Imagine Spot

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
These girls know the routine.

Elliot: J.D., be sensitive. Don't act like you're at a ping pong match between a ninja and Bigfoot...
Dr. Kelso: (gives Elliot an odd look)
Elliot: I know that made no sense, but he's totally there now in his head.
(J.D.'s eyes dart back and forth)
Dr. Kelso: Would you look at that...

The combination of a Dream Sequence and a Gilligan Cut, usually no more than a few seconds long, and commonly bookended by a Fade to White. Alice yells at Bob, "What am I, your maid?!". Cut to Alice cleaning the house in a French Maid Outfit. Cut to Bob's face—he's clearly just imagined the role, and Alice has just slapped him to snap him out of his imagination trance.

May be used to show what would happen If I Were a Rich Man. A more mundane (and stealthy) version is the Daydream Surprise. Very frequent in commercials. If someone else can see, that's Imagine Spotting. Someone who does this a lot is a Mr. Imagination. If Bob's Imagine Spot causes him to lash out in anger at Alice over something that only happened in the Imagine Spot, we've seen an Indulgent Fantasy Segue.

If the Imagine Spot is a something the character is supposedly remembering, it may be a Crazy Memory. If it winds up being less fantastical than you'd expect, it's a Fantasy Twist.

Compare Separate Scene Storytelling.

Examples of Imagine Spot include:


  • A very popular trope with commercials, so much so that it could almost be considered an advertising trope as much as it is a comedy trope, with the idea being to either convey how much one's life would be better with the product/service or how easily obtainable it is. A recent commercial, for example, features an Imagine Spot with a middle-aged managerial type daydreaming about becoming president after he discovered the joys of microwaved gourmet pasta.
    • That particular commercial is somewhat of a subversion... it turns out that even in his fantasy, he's not the president.

