When you're talkin' in your sleep."
Dreams, occurring in REM (no, not that R.E.M.) are the subconscious mind's way of rooting through thoughts and concepts the brain is trying to process while the owner of the brain is sleeping. When a sleeper is dreaming, they sometimes also talk. In Real Life, these verbal fragments are more likely to be random nonsense like in the page image than anything linear or relevant—let alone any kind of deep or embarrassing secrets—but this is fictionland...
In fiction and media, anything spoken whilst dreaming is intelligible and (usually) deeply meaningful, offering up insights into the hidden life of our heroes. The Bully may reveal himself as a Bruiser with a Soft Center or a Jerk with a Heart of Gold though he's still obnoxious while awake. Your tough-as-nails Mama Bear may have nightmares about things from her past, which of course gives The Hero something to comfort her over. The Stoic may show his hidden fears. Your shy Shrinking Violet may call out the name of the one she loves in her sleep, though she never gives a hint while awake (bonus points if she does so rather... passionately).
If it isn't one of the above, most likely there will be crucial information imparted. Even if the sleeper knows all the secrets in the story, the one piece of information the listener needs will be what is murmured between nonsensical babbles. If something delicate is revealed, there's a good chance that the listener will misunderstand it and causes hilarity to ensue.
If what's said actually is nonsense, then the medium is most likely comedy, or the trope is being used for comic relief.
Can just as often lead to tragedy, depending on the secrets spoken and who's been overhearing or listening.
Supernatural intrusion into dreams is a method of justifying the dreamer speaking in lucid sentences. Nor is this trope restricted to natural slumber — drugged sleep or unconsciousness brought on by drugs, alcohol, or a blow to the head will work just as well.
Probably related to the fictional idea that dreams are generally coherent experiences that consist of the dreamer reliving past experiences, instead of surreal flashes of (seemingly) unrelated things.
Not to be confused with the half-awake babble someone makes when awakened abruptly by the phone in the dead of night. Sleep-talking also tends to be the last thing that happens before the sleeper's own words cause them to snap awake and sit up in bed.
Not to be confused with Talking in Your Dreams, where two or more dreaming characters are communicating with one another.
- The Familiar of Zero: Saito has a heated dream about his "master", in the middle of the class.
- Nori in Rozen Maiden mentions this line in her sleep:
Jun, I can't, we're siblings!
- Chamo in a Mahou Sensei Negima! mumbles "Lady, there's no way. I can't smoke that..." Keeping in mind Chamo is an ermine.
- Naruto has a tendency to do this, often to the chagrin of whoever he happens to be on mission with.
- Played straight in Neon Genesis Evangelion. During the ninth episode, when Asuka sleep walks (or debatably consciously walks) into Shinji's futon, Shinji leans in for a kiss, but stops when he hears Asuka mumbling "Mama" and crying in her sleep. This would foreshadow later on when we learn that Asuka's mother killed herself.
- In one of the side-stories of Pluto, a composer with writer's block sings in his sleep, the melody which is the key to his unfinished work.
- Akane Tendō from Ranma ½ tends to talk in her sleep, saying things like:
"Oh, P-chan! Where have you been?"
"What're you doing?! No. No, don't! I wanted that there!"
- In episode 23 of Sgt. Frog, Keroro sneaks into Fuyuki's room at night in order to steal the Kero Ball out of its hiding place in Fuyuki's desk drawer. He panics when he hears Fuyuki shout "Sergeant, don't do that!", but it turns out Fuyuki is just talking in his sleep. He follows it up with "The sponge cake comes first, then the telephone..." and goes back to sleep.
- Milly Thompson of Trigun talks in her sleep. Her words become more amusing when she's asleep due to drink.
- Van of GUN×SWORD murmurs the name of his dead fiancee when fevered. It has some plot significance because this is the first that his traveling companion has heard of Elena, and it leads her to learn more about Van's backstory.
- In a few Hayate the Combat Butler bonus strips, Izumi, Riza and Miki overhear Hinagiku talking in her sleep about 'Sgt. Doughnut' and are confused. When we see her dreams, he is a human, with a giant doughnut for a head.
- In K-On!'s first training camp with Azusa, Ritsu abruptly sits up in her sleep and shouts, "CABBAGE!"
- Prince Zen of Akagami no Shirayukihime once flirts with Shirayuki in his sleep when he falls asleep waiting for her to be done with her pharmaceutical work for the day and she goes to wake him up.
- England from Axis Powers Hetalia does it in one strip, revealing that America used to wet his bed while he was a cute boy.
- InuYasha: When Inu-Yasha visits Kagome's room, he finds that she is sleeping.
Kagome: Inu-Yasha... sit.
Inu-Yasha: Damn you... what are you dreaming about!
- In Saint Beast, Rey is shown to not only talk in his sleep, but be clingy and demanding about it.
- The Canon Foreigner Kumin in Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions often does this in her numerous nap sessions.
- When Tamamo of O-Inari JK Tamamo-chan! falls asleep in her first class on her first day of school, she talks in her sleep about how she was granted permission to pose as human and go to school by her goddess Inari Okami, but that she would be punished if her true nature became widely known. Her classmates, upon hearing this, all decide they can't let her know she isn't fooling them for a moment because she's less "posing as a human" and more "actually a Petting Zoo Person".
- Bleach: Played for Laughs in the case of Orihime. She does dream about Ichigo (whom she really obviously has a crush on) but otherwise her dreams don't seem to make sense at all.
- In Katekyō Hitman Reborn! Lambo talks in his sleep and insults Tsuna, Reborn, and I-pin. Reborn and I-pin respond by beating him up.
- Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. After Tessa "sleepwalks" into Sôsuke's bed, she starts babbling nonsense when a jealous Kaname catches her. Kaname accuses her of faking it.
