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Awkwardly Gay Dream
aka: Homoerotic Dream

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"Nyeh! Nyeh! Oh, Kaiba, your dragon is so big. I'm a dog! Woof! Woof!"
Joey Wheeler (talking in his sleep), Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series

Everyone knows Real Dreams are Weirder. For every prophetic dream there is, there's at least twenty that are complete nonsense, concocted by the inscrutable forces of your mind. Giant kittens can overrun cities, purple carrots can fly through space, and you can temporarily depart from your heterosexuality.

The Erotic Dream is a strange thing, and one of its many byproducts is causing straight characters to dream up relationships with members of their own gender. Homoerotic dreams, like most, are (probably) completely meaningless in reality. That won't stop the character who experienced the dream from feeling unnerved by their bizarre fantasies, causing them to have a brief crisis over their sexuality. It may prove even more awkward for the unassuming character who appeared in the dream, in the scenario that they find out.

This trope is more often than not Played for Laughs, riffing on the discomfort surrounding one's own assumed sexuality. However, such a dream could also unveil a character's subconscious feelings, displaying the desires that they unknowingly feel. This can serve to undermine their heterosexuality and pave the way to a LGBT Awakening.

Compare Stupid Sexy Flanders, another cause of temporary confusion and embarrassment for heterosexual characters.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Adachi and Shimamura, Adachi, who believed she was straight, had such a dream about Shimamura, causing her to realize she's attracted to the other girl.
  • Daisuke of D.N.Angel once had a dream that featured him hugging his crush Risa but she suddenly turned into Satoshi.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • Iceland had a dream where he was flying through the air with Turkey while the latter was only wearing his mask, a Santa hat, and boxer shorts.
    • France seems to get one over at America and England's house, about China. ("China, you're so cute…) For further effect, he even has steam coming out of his head and a Longing Look on his face. All of this happens while China is in the same room.
  • Played with in the Lucky Star OVA: Kagami has a dream that isn't erotic at all, but Dream-Konata tells her that the only way she can undo a spell is to say a specific phrase, which Kagami ends up saying out loud as she wakes up. It's unknown specifically what she said (she said "I want to *BLEEP* with Konata") but her sister's awkward reaction to hearing it along Kagami's embarrassment implies something less innocent than "I want to cosplay with Konata".
  • In Chapter 15 of Off*beat, Tory has an Imagine Spot where he and Colin face off against Dr. Garrets in a Star Wars-esque world. After defeating Dr. Garrets, Tory pats Colin on the shoulder— and accidentally strips him down to his underwear. They draw closer, as if to kiss... and cut to the next morning, where Tory's mother tucks him in before leaving.
    Tory: [ducking underneath the covers while blushing] Ah, shit!
  • Ranma ½: Ranma is a Sex Shifter who has no interest in men, but several of them are Abhorrent Admirers for his female form. This has given Ranma several Anxiety Dreams where guys still harass him—sometimes while Ranma's still in male form. The most explicit format is the anime take on his first Catapult Nightmare, which has (male) Ranma, who had just received a declaration of love from Tatewaki Kuno in the last episode, entering a room to find Tatewaki seated there, only to turn around and repeat his declaration of love. The floor promptly gave out and dumped a naked (and still male) Ranma in the bath… where he finds himself confronted by an equally nude Tatewaki, who stares at him with a love-sick expression and repeats his desire to date Ranma.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's Special, titled "Viral's Sweet Dream", Viral continually has nightmares of Kamina in drag, the first time with Kamina being a bar pianist (wearing a wig and dress and everything) that Viral tries to hit on, and the second time with Viral talking to his child, only for it to be revealed that he's the "papa" and Kamina is the "mama".
  • In YuYu Hakusho, in order to get back to life in the first few episodes, Yusuke has to contact people he knows with spiritual awareness through dreams. One of the people is Kuwabara, who has a dream of Yusuke kissing him (since that's how Yusuke's body is supposed to come back)... and is immediately weirded out by it.

  • Cable & Deadpool:
    • A recurring joke. When Black Mamba was using her ability to make people hallucinate their greatest fantasies in order to pacify Deadpool, he dreamed about applying suntan lotion to Cable (and oiling his Techno-Organic arm) on a sunny beach. Deadpool's reaction was not what she expected.
    • It happened again later in the issue with Deadpool, Cable, Deadpool's friend Weasel, and Marvel's other bromantic couple Power Man & Iron Fist — when they came to, they were tangled and on top of each other in a homoerotic manner.

