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Convenient Coma

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Dr. Wilson: I thought you had lunch with coma guy.
Dr. House: This is persistent vegetative state guy, much more interesting.

In Real Life, having a friend or family member fall into a coma can be merely terrifying, or it can be a long-term tragedy. On the one hand they are physically present and alive... but for all intents and purposes they are dead. Waiting for a family member to come out of a coma can be like a slow, painful torture that might never end.

Not so in fiction.

In Medical Dramas and Live-Action TV series, coming out of a coma isn't a matter of if, but when. More often than not it's an ideal way to have a character Put on a Bus without dropping a bridge on them. (Never drop a bridge you may want the casting department to cross again, eh?) If a Super Hero's Secret Identity is exposed, a Convenient Coma to the hapless discoverer solves those dangling plot threads without resorting to killing or changing the status quo. Speaking of killing, it's also a good way for moralistic heroes to do away with a bad guy without losing their no-killing reputation. Of course, the coma was the villain's own fault.

A favorite for writers is that as soon as the hero clears the table and is ready to settle down with his first love, that plucky Unlucky Childhood Friend turned Human Popsicle will wake up and be a Fish out of Water. Oblivious to all the extant romantic Character Development, she reintroduces entire layers of confusion, angst, guilt, and other soap opera staples to the once clean equation. The same is true for villains or people who found out the hero's secret ID.

If they're not long term, comas are usually treated as the step before death for someone who's ill (precisely in reversal to Real Life, where the longer you are in coma, the less chance you ever get out of it). Being told that the patient has "slipped into a coma" is generally a signal to the heroes to hurry up and find the cure. Staying beside and talking to the comatose person, often in shifts to allow each character in an ensemble to pour their hearts out, is usually a given. Expect a Mistimed Revival to result just as they leave. If they don't make it in time, the comatose friend will invariably wake up, say they heard everything, and deliver a heartwrenching Final Speech before quietly slipping off.

Sometimes, interrogating a comatose person for info will start to wake him up, or at least spike his EKG or EEG. He is then a Comatose Canary. In Speculative Fiction stories, heroes with Telepathy or telepathy-like technology may try an Orphean Rescue to wake them up. Other times, the coma is caused by an Astral Projection Gone Horribly Wrong.

The comatose person may start waking up either with the eyes or the fingers.

Many a pregnant comatose mother will give birth while in a coma, at times resulting in spectacularly tragic Death by Childbirth as the mother never sees the child.

No matter how long the coma, a fictional character who awakens from one will usually be up and about and walking normally by the next episode, perhaps getting tired more easily for a short time. In real life, muscles atrophy, tendons contract, and a patient may need years of rehab and surgery to be able to walk again, or even to sit up on their own or use a wheelchair.

Expect the comatose person to wake up with selective memory problems. May overlap with Angst Coma, in which the coma is either caused by the sufferer's personal problems, or cured by dealing with them, or both. Compare Empty Shell.

In Real Life comas are nothing like this. A comatose state can last for years, but many wear off in a day or two. And there's a whole scale during which a patient could be in that deep sleep, or they might be fully aware during the whole thing even though they can't so much as blink, or capable of making a few twitching movements but never waking. Ultimately though, they won't wake up until their brain is ready.


Comatose Childbirth

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  • Another case of 'pregnant in a coma': the Bride from Kill Bill, who got a bullet in the head by Bill himself after taking a hell of a beating from her fellow Deadly Vipers while she was pregnant. It's a wonder the kid even made it to term, really.
  • The Pedro Almodovar film Talk to Her is about two men who visit two comatose women at hospital. One of them impregnates the one he visits.

