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All Just A Dream / Western Animation

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Stories that were merely dreams in western animation TV shows.


  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius episode "Sleepless in Retroville" ends with Jimmy waking up after getting attacked by the pizza monsters, followed by Hugh waking up, then Carl, then Sheen, and then the pizza monster itself, whose wife reassures him there are no such things as children before they both go back to sleep.
  • Adventure Time:
    • The Rule 63 episodes are all "fanfictions" written by different characters; only the first one had this as a twist, though.
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    • "King Worm", though the plot is that the characters eventually realize it's a dream and need to escape.
    • The episode "Puhoy" ends with the revelation that Finn dreamed about his adventures in the pillow kingdom...maybe.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks:
    • There were some episodes, like when Alvin had a fever or when Dave thought he'd shrunk where's he able to stand in someone's palm.
    • In "Dreamlighting", after Alvin has to go to basketball on one of their dates, Brittany watches on tv "Dreamlighting" (which itself is a parody of Moonlighting) and dreams herself in the show.
    • A Charlie's Angels parody episode had the Chipettes dream that they are a crime fighting team called Alvie's Angels after being knocked out by a thief in the mall.
    • An episode airing in 1988. The Chipmunks were scheduled to perform at a concert at the Wall of Iron, an analogue to the Berlin Wall. While preparing for the concert, they encounter a young girl whose brother is on the other side of the wall and sneak over to find him. They get captured by the authorities and told the other side is tired of the separation as well. They then destroy the wall using the Power of Rock and reunite everyone. Then Alvin wakes up on the plane as it's landing and sees the wall is still standing. He says "It was all just a dream...but it doesn't have to be." (Then a year later, it wasn't.)
  • ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks:
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    • The whole episode of "Theozilla" turns out to be this from Miss Smith.
    • The episode "Double Trouble" is this too, Alvin thinks Simon's machine can create a clone of himself, when it actually creates bubbles.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Apprentice", the show manages to get even MORE weird than it already is around the time that Gumball is conked on the head by a golf ball. What proceeds is a tripped-out sequence of Gumball cheating at golf with supersonic tennis rackets and vacuum trees (and an actual tripping-out sequence) that gets weirder and weirder until the Magic Frog from South Park manages to convince Gumball to throw the match, which somehow ruins the CEO's logically impractical evil plan, and Gumball hugs Mr. Fitzgerald while fireworks play in the background... at which point the show finally stops feeding you nuts and pans out to a brain-damaged Gumball right after he lost the game. The CEO lampshades it, laughing all the way:
    CEO: HA HA! He-he went into an entire montage where he thought he won the game epically, but it turns out it was all in his head ever since he got conked by the ball in match nine! BWA HA HA HA (etc.)
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  • American Dad! has one when Stan accidentally crapped himself in a pool party and concocts a scheme to get Barack Obama to do the same. It was a dream moments before he actually jumps... and craps himself. It's implied that this was not the first time he's done it too. The ending is foreshadowed by the episode title, "An Incident at Owl Creek" (which is a clear homage to "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", a Dying Dream story)
  • Angel's Friends has Raf and Sulfus both have a dream where they get married. They later wake up in the night.
  • There is an Animaniacs segment where Brain dreams that he is the Rockefeller family baby, but the Delivery Stork mistakenly brings him to the Hip Hippos instead.
  • Subverted and discussed at the end of season five of Archer. After a season that went in a completely different direction and upon learning that Lana's baby is also his, Archer spaces out and wonders if he's about to wake up from a coma he's been in since the end of the previous season. Turns out that's not the case.
  • Batman: The Animated Series
    • In "Perchance to Dream", Bruce Wayne wakes up in a world where he isn't Batman. He eventually realizes that it is a dream (because some people's dreams work in such a way that they can't read anything in a dream) and ends it by jumping off the clock tower. Apart from the reading issue, wish fulfillment dreams don't work on Batman; a world where Bruce Wayne is happy? His subconscious knows that's impossible.
    • "Over the Edge" has Batgirl getting hit by Scarecrow's fear gas and hallucinating a scenario where she dies, and Gordon goes to war against Batman. The dream ends when Bane, who had just been electrocuted to near-death, uses his last breath to toss the Bat-signal at Batman and Gordon, knocking them both off the top of Police Headquarters.
