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Sleep Mask

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Mom: [wearing mask] What's my present?
Mom: [blink] OOH, A blindfold!

A mask without eye holes worn when a character is sleeping somewhere with too much light. Often they're seen on planes or trains; oddly enough, though, in fiction, they can appear in perfectly dark private bedrooms.

The Sleep Mask is used to give the audience clues about the personality of the person wearing one. It can signify:

  1. High "class"
  2. Vanity
  3. An effeminate nature
  4. A huge love for sleeping
  5. A strong dislike of having to sleep with lights on
  6. Having sleeping troubles

The third is more often used for a man, but can also be used for women. For example, a woman with a Tomboy personality during the day might for contrast wear a sleep mask at night, or one might be used to emphasize one character's girly nature in comparison with another female cast member. The fourth, fifth, and sixth examples are often used for those who either love to sleep or have a huge preference to how they sleep, or indicate that they have difficulty sleeping without the masks.

Tropes that may apply: Spoiled Sweet, Spoiled Brat or Rich Bitch. Often but not always worn by the villainess.

Bonus points if the mask has painted eyes.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Chibiokami from Anpanman always has one on, mostly worn on his forehead, but he pulls it on during nighttime...not because he wants to or anything, but the fact that the full moon turns the cute wolf pup in to a rampaging monster with no recollections of who he truly is.
  • Goku can be seen wearing one during the first end credits theme to Dragon Ball GT.
  • The first time Sougo Okita is seen in Gintama, he's wearing one of these with eyes drawn on it, using it to sleep while he's supposed to be on duty. It's become iconic of his character.
  • At least in Season 1 of the Hayate the Combat Butler anime, Hinagiku Katsura wears one of these on a plane ride. Not as a class symbol (even though her family is quite well off), not showing vanity (she's rather insecure), and not even as a girly trait (she's a tomboy who's still developing her girly side). It's because she's utterly terrified of heights. She's not even sleeping, she just uses the mask so she doesn't have to see how high up she is...along with being wrapped in a blanket with at least six seat belts strapping her down.
  • Love Live!:
    • When they are on the plane in the movie, Rin has one with a cat face design.
    • In Love Live! Sunshine!!, Mari wears stickers with eyes printed on them to hide the fact that she's sleeping during meetings. In Season 2, she even adds glasses with fake eyes on top of the stickers.
  • One Piece: Admiral Aokiji wears one at all times, as he spends a good deal of his spare time sleeping.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena has one complete with eye decorations, worn by a pet monkey of all creatures.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Punch-Out!! fanfic Ma Fille chapter "Overseas", Von Kaiser hands one of these to Glass Joe to wear to ease his anxieties about flying.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Adventures in Babysitting (2016): Katy, being a very stylish little girl, wear hot pink pajamas paired with a matching sleep mask on her head in the last scene.
  • Courtney Rawlinson wears one in American Psycho.
  • Auntie Mame: Auntie Mame is wearing one when Patrick bursts into her room to show her his new toy airplane.
  • Holly has one in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
  • In the second film of Bridget Jones' Diary, Bridget and Daniel unexpectedly end up with seats next to each other on a long flight to Thailand. Overnight, they wear sleep masks, but keep lifting them to peep at each other.
  • Albin wears one in the sequel to La Cage aux folles, La Cage aux folles 2.
  • In Matilda, her mom (Mrs. Wormwood), a fake blonde who concentrates on her manicure rather than listen to her daughter, sleeps with a mask. It has two eyes drawn on it and has plot repercussions as wearing it means she doesn't notice what antics Matilda is up to in her bedroom.
  • In Overboard, the main character's mother is wearing one of these when the yacht is turned around in the middle of the night.
  • Claus von Bulow wears one (and maybe earplugs, too) in Reversal of Fortune.
  • In 13 Going on 30, Adult Jenna wears one the first time we see her, which matches the scarf used to blindfold the young Jenna.
  • In The Trip (1967), John has Paul wear one for a few minutes at the beginning of his trip.