    Fan Works 
  • Tom Riddle finds himself having one and waking up to discover it was a wet dream about his adoptive father Harry in the fanfic 47 Days To Change by snow-owl.
  • In the Mob Psycho 100 fanfic Aubade Ritsu begins to realize that he has feelings for Sho when he has one.
  • In the ER story Hallucinations Jing Mei Chen visits a therapist to find out why she keeps having this about her coworker Cleo Finch, having had no interest in women before.
  • In You Built This House, Apple has one about skinny-dipping in a pool with Raven. She freaks out and tries to ignore it, but she has another similar dream the following week.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Disclosure, Tom Sanders (Michael Douglas) gets sexually harassed by his boss, Meredith Johnson (Demi Moore). Later, he has a dream in which he's in an elevator with the CEO of the company (played by Donald Sutherland) and the CEO leans in for a kiss, causing Sanders to wake up in terror. It doesn't really imply that Sanders is gay, more that being sexually harassed really screws with your head.

  • In Blackbird (1986), closeted gay man Randy has several dreams about his two male love interests.
  • Played with in the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Half Life. Fitz dreams he and the Doctor are naked and back to back, and the Doctor reassures him it doesn't necessarily mean anything about his sexuality. However, any hint of eroticism is quickly lost when they start melding together. It turns out to be a sort of manifestation of the "Freaky Friday" Flip thing they're about to go through. It's nonetheless the subject of much amusement and Squee in fandom.
  • In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh has dreams of "caressing like a wife" an axe and a meteor which according to Ninsun both represent Enkidu. Also "axe" and "meteor" both sound a lot like words for male prostitutes in Akkadian... this makes this trope older than dirt which is unsurprising since people have always had dreams.
  • After meeting Sarah in Patience and Sarah, Patience has a dream where her sister-in-law Martha is topless. In the dream, Patience places her mouth on Martha's bosom, which Martha encourages. It's implied that Patience has unknowingly been harboring feelings for Martha for several years.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Drop the Dead Donkey. Gus Hedges starts having erotic dreams about office hottie Joy, so asks Handsome Lech Dave for help, promising to be "financially grateful". Realizing his boss is a stuck-up virgin Dave sets him up with a professional 'sex counselor' (actually a prostitute) and the problem is resolved. Dave turns up for his promised payrise the next day, only Gus has fallen asleep and has another erotic dream… about Dave, who he immediately throws out of his office the moment he wakes up.
  • Frasier: Frasier dreams about Gil Chesterton but eventually realizes his subconscious is providing a mystery for his lately-underused psychoanalytical skills. Parodied immediately afterwards, when he then has the same dream but featuring Sigmund Freud.
  • Played with on Friends, where Rachel dreams that she had sex with both Chandler and Joey, and sometimes she was just watching them. At first, they are interested but then they get squicked out.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Ted lies to Barney and Marshall about having a homoerotic dream about his "best friend". Since one of them is Ted's best friend is a point of contention between the two, they end up arguing about which one of them Ted would prefer to have sex with.
      Marshall: ...why do we keep trying to have sex with Ted?
      Barney: I don't know, it's weird.
    • Lily has a dream about Robin that reminds her that "a woman's sexuality is a moving target".
  • On Happy Endings two of the women characters have erotic dreams about Dave. Then Brad has one, leading to a Catapult Nightmare.
  • The fourth season of Nip/Tuck: Christian is having explicitly homosexual dreams about Sean, and later goes to therapy, where his therapist believes that the dreams are expressing his repressed sexual feelings for Sean. Sean, meanwhile, doesn't think anything of the dreams, is not freaked out (which is good, considering this is Sean we're talking about), and stays friends with Christian.
  • Red Dwarf: Lister, finally beginning to miss Rimmer, dreams that he returns and they start making out. Naturally we're not let on to the fact that it is a dream until Lister falls out of bed screaming. Scene.
  • On Robin Hood, Guy of Gisborne has a dream about Maid Marian massaging his shoulders, who then turns into Allan-a-Dale. The actors express their bafflement on the DVD commentary, and not even the man who wrote the scene can adequately explain what's going on.
  • On Suddenly Susan, Todd has a romantic dream about his boss, Jack Richmond, which freaks him out all episode. Finally he decides it doesn't mean anything. At the end of the episode, the dream repeats... except this time it's Jack dreaming about Todd.
  • Psychic Andrew Gallagher from Supernatural mentions that he plants homosexual pornography in the mind of a former high school bully "24/7," therefore also as he slept.
  • In True Blood erotic dreams about the donor are an established side effect of using vampire blood, especially when using quantities sufficient to heal from wounds. Given the show's love of Fanservice and playing with sexuality tropes...
    • Lafayette remarks on having sexual dreams about Eric after drinking his blood. He describes them as being both "nasty" and "fantastic" and laments the fact that they're so enjoyable because he "hates that motherfucker".
    • And in the season three premiere, Sam has the same experience with Bill.
    • In season four, Jason is having an Erotic Dream about Jessica when she suddenly turns into Hoyt.

