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Sweet Dreams Fuel / Live-Action TV

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  • Midnight Diner is all about people coming together in a late-night diner to share their problems and be friends. It’s a simple show with a whole lot of heart! Perfect for falling asleep to.
  • 31 Minutos has a lot of adult comedy between the lines. But the sets and the characters are truly colorful, and most of the songs have really catchy and cheerful tunes. Special mention to "Mi equilibrio espiritual" and "Rin Raja".
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  • Anything ever done by Monty Python whose comedic gold, acting, writing and the general enjoyment the creators had working on it can just make you laugh and enjoy their work WAAAY too much!
  • Cold Case may be about people who are already dead, but it still manages to be very positive and life-affirming, with characters learning and growing and reaching for their dreams. It is more of a tragedy when the subject of the episode dies but it helps that there was justice at the end. Rare is the episode that doesn't leave you with warm fuzzies.
  • Pushing Daisies. Brightly colored sets, fantastic clothing, impeccably witty dialogue, and amazing acting. Should rightly taste like diabetes, but somehow everything works out in its favor (even the combination of the sweetness of Ned and Chuck and gruesome murders).
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  • Gilmore Girls. The love that the mother and daughter have for each other, and not only that, even with all the troubles, Stars Hollow and the Gilmores are good people inside their hearts.
  • Mork & Mindy. Both the show and the titular couple. So much sweetness and optimism... why is it they don't make shows like this anymore?
  • Too Cute. A show about cute puppies and kittens growing up. Pure, concentrated adorable.
  • The Golden Girls. Whenever you feel depressed or upset, the Girls will cheer you up. True comfort TV.
  • Full House, from reminding you of life lessons of all kinds each episode to delivering safe but nevertheless funny situations, Full House is definitely a contender of the picture of 90s sitcoms.
  • Any Star Trek episode with the word "Tribble" in the title. In the original "The Trouble with Tribbles," you can just feel that all the cast was having a merry time being comedians for a change in a genuinely funny and charming story.
    • Also any Ferengi or holodeck episode. Time travel episodes hold a special place in my heart too.
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    • Really, the idea behind Star Trek in general. There is hope for the future. Humanity will survive, will settle its differences, will solve all its own problems, and then...we will go forth into the universe and be awesome.
    • There's something so friendly and familiar about (most of) TNG in particular that makes it excellent Sweet Dreams Fuel.
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete is pure nostalgia to anyone who has ever been a child.
    • It's more than that. It just perfectly encapsulates childhood, period, with a healthy dose of exaggeration. All the problems that seem petty looking back are displayed with outrageous importance, blown up to proportions that by all logic should seem too absurd to take seriously, but the characters are so genuine and their reactions so familiar and close to home that the lengths the conflicts are taken to seem justifiably as important now as they were then. The show takes you back to how it felt to search desperately for a missing song or how unfair curfews seemed or how the local bully acted like a monster. But with that you get how it felt to have a crush, or end a fight with a friend, or do something nice for someone, or even just to relax. This show is an epic, feel-good tribute to what it means to be a kid and have fun without tasting like diabetes for a single moment. And it makes you laugh. So, yeah, perfect.
  • "You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you have The Facts of Life!"
  • Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. No one else has compared in the world of children's television, and Mr. Rogers cared about adults too.
  • Family Ties is definitely sweet dreams fuel for anyone who was a child in the 1980s.
  • iCarly: iSaved Your Life. Freddie would sacrifice his life to save Carly, Carly realises how much he means to her, they kiss about 6 times in a very cute way (and one hot way in the extended version). They practically glow with happiness whilst they are together, and the final 'dawww', Freddie has a I Want My Beloved to Be Happy moment because he doesn't want to hurt Carly by taking advantage of her when he's unsure if her feelings are true. Even though it's a minor Downer Ending, it's a very powerful expression of his feelings for her and that it's not just some random teenage hormonal attraction on a show with practically no morals, aesops or lessons.
    • Also the relationships between Spencer and Carly, and Sam and Carly. Whilst most of the show isn't especially heartwarming, the 3 major relationships, Spencer/Carly, Carly/Sam and Freddie/Carly are a heartwarming core of warm fuzziness.
  • Big Time Rush: A lighthearted comedy about four pretty, childish boys going on zany adventures. Add an innocent song about love or good times in almost every episode, and it's impossible to watch without feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
  • Doctor Who
    • Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all. Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair and the Doctor comes to call...everybody lives.