Anime and Manga

  • Azumanga Daioh uses several imagine spots throughout the course of the series, many of which involve (unsurprisingly) Osaka.
  • In Bleach, Chad tries to remember what Ichigo's little sister Karin looks like. We end up with Squick as he sees Ichigo with a black wig, Karin's red hat, and lipstick.
  • Ouran High School Host Club has "Tamaki's Inner Mind Theatre", usually with Tamaki fantasizing about Haruhi.
    • Star Driver, from the same writer and director as the Ouran anime, has Wako doing almost exactly the same thing, complete with Ouran-style captions.
  • Similarly, Minami-ke's Hosaka gets really caught up in his fantasies, usually starring Haruka, to the point of acting them out. Everyone else thinks he's weird and a little sick in the head.
  • Pokémon's Meowth of Team Rocket has done this about Once an Episode since Hoenn, thinking about what Giovanni would do with the Pokémon of the day. More often than not, the imagery is pretty weird.
    • By weird, we mean everything from said Boss spontaneously performing a Super-Deformed Gene Kelly dance routine, to said Boss stripping to a Loin Cloth for almost no friggin' reason. It helps that said Boss is The Comically Serious, and the occasions with Meowth's accented voice filling in for what he imagines would be what Giovanni would say help even more.
    • What makes it even more imaginative is that the three are probably the most pathetic excuses for Team Rocket members ever seen on the show, and that Giovanni despises them with a passion.
    • Who's an even more Comically Serious than Giovanni? Why, Cyrus, of course. But that only serves to make this scene more hilarious, as the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure heroes ponder where he could have gone after the Spear Pillar.
    • There's also Connoiseusse Burgundy, who has one involving Cilan mocking her and her Oshawott in a particularly cruel manner while Pansage just cackles viciously. Considering what Cilan's really like, plus her recent evaluation of Ash's Pokemon in a negative light, it just shows how wacked out she really is.
  • In Digimon Tamers, Takato has one when he can't find his partner Guilmon, imagining Guilmon being shot to death by police.
  • Misaki in Wagaya no Oinari-sama. is prone to sudden and overthought fantasy sequences about Noboru, her crush. Usually these fantasy sequences involve Kuugen or Kou, his family's resident Pretty Freeloaders.
  • In the Ai Yori Aoshi manga, Mayu fantasizes about being an uh-MAZING cook so that Kaoru falls for her unconditionally. In reality, the complete opposite is true.
  • Used in a Code Geass sound episode where Shirley is imagining all kinds of insane things that could go wrong if she asks Lelouch out to a concert. It starts with him just saying that he will take his sister to the entire student council admitting their undying love for him, even Arthur. That's almost JD level weirdness.
    • Also used in the Picture Drama in which Sayoko first meets Suzaku when he comes over for tea with Lelouch and Nunally. She happens to overhear part of a conversation between Suzaku and Lelouch at the end and somehow interprets it to mean they are secretly in love... and her imagination runs away on her a little.
  • Unavoidable Lucky Star example: Hiyori would often falls into fantasies about portraying her classmates Yutaka and Minami as Schoolgirl Lesbians, but immediate cut short by chastising herself about thinking her friends that way. Said friends are clueless as to what she's freaking out over.
  • Onsokumaru of Ninin ga Shinobuden does these a lot, usually involving Fan Service images of Kaede and Shinobu, or of himself surrounded by women or doing something awesome.
  • Used several times in a row in an episode of Revolutionary Girl Utena, when Nanami is trying to embarrass Anthy (and win Miki's affection) by planting weird stuff in her room. She envisions each ploy going off without a hitch, only to have them fail because Anthy is already keeping weird stuff in her room. And Miki finds it cute.
  • Saitou Hajime of Rurouni Kenshin: Memetic Badass, Inspector Javert, The Comically Serious... and master of the Imagine Spot. He makes the "If Kaoru → Tanuki and Megumi → Fox, then Misao → Weasel" in one and images a broom shooing away a rooster when Chou and Sanosuke get into an argument.
  • Often used in Paradise Kiss. In one instance, Yukari pictures a Love Triangle as a Duel to the Death between Tokumori as a samurai and Arashi as a Lupin III pastiche, for the love of Miwako as a schoolgirl in Sailor Fuku. She notes it's only natural Arashi won, after all, he had a gun.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has quite a few, as well as a few Imagine Sketches from Haruna (or Nodoka's magic diary). In one notable instance, after Nodoka confesses to him, Negi imagines himself marrying her... without losing the Blank White Eyes he got from the revelation.
  • In Ichigo Mashimaro (the manga), while Nobue is filling out a job application for one of the "zillions of 7-Elevens" in the area, the other girls contemplate what sorts of jobs they would want to get. The question is posed to Matsuri, and Miu imagines Matsuri in a few different kinds of jobs, coming up with the conclusion that Matsuri is not employable. When they consider the job of handing out promotional tissues, Miu remarks that "Matsuri wasn't able to do it at all just now," and imagines herself in the position, sneaking them into people's pockets and bags even if they refuse, and offering entire boxes at once.
    • This also happens in the corresponding anime sequence, except with Miu imagining a single job for Matsuri and Ana (Matsuri as a sweet potato woman (like an ice cream woman, but with sweet potatoes) and Ana as a ball girl at a tennis court.) As for tissue pack marketing, Miu and Chika acted it out in real life with the same level of success as Matsuri.
  • In Macross Frontier, Luca's brain goes to town in not entirely worksafe ways when Sheryl casually declares Alto her slave. Makes you wonder what else goes on in his head, considering Sheryl obviously meant slave in the menial labor-drone sense.
  • Pretty much every character in Ranma ½ indulges in this regularly. If there are any other people in the room, they usually comment on the scene.
  • In Nightmare Inspector, Kairi spends a lot of his time fantasizing and daydreaming. We get to see a few of said fantasies, which are... strange, to say the least.
  • The characters in Eyeshield 21 do this sometimes. Usually they imagine themselves pulling of a spectacular play (in Monta's case, it's always followed with Mamori fussing happily over him).
  • In the second episode of Paranoia Agent, Yuichi has these more frequently (and they become more indulgent/fantastical) as things continually get worse for him.
  • Played with and played straight in the second episode of the Ah! My Goddess TV series—when Keiichi mulls over what wish of his Belldandy should grant, he first imagines life as a wealthy man, then Belldandy, who's reading his mind the entire time, says she would gladly "give him more money than he could hope to spend in his lifetime". Then Belldandy says she could also grant the wish of wanting to destroy the entire world, "although [she] would prefer to not do business with that type of client." Cue Keiichi imagining a giant explosion levelling a city, with him off to the side, laughing evilly, in a monocle, a wiry mustache, and what suspiciously looks like a Schutzstaffel uniform.
  • May Chang in Fullmetal Alchemist (manga and second anime) is prone to daydreaming about the Elrics (first Ed, then upon finding him insufficiently tall, Al) with copious Bishie Sparkle. Already funny, it becomes downright Hilarious in Hindsight when Monica Rial was cast as her English voice actress, leading to many Ouran High School Host Club jokes among fans.
  • Isaac and Miria of Baccano!! have a joint one (fitting, considering their ditzy duo status) complete with Art Shift when they speculate with horror on Jacuzzi's fate at the hands of the mythical Rail Tracer. Which, by the way, they visualize as a giant green worm with fangs.
  • Early on in the anime, Naruto fantasises about becoming Hokage and beating Sasuke.
  • Ayane's High Kick: We get to see one of these from Ayane when Kunimitsu makes a pitch to get her to join his dojo, declaring that she can become a champion. She sees herself in the middle of a ring with a pro-wrestling world title belt and a cheering crowd, unaware that Kunimitsu is actually referring to her becoming a champion kick-boxer.
  • Used so heavily in Brigadoon Marin and Melan that it's a bit confusing at first. Marin's imagination usually involves violent death.
  • In Soul Eater Not!, new student Tsugumi imagines herself surrounded by pretty boys at the academy, but she snaps out of her thoughts once she sees Black Star punching a guy in the face. She also imagines the aforementioned pretty boys all clamoring to be her partner, but instead finds herself being fought over by two female classmates.
  • Plica has several, though some of the other characters also get in on it.
  • Masamune of Gate 7 get lose in his own Imagine Spot of Catgirl Hana at the middle of a battle.
  • Happens Once Per Episode in Sword Oratoria while Lefiya is the Focal Character.
  • From the Impel Down arc of One Piece, Boa Hancock has one of a romantic wedding to Luffy - not exactly the right time for it, as Smoker and a battalion of Marines are after them!