Tessa: I can't eat any more...
Kaname: Stop mumbling classic sleep talk phrases and wake up!
- In episode 58 of YuYu Hakusho Juri has fainted after being frightened by Hiei's Dragon of the Darkness Flame attack in fear of being absorbed by it, later after it appeared Hiei has been destroyed by the attack her co-announcer Koto tries to wake her up to do the count down she says "Tell work I'm sick today Mom" while sobbing.
- In an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Manjyome is saved from drowning by a guy with a mask later revealed to be the chancellor of North Academy who learns about his rivalry with Judai this way.
- Sleep-talking becomes an important plot point in the 1974 anime movie of Jack and the Beanstalk. It's the way Jack learns that Princess Margaret has been enchanted by Hecuba the witch, as the spell wears off every night and must be cast anew each morning. The night before Margaret is to marry Hecuba's son, Tulip the giant, Jack is startled to hear Margaret call his name while she sleeps.
- In one episode of the volleyball comedy Attacker You!, the coach of the volleyball team learns that protagonist You has a crush on him when he sees her mumble, "Coach," in her sleep, with a smile on her face.
- Iris West Allen learned that husband Barry was The Flash because he talked in his sleep.
- Deadpool says WEIIIRD things in his sleep sometimes... which is not entirely different from what he says when he's awake.
- In one very early Green Lantern story, Tom Kalmaku shares a hospital room with a local gangster, and talks very coherently in his sleep about GL's power battery and its limitations. Fortunately the gangster tips his hand in the morning, and Hal and Tom work out a scheme to convince him that Tom doesn't know Green Lantern and was just muttering dream-nonsense.
- In an early segment of Jimmy Olsen, Superman's Pal, Jimmy wonders how Superman knew that he was in trouble and where to show up. Clark, with whom he had been rooming temporarily, provided the answer to the readers — the young reporter had given his plans away the previous night by talking in his sleep.
- In Justice League Dark, Constantine claims he learnt some of Zatanna's backwards magic because she mumbles it in her sleep.
- It was eventually revealed that the burglar who killed Spider-Man's uncle had once shared a cell in prison with a gangster who talked in his sleep; the burglar had heard from him this way that he had hidden a box of stolen money under the floorboards of the Parker house years ago. This was why he had originally broken in, although when this motive was discovered, it was also discovered that the money had long been eaten by silverfish, making the murder All for Nothing.
- In one storyline in the Beetlejuice comics, Lydia accidentally summons the title character by saying his name in her sleep, which allows him to try to fix the current mishap.
- Tim evidently has dreams in line with his girlfriend pictured above, as revealed in Superman/Batman #62:
- A Peanuts comic strip has Linus doing this while dreaming about his teacher, Miss Othmar - so loud that it wakes up a disgusted Lucy.
- FoxTrot features a few examples of this trope, most notably Paige's muttering, "Ooo... Pierre," whenever dreaming about her fictitious romantic French boyfriend. In one strip, this results in her inadvertently giving the correct answer to her teacher's question: "What is the capital of South Dakota?"
- In a Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin overhears Hobbes saying in his sleep: "Oh yes, I'm VERY fond of Calvin. ...pass the gravy, please." Calvin decides to let Hobbes have the covers.
- In another strip, Calvin says that he likes to mess with Hobbes's dreams. He holds a cookie under Hobbes's nose while he's sleeping, and sure enough, Hobbes starts mumbling about cookies.
- In another strip, Calvin asks a sleeping Hobbes what he's dreaming about, and Hobbes mumbles, "I'm going to pounce on Calvin," giggling. Calvin screams, "RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, CALVIN!", awakening Hobbes, who then proceeds to furiously chase Calvin.
- Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Ever since Germany's and Japan's cock fight over him, Italy had been having recurring nightmares of the event. They only found out because he began mumbling in his sleep.
- In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, the first time Yuki teleports Kyon, Mikuru, and Kanae into her apartment, Kanae sleeps through it and starts talking in her sleep.
"Mmm, Sempai," Kanae murmured in her sleep with a quiet giggle.
- In the Axis Powers Hetalia fanfiction (Un)lucky, Switzerland's hostile feelings towards the nations that raped Canada surface through his people via a little girl muttering "I'll kill them all" in her sleep. Her parents are very concerned by this.
- In the Death Note AU Seigikan when Light finds L talks in his sleep he takes full advantage of it: "Ryuzaki, what is your real name?"
- Hand Delivered Letter:
Hannah: Don't take the bananas. The monkeys need them.
- Examples from the Calvinverse:
Hobbes: CD players swimming in an ocean of gravy Zzzzzz with tree trunks snort Zzzzz.
- One episode of Calvin and Hobbes: The Series has Socrates doing this. It's filled with Shout Outs and weirds a nearby mountain lion out.
- From The Pez Dispenser and the Reign of Terror:
- Subverted in The Secret Life of Dolls; Cleo wonders if the Littlest Bella's talking in her sleep will provide important emotional information, as it originally did in Twilight, but it's just rambling. Later on she pretends to talk in her sleep to attract the Littlest Edward, and Cleo has to exasperatedly point out to him that people don't talk in their sleep in complete sentences.
- In It's a Dangerous Business, Going Out Your Door, when Rarity, Rainbow, and Applejack are camping in the mountains, sleeping together for warmth, Rainbow unconsciously makes a move on Rarity.
Rarity: Why, Commodore Silverhooves, you're so forward...it's only our first date...
- Unexpected Changes:
Sirius: No no bad bunny I don't like carrots...
- The King's Indian Attack:
- A Daughter Not His Own has Sci-Twi mumble in her sleep at the beginning when Shining Armor tries to wake her up. He at first thinks she is calling him daddy, until she asks him not to make her eat anymore icky broccoli.
