An example of this trope is from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Voldemort kills Harry and then the Harry meets Dumbledore in a strange dream world.
Dream tropes are perhaps one of the most prevalent types of tropes in media. One of my favorites is Adventures in Comaland, where a character, who is near-death, in a coma or simply unconscious, has big, and often very realistic, dreams. These dreams are critical to whether the characters wake up in the real world, most often they have to perform a certain task, such as walking to the light.
An example of this trope is from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Voldemort kills Harry and then the Harry meets Dumbledore in a strange dream world. This trope is also the whole premise of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations where the protagonist’s mind is so fractured that he needs to explore his and his ancestors’ memories in order to repair his broken psyche.
Another big example of a dream trope is a Lotus-Eater Machine. This trope occurs when a character either goes to sleep, or is knocked out, but they wake up in a dream world that is carefully construed to be their personal paradise. In truth, they are being held prisoner by a character who is using either magic or a machine to cause realistic dreams.
The name of the trope comes from Homer’s Odyssey, where the crew of the ship eat lotuses that are so inviting that they never really experiences the desire to go home. Another prime example of this trope, and quite literal too, is Percy Jackson and the Olympians, where the movie references this trope in a Lotus Hotel and Casino, where the group needs to find something. They become trapped in it, not realizing that outside the casino, time is flying by. The trope is also mentioned in Inception when the characters go in search of a chemist and the main characters see many people dreaming in the basement. They are told that they escape into the dream world, and only wake up for a short while before they go under again.
Perhaps the cutest dream trope is Marshmallow Dream, where a character dreams of eating something, like a giant marshmallow, but when they wake up, they find themselves munching on a real world object. Sometimes, the object is completely eaten.
This trope is prevalent in anime, comics and western cartoons, such as with Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes. Garfield often dreams of eating lasagna or some other treat, when in reality, he is chewing on his blanket. With Calvin and Hobbes, Hobbes would often dream of chasing after squirrels, when he is in fact sparring with a pillow, or sometimes even Calvin.
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