Comic Books

  • Give Me Liberty has a few imagine spots that display the main character as a panther and the villian as a hunter.
  • One of the few almost totally lighthearted moments in Sin City happens when Dwight McCarthy imagines the recently deceased Jack Rafferty talking to him as a Deadpan Snarker. Emphasis on the dead part.

Fan Works

...Thus, logic stated that she had been captured by Keeper Mercury.
Eline dared opened her eyes. Keepers rarely healed their prisoners out of the goodness of their heart, in her experience, which meant that Mercury needed her strong enough to survive whatever tortures she had planned. A quick glance around revealed that she was alone in a barred cell, which was bare except for a bucket in the corner. The dark elf sat up silently, keeping her breathing even in order to avoid drawing attention, and tried to remember what she knew about the Keeper. Mercury's main claim to fame was defeating a horned reaper in single combat, even if Morrigan ranted often about how she had to have cheated. In Eline's head, the indistinct, blue-haired mental picture of the Keeper grew and gained bulging muscles, until it was nearly the equal of the reaper. What else did she know? Mercury had, according to rumours, had her way with the red-skinned beast against his will, which made her a terrifying and suicidal deviant. The red-eyed mental picture in the prisoner's mind gained a demented, lecherous grin. The Keeper's reported exhibitionist tendencies hardly mattered in comparison. Eline pinched the bridge of her nose as the brute in her imagination lost her clothes. Just great. She's basically a female clone of Morrigan.

