A sequence in which the audience is shown what's going on in someone's imagination instead of things that are actually happening. This may be clear from the beginning, or it may be made to look real at first. Similar to a Dream Sequence, but daydreaming or similar instead of actual dreams. Sometimes several characters can have a shared Fantasy Sequence. One can also be used to represent imaginary events being narrated in the story's real world.
- Acting Out a Daydream: Where someone almost forgets their fantasy sequence isn't real and starts acting it out.
- Daydream Surprise: Where it looks real at first.
- Indulgent Fantasy Segue: Someone responds with violence, but it turns out they were only imagining it.
- Deep-Immersion Gaming: Characters are so immersed in a game it's shown as their being inside it.
- RPG Episode: An episode dedicated to the above.
- Elderly Future Fantasy: A character fantasizes about them and other characters being elderly and having their conflicts continue into old age.
- Fantasy Twist: An unexpectedly mundane or unpleasant one.
- If I Were a Rich Man: Fantasizing about being rich.
- Imagine Spot: A brief cut to a situation-relevant Fantasy Sequence and back.
- Power Fantasy: Fantasizing about being powerful and taking revenge.
Sometimes but not always a Fantasy Sequence
- Crazy Memory
- Delicious Daydream (It could be shown this way, or it could have the character speaking out loud about the food they're imagining or simply having a thought bubble.)
- Disney Acid Sequence (It could be someone's imagination or it could just really be that surreal)
- Dream Sue
- Fake Action Prologue
- Separate Scene Storytelling (The separate scene could be in the characters' imagination, or just be shown for the benefit of the audience, and often it's impossible to tell.)
- Imagine Spotting: Where someone else can inexplicably see it.
- Mr. Imagination does these a lot.
- Chuunibyou is this especifically for teenagers.
Anime and Manga
- This trope caused the Mundane Made Awesome in the Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! anime. Such sequences are out of the fantasies of several Misses Imaginations.
- Used frequently in The Tale of One Bad Rat, especially in the first half. Helen imagines herself committing suicide several times, or interprets other characters and scenes as fable animals or beings from other times.
- Used in in every issue of the2015 Jughead series to tell short stories.
- One of the foremost elements of Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin is constantly living in his own world(s), but the use of this trope is actually pretty complicated. In summary, there are a lot of clear-cut fantasy sequences and also a lot of deliberately ambiguous scenes.
- In the clear-cut cases, Calvin imagines riding dinosaurs or being a heroic space pilot (or an endless number of other things), and it can typically be clearly seen that the real world exists around him as he imagines things. Even Hobbes doesn't see these as real. For whatever reason, he also almost never appears in them, absolutely never as himself, whereas other characters may appear as aliens or something else.
- But then there are the events where Hobbes is present as a real if somewhat anthropomorphic tiger, and these also involve fantastic things like time travel or aliens. Hobbes turns into a toy tiger when adults or even other children are present, but by Word of God (in the anniversary book) neither the idea that Hobbes is Calvin's imagination or that he's real is more true than the other.
- Sometimes others also can't see things that are real to Calvin and Hobbes, such as Calvin having turned into an owl, but usually these are also left ambiguous, like Calvin's clones of himself just never happening to show themselves to his parents more than one at a time, or the question of how Calvin managed to tie himself to a chair if Hobbes didn't do it.
- Chapter 4 of Peter Parker's Field Trip (Of course it's to Stark Industries) is full of hypothetical, blatantly false events playing out how Peter would like to have happened, then cutting to what actually happens.
Films — Live-Action
- In Unfaithfully Yours, Alfred gets three of them, set to three different pieces of music he's conducting. However, it doesn't go quite so smoothly when he tries to carry these fantasies out in reality.
- A Gunfight ends with an extended fantasy sequence showing what might have happened if Tenneray had won the gunfight instead of Cross. It is left as exercise for the viewer if this is occurring in Cross's imagination or Nora's.
- In the spoof film Epic Movie, Peter imagines a parody of Mystique dancing sexily and seductively for him, putting her arms behind her head, swaying get hips, and even squeezing her boobs. This is all in his mind, of course, as she couldn't be less interested in Peter.
- Room in Rome: Alba imagines herself being shot in the heart by Cupid's arrow near the end, symbolizing her having fallen for Natasha.
- Elo´se's Lover: The film closes on one. Àsia and Eloïse are seen going off on a trip together instead of the former dying by suicide.
- In Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell constructs rather elaborate scenes in his head, possibly related to his memory system, to plot out his next move. He sometimes imagines his mentor Cardinal Wolsey in the room with him, and twice populates an imaginary banquet with various characters as the tides of power in Henry's court shift, with the Boleyns as the main course. In a less ominous sequence, when he meets the (probable) widow Helen Barre, he mentally replaces her tatty and worn clothing with a very specific outfit, priced by the yard, that would highlight her beauty.
- Naked Came the Stranger: Melvin Corby's chapter opens with Melvin at Le Mans, roaring around the track with his huge, phallic racecar while Gillian cheers from the front row. Then his lawnmower sputters and dies, ruining the fantasy.