  • The Beatles: The finale, "I'm Only Sleeping," has John falling asleep while telling a story to two children and dreams he's helping a knight battle a dragon. George, Paul and Ringo suddenly appear to assist.
  • Happens in an episode of CatDog (titled "Shriek Loves Dog"), where Cat plans to make Dog and Shriek fall for each other, hoping that the Greaser Dogs will thereby leave him alone. The rest of the episode is Cat's dream of what the consequences are: Dog marries Shriek, which causes the Greaser Dogs to move into their house and generally making Cat's life a living hell.
  • The ChalkZone episode "The White Board", where Rudy dreams that he has a fever during the summer and falls into his white board while inside ChalkZone, eventually entering White Board Zone. Later, he and his friends enter Pencil Zone.
  • One episode of the 1950s sci-fi cartoon Colonel Bleep saw Squeak disregard his space pilot training, driving his spaceship recklessly, getting arrested, and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The end reveals it was only a nightmare Squeak was having. A huge twist...for anyone who missed the intro, seeing as how the title was "Nightmare".
  • Danger Mouse: In the episode "Danger Mouse Saves The World...Again," things kept getting worse until DM was stuck in a room full of bombs and explosives — then his alarm woke him up.
  • Most of the Daria episode "Murder, She Snored". In this case, it's not a spoiler, since Daria is seen falling asleep before the parody segments begin.
  • Darkwing Duck: Referenced in "In Like Blunt". Darkwing tells Blunt he's been in worse positions while the two of them are shackled into Sharp's death trap. However, he then adds he usually wakes up before he figures out how to escape.
  • In "First Responders to the Rescue" from Doc McStuffins, when the boy Dev is accidentally transported to the Toy Hospital, Stuffy tries to convince him that it's this. Despite Stuffy sounding less than convincing, Dev buys it until Stuffy ruins by saying it won't hurt if he pinches himself, then does so and shouts in pain, then accidentally steps on Dev's foot, causing him to feel pain too and decide that what's happening must therefore be real.
  • Donald Duck: The end of Wartime Cartoon "Der Fuehrer's Face" has Donald wake up in a bedroom filled with American flags, thankful that he doesn't actually live in Nazi Germany.
  • In the Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop episode "Word of Horror", Dr. Zitbag finds himself on trial for being too nice and faces the punishment of being sent to Fairyland if he is found guilty. After Officer Deadbeat is revealed to have rigged the trial and has Zitbag carried off to Fairyland anyway, it turns out that all of this was just a nightmare Zitbag was having.
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • "Take This Ed and Shove It", the finale of the fourth season (and originally of the series) ended with the elderly Eddy discovering that the whole show has been apparently a series of dreams about his childhood. The canonical implications of this are dubious at best, as the show has been renewed for two more seasons; though it explains things such as Flanderization, the cast never leaving the cul-de-sac, how we never see any characters but the main cast even at school, and just the general vagueness of setting throughout the show.
    • In a season three episode, Ed has a nightmare about Jonny. But then the episode ends with Jonny waking up in horror. So Ed had a dream that he was scared of Jonny, but then it's really Jonny having a dream that Ed had a dream that...he's scared of Jonny...uhm.
  • Eek! The Cat:
    • The series has an episode called "Rocketship to Jupiter", in which Eek gets a large box dropped onto him by Sharky, and ends up in the Squishy Bears World, where the Squishy Bears leave their rocketship and house. He saves the Squishy Bears, but is met by the Giant Who Thinks Bears Might Taste Good, so he tricks the Giant when it's raining (by Professor Wiggly). After that, Eek and the Squishy Bears try to fly to Jupiter on their rocketship, but the lever was mistakenly switched to the sun by one of the bears, so they fly to the sun instead, where Eek is about to burn. But then, Eek was suddenly waken up by JB, who serves him a bowl of cat food. He realizes it was all a dream.
    • In "Eek Goes to the Hot Spot", while being chased by Sharky, Eek is run over by an oncoming truck and gets killed, and thus he mistakenly gets sent to hell (instead of heaven). There, Eek confronts its ruler, Fido, for a long time, who forces him to clean out an infinitely large litterbox for three seconds. Then Eek finishes this task, and happily goes to heaven (with two angels flying down and carrying him away), waving goodbye to Fido. But just then, Eek wakes up from all this lying in the backyard, and gets chased by Sharky once again.
