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Fantasy Twist

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"How come even in my fantasies everyone's a jerk?"

A Fantasy Sequence in a comedy which is much more unpleasant or mundane than your average fantasy, usually for no good reason. Not to be confused with a Genre Shift into the fantasy genre, or twists that that genre is particularly likely to spring on you, or with Daydream Surprise.


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     Films — Animated  

  • In Bee Movie Barry's daydream about Vanessa and himself having a romantic picnic together ends abruptly as Vanessa pilots a yellow and black ultralight to fly with him, then crashes and burns when she tries to duplicate an aviation feat only bees can accomplish.


  • In The Leaky Establishment by David Langford, when Roy Tappen is trying to smuggle his accidentally stolen plutonium back into the NUTC, he briefly fantasises about claiming to have wrestled it from a Russian spy and being hailed as a hero. This fantasy rapidly shifts towards being asked serious questions about the supposed Russian spy, leading inevitably to being cast into the darkness with "UNEMPLOYABLE" tattooed on his forehead. Later fantasies are even worse, mostly ending with Britain becoming a radioactive wasteland, and he gets fired.

     Live Action TV  

  • A whole episode of Malcolm in the Middle revolves around Lois imagining that she has daughters instead of sons (interspersed with the reality of trying to handle three boys). At the end, the imaginary daughters turn out to be lying and manipulative, with problems ranging from eating disorders to teenage pregnancy.
  • In one episode of Scrubs, J.D. thinks of a clique of attractive female doctors (the Gyno Girls) as being like a sorority, and begins to imagine them having a Slumber Party, complete with pillow fight. When the fight (inevitably) begins to turn into something else, Eliot snaps him back to reality. On his return to the fantasy, they're saying "I'm glad we all finally experimented with each other...but I'll never do it again!"
    • This often happens with J.D.'s other daydreams. In particular his recurring fantasy of how much he could get done as Floating Head Doctor invariably ends with his headless body screwing things up.
    • In My Drama Queen he sees Elliot and his current girlfriend, Jamie, talking in a corridor and thinks about how he always has the same fantasy when he sees two beautiful women he's been intimate with...Cut to them being taught how to do the Rerun dance.
  • In The Prime Minister and I, Da-jung envisions her, the PM, and the assistants all tied together and hauled into jail for being in a contract marriage.
  • In an episode of Taxi, everyone is discussing their fantasies, Alex notes that his always go south. We then see his fantasy. A beautiful girl gets into his cab, and the two hit it off. They head back to his apartment and in the middle of making out, Alex discovers she's actually his adult niece.


     Newspaper Comics  

  • Dilbert once considered developing a way of leading his entire life from his bathtub. He then fantasised about being interviewed by a group of reporters about his revolutionary new lifestyle, but soon they criticised his system as pointless and even remarked that bathing was an inefficient form of cleaning, until Dilbert complained, "This fantasy's been a profound disappointment".
  • Subverted in Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin has an elaborate wish involving world domination, while all Hobbes wants is a sandwich. Subverted because in the last panel of the strip, Hobbes is eating a sandwich, telling Calvin "I got my wish."

     Web Comics  

  • xkcd, naturally, takes it to a very weird place.
  • A Questionable Content strip opens with a manga-style pencil sketch of a man telling "Mari-chan" "There's ... something I've always wanted to tell you", then saying "You're fat and your nose is stupid". The final panel shows the real Marigold staring in horror at what she's just drawn.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Sarah's fantasy of what a gender swapped date with Elliot would look like is this according to her.

     Web Original  

  • On Homestar Runner, this happens to Strong Bad a lot:
    • In the Strong Bad Email "invisibility", a fantasy about being invisible ends in Strong Mad sitting on him, and Strong Bad concluding "Being invisible isn't worth getting a face full of Strong Mad butt!".
    • In "different town", after imagining Homsar getting replaced with a modestly-hot female version, Strong Bad concludes that his imagination's broken. This is apparently confirmed when he tries to imagine "the best thing ever", and all he can come up with is "beef... stew".
    • In "animal", Strong Bad's attempts at creating an imaginary animal keep coming out wrong. ("What the? Why do these keep coming out as nasty blob things?")
    • In "dreamail", Strong Bad's fantasy of the ultimate email turns sour when Homestar comes in and starts annoying him. Strong Bad yells at the "pink border" surrounding the fantasy sequence to hold up its end of the deal.
    • In "do over", he imagines doing over several earlier emails. The fantasies end in Homestar dressed as The Cheat falling in love with Strong Bad, and Strong Bad getting beaten up by Strong Mad.
    • In "your funeral", Strong Bad's fantasy about what his funeral would be like includes Coach Z accidentally taping over Strong Bad's pre-recorded eulogy, Homestar reading from "the Book of Phone", and Strong Bad having to come back from the dead to stop Strong Sad from doing an interpretive dance about him. ("Not even death can stop me from stopping my leotard-ed brother prancing around in my honor.")
  • In Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, in the first song, Billy/Dr. Horrible imagines himself slipping up and saying "Love your hair" out loud, then awkwardly trying to cover his Did I Just Say That Out Loud? moment by claiming he loves air.

