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Nocturnal Emission

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"I just had a wet dream, I'm covered in nut cream. It's all icky, really sticky."
Koit, "Wet Dream"

Men are such perverts that they even ejaculate in their sleep. There is a perfectly normal (i.e. non-perverted) biological explanation for this, but Fiction Land likes to pretend that it's always a result of an Erotic Dream and/or masturbation. Also, in Fiction Land, women never do this. (In Real Life, they do, but barring female ejaculation it's a lot harder for women to tell in the morning.) Truth in Television for both sexes, though this phenomenon is more the exception than the rule. A teenage boy's first nocturnal emission is often given the same treatment in The Talk as a teenage girl's first period.

If a man is discovered to have such an emission by someone else (especially his Love Interest), he will never hear the end of it.

See also Raging Stiffie and, as a natural consequence, Jizzed in My Pants.

No Video and Real Life Examples, Please! Video and Real Life examples have been considered Not Safe for Work, and uploaded video examples will be rejected.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan mixes this with The Metamorphosis, of all things.
  • In A Certain Scientific Railgun, Kuroko Shirai is shown (judging by the noises she made and her ... embracing of her pillow) to have a very explicit dream about her Onee-sama, Mikoto Misaka .
  • DomesticNaKanojo: In Chapter 79, there's an unusual case with Natsuo - instead of an actual ejaculation (which he dreamt he was having), he wakes up with a nosebleed so severe he has to wash his shirt and pillowcase in secret. Rui notices him sneaking into the bathroom and follows, first making a quip about him having a period, then wondering just what he was dreaming about to get a nosebleed that huge. It was her.
  • Female example in High School D×D, where Akeno is stated to often dream of having sex with Issei. Since it's Akeno, it's safe to assume the dreams are not subtle.
  • Kemono Jihen features an unusually serious version of this trope: in Yui's backstory, one day his twin brother Akira sheepishly admits that he wet the bed the previous night despite being a teenager. Yui, who started going through puberty a bit earlier than his twin, realizes that Akira most likely didn't wet the bed but instead actually experienced his first nocturnal emission— meaning that the women of their village will now consider him mature enough to subject to the same horrific treatment as Yui.
  • My Dress-Up Darling: Implied for Gojo at the beginning of Chapter 5/Episode 3. He wakes up from having an Erotic Dream about Marin, and then he looks below his covers. He's later shown having to grab a box of tissues.
  • The Tyrant Falls in Love: Tearfully related by Morinaga, as the first page of Volume 3.
  • Umi no Misaki: Rinne had an Erotic Dream that may have caused a feminine Nocturnal Emission.
  • Non-sexual versions frequently happen in Wandering Son. The protagonist often has these, even when his dreams are not sexual. Yuki's first flashback notes her having one of these, going to the bathroom, and her crush (now boyfriend) walks in at a school field trip when they were children.
  • The World's Finest Assassin: Lugh finds himself in this uncomfortable situation due to both Tarte and Maha spending the night with him in his bed. They wake up to a funny smell to which Lugh tries to explain away by exclaiming that there’s a perfectly biological explanation for this. This prompts the girls to eagerly insist that he should just “ask them for help” to prevent this from happening again.

  • Serves as the basis for one of Bill Cosby's stand-up routines, speaking about "the Fairy of Good Dream" that visits boys when they come of age, when they start doing their own laundry.
  • The French humor magazine "Echo des Savanes" once held a fake protest against "nocturnal pollution", the technical term for this.

  • Address Unknown (Remedy) has a rare female example, when Twilight falls asleep while studying and has an erotic dream involving Derpy. She's too distracted to notice the mess the following morning and rushes off to Canterlot leaving Spike to clean up.
  • Blood That Flows: Poor Yuuno. He's incredibly embarrassed about it, but Kyouya tells him that it's perfectly natural and normal for boys his age to suffer through it. He tells Yuuno to pack more underwear when going on trips in the future.
  • Empath: The Luckiest Smurf: Suggested to have happened to Empath in the novel, and to his fellow Smurfs in "I Dream Of Smurfette". Referred to as "the Smurfette dream". See this image for some laughs.
    • The female version of this trope is also suggested to have happened to Smurfette in the mini-story "After The Manner Of Smurfettes".
  • In the fanfic "Sml fanfic - Puberty" ( by "Loaf Cat 99" on Wattpad, in which Junior has a wet dream, this trope occurs.