  • Every single episode of the French animated short Ernest Le Vampire ends with the title vampire waking up from a Catapult Nightmare.
  • Family Guy:
    • The absurd (even for them) Y2K episode, "Da Boom", ends in live-action with Pam Ewing of Dallas waking to Bobby in the shower and relating the episode (in the same method the show retconned a season). Bobby has no idea what Family Guy is. (This sequence features the real life Victoria Principal and Patrick Duffy.)
    • A variation occurred in "Lois Kills Stewie". When Peter kills Stewie before he can act on his chance to kill Lois, the ending reveals that it was all just a computer simulation designed by Stewie of what would happen had he successfully conquered the world. Brian says it was pretty much a dream, and Stewie objects that it was a "simulation". Brian tells him that if theoretically someone watched the events only to realize that none of it really happened, it would piss people off. Stewie says that hopefully they would have just enjoyed the ride. Then it ends off Sopranos-style just to shove salt in the hypothetical wound.
  • Felix the Cat:
  • The Fish Hooks episode "Pool Party Panic" turns out to be one, and becomes a plot point in the second and third acts of the episode.
  • A few episodes of The Flintstones had some dream sequences that we all knew were dreams from the start. However, in "No Biz Like Show Biz" (the one where Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm sing "Open Up Your Heart (and Let the Sun Shine In)"), even though we see Fred starting to drift off, there is no ripple effect to indicate the start of the dream, so it is not until the very end when Fred wakes up that it is revealed that Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm still don't have the ability to speak.
  • Futurama:
    • "The Sting": Fry dives in front of a space bee about to sting Leela, gets impaled and injected with venom, and dies. Leela who comes out of the incident with only a "boo-boo", tops, begins feeling horribly guilty for the loss of Fry, and slowly descends into insanity, going through one Dream Within a Dream after another, one of which includes a musical number in which the other characters serenade her with the song "Don't Worry, Be(e) Happy." stopping with Leela trying to steal Fry's corpse and hide it under her bed to remind herself he's dead. At the climax, the walls are screaming "YOU KILLED FRY" at her and bees are materializing out of a broken jar of honey. It turns out it was all a coma-induced dream; Fry had come out of the incident relatively unscathed, save for the gaping hole in his chest, which was easily repaired by future-medicine, while Leela got all the venom from the bee and nearly died.
      Bender: You were in the best coma I've ever seen!
    • In "Obsoletely Fabulous" Bender is forced to get an upgrade to make him more compatible with Planet Express' advanced new robot. He breaks free and ends up on a deserted island populated by outdated robots, then returns to wage war on technology. The whole storyline was actually an artificially induced Aesop caused by the upgrade, resulting in the following exchange:
      Bender: But I destroyed the technology of the world! I ran on the beach and felt the sand between my foot-cups!
      Technician: (shrugging) Everyone experiences the upgrade a little differently.
      Bender: Oof. If that stuff wasn't real, how can I be sure anything is real? Is is not possible, nay, probable, that my entire life is just a figment of my or someone else's imagination?
      Technician: No. Get out.
      ** Then just to mess with the viewer even more, he ends off skipping merrily away in a Sugar Bowl at the end.
    • In "Anthology of Interest I" it is revealed at the end that the entire episode, consisting of three scenarios generated by the professor's What-If machine, was, in fact, a scenario generated by the professor's What-If machine for what life would be like if he invented the "Finglonger" (basically a glove with a really long index finger). Strangely enough, the What-If machine seems to know things that no one else does, like the fact Fry not coming to the future would cause a universe-destroying paradox, because he is his own grandpa. And "Anthology of Interest II" featured a segment that really was a dream, instead of a What-If, as the writers didn't wish to reveal Leela's true heritage at that point of the series. Also, the Professor eventually invents the Finglonger in real life. This all seems to imply that the What-Ifs are 'canonical hypotheticals' that would have actually happened that way if the setup was true, making them more For Want of a Nail than All Just a Dream.
  • The Galaxy High episode "It Came from Earth" has Doyle get knocked unconscious during the school's Zuggleball game and wake up finding that he's been comatose for 15 years and has become a giant. Eventually, it turns out that none of this happened and it was only a dream he had while passed out for 15 seconds.