  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, after Kyon phoned Yuki in chapter 13 he imagines her in her apartment, kneeling by the phone, her cheeks pink-tinged as she daydreamed about him... But he dismissed that thought. This was Yuki, after all. As much as he might wish that...
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic Progress, Princess Luna has increasingly bizarre daydreams about the various awkward situations in which she finds herself.
  • In Turnabout Storm, Phoenix has one of these before the trial starts when he wonders what would Edgeworth do if he was in his shoes (that is, stuck in Equestria), it's crazy hilarious.

"Doctor, I'd like the part of my brain responsible for that image lobotomized please..."

  • In With Strings Attached, during the New Zork chapter, Beagle John tells Ringo that the government is looking for the first “A-plus Plus” (i.e., someone with more than one magical Ability) and such a man will be milked for his sperm so all the women can be artificially inseminated. Ringo, who easily qualifies, pictures “himself hooked up to a sperm-pumping machine, surrounded by thousands of big-nosed, blue-eyed telekinetic kids.”
  • Calvin has a few in Calvin at Camp. Since it's directly based on Calvin and Hobbes, this is to be expected.
  • An occasionally used gag in the Japanese-language Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Fan Web Comic A's/StrikerS Nano. As they're employed on characters portrayed as having Unresolved Sexual Tension, the spots tend to be very heavily censored.

Films -- Animation

  • In Up, Carl just found out that Russell snuck aboard his house before liftoff and is passing over some buildings. Cue him trying to lower the kid down onto one with towels, the kid falling off, the mental image ending, and Carl deciding "Well, that won't work."

Films -- Live-Action

  • The archetype in film must be Walter Mitty.
  • In Slumdog Millionaire, when the adult Jamal finds his older brother Salim that pointed a gun at him, raped his Love Interest and disappeared for years with the girl, he runs against Salim and pushes themselves out of the building where they are, killing them both. Turns out that it was just his imagination. This time, when Salim approaches, he punches him in the face so hard that makes Salim fall to the ground.
    • Actually, that's more of a Daydream Surprise, as we're not entirely aware that he didn't do so until it's cut away.
  • In Mean Girls, Cady does it in the lunch room by thinking about how her dilemma would be solved in the animal world. In her spot she imagines tackling Regina George and wrestling with her as the other students howl and yell like monkeys.
    • Subverted when Regina George is hit by a moving bus and dies. Turns out she really did get hit by a moving bus, but only got sent to the hospital.
  • In Monster-in-Law, Jane Fonda imagines smashing Jennifer Lopez's face into a cake and later Lopez imagines whacking Fonda's with a pan. During both instances they put up a charade of liking each other.
  • In High Fidelity, Rob Gordon imagines three increasingly violent scenarios to get back at Ian 'Ray' Raymond for stealing his girlfriend when he arrives at Rob's record store: 1. Issuing a cutting insult that causes Ray to leave rather quickly 2. Attempting to attack Ray only to be held back by Dick and Barry, shouting and cursing at him, causing Ray to actually run out the door 3. Attacking Ray WITH Dick and Barry, landing enough punches to lay him out on the floor and make him bleed from the mouth, not only kicking him while he's down but ripping the A/C unit from the wall and bringing it down on his head. In actuality, Rob does and says nothing, only glaring at Ray as he speaks and casually walks out.
  • In Apollo 13, after they are too damaged to land on the moon and just getting back to Earth will be hard enough, flight commander Jim Lovell imagines himself touching down, leaving perfect tracks, running his fingers through the moon dust, and gazing at the distant Earth. He'd really wanted to be there.
  • In Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold imagines himself finally working up the nerve to flirt with his attractive neighbor Maria in the elevator. In actuality, he and Maria ride the elevator in awkward silence.
  • Happens several times in Girl Next Door.
  • The entirety of Next can fall under this due to its premise.
  • Amélie from Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain frequently lapses into this. One of the more extreme examples is that, if Nino couldn't assemble a torn-up photograph in time, he'd end up living in Tajikistan with only a goat for company—and Amélie refuses to go out with somebody that would wear a teacosy for a hat.
  • In Finding Neverland, James Barrie is prone to having these as fantastic overlays on the events that are actually happening, ranging from imagining rain in a theater to placing him and his companions on a pirate ship as they play pirates.
  • In Pulp Fiction, Jules imagines Bonnie's potential reaction to a coming home and finding "couple of gangster's in her kitchen doin' a bunch of gangster shit."
  • Used in Shaun of the Dead during a scene in which Shaun and Ed come up with increasingly truncated plans on how to rescue Shaun's mother.
  • Most of the music numbers in Chicago are fullblooded imagine spots of the heroine, who hopes to become a jazz dancer. There are even a few snapping-out-of-it moments, and the contrast between the reality and her jazz saturated daydreams is often underlined.
  • In the film Muay Thai Giant, Nathan Jones is trying to come up with ways to make money to repair the small restaurant he wrecked. One of the suggestions is becoming a stripper. The result... must be seen to be believed.
  • Several of the musical numbers in Anchors Aweigh.