- In the Miraculous Ladybug fic You Meow In Your Sleep, during a sleepover at the school, Adrien hears Marinette sleeptalking and apparently dreaming about being Ladybug. He starts talking back to her as Chat Noir to see where she goes with her roleplay, only to accidentally get her to transform into Ladybug.
- Harry Potter and the Rune Stone Path:
Harry: Don't eat the pie, the pie is for Dobby. He wants to hit Dumbles with it...
- In Slipped Harry is revealed to be pregnant. Later on, he takes a nap while sharing a cruise ship cabin with Jacob.
Harry: Baby. Jasper's baby...raped me.
- The MLP Loops: In one loop, a filly version of Ivory Scroll/Mayor Mare suddenly yells "Sellow fitizens! Er, I mean fellow citizens!" in her sleep. Twilight, her mother this Loop, just blinks in surprise and wonders what Ivory was dreaming about to make her say that.
- Episode 61 of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series has Marik doing this, apparently dreaming about having dinner with Bakura.
Marik: Zzzzz... Nn-no, Bakura, don't eat your spaghetti with your mouth open. It gets everywhere. Told you not to do that.
- Partway during the The Moon Rises animation, Celestia mutters "Sister.,.", as if she's either dreaming of Luna or she subconsciously realizes what is happening.
- Finding Nemo:
- Dory talks in her sleep.
Dory: You gonna eat that? ... careful with that hammer ... sea monkeys have my money ... yes, I'm a natural blue.
- In the outtakes, she instead says: "Big money! No whammies!"
- "Klaus, the pinata's drooping" is used in the actual film in Finding Dory, along with "Hand me the ratchet wrench. I can fix it. ... Ow!"
- Dory talks in her sleep.
- Toy Story: Woody and Buzz nearly wake up a half-asleep Sid, who mutters "I wanna ride the pony." The gag was later repeated word-for-word in the video-game adaptation of The Warriors.
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire: "The redhead's got a gun..."
- A Goofy Movie:
- When Max changes the map so Goofy will take him to the Powerline concert instead of fishing while Goofy is asleep, he briefly wakes up and asks him "How many cups of sugar does it take to get to the moon?" to which Max replies "three and a half?" he then immediately falls back to sleep.
- Also played straight when Max is writing a letter to Roxanne about going to the Powerline concert, but then he hears Goofy say as he sleeps, "More hi dad soup, please...?", and Max rewrites the letter to tell Roxanne the truth.
- In early silent film A Cure for Pokeritis (1912), the Henpecked Husband pretends to join a fraternal lodge, when he is really going out to play poker with his buddies. His wife figures this out when he starts muttering and dealing cards in his sleep.
- The Damsel in Distress in Dead Again could only talk in her sleep at the beginning of the movie. While awake, she was amnesiac and mute until they got her hypnotized.
- Played for Laughs in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Indy asks his father how he knew that Elsa Schneider (Indy's Love Interest) was actually working for the Nazis. Jones Senior replies, "She talks in her sleep". Indy nods...then has a Double Take as he realises how dad would be in a position to know what a woman is saying in her sleep.
- The Love Light is set in Italy during World War I. Angela rescues a sailor, washed up on shore, who identifies himself as an American who deserted from his ship. But after he mutters "Gott mit uns" in his sleep, she realizes that he is actually a German spy.
- The last conversation between Malcolm and Anna Crowe in The Sixth Sense is held while Anna is fast asleep.
- In So I Married an Axe Murderer, Charlie is awakened by Harriet shouting "RALPH!" in her sleep.
- In The President's Analyst, the title character's job stress takes a turn for the worse when returning home one day, he finds the head of the No Federal Agencies Were Harmed "FBR" informs him they removed his live-in girlfriend, citing national security as he talked in his sleep. Needless to say, he's quite upset that they know that fact.
- In The Never Ending Story, Falcor tells Atreyu that he talks in his sleep.
- In Little Nicky Nicky has fallen asleep in the parking lot and is roaring and talking gibberish in a demonic voice with a crowd gathered around him, he ends with saying "I will eat your heart!" which causes the crowd to run away.
- In the Get Smart sequel movie Get Smart! Again!, it is revealed that Max bought the Cone of Silence after CONTROL was disbanded and installed it in his bedroom because he talks in his sleep.
- Near the climax of Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird, both of the Sleaze Brothers talk in their sleep.
Sam: Put them in the bundles. Bundles of the thousands.
- In The Flintstones when Wilma attempts to wake up the Dictabird he says:
Dictabird: No Mumsy I don't want to go to school today, the other boys make fun of me.
- In Paul, after a night around the campfire, Paul tries to wake Clive up, leading to some rather odd dialogue.
Clive: (giggling) No, Boomer. it's forbidden.
- In Smiles of a Summer Night, Fredrik mumbles "Desirée" in his sleep while lying next to his wife Anne. She is not amused.
- During Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Lavender hears about Ron being in the hospital wing, and rushes to his side... only to hear him mumble Hermione's name. Cue breakup.
Dumbledore: Ah, to be young, and to feel love's keen sting. Come along, everyone. Mr. Weasley is well tended for.
- An old joke:
Mother: Doctor, my son is talking in his sleep. Can you do something about that?
Doctor: That's not really a bad thing. You shouldn't worry about it.
Mother: Yes, but everyone in school is laughing about him!
- In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston's friend Parsons is arrested after his daughter allegedly heard him talking in his sleep: "Down with Big Brother, down with Big Brother." Later, they meet up and Parsons is proud of his daughter. YMMV as to whether he was actually saying that (as a fervent supporter of the regime, Parsons is aghast at the idea) or his children have become so brainwashed they see thoughtcrime even in places it doesn't exist.