  • "Last Night" by Kristina Olsen. Last night she dreamed she was gay … and her gay friends dreamed that they were straight!

  • Avenue Q: Dramatic example with Rod's dream about Nicky confessing to him. Rod was already worried that he was gay, but this dream confirms that to him, as well as makes him realise that he has a crush on Nicky. The reveal that it was All Just a Dream is notable for being one of the saddest moments in the whole show.

  • Awkward Zombie plays with this trope in one strip. Marth has a dream in which he is putting up with Roy until Roy suddenly lunges forward and lip-locks him to the floor. It turns out, Mewtwo was controlling Marth's dream telepathically for fun.
  • In Chester 5000 XYV, the Inventor has a dream where a robotic version of his wife (this being chronologically well before the first sex robot is built) becomes a robotic version of George.
  • Amber from Khaos Komix had a dream of her and her best friend Nay as Sailor Senshi, which also led to her realization that she is a lesbian.
  • Chapter 4 of Lily Love opens with Donut having a sexual dream about her friend Mew, after previously having her accidentally fall on top of her a few days prior.
  • Ash from Misfile has an Erotic Dream that can be called lesbian by terms of the bodies involved, but it's complex.
  • In Nerf NOW!! Morgan and Angie have the same erotic dream about each other. Morgan blames Tentajo for it, yelling at him to stop making her do weird things (to be fair, her objection was over the erotic part, not the homo part) and Angie apparently has enough homoerotic dreams to make a bingo card, in which Engie-tan and the other Nerf Now girls made bingo. Anne's disgust at being the subject of many of Angie's wet dreams is forgotten when she learns Angie hadn't dreamed about Anne's sister Victoire once. And then Victoire shows off the photoshoot she did for a gun magazine...
  • Penny and Aggie:
    • Penny has a dream of being in a bisexual three-way relationship with Duane and Aggie after her best friend tells her she thinks Penny's rivalry with Aggie stems from massive amounts of UST.
    • Much later, after Penny and Aggie have become friends, she dreams of flying through clouds shaped like Aggie in the nude, while her gay friends suggest stereotypical fashions for her to wear. The dream ends with Cyndi urging her to "Taste the rainbow!" (and soaking her with a rainbow-producing hose) while a naked Aggie and Lisa look on. Upon awakening, she leafs uneasily through a Manmeat Monthly magazine.
  • Gabe of Penny Arcade has recurring dreams of being saved by Spider-Man. Gabe, uh, is a little more happy than you might expect, and a later comic gets even more intimate.
  • Christophe of Sandra on the Rocks keeps falling into what are strictly speaking erotic waking fantasies involving his (rather geeky) friend Alex. As Christophe is normally a classic (if good-natured) heterosexual Jock/Casanova, this is very confusing for him.
  • Ethan from Shortpacked!, before he comes to the realization that he is gay, has one of these involving Rob Corddry and the rest of the cast of The Daily Show.
  • The vampire Rabbit from Skins has a very explicit homoerotic bondage dream [1] about Tyr, one of the werewolf soldiers. So explicit that when Rabbit meets Tyr in the elevator the next day, he can't look him in the eye. This is made even funnier when Tyr asks if Rabbit slept well the night before and Rabbit blurts out that he didn't sleep, never mind dream and he certainly didn't dream anything about Tyr!!
  • In Tiger, Tiger, a conversation between Remy and Jamis in the interlude between Chapter 3 and 4 of Book 2 abruptly transitions from Remy talking to Remy stripping off his trousers and climbing into Jamis's lap. And then Ludo appears, naked apart from a blanket that doesn't fully cover her chest, technically making this more of a "bierotic" dream.
  • YU+ME: dream :

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Unexpectedly Homoerotic Dream, Awkwardly Homoerotic Dream, Homoerotic Dream