  • The episode "The Binky Show" of Garfield and Friends is this. It ends with Binky actually showing up. The announcer tells that Binky was going to do a number of things, including embarrassing Jon by singing to him in a restaurant.
  • The Gargoyles episode "Future Tense" takes place in a Bad Future, which is revealed in the final moments of the episode to have been a dream created by Puck, in order to mess with Goliath's head and trick him into giving Puck the Phoenix Gate artifact. Though Puck does try to pull the Or Was It a Dream? card, claiming (unconvincingly) that maybe it was a prophecy.
  • Parodied by G.I. Joe: Renegades: The Stinger of the final episode cuts to the original 1980s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero cartoon and reveals that Renegades was just 80s!Duke's dream.
  • The Hollow: Discussed The Weird Guy outright mocks the concept after Adam and Kai decide to share their theories about their predicament with him.
  • The I Am Weasel episode "I.R. Wild Baboon" turns out be a dream by Cow.
  • In the Invader Zim episode "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom", Dib receives supernatural powers from the alien race of the Meekrob, to help him stop Zim and the Irken invasion. The episode portrays Dib's following life being a celebrated Hero and the most successful paranormal investigator in the world, until old age, where in a TV interview he confesses having tossed a muffin at Zim in the school cantine once, upon which the moderator pulls of a mask revealing Zim's face laughing at him. Dib wakes up in Zim's laboratory realizing all of this was just a dream, programmed and simulated by Zim.
  • The Movie-Theater Episode of Jean-Luc & Dondoozat.
  • The Jimmy Two-Shoes episode "Panda-Monium".
  • In the Julius Jr. episode Box Fort of Oz, although the audience get to see Julius doze off and thus is fully aware of the situation.
  • The Kaeloo episode "Let's Play Astronauts" turns out to be a dream of Stumpy's, which he is narrating to Kaeloo.
  • Kim Possible:
    • The episode "Rewriting History" repeatedly lampshaded the increasingly unlikely coincidence that all the cast's grandparents were involved in a plot at the start of the century, with a last minute solution that "seemed like something from a dream" - because that's what it all was. Which is sad, because Generation Xerox plot seemed pretty cool. Though, oddly, the episode did end with an even more absurd Generation Xerox being canon. Though Word of God is that Kim and Ron's ancestors from the dream actually existed.
    • The Post-Script Season began with a scene of Kim and Ron at the prom from the "finale" movie. The scene takes a horrific turn as Kim's face distorts into a Jokeresque grin before she dissolves into a puddle of goo (like one of Drakken's synthodrones from the movie). Then Ron wakes up screaming.
  • In the Little Lulu cartoon "Musica-Lulu", Lulu sneaks out to play baseball instead of practicing her violin, and when knocked out by a foul ball, she wakes up in a land of musical instruments, who arrest, try and imprison her for her misdeed. When she breaks out of the jail, she is chased and terrorized by the musical instruments. It turns out to be a dream.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Subverted in Water, Water Every Hare. At the end of the cartoon, Bugs Bunny wakes up in his bed and thinks the events of the cartoon were all just a dream. Then Gossamer, who Bugs had made small earlier, comes in on a boat his size and says, "Oh yeah? That's what you think!"
    • Played straight in the early Merrie Melody Smile, Darn Ya, Smile.
    • In A Waggily Tale, a boy who mistreats his dog is sent to his room by his mother, and he falls asleep dreaming he's a dog; in the end he learns what a dog's life can be like, and learns to be nice to him. In a final twist, the boy's dog remarks, "In truth, I'm just another little boy having a dream."
    • Scrap Happy Daffy (1943) is a cartoon-short-length dream Daffy has that he's defending his scrap drive pile against Nazis and proceeds to throttle them with superhuman powers. Or was it a dream?
      Nazis: (in their sub, on top of Daffy's scrap pile) Hey! Next time you dream, leave us out of it!
  • Subverted in The Looney Tunes Show, "Parade Float". A series of events involving Daffy using all of Porky's money to buy a yacht ends with him falling off and about to drown. He wakes up and remarks "It was all a dream. That's why I was such a horrible person." Bugs then reminds him that "It wasn't a dream. You really are a horrible person." In fact, Daffy was in a hospital bed, recovering from his near-drowning.