    • The Fish Fingers and Custard scene from "The Eleventh Hour". It's one of the funniest and cutest scenes in the episode. [1]
      • In fact, any scene that involves Eleven and a little kid will most likely result in this trope.
    • The ending of Vincent and the Doctor. That is all.
    • The 2010 Christmas Special. Period.
      • What about the 2011 Christmas special's ending, when the Doctor arrives at the Ponds?
    • What about Amy and Rory's wedding? Everything about that day is perfect, from her parents being brought back to reality, to Amy and Rory being happy and safe and able to be together, to the Doctor dancing like a loon to the three of them riding off in the TARDIS together.
    • Near the end of the finale for season six, the scene where River goes home to Amy and Rory's place, and Amy's whoops of joy when she finds out the Doctor's alive.
    • The entire show which has taught whole generations of people that a hero is a slightly barmy alien with a screwdriver who is a huge fan of our planet. Even his ship thinks we're bigger on the inside.
    • All of time and space, everywhere that has ever been or ever will be. Every single planet in the entire universe, and the Doctor keeps coming back to this little blue-and-green ball. No matter how badly we mess up, no matter how dumb we can be sometimes, the person who's seen every species in the universe thinks we're the best, and considers Earth to be their home away from home.
    • To save the universe, you don't need weapons. You don't need superpowers. You just need your mind, your friends, and hope.
  • Fraggle Rock. Not many shows are created with the intention of bringing about world peace.
    • In 2013-14, Beta Patrol released a few indie Cover Albums of the show, which have a few tracks that fit this trope. Radiation City's retraux-y "I'd Give My Soul", Transmissions' haunting "Let Me Be Your Song", and The Boys And Girls' sweet and folky "Friendship Song" are among the highlights.
    • The rebooted series Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock is equally made of sweet dreams as the original, if not even more so thanks to some beautiful Visual Effects of Awesome making every frame of the show a colorful feast for the eyes. Special mention goes to the episode "The Glow", where after much self-consciousness and closeted feelings about his glowing tail, Boober finally accepts it as part of himself to a powerfully uplifting musical number.
    The Archivist: No matter who you are, no matter whether your glow shines outside or in, when you love your specialness for what it is, it becomes the brightest treasure in the world.
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show: "You're gonna make it after all..."—even the opening theme on its own is made of happy.
  • Gilligan's Island. The show and each one of its characters is optimism personified!
  • Community: A show about how seven totally different people can come together and be True Companions.
    • Really, any work by Dan Harmon has an SDF aura. You can say that it offsets the cynicism.
  • LazyTown, especially the episodes without Robbie Rotten. There's also the huge support fans gave to Robbie's actor Stefan Karl Stefansson when he was diagnosed with cancer, spreading the word on his illness until he passed in 2018.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze does have some moments when you might need additional SDF, but it deserves a mention for the rest of the show, which is easily the most idealistic (and lighthearted) entry in the franchise - this is made even more heartwarming when you consider that the production team wanted a hero who could bring smiles to people's faces after the 2011 Earthquake. C'mon, Switch ON!
  • The Ultraman franchise is full of it (Although some series may fall into the complete opposite category). Every series has just tons of Awesome Music, a cast of likable characters, and loads of (for some, goofy) fun. There's also the recurring themes like determination, hope, following your dreams, and protecting what matters (Earth, friends and family, the future, and those who cannot protect themselves) in nearly every series that are extremely uplifting and much needed in a time when everyone seems so pessimistic about everything. Entries that should be especially emphasized as SDF include:
    • The original Ultraman. It's such a classic and just so full of old-timey charm and fun!
    • Ultraman Cosmos is a series where a major theme is that violence cannot solve everything and the eponymous hero takes Gentle Giant to new levels. While its approach is divisive amongst fans, it is still a series with plenty of SDF.
    • Ultraman Max is a throwback to everything that made the original series so great, from its easy-to-root-for cast to its balance of heart and action. There's an overarching theme of believing in the best in people in a world where everyone thinks Humans Are Bastards (which reaches its culmination in the Grand Finale).
    • Ultraman Mebius demonstrates The Power of Friendship and True Companions at their finest with the endearing cast of its defense team GUYS. For longtime fans of the franchise, it's also one heck of an epic love letter to the older series as the franchise's Milestone Celebration series.
