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Imagine Spot

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Okay, Ralphie. You win this time. But, we'll be back.

Elliot: J.D., be sensitive. Don't act like you're at a ping pong match between a ninja and Bigfoot...
[Dr. Kelso gives Elliot an odd look]
Elliot: I know that made no sense, but he's totally there now in his head. Look at his eyes.
[J.D.'s eyes dart back and forth]
Dr. Kelso: Look at that...

A brief cut to a Fantasy Sequence and back, usually no more than a few seconds long, and commonly bookended by a Fade to White. Alice yells at Bob, "What am I, your maid?!". Cut to Alice cleaning the house in a French Maid Outfit. Cut to Bob's face — he's clearly just imagined the role, and Alice has just slapped him to wake him up back to reality.

A very popular trope with commercials, so much so that it could almost be considered an advertising trope as much as it is a comedy trope, with the idea being to either convey how much one's life would be better with the product/service or how easily obtainable it is.

Contrast Daydream Surprise (and its subtrope Indulgent Fantasy Segue), where it's not clear from the start that this is only happening in a character's imagination. When other characters can see someone's Imagine Spot, that's Imagine Spotting. For other kinds of imagined sequences — i.e., if it's not just a brief, clearly marked cut — see Fantasy Sequence. And when it turns out not to be imagined, it's a Gilligan Cut. Can be combined with Tranquil Fury if the daydreamer is having a revenge fantasy to sublimate their rage at another person that they can't express in reality. May lead to Inner Thoughts, Outsider Puzzlement if the character spends too long caught in their imagination or starts Acting Out a Daydream.


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  • One commercial features an Imagine Spot with a middle-aged managerial type daydreaming about becoming president after he discovered the joys of microwaved "gourmet" pasta. It turns out that even in his fantasy, he's not the president.
  • The "switching to GEICO" ads, assuming the cutaway gags count as fantasy within the "reality" of the framing scenarios. With, of course, the exception of the "happy folks" spots, where the guitarists are actually in the fantasies.
  • An early Vat19 ad for a tabletop Frogger LCD game features a man hallucinating that his boss is in a frog suit and is able to control him with the Frogger game.


    Anime & Manga 
  • In The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You, Yaku has several in Chapter 76, while trying to remember what Kusuri told her about the other girls. Every single one of them is wrong - e.g. the one for masochist Iku shows her as tiny and weak, while the one for Yamame shows her as a Tsundere.
  • In A Silent Voice, Shouko has one of the Tear Jerker variety. When she sees her grade school classroom, she starts imagining what those days would have been like if she not only had friends, but also if her entire family was together. This includes her grandma still being alive, her mother being more caring and less stressed, and her father actually being present in her life.
  • Played with and played straight in the second episode of the Ah! My Goddess TV series — when Keiichi mulls over what wish of his Belldandy should grant, he first imagines life as a wealthy man, then Belldandy, who's reading his mind the entire time, says she would gladly "give him more money than he could hope to spend in his lifetime". Then Belldandy says she could also grant the wish of wanting to destroy the entire world, "although [she] would prefer to not do business with that type of client." Cue Keiichi imagining a giant explosion leveling a city, with him off to the side, laughing evilly, in a monocle, a wiry mustache, and what suspiciously looks like a Schutzstaffel uniform.
  • Ai Yori Aoshi:
  • Asteroid in Love:
    • In a part of the twenty-fourth chapter that is not adapted into anime, Mari "Monroe" Morino teaches Mai several things about photography, including "exposure compensation". Mai imagines Mari having a Marilyn Maneuver causing an "exposure" (as in a Panty Shot), and "compensated" by putting a Censor Box over her eyes.
    • In an unanimated bit of the twenty-eighth chapter, Ao reminds herself she needs to tell her mother how she feels about having to move away. She recalls Mikage's suggestion that she should throw a tantrum at her parents...and then imagines herself doing just that. She then flails her arms in the air to stop herself from imagining this. Shiori is confused.
    • The thirty-first chapter, animated as part of the ninth episode:
      • Mira and Ao have a minor quarrel because Mira unpacks Ao's moving boxes without permission. Since both of them refuses to give a reason, Misa, seeing them as astronomy enthusiasts, decides they are arguing about the origins of the moon, and imagines of their arguments out loud.
      • After the above, Ao starts to worry about Mira's lack of the sense of privacy, and imagines a few scenario of this: using her stationery, reading her Science Fiction (The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, no less), moving to doing laundry for her. This part is not animated.
    • During the thirty-fifth chapter, Shiho tells Ao she finds the latter's brain interesting due to the latter's being both a Shy Blue-Haired Girl and The Determinator. The latter freaks out and imagines Shiho Mind Probing her.
    • In the fourty-first chapter, the cast have a brief discussion on Dobsonian telescopes. Chikage mentions they look like human cannons in circuses. Mira promptly imagines launching herself into the space a la Human Cannonball to find asteroids. Ao reminds her it's not possible.
  • Ayane's High Kick: We get to see one of these from Ayane when Kunimitsu makes a pitch to get her to join his dojo, declaring that she can become a champion. She sees herself in the middle of a ring with a pro-wrestling world title belt and a cheering crowd, unaware that Kunimitsu is actually referring to her becoming a champion kick-boxer.
  • Azumanga Daioh uses several imagine spots throughout the course of the series, many of which involve (unsurprisingly) Cloudcuckoolander Osaka.
  • B Gata H Kei makes frequent use of these, most commonly by main character Yamada, whose random, erotically-oriented fantasies approach Scrubs levels of frequency and, much like JD, are frequently followed by in-character outbursts that sometimes get her in trouble.
  • Isaac and Miria of Baccano! have a joint one (fitting, considering their ditzy duo status) complete with Art Shift when they speculate with horror on Jacuzzi's fate at the hands of the mythical Rail Tracer. Which, by the way, they visualize as a giant green worm with fangs.
  • In Bleach, Chad tries to remember what Ichigo's little sister Karin looks like. We end up with Squick as he sees Ichigo with a black wig, Karin's red hat, and lipstick.
  • Used so heavily in Brigadoon: Marin and Melan that it's a bit confusing at first. Marin's imagination usually involves violent death.
  • Used in a Code Geass sound episode where Shirley is imagining all kinds of insane things that could go wrong if she asks Lelouch out to a concert. It starts with him just saying that he will take his sister to the entire student council admitting their undying love for him, even Arthur. That's almost JD level weirdness.
    • Also used in the Picture Drama in which Sayoko first meets Suzaku when he comes over for tea with Lelouch and Nunally. She happens to overhear part of a conversation between Suzaku and Lelouch at the end and somehow interprets it to mean they are secretly in love... and her imagination runs away on her a little.
  • Debusen: Mitsuru has several about the horrible things that people might do to him if they learned that he was actually a man pretending to be a woman.
  • Taichi's anxiety over Zeromaru leads to him having these in Digimon V-Tamer 01. It's later revealed Gabo had many of the same feelings, leading them to share an imagine spot.
  • Digimon Tamers:
    • Takato has one when he can't find his partner Guilmon, imagining Guilmon being shot to death by police.
    • Takato gets a few lighthearted ones in a row when he first meets Culumon. Thinking Culumon would be safer with a human Tamer, he imagines how various of his acquaintances would go about taking care of Culumon; none of them work out very well.
  • Digimon Frontier: The infamous sequence in the Beach Episode "Beastie Girl", wherein Izumi/Zoe pictures herself wearing several of the swimsuit options she has.
  • Akina of Don't Become an Otaku, Shinozaki-san! is prone to these. Most often her fantasies of "saving" Kaede from an otaku's life devolve into a yuri fantasy, which often cause her to freak out and makes her classmates regard her as the oddball of the classroom.
  • The characters in Eyeshield 21 do this sometimes. Usually they imagine themselves pulling of a spectacular play (in Monta's case, it's always followed with Mamori fussing happily over him).
  • This is occasionally used in Fairy Tail, most often when the Yandere Juvia imagines Gray falling in love with her.
  • Used once to great effect in Fist of the North Star, during the fight between Rei and Raoh: realizing that Raoh is far stronger than him, Rei decides to use a suicide attack to take Raoh down, we see it landing... And then it cuts to Raoh still alive and thinking "He plans to use this kind of attack with me?!", revealing it was simply Raoh guessing how it would go if he fought Rei normally before deciding for a more unorthodox counterattack - one that distracts Rei just long enough for Raoh to strike the decisive blow unimpeded.
  • May Chang in Fullmetal Alchemist is prone to daydreaming about the Elrics (first Ed, then upon finding him insufficiently tall, Al) with copious Bishie Sparkle. Already funny, it becomes downright Hilarious in Hindsight when Monica Rial was cast as her English voice actress, leading to many Ouran High School Host Club jokes among fans.
  • Masamune of Gate 7 get lose in his own Imagine Spot of Cat Girl Hana at the middle of a battle.
  • Goblin Slayer has a short scene in the second volume where a Rhea scout is caught out during his promotion exam by Guild Girl for helping himself to the treasure that by rights belonged to the rest of his party, with not even Goblin Slayer having any pity for the guy because he is an adventurer too. Following his demotion and banishment, the scout has a brief Imagine Spot about pulling his knife and attacking Guild Girl only to be smashed down by Goblin Slayer, resulting in him backing down. It definitely didn't help that his thoughts during the imagine spot were very, very goblin-like. When the scout finally does decide to attack them in revenge for this humiliation in the third volume, his death at Goblin Slayer's hands is anything but pretty.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka anime constantly switch between real world and the titular Onizuka's "fantasy".
  • In Gundam Build Fighters, Sei and Mao got lost in an Imagine Spot battle as they try to gauge how strong the Build Strike Full Package and the Gundam X Maoh are between each other. The "battle" is interrupted by Mr. Ral, who doesn't want their fight to be wasted on such a thing.
  • Switzerland in Hetalia: Axis Powers is a surly, gun-toting miser, but Japan imagines him as a befrocked, beribboned Heidi who engages in song and dance.
  • The fifth episode of THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls has a few of these, for the idols who are imagining what their debut would be like.
  • Imagine Spots are incredibly common in Is the Order a Rabbit?, with at least one instance per episode as the characters start imagining things in response to something another said.
    • A couple happen in the first episode, such as when Cocoa thought Rabbit House was literally a place to play with rabbits, and Rize imagining herself wearing a Playboy Bunny outfit.
    • Rize does this again in episode 3, imagining herself in a Playboy Bunny costume, except this time with a floppy-eared headband like the one worn by Sharo. She decides that it works equally well.
  • In Is This A Zombie?, Ayumu constantly imagines Eucliwood talking to him, usually praising him and acting sexy. In each imagine spot, she is voiced by a different actress.
  • A Running Gag of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is Shirogane envisioning Kaguya looking down upon him with a sarcastic smile and muttering "How Cute." The one time she did make the face, she was actually being sincere, but was attempting to maintain a stoic expression in place of a wide smile, resulting in the aforementioned sarcastic smile. And when she finally does say the line in a sarcastic tone, it's because he isn't acting on his feelings for her.
  • Manabe from Kotoura-san is so perverted so he often has perverted Imagine Spots about his girlfriend Haruka. Haruka, however, is a telepath, so this and the Dirty Mind-Reading that always ensues becomes a Running Gag. In fact, he deliberately dreams them up solely to tease her; when Haruka caught a cold that temporarily blocked her telepathy, Manabe found it was no fun to fantasize about her unless she could see it.
  • In chapter 13 and episode 11 of Gourmet Girl Graffiti, it was revealed Ryou's parents wanted to get Ryou a bodyguard when they went overseas, but was refused by her Grandmother. Kirin briefly thought about how Ryou would be different if she had a live-in bodyguard.
  • Unavoidable Lucky Star example: Hiyori would often falls into fantasies about portraying her classmates Yutaka and Minami as lesbians, but immediate cut short by chastising herself about thinking her friends that way. Said friends are clueless as to what she's freaking out over.
  • In Macross Frontier, Luca's brain goes to town in not entirely worksafe ways when Sheryl casually declares Alto her slave. Makes you wonder what else goes on in his head, considering Sheryl obviously meant slave in the menial labor-drone sense.
  • March Comes in Like a Lion has a rather grim example of this trope in its first chapter. Rei imagines himself beating his adoptive father to death while Rei's paralleling beating his father in a professional shogi match to a news story of a man murdering his father with blunt force. Yikes.
  • Minami-ke's Hosaka gets really caught up in his fantasies, usually starring Haruka, to the point of acting them out. Everyone else thinks he's weird and a little sick in the head.
  • Miss Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles:
    • In Chapter 8, Yuu imagines she and Koizumi happily chatting together.
    • In Chapter 13, Yuu gets one of Koizumi being taken away by a suave older guy.
  • Moriarty the Patriot: In Chapter 76, Moran has a few pages of fantasizing about an island paradise and being naked in bed after tasting Albert's creme brulee.
  • Musuko ga Kawaikute Shikataganai Mazoku no Hahaoya: Lorem tends to have this while thinking about Gospel's future. She dreams of having a close relationship with him where he'll always be happy to see her even as he gets older, but also imagines him as a terrible delinquent should she somehow fail as a parent.
  • My Clueless First Friend: While Nishimura and Takada are out getting cake for a Christmas Party, they spot one of Takada's sister's friends on a date. After witnessing her and her boyfriend kissing, an embarrassed and furiously blushing Takada and Nishimura simultaneously imagine older versions of themselves doing the same.
  • Naruto:
    • Early on in the anime, Naruto fantasizes about becoming Hokage and beating Sasuke. There's more than that:
    • In the "what's under Kakashi's mask?" episode, Sasuke, thanks to Naruto's goading, imagines an unmasked Kakashi with big red lips, and then big buck teeth; he quickly agrees to help Naruto and Sakura try to see Kakashi's face.
    • In that same episode, our trio treat Kakashi to lunch at Ramen Ichiraku as part of their first attempt. Kakashi is suspicious and has three imagine spots in a row: first, getting buried under a big pile of snow (ironically, after he says "I wouldn't be surprised if it snowed on me,"), then, his order of ramen exploding in his face, and finally, him getting bopped by a giant Extendo Boxing Glove and Squashed Flat against a wall. At the end of each one, Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura triumphantly flash the peace sign and declare, "He fell for it!!"
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi has quite a few, as well as a few Imagine Sketches from Haruna (or Nodoka's magic diary). In one notable instance, after Nodoka confesses to him, Negi imagines himself marrying her... without losing the Blank White Eyes he got from the revelation.
  • In episode 3 of New Game!, While Aoba is on the train, anxious after having overslept, she imagines a situation where Kou punishes her for being late by forcing her to stay overnight in her underwear.
  • In Nightmare Inspector, Kairi spends a lot of his time fantasizing and daydreaming. We get to see a few of said fantasies, which are... strange, to say the least.
  • Onsokumaru of Ninja Nonsense does these a lot, usually involving Fanservice images of Kaede and Shinobu, or of himself surrounded by women or doing something awesome.
  • The main character from No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!~, Tomoko, being the anime and Dating Sim-obsessed introvert that she is, has plenty of these, mostly about how the newest tactic she has is going to make her popular. Naturally, none of these work out the way she hoped.
  • Wakaba Kumura of Otasuke Miko Miko-chan has these frequently.
  • Onani Master Kurosawa: Kurosawa has these as twisted Sadist fantasies about girls he knows for his daily routine. Being unable go through with it serves as a Love Epiphany.
  • One Piece employs this often enough, usually for romance/perverse fantasies (Sanji and Boa Hancock being two favorites). Oddly Nico Robin gets a few quite whimsical ones.
  • Misaki in Our Home's Fox Deity is prone to sudden and overthought fantasy sequences about Noboru, her crush. Usually these fantasy sequences involve Kuugen or Kou, his family's resident Pretty Freeloaders.
  • Ouran High School Host Club has "Tamaki's Inner Mind Theatre", usually with Tamaki fantasizing about Haruhi.
  • Often used in Paradise Kiss. In one instance, Yukari pictures a Love Triangle as a Duel to the Death between Tokumori as a samurai and Arashi as a Lupin III pastiche, for the love of Miwako as a schoolgirl in Sailor Fuku. She notes it's only natural Arashi won, after all, he had a gun.
  • In the second episode of Paranoia Agent, Yuichi has these more frequently (and they become more indulgent/fantastical) as things continually get worse for him.
  • Plica has several, though some of the other characters also get in on it.
  • Happens a few times in Poison Berry in My Brain; the sequences are appropriately labeled "Imagination".
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Meowth of Team Rocket has done this about Once per Episode since Hoenn, thinking about what Giovanni would do with the Pokémon of the day. More often than not, the imagery is pretty weird. Everything from said Boss spontaneously performing a Super-Deformed Gene Kelly dance routine, to said Boss stripping to a Loincloth for almost no friggin' reason. It helps that said Boss is The Comically Serious, and the occasions with Meowth's accented voice filling in for what he imagines would be what Giovanni would say help even more. What makes it even more imaginative is that the three were probably the most pathetic excuses for Team Rocket members ever seen on the show, at least until they Took a Level in Badass in Unova, and that Giovanni mostly despises them.
    • Who's an even more Comically Serious than Giovanni? Why, Cyrus, of course. But that only serves to make this scene more hilarious, as the Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure! heroes ponder where he could have gone after the Spear Pillar.
    • There's Connoiseusse Burgundy, who has one involving Cilan mocking her and her Oshawott in a particularly cruel manner while Pansage just cackles viciously. Considering what Cilan's really like, plus her evaluation of Ash's Pokemon in a negative light, it just shows how wacked out she really is.
    • Piplup in "Piplup, Up, and Away!" kept imagining Dawn praising him and himself being a total badass.
    • In the Johto episode Turning Over A New Bayleef, at the beginning of the episode, the stew is prepared and Ash attempts to serve it. While Ash tries to keep Totodile at bay under the fear that Totodile might cause Ash to spill the stew, Bayleef is beginning to rush over to Ash, but halfway through, due to being too big to jump into Ash’s arms because of the fact that she evolved from a Chikorita in the previous episode and that she caused Ash to be sent flying during a game of fetch, factored by the mention of the potential stew spillage, she stops running and looks up at a thought bubble above her head that the camera pans up to consisting of her (in a different style where her eyes are black dots) continuing to run up to Ash (who is in the same style), which sends him flying and causes the stew to spill on Ash, and Ash angrily yells, “Bayleef! I told you before, no Tackling!” After the camera pans back down on Bayleef, the thought bubble disappears, and Bayleef, shaking her head upon realizing that it might end badly, decides to simply walk.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Every character indulges in this regularly. If there are any other people in the room, they usually comment on the scene.
    • Ranma is figuring out the best way to approach Akane while she's in the hospital bed. All of his imaginations ends up with them kissing, which makes him snap back to reality like he woke up from a nightmare.
  • Rebuild World:
    • Played for Drama more often than not with Sheryl imagining Akira executing her, drowning her, but most importantly, in one Foreshadowing a bloody future Love Triangle, Sheryl sees Akira abandoning her forever after witnessing her Holding Hands with The Rival Katsuya. She also has a few erotic fantasies.
    • Akira has a childish fantasy about using two assault rifles in Guns Akimbo that makes Alpha scold him how it’d wreck his arms if he wasn’t wearing Powered Armor as Required Secondary Powers for it.
    • Akira and Nojima each have one as part of a Running Gag about maid outfits. Due to Alpha and Shirakabe suggesting it, they both imagine buff male soldiers like Kurosawa fighting in maid uniforms since they provide better protection due to Lost Technology, leading to the desire for Brain Bleach.
  • Used several times in a row in an episode of Revolutionary Girl Utena, when Nanami is trying to embarrass Anthy (and win Miki's affection) by planting weird stuff in her room. She envisions each ploy going off without a hitch, only to have them fail because Anthy is already keeping weird stuff in her room. And Miki finds it cute.
  • Saitou Hajime of Rurouni Kenshin: Memetic Badass, Inspector Javert, The Comically Serious... and master of the trope. He makes the "If Kaoru → Tanuki and Megumi → Fox, then Misao → Weasel" in one and images a broom shooing away a rooster when Chou and Sanosuke get into an argument.
  • We see Haruka's fantasies fairly often in Sakura Trick.
  • Snow White with the Red Hair: Zen's fantasizing of riding with his girlfriend Shirayuki on his horse for a trip is shown right before she rides out on a horse on her own and reveals that since the last time they traveled together she's learned to ride. He then has to school his expression and congratulate her even though he'd been looking forward to a situation where he got to ride with her for months.
  • In Soul Eater Not!, new student Tsugumi imagines herself surrounded by pretty boys at the academy, but she snaps out of her thoughts once she sees Black Star punching a guy in the face. She also imagines the aforementioned pretty boys all clamoring to be her partner, but instead finds herself being fought over by two female classmates.
  • Spy X Family:
    • Yor tends to imagine herself brutally murdering her way through her problems, only to hastily remind herself that she can't kill innocent people. Overlaps with Imagine Spotting, since Anya is a telepath and can see these fantasies.
    • Since Yor is worried Loid will leave her if he finds out that she's an assassin, Anya picked up on this, and tends to have the exact same terror. She keeps imagining what will happen if she fails to keep Loid from noticing Yor's suspicious combat skills.
      Loid: Y-You're a hired killer? I want a divorce. The Forger family is no more! Also, let's abandon Anya.
  • Star Driver has Wako doing almost exactly the same thing, complete with Ouran-style captions. Yaoi style!
  • Strawberry Marshmallow:
    • In he manga, while Nobue is filling out a job application for one of the "zillions of 7-Elevens" in the area, the other girls contemplate what sorts of jobs they would want to get. The question is posed to Matsuri, and Miu imagines Matsuri in a few different kinds of jobs, coming up with the conclusion that Matsuri is not employable. When they consider the job of handing out promotional tissues, Miu remarks that "Matsuri wasn't able to do it at all just now," and imagines herself in the position, sneaking them into people's pockets and bags even if they refuse, and offering entire boxes at once.
    • This also happens in the corresponding anime sequence, except with Miu imagining a single job for Matsuri and Ana (Matsuri as a sweet potato woman (like an ice cream woman, but with sweet potatoes) and Ana as a ball girl at a tennis court.) As for tissue pack marketing, Miu and Chika acted it out in real life with the same level of success as Matsuri.
  • Junpei in Strawberry 100% often has fantasies about panty shots.
    • A memorable example has Junpei, after discovered that Aya (his Meganekko schoolmates) is the mysterious girl with the strawberry panties, imagining of hug and grope both the nerdy-Aya and the middle of an exam!
  • Used frequently in the Animated Adaptation of Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note, usually in hexagonal speech balloons, to show how Aya feels inside despite appearances.
  • To Love Ru Darkness:
    • Momo has one of the heavily censored kind when she thinks of Rito. And multiple somewhat less censored ones of how she hopes things will turn out during Rito's time alone with various individual harem-candidates. The actual events are invariably tamer than what Momo is hoping for (though still very much NSFW thanks to his Accidental Pervert nature).
    • Many of the girls seem to be developing powerful fantasies based around Rito. Yui, for example, is constantly imagining herself in the role of wife and mother.
    • The first series has Rito imagine Haruna in a bikini in the first chapter.
  • Usagi-chan de Cue!!: Miku imagines herself and Haru as naked newlyweds. Later, Miku learns that Mimika has "slept with" Haru (just sleeping, no hanky-panky) and imagines Mimika and Haru as a naked couple.
  • With the Light: In the first chapter, Sachiko has a few in which Hikaru is a neurotypical young boy who's happily willing to be held in his mother's arms, being read to on her lap, and being taught and speaking words.
  • Bunny Drop: When talking with his parents, Daikichi has frequent Flashbacks to his childhood (often accompanied by the informative caption "Showa-era child rearing!")
  • Kappei and Seiichiro from Dash Kappei. Every times their fantasies concern a romantic relathionship with Akane.
  • Maison Ikkoku: Godai often imagines himself getting intimate with Kyoko.
  • The Secret Recipe: In chapter 15, right after Wakatsuki had a brief daydream of Yuuko in a Naked Apron, one of the Cooking Club members bring up the upcoming cultural festival and asked what should their aprons be like. Cue immense blushing from Wakatsuki.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Black and White, "A Matter of Trust": Bruce Wayne gets stuck babysitting a friend's rambunctious toddlers. At one point, he considers calling in Alfred to help and pictures him immediately taming the toddlers charges with "secret butler knowledge".
  • Empowered has the Counter-Factual Scenarios: someone gloats or does something awesome, only for the sign "End Counter-Factual Scenario" to appear. The most epic one is Emp's gloating about how she's constantly outsmarting supervillains by listening to the information they tell around her whenever she's captured (and in fact she let herself get captured on purpose twice), putting it on the superheroes' villain database, and, if she gets the chance, using it herself, immediately followed by her explaining what she had done all day as dumb luck.
  • Give Me Liberty has a few imagine spots that display the main character as a panther and the villain as a hunter.
  • Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man: In Issue #4, the Human Torch has a few nightmare scenarios after accidentally cutting off communication with an alien who was trying to talk to Reed, about trying to get advice from other superheroes. They all universally tell him he did a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
    Captain America: According to S.H.I.E.L.D. records, the alien Goom has been trying to help us end famine, but now we've lost contact forever. Thanks, soldier.
    Doctor Strange: By the Obsidian Onyx of Oxnard... Goom was the greatest leader of his world, now destroyed by your careless act! It will take you 90 lifetimes to purge such karma.
    The Mighty Thor: Mortal whelp! Sending an empty message back to the Galactikon Empire is the foulest insult one can render! Prepare for battle— The might of their star system will be arriving soon!
    The Incredible Hulk: Bah! Fireboy bother Hulk! Go smash puny machine, fireboy!
    Human Torch: Why would I be asking the Hulk?
  • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: In "Gothamazon" Diana briefly imagines killing or maiming the assembled irritating Bat-Rogues she's fighting. Obviously she chooses a less violent path, though given she wraps most of them in her lasso which forces them to face their greatest fears and changes them permanently some of them may have preferred the maiming.
  • One of the few almost totally lighthearted moments in Sin City happens when Dwight McCarthy imagines the recently deceased Jack Rafferty talking to him as a Deadpan Snarker. Emphasis on the dead part.
  • Superman:
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Supergirl fantasizes the whole time, imagining that, for once, she isn't the universe's Butt-Monkey.
    • In Bizarrogirl, When Kara sees Dr. Light kneeled over Bizarrogirl, she mentally visualizes her mother kneeling over a shackled Reactron. Later she reminisces her cousin and herself hugging after the destruction of New Krypton when she sees Bizarrogirl glomping Bizarro.
    • At the tail end of the The Unknown Supergirl storyline in Action Comics #283, Linda imagines that she finally reveals her Secret Identity to her parents and they accept her and become her secret keepers.
    • The Girl with the X-Ray Mind: During a brief bout of jealousy, Linda Danvers fantasizes briefly about stopping her boyfriend Dick Malverne from going after Lena Thorul by telling him Lena's secret (her being Lex Luthor's little sister). One second later, she completely shoots the idea down, feeling ashamed of herself for having even considered it.
    • In Must There Be a Superman?, the titular hero must prevent a pod of alien spores from reaching inhabited worlds. As preparing to intercept, Superman briefly visualizes what kind of chaos and devastation would ensue if those spores hatch in Earth.
    • Death & the Family: As observing Insect Queen's lair through a window, Kara imagines Lana Lang's face reflected in the window.
    • The Super-Revenge of Lex Luthor: After explaining to several mooks how he plans to gaslight Superman until driving him crazy, Lex Luthor imagines Superman turned into "a quaking, cowering wreck— a mindless, human vegetable!"
  • Archie Comics (2015): In a secret-agent-themed fantasy in issue 3 of Jughead, Jughead shoots at Reggie, who turns out to be a robot.
    Kevin: How did you know Reggie was a robot?
    Jughead: Oh, I, for sure he was...a robot, 'cause, uh...
  • Anya from Anya's Ghost has one about her and Sean, as she prepares to impress him at Matt's party.
    Sean: "Oh Anya, let's have an intense spiritual relationship for no believable reason!"
    Anya: "Oh Sean, take me away!"
  • Aquaman: Hook Hand Arthur, complete with beard, is imagined by one of Arthur's classmates in Aquaman Vol 7 #28.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Girl: One of the early issues showed all of May's friends (except Moose) fantasizing about being a superhero. Then Normie's fantasies/delusions of defeating Spider-Girl.
    • Subverted in Spider-Verse, when Spider-Man believes he is just imagining he has become a Super-Deformed version of himself in a hippy costume.
    • In The Pulse, when Jessica Jones, Ben Urich and Kat Ferrell are trying to figure out who murdered a Daily Bugle staffer and dropped her body in the water from hundreds of feet in the air, their mental images range from the highly unlikely (Iron Man, Hulk) to the probably not (Vulture) to the downright ludicrous (Stilt-Man).
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck: When Uncle Pothole and Buffalo Bill enter an abandoned building with the Daltons hiding behind a doorway for an ambush, Dalton clones suddenly spring out from elsewhere and Pothole and Bill fight them off, with Bill's hair noticably turning darker. Cut to the Daltons still standing near the doorway with dumbfounded expressions, and back in the chaos, Uncle Pothole has suddenly become ridiculously muscular, while Buffalo Bill is decorated with honors and his hair is completely black. Everything suddenly returns to normal, where it is revealed that Pothole was just writing a dime novel draft on the fly. Especially noteworthy, since it depicts Pothole writing Marty Stu versions of himself and Bill In-Universe.
  • Superman:
    • In The Jungle Line, Clark Kent considers flying back to his apartment despite his malfunctioning powers. Then he imagines himself free-falling from several hundreds of meters and decides to take the subway instead.
    • In Superman vs. Shazam!, Karmang cheerfully imagines the consequences of someone trying to dismantle his machines: cities being destroyed by earthquakes, tsunamis, violent lightning storms...
  • Near the end of Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy, Clay's birth siblings ask if he'd like to join them. On the positive side, he could have fun with them, protect them from danger, teach them everything he knows, and just be a big brother to them overall. On the negative side, he'd have to leave his friends forever, he'd get scolded for not knowing how to lead a group of MudWings, go into war with his siblings, and watching them die.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes often combines these with Cutting Back to Reality. One instance: Calvin actually gets an A on a paper for once. The (large) center panel is a huge, mid-city celebration, with confetti, cheering spectators, a gigantic Calvin statue and Calvin himself riding in a limo with the key to the city. Unfortunately, back in reality, Ms. Wormwood just moves along to more classwork, much to a deflated Calvin's chagrin.
  • InSecurity:
    • When Sedine asks her husband Sam about what their spirit animals would be like, he imagines himself as a quiet St. Bernard and Sedine as a yapping Chihuahua.
    • After reading a newspaper article about human cloning, Sedine imagines a bunch of Sams pampering her, while Sam imagines a bunch of Sedines fighting over him.
  • In one Fred Basset strip an annoyed Fred imagines leading his owner on a leash.
  • Felipe from Mafalda lives and breathes this trope, usually centering on getting back at people like his parents or teachers for making him do work or chores or punishing him for misbehaving, and oftentimes involving the Lone Ranger some way or another.

    Fan Works 
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, after Kyon phones Yuki in chapter 13 he imagines her in her apartment, kneeling by the phone, her cheeks pink-tinged as she daydreams about him... But he dismisses that thought. This is Yuki, after all. As much as he might wish that...
  • In Progress, Princess Luna has increasingly bizarre daydreams about the various awkward situations in which she finds herself.
  • Turnabout Storm: Before the trial starts, Phoenix wonders what would his Friendly Rival Edgeworth do if he was the one stuck in Equestria instead. The result is... a little less than useless.
    Edgeworth: (while he's riding on top of Lyra) This is just like that one episode of the Steel Samurai where he meets the Pink Princess! WHEEEEEE!!!
    Phoenix: (Doctor, I'd like the part of my brain responsible for that image lobotomized please...)
  • In With Strings Attached, during the New Zork chapter, Beagle John tells Ringo that the government is looking for the first "A-plus Plus" (i.e., someone with more than one magical Ability) and such a man will be milked for his sperm so all the women can be artificially inseminated. Ringo, who easily qualifies, pictures “himself hooked up to a sperm-pumping machine, surrounded by thousands of big-nosed, blue-eyed telekinetic kids.”
  • Calvin has a few in Calvin at Camp. Since it's directly based on Calvin and Hobbes, this is to be expected.
  • Happens to Saga and Luna in Under the Northern Lights.
  • Rolling in Beaches: When Spike and Wavedancer wander off together, Rarity has one of these where Wavedancer turns into a cartoony, over-the-top villain who tries to harm Spike, only for Rarity to show up and save him.
  • Children of an Elder God: In chapter 23, Rei tries to persuade Asuka to share Shinji. Asuka refuses, but she can't help imagine what it'd be like:
    Her mind flickered with something. It couldn't be a memory, as she knew it hadn't happened. Just an image of herself on a bed, Rei wrapped around her from behind, kissing her neck, as Shinji kissed his way down her belly. Her eyes widened and she drove the image out of her mind. She wouldn't do anything like that with another girl and ESPECIALLY not with Rei.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Features a hilarious one from Eline, immeadiately following her capture by Mercury.
    Mercury's main claim to fame was defeating a horned reaper in single combat, even if Morrigan ranted often about how she had to have cheated. In Eline's head, the indistinct, blue-haired mental picture of the Keeper grew and gained bulging muscles, until it was nearly the equal of the reaper. What else did she know? Mercury had, according to rumours, had her way with the red-skinned beast against his will, which made her a terrifying and suicidal deviant. The red-eyed mental picture in the prisoner's mind gained a demented, lecherous grin. The Keeper's reported exhibitionist tendencies hardly mattered in comparison. Eline pinched the bridge of her nose as the brute in her imagination lost her clothes. Just great. She's basically a female clone of Morrigan.
  • Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness: Patchouli gets one of Marisa driving Megas and destroying her library while cackling madly. This provokes Patchouli into trying to stop her from doing so, despite the fact that such a thing wasn't likely to happen.
  • Dragonette Debacle:
    "All of my mates and children are currently waiting in the breakfast room for us to arrive so we can all eat together. In fact one of my carriers demanded that I appear with you in the next fifteen minutes or she would use my dragon form as a washing line for the children's dirty clothes."
    As nerve-jarring as having a man sitting on the end of his bed was, Harry couldn't stop the laughter that the image provoked. Harry could just see a huge dragon looking completely disgruntled as clothes and children's robes were hung from all its horns.
  • In Ninja Wizard Book 2 Ginny has one of thirteen-year-old Harry suggesting they get married while his current girlfriend stands in the background crying.
  • In A Different Beginning Harry decides during first year that Voldemort is as competent a Dark Lord as Hagrid would be.
    He could picture it all so clearly.
    Hagrid enthroned, wearing a Slytherin uniform, with his wild hair slicked down and neatly parted, surrounded by his minions— well, minion, really: Ron in a turban.
  • In Harry Potter and the Shadowed Light Harry, sorted into Ravenclaw, is surprised that Dumbledore hasn't demanded he be resorted into Gryffindor.
    Snorting at the image his mind produced of Dumbledore jumping him in the hallway and throwing red and gold glitter on him and demanding he roar, Harry ignored the curious looks sent at him by his classmates as he plotted and schemed.
  • In Harry Potter and the Dogfather Harry has to get a physical to prove his relatives abused him, much to his dismay.
    By the time Sirius and Harry got to the waiting room of a children's hospital in London, Harry had Dr. Grant fully envisioned in his head—a evil-looking man with devil horns, wearing glasses and a bloodstained white doctor's smock, brandishing a ten-foot-long needle.
  • In Son of Potter, Daughter of Black Harry makes a better exit than usual after Floo travel.
    Ted chuckled at the memory of Harry's spectacular exit last time. The Muggle-born had a moment to imagine a game of bowling with Harry as the ball fired from the Floo and then he put his business face on.
  • Harry Potter and the Dream Come True:
    The only person who was not rejoicing was Harry, who, being the only child in the entire hall, was more than a little overwhelmed by what had happened. Sirius was free, Fudge was being sacked, his dad was alive... next thing he knew Snape was going to show up and give Gryffindor house points!
    Forgetting his confusion for the moment, Harry couldn't help but laugh at the mental image of Snape in red and gold supporting Gryffindor, handing out lion-shaped marshmallows to all Harry's friends. That would be worth a thousand detentions just to see!
  • In Harry Potter and the Rebellion of Hogwarts Harry learns that two of the Potter Manor elves are named Mario and Luigi and briefly imagines them dressed like the video game characters.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: Trixie occasionally has them, often brought on by fear. One of the earliest has her imagining Luna criticising her for the Longest Night festival going to hell in a handbasket even as she's being destroyed by the weather.
  • Macy from the Adventure Time fanfic Half Past Adventure has a tendency to do this, to the point where it can get in the way of day-to-day life.
  • In Spirit Of Redemption, Eli claims that he isn't responsible for some of the things his subconscious comes up with when he's dreaming, or even the things that come up when he's conscious.
  • Oversaturated World: From the second chapter of Pinkie Pie's Problematically Private Passion's Parental Personages Presented Perpostorously Prior Publishing Previously Paraphrased Preoccupation, indicated by the text being aligned to the right, instead of the left, as usual:
    "Yes, Ruby Rose. I have some sort of bug... a lovebug. It has bitten me and made me fall deeply in love with you! I know this must come as great shock—"
    "Oh, but Pinkie Pie, I wish you'd told me sooner! For you see, I too have found a healthy and burgeoning attraction to you! And at last, I feel my heart lifting again!"
    "Oh dearest Ruby, how is it that we ever felt fear to confess our feelings to another? Now at last I feel free, free to once more sail the winds of whimsy! Come, let me show you wonders worth a thousand giggles!"
    "I come, my lovely Pinkie! And lo, I do find these pies you present a suitable gesture of your romance! Perhaps in turn I shall return the gesture and—"
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Izuku imagines would be like to climb up a building with Jirou hanging onto his back. He quickly realizes that he'd be feeling her everything through his skintight costume and has to Think Unsexy Thoughts to get rid of his Raging Stiffie.
    "Jirou, hanging from his back with her arms around him... Her body pressing against his, her breath tickling his neck… feeling everything through his costume..."
  • At the beginning of The Unfantastic Adventures of Bizarro No. 1, Bizarro imagines a bunch of male Bizarros standing in line to seduce Bizarro Lois.
  • In Cadet Scrap, as Kate is wrapping her hands before sparring with Sophie, she imagines the otherwise empty room filled with a screaming audience of cadets surrounding the two of them, who are locked in a bloody fistfight.
  • In Harry Riddle, Harry has a couple when he considers gifting his dad with the Philosopher's stone he imagines there's only two ways it could go: either his father would tell him 1) "I'm So Proud of You" or 2) "You Have Outlived Your Usefulness."
  • Here There Be Monsters: During his first scene, Freddy Freeman feels his crippled leg aching again. Freddy closes his eyes and spends several minutes reminiscing Captain Nazi killing his grandfather and breaking his leg until one costumer's voice snaps Freddy out of his reverie.
    The temperature made his bum leg ache a bit. He massaged it with one hand and closed his eyes.
    ...The big German in the green suit and the blonde crewcut and the duelling scar is standing up in the boat and he doesn't care that he might swamp it he's holding that oar he's holding it and you can see in his eyes what he's going to do with it he's bringing it down on Grandfather Troop's...
    "Freddy," said a voice.
    "Um." Freddy snapped his eyes open. "Hi, Chief Bond."
    The fireman was holding one of the Gazettes and had three cents in his other palm. He was a regular customer. Freddy took the coins. "Sorry, Chief, just a little woolgathering there."
  • In Applications Dumbledore tells Harry he has to get married because his number was picked in the yearly drawing.
    "Love is a romantic, Muggle notion. Love is unnecessary for a marriage, and often not recommended."
    Harry had a sudden, hysterical picture of a bottle of medicine proclaiming itself to be 'Love' and a Surgeon General's warning stating: "Do not consume Love if you are currently married, as it may have harmful side-effects." He bit back the crazed laughter.
  • Glee Reprise has several musical numbers take place like this, just like the parent show.
  • Games and Forfeits:
    "Mm, yes." Hermione watched the male couple with a smile. "They're much more open about it here. You'd think, what with the bloodline obsession and all, it'd be completely taboo. Apparently the wizarding world has no problems with alternate methods of reproduction."

    "Alternate..?" A horrible vision assailed Harry's over-active imagination. An army of muumuu-clad men, swollen with child and armed with the most vicious of hexes, marched behind his eyes. Their flower-print dresses whipped in the wind made by their passing, and their boyfriends cowered at their feet in the dust wearing collars and leashes.

    The blood drained from his face.
  • Becoming a True Invader: At one point, after Red learns Zim has grown taller, he has an Oh, Crap! moment and pictures how much damage he could do to Irk if he becomes Tallest.
  • In Chapter 5 of A Cracked Ruby, James has one where he arrives at the Festival of Lights polished, buffed and covered in flags, which impresses Molly very much.
  • A Possible Encounter for a Phantom: When Danny finds Kim at his front door, he imagines her confessing her love for him and they almost kiss. He has another daydream while unintentionally spying on her at Middleton High.
  • A Phantom's Ghoul School Sweetheart: Phantasma imagines Danny noticing her and being suave before attempting to kiss him, then realizes it was all in her head.
  • Into the Unknown:
    The snake hissed her distaste, but then answered, her tone hiding a smirk. The descendent of Master Salazar attempted to force his way into the secret study. He was...forcibly removed from the Chamber of Secrets entirely, unable to return for a period of some weeks. He did not try to enter Master's study again.
    Harry grinned at the thought of Voldemort being ejected with some kind of spring, like the ejector seats you sometimes saw in old movies, throwing the villain out into the girl's bathroom and slamming him, headfirst, into a sink.
  • Defragmentation: When Pink offers to let Spamton stay at their place, the latter briefly imagines stealing Pink's belongings, getting buff and pushing aside some Swatchlings, and having the Addisons bow before him in his NEO form.
  • Vanilla Bear of the Triptych Continuum has a habit of doing this. It's Played for Laughs, since we never get to see what he's imagining and the emphasis is instead put on how this looks from the outside: Vanilla stops (often in the middle of a conversation), stares off into space for a few minutes, and then says something that does not appear to make any sense.
  • Naru-Hina Chronicles: Neji and Tenten announce to Lee and Gai that not only are they engaged, but also that Tenten is pregnant. Lee suggests they should go celebrate. The next panel then shows an imagine spot of Lee dancing and Gai singing "Stayin' Alive" by The Bee Gees.

    Films — Animation 
  • Despicable Me: Gru has two, both involving the girls and a "Eureka!" Moment.
    • He first has one when he imagines the girls carrying the shrink ray out of Vector's fortress.
    • He has another one later when he imagines sending the girls away into the sky on a ride labelled "Goodbye" and doing a dance on tiptoes in celebration.
  • At the beginning from Ferdinand, Valiente has an animated imagination sequence in which he envisions himself as a strong bull capable of defeating the matador and several banderilleros.
  • In Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas , after being sent to his doghouse by Mickey for ruining his Christmas decorations, Pluto imagines Mickey disowning him and telling him to go away. This proves how Pluto took Mickey's words to "get out and stay out" note  too much to heart.
  • In Turning Red, Mei has one involving her fantasy of the 4*Town concert when Ming asks her why she wants to go so badly.
  • In Up, Carl just found out that Russell snuck aboard his house before liftoff and notices that they're passing over some skyscrapers. Cue him trying to lower the kid down onto a building using an improvised towel-rope, and the kid slips and falls... Then the mental image ends with Carl deciding "Well, that's not gonna work."
  • Wreck-It Ralph:
    • Ralph has one when he's claiming the medal he "won" in Hero's Duty of him becoming the center of attention in Niceland whilst Gene is seen sitting on Ralph's stump, crying 8-bit tears.
    • He has another one of the fate that would befall Vanellope as King Candy describes it to him. It's considerably less funny than the first one.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A Guy Thing has this happen a lot with the Jason Lee protagonist to comic effect. In the film, he is in over his head a lot and tries to imagine his way out of situations before being knocked back to reality.
  • In the opening of the 1973 Australian cult classic Alvin Purple, the protagonist is complaining in voiceover about all the hot looking women providing innocuous fanservice as he rides a tram. First he tears open a woman's blouse for everyone's shock or appreciation. Then he congratulates another woman on her great see-through top that shows off her naked breasts, for which she's quite appreciative. "I've been wearing it for days; I didn't think anyone had noticed." For the Rule of Three, we're shown what actually happened.
    Alvin: (voiceover) Of course it wasn't like that at all.
    Alvin: (to See-Through Blouse Girl) God, you've got great tits! (slap)
    • Later Alvin decides to go celibate, but finds it rather difficult. His pretty neighbour knocks on the door asking May I Borrow a Cup of Sugar? When Alvin answers the door, she's stark naked. He closes the door, then opens it again; this time she's wearing clothes.
  • Amélie from Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain frequently lapses into this. One of the more extreme examples is that, if Nino couldn't assemble a torn-up photograph in time, he'd end up living in Tajikistan with only a goat for company — and Amélie refuses to go out with somebody that would wear a teacosy for a hat.
  • Film/Amsterdam has one in which Valerie imagines shooting her sibling. It's highly effective at misleading because it's the only one in the movie.
  • Several of the musical numbers in Anchors Aweigh.
  • Annie (2014):
    • Annie during "Tomorrow" imagines a lot of people as playing with happy children; the shot returns to show that most are carrying/working with something else.
    • Given a dark turn when a drunken Hannigan sings "Little Girls" and imagines the girls as parts of her furniture and all around her, mocking her.
    • "Easy Street" is another. Guy and Hannigan never really do the sexy dancing, the whole thing is a conversation over dinner, with the song as kind of a punctuation of Guy's plan.
  • In Apollo 13, after they are too damaged to land on the moon and just getting back to Earth will be hard enough, flight commander Jim Lovell imagines himself touching down, leaving perfect tracks, running his fingers through the moon dust, and gazing at the distant Earth. He really wanted to be there (Lovell had been on Apollo 8, the first mission to orbit around the Moon; he is the only astronaut to visit the Moon twice but never land on it.)
  • The Art of the Steal: The raid on the border station is shown in the style of an action movie with the Caper Crew blowing open the front while Crunch screams through on a motorcycle, and Uncle Paddy drops through the ceiling in a Spy Catsuit. However, this in then revealed to be Crunch explaining his plan while Planning with Props. Nicky stops him and outlines all of the reasons why this won't work.
  • Becomes increasingly more common in Brazil. Initially a sign that Lowry's merely bored with his life, it gradually bleeds over into reality. It's wholly possible several major characters don't even exist.
  • El Chanfle: The titular character imagines he enters the football pitch as an actual América player and scores 9 increasingly more ridiculous goals in the same match.
  • Most of the music numbers in Chicago are fullblooded imagine spots of the heroine, who hopes to become a jazz dancer. There are even a few snapping-out-of-it moments, and the contrast between the reality and her jazz saturated daydreams is often underlined.
  • Lloyd of Dumb and Dumber has two: one in which he imagines making love to Mary (ending with her removing her top to reveal a pair of bright lights over her chest - ending with the reveal those lights are an incoming semi, Lloyd having the spot while driving), and then another much later where, after meeting Mary's husband, he imagines himself pulling a gun and shooting him to death.
  • Dumb and Dumber To: There are two hilarious ones from Harry and Lloyd each. Harry imagines being a dad and Lloyd being a total failure, while Lloyd imagines hooking up with Harry's now grown-up daughter at his friend's dying request.
  • In Finding Neverland, James Barrie is prone to having these as fantastic overlays on the events that are actually happening, ranging from imagining rain in a theater to placing him and his companions on a pirate ship as they play pirates.
  • Happens in Forrest Gump. When Forrest talks about Lieutenant Dan and Bubba's ancestors, and then happily inverted when Bubba's mom uses Bubba's share of Forrest's shrimping venture.
  • Rikard from The Giant (2016) often imagines himself as a giant hundreds of feet tall, walking past mountains and over forests and trampling everything in his path.
  • In Girl House, Loverboy has one where he attacks a woman is reaming him out for sexual harrassment with a crowbar.
  • The Girl Next Door (2004): After Matthew finds out that Danielle used to be a porn star, he has a Brain Bleach version of the trope when he imagines her making out with both his parents in front of him.
  • In Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold imagines himself finally working up the nerve to flirt with his attractive neighbor Maria in the elevator. In actuality, he and Maria ride the elevator in awkward silence.
  • In Hold On! (1966), Herman sees a woman on television advising girls to wait for their knights in shining armor. A minute later, he hears Louisa singing on the beach. He imagines his controlling manager Dudley trying to drown her and two other girls, and himself as a knight rescuing them. Later, he imagines himself and Dudley in a space shuttle with his bandmates floating around it while they play a song.
  • In How Funny (This Country Is), Muluk comes to a company that has a job opening, but he must work in Malaysia. After realizing that it means he will become a foreign worker, he has one Imagine Spot of being whipped and immediately backs off.
  • How to Marry a Millionaire has a scene with Pola and Schatze dreaming of wealth, while Loco dreams of a sandwich.
  • Used to bring one of John's briefer fantasies to life in I Am Not a Serial Killer. As he talks about the nature of fear, John points out that people are never afraid of themselves, and even with outside factors, like getting hit by a car, they don't stay in all day because they're afraid they'll have to cross the street. He stares out the window at a woman checking both ways, stepping into the icy street-and a car slams into her. Then John turns dejectedly back to his therapist and the camera shows us the woman safely crossing.
  • The Killer That Stalked New York, a 1950 film Very Loosely Based on the 1947 New York City smallpox outbreak, Dr. Wood pictures what it would be like if they fail to contain the smallpox outbreak—New York City being a Ghost Town. This leads him to conclude that the only viable course of action is to vaccinate the whole city—all eight million people.
    "We have to stop it! Get to the people first, beat the disease. Vaccinate the whole city!"
  • Let's Rob the Bank: When Victor Garnier is describing what he thinks Durand-Mareuil is doing with their money, we see an imaginary sequence of the corrupt banker literally throwing money away on a car, fancy diner, or expensive clothes for his mistress. And apparently, the rest of the family see it too.
  • A Tear Jerker of an imagine spot happens in Longtime Companion, the first movie to deal with gay men affected by the AIDS crisis. Several characters die throughout the movie, and it ends with the three surviving main characters walking along the beach and they imagine being reunited with all their friends who died of AIDS. Then it cuts back to the three of them alone, wondering if a cure will ever be found.
  • Malcolm X is working as a waiter on a train when a white sailor taunts him racially, then suddenly Malcolm is smashing a lemon meringue pie into the white guy's face. A moment later and Malcolm is in reality serving him with a big fake smile.
  • In Mean Girls, Cady does it in the lunch room by thinking about how her dilemma would be solved in the animal world. In her spot she imagines tackling Regina George and wrestling with her as the other students howl and yell like monkeys. Subverted when Regina George is hit by a moving bus and dies. Turns out she really did get hit by a moving bus, but only got sent to the hospital.
  • In Monster-in-Law, Jane Fonda imagines smashing Jennifer Lopez's face into a cake and later Lopez imagines whacking Fonda's with a pan. During both instances they put up a facade of liking each other.
  • Mr. Krueger's Christmas: The titular Mr. Krueger is quite prone to these, imagining himself as a wealthy gentleman, attending large parties, and being present in a certain Bethlehem stable.
  • In the film Muay Thai Giant, Nathan Jones is trying to come up with ways to make money to repair the small restaurant he wrecked. One of the suggestions is becoming a stripper. The result... must be seen to be believed.
  • The Movie of The Music Man has Harold Hill at the footbridge looking into the water and imagining himself conducting a real brass band, with the vision fading when he dejectedly snaps his twig baton in half.
  • The entirety of Next can fall under this due to its premise.
  • In Nobody's Fool, every time Paul Newman throws a brick onto the back of his truck, he imagines he's throwing Bruce Willis out through a window.
  • In Pulp Fiction, Jules imagines Bonnie's potential reaction to coming home and finding "couple of gangster's in her kitchen doin' a bunch of gangster shit."
  • In Ride Along, James thinks about shooting Ben after he asks for his blessing in proposing to James's sister.
  • The main gimmick of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is that Ben Stiller's character is timid about pursuing what he wants to do in life. To compensate, he has a vivid imagination.
  • Used in Shaun of the Dead during a scene in which Shaun and Ed come up with increasingly truncated plans on how to rescue Shaun's mother.
  • This was often used in Silent Movie days. Silent film being silent, Imagine Spots were frequently used to illustrate what the character was thinking. In The Show, when the Greek is plotting to murder his romantic rival Cock Robin, an Imagine Spot is used to show the Greek's Not-So-Fake Prop Weapon murder plot.
  • In Sidekicks, Barry Gabrewski is a kid with asthma, who is a huge fan of Chuck Norris. He keeps daydreaming about being Norris's sidekick in dangerous situations. He ends up living his dream at a karate tournament alongside the actor, and the ending indicates that he has given up living in daydreams.
  • Slumdog Millionaire has Jamal imagine throwing his brother and himself off a skyscraper in anger, when meeting him again for the first time in years.
  • Seth in Superbad has three in a row when he's at the supermarket attempting to steal alcohol for Jules' party imagining how it'll turn out. The first one has him pull out an 80 dollar bill when all-too trusting clerk rings up exactly 80 dollars. The second has a kind elderly woman buy the alcohol for him after picking up her purse for her. The third has him in a scuffle with a security guard he saw earlier who slices his neck open with a broken beer bottle.
  • Tombstone Rashomon: During Ike Clanton's testimony, there is spot showing what Ike believes would have had happened had he actually been out to kill Wyatt, i.e. him gunning them all down with a Winchester carbine as they came round the corner towards the corral.
  • Tyson's Run: When Aklilu agrees to train Tyson to run in the marathon, Tyson imagines news reports about his incredible running skills playing all over the world.
  • Where's Willie?: When it's discovered that Willie and Tracks were responsible for the town's power outage, Willie imagines a judge sentencing the two of them to jail.
  • Women Is Losers: Celina has multiple ones where she imagines what other people think or would about some situation, like her mother or a banker who denies her a loan.
  • The kung-fu film The Young Rebel has a rather dark example. The titular rebel, a youth with extremely volatile outbursts and tendencies of violence, is shown practicing his training by hitting a punching bag... while imagining he's punching his ex-boss, an elderly man who's in his sixties. And gleefully enjoying it.
  • Michelangelo Antonioni uses this for dramatic effect in Zabriskie Point:
    • The famous orgy in the Death Valley where Mark and Daria arrive at the valley and start having sex in the mud, followed by a bunch of other young boys and girls frolicking in the valley. We don't see those other kids before or after.
    • After leaving the desert compound in disgust, Daria gives a look back that gradually gives over to an extended fantasy of seeing the entire compound along with every single object in the house destroy itself in detail.

  • Public School Superhero: Kenny has plenty of these throughout the book, mainly about himself being Stainlezz Steel.
  • Michael, the narrator of The Republic Of Trees is established as a notorious daydreamer in the first chapter. His visions in the book get quite bizarre (such as Liberty from Delacroix's "Liberty Leading the People" giving him a handjob).
  • In Lawrence Block's The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza a woman from the Museum of the Baltimore Historical Society tells Bernie that they traded a 1913 V-nickel to the Gallery of American and International Numismatics in exchange for a portrait of Charles Carroll.
    "It was an offah we couldn't refuse," she said solemnly, and I pictured Marlon Brando as Don Corleone, holding a pistol to this Southern belle's head, urging her to swap the nickel for the portrait.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End:
    • Annoyed with him, Greg imagines sending Rodrick to space in a rocket.
    • Greg imagines being the guy whose job is to collect wolf urine.
  • L. P. Davies' Give Me Back Myself:
    "Pardon?" The secretary turned. In the slightly blue light inside the car his features seemed even more sleek and oily than ever. "Oh, Buckley House. Yes, it's only a few miles from Studdold, in a small village called Braite—Braite-on-Hay to give it its full title."
    Stephen had a sudden and vivid mental picture of a clutch of thatched cottages of the Olde English variety, perched on top of a haystack.
  • John from I Am Not a Serial Killer frequently indulges in these, particularly violent fantasies about people he hates(which is most people). See the Film section for a few that made it into The Film of the Book.
    • Also used to even darker effect in the second book when John leaves the embalming room, normally his favorite place, because the body on the table has been brutally tortured and he can't stop picturing himself inflicting the same things on his neighbor/crush, Brooke.
  • In the Lord Peter Wimsey novel Have His Carcass, Harriet at one point imagines Peter smartly turned out in an equestrian costume and easily controlling a immense and fiery steed. Then her imagination by "making a terrific effort" pictures herself alongside him, equally well turned out and on an even more fiery steed, "amid the respectful admiration of the assembled nobility and gentry."

    Live-Action TV 
  • All in the Family: very early episode from the first season, "Archie Writes the President," sees Archie have his own Imagine Spot – he reads his letter to President Nixon in praise for his performance, with the entire family gathered around, nodding in approval as a patriotic hymn plays as background music. (The letter, by the way, was inspired after Archie learns that Mike had written Nixon, critical of his policies.)
  • The Hogan Family: The Season 2 episode "Leave It To Willie," where Willie imagines himself explaining his predicament – causing a hit-and-run accident while stealing his father's car for a joy ride – and basically getting away with it. The moral in this Imagine Spot is supposedly, "Tell the truth and you'll be absolved." Of course, reality doesn't work out that way – he admits his deed to his mother and gets punished, learning instead that actions do have consequences that aren't always good.
  • Mimpi Metropolitan:
    • In episode 10, Prima imagines how he would attract many women if he has a Cool Car. After seeing Bambang's bland new car, Prima has a similiar Imagine Spot, except this time with Bambang's car and only one ugly woman wants him.
    • Pipin, Alan and Prima has one in episode 21, imagining the then-famous Bambang promoting Pipin's gado-gado with a song and a dance.
    • When substituting for Pipin as Mami Bibir's cleaning person in episode 33, Alan briefly imagines Pipin being there and making him a sandwich.
    • In episode 43, Akbar tells Prima how Prima could be an artist like he wishes if he puts all his effort. Prima then imagines how he would be in Alexi's place (being crowded by women) if he actually put the effort.
    • In episode 61, Bambang begins to consider giving Melani matching hats and imagines what would happen if he does it. One Imagine Spot later, he realizes Melani would find it tacky and chew him out for it.
  • Scrubs:
    • This is probably the series' central comedic tool, and it's used to great effect. Usually J.D. does this, to the point where other characters lampshade it increasingly as the series goes on, mentioning how one was really long, messing with him while he is in his head, triggering one on purpose to get him to zone out, and so on. Usually after his fantasy he says something that would sound completely weird if we weren't shown the Imagine Spot, and sometimes it does in fact provoke Inner Thoughts, Outsider Puzzlement. And his propensity to do this is apparently infectious, as his friends occasionally indulge in it as well, though far less regularly.
    • Of course, several episodes aren't centered on J.D.'s point of view, so in those episodes this trope happens without the cut, so all we see is J.D. staring off into space and saying something weird when he comes out of it.
      "We're gonna need a lot of gnomes..."
  • On It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Mac gets a chance to hit a possible goal shot at a Flyers game. We see him hit the ice, get to center rink, hit a goal that rips the net, the announcers hailing it as the best shot they've ever seen and the crowd chanting his name. The chanting turns out to be Charlie calling Mac's name as Mac (who's never skated in his life) took one step on the ice, fell and knocked himself unconscious to massive laughter.
    • Feeling put down by rivals at a high school reunion, the gang put on a fantastic dance routine set to George Michael's "Freedom." The camera then cuts back to show the reality, that the dance is a complete mess of flaying limbs and stumbling (and the song, coming from a tiny boombox in a big auditorium, is inaudible). Leaving, the gang mutter about no one liking their dance.
    • The Season 9 episode "The Gang Saves The Day" is entirely made of this trope. The gang goes into a convenience store. Someone holds up the cashier at gunpoint. Each member fantasizes about what they would do to (for the most part) foil the robbery. The humor mainly comes from how self-centered and delusional the heroes are. (One of the fantasies is animated.)
  • An early television example featured on The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. Every time his wife mentioned her mother, the screen showed a hippopotamus. It even got to the point where we knew the WIFE was thinking of a hippopotamus.
  • iCarly: In "iFind Lewbert's Lost Love" Carly and Freddie have a synchronous daydream on how life in the Bushwell will be much better if the irate doorman Lewbert is "a happy man". Carly, Freddie and Lewbert dance around as balloons fall. Sam breaks them out of their over-the-top fantasy.
  • Ally McBeal and Teachers used it occasionally.
  • Andy Richter Controls the Universe used it as a central theme, often with voiceover commentary by Andy. Example: "I was thinking about what it would be like if I had wheels for feet. In case you were wondering, here's what it would look like!"
  • Angel:
    • Possibly the funniest thirty seconds in the show's five seasons involved Angel in "She", at a party, being asked if he wanted to dance. The ensuing Imagine Spot is brilliance.
    • Another hilarious imagine spot, in a Deleted Scene from "Waiting in the Wings", involved Wesley imagining himself and Fred starring in a ballet. Amy Acker was actually trained as a dancer, so Fred was pretty good. Wesley... not so much.
    • "Sanctuary" has much more serious one, continuing the trend from Buffy, that sees Faith, now back in her own body, and having suffered a serious mental breakdown and very much suicidal, being led to Angel's bed. Angel leaves a barely even functioning Faith, when she calls his name. Angel turns around only to be stabbed in the face by an enraged Faith. Only for the scene to cut back to Faith, still lying in the bed, where she says nothing, and Angel walks out.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • "The Body" managed to do the most depressing use of this trope ever when Joyce is rushed to the hospital and saved— cut to the paramedics declaring her dead from an aneurysm.
    • Faith has one in "Who Are You", where after Willow says something derogatory about Faith, imagines stabbing her in the stomach. The scene immediately cuts back to Faith-in-Buffy telling an unharmed Willow she will always be safe with he around.
    • Later, in the season 7 episode "Storyteller", Andrew has a few of these, in the present as well as in his flashback.
  • Everybody Hates Chris has this as a main gimmick. You can pretty much expect a few of these per episode.
  • The early-90s HBO series Dream On used a variation on the Imagine Spot as its primary gimmick. But instead of segments featuring the Dream On cast, clips from old movies and TV shows were used for the Imagine Spots of its main character, Martin Tupper.
  • The Doctor Who episode "Love And Monsters" similarly had the main character flash to clips, including one of Elton John.
  • Farscape, episode "Scratch 'n Sniff", though some question exists as to whether they were Imagine Spots or flashbacks.
    • And just about any sequence with Harvey, the Scorpius neuro-clone. Harvey "lives" in Crichton's mind and the two regularly converse. Their conversations usually take place in Imagine Spots - some of them based on Crichton's memories and some of them not — usually humorous movie Shout Outs.
  • Common in Father Ted. To the point where Dougal needed a chart to tell the difference between dreams and reality.
  • Played straight in nearly every episode of Son of the Beach, but subverted in one in which Notch Johnson was informed that one of his lifeguards once won a preteen breast size contest. Intrigued by what such a contest would be like, the Imagine Spot begins to take form, when suddenly the scene cuts to pornographer Larry Flynt saying that, while he is all for free speech, some things are just obscene. Afterwards, Notch clarified that he meant what those girls would look like now.
  • Wendy of The Middle Man often drops into Imagine Spot sequences when people ask her questions she needs to answer, or when she has a "Eureka!" moment.
  • Used frequently in Corner Gas, to the extent that it's been described as "Seinfeld meets Family Guy in rural Canada."
  • Used a lot in Spaced, usually as pop-culture references or scenes from movies done with a fraction of the budget.
  • Dexter:
    • All the times his dead foster father Harry shows up to remind him of The Code count, as Dexter converses with him. In the sixth season, when a short arc in which Dexter's dead serial killer brother replaces his father in these Imagine Spots (and temporarily convinces Dexter to go Axe-Crazy) is used to foreshadow the reveal that Edward James Olmos' Evil Mentor / Big Bad is really a figment of the real villain's Imagine Spots.
    • At the end of the Ice Truck Killer arc, where he's walking up to the office Hollywood style — red carpet walkway flanked with adoring fans.
      "Hey Dex, way to take out the trash!"
  • Used frequently on Sesame Street.
  • Subverted and/or lampshaded in an episode of 30 Rock where Liz and Jack are discussing some of Tracy Jordan's more outrageous antics. Instead of cutting away with clips to illustrate them, however, the scene stays on Liz and Jack who have this exchange:
    Liz: And I am thinking of some of them right now.
    Jack: So am I.
  • Dead Like Me: George lets Mason take care of her dog. She then wonders if he's taking care of it properly or merely using it for some harebrained scheme. Like, say, attracting women, then sitting in a hot tub with the women and the dog. And then she forgets it never actually happened, so she scolds him for bringing her dog into a hot tub.
  • Australian TV series 30 Seconds has a slight variation on this; the main character, who works in commercials, sometimes has delusions that he's watching a commercial in real life. These seem to be superimposed over what's actually in front of his eyes rather than actual full Scrubs style daydreams. Also, they tend to have swear words.
  • The Stargate SG-1 episode "200" is basically built out of this trope, including memorable segments such as "Children of the Gods" done with marionettes, Teal'c as a private investigator, SG-1 cast with teenagers, and a Sam/Jack wedding with a nod to Jack/Daniel.
  • Used liberally in Mongrels, for example here at the 7-minute mark.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: At a crucial point during each episode, Murdoch will have an Imagine Spot that shows him "witnessing" the crime as it's taking place. In "The Murdoch Identity", he dreams one of these while having a nap on Anna Fulford's sofa as well as having small ones rather like fragments of memory in part since he's suffering the after-effects of a brain injury. Jasper Linney, Brackenreid and Dr. Ogden have each shared the Imagine Spot with him once, Brackenreid and Murdoch each have their own (solving the same case by different routes) in "Murdoch at the Opera", and in the Season 7 finale Brackenreid takes Murdoch's place in the Imagine Spot while solving the B-plot case.
  • Happens a few times on Glee, most notably a Season 1 episode where disabled Artie imagines himself getting out of his wheelchair and dancing around the mall in a flashmob, and in Season 2 where all the characters go to the dentist, get put to sleep, and imagine themselves hanging out with Britney Spears. Also, Tina has had two that were induced by hitting her head. The first time she imagines herself turning into Rachel and all of the other characters switching, and the second time she imagines her and her friends' lives like the show Friends.
    • Also, a lot of the songs and performances are dream sequences.
  • In the Leverage episode "The Scheherezade Job", Nate has a meeting with the woman who is blackmailing them. After telling him what he needs to know about their current mark, she explains that Nate messed up her date and offers to have dinner with him. Cue to Nate imagining a nice, romantic dinner with her, interrupted by one of her Mooks choking him with a garrote, while she is drinking wine. Nate makes up a lame excuse and, once she leaves, feels his neck uncomfortably.
  • In The Monkees this is lampshaded and combined with Breaking the Fourth Wall in "Monstrous Monkee Mash" when the episode's villain intrudes on a fantasy scene that Micky and Davy are having. "Hey, what are you doing? This is our fantasy scene!"
  • Hustle "Conning the Artists". The team are being held prisoner by a katana-wielding Japanese man seeking revenge for one of their cons. Danny, realising that taking on the position of leader means that I Know Karate, gets to his feet and takes him on (including Bring It and Exploding Fish Tanks) ending with Stacie throwing herself into his arms, praising his bravery and kissing him. Cut to Danny with puckered lips as he's curtly told to sit down by Katana Man.
  • In Titus, we have Christopher's 'Negative Space', where he reflects upon events in his own mind, which can include flashbacks AND flashforwards. Subverted in 'The Trial' where Christopher insults the judge in the Negative Space, and is apparently heard by those in the courtroom.
  • This is the central trope of Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger, in which a Sentai team battles imaginary threats.
  • Happy Days: In "They Call It Potsie Love," Joanie develops a crush on Potsie. At home Joanie falls asleep and fantasizes that she and Potsie get married—and that Potsie is cool and Fonzie is a nerd!
  • Used frequently in How I Met Your Mother. Given the flashback format of the show, the imagine spots will be told as if they were what actually happened, and then be interrupted by Future Ted saying something along the lines of "That's what Uncle Marshall should have said," or "But unfortunately, that's not what happened."
    • The entirety of the episode The Time Travelers is one. The realization is quite surprising and leads to the Darkest Hour for Ted before he meets The Mother.
  • One day Manny of Degrassi imagines herself as Cinderella with Craig as her Prince. Her dream begins to take reality when they go on their first date in that episode.
  • Austin out of Austin & Ally has a spot where he imagines his voice being changed to a chipmunk voice after a vocal surgery to remove nodules from his throat.
  • In the Las Vegas episode "And Here's Mike with the Weather", Danny and Mike have two pretty funny ones of these when they think Ed may have had an affair with the deranged Monica Mancuso, a previous owner of the casino. The first involves Monica being dominant and Ed submissive behind closed doors, and the second the other way around.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: In daydreams, Ned has a few of these. "Stress" also has a few with both Ned and Moze. One of the more jarring for Ned was when he imagined he was seeing Suzie and another boy in a football uniform getting married. In fact, Suzie was in a white dress standing next to a practice football tackle with a helmet on top. After someone tried to get his attention, he looked back only for someone to come and take the helmet off. Cue Ned looking shocked and confused.
  • In Servant of the People, the president Vasiliy, a former history teacher, frequently imagines receiving advice from historical figures when he is in a dilemma.
  • On Vikings a captive priest is given the chance to gain his freedom by carrying a red hot sword across a village to the Viking queen. He sees himself protected by his Catholic faith, easily handling the sword and putting it at the Queen's feet to great awe. Then the sword is put into his hands, he screams in agony and only makes it halfway before collapsing in tears as the Vikings laugh.
  • Vinyl has several scenes devoted to characters listening to music on records and radio, and imagining the actual singers of the song in their presence as they hear it. For instance, Devon Finestra (Olivia Wilde) listens to Karen Carpenter on the radio and the camera shows via a dreamy filter and unusual lighting, "Karen Carpenter" sitting next to her in the car and singing the same song. This is meant to reflect the self-absorption and identification with music people experience in their daily lives.
    • A sadder example is Lester, a once promising singer until an altercation with the mob had his throat crushed, ruining his voice. Listening to old recordings, he imagines himself as a singing star with his wife and children, living in a great home with bright light. It then turns to today as he can barely croak out the words as he sits in a run-down apartment by himself.
  • In Mortified, Taylor frequently imagines that she Speaks Fluent Animal.
  • In the ITV adaptation of Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland has two before the opening credits, involving being in I Have You Now, My Pretty situations with ruffians who strangely resemble people she will meet in Bath. The second one reoccurs when Catherine is at the Abbey, with Henry riding in on a white horse to rescue her from the villains.
  • Sharp Objects: As part of its central style, the show frequently intercuts brief images to show what Camilla is remembering or imagining. The show opens with Camille imagining Marian and her younger self sneaking into her apartment and touching her hand as she sleeps.
  • In the Seinfeld episode, "The Baby Shower", when Kramer hooks Jerry up with illegal free cable, Jerry has a nightmare where the government arrests him and shoots him multiple times. This is one of the points of the series that the cast clearly does not remember fondly, because it was out-of-character for a show that was supposed to be about nothing.
  • The Boys (2019): In "We Gotta Go Now" Homelander fantasizes massacring protesters using his eye beams.
  • Roz finds out that the woman Frasier made out with on air is their station manager Kate Costas. While Frasier is explaining why he did it Roz imagines a scene of Frasier unbuckling his pants, reaching out for Kate and clumsily tripping over as he walks towards her. When Frasier gets Roz's attention again she snaps out of the spot with a muttered "Boy, I'll never do that again".
  • The titular protagonist of Sunes Jul, being a very imaginative and mildly odd kid, has a tendency toward this. He is shown imagining anything from his dad setting fire to a carpet, to someone plotting to steal his girlfriend Sophie from him hiding in her closet, to ending up in court over illegally cutting down a pine tree.
  • We Are Lady Parts: Episodes occasionally swerve into Amina's imagination as she either launches into musical numbers in her head or delves into fantasies about what's going on around her.
  • Janda Kembang:
    • When Seli claims that her skincare product will make RT leader looks like a Korean artist, he imagines himself and Sri acting out a K-Drama style scene.
    • In episode 8, Seli and Neneng take turns imagining how they would not forget each other if they become famous. Humorously, Neneng would always be Seli's assistant in both Imagine Spots that are shown.
    • After discovering a lot of money in his missing passenger's bag, Rais imagines having Seli and Neneng fawning over him and his money, before the scene switch back to reality where he is Acting Out a Daydream.
  • Mohawk Girls: Characters frequently imagine others' reactions to what they're saying or doing (and even occasionally their own), then the actual reaction is shown that's often different from this entirely.

  • In Stan Ridgway "Drive She Said", a driver's taxi is used by a female bankrobber as a getaway car. He indulges to her in his fantasy of the two of them on an island. She is less than interested.

    Music Videos 
  • The music video to "Voices" by Disturbed has the subject imagining doing hostile or even violent things to the people who piss him off, with the voices trying to convince him that this is a good idea.
  • In the music video to "Gonna Get Over You," Sara Bareilles is a leather jacket-clad badass who literally dances into a Mexican supermarket, transforming various shoppers into her outfit-clone backup dancers. At the end of the video, she's revealed to actually be an Adorkable nerdgirl rocking out to a song inside her head, and scaring the other customers.
  • In Juniel's "Pretty Boy" music video, we see her briefly daydream about marrying the cute guy she spots at the coffee shop.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Season 2 of Lucha Underground opened with a rather disturbing one as the institutionalised Vampiro smashed his doctor's head against the interview room table, punched out the orderlies, then ripped the doctor's throat out with his teeth... before promising to follow the doctor's instructions to avoid people and places that might trigger his violent thoughts and being released.

  • In Allegro, the Greek Chorus interrupts the awkward hoofing of a college dance to introduce a fantastic Dream Ballet which shows how the students feel they are dancing; this eventually ends and the dance continues as before. In a later montage sequence, the professor's voice droning through their lectures fade away as Joe sees Jenny dancing through his imagination; Joe's buddy Charlie gets his own showing two girls starting to strip as a professor reads an undressing scene from The Eve of St. Agnes.
  • Guys and Dolls, in the penultimate scene, has Adelaide and Sarah respectively envisioning Nathan and Sky as home-loving husbands.

    Video Games 
  • Granblue Fantasy has multiple instances of these, in its quests and also the webcomic series:
    • The "L.E.T'S. H.A.N.G." and "Table for Six" events are chock full of these as Lowain and his bros, and later Sutera, Korwa and Lamretta fantasize about potential romance.
    • A Granblues Radio free quest also has Lowain and his bros imagine a moment where Vira becomes friendly and stops antagonizing them.
    • In a chapter of the Grand Blues comic strips, Korwa insists that if Sturm and Drang won't try to act like a romantic couple, they should at least act like close siblings instead. The next panel has Drang imagining the two scenarios whether Sturm becomes his older sister or a younger one. It ends with the real Sturm stabbing Drang out of nowhere.
    • A comic strip featuring Sturm and Drang has the latter asking for a "horseback riding" moment from Cagliostro. Sturm immediately thinks of a perverted scenario where Cagliostro rides his partner, while in reality, Drang wants to ride the Ouruborous.
    • Lyria and Io once had an argument in the comics as to who is the stronger one between Eahta/Okro and Ghandagoza. The two men then started to have a pushing stand-off. It then cuts to Io who realizes Ghandagoza won't have a chance because Okto can use his katana-equipped ponytail to whack the former's head.
  • A very heartwarming moment in Kingdom Hearts II is when Sora imagines himself dancing with Kairi in Halloween Town. This fantasy sequence is, also, the only time (in canon) we get to see Sora in his actual outfit here, as Halloween Town is a Fisher Kingdom, and Sora wears a vampire-like outfit here, complete with Cute Little Fangs and an eyepatch.
  • In Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, at the start of the game, you get to choose between Goldie, Rosie, Jay, or Apollo depending on the category chosen. After going through the tutorial with Isabelle, the villager you just invited over will approach you and explain that it would be better if you hosted a lot of visitors, before stating that they have a vision about the future campsite (though Rosie says nothing about a vision, starting it without warning, and if Jay is chosen, Jay will say that he is not sure if it is a vision or if he is super dehydrated, but he nevertheless tells you to strap in). The vision itself consists of a campsite with a merry-go-round and a tree swing, several tables and chairs, drinks and flowers. In hopes of making the vision come true, the villager will tell you to go to Saltwater Shores and the adventure begins.
  • A staple of the Yakuza Series' karaoke mini game; if the player is doing well enough with the button prompts, the second half of the song will play over a spot of what the character is thinking of as a good set piece for said song. Such image spots range from hilarious (Majima's rendition of "Get to the Top" from Yakuza: Dead Souls) to heartbreaking ("Tonight" from Yakuza Kiwami).
  • In Homescapes when Austin states that if he had to work at a job he hated he'd run away and join the circus, he briefly imagines himself spinning plates.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ryo has a few of these in Brass Restoration, to amusing effect.
  • Kareha in SHUFFLE! has a tendency to go into these whenever thrilled about something possibly romantic. It unnerves the rest of the class, who refer to them as hallucinations. We never get to see what she is actually thinking at these times, perhaps for the best.
  • Fate/stay night: In the Unlimited Blade Works Scenario, Saber argues about sleeping with Shirou in his room due to his having been brainwashed by Caster to go to her base the night before. Shirou stops himself from countering with his belief that Caster won't try it again after he imagines Saber berating him for being such a Wide-Eyed Idealist.
    • In Fate/hollow ataraxia, Shirou and Rin discuss Saber's dragon-affinity, and wonder if she has a genkirin, a part on her body that, if touched, will cause Saber to lash out. Shirou has an imagine spot of Lancer bumping into Saber, which causes her to run him down on a lion-shaped go-kart.
  • In Kanon, there's a rather... unique scene at lunch where Yuuichi is trying to imagine how Sayuri and Mai spend time together. Naturally, with the vastly different behavior and personality between them he finds it hard and eventually comes up with the idea that they're schoolgirl lesbians who then invite him to a threesome. Believe it or not, this is one of the times where Yuuichi refrains from speaking his mind.
  • Happens in Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! a couple of times, such as when a joke choice involving Miyako is chosen.
  • The heroine of Scandal in the Spotlight is an aspiring scriptwriter, and has a habit of attempting to imagine how a given scenario might play out. Her imagination is possibly a little too vivid, however, and her imagine spots are more often than not derailed by things like Iori making snarky comments or paparazzi crashing a hypothetical date with Kyohei.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: Recreation has an amusing scene in its first chapter when Sarge has a flashback to the events of Reconstruction. The scene is radically different in that Sarge kills Grif (natch), Simmons turns into a motorcycle and Sarge rides him (no, not like that) out of the base. Grif engages in some Imagine Spotting and calls him out.
    Grif: That's not what happened.
    Sarge: Of course it is!
    Grif: Then how am I still alive?
    Sarge: I ask myself that question every day. Moto-Simmons! Run him over.


    Web Original 
  • In The Ningyo, Christopher Marlowe has a fantasy about finding the Ningyo. In it, he finds himself training a harpoon gun on it, but just can't bring himself to fire. This is what makes him decide not to agree to the offer to go hunt it.

    Web Videos 
  • Dream Machine: When Devon and Tom start fighting in episode 1.04, The Opposite of People, Leah imagines them as the hero and the villain of the Offcomer series, which leads her to cast them accordingly in the show.

    Western Animation 
  • Beavis and Butt-Head: In "The Future of Beavis and Butt-Head", this happens a lot when the titular boys imagine what kind of careers they may have after graduating.
  • Phineas and Ferb has Isabella of all people seemingly quite often breaking off into an Imagine Spot where she imagines Phineas as a centaur. It's just as weird as it sounds.
    • Specifically, he turns into a centaur and flies away with Isabella after suddenly having given her a dramatic declaration of love. Yeah.
    • Also one with Ferb, answering the question of how he managed to pick up the wrong blueprints by going into a brief fantasy about his meeting with Vanessa.
    • Candace had one in "Bowl-R-Ama Drama". Apparently, she believes that busting her brothers will result in her being allowed to use Dad's credit card ("You have our permission to ruin us financially.") and Jeremy proposing to her.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, when asked to try out for the football team with his friend Harry, Peter has a brief, absurdist fantasy of making touchdowns while in costume as Spider-Man, wearing a football helmet.
    • Pre-Doc Ock Otto Octavious has one of "taking care" of his abusive employer, Norman Osborn.
  • The second half of every single episode of Angela Anacondanote  includes an Imagine Spot of Angela dreaming about disgracing (sometimes, even killing) other characters, most often her snooty rival Nanette Manoir, in steadily more ludicrous ways.
  • Stickin' Around is built from this.
  • The Simpsons: Used a lot...
    • Homer gets these very, very frequently, and they often devolve into bizarre tangents (such as a fantasy about meeting various junk food spokespersons ending in him accidentally killing a stand-in for Twinkie the Kid). He also tends to comment on these fantasies in real life, as if the other characters have seen them as well (in the same example, the dream cut back to him chanting "Blood For Cream" in front of a bewildered Lisa).
    • Homer envisions what would happen if he used his new gun to rob Apu's store. Somehow, the logical outcome is that he becomes a Southern senator with a giant mansion and Marge dances the Monkey in a bikini.
    • In "Marge on the Lam", when Marge mentions the ballet, Homer somehow imagines it consisting of bears riding around a rink in bumper cars.
    • In "Homer vs. Dignity", Marge suggests they see a financial planner. Homer mishears this as "financial panther", and imagines a panther attacking someone who points out Homer's poor finances.
    • In "E Pluribus Wiggum", Homer combined this with the Smart Ball: Lisa remarked "I feel like I'm in a think tank", and Homer started to fantasize... about a group of intelligent people discussing the issues at hand. When the Imagine Spot ends, the rest of the family is staring at Homer, who responds "What? I'm not allowed to get one right?"
    • In "Viva Ned Flanders", Homer accidentally gets married in Las Vegas. He notes that there may be some advantages to having two wives, and imagines both Marge and his Vegas wife doing yard work while he rests on the hammock.
    • After Homer is late picking up Bart from soccer practice in "Brother from the Same Planet", an angry Bart imagines Homer turning into a creepy skeleton covered in rotting flesh as Homer says "NOW HOW BOUT A HUG?"
    • In "Dog of Death", Homer imagines winning the lottery and getting a giant golden casing to walk around in.
    • When Bart is told that he will be awarded $500, his imagination drifts to a casino in which he loses it all in one spin of the roulette wheel. "Cool!", he exclaims.
    • When Bart is expelled in "Whacking Day", he imagines a future as the test subject for a diet soda that mutates him into a beastly being. He similarly finds this cool.
    • When Springfield gets extra money in "Marge vs. the Monorail", Lisa imagines it being spent on virtual reality history lessons while Bart imagines it being spent on giant robotic spiders that destroy the school.
    • In "Skinner's Sense of Snow", Marge has one at the French circus, where the performers' interesting motions and positions are "giving her ideas". Cue her imagining cleaning various parts of the bathroom at once through clever twisting.
    • In "Bart Vs. Thanksgiving", Bart returns home after running away when a fight he had with Lisa ruined Thanksgiving dinner and wonders if the rest of the family will forgive him for upsetting his sister and ruining her Thanksgiving diorama. We ripple to him going inside and asking Lisa to forgive him, only for Lisa and the rest of the family to force him to get down on his hands and knees and beg Lisa for forgiveness, whereupon they simply laugh the apology off and decide to "blame him for everything", from Homer being bald, Maggie not being able to talk, and for "America [losing] its way". Back in reality, Bart decides to simply hide on the roof of the family's house instead until Lisa finally finds him up there.
    • Strangely enough, they often subvert this by having what seems like an Imagine Spot, only for it to be real (i.e. a Giant Spider appearing for a brief gag in "Duffless"). They are never mentioned again.
  • Mona the Vampire has a lot of this. There's a very clear visual effect to let you know when things are transferring between reality and imagination.
  • Little Elvis Jones and the Truckstoppers has at least one of these per episode, as Lil' Elvis speculates on who was responsible for his status as a Doorstop Baby. (They went all the way up to "UFO" level.)
  • Justice League / Justice League Unlimited:
    • "Only A Dream" begins with a scene of John Dee defeating the Justice League and being congratulated by several of their enemies. The scene is then revealed to be a dream he experienced while testing a psychic-power enhancement device.
    • In "The Doomsday Sanction", Dr. Milo, an Evilutionary Biologist whose funding has been cut by Cadmus, imagining himself taking out a laser gun and wildly shooting at the people responsible.
  • Doug might hold the record for most time per episode spent in fantasy sequences. Often these would feature lengthy trips to the comic-book universe Doug created around his Marty Stu superhero Quailman, whose outcomes ultimately led to Doug figuring out a solution to the problems in his own life.
    • By the end of the Disney run, they started abandoning the wrapper story altogether and just making whole episodes that were Quailman cartoons.
    • Parodied by Nostalgia Critic wondering "What is everyone doing while Doug is fantasizing" in which he shows Skeeter concerned about Doug who is frozen in place staring into space for who knows how long.
  • If Doug holds the record, Arthur is the contender, or maybe even a competitor for the record. There was almost always at least one of these per episode, sometimes as many as three. Many of them featured characters thinking about exaggerated outcomes of their actions, good or bad, and they are often known as one of the show's most memorable parts (partly due to the distinctive visual and sound effect).
  • Another mention, Rugrats, which has a large number of fantasy sequence episodes from being pirates to being superheroes.
  • Kim Possible
    • At the end of "Partners", DNAmy breaks the news to Drakken (who has become infatuated with her) that she's in love with someone else as the scene shifts to Monkey Fist gazing longingly at her picture. Given that the later episode of "Gorilla Fist" shows DNAmy tricking Team Possible into tracking Monkey Fist down after he flees her unwanted attentions, this is almost certainly a fantasy on her part.
    • Ron Stoppable has one of these during "Ill Suited" when he figures out wearing Kim's battle-suit will make him awesome at football. Lampshaded seconds later when Monique asks how long he's had that goofy look on his face while imagining his victory.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Several instances of Mrs. Puff doing so, at least one occurrence for several other characters.
  • In the Jimmy Two-Shoes episode "Scent of a Heinous", after Jimmy places fart-inducing beans in Lucius' growth serum (though the latter remains unaware for most of the episode), Samy worries about what he'll do to them for the humiliation... leading to them imagining a bunch of horrible (and amusing) punishments including being cooked, fed to monster fish, and dangled over an erupting volcano. Also used in "There will be Chocolate" when Heloise tries chocolate for the first time. She has a brief sequence of her running around a chocolate world taking a bite out of various objects and then licking a chocolate Jimmy. It then switches back to the real world to show her licking the real Jimmy.
  • Family Guy employs these with some of their cutaway gags. In one episode, Peter pulls onto the runway staging area of the airport with his new truckExplanation . As he watches them fuel the planes, he fantasizes about filling his truck with jet fuel and then flying it through the sky to the theme to Top Gun.
    Peter: Well, that's all the convincing I needed to actually do this!
  • Total Drama: Owen's song "Oh, My Izzy!" in Total Drama World Tour slips into this, since he was really too injured to dance and was thinking about all his times with Izzy during the song, complete with a crayon-drawn Art Shift.
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends: "Little Piece of Magic" consists chiefly of the baby ponies imagining what kind of outlandish things they'd do with a toy that could turn into anything they wanted it to.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • "The Ticket Master" features this prominently, with each of Twilight's friends imagining what they'd do if they could attend the Grand Galloping Gala: Applejack hopes to set up a stand and drum up business for her family's apple farm, Rainbow Dash wants to show off for the Wonderbolts, Rarity hopes to meet the stallion of her dreams, Fluttershy wants to see the royal gardens, and Pinkie Pie just wants to enjoy the festivities.
      • In "A Dog and Pony Show", after Rarity gets kidnapped by the Diamond Dogs, the rest of the girls have a spot where they imagine Rarity freaking out over her captivity in a filthy cell, then one with her being threatened by the Diamond Dogs. Later, Spike gets an imagine spot where he's a brave, muscular knight rushing to save Rarity (who is inexplicably dressed like a princess) and getting a Smooch of Victory.
      • In "Hearts and Hooves Day", Apple Bloom imagines that the love-poisoned Cheerilee and Big Mac's neglect of their duties of teaching and apple harvesting will lead to Ponyville being destroyed by famine and lack of education.
      • In "A Friend in Deed", Pinkie Pie has one as she runs down her mental checklist of friend-making tasks. Apparently, Pinkie imagines in felt.
  • Bobby's World: Bobby often goes into one of these after he's misinterpreted something and he imagines what he thinks the thing might be or he imagines what he would do in a situation in a movie or book.
  • Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines: Muttley has an Imagine Spot once a week on his Magnificent Muttley segments.
    Wake up there, Muttley! You're dreaming again!
    You're not Robin Hood and you're not Gunga Din!
    You're not a brave knight, or a king who's been crowned!
    You're just plain Muttley, the snickering hound!
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: In "Mac Daddy", Bloo finally ditches Cheese, but his guilty conscience leads to a series of crudely-drawn fantasy sequences that involve Cheese getting himself hurt.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • In "Legend of the Gobblewonker", Mabel imagines spending her half of the prize money for a monster photo contest on a human-sized hamster ball. Later, Dipper imagines himself becoming famous and getting interviewed on TV for catching the Gobblewonker on film... only for Mabel (still in her hamster-ball) to barge onto the set and demand an interview.
    • In "Double Dipper", Dipper imagines himself winning Wendy over with his twenty-step plan to ask her to dance. Later, he has a jealous fantasy in which Robbie steals Wendy away, and she ends up punching Dipper in the gut.
      Tyrone: Hey buddy, it's me, you. I just had the same jealous fantasy.
    • In "The Golf War", Mabel imagines finally being able to have something to brag about over her rival Pacifica after beating her at mini-golf; after she tells Pacifica off, Xyler and Kraz from "Dreamscaperers" come in dressed as paramedics and quip "We heard a little girl got seriously burned!"
  • The Smurfs (1981) Wedding Episode "Smurfily Ever After" has Smurfette imagining her marriages to various Smurfs, each of them ending in some sort of disaster: Greedy loves food too much, Vanity loves himself too much, Hefty loves exercising too much, Farmer loves farming too much, Handy loves fixing things too much, Jokey loves playing pranks too much, and Clumsy is just...Clumsy.
  • In Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps, Angelina gets so caught up in hers that somebody usually has to shout her name a couple times to snap her out of it.
  • On PB&J Otter, this was the usual method of presenting the ideas that the characters got from doing a "Noodle Dance."
  • Richie Rich has his dog Dollar having Imagine Spots, which usually lead him to doing disastrous things.
  • MTV's Downtown had at least one per episode. More often than not, they would be Mecca's romantic fantasies or Jen's vivid plots of petty vengeance against the vapid and hip.
  • The title character of Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? had these in four episodes.
    • In "Vacuum Friend", Robot turns down an invitation to Socks' pool party after imagining that he'll electrocute everyone if he jumps into the pool.
    • Robot Jones imagines Shannon dating a Sasquatch in "Hair" after coming under the impression that Shannon doesn't return his affections because he has no hair.
    • In "Embarrassment", Robot Jones imagines himself and Shannon getting married and that union somehow resulting in a cyborg baby when his friends tease him about his crush on Shannon.
    • "House Party" has Robot have several imagine spots of Gramps Unit killing his human guests.
  • In "It's OK To Lose Your Mittens" from ToddWorld, Todd's talking dog Benny has a couple in which he imagines Todd yelling at him for losing his favorite mittens and replacing him with a new dog.
  • Kaeloo:
    • In the Babysitting Episode, Stumpy suggests to Kaeloo that she and Mr. Cat should have a baby. Quack Quack overhears this and imagines what the offspring of a frog and an orange cat would look like: orange tadpoles with whiskers.
    • In another episode, when Kaeloo talks to her friends about growing up, Mr. Cat imagines Quack Quack turning into a giant and squashing him.
    • In Episode 105, Mr. Cat has one about his ideal version of the world which involves himself being massaged by several clones of Kaeloo.
  • BoJack Horseman deconstructs these along with Framing Devices in "Ruthie". After a particularly bad day, Princess Carolyn reveals to BoJack that she likes to pretend she has a great-great-great granddaughter who tells stories about her for school. This also happens to be the framing device for the entire episode, and because it's revealed Carolyn's had another miscarriage, Ruthie (the great-great-great granddaughter in question) doesn't necessarily exist. This all suggests that Carolyn will never be pregnant.
  • The show bible for the animated Llama Llama series indicates that these are a part of it. It states of Llama Llama that "...he knows how he feels, is not afraid to show his emotions and can connect with others to build meaningful and joyous relationships. (We visualize from time to time what he is imagining.)" It goes on to describe these fantasies as being Calvin and Hobbes-ian," and that he "sometimes transports himself to wild places and sees exotic creatures there but these experiences are just products of his creative imagination - the way he processes and dissipates his fears."
  • In the Sidekick episode "Maxum Man Mark 2", when Eric, Vana, Kitty and Trevor are discussing where the titular superhero could be, Kitty mentions that she saw him, only for Vana to shoot her down with a "Dreams don't count, Kitty." It's then revealed Kitty had fantasised about getting married to Eric with Maxum Man as the minister and bizarrely, Trevor as the bridesmaid and Vana as the best man, both wearing the expected outfits.
  • Occasionally in Ready Jet Go!. Led by Sydney, there are several imagine spots in "Backyard Moon Base" where the characters make various tools out of ordinary items.
  • What About Mimi? has its share.
  • Futz!: Whenever the titular character is facing a problem, he has one of these detailing how he would solve it.
  • Since Season 22 (the Big World! Big Adventures! era), Thomas & Friends features one as a gimmick for each episode, often to showcase something toyetic.
  • Muppet Babies (1984) was literally built on this trope. Every single episode had the babies imagining one fantastic adventure or another, where they often learned important lessons along the way. These adventures could be all manner of things from original content to frequent pop culture references, particularly the other works of Jim Henson, and his friends, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
  • In the The Powerpuff Girls (2016) episode "Can't Buy Love", Princess Morbucks has a few about her crush and her having a romantic time. After she thinks he's dating Blossom, she imagines the red powerpuff as a siren hypnotising the crush.
  • Angry Birds Stella: Gale has one in "A Fork in the Friendship", where she imagines being Queen.


Goth Lolita baseball anime?

After Aoi sees Rinko's impressive (maybe exaggerated?) baseball pitches in the batting cage, her imagination works up an anime about an all-girls baseball team who wears goth lolita dresses.

Sadly, she wasn't able to pitch (pardon the pun) the concept since she needed to ensure Third Girls Aerial Squadron gets aired on TV in time.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / ImagineSpot

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