  • The Mr. Men Show has Mr. Nervous, who goes on wacky (and scary for him) adventures that turn out to be just his imagination.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The episode "Bloom and Gloom" has this trope as its main plot. It centres on Apple Bloom waking up from many different nightmares of her earning a cutie mark that doesn't suit her and causes her to either have a terrible job, have her friends kick her out of the Cutie Mark Crusaders or have her family make her move out because her cutie mark isn't apple related.
    • Since Princess Luna has domain over dreams and nightmares, it's not uncommon for a pony to have a nightmare, only for it to be interrupted by Princess Luna, who helps them work through it. In "For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils", Sweetie Belle keeps having nightmares about sabotaging her sister's dress. Near the end of the episode, things are getting even crazier than usual, and then she spots Luna and immediately relaxes, since that means it's just another dream. Luna tells her it's not a dream, but she came in person with something that should help.
  • In an episode of The New Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show, Peabody and Sherman go back in time to watch Charles Dickens write "A Christmas Carol", only to find him being haunted by three ghosts that are fans of his work. After calming the spirits down by promising to write them into his next book, Dickens wakes up from his dream with inspiration and no time for visitors, leaving the real Mr. Peabody and Sherman confused and disappointed as they didn't get to do anything.
  • Over the Garden Wall: The entire series turns out to be a hallucination of Wirt as he was drowning. Maybe.
  • In the "Leave it to Munchy" story of PB&J Otter, Munchy Beaver prevents all of Lake Hoohaw from being flooded, but it turns out to be just a dream. This becomes very obvious when the characters are shown freely swimming about, talking to each other and doing the iconic "Noodle Dance" underwater without any special gear.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • The episode "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted" revolves around Candace actually managing to bust Phineas and Ferb, resulting in them being sent to an extremely strict reform school where they are brainwashed. She soon realizes how much she misses them and, along with Jeremy, ventures to break them out. But as they escape, and seemingly run into a dead end, things get increasingly weird until it's revealed that it was a dream Candace was having. She discusses it with the family the next morning, which results in them playfully guessing that Perry is a secret agent, causing government agents to bust in and take them away while Perry is told he'll have to be relocated... and this turns out to be just a bad dream that Perry is having. The actual moment she realises what's going (the first time), is hilarious.
      Candace: Oh, I get it. This is all a dream!
      Jeremy: That would explain the talking zebra.
      Candace: Oh, no, I see him all the time. But this [Jeremy proposing to her], this has to be a dream!
    • Just like the film it's parodying, "Wizard of Odd" is a dream.
    • Subverted in the Christmas Episode: Phineas sits up in bed and exclaims, "It was all a bad dream! Christmas isn't cancelled after all!" — only for the camera to pan out to Isabella, who says that no matter how many times he tries that, it's not going to change anything.
  • This happens a couple of times on Pinky and the Brain: first in a surreal episode where Brain creates numerous black-and-white duplicates of himself to form a Celtic dance troupe, and later in "You'll Never Eat Food Pellets in This Town Again," which portrays the two mice as actors playing in their own show, which then slides downhill due to Executive Meddling. The latter, though, ends in an Or Was It? moment.
  • A Brodax-era Popeye cartoon had Popeye and Olive attending an educational seminar for adults. When Popeye fails a simple math test, he is made to sit on a stool with a dunce cap on and recite the formula he botched. During this, he dreams he aces the most difficult formula in the world and is heralded worldwide as a genius. He is then abducted (along with Olive) by foreign spies after his knowledge. Popeye and Olive are about to meet their doom before Popeye can eat his spinach when they wake up from what turns out to be the same dream.
    Popeye, Olive: Ain't it a small dream world?
  • Several of the Private Snafu cartoons end with Snafu about to face the consequences of his actions (usually his imminent demise) only to wake up. He is then shown mending his ways.
  • Punky Brewster: "Return To Chaundoon" has the rainbow gateway to Glomer's home world appear, so he takes Punky with him to visit. After defeating an enemy in the episode, Glomer and Punky and her pals are celebrated for their heroics only for Punky and Glomer to wake up from what turned out to be a dream. Or Was It? (Punky's dog Brandon is seen with a bone that was given to him in Chaundoon.)
