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Forced Sleep

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You are getting sleepy. Very sleepy...

This is a kind of spell or power that induces sleep in the target. Typically, it's not the character's only ability; it may be one application of Functional Magic, Charm Person, Compelling Voice, or Magic Music.

In video games, this will take the form of a Status Effect.

Instant Sedation is the technological equivalent. Compare The Paralyzer.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, the eponymous character uses the Sleep Card to put Muggles to sleep when she needs to subdue another Card spirit or something else she doesn't want them to see.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Mystogan uses a seriously powerful field of sleep magic whenever he comes to the guild to get a job that usually knocks out everyone in the room. Even Makarov feels drowsy when he comes around.
    • Larcade of Alvarez has three powers, of which R.I.P. is the most dangerous, as it causes extreme drowsiness that not even pain can snap you out of, and once you close your eyes, you'll enter an eternal slumber you'll never wake up from.
  • In Gate, Tuka and Lelei both know spells that can make people fall asleep.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!: In the episode "Flower Power", Kirby is tricked by Dedede into inhaling a Noddy which causes the victim to fall into a sleep that lasts for a hundred years. The only way to wake Kirby up is with the smell of the Pukey Flower.
  • Shouta from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid casts a sleep spell on Saikawa at one point to keep her from seeing Elma's dragon form. He later uses a more powerful version to win a Wizard Duel.
  • Midnight, a pro hero in My Hero Academia, has this as her Quirk, Somnambulist. She can release an intoxicating aroma from her body that can quickly put people to sleep, making her invaluable in hostage situations and taking down tough or excessively violent opponents.
  • Naruto:
    • The Sound Village's attack on the Leaf Village begins by a group of Sound ninja casting a sleep-inducing genjutsu on the crowd watching the Chunin exams. Most of the actual ninja were able to notice and dispel it.
    • Gaara has the Forced Sleep Technique which seems only usable on himself—his Bijuu takes over his body while he's asleep, which makes him so averse to sleep that he'd presumably have difficulty doing so otherwise.
  • In Nightmare Inspector, Hiruko uses his magic as a baku to put his clients to sleep so he can enter (and eventually consume) their nightmares.
  • In One Piece, Brook once plays a special tone on his violin that puts his foes (and his own captain) nearby to sleep. The pirate Bobbin, a member of Big Mom's crew, can do something similar by ringing his head like a bell.
  • Poison Berry in My Brain: The Mysterious Woman has the power to make the other members of the committee fall asleep so that nobody can get in the way of what she wants.
  • In Pokémon, Jigglypuff inadvertently puts its audience to sleep whenever it sings. It doesn't seem to understand that this is its signature ability, and just assumes the audience is being rude. Its means of revenge on a sleeping audience is pretty well-known to Ash and friends.
  • Rave Master: Chien Viverrien, one of the Six Guards of the Blue Guardians pirate gang, holds the power of the Dark Bring "Dulx Dormir", which can release a stream of leaves that put anyone in the way into a deep, eight-hour long sleep. Chien then proceeds to viciously pummel his victims while they're unable to fight back or wake up, but his trick fails to work on Musica because the latter, at the moment, is too furious to even think about sleep.

