- Alternate Character Interpretation: Since we know very little about the father, we have no idea what kind of guy he is. Is he a better parent than his alcoholic ex-wife or is he just as bad? What did the slap in the DLC mean? Was he shocked to learn his wife was an alcoholic or is he just as or more abusive than her? If he is abusive, will he be abusive towards his child or did he get help in between the divorce and the end of the game?
- Added to this, Creator commentary provided in the game's enhanced edition suggests that neither the mother nor the father handled the breakdown of their relationship well, but this still makes it unclear how the father is as, well, a father.
- Fridge Brilliance: Crossed with Foreshadowing, in the very beginning of the game, before the baby goes to sleep, you can see that the mother isn't wearing a ring, but you can also see the tanline where it would be if she had it on. Combined with the Interface Screw when the mother goes to answer the door and starts yelling, perceptive gamers might pick up on the general plot of the game long before they reach the end.
- You might spend much of the game thinking "why is this toddler not screaming in fear? This is really unrealistic." When you see the ending, you finally realize the Toddler has learned not to cry or yell to avoid their mother's drunken and/or hungover rage.Teddy: We have to be very quiet. You don't know what might be listening.
- Most of the text in the game is written in illegible scribbles, with the only exceptions being the alphabet blocks scattered around. The Fridge Brilliance sets in when you remember that the protagonist is barely two years old; it's English, the toddler just can't read yet!
- Teddy's dialogue is written such that, taken at face value, he's a very comforting presence, but his tone is creepy and invokes Paranoia Fuel. Given that Teddy represents the player character's father, this makes total sense: all the kid would know about their dad is that mommy doesn't seem to like them very much, so of course they're going to be wary around him.
- You might spend much of the game thinking "why is this toddler not screaming in fear? This is really unrealistic." When you see the ending, you finally realize the Toddler has learned not to cry or yell to avoid their mother's drunken and/or hungover rage.
- Harsher in Hindsight: In-game example: "You've got to stop hiding from Mommy."
- Jerkass Woobie: The mother and by extension the swamp monster. Her abuse of the child, while inexcusable, is clearly caused by her alcoholism and emotional issues, not any malice towards her son. These may stem from an underlying custody battle that the protagonist is completely oblivious to.
- Nightmare Fuel: Just the fact that you're a two year old in a horror game is scary enough, because you can't run fast and you definitely can't fight...
- Teddy is a bit creepy as well sometimes, even though he's on your side. He's in the "things that a baby wouldn't know was weird or would just be confused by that are creepy as heck to someone old enough to understand that's not supposed to happen" category.
- That creepy black thing that appears in some of your drawings. Especially since it's actually your mother.
- On a similar level, the living trenchcoat and its Glowing Eyes of Doom, especially since you only encounter it in an area where there are lots of other trenchcoats, and unlike the black thing it actively hunts you.
- "He will not take you from me." That whole sequence is a bit of a gut punch.
- The alternate ending from an earlier version of the game that can be viewed in the enhanced edition. Teddy transforms into a demonic-looking monster that plans to eat the child. You can only watch helplessly from inside your crib as he drops the mementos into the boiling soup pot before grabbing the child and dropping them in.
- Nightmare Retardant: Some people found the unnatural amount of trench-coats everywhere to be creepy until one starts thinking about how ridiculous it would be for someone to own that many trench-coats in the first place. Does mom work in The Matrix or something?
- Rewatch Bonus: The numerous bottles laying around your house also take on a whole new meaning on a second playthrough.
- Tear Jerker: The reveal that the mother was an alcoholic and lashed out at her kid when frustrated is downright depressing, and can hit close to home for some players who have experienced something similiar.
- Some developer commentary on the playground states that the lonely and terrifying imagery there is meant to communicate the child has traumatizing memories of being left alone on a playground and bullied by older kids.
- Uncanny Valley: The character model for the mother falls into this. So does Teddy.
- The Woobie: The toddler, a witness of frightening imagery and terrifying monsters, and is an abused child who is too innocent to comprehend what's happening around them.
YMMV / Among the Sleep