  • ReBoot episode "Number 7". A Mind Screw episode which directly parodies The Prisoner, including a version of that shows opening sequence. Given what happens during the Mind Screw, this trope is a welcome sight.
  • An episode of Rocko's Modern Life deals with Heffer choking to death on a chicken ribcage and ends up going to Heck to be punished for the deadly sin of Gluttony; the entire episode turns out to be a dream (within a dream within a dream, no less).
  • The MGM short The Rookie Bear has Barney Bear getting ready for a long winter nap when there's a knock on a door. He gets a telegram stating a free vacation from the U.S. Government, in other words, he's been drafted. After several ordeals and now marching, his feet are begining to heat up and his corns starts popping like... popcorn. The scene changes back to Barney back in bed. He's awaken to his fireplace popping, realizes in relief that is was just a dream, and hears a knock on the door. He gets a telegram stating that he's been drafted. The last sentence reads "And this time, buddy, it ain't no dream!"
  • Rugrats:
    • The episode "Pickles vs. Pickles" was about Drew dreaming about Angelica suing him for making her eat broccoli.
    • The episode "In the Dreamtime" begins with Chuckie waking up from a dream, ending like this. His father explains that there is nothing to fear as nothing can hurt you in a dream. In the next scene Chuckie explains his dream to the babies only for that to be revealed to be a dream. When he next talks to them, he decides that he is still in a dream. Yet when he gets hurt, he realizes it isn't a dream. Chaz then puts his son to bed leading to the final scene of the episode.
  • In the episode "On the Run" of Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat. At least, that's what it seems. The fact that a character exclusive to the supposed dream sequence appears at the end leaves it in the air, however.
  • In Scooby-Doo:
  • Sheep in the Big City used this in the season one finale "To Sheep, Perchance to Dream", where several bizarre events (such as Sheep and Swanky getting married and General Specific suddenly transforming into a sheep) are explained away as being dreams the characters are having. The narrator isn't pleased at all, but then dreams that Sheep is actually evil and intends to use the narrator for his narrator-powered ray gun. At least, the narrator assumed he was just dreaming like the others.
  • Naturally, The Simpsons has parodied this numerous times.
    • In the season six episode "Lisa's Rival", Lisa is competing so hard against a new student, Allison, for the first chair saxophone position that she faints in the middle of it. After "regaining consciousness", she's told that Allison got the chair and Lisa screams. The screen then blacks out and she really wakes up... only to be told the exact same thing with the added disclaimer, "And believe me, this is not a dream!"
    • In "Who Shot Mr. Burns", Smithers wakes up in his apartment to find Mr. Burns in the shower, perfectly fine, and concludes with relief that it was all a dream. Burns then informs Smithers that they are the stars of a 60s detective show called Speedway Squad, at which point Smithers wakes up again and realises, "Wait, that was all a dream!" — Mr. Burns really has been shot. Smithers then remarks, "Hey, then maybe I haven't become a hideous drunken wreck, and —" only to realise that he's in the exact same state he started the episode in, and his mouth still tastes like an ashtray.
    • Even the specific tendency of soap operas to rely on this trope is parodied. In "Pygmoelian", Moe lands a role on a soap called It Never Ends, only to stumble upon a future script in which his character is killed off. Angered, he has Homer disrupt the show to give away spoilers for future plotlines, upsetting the producer.
      Producer: (holds up script) You idiot! Pink pages always mean a dream!
      Moe: I thought dreams was on goldenrod.
      Producer: No, goldenrod is for coma fantasies!
    • Happens in "Treehouse of Horror" episodes which are already Bizarro Episodes. In "Treehouse of Horror II", Homer has a nightmare that ends with Mr. Burns' body being crushed by a robot. He awakes to find his boss' head stitched to his shoulder. In "Treehouse of Horror V", Bart finds the events of "Nightmare Cafeteria" were just a dream. Marge assures him he has nothing to fear except the fog that turns people inside out. In "Treehouse of Horror XVI", "Bartificial Intelligence" is a dream of Homer's while possessed by the devil. He's just happy that gets him out of work.
    • "The Squirt and the Whale" has a rather heart-breaking example. After several futile efforts to rescue Bluella, the beached whale, Lisa decides to keep her company for the night. She wakes up to find the army has formed a plan to rescue Bluella. They loop heavy duty straps under her and carry her out to sea. Bluella happily swims away, then leaps into the sky. Lisa then wakes up for real...and discovers Bluella has died.