    Comic Books 
  • In Marvel Comics' DP7 Lenore exudes an energy from her skin which sucks up the life energy of those exposed to it, so if anyone sees any of her their energy gets sucked out of them and they pass out. One of the other Displaced is a Speedster who can't turn off his speeding, so she exposes her face to him so he can sleep once in a while.
  • In the Injustice: Gods Among Us, Zatanna uses a spell to put Batman to sleep after Batman wakes up from Superman having broken his back.
  • Inverted in an issue of Legion Of Superheroes where the government of the planet of Naltor, most of whose citizens have precognitive abilities, transmits a signal that prevents the planet's youth from sleeping, because sleep is necessary to their precognition and the government don't want them to see the future, in which there is a war coming that will necessitate a draft.
  • In PS238, Marvin from the Rainmaker Program has this ability.
  • Runaways has two instances. First, prior to her escape, Molly's evil mutant parents use their psychic abilities to force her to go to sleep (and it's implied that they've done this before.) Much later, Nico uses the "Settle Down" spell to force Klara to sleep after the latter suffers a panic attack... which, of course, pisses off Molly after she finds out about it.
  • In The Sandman (1989), Dream is capable of compelling mortals to sleep.
  • In Shadowpact, the villain White Rabbit has an enchanted sword that causes instant sleep when it draws blood.
  • At the end of Tintin: Flight 714, aliens use their psychic powers to wipe everyone's memories of the events on the island, then compel them all to sleep.
  • In a parody of Dark City, the Futurama comic had an issue where pastiches of the Strangers were telepathically putting New New York to sleep so they could use their reality warping powers to rewrite the place as more wholesome and productive, planning to eventually improve the whole world in this way as they've done to every planet they've traveled to before. Fortunately at the same time they arrived Fry happened to be drinking an extra-caffeinated version of Slurm, keeping him awake to witness and eventually thwart their plan.
  • An indirect example from The Smurfs has the eponymous item from "The Magic Flute" force people to dance when played but also tire them out so quickly that they pass out. This becomes a serious problem to fix when a thief gets a hold of it and begins raiding multiple villages and settlements of their treasure.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
  • Fleet Of The Homeward Bound: When each of the shipgirls tries to check the status of her crew, the only information they get is that the crewmembers are "Asleep in their quarters". This even includes any Artificial(or Virtual) Intelligence above a certain level of self-awareness, such as Analyzer or Data, who don't need to sleep or even have quarters to sleep in. At one point, Normandy gets EDI to essentially "sleep talk" to gain access to Babylon 5's jump gates.
  • The Heart Trilogy: When Fankil resurrects Kathryn in the beginning of Heart of Ashes, she screams wildly due to her broken mind. Not wanting anyone to be alerted by the screaming, Fankil places a sleeping spell on her. It's all he has time to do before the nearby merchant caravan attacks him.
  • The Power of the Equinox: Rarity knows a sleep spell which she uses on Spike in the eight chapter. Her mother used it on her when she was a foal and taught her to use it on her little sister should she have trouble sleeping. However, Rarity explains that the spell doesn't force the target to sleep. It merely suggests them to sleep, working only on an already tired mind.

    Films — Animation 
  • Near the end of The Flight of Dragons, an entire flight of dragons is disabled by an enchanted flute that puts dragons to sleep when it's played. However, it has no effect on Bryagh, Ommadon's dragon - and since it also put the good dragon to sleep, he's able to descend on the party all but unopposed.
  • Secret Magic Control Agency: Baba Yaga feeds Hansel and Gretel cookies laced with a sleep potion so that she can eat them.
  • In Sleeping Beauty, after Princess Aurora succumbs to Maleficent's enchanted spinning wheel, the three good fairies cast a spell on everyone in the castle so that they'll all sleep until she wakes up.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Dark City, the Strangers are capable of putting humans to sleep at will simply by waving their hands and saying "sleep". They do this quite regularly in order to perform their experiments on the people in the city. One of the Strangers has the Meaningful Name Mr. Sleep.
  • In E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, E.T. lulls Elliott to sleep when they first meet, presumably in order to establish their psychic bond.
  • The Force Awakens: When the First Order comes looking for the map, Kylo Ren determines Rey has seen it when he finds her and waves his hand in her face, causing her to fall unconscious.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • This is an ability of the rogue angel Gabriel in The Prophecy. It takes inspiration from The Bible, where the Archangel Gabriel has the ability to make people collapse in a stunned heap with his mere presence.
  • The Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz seems to have the ability to create poppies that cause this effect.
  • X-Men: First Class: With his psychic powers, Charles Xavier puts a Soviet general and a soldier that Erik had covered in barbed wire to sleep.