  • Michael, the narrator of The Republic Of Trees is established as a notorious daydreamer in the first chapter. His visions in the book get quite bizarre ( such as Liberty from Delacroix' "Liberty leading the People" giving him a handjob )

Live-Action TV

  • This is probably the central comedic tool of Scrubs, which uses it to great effect. Usually J.D. does this, to the point where other characters Lampshade it increasingly as the series goes on, mentioning how one was really long, messing with him while he is in his head, triggering one on purpose to get him to zone out, and so on. Usually after his fantasy he says something that sounds completely weird if we weren't to be shown the Imagine Spot. And his propensity to do this is apparently infectious, as his friends occasionally indulge in it as well, though far less regularly.
    • Of course, during episodes where it isn't centered on J.D.'s this trope happens without the cut, so all we see is J.D. staring off into space and saying something weird.

"We're gonna need a lot of gnomes..."

  • Malcolm in the Middle frequently uses it.
  • iCarly: In iFind Lewbert's Lost Love Carly and Freddie have a synchronous daydream on how life in the Bushwell will be much better if the irate doorman Lewbert is "a happy man". Carly, Freddie and Lewbert dance around as balloons fall. Sam breaks them out of their over-the-top fantasy.
  • Ally McBeal and Teachers used it occasionally.
  • Andy Richter Controls the Universe used it as a central theme, often with voiceover commentary by Andy. Example: "I was thinking about what it would be like if I had wheels for feet. In case you were wondering, here's what it would look like!"
  • Possibly the funniest thirty seconds in five seasons of Angel involved Angel in episode 1.13, at a party, being asked if he wanted to dance. The ensuing Imagine Spot is brilliance.
    • Another hilarious imagine spot, in an Angel deleted scene, involved Wesley imagining himself and Fred starring in a ballet. The actress who played Fred was actually trained as a dancer, so Fred was pretty good. Wesley... not so much.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, on the other hand, managed to do the most depressing use of this trope ever when Joyce is rushed to the hospital and saved -- then cut to the paramedics declaring her dead from an aneurysm.
  • The early-90s HBO series Dream On used a variation on the Imagine Spot as its primary gimmick. But instead of segments featuring the Dream On cast, clips from old movies and TV shows were used for the Imagine Spots of its main character, Martin Tupper.
  • The Doctor Who episode "Love And Monsters" similarly had the main character flash to clips, including one of Elton John.
  • Farscape, episode "Scratch 'n Sniff", though some question exists as to whether they were Imagine Spots or flashbacks.
    • And just about any sequence with Harvey, the Scorpius neuro-clone. Harvey "lives" in Crichton's mind and the two regularly converse. Their conversations usually take place in Imagine Spots - some of them based on Crichton's memories and some of them not.
  • Common in Father Ted.
    • To the point where Dougal needed a chart to tell the difference between dreams and reality.
  • Played straight in nearly every episode of Son of the Beach, but subverted in one in which Notch Johnson was informed that one of his lifeguards once won a preteen breast size contest. Intrigued by what such a contest would be like, the Image Spot begins to take form, when suddenly the scene cuts to pornographer Larry Flynt saying that, while he is all for free speech, some things are just obscene. Afterwards, Notch clarified that he meant what those girls would look like now.
  • Wendy of The Middleman often drops into Imagine Spot sequences when people ask her questions she needs to answer, or when she has a "Eureka!" moment.
  • Used frequently in Corner Gas, to the extent that it's been described as "Seinfeld meets Family Guy in rural Canada."
  • Used a lot in Spaced, usually as pop-culture references or scenes from movies done with a fraction of the budget.
  • That '70s Show used a lot of these.
  • Dexter:
    • All the times his dead foster father Harry shows up to remind him of The Code count, as Dexter converses with him. In the sixth season, when a short arc in which Dexter's dead serial killer brother replaces his father in these Imagine Spots (and temporarily convinces Dexter to go Axe Crazy) is used to foreshadow the reveal that Edward James Olmos' Evil Mentor / Big Bad is really a figment of the real villain's Imagine Spots.
    • At the end of the Ice Truck Killer arc, where he's walking up to the office Hollywood style—red carpet walkway flanked with adoring fans.

