sleepyhead will get a good eight hours and still doze off in Biology class. The sleepyhead really likes their bedtime, and under times of stress will usually be heard complaining that they're tired, or longing aloud for a pillow. Their bedroom is often filled with creature comforts, tons of stuffed toys, and the world's comfiest bed.

Occasionally they will actually have narcolepsy, or another real-life medical condition causing excessive daytime sleepiness. Usually not, though.

A Sleepyhead may or may not be a Heavy Sleeper. They're probably Not a Morning Person as well — the eccentric type will be grumpy, and the earnest type completely out of it when the alarm clock goes.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Nemu in Haibane Renmei is the queen of this trope. Even in her character-defining "cocoon dream," she was snoozing. She's closer to the earnest version of the trope, though in actual fact she's more organised and reliable than other versions, on top of being a sleepyhead - other characters comment that her dependability is why no-one minds that she sleeps all the time.
  • Yuno in Hidamari Sketch is the earnest variant of the trope. Her Genius Ditz neighbour Miyako is normally hyperactive, but she also dozes off frequently, especially in afternoon classes (post-lunch being tough on the Big Eater Miyako), making her the Cloudcuckoolander version.
  • GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class, also in a high school art setting, we have Kisaragi who, like Yuno, is an only-moderately-talented but hardworking sleepyhead.
  • Mihoshi in Tenchi Muyo! likes her naps.
  • Osaka in Azumanga Daioh is the definitive Cloudcuckoolander version, indulging in her bizarre dreams during class.
    • At one point, while under a kotatsu, she declared that it was so comfy she could fall asleep. Then she used Chiyo's large Chiyo-dad plushie for a pillow, laid back, and...
    Chiyo: Wow, she did fall asleep!
  • Keiichi, the cellist of La Corda D'Oro, seems to spend more time asleep than he does awake. He's a male Cloudcuckoolander (or, more accurately, Bunny-Ears Lawyer) version.
  • Aoi Sakuraba from Ai Yori Aoshi does this right at the start of the series when she meets with Kaoru. They board a train and needed to get off at the next stop, but Aoi was so exhausted that she fell asleep on Kaoru's shoulder and they ended up circling around back to the stop they originally boarded on. Kaoru woke her up by the time their destination came by again.
  • Konata from Lucky Star sometimes falls asleep in class. When Miss Kuroi calls on her name and snaps her back awake, Konata instinctively tries to defend herself by saying she wasn't sleeping. If she had just kept her mouth shut, she would have been fine. However, since Konata's daytime drowsiness can partly be contributed to her staying up late playing games or watching anime, this is a partial aversion.
    • Tsukasa is a straight example for the earnest type, together with a cuddly bedroom and being a Heavy Sleeper.
  • Sloth from Fullmetal Alchemist tends to fall asleep even when people are threatening him.
  • Greece from Axis Powers Hetalia sleeps a lot and at random times, although he is more laidback than Cloudcuckoolander or embarrassed. He even falls asleep once in the middle of a conversation, and then looks bemused when he wakes up soon after.
    • Italy shows this occasionally. At one point, he even falls asleep while Germany is lecturing him for being too lazy. This is also lampshaded in the dub, when Japan signs the agreement to ally himself with the Axis, and notices that Italy has zonked out at the heated table they're sitting at.
    Japan: He appears to be sleeping.
    Germany: Yeah, that is kind of his thing.
  • Yoshimori from Kekkaishi. Justified in that he has to go to school, do chores at home, and fight Ayakashi every night.
  • Saiga from Legal Drug spends most of his time sleeping at Kakei's store, even when he's supposed to be watching the till. There has been much speculation as to why.
  • Yakumo, from School Rumble. Random classmates are prone to staring at her whenever she falls asleep on the bench outside school.
  • Portgas D. Ace of One Piece has rather intense narcolepsy and tends to fall asleep in the middle of talking or eating, leading more than a few people to think he suddenly dropped dead.
    • The narcolepsy is evident in his family (albeit it's more likely habitual given he's an adopted member), as shown with main character Luffy and their grandfather Garp. All three of their cases really just crop up for Rule of Funny though.
    • Aokiji is pretty notable too, it goes nicely with his lazy nature. This trait of his is apparently so characteristic to other Marines that ship commanders who frequently interact with him (like Garp) keep a lawn chair for the admiral on board.
    • Zoro is a heavy contender as well. When he's not training in his free time, he's sleeping. One ED in the anime even has some fun with this when it shows the various members of the Straw Hats and then cuts to a Wild Take expression of theirs, except for Nico Robin and Zoro, who just falls asleep instead.
  • Yoshihito Usaida from Gakuen Babysitters spends about half of his time in the manga being the Butt Monkey to the children of the daycare. The other half is spent sleeping anytime and anywhere on the job.
  • Kumin in Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!, who brings her pillow to school to nap and can fall asleep at will. She even tries to establish a napping club. Her Image Song is all about how she loves to sleep, and even ends with her sleepily singing "good night~".
  • Ed from Cowboy Bebop is seen sleeping very often, about anywhere on the ship, including sometimes the hard floor, or taking advantage of zero-G to nap.
  • Pandora Hearts gives us Vincent Nightray, who...really doesn't suit either interpretation. It's a side-effect of his having the Dormouse as a Chain, though.
  • Claus in Last Exile, and Lavie does call him "Sleepyhead" occasionally.
  • Yuu in Sakura Trick is a chronic class sleeper.
  • Hiyori in Noragami, becomes narcoleptic after getting hit by a bus, along with semi-voluntary Astral Projection.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

