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Sleepless Alarm Clock

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Bob's been out all night—-maybe he's been out partying, has had some sort of adventure, or accidentally got waylaid coming home. Regardless, after spending an entire night awake he goes into his room and falls asleep...only to be woken up instantly by the sound of his alarm clock going off.

A variant of this trope occurs when a character is woken up not by their alarm, but by another character.

This trope tends to be Played for Laughs. See also Sleep Deprivation.



Comic Books

  • Robin Series: On at least one occasion Tim sneaks in from acting as Robin all night and falls into bed just in time for the housekeeper Mrs. Mac to open the door and order him to get up.

Film — Animated

  • The Iron Giant: A variant occurs in a scene where Hogarth sneaks into his room after spending the night at the junkyard. He pulls back the covers on his bed just as his mom opens the door.
    Annie: You're up already?
    Hogarth: *putting the covers back* Just making the bed.
  • A variant occurs in The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, where after spending the night chasing egg thieves and winding up in the Mysterious Beyond, Littlefoot goes back to the hole he sleeps in only to be woken up by his grandmother.
  • At the beginning of The Princess and the Frog, Tiana gets home from her night job, collapses on the bed, and snores for about three seconds before her alarm clock goes off and she starts getting ready for her day job.

Film — Live-Action

  • In Sleepover, the main protagonists arrive back at Julie's house and crawl into their sleeping bags. Within moments, the lights come on and the still-dressed girls are greeted by Julie's mother.

Live-Action TV

  • Better Call Saul: Kim, seriously overworking herself on the Mesa Verde account, takes to setting her alarm for five minutes while trying to take a quick nap. Smash Cut to the alarm going off with no apparent time elapsing for Kim.
  • In the Father Ted episode "Kicking Bishop Brennan Up The Arse", Ted talks to Dougal about whether or not to go through with kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse. He then tells Dougal "Let's get some sleep" and turns off the light, only to see that it's already daybreak, then he tells Dougal "At least we can get a few hours of sleep" when his alarm clock goes off.
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  • That's So Raven: In one episode, Raven is on her extended family's farm when she and Chelsea have to spend the entire night awake for one of her Zany Schemes. By the time they make it back to bed, the alarm goes off.

Web Video

  • Killer Bean is essentially a sapient coffee bean with two eyes and a mouth, plus hands and feet. The bean is trying to get a night's sleep, but a rave nearby precludes that. The bean then goes on a Kill 'Em All spree, ending with the rave's organizer getting shot dead. The bean returns to the comfort and quiet of his bed ... until his digital clock blips to 6:00 and starts buzzing a moment later.

Western Animation

  • An episode of The Flintstones begins at night, where Fred is snoring so loudly and strongly that the palm trees outside the window are swaying. Wilma tries various means of muffling the snores, since the din is preventing her from getting any sleep; Betty and Barney from next door come over to help, since the noise is keeping them awake too. When they finally manage to silence things, the alarm clock sounds. Of course, Fred wakes up very relaxed.
  • Kenny the Shark: Happens to Kat in "I Love the Night Life" after sneaking out of the house to go on a nighttime adventure with Kenny.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: In the episode "In the Army", Ren has just gotten back to the barracks after a hard day of training and is settling in for a good night's sleep... when he's suddenly jolted awake by the sound of Reveille. Typical of the show, he has a psychotic breakdown and hacks his bed to pieces with an axe.
  • The Simpsons: In the episode "Lisa's Pony", Homer gets a secret night job at the Kwik-E-Mart and returns home moments before he has to get up for his day job at the power plant.
  • Happens in some Classic Disney Short starring Donald Duck:
    • "Fall Out Fall In": Donald tries to to set up his tent long into the night. He is then keep awake by the snoring of the other soldiers. When he finally falls asleep from exhaustion, the bugler plays reveille, so Donald has to start marching again.
    • "Wide Open Spaces": After coming across a fully booked motel where there's only an expensive cot at his disposal, Donald spends a nearly sleepless night struggling to sleep in the outdoors, only to end up back at the motel where the vindictive owner assumes that he slept on the cot and asks for the money, which Donald absently hands over before the owner brings a ringing alarm clock to Donald's head, telling him that the time to use the cot is over and dumps him off of it.


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