- Twilight: Bella
- Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency mentions that when he was in college, Dirk developed a reputation for saying interesting things in his sleep after a large meal; it's heavily implied that it was a scam he'd set up so that his roommates would buy him large meals a lot.
- And good vintage wine.
- In The Shining, Jack starts talking in his sleep, as he's slowly going insane.
- High fever + some pretty hefty meds = Lord Jaxom blabbing everything about the queen egg rescue.
- In Diplomatic Immunity, we're told that Ekaterin doesn't just have a top secret clearance due to her part in foiling a terrorist plot; it's also due to her husband Miles' tendency to babble about state secrets in his sleep.
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians - The first time Percy ever sees Annabeth, she's feeding him ambrosia (which to him tastes like popcorn-flavored pudding) and muttering something. When he can talk and asks how she even knew his name and what happened to him, she just smirks and says, "You talk in your sleep." It ends up being a bit of a Running Gag.
- Harry Potter
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius was talking in his sleep before his escape. Specifically, he kept saying "He's at Hogwarts," which everyone assumes refers to Harry but is actually Wormtail.
- Harry himself is mentioned as talking in his sleep. In book five, Dudley reveals he's overheard Harry having nightmares about Cedric - not knowing that Cedric was killed right in front of Harry barely a month ago.
- Several characters do this in The Lord of the Rings, including Frodo, Éowyn, Merry and Faramir.
- In Poul Anderson's "The Burning Bridge", The Captain knows that even if a crew member could keep a secret, he might talk in his sleep, so he overpowers and claims he had grown deranged and needed to be put in cold sleep.
- In Protector of the Small, Kel has recurring Bad Dreams of Blayce after the Chamber shows him to her, and Tobe says she talks about it in her sleep.
- In Sarah A. Hoyt's Darkship Renegades, Thena comments that Kit is prone to muttering in his sleep.
- In Dean Koontz's Velocity, the main character's wife has long been in a coma, but sometimes blurts out random phrases. He later learns that everything she says originates from Charles Dickens's novels, but she's much more likely to recite from something like A Christmas Carol than any of Dickens's darker works.
- In Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache novel A Trick Of The Light, it's mentioned that Clara Morrow frequently makes snorting and grunting noises in her sleep and occasionally mumbles weird things like, "But Kevin Spacey's stuck on the Moon."
- Dr. Seuss takes it Up to Eleven in The Sleep Book:
Do you talk in your sleep? It's a wonderful sport.
And I have some news of this sport to report.
The World-Champion Sleep-Talkers, Mo and Jo Redd-Zoff,
Have just gone to sleep and they're talking their heads off!
For fifty-five years now, each chattering brother
Has babbled and gabbled all night to each other.
They've talked about laws and they've talked about gauze
They've talked about paws and they've talked about flaws
They've talked quite a bit about old Santa Claus.
And the reason I'm telling you this is because
You should take up the sport, it's just fine for the jaws.
- In the Young Amelia Bedelia book Amelia Bedelia Makes a Splash, Amelia Bedelia is alone on a bus to a summer camp she doesn't really want to go when she is joined by a girl named Alice who has just been picked up by the bus. Alice is very amicable and they quickly strike up a conversation, though Alice does most of the talking. Eventually Amelia Bedelia falls asleep not out of boredom but simply exhaustion because among other things she's tired from crying. When she wakes up, after sleeping for four hours, Alice asks if she knows that she talks in her sleep. Whatever Amelia Bedelia was saying must have been pretty specific because Alice asks "Who's Finally?" which is the name of Amelia Bedelia's dog, but she couldn't have known that "Finally" was a "who" and not a "what" simply from hearing the name.
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ron mumbles Hermione's name while unconscious in the hospital wing.
- The War Against the Chtorr. While being briefed on a classified mission, the soldiers are ordered not entirely tongue-in-cheek to shoot themselves if they suffer from Loose Lips, and if they talk in their sleep, they should sleep with someone who'll do the shooting for them. McCarthy gives his Action Girlfriend a nervous look.
- In a couple episodes of Our Miss Brooks, Mr. Conklin and Miss Brooks are heard talking in their sleep. "Mr. Conklin's Wakeup Plan" is one such example.
- In Smallville, Fever, Clark falls very ill due to some kryptonite-infested spores. He mutters Lana's name in his sleep when Chloe is staying with him at his bedside.
- Common with many police officers who sleep on the job, it would seem.
- I Love Lucy did fake it as a trick variation, with Ricky pretending to talk in his sleep.
Ricky: Grace Foster...Grace Foster is running away...Grace Foster is running away with the milkman.
- In a That '70s Show episode, Kelso says in his sleep "This isn't gonna work, Jackie". Jackie spends the rest of the episode trying to get him to fall asleep again, so she can find out what he meant.
- Some examples from Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Willow: Don't warn the tadpoles! (from season 2's "What's My Line?")Spike: I'm drownin' in footwear! (from the series finale, "Chosen")
Willow: Mm... It's in the sandblaster...
- And in "Wild At Heart", Willow is in bed with Oz.
Oz: What's in the sandblaster, Will? It's a dream. Come back to me. (starts to fondle her under the covers)
Willow: Mmm...Hmm... All Geminis to the raspberry hats.
Oz: Now you're faking.
- Done a few times on Scrubs, such as J.D. reliving the first season's finale in his dream and Turk's Dating Game dream (which, hinted at by Carla, is a recurring one).
- Done once on 30 Rock, after Liz takes some flight medication which lists "sexual nightmares" as a side-effect.
- In one episode, Major Burns won't operate on a CID officer because regulations say this Trope makes it is a risk (he might say something that shouldn't be said while under anesthesia), and you aren't supposed to do so without another present, despite the fact that he's dying. Hawkeye is more sensible - and fortunately, so is the officer that comes later.