  • The Kitchen Daughter: When Ginny summons her ma's ghost, she's wearing a sleep mask around her neck, since she died of carbon monoxide poisoning in her sleep.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Worn by Lucille Princesse on Arrested Development
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon wears one in a hotel room (episode "The Love Car Displacement").
  • Marie Schrader wears one in Breaking Bad.
  • In the Broad City episode "Burning Bridges," Bevers advises Abbi on what to wear during a date. She has him wear a sleep mask while she changes.
  • M*A*S*H:
    • Charles Emerson Winchester wears one to bed; it's not an unreasonable thing considering the Officer's Tent's flaps are usually up in warm weather and wounded could come any time so they have to get sleep anytime they can off duty.
    • In the early episodes, Col. Blake was often shown wearing one while he slept.
  • Phil from Modern Family sleeps with one, which his wife loves to make fun of.
    Phil: Or maybe he's photosensitive, which is a real medical condition!
  • Reuben Kincaid wears one in a number of episodes of The Partridge Family.
  • In The Sentinel, Jim wears one, but he is probably justified as he has heightened senses and sometimes sleeps during the day when he's been out on stakeout.
  • Fiona Gallagher, in ShamelessUS, wears one, with a very large "F*** OFF" written on it.
  • Worn by Harry Kim in Star Trek: Voyager in the episode "The Cloud". He got into the habit of wearing one because his roommate at Starfleet Academy used to stay up all night studying. He also claims that it helps remind him of being in the womb, but Paris is skeptical of that assertion.
  • London Tipton uses one of these in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
  • The masks worn on What's My Line? for the mystery guest segment were actually these. In one installment of the 1955-1956 season, the final guest on one episode was the guy who manufactured the ones worn by the male panelists on the program.

    Puppet Shows 

  • There is a piece of Code Geass official merchandise that is one of these, with Lelouch's eyes (and bangs) on it.
  • Pillow Featherbed, part of the original 8 Lalaloopsy dolls, comes with a sleep mask in the same colours as her onesie.
  • All the dolls of the Dead Tired line of Monster High.
  • SleepyCaps is a line of plush toys dressed in sleepwear, including a hat and sleep mask. They are designed that you can fold both up when not in use and fold them down over the character's head and eyes when it's time for bed.

    Video Games 
  • After the pet system was introduced in Kingdom Hearts χ, a quest made this available as an accessory for your pet.
  • Ryuji Sakamoto from Persona 5 was seen sleeping with one of these on in an anime cutscene that focused on his class trip to Hawaii. He gets bonus points for this because his sleep mask has painted eyes on it.
  • The Master Suite Stuff Pack for The Sims 3 includes sleep masks for your Sims to wear, including a couple with eyes painted on them. Amusingly, Sims won't just wear them while sleeping — they'll wear them even when awake and walking about, so long as the outfit they're wearing has a sleep mask selected as an accessory to it. Somehow, this doesn't impede their ability to navigate the world or do complex tasks like cooking and repairing.
  • Peacock from Skullgirls wears six of them over on her arms when she sleeps... but given that her real eyes were gouged out and she sees mostly out of the mechanical eyes on her artificial arms, it almost makes sense.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • On Beat Bugs, Katter wears one in "In My Life" while in her chrysalis, changing into a butterfly. Unlike a normal caterpillar changing into a butterfly, the chrysalis covers everything but her head, which is left outside of it.
  • Jimmy from Ed, Edd n Eddy wears one, at least in the episode "A Glass of Warm Ed".
  • Heloise on Jimmy Two-Shoes is often seen wearing one when she sleeps. It often has skull patterns on it.
  • Dukey in the Johnny Test episode "Green Johnny" was seen wearing a pink sleep mask while sleeping despite the fact that he is a dog.
  • Kick Buttowski's sassy rival Kendall Perkins.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series:
    • Pleakley is seen wearing a modified black colored one over his single eye in the episode "Fibber". This does highlight his effeminate nature.
    • Gantu was caught wearing a magenta-colored one in the "Mrs. Hasagawa's Cats" episode, despite the fact that he is an alien who is brutal and manly.
  • The Loud House: Both Leni and Lola wear sleep masks for their nightwear to showcase their femininity. Leni's mask in particular takes place of the sunglasses she wears as part of her regular outfit, and has closed eyes drawn on it.
  • Rarity in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is seen using one in "Sisterhooves Social" and "For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils".
  • On PB&J Otter, Walter Raccoon sometimes sleeps with one on, as he operates the recycling boat by night and therefore must sleep during the day.
  • The Prime Video animated version of Pete the Cat:
    • Pete's father wears one at night.
    • Mrs. Burrow, the kids' former teacher, is depicted in Grumpy's fantasy wearing one when going to bed at school.
  • Linda wears one in Phineas and Ferb, but usually it's to keep her from seeing anything the titular boys might be up to at night.
  • On The Simpsons, Marge's jerkass sisters Patty and Selma have been seen wearing these while sleeping, as has Reverend Lovejoy.
  • Squidward from SpongeBob SquarePants wears one of these. It even gets set on fire while he is sleeping with it in one episode due to all night lights in SpongeBob's house illuminating through his window.
  • Super Noobs: Zenblock is seen in multiple episodes wearing one in his sleep despite that fact that he is an alien with an aggressive and manly personality. His sleep mask is red colored with a yellow Z on it.
  • Total Drama: Justin, a contestant on the show, is seen wearing a blue colored one in several episodes of the "Action" season.
  • Totally Spies!: Milan Stilton, (a Paris Hilton expy) in the episode "Evil Heiress Much?" wears one at night.
  • Top Cat who sleeps in a trash can as seen in the closing credits.