  • In De Vere Stacpoole's original The Blue Lagoon novel, Emmeline comes walking out of the forest with the baby she had a few hours earlier. She explains to Richard that she felt ill, went to sit in the forest, and then "remembered nothing more" until she woke to find the little creature lying beside her. Apparently she remembers more about the birth later.
  • This happens to the titular character Karen in Douglas Coupland's Girlfriend in a Coma. She gets pregnant a few hours before falling into a coma for seventeen years.
  • In Wicked, Elphaba gives birth to Liir while in a fugue state. Not quite a coma, but close enough.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All My Children's Kendall was in a coma when she gave birth to Spike. This led to much argument over whether to deliver him early (risking his health) or wait until he was stronger (risking the mother's health.)
    • As of this writing, she's in a coma again (not pregnant this time) to allow Alicia Minshew to go on her honeymoon.
  • In One Tree Hill, at the end of season 6, Peyton falls into a coma shortly after her wedding to Lucas. Her daughter is delivered via cesarian section.
  • Fake Amanda in Revenge (2011) suffers a physics-defying fall over the banister at Grayson manor during her baby shower. The roughly full-term baby boy is safely delivered via C-section after the less fortunate Fauxmanda is placed in a medically induced coma.
  • Meg in Veronica Mars was originally supposed to have died in the season two bus crash/explosion, but network meddling led to Meg surviving and for added trauma, pregnant with Veronica's old flame Duncan Kane's child. She ultimately woke up long enough to give birth and warn Duncan and Veronica to not let her family raise the child, before Rob Thomas could finally kill her off via her dropping dead from a sudden aneurysm.

Happy Place Comas

    Comic Books 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Earl and his fantasy of The Hickeys in My Name Is Earl.
  • In an episode of One Tree Hill, Lucas is in a coma and is visited by his Uncle Keith who shows him how sad the world would be without him, a la It's a Wonderful Life.
  • In an episode of Supernatural a Djinn did this to Dean.

    Video Games 
  • Fei in Xenogears had an inner child personality that was functionally comatose and constantly reliving his happiest memories. Of course, Fei himself was in a coma as well for a while there.

    Western Animation 
  • Justice League: In the "For the Man Who Has Everything" adaptation, Superman has an alien parasite attached to him which grants his fondest fantasy; a normal life on Krypton. Batman and Wonder Woman manage to help him, by disrupting its hold when trying to pull it off, allowing him to shake himself awake by realizing that Krypton's survival is false—only for the parasite to end up on Batman. Batman breaks himself out after watching his dad savagely beat the living daylights out of the mugger who should have killed him.

Medical Drama Comas

  • Talk to Her: Part of the plot for the film is the question of whether or not the women, Lydia and Alicia, will wake up. The expectation that either will wake up is low, as urged by the doctor who is upfront that patients with the level of damage that Lydia has will die, but as the men involved are in love with the patients, they stubbornly keep hope that they will indeed wake up. Alicia does, but Lydia doesn't.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Grey's Anatomy does the exact same thing with "Really Old Guy", who is in a coma. The interns use his room to eat lunch in peace and quiet.
  • House woke up a comatose guy just to ask him some questions.
    • As the page quote can attest, House also tends to use the comatose patients' rooms as his personal cafeteria, since that way no one bothers him.
      • Plus their rooms have cable.
    • Also as the quote attests, House woke up "Vegetative State Guy" and the method he used would only work once due to the body gaining a resistance. "Coma Guy" is somebody else and he's still in a coma.
    • Also, many episodes include the patient of the week slipping into a coma. This adds the urgency and time limit for House & company to find out what's wrong with them.
    • Alternatively the doctors sometimes deliberately put the patient into a chemically-induced coma, in one case to initiate rapid cocaine detoxing.
  • In season 1 of One Tree Hill, Lucas goes into a coma after a car crash. Dan is forced to admit he is Lucas' father to get Lucas the treatment he needs.
  • This is the central premise of Saving Hope. In the premiere Dr. Charlie Harris is in a car accident and a head injury causes him to fall into a coma. he enters a state of Near-Death Clairvoyance and gets to observe as other doctors, including his fiancee, are trying to save his life and wake him from the coma. Since all the main characters are doctors, they fully understand how bad Charlie's condition is and as months pass, they start to lose hope that he will ever wake up.
    • While in his out-of-body state Charlie meets the spirit of another coma patient who has been in a coma for decades and is now an old man. The man dies of old age without ever waking up.

    Western Animation 
  • On Futurama, the only role Bender was suited for in All My Circuits was a comatose robot. On another episode, Leela goes into a coma after a space wasp sting, although the episode actually follows Leela as she dreams Fry died trying to save her from being stung. Her dream gradually keeps getting stranger, and it seems she's going insane from guilt over Fry's death. The audience isn't shown that Leela was comatose until right before she wakes up.