     Film 

    Literature 
  • The Dormouse in Alice in Wonderland, natch.
  • Clovis and his half-siblings in The Heroes of Olympus. Justified as they're children of Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep.
  • Lieutenant Mercadet, from Fred Vargas's thriller novels, is hypersomniac and frequently sleeps at work ; at one point, he even put pillows on his desk to make his naps more comfortable, since he cannot stay awake more than six hours in a row. His hypersomnia is used as a plot point in L'Armée Furieuse, when Commissaire Adamsberg makes everybody (Mercadet himself included) believe that he fell asleep while watching Momo-Mèche-Courte, in order to let him escape from the police station.
  • Lazy from Someone Else's War is this trope Up to Eleven. It's implied that he does have narcolepsy, but that doesn't mean anyone takes him seriously.
  • Wayside School student Shari is known for falling asleep during class. Mrs. Jewels allows this because she believes in Sleep Learning. In Shari's debut chapter, she even slept through falling thirty stories, waking up only when Louis caught her. When the school was closed because of the cows (DON'T ASK), and all of the kids were sent to different schools, the first thing Shari said when returning at the reopening was "Now I can get some sleep!"
  • Mr. Benedict in The Mysterious Benedict Society has narcolepsy.

    Live Action TV 
  • Patrick Jane from The Mentalist takes frequent naps, even while on duty. However, it's implied that these are practically the only times he sleeps.
  • Sgt. Rizzo from Mash was often observed under the carriage of a jeep; however, he was rarely working on them as using them as an excuse to get a secret nap in.

    Multiple Media 
  • Noob has Ivy, who frequently falls asleep in front of her computer and always sounds tired when she's awake. She's otherwise different from the usual character type, as she's the guild's Gadgeteer Genius and usually the most lucid among the female players of the guild. Season 4 of the webseries made her narcolepsy a Captain Obvious Reveal, while the novels and comics just started mentionning it in later installments.

    Music 
  • "I must warn you, I go to sleep," begins the Ben Folds Five song "Narcolepsy", which is named after the clinical term for this trope.

    Pinball 
  • Rudy the Living Dummy from FunHouse, who falls asleep as soon as the park's clock strikes midnight.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Peppermint Patty is notorious for falling asleep in class. She actually goes to a narcolepsy clinic in one strip and dozes off at the reception desk. However, nothing comes of it.
    • Funnily enough, the only time she is actually wide-awake in school is on the last day of class before summer vacation.
  • Garfield has "nap attacks."
  • Bucky, from Get Fuzzy, tends to pass out quite a lot. Among other things, him reaching a certain boiling point of anger makes him fall asleep. Rob and Satchel know about this, and comment that it's sometimes better to just deliberately invoke it than to try and calm him down.

    Video Games 
  • Snorlax from Pokémon, of course.
    • Also, the gym leader Erika. In-series magazine Pokemon Journal states she can often be seen sleeping and her Fame Checker message has her falling asleep at the end. All of her pre-battle quotes having her nearly falling asleep and her original sprite seems to have her sleeping. Popular Fanon has her being narcoleptic. It's likely the effect of being around Grass-type Pokemon with Sleep Powder most of the day.
    • Abra spends most of its day asleep to conserve energy for its psychic moves. Doesn't stop the dang things from teleporting away on the first turn of a battle though.
  • Peco in Breath of Fire III seems to fall asleep if he stops moving for more than 5 seconds.
  • Karina in Rune Factory 3 is unbelievably lazy and is constantly sleeping on the job.
    • Clorica in Rune Factory 4 is also prone to sleeping on the job. This never stops her from carrying out her duties, though.
  • The Main Character of Persona 3 has the option of dozing off during a good portion of his classes. Upsides include improving your condition and recovering from sickness faster. Downsides include the possibility of missing information that comes up during exams (and don't think you can use the Internet to get the exam answers: if you didn't hear it in the game, you don't get the option of answering it).
  • General Haar from Fire Emblem Tellius, Treck from Fire Emblem Elibe, and Forde from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones.
  • Siegmeyer of Catarina from Dark Souls can be found asleep (while standing up, no less) in several improbable and dangerous places. Kingseeker Frampt also enjoys the occasional power nap, requiring you to hit him once to wake him up(but only once).
  • The Rookie from Halo 3: ODST seems to spend most of his time asleep. Napping before his drop, knocked out for hours when his pod crashes, and ends up sleeping when Sergeant Johnson visits his team.
    • This however, might be caused by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is actually Truth in Television for some cases, in a condition called Hypersomnia. Its the opposite of insomnia, as people with hypersomnia sleep too much.
  • Skyward Sword's Link apparently always had to be woken up by Zelda, and his sleepiness is actually incorporated in gameplay, as he will start to nod off if you have him sit down for too long. A lot of the Links seem to share this trait, and as a result most of the games have a Good Morning, Crono opening. All that sleep seems to do him good, though, because once he's up he can stay awake for weeks at a time if need be.
  • In Soma Bringer Forte referred to Millers as "Chronic Sleepyhead Millers."
  • Dr Snoozmore in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team does this all the time, to the point he nods off mid conversation, repeatedly. In one part in the game, it even jumps ahead about an hour after your partners complain that this'll take a while. Then again, he is studying the science of sleeping...
    • Luigi himself too, who has the ability to magically fall into a deep sleep whenever his head touches a pillow, regardless of the location. It's rather useful given that you need to explore the various dream worlds, but... you have to wonder about someone who can fall asleep in a desert, on the summit of a snowy mountain or in the villain's evil tower of ominousness at a whim.
      • In fact, it's Luigi's ability to fall asleep so easily that allows him to open up Dream World portals.
  • Blathers and Celeste in Animal Crossing — being owls — always have to be woken up during the day.