- In the episode where Winchester's snoring is keeping the gang awake. The episode ends with Winchester's snoring cured, but now BJ is talking in his sleep.
- On One Life to Live, this is how Dorian Lord learned that her husband Victor was a pedophile who had abused his daughter Victoria throughout her childhood.
- Star Trek: Enterprise.
- Enterprise's medical officer, Dr Phlox, is from a species that must hibernate a few days every year. The crew try to wake him up with a stimulant to treat an ensign who's broken his leg, only for Phlox to emit a long stream of nonsense (both before and after he wakes up).
- In another installment, Lt. Reed has a fantasy of T'Pol, but when he wakes up, Trip tells him that he 'kept asking for some guy named Stinky."
- A non-comedic (but painfully cliched) version happens on Empire, when Cookie finds Lucious sleeping heavily from a new medication, and before she leaves, he sits up and reveals not only the season-long secret that he was the one who murdered her cousin Bunky, but that he doesn't have ALS as originally feared, but a less severe and more manageable condition instead. She's so pissed that she contemplates murdering him with a pillow, which got captured on video tape...
- On Gilmore Girls, Rory and Paris share a hotel room during a summer internship in Washington, and Rory discovers that Paris has a tendency to say things like "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" in her sleep.
- On Silicon Valley, Richard is forced to share a room with Jared, who speaks loudly and angrily in German in his sleep.
- The Sketch Show: Played with in a sketch where Ronni is listening to her husband Tim talk in his sleep in the hopes that he'll mention the name of a woman she suspects he's having an affair with. Each time he appears to be talking about a woman, he finishes his sentence in a way that turns it into something innocuous, such as "Allison... I'll listen to anything you say, Ronni!" Then finally he mentions Karen's name, who tries and fails to finish Tim's words in a credible way.
- The sixth episode of Canada's Worst Driver Ever opens with Andrew lying in bed supposedly having a nightmare and muttering in his sleep one of the catchphrases of the show "Look where you wanna go," before waking up and saying he had a nightmare about all of the worst drivers they ever had coming back to the rehabilitation center.
- Blanche on an episode of The Golden Girls, in which the ladies are forced to sleep in a hotel lobby when they are unable to find a room.
Blanche: [while a maid dusts the lobby with a feather duster] Mmm... Fernando, you naughty boy... not the feathers...
- The Romantics had a hit in The '80s with the song topping the page as Trope Namer and Codifier.
- The Cars' "Just What I Needed" mentions "I don't mind you hangin' out / and talkin' in your sleep".
- Crystal Gayle's 1978 hit "Talking in Your Sleep," about a woman who fears her lover is having an affair. There's a remake by Martine McCutcheon.
You've been talkin' in your sleep, sleeping in your dreams
With some sweet lover.
Holding on so tight, loving her the way
You used to love me.
- Gordon Lightfoot also had a minor hit with a different song called "Talking in Your Sleep," with subject matter similar to that of Gayle's.
I heard you talking in the night
That's right, yes I heard you call
Though I could hardly hear the name you spoke
It's a name I don't recall
- Elvis Presley's "If You Talk in Your Sleep" takes a somewhat different approach to the trope of sleep-talking revealing infidelity, as the narrator of the song, who is having an affair with a married woman, warns his lover not to talk in her sleep and make her husband suspicious.
If he should ever wake up, make sure that your story is straight love
If you talk in your sleep don't mention my name
And if you walk in your sleep forget where you came
- Florence + the Machine's "I'm Not Calling You A Liar":
There's a ghost in my mouthAnd it talks in my sleep
- The Go-Gos' "You Can't Walk In Your Sleep (If You Can't Sleep)" cites averting this trope as one of the few fringe benefits of insomnia.
- Appears in Dolly Parton's song "Jolene" (also recorded by Olivia Newton-John and Kesha among others), where the narrator begs Jolene not to steal her man.
He talks about you in his sleep
And there's nothing I can do to keep
From crying when he calls your name, Jolene.
- In Melanie Martinez's "Teddy Bear", her boyfriend talking in his sleep about hurting her is the first warning sign he plans to kill her.
When you started talking in your sleep
Saying things you'd do to me
I didn't care, I wasn't scared
Now I'm finding knives under the sheets
Crumbled photographs of me
I'm in despair
Should I be scared?
- The protagonist of "Unwell" by Matchbox Twenty mentions talking in his sleep as one of the symptoms of his Ambiguous Disorder.
- In P!nk's "Just Give Me a Reason," Nate Ruess's character apparently talks about ending the relationship in his sleep.
- Squacky does this sometimes on The Pajanimals.
Squacky: (dreaming of a movie he's excited about seeing) More popcorn.
- Bear in the Big Blue House:
- Whenever Tutter is asleep, he can be heard saying "More cheese for King Tutter!"
- In "A Winter's Nap," Pip and Pop discover Bear napping and try to get him to wake up, but their repeated saying his name just results in muttering, "No, Mommy, just ten more minutes, then I'll eat my porridge." Finally they shout him awake.
- In "Morning Glory," Ojo mutters in her sleep "No, Goldilocks, don't eat all my honey."
- In Avenue Q, there is a whole song where Rod dreams about Nicky talking in his sleep.
- Macbeth: Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking soliloquy.
- Characters learn important information while another character talks in her sleep in The Yeomen of the Guard.
- There's a rather sad version in Miss Saigon in the song "I Still Believe". As Chris sleeps, he shouts "Kim!", to the dismay of his wife Ellen, who has never learned of Chris' first love.
- Invoked in Othello with Iago's false story of Cassio talking in his sleep about Desdemona.