"Hey Dex, way to take out the trash!"

    • One time he tried to imagine what Deb would do if he told her that he was a serial killer, with four hilarious conclusions. Namely, 1) her choking on a bite of food; 2) her pulling her gun and demanding he get down; 3) her breaking down in hysterical crying; and finally 4) her summarily blowing him away.
    • Dexter has just found out that Miguel Prado lied to him. He lets out "MIGUEL!!!" and throws the computer through his office's window, and then he's shown at the computer, and he walks out noticeably angry. It would have been Narm had Michael C. Hall not been as brilliant an actor as he is.
  • Subverted and/or Lampshaded in an episode of 30 Rock where Liz and Jack are discussing some of Tracy Jordan's more outrageous antics. Instead of cutting away with clips to illustrate them, however, the scene stays on Liz and Jack who have this exchange:

Liz: And I am thinking of some of them right now.
Jack: So am I.

  • Dead Like Me: George lets Mason take care of her dog. She then wonders if he's taking care of it properly or merely using it for some harebrained scheme. Like, say, attracting women, then sitting in a hot tub with the women and the dog. And then she forgets it never actually happened, so she scolds him for bringing her dog into a hot tub.
  • Australian TV series 30 Seconds has a slight variation on this; the main character, who works in commercials, sometimes has delusions that he's watching a commercial in real life. These seem to be superimposed over what's actually in front of his eyes rather than actual full Scrubs style daydreams. Also, they tend to have swear words.
  • The Stargate SG-1 episode "200" is basically built out of this trope, including memorable segments such as "Children of the Gods" done with marionettes, Teal'c as a private investigator, SG-1 cast with teenagers, and a Sam/Jack wedding with a nod to Jack/Daniel.
  • Used liberally in Mongrels, for example here at the 7-minute mark.
  • In the Leverage episode "The Scheherezade Job", Nate has a meeting with the woman who is blackmailing them. After telling him what he needs to know about their current mark, she explains that Nate messed up her date and offers to have dinner with him. Cue to Nate imagining a nice, romantic dinner with her, interrupted by one of her Mooks choking him with a garrote, while she is drinking wine. Nate makes up a lame excuse and, once she leaves, feels his neck uncomfortably.
  • In The Monkees this is Lampshaded and combined with Breaking the Fourth Wall in "Monstrous Monkee Mash" when the episode's villain intrudes on a fantasy scene that Micky and Davy are having. "Hey, what are you doing? This is our fantasy scene!"
  • Hustle "Conning the Artists". The team are being held prisoner by a katana-wielding Japanese man seeking revenge for one of their cons. Danny, realising that taking on the position of leader means that I Know Karate, gets to his feet and takes him on (including Bring It and Exploding Fishtanks) ending with Stacie throwing herself into his arms, praising his bravery and kissing him. Cut to Danny with puckered lips as he's curtly told to sit down by Katana man.
  • In Titus, we have Christopher's 'Negative Space', where he reflects upon events in his own mind, which can include flashbacks AND flashforwards. Subverted in 'The Trial' where Christopher insults the judge in the Negative Space, and is apparently heard by those in the courtroom.
  • This is the central trope of Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger, in which a Sentai team battles imaginary threats.