    Film - Live Action 
  • 50 First Dates: When the family visit Lucy's doctor her brother pulls him aside and asks for advice about a friend of his who's been experimenting with steroids and having a lot of wet dreams. The doctor sees through the pretense and tells Doug to stop taking the drugs and go find a woman to date.
  • Rock 'n' Roll High School: Implied. Tom mentions that he frequently dreams about his crush Riff but always wakes up "just before the good part."
  • In Zig Zag (2002), ZigZag has his first Erotic Dream after visiting a strip club. At first he thinks he's had a Potty Failure and apologizes to Singer for peeing on his couch. Once Singer realizes what really happened, he gives ZigZag The Talk.

  • In A Brother's Price Jerin washes the blankets "soiled by dreams" of a woman. It's a good thing for him he does the whole laundry, so there's no embarassment.
  • In Brokeback Mountain's original short story, Ennis sometimes have Jack in his dream after Jack's death, either leaving him with grief or an "old sense of joy and release." It's implied that the trope is in effect when he feels the latter because sometimes he finds his sheets to be wet.
  • In The Ghost Writer, sometime after he started the pen-friendship romance with Alice, Gerard has Erotic Dream where he had sex with her. When he woke up, he found his blankets and pajamas wet. He then told Alice about this in his letter. Alice's reply letter has her claimed that she had similar dream roughly at the same time.
  • In Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Jesus heads to the East accompanied by his friend Biff to find the 3 wise men who came to witness his birth so he can learn how to be the messiah. The second of the wise men turns out to be a Buddhist monk who is the head of a Shaolin-esque monastery. While staying at the monastery, the two are naturally forbidden from being involved with women, or masturbating, and the only emission of semen can be involuntary, nocturnal ones. Biff, being a natural born lecher, promptly learns how to force himself to have dreams that will result in nocturnal emissions. Since they stay at the monastery for several years, he notes that he got pretty good at it.
  • The Road to Mars: Carlton (an android built to look like David Bowie) is marketed as such. His advertising copy describes him as "a cross between a wet dream and a wank."
  • In Neal Stephenson 's Cryptonomicon, Randy starts praying for these after a few weeks in jail.
  • In Flowers for Algernon, Charlie's co-workers decide to mess with him by getting him drunk and introducing him to a stripper. He notes in his progress report that he had a dream about the woman, and when he woke up the next day, his bedsheets were sticky.
  • In Flowers in the Attic, Cathy is surprised to notice stains on brother Christopher's side of the bed and lectures him, as he's far too old for bed-wetting. He knows what's happening to him, being slightly older and very knowledgeable, but she dismisses his explanation as nonsense and continues belittling him.
  • In an oft-bowdlerised or omitted section of "Satire 1.5", Horace recalls staying at a farm not too far from Trivicum for the night while on a trip to Brundisium. A girl stood him up, resulting in this.
    "There, like a fool, I stayed up a good half of the night for a wench that
    Promised and lied when she promised, till sleep took away the erection
    Venus delights in; and then to my dreams came an off-color wraith of
    Fancy, who left me with stains on my nightshirt and down-pressing belly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of CSI involving the murder of a step-father, they find his teenaged step-son's DNA on his step-daughter's clothing and begin to ask him about it. Some gentle questioning by a sympathetic and understanding Nick reveals that he's just had one of these (possibly combined with masturbation) and just grabbed the first thing that he found in the laundry to clean his hand off.
  • In The Sarah Silverman Program, Jay was in bed with Laura when she discovered he'd had a nocturnal emission. She found it so romantic because she thought this was because he'd dreamed of her, when it was in fact over the local news reporter. Then he went to work and took his anxieties out on said news reporter but then decided to explain to her about the nocturnal emission. On live TV. His girlfriend sees this and gets mad and he tries to get the news people to let him apologize. On Live TV. Then his girlfriend forgives him and when the news people actually let him apologize, she burst in, onto live TV, and delivers (in a manner not unlike a PSA) a small speech about how nocturnal emissions are involuntary and they and the dreams are not under the control of the person who has them and shouldn't be held against them.
  • On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart, in response to a Rush Limbaugh sound bite of accusing Barack Obama's immigration policy to be "a dictator's wet dream", had this to say:
    "Lemme tell you something, Rush. If you're a dictator, and you've got enough semen left over at the end of the day for a nocturnal emission, you're not a very good dictator."
  • Angel: In Season Two, Angel starts having 'dreams' about his former lover, Darla, who turns out to be dosing him with magic to drive him nuts.
  • DegrassiTheNextGeneration: JT has a wet dream about Liberty. In Toby's bed.
  • Everwood has Ephram do this in the first episode after having an erotic dream about Amy, whom he'd just met that day and fell for almost instantly.
  • Snuck into That '70s Show, in a flashback to the gang's younger days.
    Young Kelso: One time I had a dream about my teacher, and the next morning I was stuck to my bed.
    Young Hyde: Kelso, man, that's not normal. You could die.
  • St. Elsewhere: In "Rites of Passage", a young boy named Elvis believes that he has cancer after experiencing his first nocturnal emission. Dr. Auschlander, who really does have cancer, sets his mind at ease by explaining the facts of life.