    • Ultraman X — A series where the protagonist's dream is to build a world where both humans and kaiju can live alongside peacefully. Naturally, it has plenty of great moments that will put a smile on your face.
  • Boy Meets World. Good friends growing up together, showcasing the different kinds of love (romantic, family, friendship), and Mr. Feeny's lessons make for a super heartwarming series.
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, no matter what time of the year you watch it in. The 80's and 90's parades in particular practically oozed Narm Charm. Case in point.
  • On that note, anything involving Willard Scott, who cohosted the parade until 1997. His original Ronald McDonald may fall into Nightmare Fuel for some (we're looking at you, Cracked), but beyond that he's an incredibly adorkable and slightly naive Kindhearted Simpleton/Gentle Giant/Nice Guy (and now in his eighties, he could qualify for Cool Old Guy as well). And he's quite handsome, too, at least during his heyday in The '80s.
    • This video from Today, where he reads "Twas The Night Before Christmas" to a group of cute kids. His voice is warm and resonating, which definitely adds to the warm and fuzzy factor.
  • Roundhouse. A severely underrated Nickelodeon show about a bunch of twenty-somethings performing zany Sketch Comedy with little to no budget and No Fourth Wall (not unlike The Muppets), combined with fantastic singing and dancing. The Framing Devices are just as good; they deal with several rather mature situations in the most ridiculously upbeat way possible, and everything almost always works out in the end. Reprise the theme song and roll the credits!
  • The Recycled: The Series version of Fame, despite its more dramatic moments, has some excellent original songs that beautifully complement the show, such as Life Is A Celebration, Starmaker, Beautiful Dreamer, Shadows and Light, Reach For A Dream, Other Side Of The Road, and many others.
  • Kids Incorporated. Every song is well-performed, and despite being (as The Simpsons put it, though not about the show it still fits) "a realistic, down-to-earth show... that's completely off-the-wall and swarming with magic robots", everything always works out in its favor.
  • Of all things, Person of Interest managed to turn such tropes as Sinister Surveillance and Big Brother Is Watching into Sweet Dreams Fuel via The Machine, a Benevolent A.I. that sorts through the massive amount of data flowing across the world's networks to predict terrorist threats, along with every other type of premeditated crime. It is specially coded to prevent any human from seeing what it can access or decompiling its own source code to reverse-engineer a modifiable copy, ensuring that no one's privacy can be invaded by an unscrupulous individual, and it places equal priority on every human life, with its main attitude generally implied to be "avert violence" as opposed to "catch terrorists/bad guys". As the main page's image caption says, "For once, you'll be glad Big Brother Is Watching." Special mention goes to the reveal that people Team Machine once saved went on to work for the Machine themselves.
  • God Friended Me: Now imagine if the Machine from Person of Interest didn't just try to avert violence, but brought people together to make them happy.
  • How I Met Your Mother is an example of a show pulling off an all around nostalgic feel from the perspective of a guy looking back at the best years of his life leading up to him meeting the girl of his dreams. The main five all operate on the friendliness they share with each other, and there are quite a few episodes with endings underscored by upbeat rock songs.
    • A specific example in the final season would be Cristin Milioti's rendition of "La Vie En Rose," which Ted hears and falls in love with before even meeting Tracy McConnell herself!
    • Also Marshall and Lily as a couple have to be one of the most adorable pairs on television.
    • The ending of the season four finale has all five members of the group triumphantly jumping from the rooftop of Ted's building to the neighboring one, with "Prophets" by A.C. Newman playing as Ted declares the year the best of his life. Overlaps with Moment of Awesome.
  • Parks and Recreation. A show about the values of hard work and passion, the wonders of love and friendship, and the importance of community, all wrapped in some very funny comedy. The finale is especially great, with everyone getting a perfectly-tailored happy ending.
  • The Muppets:
  • The Good Night Show was frequently watched by children with autism and other special needs, probably because of the show's calm consistency.
  • The Japanese Spider-Man show. Everything about it is so lovably goofy (and awesome) that it's hard not to get a smile on your face when you hear the opening theme. Even Stan Lee himself was a fan of the series.
  • Anything related to The Hollywood Squares- it's a show with humor running rampant and not much of a "game", and it also has amazingly catchy theme tunes as well.
