"Tin can you hear me now?"
Ah, childhood. Treehouses and sleepovers and talking to your friends on tin can telephones. It's made of junk: just two old tin cans and a length of string, but it's the stuff that memories are made of. Occasionally you can see a variant that has a tube that travels underground. This variant is derived from early nautical vessels.
The "just a dream" trope has become so worn out that writers actively avoid it now. So how else can a main character be momentarily uncomfortable or threatened? Rather than conflict within the self, the conflict could be construed by a master-mind or a team of rascals: An event so elaborate that the person experiencing it will wish it was a dream.
The All Just a Prank trope is when a key plot in a story turns out to be a prank. This could be a prank in the comedic sense, but could also be something more sinister, where the victim/victims loses more than they gain. The trope not only fools the main character, but the viewer. Typically there are little to no signs that it's a prank, so viewers are left in the dark about their legitimacy. This can be compared with
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