    • In "Husbands and Knives", after Homer felt dissatisfied by the results of his stomach stapling in his attempt to become more attractive to Marge (who has become successful in her new business), he underwent extensive surgery to become muscular, only to learn that the new muscles are made out of rolled up socks. He is then branded a monster by the town, and Marge decides to get a trophy husband anyway, driving Homer into suicidal despair. Then it was revealed that not only was the whole experience a dream, but Marge had stopped Homer from getting surgeries and had his stapling undone instead.
  • In The Smurfs, Lazy, Brainy, and Greedy enter a paradise world behind a waterfall in the episode "Paradise Smurfed", where its master eventually tries to imprison them for his own purposes. Brainy and Greedy escape, but Lazy doesn't. Fortunately, Lazy finds out that it was all just a dream.
  • The Sonic Boom episode "Chili Dog Day Afternoon" has Knuckles attempting to hunt down a pepper potent enough to help him win a Chili Dog Cook-Off. This leads him to the legendary Lost Pepper of Claggerhorn, which he finds is a sentient pepper leading a group of other sentient peppers that have been waiting for a complete idiot to help them take back their homeland, which happens to be the village the main characters regularly visit. Eventually, their attack leads to the Lost Pepper getting knocked into a chili pot and, finding the sauce within relaxing, allowing the villagers to use his and the other Pepper People's juices to flavor their chili. Knuckles, having the Lost Pepper's juices in his sauce, is immediately judged the winner by Sonic... and is then woken up by his friends, who'd been searching for him. Earlier in the episode, before he found out about the Lost Pepper, the echidna had found a different pepper in the forest, but was unable to withstand its spiciness and passed out; it turns out everything afterward was a pepper-induced dream and Knuckles had been unconscious for an entire day, missing the real cook-off entirely.
  • South Park:
    • First appeared in "City on the Edge of Forever", which twisted the conventional Clip Show by having each clip end with a completely different situation from its original episode, ending every time with a reference to ice cream among other things. This was all framed with the kids telling stories while the bus lies on the edge of a cliff. At separate points, they flash back on a Fonzie stunt they witnessed (which never happened on the show) and an earlier moment in the framing device itself. When the bus finally falls into the chasm, it inexplicably lands on a giant tub of ice cream. All of this, including an unrelated subplot surrounding Ms. Crabtree, were all part of a dream by Eric Cartman which ended with him eating beetles and ice cream once again being brought up, thus revealing that the entire episode was a dream within a dream conjured by Stan. ("Dude. That's a pretty fucked up dream." "Yeah, I must be having some real emotional problems.") After that was established, however, the episode returns one last time to Ms. Crabtree's subplot, where her love interest Marcus — or was it Mitch? — tells her that he can't stay, as everything on her side of the story was just a kid's dream. Her response? "I know, but let me just pretend as long as I can." (Aha! So Miss Crabtree was imagining that Stan was imagining that Cartman was imagining that the bus was teetering on the edge of a cliff! Clear as mud.)
    • Subverted at the end of the "Imaginationland" series of episodes. Butters wakes up and starts telling his parents about the dream he had that he saved Imaginationland. His parents tell him that it really happened and they read all about it in the morning paper. And then they ground him for saving Imaginationland instead of helping his mother clean the garage.
    • Also subverted earlier on, in the first chapter. Kyle wakes up and assumes that the Muslim terrorist attack on Imaginationland and Butters being left there was all a crazy dream, but when he calls up Stan, he finds out that he had the exact same dream. Then Butters's parents come into Stan's house worrying about Butters. Finally, the Pentagon reports that our imagination was taken over by terrorists, complete with a videotape showing proof. And Cartman still wants his balls sucked by Kyle.
    • Also subverted in the season 3 episode "Spontaneous Combustion". Cartman was tied to a cross for a crucifixion re-enactment, but his friends forgot about him and left him up there. A couple of days later, Chef finds him and takes him off the cross. The following conversation is from the car ride home.
      Chef: Eric, I have to tell you something and it's really gonna bum you out.
      Cartman: What?
      Chef: It'll really piss you off.
      Cartman: What, tell me!
      Chef: This is just a dream, you're still up on that cross.