Put on a Bus Comas

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Bleach, Komamura was put into a coma after his fight with Tenken in the Zanpaktou arc. Since the last time we see him (episode 235) until the end of episode 253 (near the end of the arc, it ends at episode 255) he's unconcious, he presumably stays this way until then. This may be the writer's way of keeping him out of the arc this time. When he starts slaying Gillians, it's revealed that he's still sore from that fight.
    • Made worse that in the long run, both Sajin and Tenken wind up pointless to the arc. There is no interaction between them after that fight, in the final battle, Tenken stands behind Komamura but it's like he never existed. The fans of Koma were not pleased at this.
  • D.Gray-Man 's Cross Marian seems to be in this boat. In chapter 168 of the manga -episode 1 of D.Gray-Man Hallow, he's in his room, bleeding profusely, and seemingly dead. Following chapter and episode, his body has disappeared, leaving behind his innocence and his mask, which is sporting a bullet hole. His fate is still unknown in the anime, as the series ends before the reveal. But manga-wise, his fate is revealed 53 chapters later. Finally, the question of his status is answer in recent chapter 222 getting confirmation in recent chapter 222. Cross is shown in Nea's sub-conscious speaking to Allen, who has been there since Nea awakened. After their conversation, Road mentions Allen finally going to the mansion to see Katerina, and that she wants Cross to continue sleeping until then.
  • In Naruto:
    • Kakashi and Sasuke are viciously subjected to Tsukuyomi, a very dangerous Uchiha-exclusive Genjutsu, which leaves them completely helpless and unresponsive to the world around them until Tsunade returns to Konohagakure and cures them.
    • Tsunade was put in a coma after the Pain Invasion Arc, letting Danzo take over her position, and she came out of it right after he died.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Goku is left comatose for days as he recovers from his heart virus. During the time he's unconscious, Androids 16, 17, and 18 are loose, are more powerful than all the heroes outside of Piccolo, and they are completely undetectable. Cell also comes into the picture and is slowly eating cities to become stronger and absorb the androids, and can run and hide from the other Earth's warriors since he can suppress his energy. Krillin lampshades if Goku was around he could have teleported the moment they felt Cell's energy and have Piccolo kill him. Goku also had knowledge of the Hyperbolic Time Chamber that would have made the heroes stronger instead of leaving everything to Piccolo.

    Comic Books 
  • Give Me Liberty: President Rexall has one of these, which keeps him out of the limelight for most of the series.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: At the beginning of The Great Darkness Saga, Lightning Lad has fallen into a coma caused by undue stress messing up with his electrical powers, which in turn altered his brain's nerve impulses. Nevertheless, he awakens when Saturn Girl sends a plea for help telepathically.
  • Spider-Man: Before the events of the Superior Spider Man comic series, Madame Web fell into a coma. Coincidentally, she could've perfectly discovered and revealed that Doctor Octopus had swapped bodies with the true Spider-Man if she had been around.
  • Thunderbolts: During the events of the series, Moonstone got a second of the stone that gave her power. The Avengers/Thunderbolts miniseries eventually had her Drunk with Power and going on a destructive rampage that both teams decided to fix by taking the stones from her, even if due to their attachment to her it would bring Moonstone into a coma. Took over three years before the issue she was awakened.
  • Transformers (2019): After being caught in the destruction of a Rise base, Windblade falls into one and spends the next several issues out of commission.