  • The music video to "Voices" by Disturbed has the subject imagining doing hostile or even violent things to the people who piss him off, with the voices trying to convince him that this is a good idea.

Newspaper Comics


  • In the musical Allegro, the Greek Chorus interrupts the awkward hoofing of a college dance to introduce a fantastic Dream Ballet which shows how the students feel they are dancing; this eventually ends and the dance continues as before. In a later montage sequence, the voices professors droning on through their lectures fade away as Joe sees Jenny dancing through his imagination; Joe's buddy Charlie gets his own Imagine Spot showing two girls starting to strip as a professor reads John Keats' poem "The Eve of St. Agnes."

Visual Novels

  • Ryo has a few of these in Brass Restoration, to amusing effect.
  • Kareha in SHUFFLE! has a tendency to go into these whenever thrilled about something possibly romantic. It unnerves the rest of the class, who refer to them as hallucinations. We never get to see what she is actually thinking at these times, perhaps for the best.
  • Fate/stay night: In the Unlimited Blade Works Scenario, Saber argues about sleeping with Shirou in his room due to his having been Brainwashed by Caster to go to her base the night before. Shirou stops himself from countering with his belief that Caster won't try it again after he imagines Saber berating him for being such a Wide-Eyed Idealist.
  • In Kanon, there's a rather... unique scene at lunch where Yuuichi is trying to imagine how Sayuri and Mai spend time together. Naturally, with the vastly different behavior and personality between them he finds it hard and eventually comes up with the idea that they're schoolgirl lesbians who then invite him to a threesome. Believe it or not, this is one of the times where Yuuichi refrains from speaking his mind.
  • Happens in Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai! a couple of times, such as when a joke choice involving Miyako is chosen.

Web Animation

  • Red vs. Blue: Recreation has an amusing scene in its first chapter when Sarge has a flashback to the events of Reconstruction. The scene is radically different in that Sarge kills Grif (natch), Simmons turns into a motorcycle and Sarge rides him (no, not like that) out of the base. Grif engages in some Imagine Spotting and calls him out.