  • In Artemis Fowl, Holly and other fairies often use their mesmer to induce this in humans.
  • In Dragon Bones, a Jerkass God does this to one character who "woke up too early" while sleeping on the ruins of his temple. He had to talk to the protagonists, and wanted no listeners.
  • In The Dresden Files, putting people to sleep is one of the few mind-influencing effects that is not considered illegal by the White Council. That's because it's used exclusively to induce dreamless sleep in victims of psychic attacks, providing relief from their mental suffering.
  • Mercedes Lackey's Firebird: The Firebird's Magic Music induces sleep in all who hear it. She uses this ability to steal Tsar Ivan's cherries from under the noses of his guards. Ilya defeats it by festooning his clothing with pins that poke him if he starts to drop off, and holds another pin in each hand for good measure. The spell is useless against the Evil Sorcerer Katschei's dragon, which is an automaton that listens only to what it's been ordered to. In the climax, however, Ilya summons the Firebird into the Katschei's throne room and she puts all his monsters to sleep. Even the Katschei is affected strongly enough to give Ilya (once again using pain to counter the effect) enough time to reach his Soul Jar and smash it at his feet.
  • In Firestarter, Andy uses his Compelling Voice to tell a Shop agent to "go to sleep." The man remains asleep for six months, and even after he wakes up, every time somebody mentions the word "sleep" in his presence, he will fall into a deep slumber again that usually lasts for four hours to a day.
  • The Girl from the Miracles District has a calligraphomancer - a witch working by writing - whose favourite spell seems to be the one that puts everyone in its area of effect to sleep. She usually doesn't add the wake-up time to it.
  • Journey to the West: during his sojourn in Heaven as a minor deity, Sun Wukong won several "slumber bugs" at gambling with other gods and kept them on his person during the journey. At one point he decides to deliver some karma to a buddhist-hating king by using the bugs to put the entire court to sleep and then use his clones to shave everyone in the palace bald, making them all look like buddhist monks.
  • In the Old Kingdom series, ringing the bell Ranna can put both the living and the Dead to sleep. Charter Magic can be used to the same effect.
  • The protagonist of Renegades, Nova, can instantly put someone to sleep just by touching them.
  • The Saga of the Greenlanders: Shortly after killing several natives on the headland of Krossanes, Thorvald and his companions suddenly get so sleepy they cannot stay awake. A supernatural voice wakes them up just in time to escape from a host of vengeful natives. The implication is that the natives have cast a sleep spell on them.
  • In The Silmarillion, Lúthien can cast almost any kind of creature into an enchanted sleep. It even works on giant demon-wolves and fallen Valar.
  • Sorcery!: The NAP spell, when cast while swinging a magical pendulum, can induce sleep on any intended targets.
  • Temple of Terror: One of the spells available right at the start is Creature Sleep, which can make any enemies fall asleep instantly (like what its name said). It's one of the better defensive spells in the book, costing only 1 stamina point and works on most opponents.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Merlin:
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: In "Mother Mycellum", Raelle accidentally casts a sleeping spell on her entire class. Later, Anacostia uses one on her in order to sneak her into the prison and back without her being able to recall where the prison is.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: A recurring joke has one of the characters yelling "SLEEEEEEEP!" at another, oftentimes in the middle of otherwise typical hypnosis-styled scenes in order to put someone to sleep.
  • Preacher2016: After Tulip stops sleeping in order to avoid having nightmares of her encounter with the Saint of Killers, which in turn causes her to engage in increasingly dangerous behavior, Jesse finally decides to use Genesis to force her to sleep.
  • Sam, from Sam & Cat has the ability to pinch someone KO, as seen in the episode "#peezyB". It's (very lightly) implied that the victims fall asleep, as the victims are being told "good night" beforehand and are referred to as sleeping FAR more often than as unconscious.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In "Q-Less", Q gets annoyed that Bashir is making moves on Vash and suggests that he looks "very, very tired", which of course, by the power of Q, immediately becomes the case. Bashir isn't seen again until the very last scene of the episode.
    Bashir: I feel as though I've been asleep for days. [notices strange looks from the others] What? Did I miss something?
  • Supernatural:
    • In the episode "What Is And What Should Never Be" the djinn induces a sleep state, where a person's greatest wish is true, while he drains blood from his victims.