  • Artemis Fowl: After her defeat in The Russian Connection, Opal Koboi falls in a coma.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cordelia in Angel, comatose for half a season before coming Back for the Dead.
  • Jonathan Turner in Boy Meets World. (He never did come out of it).
    • His long absence is later lampshaded when Minkus (another character who disappeared) informs Cory and Shawn that he and Mr. Turner have merely been in/teaching classes on the other side of the school. So apparently he did come out of it, and he's alive and well in Girl Meets World.
  • Justified in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Faith wakes up from her coma a year afterward, and she had the healing abilities of a slayer.
    • Odd that she had no neurological symptoms, though. Even with special healing skills, she should at least have had serious brain damage for awhile after awakening. Indeed, someone in a coma doesn't just 'wake up', there are several intermediate stages (look up Glasgow coma scale).
  • In Earth: Final Conflict FBI Director Hubble Urich fell into a coma after being attacked by an Atavus, and remained in one for about half s season before waking up.
  • Parodied in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when Will replaces a cast member of a soap opera, and his character is put in a coma. He wakes up to find that the Jodie he was reading about in the script was a man.
  • Parodied in Friends when Joey's character on Days of Our Lives fell down an open elevator shaft and was put in a coma (although at first he just died, the coma came when the producers decided to bring him back). All this because he said he helped write the scripts in an interview.
  • General Hospital: ichael Corinthos. Said bus went through a time warp and he woke up five years older — a year later.

    Video Games 
  • Persona 3: In the PSP port/remake, you get the option to play as a girl and romance some of the resident guys, discovering Hidden Depths in some of the major male characters that couldn't be explored in the original game or the male path of the PSP version due to them not being social links. One of them, Shinjiro Aragaki, dies from a gunshot wound if you're playing as a guy (which was the only option in the original and its Updated Re-release, Persona 3 FES). However, he's a possible love interest for the female main character, and maxing out his Relationship Values opens up a short fetch quest where if you complete it, in the scene where he would normally die, he survives the gunshot. But since he dies in every other continuity, in order to keep the plot on the same path he spends the rest of the game hospitalized and in a coma. If it's a New Game Plus and you successfully romanced him and saved his life, then he can wake up just in time to come and spend the ending of the game with you, turning it into a different kind of Convenient Coma.

    Visual Novels 
  • Spirit Hunter series:
    • In Spirit Hunter: Death Mark, Masamune Kujou was in one for half a year while abroad. During this time his sister Saya was made the head of the household.
    • Spirit Hunter: NG:
      • At the end of Kubitarou's case, Akira is forced to pick whether to save Seiji or Kaoru from a collapsed burning tree. Whoever he doesn't pick will be comatose for the rest of the game, not only to justify their replacement by a new companion character, but to narrow it down to one target for Kakuya's jealousy. They only awaken at the end of the game.
      • When Natsumi comes close to rescuing Ami from Kakuya, Kakuya responds by putting them in the same coma that she put Akira's companion into at the end of the Kubitarou case. As above, they only awaken in the endgame.

    Web Comics 
  • In Weak Hero, Stephen ends up in a coma with low chances of returning to a normal way of living after he's pushed off the school rooftop by bullies. The possibility of him waking up and even making a full recovery isn't completely off the table, however.

    Western Animation 
  • Legion of Super Heroes (2006): Saturn Girl spends most of the second season in a coma after being attacked by a fellow psychic, and she wakes up offscreen.
  • Transformers: Animated: Ultra Magnus, which neatly cleared the stage for Sentinel Prime to take over. The odd with this one is that he's still in it by the end of the series.


