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* Happens in-universe in the ''StarTrek'' fan story "A Private Anecdote". Cpt. Christopher Pike was captain of the ''Enterprise'' when it visited Talos VII, where he was subject to very realistic mental illusions by the Talosians. In this story, years later, he thinks back over his adventures he's had since then; each time, he would briefly wonder: "What if this isn't real?" In other words, was he actually still on Talos experiencing yet another illusion?

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* Happens in-universe in the ''StarTrek'' ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' fan story "A Private Anecdote". Cpt. Christopher Pike was captain of the ''Enterprise'' when it visited Talos VII, where he was subject to very realistic mental illusions by the Talosians. In this story, years later, he thinks back over his adventures he's had since then; each time, he would briefly wonder: "What if this isn't real?" In other words, was he actually still on Talos experiencing yet another illusion?


* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' [[BlatantLies never used this trope]].

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* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' [[BlatantLies never used this trope]].''Franchise/StarTrek'':
















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* In ''Manga/NijigaharaHolograph'', the story of Zhuangzi and his dream of the butterfly is taught by Sakaki in ch. 9. Beyond this, several characters at one point or another question how much of what has happened to them is something they've dreamed, and the story is set up in a way that makes it possible that parts of it are actually Arié's dreams while she lies comatose.


* One very simple [[OntologicalMystery interpretation]] of ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'' and ''Series/AshesToAshes'' is that it is all in the mind of the main characters.

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* One very simple [[OntologicalMystery interpretation]] of ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'' and ''Series/AshesToAshes'' ''Series/AshesToAshes2008'' is that it is all in the mind of the main characters.


* ''Literature/{{Liar}}'' by Justine Larbalestier is told from the point of view of a [[UnreliableNarrator compulsive liar]], who lies to the reader. To make things worse, she even lies about her lies, most notably on the issue of [[spoiler: whether Jordan is alive or not, or even if he's ''real'']].

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* ''Literature/{{Liar}}'' ''Literature/Liar2009'' by Justine Larbalestier is told from the point of view of a [[UnreliableNarrator compulsive liar]], who lies to the reader. To make things worse, she even lies about her lies, most notably on the issue of [[spoiler: whether Jordan is alive or not, or even if he's ''real'']].

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* Happens in ''Power Corrupts'' series by ''WebAnimation/DarkMatter2525''. [[spoiler:After trying and failing to overthrow Yahweh for years Jeffrey realises that he actually never left the original simulation and all the events in the 'real' world were just distractions manufactured by Yahweh. He resolves to reach an actual reality in order to stop whatever plot is unraveling there.]]


* One WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck comic revolves around the world being the dream of an ancient cephalophoid monster slumbering in a city at the bottom of the sea. Yes, there exists ''a Donald Duck CosmicHorrorStory''.

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* One WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck comic ComicBook/DonaldDuck comic, "ComicBook/TheCallOfCRusso", revolves around the world being the dream of an ancient cephalophoid monster slumbering in a city at the bottom of the sea. Yes, there exists ''a Donald Duck CosmicHorrorStory''.

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* ''Anime/UruseiYatsura'' Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer references this several times. Once by Mujaki, the dream demon, explains this verbatim while attempting to lull Sakura into a false sense of security. The second is [[spoiler:near the end while Ataru tries to escape the dream and continuously wakes in an new dream.]] And a third time at the end when [[spoiler:the whole cast awakens from the dream world only to find Mujaki may or may not still have them trapped in a dream.]]


* In one ''ComicBook/{{Batman}}'' story, Batman has been subjected to a nightmarish fantasy CuckoosNest PsychologicalTormentZone by the Mad Hatter in an attempt to break him. After making his way through it and returning to reality, the Mad Hatter tries to taunt Batman with this trope and the fact that he can never be certain what is or isn't reality after what he's experienced. It's subverted, however; Batman, who is by this point rather ticked off and in no mood for any of this nonsense, simply notes that if this is true, and he is still trapped in his own fantasy, then this means that he no longer has to worry about holding back when beating the ever-loving shit out of the Mad Hatter in case he goes too far and kills him. After [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown a few seconds preview]] of what this means for him, the Mad Hatter is quick to respond along the lines of "Hahaha, actually, forget that funny joke I made about you maybe still being trapped in a dream, this actually ''is'' reality (''please don't hurt me'')".