    • Angels have the ability to induce sleep in human targets by touching their forehead. Castiel demonstrated this with Bobby in his first appearance but otherwise rarely uses it, opting for the Touch of Death instead.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?. The guys seem to invoke this from time to time. For example, from the U.S. version:
    • In a game of Greatest Hits, Colin is able to put Ryan to sleep, simply by tapping his temple, and wake him up again by doing the same.
    • In a game of Helping Hands, Ryan has Colin grab Kathy Greenwood's face, then says, "Aaaaaand... sleep!" Kathy starts to stumble, as if to fall asleep on the spot, until Ryan says, "I'm kidding, I'm kidding," then she regains herself.
  • Quinn from Zoey 101 has a similar ability by pinching people's elbow which instantly knocks them out.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In European folklore, the Sandman is said to bring sleep and good dreams to children.
  • Greek Mythology: Endymion was a king whose handsomeness was (both figuratively in-universe and obviously literally out of it) the stuff of legend. In the end, the Goddess of the Moon, Selene (Artemis was not considered the Goddess of the Moon at this time) was so attracted to his beauty that she had Zeus put him into an eternal slumber so that she could gaze upon his handsome face forever.
  • Classical Mythology has Hypnos/Somnus, the god of sleep. His children are the gods of dreams.
  • In Hindu Mythology, Kumbhakarna was a demon who was granted one boon from the god Brahma; distracted by the goddess Saraswati, he accidentally asked to sleep.note  Brahma, being a Literal Genie, made him rest for six months at a time, after which he would briefly rouse himself and eat everything (or anyone) in sight.
  • Celtic Mythology:
    • The hero Finn MacCool is challenged to stop Aillen, a supernatural figure who lulls everyone to sleep with Magic Music and then burns the king's palace to the ground. Finn manages to stay awake by pressing his magically-hot spear to his forehead.
    • This happens to Cú Chulainn twice. As a boy, he's being trained by Scáthach, who has to do battle with her rival/sister, Aífe; worried that Cú Chulainn will jump into the fight and get hurt, she gives him a sleeping potion, but being a demigod, it only knocks him out for an hour instead of a day. Years later he is injured during the Cattle Raid of Cooley and put in a magic sleep by his father, the god Lugh, during which time Lugh heals his wounds. Unfortunately, many of Cú Chulainn's young friends die during this time, so when he wakes up he warp spasms and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • The Bible: In the book of Genesis, this is done on Adam much in the way modern medicine would use general anaesthesia - God lets Adam fall into a deep sleep, so that one of Adam's bones can be extracted to clone Eve from it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Spells
      • The wizard sleep spell puts opponents to sleep. It was a favorite of low-level casters in early editions because it allowed No Saving Throw.
      • The cleric/priest spell symbol has a Sleep variant that sends multiple opponents to slumberland.
    • Monsters
      • Some creatures have breath weapons consisting of sleep gas, such as the brass dragon (cone 70 feet long), moonstone dragon (cone 30 feet long) and kamadan (cone 30 feet long).
      • The bite of a homunculus causes its target to fall into a comatose sleep for from 5-30 minutes.
      • The gaze of a jackalwere makes its victim fall asleep.
      • Certain monsters have the innate ability to cast the sleep spell, such as ice lizards, night hags, ogre magi and the slaad lord Ygorl.
      • Pixie, sprite and hybsil arrows cause the target to sleep for 1-6 hours.
      • A satyr can use its pipe to play a tune and put other creatures to sleep.
      • The sussurrus gives off a "dronesong" that could put undead to sleep (despite them normally being immune to such effects).
      • In Module IM3 The Immortal Storm, while in a technological plane where their magical powers are suppressed, when the Immortals use a direct Power attack on mortals, it puts the mortals into a comatose sleep for several minutes.
      • Any creature coming within 20 feet of a sandman must make a saving throw or fall asleep for 30-130 minutes.
      • The Brood Gibberling can infect another creature with a burrowing gibberslug by biting or spitting at it. When the burrowing gibberslug reaches the brain it will put the victim in a sleep from which they can't be awakened and cause them to suffer from horrible nightmares.
    • The alternate magic system Spheres of Power has this as a talent in the Mind sphere, but it's not as much as a Game-Breaker as its Pathfinder equivalent.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Several spells force their targets into unshakable sleep for a few rounds if they fail a Will Power test, leaving them helpless. The Petty Magic version works by touch, whereas priests of Morr, God of the Dead and of Dreams, learn a version with a large Area of Effect.
    This miracle is often used to calm the bereaved. Particularly the noisy ones.

