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Day 5 is a post-apocalyptic drama web series by Rooster Teeth. It is their first foray into darker, more serious content as opposed to their previous comedy/dramedy works. In addition, it is one of their first shows offered only to sponsors (now called FIRST members).

20 Minutes into the Future, the world is suddenly affected by a strange malady which causes the death of anyone who falls asleep. Five days later, humanity is on the brink of extinction as the remaining survivors binge on cocktails of drugs, sugar and whatever they can find in a desperate attempt to stay awake and stay alive.

Jake (Jesse C. Boyd), is a loser drug addict who comes out of a several-day trip to find that the world has ended. He teams up with a teenage boy named Sam (Walker Satterwhite) in order to stay awake, making an alliance with a pilot named Ellis (Davi Jay) who is searching for answers as to the cause of the "sleep apocalypse". With the help of a radiologist named Ally (Stephanie Drapeau), they embark on a search for a cure before their time runs out.


Notable for its increase in production value and episode length compared to other RT live-action shows (each episode is roughly a full TV-hour long) and for having a long cycle in Development Hell. According to RT's chief creative officer Burnie Burns, it has gone through at least three iterations before the version that was eventually released including a nearly-completed feature length film. A third season was announced to air in 2019, with Rooster Teeth looking into third-party production, but did not happen.

The series made its American television debut on El Rey Network in October 2018.

Compare to Bliss Stage, which is roughly the same premise but with giant robots.


Day 5 contains examples of:

  • All Lesbians Want Kids: Subverted with Ally and Lex. One wants a kid, but the other is unsure at best, and therefore "the kid conversation is on hold." It's not stated whether they would adopt or not.
  • Apocalypse How: Ambiguous as to what class exactly. Since animals also die from The Big Sleep it's hard to say if the planet's ecosystem will fall apart even if the heroes survive. However, the fact that fish are still alive, and the rumors of "safe-sleep zones" mean that there may be hope after all.
  • April Fools' Day: Episode 4 shows that the Big Sleep began on April 1st. (And given the timing, it was April 1st in almost every time zone.) None of the characters so much as mention it, though.
  • Artifact Title: Season 2 begins on Day 6, but the title doesn't change.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • The effects that the lack of sleep has on some people, including the Incubus and Alonzo According to Meredith it starts with self-mutilation to stay awake and advances to total violent psychopathy.
    • Come Day 6 and even Ellis ends up showing signs of turning this way.
  • Big Brother Instinct: One of Jake's driving motivations throughout the series is to keep Sam safe and "make sure he lives long enough to have sex."
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jake arriving just in time to save the group from the Incubus.
  • Black Comedy: In the second episode, a rave attendee walks into the morgue where Sam is, opening one of the refrigerators (for dead bodies) and finding someone asleep, i.e. dead, inside. The attendee mutters "Occupied", and Sam replies "Yeah, they had a reservation." Immediately after, the attendee opens a vacant one, climbs in with a pillow, and remarks "Good night" before presumably entering the long sleep. Sam, rather than try to stop him, just shrugs and says "Can't say it's not efficient."
  • Blessed with Suck: Bill, who has fatal familial insomnia, a rare genetic disease that makes it impossible for him to sleep. As he points out, before all this, he was suffering a death sentence. Now he gets to watch everyone die.
  • Brick Joke:
    • After the gag in the first episode with the blueberry muffin, Ellis asks Bill to make him one.
    • Come Day 6 and Bill's return, he has the muffin freshly baked with him.
    • In the first episode, Sam mentions he has ADHD. In the second episode, while he, Ellis, and Ally are searching for records in the morgue, Sam wanders around and does a couple random things, like putting a sling on his arm despite not needing one and walking into the refrigerator room.
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • Beth blows Alonzo's brains out.
    • Meredith's specialty as a sniper, which she uses to take down the bands of roving psychopaths wandering Dallas but also, unfortunately, other people who happen by.
  • Chronic Pet Killer: In a flashback, Lex and Ally get a goldfish, but keep forgetting to feed it. One day Ally comes home to find it dead, so she tries to replace it without Lex noticing. Unfortunately, Lex catches her… but then reveals that she had already replaced the goldfish last month. And did it again, last week. And then Ally reveals that this is her fourth time replacing the fish. "Six fish?! Oh my God! Oh no, it's a killing spree!"
  • Cold Sniper: Meredith casually blows out the brains of random strangers. Ends up being subverted when it turns out she was attacking the psychos and simply confused the main crew for them as well. She joins the team after that. Double Subverted when the season finale reveals she's in on what caused the Big Sleep and she was trying to lead Ellis's team to their deaths, and proceeds to hunt down and kill any group still functioning.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Episode 3 features a man who went crazy and started mutilating himself to keep himself awake, and then started killing people.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Josh Flanagan, the showrunner, appears as a military man protecting the sleep center.
    • Matt Hullum, the EP, appears as Sam's dad, also in flashback.
    • Aaron Marquis, director and writer, cameos as a porn actor.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Bill. He has a rare disease that physically prevents him from going to sleep. He was only expecting to live another 6 months when Big Sleep started, but now he's going to naturally outlive everybody on earth except those with the same condition he has.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The creepy skulls that Jake finds while looking for help turn out to be the Dia De Los Muertos decorations of a friendly group of locals who heal the protagonists and give them shelter.
  • Death of a Child:
    • Jake's little sister and her friends are among the first victims we see, a girl gets nearly killed by the Incubus in the third episode with plenty of post-attack gore, and almost two hundred kids were killed by the lab Lex works at while trying to find a cure.
    • Sam dies in the Season 2 finale.
  • Demoted to Extra: Zig-zagged; Bill was the main character of the original short film. While he actually gets more screentime in the first season of the full series, Bill's arc from the short is only adapted into a side plot of one episode. He then returns with a more significant role in season 2.
  • Drinking Game: "#Day5Drinks" is a game from the RT community on Twitter in the vein of the Theater Mode drinking game. Some of the rules are as follows:
    • If characters urinate from the use of diuretics, take a drink.
    • If someone dies from something other than falling asleep, take a drink.
    • As of Season 2 the "Meredith Amendment" is that you finish your drink when Meredith goes on a killing spree.
    • If the characters find something aside from drugs to keep awake (pain, La Bruja, Ghost Peppers), do a shot.
    • Take a drink when a character has a hallucination.
  • Driven to Suicide: Many characters over the course of the story who decide it's time for bed. To list some: Nicole, John, and Beth, and seemingly Meredith and Ellis before otherwise is revealed.
  • Embarrassing Last Name: Bill Beavers. He's very reluctant to tell Nicole what it is when she asks.
  • Emergency Broadcast: Omnipresent across every tv screen in the series. But as Bill realises, it went out exactly at the moment that the crisis started, meaning that whoever made it knew what was going to happen or that, as Ellis believes, the signal itself was the cause.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Shortly before he is revealed to be working for the Big Bad, Aiden loses his light tan jacket and bright red scarf, leaving only the dark grey t-shirt beneath.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Abrams is presented as a potential Big Bad in the first season, a doctor that's callously experimented on and killed over a hundred children to perfect a sleep drug for really shoddy reasoning. Day 6 however reveals the person who caused the big sleep, and has Abrams' lab dismantled and everyone killed, with few (Abrams among them) surviving.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Not counting flashbacks and the first few minutes of episode 1, the show's two seasons take place over the span of about 48 hours, with each season ending the day after it began.
  • False Friend: Meredith. Day 6 also has Aiden, who after several episodes painting him as The Hero reveals he's working for the same Big Bad Meredith is.
  • Fan Disservice: The rave. It's shot in such a way as to be overwhelming and disturbing, and even Flip (played by Barbara Dunkelman) is portrayed in a way that is more unsettling than alluring.
  • Fanservice:
    • The naked women in the first episode, and a porno starring Aaron Marquis in the fifth.
    • There's a bit in the fourth episode where Jake and Ally strip to their underwear to avoid coming off as intimidating. Somewhat Fan Disservice with Sam, though, who also does it, and is only thirteen.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In Episode 5, as Ellis and company go through a television broadcasting studio, they can be seen clearly going through Rooster Teeth's Studio 5, complete with the set for The Know in the background of a scene for a few seconds.
  • Foreshadowing: Lets just say, a few of Meredith and Aiden's actions make far more sense when you find out they're tied with whoever is responsible for the Big Sleep.