  • "American Honda Presents DC Comics Supergirl": After having a car accident, Steve falls into a coma which stupefies the doctors because there is no brain damage, and he is physically recovering. Supergirl ponders his mumblings about "killing Ellen" and guesses Steve does not want to wake up because he believes his reckless driving got his little sister killed (he is mistaken: Ellen got hurt but otherwise she is fine). Later, she uses a telepathic machine to journey into his mind and help him beat his nightmares, whereupon Steve awakens.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Frequently used to Never Say "Die" in the Bowdlerisation of several Anime dubs intended to be syndicated on US television "For Kids". Case-in-point, Shun's mom in Bakugan. (Which, admittedly, is dubbed by Nelvana...)
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Satoshi is in a coma for almost the entire series. It turns out that he developed the Hinamizawa Syndrome, escalated to Level Five, and needed to be sedated to avoid harming himself/others. And of course they didn't tell his little sister.
  • Hitomi from ICE winds up in a coma after an accident, which causes her mind to blend with that of a woman in the dystopian future.
  • Ayu Tsukimiya in Kanon turns out to have been an astral projection; her real body's in a coma, and has been for the past seven years. Unlike Key's usual Downer Ending fare, she gets better.
    • Fuuko in CLANNAD is a revisiting of the Ayu story, but with some changes. You find out about her condition right away instead of at the end of her arc, and though she's been in a coma for a much shorter time, the amnesia spell surrounding her is magnified by ten.
  • StrikerS Sound Stage X, set three years after the events of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, ends with Subaru learning that Ixpellia is only partially functioning and that she will soon slip into a coma that will last for maybe ten years... The two of them spend her last day being naturally awake together, until the latter falls asleep in Subaru's embrace. She ultimately wakes up less than a year later during ViVid.
  • Mazinger Z: In Mazinger-Z versus Great General of Darkness, Shiro got badly injured and fell into a coma when the ceiling of the room he was in collapsed. He needed an urgent blood transfusion to save his life, and since blood supply was low (what with giant monsters obliterating major cities), Kouji demanded they used his own blood, in spite of he was hurt. Kouji spent the whole night by his brother's side, not knowing if he would live to see another day. Fortunately, Shiro came out of his coma the next day.
  • Johan's coma at the end of Monster is neither medically improbable nor taken lightly, but it conveniently serves to eschew the question of his redemption and repentance.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Asuka came out of her mental breakdown-induced coma just in time to take Unit 02 and kick ass (then get brutally killed a few minutes afterwards).
  • Rumbling Hearts. Haruka is run over by a car and falls into a coma right after the protagonist confesses to her, and when she wakes (after three years!) he's dating her best friend. Drama ensues.
  • In Aldnoah.Zero, Princess Asseylum has spent a good part of the second season comatose (around a year and a half in-story), locked inside a tank, after having been shot to almost death.
  • Star Driver introduces Shingo during the second half of the series as hospital patient locked in a coma, which is later implied to be an Angst Coma that has been going on for fifteen years (though the series refers to it as a "deep sleep"). His coma is the reason for Head pulling Orcus on His Throne tactics after his faction of Kiraboshi has seized control of the organisation because Shingo is connected to a mecha Head needs to bring his plans to fulfillment. Him waking up in episode 24 is one of the steps that initiate the finale of the series.
  • In the third Fushigi Yuugi OVA, Mayo finds the Universe of the Four Gods, and enters the book. Miaka (who is three months pregnant with Taka's Tamahome's baby), meanwhile, falls unconscious and is rushed to the hospital. At the hospital, tests are done on Miaka, which show no evidence of her being pregnant or ever having been pregnant, and her wedding ring is missing, too. Inside the book, Mayo has Miaka's wedding ring, and is pregnant (despite having no boyfriend or husband and being, presumably, a virgin.) Miaka remains unconscious until the time is right to help Mayo summon Suzaku again in a Metaphysical Place, after which the fetus is returned to her, and her pregnancy continues normally.
  • In Heat Guy J, after he's accused of wrongdoing he didn't commit, gets deposed from his position of "Vampire", and loses two of the few actual friends he had, Clair goes into an Angst Coma. He's out for literal weeks, being cared for by Giovanni in a back room at East Wind. He wakes up and uses ESP to find Giovanni when he's in danger, and asks the latter to fill him in on everything that happened while he was "asleep." He also tells Daisuke that he "always wakes up with a clear head," implying that this sort of thing happens with enough regularity that Clair thinks it's normal.

    Comic Books 
  • Infinite Crisis: The Riddler was smashed in the noggin with a mace, was in a coma for the "One Year Later" time skip, and woke up A) having forgot Batman's secret identity, and B) free of his compulsions for both riddling and crime, becoming a successful private detective. An explosion restored the Riddler's criminal nature, though given the reality reboot that occurred shortly after there's no telling what the Riddler's mental state is.
  • "Special Officer" Matthew Bright falls into a coma and is visited every day by fellow superhero Jason Miller in Rising Stars. When Jason eventually dies defending his comatose friend, immediately Matthew wakes up, declares to have heard everything told to him during the years and sets off on a revenge trip.
  • Robin (1993):
    • Tim's father Jack is left in a coma by the same poison that killed Tim's mom. While Tim is upset by this it's not nearly as upsetting for him as his mom's death and leaves him free to work as Robin and stay at Wayne manor without his becoming an orphan. When Jack does wake up his nightly activities become slightly harder to conceal.
    • One of the drug dealers Strader tried to have silenced went into a coma due to injuries and woke up just in time to avoid being ordered killed since the CEO was assassinated so he could pass all his information and names on to the cops with no hassle.