  • Suggested in Alice Cooper's "Nurse Rozetta".
  • "Wet Dream" by Max Romeo was deemed so suggestive that the song was effectively banned in some countries. Its title couldn't even be mentioned.
  • Also suggested in Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" when he sings "Last night I woke up with the sheets soaking wet" while thinking about his teenage subject.
  • Koit has a song "Wet Dream" which is all about this.
  • "Rocks Off" by The Rolling Stones alludes to this, since the narrator "Only gets [his] rocks off while [he's] dreaming."
  • "Undercover Angel" by Alan O'Day is a more subtle example: "I never had a dream that made sweet love to me." Of course, it loses that subtlety near the end when a voice constantly pants "undercover".
  • O-Town's song "Liquid Dreams" is about this, specifically dreaming about various female celebrities.
  • "Basketball Shoes" by Black Country, New Road mentions this during the final part of the song: "In my bedsheets, now wet Of Charli, I pray to forget"

  • European folklore blamed these, along with sleep paralysis and night terrors, on Succubi having their way with sleeping men.

  • From The Bible: Leviticus chapter 15 covers the issue of how the people of Israel were to deal with various bodily discharges, including that of the "seed of copulation". Deuteronomy 23:9-11 specifically deals with this issue when an army goes out against their enemies.
  • In Jewish tradition Lilith, first wife of Adam, is the responsible. In the later medieval tradition there were incubi and succubi (with some justification that this is the only method demons can procreate).

    Video Games 
  • In I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, the protagonist gets this when they're 13 if the player selects the corresponding puberty option for them. They vaguely recall having an "exciting" dream the other night when they stained the bed, and if they do their laundry, their dad comes in to tell them that it's okay to "feel a little wet behind the ears".

    Western Animation 
  • Butters had some in the South Park episode "Sarcastaball". Note that Butters is only ten years old.
  • Happens to Orel Puppington on Moral Orel after having dreams where God praises him. Because he loves Christianity, he starts to physically harm himself whenever he feels "blessed" to counter this. Unfortunately, then he starts adapting to liking the pain, culminating in him having another wet dream where God spanks him for being naughty.
    Clay: You've been having what about who doing WHAT?!
  • Happens to Jack in the "Jack and the Beanstalk" segment of Once Upon a Girl.
  • On Daria's first episode, the title character meets her best friend, Jane, in Self-Esteem Class. Jane's had it six timesnote , so she gives Daria the rundown.
    Jane: So, then, after the role-playing, next class they put the girls and the guys in separate rooms and a female counselor talks to us about body image.
    Daria: What do they talk to the boys about?
    Jane: A classroom full of guys and a male teacher?
    Both: Nocturnal emissions.

Alternative Title(s): Wet Dream