They were all just dreams!

How many instances can we come up with, including all possible variations, on that old deus ex machina warhorse - “It was all just a dream” ??

  • Wizard of Oz (most famous

  • Dallas: the ‘return’ of Bobby Ewing (most infamous)

  • Newhart finale (funniest)

  • Monty Python’s Flying Circus - In the only instance of this series to feature an episode-long ‘plot’ (such was the case), Michael Palin is being held prisoner in the U.S.S.R. and will be executed at dawn. In his prison cell, he dozes off, cue wavy ‘dream sequence’ dissolve, and…he finds himself back in his home in merry old England with his mother (Eric Idle) bringing him a drink. Palin exclaims: “Mother! I’m home. It was all just a dream!” Idle / mother chuckles and relates: On no, son. This is the dream. In reality, you’re still in a jail cell. Cue wavy ‘dream sequence’ dissolve, and…Palin wakes up in the cell.

  • “Occurance at Owl Creek” - civil war soldier imagines that he escapes his hanging by yankee troops.

What are some others?

George Romero’s Day of the Dead where it happens twice:[ul]
[li]Sara sees her boyfriend’s entrails spill out onto the floor, then wakes up;[/li][li]At the end, one of the zombies grabs her, and then she awakens on the desert island.[/li][/ul]

Only the movie, not the book. But Lewis Carroll’s Alice books used it.

Didn’t Married… With Children use this to explain away Peggy’s pregnancy after Katey Sagal had a miscarriage?

Sophie’s World? And two levels to boot! Not a dream in the exact sense, but the story takes place inside the creative mind of an author, who is inside the creative mind of THE author.

Recycled from Fiction that strains, but does not break the fourth wall.. Sure, so it incredibly minor, compared to Oz, or Dynasty, but is still an example of “It was all a dream!”

a storyline in an online comic,Savvie and Lacey , (about a cute couple, (who just so happen to be women, and are into S&M)here is a summary:
Warning: This summary contains noting offensive, besides the suggestion that two women can be happy together, but if you would like to read the comics, rather than a summary,click here.

[spoiler]The storyline starts out with the blonde one, Lacey, getting drunk on May 5th, Cinco de Miyo, which is also Web-Comic Awareness Day. Previously, I was aware that the dark-haired one, Savvie, was a webcomic fan, but I never figured she was aware of her own webcomic. I soon realized she was, when she asks Lacey her full name, and finds out it is Mikki Price. She states aloud that if she had just realized, she could have named the comic S&M, instead of S&L. Lacey does not believe that they are just characters in a comic strip, and despite her ability to look outside the panels, through the fourth wall, she continues to deny the obvious.
L: “That can’t be right. He’s not even real!”
S: “Why do you say that?”
L: “He doesn’t have outlines!”
Savie just get a bemused look, and returns to drinking her coffee.

Lacey then precedes to refer to Star Trek, make demands of the artist, press against her side of the computer monitor, and tug at the panel divider, before she reaches a crescendo of panic and wakes up. She wonders to kitchen, where she finds her Savvie. Lacey asks her for her own names, despite the fact she knows full well what it is. The dream sequences does not start again, since she is now in “reality”, but as this storyline ends, Savvie gives the viewer a knowing glance, which goes unnoticed by Lacey.[/spoiler]

Sphere. One of the worst examples ever, frankly.

Also, the device is used to good effect in Final Destination and FD2, though the stories in both are basically about what happens after the dreamer wakes up.

The dream story to end all dream stories - Ursula K. LeGuin’s Lathe of Heaven.

Mulholland Drive

It’s not the whole movie, but…

In “An American Werewolf in London,” there’s a funny scene where the protagonist wakes up in his hospital room after an awful dream about the brutal murder of his family by a bunch of Nazi-wolf-monsters.

A beautiful nurse comes in, talks briefly with him, and pulls open the curtains to let in sunshine. A monster just like those in his dream jumps out, and stabs the nurse to death. The protagonist then wakes up AGAIN, and the nurse comes in and talks to him just as before.

Henry James’s “The Great Good Place.” IIRC (I’m not going to read James again; like Steve Brody, I did it wunst), the point was that a place so good could only be a dream.

John Varley did it in a story of his – it may have been called “Equinoctal.”

There were a couple of others in the final season (after Cleese left) with a loose overarching story: “Mr. Neutron,” “The Golden Age of Ballooning,” and, to some degree, “Michael Ellis.”

There’s also Sandman #1, “Sleep of the Just.”

The broadcast version of Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness makes the entire movie into a dream- apparently, none of it really happened.

Under the Rainbow with Chevy Chase and Carrie Fisher.

Does anyone else remember the comic strip “Steve Canyon”? Every so often a new adventure would start with a panel that said “Steve is Dreaming,” and cartoonist Milt Caniff would then be free to spew forth any ridiculous illogical plot he wanted. It was so annoying that I stopped reading the strip altogether.

Come to think of it, Mattel needs to have Barbie, and her now ex-boyfriend Ken to be boyfriend and girlfriend, not husband and wife. Thus, according to some book I read about reclaiming barbie for feminists, all the wedding dress barbies are not called “Wedding Day Barbie”, but instead something like “Wedding Dream Barbie”

I seem to recall a “Young Ones” episode that used a variation on this theme. Haven’t seen it in ages, though, so I might be mis-remembering.


The “gotcha” moment at the end of the movie version of Carrie.

The “Year of Hell” 2-parter on Voyager. Not a dream, per se, but it didn’t “really” happen.

Yeah - what was that one? It was Neil’s dream, if I recall correctly …

You know, I love bringing up one particular example, involving most Tv shows, when this kinda thing rolls around, but this time, I will not post it the second I think of it, but instead wait for someone else to remember it.