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* In one ''ComicBook/{{Batman}}'' story, Batman has been subjected to a nightmarish fantasy CuckoosNest PsychologicalTormentZone by the Mad Hatter in an attempt to break him. After making his way through it and returning to reality, the Mad Hatter tries to taunt Batman with this trope and the fact that he can never be certain what is or isn't reality after what he's experienced. It's subverted, however; Batman, who is by this point rather ticked off and [[RageBreakingPoint in no mood for any of this nonsense, nonsense]], simply notes that if this is true, and he is still trapped in his own fantasy, then this means that he no longer has to worry about holding back when beating the ever-loving shit out of the Mad Hatter someone in case he goes too far and kills him.him. Someone such as the Mad Hatter, for instance. After [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown a few seconds preview]] of what this means for him, the Mad Hatter is quick to respond along the lines of "Hahaha, actually, forget that funny joke I made about you maybe still being trapped in a dream, this actually ''is'' reality (''please don't hurt me'')".


* In one ''ComicBook/{{Batman}}'' story, Batman has been subjected to a nightmarish fantasy CuckoosNest PsychologicalTormentZone by the Mad Hatter in an attempt to break him. After making his way through it and returning to reality, the Mad Hatter tries to taunt Batman with this trope and the fact that he can never be certain what is or isn't reality after what he's experienced. It's subverted, however; Batman, who is by this point rather ticked off and in no mood for any of this nonsense, simply notes that if this is true, and he is still trapped in his own fantasy, then this means that he no longer has to worry about holding back when beating the ever-loving shit out of the Mad Hatter in case he goes too far and kills him. After [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown a few seconds preview]] of what this means for him, the Mad Hatter is quick to respond along the lines of "actually, forget what I just said about you maybe still being trapped in a dream, this actually ''is'' reality (''please don't hurt me'')".

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* In one ''ComicBook/{{Batman}}'' story, Batman has been subjected to a nightmarish fantasy CuckoosNest PsychologicalTormentZone by the Mad Hatter in an attempt to break him. After making his way through it and returning to reality, the Mad Hatter tries to taunt Batman with this trope and the fact that he can never be certain what is or isn't reality after what he's experienced. It's subverted, however; Batman, who is by this point rather ticked off and in no mood for any of this nonsense, simply notes that if this is true, and he is still trapped in his own fantasy, then this means that he no longer has to worry about holding back when beating the ever-loving shit out of the Mad Hatter in case he goes too far and kills him. After [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown a few seconds preview]] of what this means for him, the Mad Hatter is quick to respond along the lines of "actually, "Hahaha, actually, forget what that funny joke I just said made about you maybe still being trapped in a dream, this actually ''is'' reality (''please don't hurt me'')".


* In one ''ComicBook/{{Batman}}'' story, Batman has been subjected to a nightmarish fantasy PsychologicalTormentZone by the Mad Hatter in an attempt to break him. After making his way through it and returning to reality, the Mad Hatter tries to taunt Batman with this trope and the fact that he can never be certain what is or isn't reality after what he's experienced. It's subverted, however; Batman, who is by this point rather ticked off and in no mood for any of this nonsense, simply notes that if this is true, and he is still trapped in his own fantasy, then this means that he no longer has to worry about holding back when beating the ever-loving shit out of the Mad Hatter in case he goes too far and kills him. After [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown a few seconds preview]] of what this means for him, the Mad Hatter is quick to respond along the lines of "actually, forget what I just said about you maybe still being trapped in a dream, this actually ''is'' reality (''please don't hurt me'')".

to:

* In one ''ComicBook/{{Batman}}'' story, Batman has been subjected to a nightmarish fantasy CuckoosNest PsychologicalTormentZone by the Mad Hatter in an attempt to break him. After making his way through it and returning to reality, the Mad Hatter tries to taunt Batman with this trope and the fact that he can never be certain what is or isn't reality after what he's experienced. It's subverted, however; Batman, who is by this point rather ticked off and in no mood for any of this nonsense, simply notes that if this is true, and he is still trapped in his own fantasy, then this means that he no longer has to worry about holding back when beating the ever-loving shit out of the Mad Hatter in case he goes too far and kills him. After [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown a few seconds preview]] of what this means for him, the Mad Hatter is quick to respond along the lines of "actually, forget what I just said about you maybe still being trapped in a dream, this actually ''is'' reality (''please don't hurt me'')".