  • In L'Orfeo, when diplomacy and flattery fails to sway Charon, Orpheus sings him to sleep and hijacks the ferry.

    Video Games 
  • Seen in the backstory of the first Dark Parables game, "Curse of Briar Rose." Once she fell into her magical coma from the Evil Godmother's curse, the princess's good godmothers joined forces to put everyone else in the castle into the same magic sleep. Along came the prince to kiss her and wake her up, but True Love's Kiss failed. It woke up everyone else in the castle, but Briar Rose continued to sleep.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, the Architect uses magic to put the Warden and their party to sleep.
  • The Dragon Quest series also features the spell, and in Dragon Quest I, a.k.a. Dragon Warrior, it's the first of the really nasty spells that enemies will start using as you advance in level, necessitating the use of Stopspell to keep them from casting it.
  • Most Final Fantasy games have a Black Magic spell called Sleep. Early on in Final Fantasy, the party has to save the Elven Prince from a Sleeping Beauty-type curse put on him by the Dark Elf king Astos.
  • Folklore has a class of folk designed around sleep, which can send its victims into a temporary state of helplessness (though only two folk actually occupy the class.) Ellen can gain a cloak in the Faery realm that makes her immune to it, and the effect is required to catch or defeat certain other folk later on.
  • A multi-target spell in Golden Sun, represented by sheep falling all over the targets (but doesn't work that well). Several weapons have this as a side effect.
  • In Heroes of the Storm, Sleep is a type of crowd control similar to a stun, but its cancelled early if the target takes damage. It was first added with Ana's Sleep Dart, and later expanded by Deckard Cain's Stay Awhile And Listen and Mal'Ganis' Night Rush.
  • The recurring Noddy enemy in the Kirby games forces Kirby to sleep if inhaled, making him Sleep Kirby. In most games, this is detrimental since it leaves Kirby open to being attacked so as a result, Noddy is normally placed as a hard-to-avoid obstacle or as Shmuck Bait. In Kirby and the Forgotten Land though, the Sleep Ability can be used to restore health and its evolved form can also grant a status buff on top of extra healing.
  • In League of Legends, Zoe can put enemies to sleep using her ability called Sleepy Trouble Bubble.
  • In Lunar: Eternal Blue, enemies can be put to sleep by Herbal Breeze (in the original) or Jean's Sleep Dance (in the remakes). While such abilities are practically useless in many RPGs, one enemy in this game, Susie Death, is not only vulnerable to it but difficult or impossible to defeat otherwise.
  • Onmyōji has the Dream Eater whose special skill is this. Sakura-no-sei can also cause enemies to fall asleep, but the chance is extremely slim.
    • Equipping any shikigami with at least four Makuragaeshinote  mitama allows them a 20% chance to do exactly this.
  • In Overwatch, Ana can put enemies to sleep with her Sleep Dart.
  • A variant occurs in the Non Standard Game Over in Persona 5 Royal for failing to complete The Very Definitely Final Dungeon on time. Mad Scientist Dr. Maruki comes to the conclusion that Joker/Ren was too overwhelmed to make a decision on whether to accept his World of Silence or not, and grants him Freedom from Choice in the form of removing his will to live, turning him into an Empty Shell that wants nothing more than to spend all his time sleeping.
  • Many Pokémon have attacks that can do this. Jigglypuff is famous for it.
  • In Sly 2: Band of Thieves, the Music Box is a power-up that, after thrown, starts to play music that lulls all nearby guards to sleep.
  • In Super Mario RPG, one of Princess Toadstool's spells is Sleepy Time, which involves a sheep bouncing on top of the enemy. If the d-pad is rotated quickly enough, she can knock out the entire enemy party with a storm of sheep.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, Tear can induce sleep using the first Fonic Hymn, Nightmare.
  • Temtem has four non-damaging techniques that can inflict this: Hypnosis (single-target), Lullaby (both opponents), Relax (all Temtem on the battlefield), and Slow Down (in addition to lowering speed, if the user has a Mental-type ally). Haito Uchi is a damaging technique that inflicts this, and so does Crystal Deluge if the user has a Mental ally. Narcoleptic Hit inflicts this on the user. In all cases, Mental-types are immune to the asleep status.
  • In Warframe, Equinox can put enemies to sleep in her Night version, using her second ability called Rest. There are also two other characters with the ability to put enemies to sleep, Ivara and Baruuk.
  • "Sleep" in Warcraft III is a powerful Dreadlord spell when used correctly, as it keeps a single unit (including heroes) out of the fight for a long time along with interrupting channeling spells. It can be interrupted by attacking the sleeper, but fortunately units will only do so if ordered to.
  • Castle of the Winds: The Scroll of Sleep causes the user to fall asleep. The Scroll of Make Sleep (i.e. to make someone else sleep) also exists in this world. The two do not advertise the difference.