    Fan Works 
  • The Second Try plays this more realistically. In the Epilogue, it's revealed that Gendo fell into a coma after a self inflicted bullet to the brain. It's mostly convenient for Shinji, as he uses the opportunity to gain some closure while explaining what happened at the end of the story, but it ends with the possibility that the character may never recover.
  • Evangelion 303: After surviving a plane crash, Asuka was in a coma for several months. Shinji kept watch over her the whole time and finally realized what he’d fallen for her.
  • In Thousand Shinji:
    • After fighting Zeruel, Shinji was in a coma for a whole month. During that time bad stuff happened to his family because he was unable to protect them.
    • When he woke up, he found out that Asuka was also in a coma after fighting Arael. Her coma delayed their reunion until the War was over.
  • After the Final Battle in Children of an Elder God, Ritsuko was rendered comatose. Maya looked after her while she was in a coma, but she had to wait for a long while until Ritsuko woke up and they had their "happily ever after".
  • In A Crown of Stars, Daniel rescued Asuka's mother, but Kyoko was in a coma because her mind and her soul were badly damaged, and she wouldn't wake up until the end of the story.
  • At the beginning of Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, Asuka is in a coma for several weeks while Shinji recovers a bit from Kaworu's death.
  • In The One I Love Is... Asuka was in a coma twice: after attempting to kill herself and after being gravely wounded in the final battle.
  • In Chapter 33 of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Professor Oak has to undergo a minor surgery and thus is left out of comission for an entire day. Unfortunately, that means Ash's female companions can't contact him for help when Ash is forcibly kidnapped by Sabrina.
  • Astral Journey: It's Complicated has Emma, who’s the narrator, spending the first three parts in a coma, yet see her struggling after waking up.
  • Risk It All: Rather than dying from getting two bullets to the head, Ren merely falls into a coma and wakes up with his gamer superpowers six months later, albeit, not before having to undergo physical therapy to regain his lost muscle tone.
  • Momentary Weakness: Following Intersection, Nia falls into a coma. Eventually, Tora and the others realize that she and Poppi are trying to sort all the information in Origin, of which there is much more than there should be. Conveniently, this greatly delays the reveals about what happened in Aionios, letting the fic show Mio interacting with her family before everyone finds out what she did.

    Film — Animated 
  • In G.I. Joe: The Movie, Duke is grievously and bloodily wounded by Serpentor's snake staff. He uses his last wheezing gasp to force out the words "Yo... Joe..." before collapsing, at which point Scarlett hilariously exclaims "He's gone into a coma!" He stays in it for the entirety of the movie and comes out at the end offscreen. The original plan had been to kill Duke off, but Transformers: The Movie came out a short time earlier and the writers hastily rewrote the scene to avoid seeming to copy Optimus Prime's death. In some releases of the movie, Duke actually dies.
  • In Once Upon a Forest, Michelle's coma after inhaling toxic fumes serves as the main plot point, and her friends have to set out on a quest for the herbs that will revive her.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Good Bye, Lenin! used the coma of the lead's mom as a form of Time Travel from communist Germany to capitalist Germany.
  • In the movie Just Like Heaven, Elizabeth had become comatose after being in a car crash. Her sister wanted to pull the Life Support after a while, but the Power of Love made her wake up at the last second. She can't remember the time she spent as a "ghost" when she was comatose until she touches David at the very end.
  • Kickin' It Old School used a similar (but 20-year) Convenient Coma much less believably.