    • Ditto Match Game- lots of freewheeling fun with not much at stake, funky music and bright colors.
    • You can chalk that to any Game Show where seeing contestants get to win lots of money and prizes can uplift the spirits of just about anyone.
  • You wouldn't think The Twilight Zone (1959) would be just as apt to run on this as Nightmare Fuel, but you get episodes like "Night of the Meek" (a depressed Mall Santa gets a bag full of wishes and ends up becoming Santa in his own right), "One for the Angels" (a small-time peddler is able to make an epic sales pitch to Death himself, and saves a little girl in the process), and "I Sing the Body Electric" (aka "The Electric Grandmother")
  • Schitt's Creek: Despite a gimmicky poop joke title and being full of tart one-liners, the show is a surprisingly sweet and sophisticated romantic comedy about a rich family coming together after they become destitute. Creator and star Daniel Levy quoted one of their directors who said that the characters are "breaking good" and Levy has declared that homophobia does not exist in the town of Schitt's Creek. By Season 5, when the formerly spoiled and selfish Rose children have become loving and supportive partners and friends, the many heartwarming moments have been earned with strong writing and character development.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: The show is about a woman who has been kidnapped and trapped for 15 years, but, as the title says, is such a strong Determinator that nothing can break her. The show is realist on the sense that hard work demands sacrifice, not everything will be 100% great all the time and that you might fail a lot, but greatly values one's attempts to become a better person and it's determination of never giving up. By season 3, it's immensely noticeable the amount of how the characters evolved into people who, although still flawed, are fighters.
    Kimmy: I'm not gonna give up, and neither are you!
    Titus: I'm trying to protect you!
    Kimmy: Protect me from what? The worst thing that ever happened to me happened in my own frontyard. Life beats you up, Titus, doesn't matter if you've been kidnapped by a cult or if you've been rejected over and over in an audition.
    Titus: Some of which you paid to attend.
    Kimmy: You can either curl up in a ball and die like we made Cynee do that time, or you can stand up and say: "We're different! We are the strong ones! And you can't break us!"
  • Sherlock:
    • John and Sherlock at the end of "A Study In Pink".
    • Sherlock saving Irene Adler at the end of "A Scandal In Belgravia".
    • Almost everything from "The Sign of Three", from Sherlock's best man speech, to Sherlock convincing Sholto to allow John to save his life, to Sherlock's Odd Friendship with Archie, and Sherlock revealing that Mary's pregnant, and that she and John will be great parents.
    • Sherlock and Eurus at the end of "The Final Problem". Also, Mary's closing narration.
    • From the first episode:
    Lestrade: Sherlock Holmes is a great man. And if we're very lucky, one day, he might even be a good one.
    From the final episode:
    Police Officer: He's a great man, sir.
    Lestrade:No, he's better than that. He's a good one.
  • The Tomica Hero duology: Tomica Hero Rescue Force and Tomica Hero Rescue Fire is the perfect antidote if a Disaster Movie has ever terrified you. The rescue workers here are Power Rangers who actually stop the disasters. How many rescue workers have massive fans to blow out tornadoes? Indeed, you can fight the hurricane and win.
  • British series In the Night Garden... was created with the intention of providing children with something to watch to help them wind down for bedtime, and it has a very calm atmosphere to it and some cute characters that might cheer you up, even with the show being known for its surrealism.
  • Supernatural can be merciless in how it tortures its leads, but there is also a barrage of happy moments too:
    • Any scene where Sam and Dean just behave like regular brothers, such as having a prank war or bro hugging each other.
    • Lighter episodes like "Fan Fiction" and "Baby" that serve as a tribute to the longevity of the show, and celebrate what it's all about.
    • Dean and pie.
    • Dean at the end of "LARP and the Real Girl", embracing his inner geek.
    • Many of their moments with adoptive family members Bobby Singer, Charlie Bradbury, and Kevin Tran.
    • Obviously, them and Castiel, AKA Team Free Will. And as of Season 13, them and Jack, Team Free Will 2.0.
    • Dean's speech to Sam at the end of Season 8.
    "Hold on, hold on! You seriously think that? Because none of it — none of it — is true. Listen, man, I know we've had our disagreements, okay? Hell, I know I've said some junk that set you back on your heels. But, Sammy...come on. I killed Benny to save you. I'm willing to let this bastard and all the sons of bitches that killed mom walk because of you. Don't you dare think that there is anything, past or present, that I would put in front of you! It has never been like that, ever! I need you to see that. I'm begging you."