    Web Comics 
  • Crowshed: Sheryl can do this by pointing at someone.
  • The wizard Abraham from El Goonish Shive once possessed a single-use magic item that basically functioned as a sleep grenade, He was rather reluctant to use it due to its wide range, and the fact that he wasn't entirely sure that he could resist its effects.
  • In Freefall, Ecosystems Unlimited has a remote control that does this to Florence.
  • In Godslave, when Turner prepares to hunt for Edith across the museum, he puts a guide who's seen too much to sleep by a spell.
  • Vriska from Homestuck has mind control powers, but they only work on her own species. The only thing she can do to humans is put them to sleep.
  • Subverted and Played for Laughs in this strip of The Order of the Stick. Vaarsuvius appears to have used a sleep spell on a group of goblins, but they actually bored them to sleep with a Wall of Text.

    Western Animation 
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog. In, "The Sandman Sleeps," the Sandman is actually unable to sleep himself, so he decides to steal Muriel's sleeping sand to give to himself, causing Muriel to suffer from serious Sleep Deprivation. As it turns out, Courage finds the Sandman's lost teddy bear, so he returns the sleeping sand to Muriel so she can sleep again herself.
  • Gargoyles: One episode has Oberon put the entire city of New York to sleep by shouting "SLEEP!"
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983): Skeletor can do the same thing, as can Evil-Lyn.
  • Invader Zim: Dib is woken up by the Meekrob, who give him powers and then cause him to go back to sleep by saying "Now rest." Though technically none of this happened.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures episode "Armor of the Gods" has Jade do this to Uncle, whom hasn't slept in days and is driving everyone crazy. She makes a chi potion and tricks Uncle into drinking it, and he's out like a light. The only problem is that they need Uncle to create a chi spell to banish the Earth demon Dai Gui, and Jade and Tohru cannot wake Uncle up.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: Experiment 360 (Drowsy) is designed to make people fall into eternal sleep by just bleating at them and the only way to awaken the victim is to splash him or her with water.
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In "Flight to Cloud Castle", Ariel was placed in an enchanted sleep by her wizard father to keep from all but the most determined suitors, and can only be woken by True Love's Kiss.
  • In the The New Adventures of Superman episode "The Japanese Sandman" has an evil figure who can put people to sleep in seconds with magic sleep sand. Even Superman can't No-Sell it. However, he does manage to fight off the effects long enough to spin the sand out of his eyes.
  • Prep & Landing: Santa's elves carry bags of magic dust so that if the children wake up during present delivery, they can be put back to sleep very quickly.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power: The evil sorceress Shadow Weaver can conjure sleep mist that affects even She-Ra.


Video Example(s):


Sleeping Beauty

The Three Good Fairies put the whole castle to sleep until Aurora awakens.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / ForcedSleep

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