- In Season 1 episode 4, when Prince Friedrich bestows upon Daphne a diamond necklace and goes to place it on her, his fingers grazing her bare neck. Daphne tenses and feels a swell of passion as later it's revealed because she imagines that it's Simon who places the necklace on her.
- In season 2 episode 6, when about to exchange vows with Edwina on the wedding, Anthony imagines what it'd be if only Kate were his bride instead of Edwina and just the two of them with no single audience in the church.
- The last episode Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey has a Call-Back to the first when part of Neil's recap of scientific history includes Giordano Bruno, locked up by the Inquisition, "escaping" his cell into the dream of an infinite cosmos.
- Extremely common in Hannibal, between Will Graham's hallucinations and various characters' memory palace sequences.
- Mimpi Metropolitan: Bambang and Alan has a lengthy scene in the beginning of episode 28 where they imagine themselves proposing to Melani and Pipin, respectively.
- Dark Desire: These occur frequently, either violent or erotic, which can be confusing to tell if something is happening or imaginary at times.
- Sex/Life: Billie has one in which she imagines how things would be if she married Brad and they had children after he proposes (though she's already Cooper's wife).
- The Girl From Plainville: The show uses fantasy sequences to show Michelle and Conrad's emotional relationship because, in real life, they interacted almost exclusively over text messages. Some sequences are mostly grounded in reality (talking while walking down a street or standing on a pier), some blend reality and fantasy, and some are just out-and-out fantasy on Michelle's part (singing a duet as Glee's Rachel and Finn).
- Impulse: Henry frequently fantasizes about things being better than what is actually going on, as a coping mechanism, such as Clay having treated her nicely instead of raping her or her mom not getting shot.
- You Me Her: Jack and Emma both fantasize that Izzy comes to their workplaces, having sex with them there, which at first isn't clear as even a fantasy to the viewer.
- Fabulous used these from time to show off Faye's daydreams and occasionally those of other characters, including one where Faye is married to an American millionaire and has her boss as her new maid and another where her mother after playing a Grand Theft Auto style video games fantasies about life as a crime boss.
- In Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto, 16 year old student Cesare Borgia loves the work of Dante Alighieri so much that he envisions full scenes from the poet's writing. At the climax of the play, they sing a duet together and debate Cesare's choices about his future, even though Dante has been dead for 170 years at the point when the story takes place.
- In the song "Off to the Henhouse" from Episode Three of Of Weasels And Chickens, Prima the weasel enters three of these. In the first one, she is surrounded by pastel watercolor paper cutouts of chickens and the henhouse. In the second, she has chicken backup dancers and dons a silver top hat, sparkly vest, and a cane. In the third, she is surrounded by neon paper cutouts against a black and silver backdrop.
- Good Guy Comic gives us our main character, Guy, who has at least two of these.
- In Storywisher there's an example on the very first page, with Fi being chased by a giant green monster that turns out to be a cuddly toy in real life.
- The Onion:
- "Twelve Customers Gunned Down In Convenience-Store Clerk's Imagination" is a Black Comedy example, with many of the "victims" being a guy who constantly rings the deli bell, a teenager that keeps trying to buy beer and a guy who needs help using the microwave.
- "Kidnapped Boy Found Safe, Imagines Kidnapped Boy" is easily the darkest example of this trope.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- In "The Ticket Master", each of Twilight Sparkle's five friends who want her extra ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala imagine, and we are shown, what they would do there. (Make a lot of sales, meet her idols, party like mad, meet the stallion of her dreams, see the exotic plants and animals in the garden.) In "The Best Night Ever", during the song near the beginning, these are recapped with new sequences with the same content, as well as one for Twilight herself.
- In "MMMystery on the Friendship Express", we're shown various crazy explanations Pinkie Pie imagines about who did the crime and how, each of them parodying some work or genre.
- The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: In "Paw and Order", the whole Wild West play the characters are doing turns from a small stage with a few actors into a collective fantasy sequence with several sets, tons of extras who don't have any known actors, and a villain who doesn't either but who still manages to be so willful as to defy the script.
- This is the point of the Magnificent Muttley shorts on Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines.
- Doug: was loaded with fantasy sequences - usually Doug imagining exaggerated best and worst case scenarios for an action he may take or a problem he faces. However, he also acts out these scenarios on the spot - even in traffic.
- From A To Z-Z-Z-Z: Ralph daydreams that he can fly, that he battles numbers, that he is a cowboy working for the Pony Express, that he is a sea captain bringing a submarine back to the surface, that he is a boxer and that he is Douglas MacArthur.
- The Looney Tunes Show: The "Merrie Melodies" segment "Daffy Duck: The Wizard" has Daffy doing everyday things like riding an escalator at the mall, blowing up a hot dog in a convenience store microwave, and crossing the street while imagining himself as a powerful wizard going on fantastic adventures.
- Steven Universe: Most of the episode "Garnet's Universe" is Steven imagining what Garnet does when she's on a solo mission. It seems to involve talking animals and an extended parody of shonen anime.
- This is a large part of the dynamic of Muppet Babies, both the 1984 and the 2018 version. Episodes often revolve around the Muppets using their imaginations to go on wild adventures. It's even brought up in the theme song.
When your world looks kind of weird,
And you wish that you weren't there,
Just close your eyes and make believe,
And you can be anywhere.