  • In K.J. Taylor's The Fallen Moon trilogy, Arenadd makes use of this trope whenever he ‘dies’, frequently allowing him to escape when security is lessened over his dead body. Most notable in Herbstitt where he actually goes as far as being buried.
    • Also after being captured by Erian and tortured in Malvern:
      Laela: How did you escape?
      Arenadd: I let them hang me first. The Risen Sun
  • The Legendsong Saga:
    • Lanalor's body is preserved in one using modern technology while most of his spirit is busy running things as Ronaall.
    • Ember's tumour will cause her to fall into one just before she dies. It is likely that this is when she will complete her quest as the Unraveller to free the Unykorn.
    • A minor character, the Shadow, is in one and is occasionally used to demonstrate the battle against Chaos.
  • In City of Bones, Jocelyn induces a coma on herself to avoid anyone squeezing information out of her about the whereabouts of the Mortal Cup. The only person who knew how to revive her aside from the warlock that cast the spell was an old acquaintance, who gets killed early on in City of Glass.
  • Dread, the psychopath from Tad Williams' Otherland ends up in a coma where all his victims as hideous monsters forever chase him through an eternal Outback. Unusually vengeful end for a villain of this author but ah, so fitting.
    • The basic plot premise for the novels is that the Grail Brotherhood and its massively complex computer network are implicated in the unexplained comas suffered by thousands of children around the world, including the protagonist's brother. The comas turn out to be caused by the Mind Control powers of the Other. True to the trope, the destruction of the Other releases the children, but the story is at least realistic in how it treats the physical effects of a months- or years-long coma.
  • The alien Tendu of The Color of Distance have healing powers. They'll casually put patients into comas so the patient's energy can be applied wholly to healing, and to keep them from moving around during multi-day healing sessions.
  • Chapter 23 of Fifty Shades Freed has Anastasia in a coma. After hitting her head and suffering from a hairline fracture in the skull and some broken ribs, she's in a coma, despite having no brain-swelling. She spends a little over one day in a coma, where she is still lucid enough to hear all sorts of conversations taking place near her perfectly, and then wakes up with no repercussions and the drama of Christian being angry and unhappy that she got pregnant is completely gone.
  • Averted in The Dead Zone, where Johnny Smith suffers a very realistic coma and its aftermath (apart from waking up with psychic powers, anyway).
  • She Is The One: Averted. Jack's coma after the car wreck that took Craig's life is played realistically: he's out for about a day, and wakes up feeling exactly as shitty as you'd expect from someone who got knocked into a coma by a car wreck that claimed one life.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Blacklist, Liz enters a coma after sustaining a head injury in "Ian Garvey," then wakes up nearly a year later, apparently no worse for wear. Since she's the main character and the show is told from her perspective, the coma was mostly an excuse to have a year-long timeskip, which allowed the writers to (among other things) age up baby Agnes without invoking Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome, have Samar and Aram get engaged in the finale without making it seem like their relationship moved way too fast, et cetera.
  • Louis Lewis' coma in Season 5 of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
  • Desperate Housewives:
    • In the first season, Carlos's mother is run over by a car a few minutes after discovering Gabrielle's adultery. After several weeks spent in a coma, dreaming about the moment when she will wake up and tell her son, she suddenly awakes in the middle of the night when the nurse is taking a break; she jumps on her feet, slips, falls down the stairs and dies.
    • Susan's main love interest Mike is put into a coma. Over six months later, she tentatively hooks up with a man she met at the hospital whose wife has been a coma for many years. Of course, the prominence of this trope has led viewers to assume that all coma patients wake up eventually, and thus accuse them both of cheating on people who were going to wake up any second. (Although, this being TV and not real life, Mike actually did...)
  • The newly regenerated Tenth Doctor spends the majority of the Doctor Who episode "The Christmas Invasion" special completely out of it while aliens are in the process of invading.
  • In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect", a woman is killed by a bomb mailed to her. Monk's investigation leads him to one of her brothers, who turns out to be in a coma. In fact, Captain Stottlemeyer remembers the incident. The guy deliberately hit his police cruiser and tried to run, only to be blindsided by a truck. After the guy wakes up from his coma, Monk reveals that the guy planned to kill his siblings to get all the inheritance, so he glued the packages with bombs in such a way as to drop after a certain time. His plan was to get arrested for reckless driving and spend the time in jail. The coma was an accident but gave him an ever better alibi.
  • The Odyssey has a comatose young teen undergoing a sort of internal hero's quest as the basis of the series. After he wakes, he slowly regains his physical abilities, progressing from a wheelchair to cane to walking unaided; however, he isn't affected cognitively by either the coma or the initial TBI, the biggest challenge in that area being catching up on two years' missed school.
  • Prince Charming a.k.a. David Nolan in Once Upon a Time was in one of these in his first appearance in Storybrooke, due to having died before the Dark Curse was activated. Henry also goes into one after Regina's poisoned apple turnovers.
  • In the last episode of series one of The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer Bob plays a practical joke on Vic after which it is revealed that the entire series has been All Just a Dream dreamed by Vic in a deep and life-threatening coma. After one last rousing song and dance routine Bob unplugs his life support machine, killing him.
  • During Season 2 of One Tree Hill, Nathan Scott falls into a coma when he is involved in a car accident while on a racetrack. During his coma, he has a dream where he and his half-brother, Lucas, have switched lives.
  • In Seinfeld, Kramer watches the first half of a movie about a comatose woman and asks Elaine to pull his plug if he is ever in a coma. When he watches the second half and learns that it's possible to wake up from a coma, he searches for Elaine to tell her he doesn't want his plug pulled after all, but he gets hit in the head and knocked out before he can find her. Elaine brings him a VCR and a movie to cheer him up while he's in the hospital, but finds him asleep. She unplugs a device from the wall so that she can plug in the VCR, and Kramer wakes up just in time to see her standing over him with a plug in her hand.