Grif: That's not what happened.
Sarge: Of course it is!
Grif: Then how am I still alive?
Sarge: I ask myself that question every day. Moto-Simmons! Run him over.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Phineas and Ferb has Isabella of all people seemingly quite often breaking off into an Imagine Spot where she imagines Phineas as a centaur. It's just as weird as it sounds.
    • Specifically, he turns into a centaur and flies away with Isabella after suddenly having given her a dramatic declaration of love. Yeah.
    • Also one with Ferb, answering the question of how he managed to pick up the wrong blueprints by going into a brief fantasy about his meeting with Vanessa.
    • Candace had one in "Bowl-R-Ama Drama". Apparently, she believes that busting her brothers will result in her being allowed to use Dad's credit card ("You have our permission to ruin us financially.") and Jeremy proposing to her.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, when asked to try out for the football team with his friend Harry, Peter has a brief, absurdist fantasy of making touchdowns while in costume as Spider-Man, wearing a football helmet.
    • Pre-Doc Ock Otto Octavious has one of "taking care" of his abusive employer, Norman Osborn.
  • The second half of every single episode of Angela Anaconda is an Imagine Spot of Angela dreaming about disgracing her snooty rival Nanette Manoir, in steadily more ludicrous ways.
  • Stickin' Around is built from this.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer envisions what would happen if he used his new gun to rob Apu's store -- somehow, the logical outcome is that he becomes a Southern senator with a giant mansion and Marge dances the Monkey in a bikini.
    • Homer gets these very, very frequently, and they often devolve into bizarre tangents (such as a fantasy about meeting various junk food spokespersons ending in him accidentally killing a stand-in for Twinkie the Kid.) He also tends to comment on these fantasies in real life, as if the other characters have seen them as well (in the same example, the dream cut back to him chanting "Blood For Cream" in front of a bewildered Lisa.)
    • In one memorable instance, Homer combined this with the Smart Ball: Lisa suggested forming a brain trust, and Homer started to fantasize...about a group of intelligent people discussing the issue at hand. When the Imagine Spot ends, the rest of the family is staring at Homer, who responds "What? Can't I get one right for once?"
  • Mona the Vampire has a lot of this. There's a very clear visual effect to let you know when things are transferring between reality and imagination.
  • Little Elvis Jones and The Truckstoppers has at least one of these per episode, as Lil' Elvis speculates on who was responsible for his status as a Door Step Baby. (They went all the way up to "UFO" level.)
  • A Justice League Unlimited episode has an Evilutionary Biologist whose funding has been cut imagining himself taking out a laser gun and wildly shooting at the people responsible.
  • Doug might hold the record for most time per episode spent in fantasy sequences. Often these would feature lengthy trips to the comic-book universe Doug created around his Gary Stu superhero Quailman, whose outcomes ultimately led to Doug figuring out a solution to the problems in his own life.
    • By the end of the Disney run, they started abandoning the wrapper story altogether and just making whole episodes that were Quailman cartoons.
  • If Doug holds the record, Arthur is the contender.
  • Wrong on both counts. The real record holder is Muppet Babies.
  • Another mention, Rugrats, which has a large number of fantasy sequence episodes from being pirates to being superheroes.
  • This is a recurring theme in Birdz.
  • On Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable has one of these during "Ill Suited" when he figures out wearing Kim's battle-suit will make him awesome at football. Lampshaded seconds later when Monique asks how long he's had that goofy look on his face while imagining his victory.
  • Leslie McGroarty from The Itsy Bitsy Spider who had an overactive imagination of imagining things, such as Leslie flying through the clouds in the episode, "Sugar-Coated Spider. See here
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Several instances of Mrs. Puff doing so, at least one occurrence for several other characters.
  • In Jimmy Two-Shoes, after Jimmy predictably messes something up for Lucius, Samy worries about what he'll do to them...leading to them imagining a bunch of horrible (and amusing) punishments.
  • Family Guy employs these with some of their cutaway gags. In one episode, Peter pulls onto the runway staging area of the airport with his new truck. As he watches them fuel the planes, he fantasizes about filling his truck with jet fuel and then flying it through the sky to the theme to Top Gun.

Peter: Well, that's all the convincing I needed to actually do this!

  • Owen's song "Oh, My Izzy!" in Total Drama World Tour slips into this, since he was really too injured to dance and was thinking about all his times with Izzy during the song, complete with a crayon-drawn Art Shift.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic features this prominently in "The Ticket Master", with each of Twilight's friends imagining what they'd do if they could attend the Grand Galloping Gala: Applejack hopes to set up a stand and drum up business for her family's apple farm, Rainbow Dash wants to show off for the Wonderbolts, Rarity hopes to meet the stallion of her dreams, Fluttershy wants to see the royal gardens, and Pinkie Pie just wants to enjoy the festivities.
    • In "A Dog and Pony Show", after Rarity gets kidnapped by the Diamond Dogs, the rest of the girls have a spot where they imagine Rarity freaking out over her captivity in a filthy cell, then one with her being threatened by the Diamond Dogs. Later, Spike gets an imagine spot where he's a brave, muscular knight rushing to save Rarity (who is inexplicably dressed like a princess) and getting a Smooch of Victory.
    • In "A Friend In Deed", Pinkie Pie has one as she runs down her mental checklist of friend-making tasks. Apparently, Pinkie imagines in felt.
  • Bobby from Bobby's World would often go into one of these after he's misinterpreted something and he imagines what he thinks the thing might be or he imagines what he would do in a situation in a movie or book.
  • In the Bob's Burgers episode "Lobsterfest", all three of the kids have odd ones about how they envisioned eating lobster (a food their father forbids) the first time.Tina imagines doing so at her wedding (to Jimmy, her crush), Gene imagines himself as a rock star diving into a hot tob full of them, and Louise dreams of being served it as her last meal before being executed via electric chair - using its claws to murder the warden and executioner and then eat the rest as she escapes.