  • Funny Background Event: In the morgue, Sam finding an arm sling and putting it on, even though he doesn't need one. He continues wearing it after the scene shifts focus to him, but if you weren't paying attention you'd be really confused how he got it.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Abrams would argue we've crossed it, which is his and Lex's justification for their sleep drug experiments, which have killed dozens of children. The protagonists disagree.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jeffrey who willingly goes to sleep to see if they found the solution. They didn't.
  • Hope Spot: Several.
    • At the end of the fifth episode, Ellis and his group think they found the cause of the long sleep and stopped it, and Jeffrey voluntarily goes to sleep to check. He dies.
    • The entire stay at the lab in Austin. While hope technically remains in terms of the scientists finding a cure, the place becomes dangerous when Jake, Ally, and Sam learn the doctors use children as test subjects, with almost two hundred dead, and a man shoots the place up.
    • Both bonus videos from the first season have this:
      • In the first one, "Breakthrough", we see doctors working to find a cure, and one scientist's boyfriend remarks how he's accepted having only days to live. That scientist has a "Eureka!" Moment, and she, along with two other scientists, finally develop a cure. Except this was all before the long sleep began; it was a cure for cancer, which is what the scientist's boyfriend had. To make matters worse, the scientist and her boyfriend are asleep when 3am hits, ensuring their death, which is implied to be the case for the other scientists too. So even if this all gets cured, their findings are lost.
      • In the second one, "Headlines", a news station receives a report that the long sleep is caused by an EMP, giving a chance to stop it. The report turns out to be false, made up by one of the reporters to try and give others hope; and even then it's heavily implied the report won't make it to air to do that much.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: How most of the sleep center feels about sacrificing children for their experiment.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Jake's attitude towards both his little sister Megan and Sarah. In the season 2 finale, he has this attitude towards Sam as well.
  • If I Can't Have You...: While Lex's pleas to Ally start as Please Don't Leave Me, it definitely becomes this once she pulls a gun to make her stay.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Jake makes a crack that Sam looks like he's aged a year in the first episode of season 2, which aired a year after the first.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Abrams may be trying to help humanity, but even Lex admits he's unhinged.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Timestamps on security camera footage in the fourth episode reveal the series as happening in April of 2017, the titular Day 5 happening on the 5th.
  • Nice Guy: Bob, the Sandman, who's actually a teacher who by chance discovered the safe sleep zone. After Aiden saved his life, he grows to trust him as a friend and explained how he did it, showing he's actually quite an adorkable, kindly figure who is really out of his depth.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Despite being out to kill everyone they come across, the Big Bad's agents seem to genuinely befriend a lot of the people they find. When Meredith is confronted by Bill, who's figured out who she is, she almost begs him to give up and leave as she's grown fond enough of him she'd rather not kill him. Aiden meanwhile, appears to be a genuinely nice guy despite his mission, and chooses to befriend people he comes across even when he doesn't need to, without seemingly any plans to kill them later.
    • Season 2 Episode 5 reveals that Abrams had a cat. At first, Abrams seems to subvert the trope: He says he's not an animal person, the cat was a stray who decided to move in, he's an asshole to boot, and Abrams keeps him around simply because "I'd rather have an enemy than a friend. Friends are boring." But then Ally asks the cat's name.
      Abrams: …Matthew. His name is Matthew.
      Ally: His name is Matthew? What, you think he's still alive?
      Abrams: Yeah. He's alive. So long as I don't go home.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Lex. She experimented on numerous kids to find a way to sleep and treats it as little more than a sad necessity. When Ally and the others try to leave in disgust she pulls a gun on them. Downplayed in that her lesbianism is treated as a redeeming factor, and she's seen as the lesser evil to Abrams (a heterosexual male), being that she's just following his orders.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: A man does this at the start of the third episode, as he struggles to cope with his exhaustion. He gets glass shards stuck in his hand. He then realizes while pulling them out that the pain keeps him awake, and slides it back in, beginning his transformation into the mutilated and psychopathic man who becomes the episode's villain.
  • Sanity Slippage: Barring those who've gone full-on Ax-Crazy, it'll happen to everyone given enough time without sleep. Not helping matters is that the only effective way to keep people awake and alive is through drug abuse, much of which adds to the hallucinations, or other methods that generally have negative effects on their brain.
  • Scary Black Man: Ellis can be when he wants to be, but he's usually just grumpy. The man who went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the sleep center is a straighter example.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse:
    • Played with by Jake, who obviously wasn't asleep at the time, but was on a drug bender.
    • Inverted with literally everyone who has survived the apocalypse.
    • How the Sandman, Bob, ultimately found out about the safe sleep spots. He fell asleep under an aurora and woke up to find that everyone else died, eventually resulting in him figuring out how it happened.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The sleep center killed over a hundred children searching for a way to sleep.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The gunman who storms the center in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge lets the main crew leave because Sam is with them.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The whole of Abrams's lab. In an attempt to find a cure they go through 200 children to perfect the Dream Drug that allows them to sleep for 10 minutes at a time. While an utterly awful way to find a solution, Lex also justifies the experiments noting that without the breakthroughs found in their sacrifice they would have died even sooner.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 6 ends the series with several punches to the gut. Jeffrey dies in vain as the TV station is not the cause of the Big Sleep after all, Jake's party is forced to abandon the lab as Lex and her lab partners are revealed to be testing on children to perfect their "Dream Drug" and have killed well over 200 by time they forcibly volunteer Sam, and the lab is left in ruins when a father of one of the children comes guns-a-blazing into the lab sparing none but Sam before being tricked and killed by Dr. Abrams. Ellis's fate is left undetermined as Jake receives a signal from his flight box and comes towards his direction, but is not shown with the rest of his party upon the start of Day 6. Meredith is also revealed to have a bigger role in the whole series as she is not afflicted by the Big Sleep like everyone else and seems to be conspiring with an unseen group.
    • Season 2 Episode 7: Bob decides to entrust Aiden with the secret behind the safe sleep zone. Aiden promptly murders him in cold blood. It's abruptly revealed that all along, he was the one sent to dismantle the safe sleep zone.
  • Younger Than They Look: The characters note that the insomnia makes Sam look liked he "aged a year in a day" in, the actor very blatantly hit puberty in between seasons and looks decidedly different, which doesn't fit in with the show's inherently short timeline, which is likely the reason he was killed off.


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