    Visual Novels 
  • Cammy Meele of the Ace Attorney Investigations game, has the horse-like ability to sleep while standing up, and has to be constantly prodded into consciousness when you interview her. This is particularly annoying, even more so when you realize she's faking it. Yanni Yogi pulls this off as well and again, he's faking it - Phoenix and Edgeworth seem to be able to summon faux-sleepyheads on command.
  • Nayuki from Kanon, besides being a memetic Heavy Sleeper, is also this. Yuuichi regularly wakes her up at the end of class.
  • In the same vein as Nayuki above, Tatsuko Itagaki from Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai sleeps all the time. She met Yamato in the first place by seeing him sleeping on the riverbank and joining him.
  • Riki of Little Busters! is one of the kind that actually does explicitly have narcolepsy. Treatment of it varies - sometimes it just kicks in to drive scenes or fuel unrelated drama, but at other times the way falling asleep randomly and uncontrollably can be incredibly limit the things one can do in life is explored more seriously.
  • Nanami of Super Dangan Ronpa 2, because she plays games for so long that she forgets to sleep.
  • Kohaku from Let's Meow Meow dozes off every few minutes when she first shows up. Two justifications for this: one, she didn't sleep for quite some time before arriving in our world, and two, she's a Cat Girl in a setting where cat girls have constant Furry Reminder moments.

    Webcomics 
  • In Grey is..., Black frequently calls White this. He sleeps in late (in comparison to Black) and is always ready to take a nap during the day if he can find the time.
  • Lillian Tallis of Go Get a Roomie!. She is a recluse who love nothing more in the world than sleeping and dreaming. She is such a sleepyhead that it's implied she forgets to eat because she's spending all of her time sleeping. Her brother calls her Lazy Tyke — a nickname Roomie took next to no time to adopt. (She's not above pretending to fall asleep to get out of awkward situations, either.)
  • Hannelore Ellicott-Chatham of Questionable Content. Mostly because her OCD keeps her up for days at a time, cleaning her ceiling or some such, so when she actually has a moment to sit still and rest, she just dozes off.
  • Homestuck's Jade Harley suffers from narcolepsy, which can lead to trouble when playing a fate-of-the-universe game that has a heavy importance on timing.
    • It's later revealed that Jade was never actually narcoleptic, but being purposefully and constantly put to sleep by Vriska. It has the same end result, though.
  • Phonsekal Laure from Tower of God is an absolute master of grabbing sleep everywhere. He sleeps not only during lessons and non-combat tests, but also during deathmatches. He runs around with his pillow and Security Blanket and after minimum effort he drops to the ground and takes a nap. The only way he usually can be arsed to do something is by taking those two items away, an action that can make him break into tears.

    Western Animation 
  • Snoozy on The Perils of Penelope Pitstop.
  • Bedtime Bear of the Care Bears.
  • Sleepy Bat on Birdz is somewhat of a type 1, except that he doesn't usually get called out for it.
  • Astra from Lite Sprites fits the Cloudcuckoolander type.
  • Theodore Tugboat had the recurring character of Northumberland Submarine, who is even referred to as "the sleepy submarine" and was very rarely seen without his eyes half-shut or closed entirely. It was explained that this was due to him largely working at night (in fact one episode had Theodore and Hank working late and being genuinely shocked to find him wide awake), but it still gets pretty extreme- at least once he fell asleep mid-sentence while talking to Theodore in the middle of the harbour and on another occasion he fell asleep while surfacing with his head just barely sticking out of the water.
  • Buster from Arthur tends to fall asleep during the daytime especially when he's bored, one episode entitled "Sleep No More" dealt with this as he kept falling asleep when trying to earn money for a pizza eating contest, but the irony is once he's entered the contest he can't get to sleep.

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