     Western Animation  

  • The Simpsons seems to almost specialize in these.
    • For instance, in "Bart's Inner Child", Homer's fantasy about a theme park in his backyard named "Homerland USA" consists of a shabby old thing made largely out of mattresses.
    • In "Viva Ned Flanders", his fantasy about having two wives starts out mundane—he's just making them do housework while he relaxes—then turns sour when he's stung by a bee.
    • In "He Loves To Fly, And He D'ohs", Homer's fantasy about having a private plane ends with him finding that the cockpit is empty.
    • In "The Otto Show", Bart's dream of rock stardom includes becoming a drunken, drug-addled shambles who has alienated all his friends (but he still thinks it's awesome). Bart reacting to some daydream of himself as a Future Loser with unmitigated enthusiasm was a Running Gag in early seasons.
    • In "Cape Feare", Homer imagines himself playing at the Super Bowl as the Denver Broncos' quarterback, scoring a touchdown himself before the announcer announces the final score as San Francisco 49ers - 56, Denver Broncos - 7.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Mutiny on the Windbreaker", each member of the family fantasizes about going on a cruise ship. Linda, Tina, and Gene fantasize about being painted in the nude, whereas Louise fantasizes about sinking the boat.
  • In Family Guy, Stewie once fantasised about what his life would be like when he was grown up; the fantasy consisted of a balding, middle-aged Stewie asking his wife about an unfamiliar entry on their phone bill. This was before his severe Bad Ass Decay, such that we still would have expected Stewie to grow up to be some kind of Mad Scientist or the like. With today's Stewie, this would no longer seem particuarly surprising the way it did at the time.
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, the title character imagines what his life would be like if he had muscles. It turns out to be exactly the same as it is now, but with muscles.
    • Likewise, in "Sleepy Time" Spongebob enters Patrick's dream and finds him riding a coin-operated seahorse ride. He tries to convince Patrick that he can do whatever he wanted in dreamland, but Patrick insists on riding the seahorse. After Spongebob leaves, the ride stops and Patrick takes out a quarter to start it up again. But then he drops it down a grate... and stays sitting down.
    • Earlier in that same episode, Spongebob's own dream has him fantasize a car for himself and a license so he can drive it. He ends up admiring the license while he drives, crashing into a boulder, and flying through his windshield.
      (Spongebob's driving instructor shows up and begins flying parallel to him)
      Spongebob: Mrs. Puff! I finally got my driver's license!
      Mrs. Puff: (takes license and rips it up) Not even in your dreams, Mr. Squarepants! (flies away)
  • In an episode of Recess, the gang find a $100 bill and fantasize about what they'll do with their share of the money. Each of their fantasies end with them owning and flying a jetpack, except even in his own fantasy Gus can't control his.
  • On Daria, the eponymous character's daydreams that she does so well in her first week at college that a professor hires her to teach at their Parisian campus. However, once she agrees, he reveals that he's planning to use her dorm room to engage in trysts with "the more beautiful" students. The fantasy ends with the page quote.
    • In the same episode, Kevin's fantasy begins with him walking up to some college football players, only for them to be depicted far larger than him. (By football standards, he's somewhat shrimpy.) He snaps out of his fantasy, then restarts it with him the same size.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Run Away Runway", Candace daydreams of becoming a fashion model, who randomly starts plugging a breakfast cereal called "Candace-Os." Back in reality, Candace makes a mental note to stop fantasizing on an empty stomach.
  • In the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "Sue Syndrome" Penny Ling can't climb a small hill in an Imagine Spot without getting sweaty and winded.
  • Beavis And Butthead sit on a couch watching tv, imagining some scheme will get them lots of money and chicks. They picture themselves surrounded by piles of money and bikini-clad women—while sitting on the couch watching tv.
  • On The Loud House, after the family is banned from the community pool, Lincoln tries to buy an inflatable pool for their home. However, his fantasy about relaxing in it is immediately ruined, as he imagines (entirely realistically) that his ten sisters will take up all the room and cause chaos before he can even get in.


Video Example(s):


The Beef Sleep

On the longest night of the year, Beef sleeps all day to recharge from all the chores he does all year. His dreams, however, are of doing said chores. At the end, he wakes up and makes the bed... but that too turns out to be a dream.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

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