- The Thief series has many instances of Enemy Chatter, but also of characters muttering in their sleep, ranging from religious Hammers to guards and civilians.
Sleeping Guard: Too many snakes! Where's Piggy?
- Fable has a few, from the method to get the bordello deed to the kid in Bowerstone, sleeping and "tripping" on something, and spilling "pearls" like this:
"Get away from me you headless monkey, I don't like your eyes!"
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. During the game's final stealth sequence, you can tranquilize EVA. If you do so, she mumbles fairly dirty things in her sleep about you, The Boss and her dog, Fido.
- If you watch Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2, he would mumble in his sleep and then yell out, "Liquid!"
- Mario mumbles about Italian food if left asleep long enough in Super Mario 64.
- Norma Beatty from Tales of Legendia does this when she's asleep. And most of the time, Hilarity Ensues.
- In Final Fantasy VIII, both Squall and his father Laguna are said to talk in their sleep. Also, there's a guy in Trabia Garden who, because of the missile attack, has gone a bit loopy and has dreams of being a SeeD in his sleep. He says stuff like "Take this! GF summoning..." and "That...Tonberry King!" Another character comments in disbelief that she asked him why he was so happy and he told her that he went up a rank in his dream.
- In Final Fantasy IX, if you examine the Moogle's Flute key item (allows you to summon a save moogle on the world map) in the menu, you get a quotation from a character just like any other key item. In this case, the quotation is from lead thief of Tantalus, Baku, and reads "Hey, let me touch that red...bonbon-lookin' thing on your head... Zzz..." =Baku sleeptalking=
- In Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 3: Lair of the Leviathan, while Guybrush is performing first aid on Morgan to wake her up, we hear her mumble, while she's unconscious: "THIS is for JUGBENDER!" and "Gomez... not on the carpet!"
- In Star Fox: Assault, Pigma is disturbed to find that he's talking in his sleep. considering that it's because he's being assimilated by the Aparoids, it's for good reason.
- Mario & Luigi: Dream Team has Luigi do this several times, which the player hears as his characteristic pseudo-Italian but which Starlow understands perfectly. Each time, it was triggered by Dreambert conveying a message to the outside world from inside Luigi's dream.
- In the Animal Crossing games, if Gulliver washes up on the shores of your town, he'll indulge in a bit of this as you try to wake him up.
- "Nnnnnn... Cinnamon buns are not currency... Not yet, anyway..."
- The Pokémon move Sleep Talk can be used during the Asleep Standard Status Effect to randomly execute one of the user's other three moves.
- In Tomodachi Life, your Miis can say various silly things while sleeping.
Does anyone need a meerkat? I have a spare...
[Other Mii] stole all of my disco balls!
Why do bananas have their own packaging? It's a mystery...
- In Atelier Escha And Logy Alchemists Of The Dusk Sky, Nio asks Escha and Logy if they heard a strange voice. Logy accidentally let slip that he heard Escha talking in her sleep after she fell asleep while doing paperwork.
- In Atelier Firis The Alchemist And The Mysterious Journey, sometimes when using the rest option in the Atelier, Firis will mutter stuff in her sleep such as that she wants to go outside, or saying to her parents that she did well.
- In Evolve, Kala suffers from this during her brushes with the minds of the monsters. As a result, the talking is less 'amusing non-sequitur' and more 'wordless rhythmic chanting mixed with ominous statements in the voice of an old man'.
- Granblue Fantasy: Due to the psychological effects of sunlight to Vania, she will occasionally sleep while in the midst of doing something in broad daylight... and mumble about it while sleeping.
- In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, while Group A of Class VII is on the train to their field study in Legram, Millium is sleeping and comments "No, Lammy, you can't smash that," Lammy being her giant combat robot that assists her. Also, later on, while taking a nap following a mission: "Emma, they're so big... and soft." Additionally, late in the game, if you have Rean talk to the sleeping Sara in the Class VII dormitory, she'll comment "Zzz... Keep those beers coming... Zzz..." and if you speak to her again, "Zzz... I'm done. Hit my limit... ...There needsh to be more booze in thish glass... Zzz..."
- Chantelise: When Chante is sleeping:
*snore* Mmm... Elise... I'll help you... I... prom... ... shins... fwaaaaa... *snore*
- In World of Final Fantasy, after you complete the quest to restore Tama, you get a scene with Serafie dozing on the table in the Girl's Tearoom.
Serafie: Zzz... Don't make fill in for that lazy Tama anymore please... Zzz...Girl Who Forgot Her Name: You're a good friend.
- Deleted dialogue from Dragon Age: Inquisition had a romanced Cullen talking to the Inquisitor about this. He tells her that his original roommate in the Templar barracks, when he was a teenager, requested a room change because "Apparently I talk in my sleep." His amused sweetheart immediately replies, "You do!"
- In King's Quest (2015), the third chapter sees King Graham and Queen Valanice asleep in bed until the crying of infant twins Alexander and Rosella wakes them. Valanice, who desperately wants to rest, immediately start to pretend to both snore and do this. "Zzzzz... I'm asleep, I'm asleep, I'm asleep! Zzzz... So asleep, so asleep, so asleep!" (It works; Graham tells her to stay in bed and he'll take care of the kids.)
- In Magical Diary, one of your roommates talks in her sleep. However, what she says is completely nonsensical (and randomised between plays). The only consistent thing is that it has something to do with her older brother.
- In Yo-Jin-Bo, part of Yo and Ittosai's Bad Dreams sequences include said guys talking in their sleep, mistaking Sayori for a character in the dream. In Yo's case, it's his injured mom. For Ittosai, his cruel father.
- Homestar Runner:
- In the beginning of the 56th episode of The Most Popular Girls in School:
Clint: And that's gonna take us down to the two-minute warning. What do you think about the action in the first half so far, Bert?
