Follow TV Tropes


Fantasy Sequence

Go To

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.



Sub Tropes

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.)
  • Advertisement:
  • 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.)

Otherwise related


Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Comic Strips

  • 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.



  • 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.
  • Eloises 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.

Live-Action Television

  • 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.
  • Dark Desire: These occur frequently, either violent or erotic, which can be confusing to tell if something is happening or imaginary at times.

Web Animation

  • 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.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • 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 worse case scenarios for an action he may take, or a problem he faces.
  • 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.
  • 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.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: