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Journey to the Center of the Mind

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The tiny princess inside her mind also has a tinier princess inside of hers.
"Come along if you care
Come along if you dare
Take a ride to the land inside of your mind"

A relative to the "Fantastic Voyage" Plot, except instead of traveling into another character's physical body via Applied Phlebotinum, they enter their mind. The problem this is supposed to solve can range from recurring nightmares to memory loss to psychological disorders, and even the odd Convenient Coma. Expect to see some psychological aspects of the character manifested as physical beings, a la Herman's Head (See Ghost in the Machine and Enemy Without). Since it lays bare all the innermost thoughts and feelings of a character, it can be used as an extreme case of the Big Ego, Hidden Depths or In Another Man's Shoes.

Often the justification for a Mind Screw episode. See also the Brain with a Manual Control, where the mind actually has a control room from which the body can be controlled.

A closely related plot is the one where the main characters enter the dreams of their sleeping cast mates or the Happy Place of comatose friends. If there's Mind Control involved, expect a Battle in the Center of the Mind to free their friend in an Orphean Rescue. Rescuing them from their personal Black Bug Room is also common.

Naturally, taking this kind of action is deeply personally invasive and so it can be compared to Mind Rape. Indeed, the scene could be set up to suggest such a parallel complete with villains ignoring protests or struggles from the person whose mind they are exploring and the heroes seeking consent before doing so. Expect the heroes to hesitate before finally deciding that they have crossed the Godzilla Threshold if the owner of the mind would otherwise get/remain crazy/in a coma or some other serious issue. Using this for less serious issues can lead to a What the Hell, Hero? from other characters.

Compare the malicious version Mind Probe, or a single-person variant, the Vision Quest. See also Memory Palace.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Alice 19th: The 'Inner Heart' is basically the psyche of a person, representing their current state of mind and problems. Lotis Master travel into the Inner Heart of people corrupted by Mala to remove its source, saving the person from their personal darkness.
  • Berserk: A magic user entering someone's mind in astral form is sometimes the only way to save their individuality from being swallowed up by some powerful force or Tulpa. It can be very dangerous for the interloper because the rules that govern the dream world and any luminous body who enters it spring from the mind of the dreamer, and the first thing that the entrant should do is figure out what that dreamer's conceptions are.
    • When Guts first wears the Berserker Armor and loses his mind to rage, Schierke has to enter his mind in her luminous body at great risk to herself. There she sees flashes of Guts' horrifying experiences and confronts his ego subsumed within the Beast of Darkness, and puts him back in control by reminding him who he is and who he needs to protect. Many more times after that she enters Guts' mind and goes with him in spirit form to temporarily tame the Beast and make sure that Guts does not lose himself.
    • The only means by which Casca might be cured of the trauma which led her personality and memories to be repressed, which becomes clear in the Chapter of Elf Island: Danann takes Casca, Schierke, Farnese, and Ivalera down to a bed of magic mushrooms at the base of the great tree, and leads them in a ritual to enter Casca's dreams. This quickly turns into a Battle in the Center of the Mind, as Casca's dreamscape is loaded with horrendous monsters, up to and including a representation of the Hawk of Darkness himself.
  • There is a machine that allows people to do this in Chrono Crusade. They call it Diving, and the user undergoes an Out-of-Clothes Experience while visiting the patient's psyche.
  • The Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School OVA revolves around this trope. It employs a bit of Mind Screw in that Nagito is shown living a mundane, though idealistic, life where he was born without his luck. However, a strange man soon begins killing his classmates and it is revealed that Nagito created a dreamworld to cope with his traumatic death in the game, and the man was an AI tasked with waking him up.
  • The ending of Darker than Black turns into a Neon Genesis Evangelion-esque Journey to the Center of the Mind for Hei, after Amber uses the Meteor Fragment on him to trigger the Tokyo Explosion using his quantum-manipulation abilities.
  • If Road from D.Gray-Man is not stabbing your eyes out for the hell of it, she enters your mind so that she can start raping it. Lavi did not enjoy the little tour of his own subconscious fears and insecurities.
  • Happens frequently in Ergo Proxy, as this is the Proxies' preferred method of combat.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa, the mindreader Noah takes the liberty of looking into Edward's past while he's asleep. In doing this she learns about his home and his brother.
  • Irresponsible Captain Tylor. Captain Tylor drops into a coma due to a Mind Control chip implanted in his brain, so Yuriko and Azalyn have to enter his mind to fight it. The problem is this has only worked once in the past and the person entering the mind died, so they've no idea how to go about doing so.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen inverts this with Domain Expansion, a technique where a sorcerer brings their mental space into the real world and forces the enemy to play by their rules within its boundaries.
  • Happens throughout Kaiba with the help of a small machine. People's minds are all libraries of various kinds, with their memories as books.
  • Little Witch Academia (2017): Akko travels through Sucy's mind in "Akko's Adventure in Sucyworld".
  • In Mewkledreamy, whenever there's a sudden change of behavior caused by a black scheme, Yume and Mew must travel to their dreams and collect the dreamy stone to fix them.
  • An interrogation technique in Naruto takes the form of this. The interrogators project themselves into their victim's head, often needing to fight through layers of protective genjutsu until they reach the core mind. From there they can access and view memories.
    • The seal on the Kyuubi takes a form of this for Naruto. In the first part, he needed to make a long trek through a maze of flooded corridors to communicate with the Kyuubi; by the second part, the distance between their minds had been greatly reduced.
  • Whenever it's done in Negima! Magister Negi Magi (via magic, of course), it involves an Out-of-Clothes Experience.
  • Interesting variation on the trope: Instead of one character doing this to another, the audience takes a Journey to the Center of the Mind into the protagonist's head in the final episode(s) of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • In Occult Academy, the school activities include a Flatline Plotline. The Spirit World is depicted as this trope.
  • In Pacific Rim: The Black, like the film it's based on, two characters can share a mental connection in "The Drift". One character, Shane, is particularly adept at navigating the minds of others.
  • In episode 12 of Pani Poni Dash!, alien technology causes Rebecca's class to get stuck in Himeko's dreamscape, where they encounter all matter of weirdness, including Idiot Hair on everything, a restaurant that serves nothing but crabs, and a fat thug who claims to be the Archangel Michael guarding the door to Himeko's heart.
  • QQ Sweeper has a similar approach to Yu-Gi-Oh, as Kyuutaro, Fumi, and other Sweepers access Mind Vaults to do their cleaning and save a person's mind.
  • With the help of a stray Unown, the heroes of Pokémon: The Series go into the mind of the very shy Larvitar that Ash has been taking care of, to find out what exactly went wrong to make him so untrusting of humans... an incident involving poachers that left its Tyranitar mother injured and the two separated when it was still in its egg.
  • In episode 75 of Sailor Moon, the titular Moon and the other senshi enter Chibiusa's mind to help her after she falls into a dark energy induced coma. In the anime, it also marks the first time we clearly see Sailor Pluto, the one who sends the Senshi there in the first place.
  • In the X/1999 anime and manga, the Taoist mystic Subaru takes a trip Within to pull Kamui out of his Heroic BSoD and catatonic state after Fuuma's Face–Heel Turn and Kotori's death. This overlaps with him being a milder example of a Dream Weaver as seen in Tokyo Babylon, where he entered the mind of a rape victim named Midori who once was his Forgotten Childhood Friend of sorts to help her deal with the trauma.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Shadi goes into Yugi's mind to investigate why he has a Millennium Item. He's understandably surprised to find not one but two minds there. In the manga, he can also redecorate soul rooms to bend a person to his will.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: During Jim's duel with Judai while he's possessed by Haou, Jim uses his magic replacement eye to take a trip into Judai's mind to figure out what's going on with him. He finds the former Ace surrounded by images of his dead friends and listening to a repetitive loop of the reasons he sucks from that season's villains, sinking deeper into despair and farther out of reach.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 2 episode 38, Careless S. has two extra CPUs installed in him that are meant to curb his forgetfulness, but the CPUs reach a point where they make Careless S. always one step ahead of everything, annoying the Supermen. The Supermen then go into his mind to fight off the CPUs, which are represented as Palette Swaps of Careless S.
  • This is the premise of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Explore Wolffy's Mind; Wolffy is unconscious after a mysterious attack and the goats go into his mind to rescue him, unaware that the journey is a trap set up by the Wolf Tribe.

    Comic Books 
  • Anderson: Psi-Division: Probably half the stories involve Anderson fighting various villains in mental dreamscapes.
  • Clean Room: The titular room allows the physical exploration of the mind and memories of a target, among other things.
  • The DCU:
    • The Brave and the Bold: In issue #31 of the revived series, The Atom literally shrinks down inside of the Joker's brain at the request of some scientists. He is given a tour through Joker's childhood after accidentally walking through the wrong synapses and absorbing some memories.
    • Deadman: When Deadman's buddy Tiny is shot, Deadman possesses him and delves deep into his mind to try and strengthen Tiny's will to live. The comic visualizes this with a series of Deliberately Monochrome panels filled with shapeless ghosts and cerebral imagery, inter-cut with color panels of doctors in shock that Tiny's still hanging on.
    • Justice League of America: In the fill-in issue by J.M. Dematteis, Martian Manhunter decides to show The Spectre that there is good in everyone by taking him, along with the rest of the League, into the mind of The Joker of all people, showing that in the depravity and chaos that is his mind, somewhere, there is a small house with a kindly couple, representing the tiny bit of humanity the Joker still has.
    • Legion of Super-Heroes: When Shrinking Violet is possessed by the Emerald Eye of Ekron, Saturn Girl enters her mind to help her realize what has happened and encourage her to break free of its control.
    • Martian Manhunter: This happens frequently with, thanks to the Manhunter's Psychic Powers. In Steve Orlando's 2019 miniseries, J'onn and his human partner take a trip into his own mind, to help battle his inner demons.
    • Suicide Squad: Dream Team: Amanda Waller blackmails the heroine Dreamer into leading a team through the Dream Realm so that they can get into the island nation of Gamorra, which is protected by a high-tech shield.
    • Supergirl (Rebirth): Kara travels into Lar-On's mind and explores his memories to find the source of his anger, which would allow him to control his werewolf transformation.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): After encounters with the White Magician and Neron leave Cheetah a mindless monster without memory of her human self Diana enters her mind to save and restore Barbara's personality.
  • Disney Kingdoms: In Figment 2, Figment, Capri, and Spark travel into Dreamfinder's mind to free him from the control of the Doubtfinder.
  • Druuna: The fifth album "Mandrogora" is all about Druuna going inside the dreams of Lewis, whose mind still exists buried deep within the ship's computer, to find the cure to The Virus that he inadvertently brought with him. A lot of these are distorted re-enactments of scenes from her earlier adventures.
  • Invader Zim (Oni): In Issue #23, Zim enters a virtual simulation of GIR's mind in order to free the robot from a virus that's causing him to try and kill Zim. Given that it's GIR, the entire landscape is nonsensical and nothing works right.
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck: "The Dream of a Lifetime" has the Beagle Boys using an invention stolen from Gyro Gearloose to enter Scrooge's mind, where they end up reliving some of his many adventures. Donald Duck ends up going in after them, to try and wake them up before Scrooge wakes up with disastrous consequences for him and the Beagle Boys.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Deadpool: In the story arc about a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent trapped in Wade's mind, there are several scenes presenting this from her point of view, as well as Doctor Strange visiting to work on getting her out.
    • Doctor Strange: Stephen Strange does this quite a bit. A person's mind seems to act as a sort of pocket dimension, with all associated imagery. Conspicuously, in the very first published Dr. Strange story, this is the plot.
    • The Incredible Hulk: Done in Paul Jenkins' run on. Bruce Banner travels into his own mind to try and strike a deal with his Hulk personalities, each of which represents a different aspect of Bruce. Due to the psychology-themed nature of the character, this trope has cropped up repeatedly over the years, but Jenkins's use of it stands out as the most notable. Other examples include the time the Hulk made physical contact with the Watcher's "Ultimate Machine," which sent him on a sort of vision quest to come to terms with Betty's death; the depiction of his psychiatric session with Doc Samson that resulted in his personalities being merged; the appearance of his three childhood imaginary friends during the Crossroads Saga, who helped Banner find his way back from psychic oblivion; and various dream sequences over the years in which he has come into physical conflict with one or more of his Hulk personae.
    • The Infinity Gauntlet: When the freshly-resurrected Warlock introduces himself to Doctor Strange, the latter is rather hesitant to take him for his word upon first greetings, so Warlock invites him to take a trip into his soul. By the end, Strange knows everything that Warlock is and trusts him unreservedly.
    • The New Universe: Nightmask can enter anyone's dreams, which he uses to assist in psychotherapy.
    • Sleepwalker: One story arc had the Thought Police enter the mind of Sleepwalker's human host in an attempt to capture him.
    • Spider-Girl: The final arc has the titular heroine journeying into both her own mind and the mind of her father, the original Spider-Man. The first version is a typical Mind Screw, but the latter is much more serious, as May struggles to save her dad from being possessed by the Green Goblin.
    • X-Men:
      • In one issue Wolverine's body has been taken over by demons, prompting Emma to lead several members of the X-Men into his mind in an attempt to drive them out. In addition to people representing aspects of his personality and memories of comrades, Wolvie has doors in his mind dealing with specific subjects.
      • Immortal X-Men: In issue #17, Xavier delves into Sinister's consciousness and is struck by just how little of an interior life he actually has, being just a collection of smug quirks and bad jokes.
      • New X-Men featured a one-issue-long sequence with no dialogue (save one line on the last page), in which telepaths Jean Grey and Emma Frost travel into Cassandra Nova's mind in order to rescue Professor Xavier.
      • X-Men (2019): "Jean Grey and Emma Frost" is an Internal Homage to New X-Men #121, where Jean and Emma travel into the mind of an injured Storm. The issue features many similar panels.
  • My Little Pony: Friends Forever: In Issue 17 Twilight Sparkle, feeling overwhelmed by friendship problems being sent in by ponies across Equestria, casts a spell to enter Big Macintosh's mind and learn more about what lets him handle the heavy workload on the farm. There, she finds an abstract version of Sweet Apple Acres populated by Big Mac clones representing different aspects of his personality. One of the Big Mac clones then enters Twilight's mind, which takes the form of a huge nad disorganized library, in a sort of dream-within-a-dream sequence; Twilight, notably, ends up being taken along for the ride into her own mind.

    Fan Works 
  • After Life, a Doctor Who fanfic, has the 9th Doctor going through this after his regeneration.
  • Being Dead Ain't Easy: When bonded to the Red-Eyes Black Dragon card, touching it allows Joey or Kaiba to enter their Soul Room.
  • Bring Me to Life: Buffy and Darla spend several chapters magically entering Cordelia's mind in order to free her from Jasmine's possession.
  • The Chaotic Masters: The Collector talks Raven into letting him into her Mental World so that he can help her merge with her emoticlones, as a means of controlling her powers to the extent that Trigon can't use her.
  • Contraptionology!: Twilight's psychoanalysis spell allows her to manifest in a psychic construct displaying the other person's mind and feelings. She uses it to psychoanalyze Applejack in the early chapters and, in the climax, Nightmare Delicious/Applejack uses the same spell to talk to Twilight after the latter has become a helpless Brain in a Jar.
  • Involuntary Admission, a The Silmarillion fic, involves Irmo going into Námo's mind. It's a truly bizarre place; among other things, it features Eöl, Maeglin, and Morgoth having a pie fight and Galadriel as Rapunzel.
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series: "Socratesland" involves the protagonists going to the center of Socrates' mind to repair a malfunctioning communicator chip, where the various aspects of his personality frolic about.
  • The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds: Twilight helps Megan and Morning Glory's family enter Morning Glory's mind in order to save her from the near-comatose state Discord left her in centuries ago.
  • Goddess Reborn Chronicle: This is how many Tensei awaken their true selves and they can do it once they break through at will. It's not entirely safe and they can get stuck there. Or worse, one of the parts of them, such as their shadows or previous incarnations can take over.
  • I'm Nobody: The Normandy crew is accidentally trapped in Roxas's mind after attempting to view a specific memory. Instead of one person seeing the memory (as was intended), everyone in the room gets trapped and they have to go through a whole lane of events until landing at Ventus' Station of Awakening.
  • Infinity Train: Wake Me Up has the Cerise Institute team do this with Akemi Tsutsuji's mind, using a machine she created designed to allow this, in order to help her wake up from her nightmare.
  • Intercom: Riley enters her own mind through lucid dreaming once she and her emotions learn that it's possible.
  • Living the Dream
    • Several times in the story Lance has nightmares about an incident on a farm. In the chapter "A Trip Into The Mind", Twilight and Lance go inside his mindscape to relive the memory with the intent of finding the source of the trauma. The incident in question happened on Lance's granddad's farm. Lance's cousins locked him in the barn and had a horse forced upon him. Lance never truly overcomes his trauma, but talking about it with Twilight lessened its hold on him.
    • Lance's mind is visited several times after this, mostly as a way for him to show his memories to other characters.
  • My All: Luke does this for Han. It's a sequel to an earlier fic where Han is brutally tortured and raped. At first, he appears to be recovering slowly in this fic but then begins having hallucinations and panic attacks before retreating into his mind completely. Luke senses through the Force that Han is trapped watching a dream version of himself going through his ordeal. After talking with the doctors, Luke risks a potentially dangerous (to Han, if something goes wrong) technique of entering Han's mind through the Force, so he can help his brother-in-law deal do whatever needs to be done to pull him back to reality.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • During the first arc, Twilight Sparkle does this to Trixie in order to save her from her Discording and an Enemy Within named Loneliness.
    • The Dark World has Twilight do something similar to Angry Pie enabling a Split-Personality Merge in order to finally free her of Discord's control.
    • During the Wedding Arc, Trixie returns the favor by helping Cadence get into Twilight's mind to complete the process of freeing her from Chrysalis' control.
  • Queen of All Oni: Uncle uses a spell powered by the Sheep talisman to send Tohru into Jade's mind in order to gather intel, only for Tohru to end up in Jade's Mental World and encounter the Aspects (Anthropomorphic Personifications of parts of Jade's mind) before being thrown out. This seems to have been for no other reason than to establish said Mental World and the Aspects as a recurring subplot.
  • The Rigel Black Chronicles depicts Occlumency in terms of mindscapes. Harriett spends a fair bit of time organising and defending her mind-mountain but then has to find her way into other people's minds to fight off the sleeping plague, which can take the form of whirlpools, forests, volcanoes, even lightning storms.
  • The Viennese Job, a A.A. Pessimal Good Omens fic: The Demon Crowley is on an assignment from Hell to implant ideas into the mind of a young Austrian dreamer. Crowley likens the mind he has to enter to a monolithic cathedral, badly lit, with the only light being tinged an angry red from small high windows, full of dark shadows, soaring into black-clouded heights, and descending into dark sinister crypts he has no desire whatsoever to visit. This particular mind, to Crowley, is more like Hell than the real thing.
  • The World of the Creatures: The story is a journey to the center of the author's mind. In this story, the world inside a person's head is made up of physical manifestations of the experiences and memories of that person's life. In the case of the author — who is obsessed with zoology, paleontology, and speculative biology - most of the world is mostly covered in dense, tropical jungle filled with every variety of creature from any variation of time, space, or imagination.

    Films — Animated 
  • The plot of Inside Out revolves around this concept, although the ones who do the journey are two anthropomorphic emotions.
  • Part of the way through The LEGO Movie, the heroes enter Emmett's mind to see if he has the potential to be a Master Builder. It's quite empty, but that emptiness allows Emmett to have clarity of mind far beyond even the greatest of Master Builders (as he's the only character to have seen The Man Upstairs).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This is the entire premise of Being John Malkovich. Even Malkovich goes into his own mind, and the resulting surrealistic horror might qualify as terrifying if it weren't so goddamn funny.
  • This is the whole point of The Cell, where in trying to connect to those who are in a comatose state, this normally therapeutic tool then gets used as a Mind Probe on a serial killer by the police and then turned around on the therapist by the serial killer into a Mind Screw. Later, the whole experience then makes the therapist improve on the whole thing to make it a true Journey to the Center of the Mind.
  • Dreamscape revolves around government agents entering people's dreams for various purposes.
  • Fight Club: "Slide!"
  • Near the end of Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Maggie travels into Freddy Krueger's mind and sees his memories.
  • All the occurrences happening to the hero in Gozu can be seen as this.
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Snape introduces Harry to the magical ability of Legilimency, the ability to enter another's mind. We see Snape use it to peruse Harry's memories and we also learn that You-Know-Who used to use this skill to enter people's minds and implant visions so horrible they would be begging for death. Later we see a short, but trippy look inside Harry's mind as he and... well, You-Know-Who, battle for control of Harry's body.
  • The entire premise of Inception revolves around entering a person's dream to explore their subconscious. Extractors exploit this technology to steal information from someone to sell it to others.
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus has it happen again and again; the Imaginarium is kinda-sorta its title character's mind combined with the explorers' imagination(s).
  • Zardoz. Much mirror-maze self-confrontation/realization with a loin-clothed Sean Connery and an Omnipotent Computer Brain.

  • The protagonists of James Morrow's Blameless in Abaddon enter the mind of God Himself, where they converse with Biblical characters and dinosaurs playing Scrabble. They discover that God is a Platonist, and hence everything they encounter is the Idea/Essence of that thing. They also learn some counter-arguments to the best theodiciesnote ; they intend to use them in the prosecution of an upcoming trial against... God Himself.
  • This trope is a typical day at work for a soulscaper in Burying the Shadow. They heal injuries and illnesses of the mind from the inside.
  • In the Dreamblood Duology, Sharers enter the minds of those they are healing and rummage around to find the cause of their ailment as well as working their healing from within the patient's mind.
  • The Greg Bear novel Queen of Angels has a climactic trip into "the country of the mind" of a killer.
  • And, of course, The Dream Master by Roger Zelazny.
  • This also happened during A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett. The Nac Mac Feegles entered Tiffany's mind in order to bring her some sheep's wool, Jolly Sailor Tobacco, and turpentine, all things she associates with home and Granny Aching, to help her fight the Hiver that was controlling her mind.
    • There are also some short scenes in Thud! which show Sam Vimes' mind as a permanently rainy, yet apparently empty city.
    • The Wizzard Rincewind, in a time of crisis, has the Eight Great Spells lodging in his mind, who complain about how dusty and neglected it is in there.
  • In Timewyrm: Revelation, Ace gets pulled into the Seventh Doctor's psyche by the titular Timewyrm.
  • The protagonist of Norman Spinrad's story "Carcinoma Angels" goes on a journey into his own mind to attempt to cure his cancer. It works, but in a twist ending he can't find his way back out and spends the rest of his life in a coma.
  • In Andreas D. Hesse's Schatten über Fraterna (lit. "Shadows above Fraterna"), almost the whole story takes place in the protagonist's sister's mind, after his sister fell into a coma and he himself got hit by a truck. As every person his sister knows has an alter ego in her mind, equipped with power according to the relationship to her, he slips into the body of the duke of Fraterna, only to notice that the personification of his evil side has just stolen the most vital artifact in the whole world (the reason for his sister's coma). He is assigned by the queen (the representation of his sister) to retrieve said artifact.
  • In Minecraft: The Crash, Bianca's VR journey mirrors her own mind, and the obstacles she faces are born of her own fears and doubts.
  • In Simon Spurrier's Warhammer 40,000 Night Lords novel Lord of the Night, the Eldar trap Sahaal in his own mind. The psyker Mita is caught with him and at first thinks it's a daemon world. She explains the situation, he persuades her, and she frees him.
  • Pale: An alcazar ritual turns an object into a place that can be explored to examine the subject's history and present state. When used on a living person or animal, it is effectively this.
  • In the first The Paper Magician book, Ceony travels into the mind of Emery Thane, which is apparently located in his heart rather than his brain. The journey has four stages. In each stage, Ceony encounters a different set of his thoughts or memories and converses with a different facet of his personality. The first stage encompasses his happy memories, the second his dreams and hopes for the future, the third his unhappy memories, and the fourth his doubts and regrets.
  • The Japanese novel Paprika (and the 2006 anime movie based on the novel) revolves around a device that lets the user enter another person's dreams, and what happens when said device falls into the wrong hands.
  • In Those That Wake's sequel, What We Become, Remak and Rose enter Mal's mind.
  • The entirety of Unwoven Literary Universe takes place in the author's mind as he actually saw the events take place there with his mind's eye, which makes it all the weirder.
  • The sixth novel in the Young Wizards series, A Wizard Alone, has Nita and Kit travel into the mind of an autistic wizard.
  • There's a light novel written by CLAMP named Yumegari (Dream Hunter), where the main character Tatsumi Honjou is a yumegari warrior who investigates the dreams of others and, if needed, dives into them. Every yumegari must be partnered with a yumemori who has to watch over the yumegari and their own dreams; Tatsumi's yumemori is a man named Kyousuke Kaga, and after her parents and predecessors die in the line of duty, Tatsumi goes to live with Kyousuke...
  • InCryptid: In Imaginary Numbers, Sarah goes inside Artie's mind to find out why he's not waking up after a car crash caused by another cuckoo. It turns out the other cuckoo left a mental trap in his mind. Later on Artie returns the favor when he enters Sarah's mind to convince her not to go along with the hive's plot.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Jaina Solo at one point tries to enter Tahiri Veila's mind to help Tahiri overcome her Yuuzhan Vong persona.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Angel episode "Orpheus", the eponymous drug traps both Angelus and Faith inside his memories until his soul is restored.
  • In the A.N.T. Farm episode "IdANTity Crisis", the A.N.T.s are forced to share in Chyna's mind when Skidmore steals their personalities. Violet rather enjoys herself messing with the controls, but Fletcher is rather disappointed to discover that he's not one of Chyna's crushes.
    Fletcher: Why is the drawer so full?
    [rifles through cabinet]
  • Babylon 5:
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has this happen when Buffy goes catatonic in "Weight of the World", Willow uses magic to enter her mind.
  • Parodied in the Doctor Who serial "The Chase", in which the crew land in a Haunted House containing screaming, bats, ghosts, Count Dracula, etcetera. The Doctor and Ian remark that everything is too familiar, causing the Doctor to postulate that the TARDIS has taken them into "the darkest depths of the human mind". Ian, quietly applying Occam's Razor, seems to realize they're actually in a theme park attraction, but keeps quiet so as not to upset the Doctor.
  • In the Fringe episode "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide", Peter and Walter enter Olivia's mind in order to retrieve her consciousness after she is possessed by William Bell.
  • The series finale of Herman's Head has the eponymous Herman visiting the characters in his mind.
  • In Heroes, Matt Parkman was forever going inside peoples' minds and dreams for various reasons. This came back to haunt him in Volume Five when he traps Sylar's consciousness inside his own mind, ultimately allowing him to take control of his body.
  • In the season four (two-part) finale of House, Chase attempts to use medical hypnotism to unlock House's memories of a bus crash. We can see both the inside of the bar he visited beforehand and the bus he rode on. Most details are obscured or not present.
    House: God, I hate Beer brand beer!
  • Occurs somewhat often on Kamen Rider Wizard, where there are Gates, humans with magical potential granted by an "inner demon" called a Phantom; if such a person crosses the Despair Event Horizon, their Phantom breaks free into the real world, killing them in the process. Wizard and Beast fight to keep existing Phantoms from creating more, usually by protecting Gates from falling into despair; if that fails, they can use magic to enter the Gate's mind and destroy their Phantom before it can manifest. The Underworld is usually depicted as a time-stopped version of the Gate's strongest memory, which becomes fragmented as they fall into despair and is repaired when the Phantom is destroyed. It doesn't happen very often, mainly due to the amount of expensive CGI it requires.
  • Locke & Key (2020) often used the Head Key, which unlocked a room containing all an individual's memories in tangible form, including memories that had been forgotten or repressed.
  • The episode "Numbskulls of the Beast" from The Legend of Dick and Dom sees the heroes use magic to get inside the head of the Big Bad, to find where he has hidden the MacGuffin; They aren't particularly interested in why his wrath is represented as giant red teddy bears, or what's with his mind having security guards (who are flying Brooklyn-accented penguins) and cable cars.
  • The series finale of Made For Love sees Hazel taking a journey through her own mind (represented as a desert full of her memories and loved ones) to reclaim her identity from her body-snatching Evil Doppelgänger.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Mindreacher", Dr. Candace Maguire and her lover Dr. Kenneth Vaughn have developed a technique known as Psionically Synchronized Reality (PSR) or "mindreaching" which allows someone to enter the mind of a mentally ill person and help them fight their demons. It is their hope that it will revolutionize the treatment of mental health disorders.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • In "Terrorform", the gang has to rescue Rimmer from his personal demons as manifested on a moon that has transformed itself into a manifestation of his psyche.
    • In "Gunmen of the Apocalypse", the crew link a virtual reality machine up to Kryten's brain and enter his subconscious to help him fight off a computer virus that he had contracted in order to come up with an antidote.
  • Smallville:
  • One of the episodes of Disney Channel's So Weird had this as its plot. Fi, Jack, and Clu end up going inside a young boy's dreams to find out why he's having nightmares. The nightmare-creature (represented by a huge mass of black mist) is constantly chasing them, and will only be defeated when the child stands up and faces his fears. What's he afraid of? His parents are constantly fighting and he's afraid that one of them will leave.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Extreme Measures", O'Brien and Bashir interrogate a special agent this way. He turns the tables on them by creating a part of his mind that looks like the room they started from and trying to trap them there.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In "Phantasms", Picard and company attach Data's brain to the holodeck to enter his dreams so they can learn what he doesn't know that he knows.
    • In "Dark Page", Counselor Troi enlists the aid of a powerful alien telepath to enter the mind of her comatose mother.
    • In "Emergence", the Enterprise starts to gain an intelligence and the holodeck becomes the imagination of the ship. The crew enters the holodeck in order to figure out what the aims of the Enterprise are.
  • Supernatural:
    • In a dream episode, Bobby was trying to get killed by his dead wife (who he killed), Dean fought and killed a doppelganger personifying his massive ball of self-loathing and Sam was tied down in a Christ-pose and used his psychic powers(?) to kill the Big Bad of the episode by bringing back his Abusive Dad.
    • In the 6th season's finale, Castiel breaks down Sam's wall and he has to find his way back to Dean and Bobby by finding and killing Robo-Sam and Hell-Sam, which the wall was making sure he never remembered.
    • And again in the 7th season mid-season finale, when Bobby is dying of brain trauma, and has to navigate his own mind to escape a reaper coming after him and to find a way out.
    • Invoked again in the 8th season, when Castiel takes Sam inside the mind of Fred Jones, a reality warping psychic, to talk him into regaining control over his powers since the latter buried himself too deep within his own subconscious to engage him in a more conventional manner.
    • And in the 9th season episode "Road Trip", where Sam needs a little help recognizing his situation and fighting from the inside against possession by an angel (Gadreel). With the help having to come from Crowley of all people.
  • Played with in Taken. Several characters enter a crashed alien spacecraft and see visions from their minds. A soldier sees his mother and her delicious cookies; one sees cockroaches, his greatest fear; one of the main characters sees her dead grandfather whom she never met, who claims to be how she views him in her mind. In the end, it turns out the resident child psychic has been pulling these images out of people's minds and making them see them — there wasn't even an alien crash.
  • During Season 3b of Teen Wolf, when Stiles is possessed by the Nogitsune, Scott uses his werewolf powers to take both himself and Lydia into his mind in order to draw him out from the Nogitsune's control.

  • In Ciel ~The Last Autumn Story~, one of the main characters falls into a coma after overusing her magic powers, and her closest friend and love interest have to pull one of these in order for them all to wake up safely.

  • The 1968 acid rock song Journey to the Center of the Mind by the Amboy Dukes is the Trope Namer. The title was apparently a psychedelic takeoff on Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, replacing geology with psychology.
  • Ayreon's "The Human Equation": the protagonist, while comatose has a rather lengthy discussion with his emotions.
  • Similarly, "The Trial" from Pink Floyd's The Wall, which has Pink being confronted with his issues.
    • Really most of the album is this, especially the second half; with all but maybe the last song taking place there.
  • Psykosonik's 1993 song "Welcome to my Mind".

  • The Brain is a somewhat literal version of this, showing how the brain itself works.

    Puppet Shows 

  • In one episode of And Sometimes Y, the hosts travel into the mind of a CBC Radio listener.
  • Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978) is taken aback to realise Marvin the Paranoid Android can read his mind.
    "It beats me as to how you manage to live in anything that small."

    Tabletop Games 
  • Champions Organization Book The Circle and M.E.T.E.. In the adventure "To Sleep, Perchance to Dream", the PCs must enter the mind of a comatose superhero and convince him that he's dreaming and needs to wake up.
  • This is the fundamental premise of Dreamwalker.
  • The surrealistic indie rpg Lacuna Part I. The Creation of the Mystery and the Girl from Blue City
    • The players are agents of an unidentified organization dedicated to curing anti-social (i.e. criminal) behavior by entering a shared subconscious space with the criminal/patient.
    • They basically took the idea of the collective unconscious and turned it into a semi-tangible dream world where nothing is guaranteed to make sense, and it's populated with the unconscious, unwitting minds of everyone on the planet. Needless to say, there's a lot of strange symbolism to be had.
  • In the French roleplaying game La Méthode du Docteur Chestel, the PCs are sent into the mind of a psychiatric patient in order to investigate his inner world and try to solve his mental problems. Gamemasters are encouraged to be creative with the (unfortunate) consequences of the therapy.
  • In the Ravenloft adventure The Forgotten Terror, the deceased PCs' souls are trapped in a realm contained in the gemstone of a cursed dagger. In addition to areas that look like they are made of ruby, there are areas based on various memories and aspects of the villain's personality. In the center of the realm is the villain himself, who is all-powerful within this realm. It's like a fantasy RPG version of The Cell.
  • Dreamscapes and Psychic Duels are both explored in Pathfinder, in the first edition book Occult Adventures and in the second edition book Dark Archive.

  • The song "Amazing Journey" from Tommy: "Sickness can surely take the mind where minds can't usually go/Come on the amazing journey and learn all you should know..."

    Video Games 
  • AI: The Somnium Files revolves around ABIS, a secret division of the Japanese police that utilizes nanomachines and advanced neuroscience to invade the mind of a sleeping suspect and search their dreams/memories for clues. With the help of his Robot Buddy Aiba, Date has to traverse their "Somnium" and gather evidence to make them confess or remember things in the real world.
  • In the action-adventure Alundra, we discover that people's dreams and subconscious minds contain a lot of block puzzles.
  • American McGee's Alice assumes the theory that Lewis Carroll's Wonderland was all a representation of Alice's subconscious mind, and in the game Alice retreats to Wonderland after her parents die in a fire, only to find Wonderland twisted beyond recognition by her own guilt and trauma, and takes it upon herself to defeat her inner demons and set Wonderland right once again.
  • In Arc Rise Fantasia, the party goes into Ryfia's consciousness in order to bring her back, after she's injured by an attack meant for L'Arc.
  • In the dating sim/RPG Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia, there exist machines called 'dive machines' that allow someone to travel to a Reyvateil's soulspace. The point is for the diver to deepen their relationship with the Reyvateil in order to generate new spells (and costumes). 'Diving' is an intensely intimate act and so a Reyvateil will only allow someone they like and/or trust to do so.
    • In Ar tonelico and the sequel the main character can 'dive' into the 'cosmosphere' of the Reyvatails in your party, which is directly similar into exploring a person's inner mind and consciousness. It is a major gameplay mechanic as not only does it give you an intriguing look at their inner selves, but is a requirement to unlock more powerful song magic for the Reyvatail you are diving into.
  • Baldur's Gate II has several dream sequences where the Player Character wanders around a recreation of their childhood home floating in a void, while Irenicus, Imoen, and their Superpowered Evil Side spout cryptic foreshadowing at them.
  • This happens multiple times in Batman: Arkham Asylum, thanks to The Scarecrow's fear toxins. They typically involve a lot of Mind Screw, some Fission Mailed, and oh yeah, a Kaiju-sized Scarecrow trying to drive you permanently insane.
  • The "Claptastic Voyage" DLC of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! has the protagonists entering Claptrap's mind in order to find the "H-Source", a special code that unlocks all sorts of Hyperion secrets that was hidden inside him. Inside, they're forced to fight through various viruses/malware as well as Claptrap's memories of past events in the series.
    • Borderlands 3 revisits this trope with the "Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck" DLC, where the protagonists must enter the mind of Krieg in order to discover the source of Psycho madness as well as to navigate his memories colored by his severely twisted mind.
  • Breath of Fire uses this quite a bit. Every game in the series had a mental dungeon or two.
  • At least two examples in City of Villains. The villain Psymon Omega has you enter his mind and destroy his fear of commitment, the unknown, and the past. Similarly, the famous singer Johnny Sonata has you enter his 'personal hell' and destroy his soul so he can get out of a Deal with the Devil.
  • Used as a character upgrade in La Pucelle, which is the prequel to Disgaea. Complete with split personalities, laser swords and all wrapped up inside the mind of a rebellious princess.
    • Featured heavily in Disgaea 3, where it's called Mao's "heart" instead of his mind. Much of the plot revolves around Mao trying to defeat his psychological demons and "open his heart" by repeated trips inside his own psyche. In the end, it's the Power of Friendship and not these journeys that allows him to overcome his problems.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, selecting the Templars when recruiting allies to close the Breach leads to this trope.
  • Happens in Drakengard 2, in which the protagonist, through sheer force of will, enters Manah's mind to cleanse it of Demonic Possession, ending in a rather creepy Battle in the Center of the Mind against lots of shadowy clones of Manah's younger self. But with only red eyes.
  • In Earthbound Beginnings, the entire area of Magicant is revealed to be within Queen Mary's mind, making the party's trips there one of these.
    • Ness goes on such a journey in his own version of Magicant in EarthBound (1994).
    • Because of its use in the main series, this tends to be a common subject of fanworks. Cognitive Dissonance ends with one taking place in Giegue's mind.
    • When the player presses the B Button during the important decision in The Halloween Hack, Varik enters Dr. Andonuts's mind and discovers the reasoning behind his insanity.
  • This is the premise of the game Earthworm Jim 3D; after being flattened by a cow, Jim ends up in a coma. In order to wake up, Jim (personified by his ego) must navigate stages that represent different parts of his mind, ultimately doing battle with his feminine side; Earthworm Kim!
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Oblivion includes a sidequest where you help a comatose man wake up by retrieving parts of his sanity in a surreal dreamworld and reason to make him realize that it is All Just a Dream.
    • In Skyrim, Sheogorath (the Daedric Prince of Madness) is found taking a vacation in the mind of the late Emperor Pelagius Septim III, aka "Pelagius the Mad". To get Shegorath to leave and return to his Daedric realm, you have to treat Pelagius' mental illness using Sheogorath's Daedric artifact.
  • Ether One (at least on the surface) is about an agent of a futuristic corporation that heals dementia patients by entering their memories and removing temporal abnormalities.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Shadow Showdown has "Dad's Dream", a level that takes place in... Timmy's dad's dream.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VI does this. There's a side quest where you can go into Cyan's mind and help him overcome his (justified) angst.
    • Final Fantasy VII: After Cloud is subjected to a cruel Mind Screw that leads him to believe he's a mere clone of Sephiroth created by Mad Scientist Hojo and then falls into The Lifestream, he becomes mentally-quadriplegic and sits almost silently in a wheelchair, unable to do anything. In the meantime, his best friend and prospect girlfriend, Tifa, takes a brief stint as the team leader but then stays for a while by his side, and ultimately pulls this to bring him back to his senses after they both fall to the Lifestream and begin picking up the pieces of both Tifa's and Cloud's memories, leading them to see that there really is a guy named Cloud and that he is not a Sephiroth clone.
    • Chapter 5 of Final Fantasy XIII-2 features this, unveiling the true feelings and wishes of both Serah and Noel.
  • Fur Fighters has this as a set of levels. After leaving The Bad Place, the heroes end up in a room with a series of doors, each leading to a special nightmare for each character. The whole segment is quite Mind Screwy and hard to interpret, but:
    • Tweek starts as a walking egg, and his siblings are all in eggs in a huge nest out of reach. You must reach the other eggs by jumping up some treacherous platforms to leave. Presumably, Tweek fears being separated or rejected by his brothers and sisters.
    • Bungalow starts in a swamp, filled with tokens and swarming with enemies. This is the only nightmare with tokens, and Bungalow must find them all to escape. Bungalow is aware that he is not as intelligent as the rest of his comrades and feels intellectually inadequate, and he fears any intellectual burden because he feels he can't do it.
    • Chang starts in a white room, and he's white as well. He's in a room with invisible walls set up like a maze. Enemies are present and visible through the walls, but they can't see him through the walls themselves. Chang possibly fears being ignored or forgotten due to his height.
    • Rico is trapped in New Quack City, and he isn't wearing any pants. He's being pursued by tanks and police Mooks.
    • Juliette is trapped in a dining hall, wearing a black formal outfit. People can be heard mocking her attire. Dingo enemies wearing masks of the other squad members attack her. Presumably, Juliette worries about what other people think of her, and worse, she fears her friends talk about her behind her back. The pictures on the wall of her and Viggo elude to something worse: she maybe feels that her comrades trust her so poorly that they feel she could betray them at the slightest coercion, or she fears betraying their trust.
    • Roofus is wearing old army gear and is stuck in an urban war zone. He fears going back to war. The tanks have Viggo's face painted on the side of them; this can be interpreted that, by not killing Viggo in the past, he is responsible for his comrades' current predicament.
  • God of War III: At the very end of the game, Kratos is trapped in his own mind after Zeus Mind Rapes him. With help from the spirit of Pandora, Kratos traverses his psyche and manages to finally forgive himself of his past sins, allowing him to unlock the power of Hope and defeat Zeus once and for all.
  • Hellgate: London has your character literally open a portal to Hell through Techsmith 314's mind - after you have him face-raped by a demonic monkey, of course. (Played with for laughs, if it's any consolation.)
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1984), Arthur Dent travels inside his own mind. He's looking for his common sense. It's pretty tiny, so it takes a while to find.
  • There's an Edutainment Game called Journey into the Brain.
  • The "Dive To The Heart" segments from several Kingdom Hearts games. They generally take place early on and represent the player character's Keyblade powers awakening/resurfacing.
  • This is shaping up to be a major plot element in the King's Quest Fan Sequel The Silver Lining.
  • In Lunar: Eternal Blue, Ronfar goes into Mauri's mind to free her from Zophar's influence.
  • In Marco & the Galaxy Dragon, Marco retreats into the depths of her subconscious mind after getting her arm ripped off by Astaroth. Kurosaki then enters Marco’s mind, somehow, and brings her up to speed on what’s been happening since she went under and what she needs to do to stay alive.
  • One of the scenarios in Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 involves the Ouendan entering the dreams of a six-year-old boy to help him with his bed-wetting problem.
  • Exploited by Bowser in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story after he forgets his safe combination after getting crushed between a boulder and a train, so he orders his new minion "Chippy" inside of him (actually Starlow) to go into his brain and find out what it was. His Memory Banks are depicted like a library filled with photo frames of his memories, with the safe combo memory shattered so Mario and Luigi have to fix it like a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Max Payne featured several labyrinthine dream sequences including one in which you are injected with about three lethal doses of a psychotic drug, and get a phone call from your dead wife who screams "WAKE UP MAX, YOU'RE IN A COMPUTER GAME!!"
  • MIND: Path To Thalamus is a puzzle adventure played from the perspective of a comatose father working through his self-loathing and guilt over the death of his daughter, and other family issues. As it turns out, she's not even dead.
  • In NEO: The World Ends with You, Nagi is able to Dive into the minds of other people in order to read their deeper thoughts and erase Noise lurking within them.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer features sequences where you enter your own and other people's dreams (and fight inside them, and Your Mind Makes It Real if you die...), and the game ends with an extended where you enter your soul and have to prevent the Enemy Within from literally devouring your memories, and then banish him.
    • Gann can also wander around in your dream sequences, as can Kaelyn, Safiya, and Okku if you have enough influence with them at the end. Though only your romance option can enter the final sequence.
  • In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Henry's recovery from his Harmless Freezing involves fighting a little girl with Humongous Mecha arms (AKA Travis' fetish) in his mind. It's a relative Big-Lipped Alligator Moment in the game, and coming from this game, that's saying a lot. However, it's implied that it's influenced by the show that Travis was "watching" while Henry was out cold.
  • This is the main feature of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team; Mario can travel through Luigi's dreams, and, with a little help from Starlow, influence the dreamscape by changing Luigi's condition in the real world (such as managing Luigi's temperature to freeze water and melt ice within the dream).
  • In Obsidian, when you finally reach the Bureau Chief in the first dream world, after a brief tantrum over all the rules you broke to reach him, he reluctantly shows you a video of your partner Max, depicting the inside of his brain. It also shows parts of his memories, and one of them pops off the screen and drops you into Max's own dream world.
  • In Of Orcs and Men, the protagonists are forced to perform what is described as "Mental Rape" on High Mage Arkence in order to save her from a trance she's trapped in. During this, they are forced to confront their darkest memories: Arkail is forced to deal with the manifestation of his rage while Styx is forced to deal with the fact that he was an orc twisted by magic as well as being the progenitor of the goblin race.
  • This is the central premise of Tim Schafer's Psychonauts— travelling into the minds of others and sorting out their emotional baggage (literally) and psychological problems.
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers, the player and partner are sent into Azurill's nightmare to find out why he won't wake up.
  • In Quest for Glory IV it's possible to see into the mind of a powerful enchantress in your dreams, by sleeping at certain places that have been touched by her magic. The dreams tell the hero what happened to her, foreshadowing the climax of the game, and can vary slightly from character class to character class (characters who play as Paladins receive more information about what to do, while characters who have some magical ability have some dreams with a more romantic bent.)
  • One of the Quests in Romancing SaGa 3 had you go into a character's mind and save her from the being conjured by the poison she drank. Turns out that the entity causing her nightmares was also making her unable to walk; she becomes recruitable after said mission.
  • Issue #7 of The Secret World concludes with a voyage through the mind of Emma Smith in your attempts to awaken her from sedation, having apparently been drawn in by your shared connection to Gaia. Among other things, you end up wandering through her memories of the opening of the Breach in the Carpathians, her "recruitment" by the Orochi Group, a surreal trip across an airborne honeycomb maze in a White Void Room, before descending into her recollections of a burning house. For good measure, the surreal ending features you shrinking to the size of a small child and running through an endless hallway in your attempts to spell out Emma's real name: Anima.
    • Issue #10 features players being drawn into the Dream Palace's A/V room, where they get to experience and play through the memories of the last known visitor - a shy young man by the name of John. You get to witness his recruitment by the Fear Nothing Foundation, fight through the angry bouncers on John's wild night on the town, take a good look at the moment he first saw the Dreamers, and do battle with his nightmares of Lilith. The whole thing ends with you witnessing the precise moment he detonated the Filth bomb on the Tokyo subways and transcended humanity to become the Black Signal. For added creepiness, John's representation in the dream has no face.
    • Later on, the Black Signal subjects you to a Mind Rape that has him taking you on a journey through your brain: first, he subjects you to a nightmare recreation of the moment when you were bonded with one of the Bees - except this time, you're infected by the Filth instead; then, he puts your memories on TV and fast-forwards you through the first three major bosses of the game, hammering you with Breaking Speech after Breaking Speech... right up until he stumbles into your memory of the encounter of Lilith, which frightens him so badly that he accidentally turns the Mind Rape on himself.
  • In Self-Checkout Unlimited, it turns out that this is actually what you've been doing as you explore the abandoned mall you woke up in. It culminates in your reprogramming your own mind and optionally ascending to a higher state of consciousness.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei I, you have to enter the mind of the heroine to eradicate a demon that is devouring her from the inside.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei NINE, one of the RTS missions takes place inside Tsuzumi's mind. Since he's a robot, it's a lot less gruesome than it sounds.
  • Silent Hill can be seen as this, with each game an examination of a particular character's psyche. Silent Hill 2 being the most obvious.
  • Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves sees Sly entering the mind of a trance-bound Panda King with a little help from the Guru. Once inside, he finds the Panda King locked in their Boss Battle from the first game, continuously reliving the moment of his ultimate failure.
  • Red from Solatorobo takes one after the game's midpoint thanks to a Virtual Training Simulation. He winds up having to face his greatest fear, which is losing control and killing everyone he loves.
  • In Stella Glow, this is what Tuning a Witch does. It allows Alto and his allies to enter into the heart of a Witch—typically to resolve mental or emotional issues—and is described as being a very intimate experience.
  • The adult Bara Genre game Strange Flesh has you, The Bartender, travel into the mind of Joe in order to help him with his repressed issues.
  • Superliminal takes place entirely within the protagonist's dream world.
  • This happens very often in Tales of Hearts, with the weapons known as Soma having been invented specifically for the purpose of allowing their wielders to enter the hearts and emotions of others (Referred to as Spiria) in order to rid them of the parasitic Zerom.
  • Classic RPG Wasteland contains a boss fight where a character has to fight his/her way through the mind of an insane robot.
  • In World of Warcraft, the Old God Yogg-Saron will forcibly bring the players into his mind. There, they will bear witness to some acts that took place in the lore (or are currently taking place) in the form of illusions that they must shatter to access the brain, which must be damaged enough to remove Yogg-Saron's invulnerability. However, if they remain inside the Mind's Eye for too long, their Sanity Meter will instantly drop to zero, thus falling into the Old God's control
    • In the Wailing Caverns dungeon, the player is literally fighting creatures summoned by a sleeping druid. The final boss is essentially his mental jailer—when you kill it, he wakes up.
  • In the Xenosaga series, there is a machine called the Encephalon that does this. In the entire trilogy, there have been three of these uses - once when retrieving KOS-MOS's memory banks from a black box in Episode I (shown as Miltia before and after the Gnosis incident began), and in Episode II, the crew has to dive into MOMO's head (shown as the subconscious of the girl MOMO was based on, combined with a little of Jr.'s) to figure out what the hell Albedo did to her back during the Mind Rape of the previous game. The third incident is in Episode III, where the crew dives into Shion's subconscious (shown as Miltia before the whole thing with the Gnosis started) without even knowing they had done so. All three of them were pretty much Mind Screws, especially the KOS-MOS one (where it doesn't even use KOS-MOS's memories, instead an amalgamation of Shion and Jr.'s).
  • It's strongly implied that this is what the Dream World represents in Yume Nikki, but... then again...

  • Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire loves this trope. Dominic adventures inside the minds of Szark Sturtz, kid brother Gregory Deegan, even his own, often fending off demons and necromancers with clear understanding and sheer strength of will.
  • 9th Elsewhere is about the journey inside the mind of a troubled teenage author with writer's block, where the voyagers are the protagonist (the aftermentioned troubled writer) and the oddball muse assigned to her by a musing organization.
  • The Last Days of FOXHOUND features the main cast going into Liquid's head following a Heroic BSoD starting here, and later one of Ocelot, with hilarious results:
    Psycho Mantis: Once, just once, I would like to see a mind that is not a goddamn metaphor.
  • We get a glimpse inside of Zombie's mind in Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name when he is possessed by Lee's ghost.
  • In Nodwick, the rest of the party enters Yeagar's mind to free him from the influence of a malign artifact. Yeagar's intellect is represented by an avatar of Artax (the party wizard), his conscience by Piffany (the cleric), and his insecurities by Nodwick (the henchman and the brains of the outfit).
  • Soul Symphony: Pretty much the story's premise. Main character Olivia is chosen to cure high school students of negative emotions by teleporting into their "Soul Worlds" and defeat monsters.
  • We get a glimpse of a confusing world inside Nenshe's head in the fifth arc of Rumors of War.
  • Awful Hospital: In both The Hospital and The Morgue, examination of both living and dead bodies takes the form of entering doors that cross over into metaphysical worlds which mirror what's happening to these bodies. Very much like the worlds accessible by the Psycho-Portals in Tim Schafer's Psychonauts.
  • In Strong Female Protagonist, Allison ventures into Patrick's mind in a bid to see what has been causing his recent breakdowns.
  • Kaiten Mutenmaru: When Sissela is about to disappear into bubbles, Tear Crown enters Sissela's mind to save her life and turn her back into Umimi.
  • Mr. Boop: After Alec is shot by Sonic the Hedgehog.

    Web Originals 
  • Carmilla does it to Samantha Everheart in the third 'Hive' story of the Whateley Universe when Samantha is going into a Heroic BSoD. (It's Carmilla's fault this is happening, so she has to fix it.)
  • Happens on a semi-regular basis to Caboose in Red vs. Blue. It seems like about every other week, an AI is jumping into his head for some reason. Probably this is part of the reason he's so... well, Cloudcuckoolander sums it up pretty well.
  • Not actually played out in We Are Our Avatars, but Ozbourne has used astral projection on herself, and hinted that most people should not try this on her.

    Western Animation 
  • In "Memory of a Memory" of Adventure Time, the main duo Finn and Jake have to retrieve a spell from their friend Marceline's memory so that she can awaken from her slumber. Turns out that they were Out-Gambitted by Ash (Marceline's ex-boyfriend) to retrieve the memory of a break up so Marceline would think that they never broke up at all.
  • In American Dad! episode "Brains, Brains and Automobiles", Stan and Francine go inside Roger's unconscious mind to bring him back to consciousness after throwing himself into a coma.
  • An opening of Arthur had the titular character enter the mind of his teacher and the mind of a classmate (later revealed to have dyslexia). The first mind was a giant homework factory, the second was a giant picture slideshow.
  • The Batman had an episode where Batman and Dr. Hugo Strange enter the mind of the Joker to find out where he hid Detective Yin before she's killed by a bomb. The latter was quickly side-tracked by trying to psycho-analyze the Joker (which he was just looking for an excuse to do) while Batman pulled the Joker into his mind, and tricked him into revealing the location by making him thinking they already knew.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold's adaptation of Emperor Joker, when Joker gains Reality Warper powers Batman tricks him into entering his mind to drive him insane. The Joker is pulled into a world without Batman, meaning he has no reason to exist and is sane. In horror at this, the Joker gives up his powers to escape.
  • This once happened to Beetlejuice when Lydia became trapped in his mind. She ended up helping his pathetic, wimpy "will power" defeat "Prankenstein," the part of Beetlejuice's personality that goads him into playing tricks on people.
  • Danny Phantom has one episode where Danny's overshadowing ability extends to flying inside people's minds, specifically their dreams.
  • The Duck Dodgers episode, "A Lame Duck Mind" has the Cadet, I.Q. High and the Villain of the Week going inside the tangled mess that is Dodger's brain. They're assisted by Dodger's Id, Super-Ego and Ego.
  • Duckman enters his own mind via hypnosis. Inside, he finds a monster made from his guilt that sabotages his ability to love women because he feels responsible for his wife's death.
  • Final Space: In Episode 8, the Galaxy One travels to Inner Space to contact the titan Bolo. The only way to do so is by entering his mind, which consists of many different chambers, all of them bizarre and alien looking.
  • In Gravity Falls, this is the plot of the episode "Dreamscaperers". Gideon summons a demon named Bill Cipher to invade Grunkle Stan's mind and retrieve the code to a safe containing the deed to the Mystery Shack. Dipper, Mabel, and Soos must go into Grunkle Stan's mind to stop him.
  • The Grojband episode "Dreamreaver" sees the titular band enter Trina's mind after they force a five-hour loop of their first music video into her brain, resulting in her falling into a coma. It's populated by dozens of Nick Mallories, evil versions of Grojband based on the aforementioned video, and a much nicer part of Trina named Katrina, who was apparently locked away a long time ago.
  • In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius episode "I Dream of Jimmy," Jimmy travels into Carl's highly-illogical dreamscape to deal with his friend's recurring nightmare.
  • In the Halloween Episode of Invader Zim, Zim and Dib get trapped in a world filled with twisted amalgamations of characters from the Crapsack World the show takes place in, evidently inside Dib's mind. Of course, when they try to escape into the real world, they find it too horrifying to bear and return back to their own (apparently less) hellish dimension.
  • The Loud House: In "Dream a Lily Dream", Lisa, Lincoln, Lynn, Lola, and Leni go inside Lily's subconsciousness to personally deal with Lily's nightmares while the others keep her asleep.
  • In the series finale of Mighty Orbots, when the title robots mistakenly believe they are slated to be scrapped, they decide to prove their worth by making a likely suicidal frontal assault on the series Big Bad, Umbra, a vast living computer in a Dyson Sphere called the Shadow Star. They physically penetrate Umbra's body, and find themselves literally inside his mind, doing battle with the physical manifestations of his thoughts. Against all odds, they win and destroy Umbra. They go home and discover they were never going to be scrapped after all. They had misheard Rob planning a party for their first birthday.
  • The Owl House does this twice.
    • "Understanding Willow" has Luz and Amity go inside Willow's mind to fix the memories that Amity destroyed by accident, and confronting the incident that drove Willow and Amity apart in the first place. Willow's mindscape is represented by a lush forest of willow trees, each tree holding a painting that represents a memory.
    • "Hollow Mind" does the same, but plays it for significantly more horror, as Luz and Hunter end up in Belos's mind. Unlike Willow's mindscape, Belos's mindscape starts in a giant hallway of abstract paintings, made of all the lies he tells, and the true mindscape underneath is a dark, dead forest covered in cobwebs underneath a pitch-black sky. Luz and Hunter are attacked by the amalgamated Palisman souls Belos has been consuming over the years, and the Inner Belos leads them through the memories that spell out who Belos really is, and what he's done to the previous Golden Guards. When Hunter brokenly begs the Inner Belos for answers, he writes the boy off as a lost cause and tries to get rid of him by dragging him down into his subconscious, illustrated by Hunter sinking into the ground like it's quicksand while Luz desperately tries to pull him out. Luz herself is horrified and devastated to discover that Belos is Philip Wittebane and that she was a would-be genocidal tyrant's Unwitting Pawn. By the time Eda manages to get them out, the poor kids are quite simply traumatized; Luz is almost nonverbal with a Thousand-Yard Stare, and Hunter, already suffering from an Identity Breakdown, has a severe panic attack upon realizing that Belos will know they were in there and that it's not safe to return to the castle, tears off his cape and blindly runs off into the woods.
  • The Patrick Star Show: In "Fun & Done!", SpongeBob and Patrick crawl into Andy's head to let his sense of imagination free: it's represented by a door with a bunch of padlocks on it. Patrick destroys the padlocks and a giant rainbow shoots out. When Andy's imagination proves too much to handle, they head back inside and use the locks to seal the door back up.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Monster from the ID", Candace's mind is entered by Phineas, Ferb, Baljeet, and Candace herself, with the goal of finding Candace's memory of an item she lost so she can remember what it looked like (and hopefully recreate it).
  • The Real Ghostbusters's Episode "Mean Green Teen Machine" has three ghosts messing with the Ghostbusters' minds during their sleep whilst a special machine allows Slimer to see not only what's inside the different Ghostbusters' dreams but also when they mix together.
  • The first episode of the Aardman Animations series Rex the Runt had the cast entering the mind of Cloud Cuckoolander Vince in a shrunken submarine in order to cure his Random Pavarotti Disease. Instead, they re-tune him to BBC Radio 4.
  • The Rick and Morty episode "Rickternal Friendshine of the Rickless Mort" has Rick go on one of these to revive Birdperson following his Unwilling Roboticisation and explore their shared past.
  • Saving Me: As part of the premise, Future Bennett is able to draw Past Bennett into a mindscape of sorts to converse with him, but in the episode "Mind Trip" however, the two Bennetts take a trip into the deeper regions of Past Bennett's mind in order to retrieve memories of their mother for Mother's Day.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man has the symbiote forcing Peter to go through one after he attempts to remove it.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants did the dream version in the episode "Sleepy Time." Naturally, Spongebob managed to ruin the dreams of everyone in Bikini Bottom, and he awoke to find a group of annoyed friends and neighbors, insisting he stay out of their dreams because they get enough of him during the day.
  • In an episode of STAR Street, the band take a trip inside Ashley's head after he starts behaving oddly. They pry through some of his memories and emotions before finding the cause of the problem and even go as far as performing a song to get rid of it.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "A Single Pale Rose", Pearl takes Steven inside her gem (which, given the nature of gems, is essentially her mind). In theory, this is to fetch her phone, which she has lost inside it, as it also functions as a Bag of Holding. Her ulterior motive, though, is for him to travel through her memories so she can show him something important which she is unable to tell him. Inside, he meets several versions of her, each of which represents a stage in her life, moving backwards through time until he finds both the phone and the thing which Pearl needed him to see.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) have done this on one episode. The story is about saving Mikey from Neutrinos by going into his mind and defeating it. The title of the story is even called Journey To the Center of Mikey's Mind.
  • Teen Titans (2003): In "Nevermore", Cyborg and Beast Boy accidentally go into the depths of Raven's mind, where they meet embodiments of all the facets of her personality, including some she generally hides.
  • In The Tick episode "The Tick vs. Proto-Clown," The Tick gets literally knocked into orbit by the titular monster and goes on a journey through his own mind while the rest of the heroes have to deal with Proto-Clown.
  • The Venture Brothers:
    • In the episode "Assisted Suicide" the Monarch uses a mind-control machine to go inside Dr. Venture's brain to try and kill him from the inside out; Dr. Orpheus goes in after him to save Doc from the "possessing spirit." However, it turns out that Dr. Venture's mind isn't such a pleasant place to be, and a combination of traumatic memories and Freudian archetypes send the Monarch running away screaming.
    • Doctor Henry Killinger does this to Doctor Venture as well in the episode "The Doctor is Sin."
  • Wishfart: In "Litter Fools Ain't Cool", Dez, Puffin, and Akiko (as well as Tsuni, who joins them slightly later) enter Dez's own mindscape to uncover the reason why he's been granting wishes in his sleep.
  • In Young Justice (2010) Miss Martian breaks Kaldur's mind not knowing that he's The Mole. She is forced by Black Manta to heal him, so she and Artemis (disguised as Tigress) enter Kaldur's mind which is shown to be shattered by her attack.

    Real Life 
  • There are people who have tried to do this in real life. See also psychonautics, lucid dreaming, and vision quests.
  • One common mnemonic technique is the method of loci, in which the subject envisions their mind as a "memory palace" with specific memories placed in particular locations (like a chest or drawer in a room). To help recall the memory, the subject visualizes themselves walking through their "palace" and retrieving the memory from its place.

Alternative Title(s): Journey To The Centre Of The Mind


Cricket in his brain

Wanting to find his "real smarts", Cricket literally looks deep inside his own head.

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Main / JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind

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