  • The Canadian series Still Standing (not to be confused with the sitcom). It features comedian Jonny Harris (better known as Constable Crabtree on Murdoch Mysteries) visiting small, struggling towns across the country and learning how they endure hard times with humour and resilience.
  • Pee-wee's Playhouse can be this to some people. Wacky brightly colored sets, a cast of colorful and creative characters, including a diverse set of human characters (as well as behind the sets), and the energetic acting of Paul Reubens' titular persona left a positive lasting impression on fans of the show in the 80's. Many later famous people, including actor Laurence Fishburne, actress Natasha Lyonne, and animator Craig Bartlett (known for Hey Arnold!) got their start on this show. The show was popular with adult fans too, and many older fans still like to watch it for a laugh or a smile.
  • The Other Two: A show is about millenial angst without ever going for the easy or mean joke about millenials, whose issues are treated with humorous seriousness. The two protagonists, despite being eclipsed by their brother's fame, never get angry at their little brother and stay protective of him.
  • Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. Two genuinely funny men (both good friends) fishing and bantering amongst the gorgeous British countryside.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: Proving that you can be Lighter and Softer without being childish, and that an old lady, a few kids, and their supercomputer can save the world from an attic in Ealing. Whereas most shows treat aliens as things to be shot on sight, Sarah Jane constantly strives to show the best in everyone, and her faith is often rewarded.
  • Bob Ross' The Joy of Painting. An entire series dedicated to showing that anyone can produce a nice-looking landscape painting in no time at all with very simple techniques, and proving it over and over again.
    • It has been pointed out that Bob Ross' deep voice is very pleasing to the ear. From an ASMR standpoint, there is a Periphery Demographic of "tingleheads" who watch his videos or play them to help sleep.
    • People have written into the show admitting that they like to fall asleep to the sound of his voice, making this literally "Sweet Dreams Fuel". (Bob reportedly was perfectly happy hearing about this.)
    • In the early 2000s, at least one German public broadcasting channel aired the show in the middle of the night (around 3 a.m.), without dubbing it or even just providing German subtitles. Which, given that not all that many Germans are totally fluent in English, leaves the distinct impression that the programmers of that channel decided to air the show primarily as a sleeping aid for insomniacs.
  • Good Witch. People really can turn out to be good if you give them a chance. Magic is real. And no matter what happens, there's always something positive to be made of it.
    • Love may not conquer all on its own, but if you and the people you love take the time to talk things out, it might just be able to.
  • The Masked Singer: Not a trope you'd expect to go to a singing competition, but you have a bunch of celebrities dressing up in silly costumes and singing their hearts out, and while they are competing, it's all in good fun, and the show is made to be a celebration of talent (and for some contestants, in fields for which they aren't well known). Unlike most competition shows, the judges usually only have compliments for the contestants, and most of the talking heads have the contestants gushing about how much fun they're having. What's not to like?
    • This aspect of the show was particularly praised during season 3, which largely aired during the COVID-19 lockdown. The showrunners went to great lengths to pad out the season as much as they could, with recap sing-alongs and 'after party'-style episodes where the judges and contestants interacted via Zoom, because the show was being touted as something unabashedly positive which people could look forward to enjoying together every week.
  • Lovely Little Farm: From the people behind Teletubbies, Lovely Little Farm is a 2022 Apple TV+ children's series set in the peaceful English countryside. This Slice of Life series focuses on two sisters (Jacky and Jill respectively) as they adjust to having a new baby brother into their family while mainly focusing on farm animals (including a few talking animals) at their family farm. The series is a live-action/animated hybrid with some impressive practical effects for Al Alpaca and Pickle Pony which are very convincing to watch. Episode 3 even introduces an adorable baby lamb named "Little Lamb" which both sisters decide to take care off after the introduction of Barbara the Sheep in later episodes. While Season 1 only has 7 episodes in total, it will make for a perfect watch if you're feeling down or not in the best mood.
  • Only Murders in the Building is an upbeat, genuinely funny Cozy Mystery about three lonely people bonding over their shared love of true crime podcasts, becoming True Companions and successful Amateur Sleuths along the way.