      Cartman: (he wakes up, still on the cross) Oh, dammit!
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • At the end of one episode where Mrs. Puff goes to jail, it's revealed that it was all a dream, and Spongebob is going to jail. Except that was all a dream, and she's in the boat with a random person from prison. After that, she just gives up, and the episode ends.
    • "Procrastination" reveals all the diversions SpongeBob experienced were just a weird dream he had.
    • The episode "The Main Drain" ends like this, revealing it all to be a story SpongeBob read to Patrick.
    • "The Night Patty" ends on one, revealing all the monsters SpongeBob met at the Krusty Krab were just hallucinations he had.
    • "Cuddle E. Hugs" has a particularly weird example. The episode was a dream had by an ordinary hamster whose owner is a child who's a big Spongebob Squarepants fan.
  • Squidbillies plays with this trope in the first episode. It first portrays Rusty spending his childhood being raised and repeatedly mauled by wolves, and then blowing them up along with him when he just had enough. That was revealed to be all just a dream, and then shows him as a party-hardy drinker who goes to rock concerts. That is also just a dream, and then shows him still living with Early's sister Lil (which was before all the dreams), who calls him out on his lack of manhood. That, too, was just a dream. Rusty raping some small creature... that really happened.
  • The final episode of The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, entitled "This is the End", had Sylvester the Cat appear to finally eat Tweety Bird as he's desired to do throughout the run of the entire series, at the cost of putting the show on hiatus when he goes to jail for Tweety's death and eventually getting the series cancelled when Tweety's replacement proves to be unpopular. The very end of the episode reveals that Sylvester only dreamed that he ate Tweety, and the cat's first action upon seeing that Tweety is still alive is to hug him and tell him that he loves him.
  • The 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Shredderville" had the Turtles supposedly taken to an alternate world where they never existed and thus Shredder conquered the world, only for it to have been a dream that all four of them had at the same time.
  • The events of the 2003 TMNT episode "Bad Day" are simply a form of Mind Rape conjured by the Foot Mystics.
  • Tom and Jerry has one too. In "Heavenly Puss," Tom wangs his head and kills himself where he ends up in train station in Heaven. The boarder however won't let him through due to his chasing Jerry all the time but give Tom a change to redeem himself by getting Jerry to sign a forgiveness certificate, otherwise Tom will end up in Hell tormented by a devil looking Spike. Tom is then sent back and tries everything he can to get Jerry to sign the thing. In the end though he doesn't make the deadline and it looks like he's doomed...till he wakes up and more than glad to find it was a dream. Even kissing his worst enemy to show his gratefulness.
  • In the Transformers Beast Wars episode "Feral Scream Part 2", Cheetor (who had taken heavy damage in the last episode) has a nightmare where the Maximals force him into the CR chamber and it messes with his recent transformations between Transmetal and Transmetal 2 forms. He awakens, only to see another transformation begin.
  • The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat episode "Gross Ghost" ends with the revelation that Felix and Roscoe only dreamed the events of the episode.
  • The Venture Bros.:
    • Subverted when Billy Quizboy wakes from having a dream, he's all ready to launch into an And You Were There scene when he suddenly realizes the events from the dream were true, screaming you bastards! while assaulting his so-called "friends."
    • Hank Venture also tries to believe that a mystery involving his missing father and bodyguard and an impending nuclear holocaust is all "just a dream". It's not.
  • The better part of episode 20 in Wakfu, which thoroughly confused the non-French-speaking people watching it without subtitles, though it could only have been one other trope if not this one.
  • The Van Beuren Studios short "Wonders of the Deep" ends this way, where the cat finds out the octopus he's fighting is Farmer Al Falfa, though the cat still has the bag of money from the dream. He trades it with Al in exchange for food and runs off, only for Al to find out it's full of hundreds of mice instead!
  • Deconstructed in the Young Justice episode "Failsafe". The whole episode turned out to be an Unwinnable Training Simulation the characters were undergoing while in a psychic trance. However, partway through the exercise, M'gann's Psychic Powers turned off the safety features, essentially brainwashing herself and everyone else to forget that it was fake. Martian Manhunter was eventually able to perform an Orphean Rescue before everybody slipped into permanent comas, but the whole next episode deals with them facing the trauma from the experience, and it ties into several character arcs that last throughout the series.


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