Bert: [wakes up] Wha, huh? Whoa, was I asleep?
Clint: Yes, you most certainly were.
Bert: Sorry, I tend to fall asleep when I'm watching things I don't give a shit about. Was I talking in my sleep?
Clint: Eh, well, uh, maybe a little.
Clint: Christiansen is back to pass he's looking deep in the end zone and it's
Bert: No, no Vasquez, I delivered all the drugs.
Clint: He hands the ball off to McGrann and he
Bert: Hey! If I had your money, would I be half-naked in this brothel wearing kneepads?
Clint: And he's looking deep for Derringer, and it is
Bert: Well you tell Blake Shelton to shove it up his asshole!
Bert: I didn't say anything too embarrassing, did I?
Clint: You sure did!
- This Cyanide & Happiness strip.
- In The Order of the Stick's On the Origins of the PCs, there is a guard on the diamond Haley steals, who is asleep and talking.
- In El Goonish Shive, Grace used to talk and scream in her sleep when she was having Recurring Bad Dreams.
- Ha Jinsung from Tower of God cheers Viole on even in his sleep.
- In Sinfest, the laptop does this in sleep mode, in binary.
- In Blue Yonder, Lena's father calls her mother's name, having drunk himself to sleep.
- In Daisy Owl, Daisy's father does this while being purchased at his place of employment.
- In Freefall, Sawtooth text messages in his sleep mode.
- In Doc Rat, Danielle does this. Proves to be Bad Dreams.
- In Commander Kitty, CK mumbles lyrics from Lady and the Tramp after Zenith's monster pummels him into unconsciousness.
- In Faux Pas, Cindy observes that if Randy said something, it was in his sleep.
- In Kimonos Townhouse, Kimono does this.
- In one installment of Cobweb and Stripes, Lydia accidentally summons Betelgeuse by calling his name in her sleep.
- Family Guy:
- An early episode has Peter tell Chris that sometimes good things happen when you're asleep. Cut to Peter seemingly having a wet dream about a woman named Jenny.
- Another episode has Chris mumbling in his sleep.
Chris: ...mumbling in sleep to indicate dream content...
- An episode of The Simpsons has Homer dreaming that he's Yogi Bear, which he's woken up from. When he goes back to sleep, we hear that he's dreaming that he's Magilla Gorilla.
Homer: Duh, you should not have taken my bananas, Mr Peeble! *angry monkey noises*
- The Flintstones: Wilma Flintstone had a sequence of nightmares where she'd wake up screaming for help. Fred would come running thinking she was attacked.
- The Fairly Oddparents: Timmy Turner wished in his sleep from the guilt of letting someone else take the blame for the abduction of Dimmsdale's mascot, Chompy the goat.
Vicky... not guilty... wish...
- In the Gargoyles episode "Heritage", Elisa is rendered unconscious, yet somehow seems to know when Goliath is in trouble, even though he is miles away from her, becoming restless in her bed and calling out to him.
- Misery in Ruby Gloom is a sleep-singer. When she's awake, her singing voice is shrill enough to break glass, but when she's asleep she has a terrific voice.
- In one episode of South Park, Cartman rants about hippies in his sleep.
- Another episode has him freaking out about Paula Poundstone.
- One episode of Kidd Video centering around dreams turning to nightmares and then manifesting to attack the heroes used this method of helpfully letting the characters know what was about to attack them when one or another of them invariably fell asleep.
- A SpongeBob SquarePants episode has SpongeBob muttering "Two scoops please. Thank you. Keep the change." in his sleep.
- In another, Squidward says "Thanks for the cookies Grandma" in his sleep.
- Bender from Futurama tends to talk about how he will kill all humans in his sleep.
Bender: Hey sexy mama, wanna kill all humans?
- When awakened by his human roommate Fry who was disturbed by Bender saying "Kill all humans" over and over again:
Bender: I was having the most beautiful dream and you were there!
- When awakened by his human roommate Fry who was disturbed by Bender saying "Kill all humans" over and over again:
- In a WordGirl episode, Dr. Two Brains dreams of various cheeses in his sleep.
- The Powerpuff Girls: "Monkey See, Doggie Do" showed a cop nodding off on late-night duty, muttering "Hands in the air" in his sleep.
- Egon of The Real Ghostbusters talks in his sleep, usually about science experiments gone wrong. He has said things like "Sorry I burned down the garage, Mom." and "Don't worry, your hair will grow back."
- Adventure Time:
- In "Hitman", Jake admits to getting filling for the sandwiches he made from the body of an off-screen character named Meatman. Later in the episode, Jake is seen having a nightmare about Meatman, muttering "No Rainicorn, don't eat him..." Once Jake wakes up from his dream, he can be seen staring deeply into the sun, promising to never eat from Meatman again.
- In the same episode, Finn says "Punch, punch, punch!" softly, while doing little sleep-punches.
- On Total Drama World Tour, Cody mutters something about him getting together with Gwen, which is fine, since Sierra had a "roller-skating accident."
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- "Sisterhooves Social" opens with Rarity mumbling about pancakes and cider before waking up to the smell of Sweetie Belle incinerating breakfast.
- In "Baby Cakes", Pumpkin and Pound, the Cake Twins, speak their first word in their sleep. It happens to be Pinkie Pie's name.
- In "The Crystalling, Part 1", Shining Armor is sleep-deprived due to caring for his and Cadance's new baby girl and keeps falling asleep standing up. As he does, he sometimes vaguely mutters stuff like "baby."
- In "To Where and Back Again Part 1", as Starlight Glimmer is trying to wake up Trixie to get her help, Trixie mutters "Yes, Princess Celestia, I'd love to perform for peanut butter crackers." This also counts as a Mythology Gag to My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (2013).