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: At The Consortium's central administration zone, a document details that Sigrid was induced into a coma to supervise the extent of her abilities, until C sabotaged the device and easily awoke her with the intent of taking her somewhere to be eliminated.
  • The Fallout 3 add on Broken Steel has both the player and Sarah Lyons(if she survived) fall into a coma for two weeks after the purifier is activated.
  • In The Elder Scrolls background lore, members of the Whet-Fang vampire bloodline in the Black Marsh are known to place their victims in a magically induced coma, allowing them to feed on the victim at their convenience.
  • Daigo ends up comatose after getting shot in Yakuza 3, for just long enough to create a burgeoning succession crisis in the Tojo Clan, which was already in a pecarious position, and destabilize the mental state of his infatuated subordinate, Mine. Daigo then abruptly wakes up during the final battle and is well enough to immediately shoot a bad guy.

    Visual Novels 
  • Used twice in Ace Attorney.
    • Bat, brother to Acro, who was put into a coma after Regina put pepper on his scarf, causing her lion to sneeze when Bat stuck his head in the lion's mouth. This is why Acro tried to kill her. By the end of the game he hasn't woken up and it's unclear if he ever will.
    • Godot/Diego Armando was poisoned and sent into a coma for years. He woke up to find that his love interest Mia had been murdered and set out on a crusade against Phoenix Wright, who he blamed for not protecting her.
  • In Suika, after spend the whole time in a coma, Sayo wakes up just in time for the epilogue.
  • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, it's revealed that everyone who apparently "died" in the Neo World Program is comatose. It's especially convenient for AI Junko, who intends to perform a Grand Theft Me on all of them.

    Web Comics 
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: In Chapter 13, Onni sends a summon long-distance to help the crew deal with a Plague Zombie Zerg Rush. This causes him to go into a Power-Strain Blackout induced Deep Sleep, something that had lasted two days when it happened to Lalli. In Chapter 14, that deals with the After Action Patch Up, Tuuri finds out about Onni's current state upon asking to talk to him over the radio to tell him some bad news. Since Onni doesn't handle bad news well, she considers the Deep Sleep to be a good thing due to it giving Onni a few days of not knowing about the bad news in question, and even asks the rest of Mission Control to let her tell him over the radio rather than doing so themselves once he wakes up. The coma ends up lasting several days, and Onni wakes up from it a short time after the radio on Tuuri's side gets broken, but also after Tuuri dies.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Futurama episode "Rebirth", the crew have to be revitalized after a painful entry back to Earth. Something goes wrong with Leela, causing her to fall into an irreversible coma, which she naturally wakes up from just before they bury her (though granted, Professor Farnsworth's method of trying to wake her up before declaring his verdict... really leaves something to be desired).