* ''Film/StarTrekGenerations''. Captain Picard and Dr. Soran, the villain, enter the Nexus, a dimension of eternal pleasure that shapes itself to your desires. Picard is told by a mental projection of Guinan that he can use it to travel anywhere in time, and so he goes back right before Soran blew up the sun that destroyed the planet they were on and the Enterprise. It's entirely plausible that Picard never did leave the Nexus, and that he still exists there to continue his voyages in his own perfect reality. And if he did really travel through time and stopped Soran, whether the Soran that entered the Nexus in the alternate timeline is actually still there. In fact, see the [[WMG/StarTrek Trek]] WildMassGuessing page for more interpretation of this.



* ''Film/TheMatrix''. Particularly at the end of the [[Film/TheMatrixReloaded second movie]] when Neo was able to stop a machine with his mind in what was supposed to be the real world when nobody had shown powers in the real world before, fans speculated that the "real world" might just have been another layer of the matrix used to control rebellious minds. One of the comics also references the TropeNamer in a short comic where a monk or something beats up some agents.
* The deleted scenes of ''Film/X2XMenUnited'' show that Jason didn't just make Xavier think he was back at the institute, he made him think that he succeeded in convincing Jason to let him escape from the LotusEaterMachine.
* As ''Film/{{Brazil}}'' unfolds, the line between the real world and Sam's dreams gets progressively blurrier. The final scene reveals that Sam's escape [[spoiler:was a delusion, likely brought on by the trauma of being tortured by his friend Jack.]]



* ''Film/MinorityReport'': [[spoiler: Did John Anderton clear his name or was the ending of the film just a dream he was having in his containment cell?]]

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* ''Series/UltramanMax'' had an episode titled "The Butterfly's Dream" in reference to this concept. It is ''[[BizarroEpisode completely insane]]'', and revolves around the worlds of a writer for ''[[BreakingTheFourthWall Ultraman Max]]'' and Kaito becoming disturbingly warped and their lives getting switched around due to the machinations of a mysterious monster-making lady and a protean egg-like entity Madeus. It's ''a lot'' weirder than it sounds.


* In one ''ComicBook/{{Batman}}'' story, Batman has been subjected to a nightmarish fantasy PsychologicalTormentZone by the Mad Hatter in an attempt to break him. After making his way through it and returning to reality, the Mad Hatter tries to taunt Batman with this trope and the fact that he can never be certain what is or isn't reality after what he's experienced. It's subverted, however; Batman, who is by this point rather ticked off and in no mood for any of this nonsense, simply notes that if this is true, and he is still trapped in his own fantasy, then this means that he no longer has to worry about holding back when beating the ever-loving shit out of the Mad Hatter in case he goes too far and kills him. After a few seconds preview of what this means for him, the Mad Hatter is quick to respond along the lines of "actually, forget what I just said about you maybe still being trapped in a dream, this actually ''is'' reality (''please don't hurt me'')".

to:

* In one ''ComicBook/{{Batman}}'' story, Batman has been subjected to a nightmarish fantasy PsychologicalTormentZone by the Mad Hatter in an attempt to break him. After making his way through it and returning to reality, the Mad Hatter tries to taunt Batman with this trope and the fact that he can never be certain what is or isn't reality after what he's experienced. It's subverted, however; Batman, who is by this point rather ticked off and in no mood for any of this nonsense, simply notes that if this is true, and he is still trapped in his own fantasy, then this means that he no longer has to worry about holding back when beating the ever-loving shit out of the Mad Hatter in case he goes too far and kills him. After [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown a few seconds preview preview]] of what this means for him, the Mad Hatter is quick to respond along the lines of "actually, forget what I just said about you maybe still being trapped in a dream, this actually ''is'' reality (''please don't hurt me'')".

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