- Trixie is shown again talking in her sleep in "Road to Friendship". According to Starlight Glimmer, she's rehearsing her whole show all night long.
- In Code Lyoko, Jérémie and Aelita each had their moments. Aelita's, however, were more in her nightmares than Jérémie's.
- In Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, when Pac-Man landed on a sleeping Lord Betrayus, Betrayus just rolled over and whimpered "Mommy, Stratos hit me!" and started sucking one of his metal talons.
- The Sniffles Looney Tunes cartoon "The Unbearable Bear" had a wife bear talking in her sleep ranting about her recalcitrant policeman husband.
- In the Steven Universe episode "Space Race", Greg talks while sleeping in his van:
Greg: No, don't give him the banana... that's what he wants...
- Doc McStuffins
Doc McStuffins: Diagnosis... checkup...
- "Top Lamb" shows that Doc sometimes talks in her sleep.
- In "Toy Hosptial: The Most Impatient Patient," Bronty, a toy brontosaurus, comments "I chase a ball," in his sleep.
- On Ella the Elephant, Belinda sometimes mutters "No more autographs, please" in her sleep.
- Leni from The Loud House was shown having a "fashion nightmare".
Leni: Scrunchies...leg-warmers...SOCKS WITH SANDALS!
- Luan tells jokes in her sleep, which is why she records herself sleeping so she can look for jokes to put in her act.
- Courage the Cowardly Dog: "The Clutching Foot" opens with Eustace muttering "Scratch" and "Wool socks" in his sleep as he suffers from a foot fungus.
- On Little Princess, Maid does it in "Maid's Day Off?" while having a nap outside following a picnic by herself. As little woodland animals munch on the remains, she mutters to herself while snoring. Most of it is indecipherable, though "Where are the pigs? can be made out at the end.
- In "Christmas Time Is Here Again" from Beat Bugs, Buzz's wishes is to meet the Christmas Beetle. She spends most of the story sleeping and occasionally muttering "Christmas Beetle" in her sleep, while the other bugs try to wake her up.
- In PB&J Otter, Munchy has a sleeptalking problem when he has a sleepover with his friends, and they have to resolve this as it's keeping them up at night.
- In "Paw Print Picasso" from Clifford's Puppy Days, after Clifford gets paint paw prints all over Emily Elizabeth's painting and his friends suggest he tell her the next day, Daffodil discovers him alone the next morning on Emily Elizabeth's bed, tossing and turning in his sleep and muttering "It's my fault, it's my fault..."
- In "Franklin and the Snoring Situation" from Franklin and Friends, the reason Bear keeps falling asleep is because he's been having to share his room with his little sister, Beatrice, while her room is being painted. Apparently Beatrice not only tosses and turns, but once she does fall asleep, she actually sings in her sleep, loudly.
- On Peter Rabbit, in "Flooded Burrow," Peter and his family have to sleep over at Benjamin's because of their burrow being flooded. In the morning, Peter looks tired and Benjamin asks if it's because he was talking about radishes in his sleep again. Also, at one point the owl Old Brown can be heard muttering "mice" in his sleep.
- On ToddWorld, Todd's talking dog, Benny, does this in the opening of "Itchy Itch."
Benny: Dog of the Year? Me? You really think I'm the best dog in the world so you're giving me this prize? This is so unexpected. And the Benster thanks you. I'd especially like to thank my best friend Todd.
- "Llama Llama Shopping Drama" on Llama Llama opens with Llama Llama in bed sniffing and commenting to his stuffed toy "Fuzzy, you can't take a bath in ice cream!", followed immediately by him waking up.
- In "Sleep - Who Needs It?" from Sid the Science Kid, Teacher Susie lets the kids have a nap to demonstrate the importance of sleep. After everyone has already woken up, Gerald continues to sleep and mutters "Hello, pony. I like applesauce too." They leave him too and later spend some time observing him. He eventually wakes up, but pretends to still be asleep and quacking in his sleep.
- In "Olivia and Grandma's Visit" from Olivia Olivia's Grandma claims that Olivia talks in her sleep, though Olivia had actually abandoned her attempt to sleep by Grandma the night before because, as shown, Grandma snores.
- An example of this actually appeared in the first season of the Australian Big Brother: in the middle of the night, housemate Ben said, "Where's the chicken?" When his fellow housemates responded with "Huh?" he elaborated, "The last chicken?" Upon their further confusion, he insisted, "Chicken! You know..." and started making chicken noises. That's when they realised he was sleep-talking.
- When appearing as a guest/interviewee on Ellen DeGeneres' show, Isaiah Mustafa said that his girlfriend teases him for reciting the lines from the Old Spice ads in his sleep.
- There's a blog called Sleep Talkin' Man which is the trope as Real Life as you can get. His wife records him, and very little of what he says makes sense. But is very, very funny.
"I'm an advocate for hermit crab politics.""Where is all the neurons are gone? B'doing!""God judges you. Well, I judge God. This week: not bad! Still messing up in the Middle East, though. Sort it out.""Fucking unicorns. 'Ooh, I've got a horn!' So fucking obnoxious. You're just a horse with a party hat, dickhead."
- The recorded sleep speech of Dion McGregor, tape-recorded by his roommate and released on records and CDs.
- In The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes mentions a (real life) scientist working on the Manhattan Project who was unable to get cleared for access to more sensitive levels of the project because the scientist (who was married) talked in his sleep.
- One comedy goldmine at Something Awful was a collection of crazy things people have said in their sleep.
- According to Tiffany Grant the reason her husband, the voice director for Noir, knew she could pull off the level of creepy required for Altena was because she talks in her sleep, and on one occasion told him to "Put it on the table" and then when he asked what to put on the table she answered "The body."