Dream Season

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Tropes and genres
Related tropes/genresdenialfic, Fever Dream
See alsoPremonition
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Dream Season is a way for fans to eradicate what they feel to be a disappointing or upsetting season.


The prime-time soap Dallas did this in the 1985-1986 season. The character of Bobby had been killed off in a car accident at the end of the 1984-1985 season, a move that proved very unpopular with the viewers. Dallas scriptwriters created a storyline which featured Pam, his wife, waking up to find Bobby in the shower with the realization that the storylines of the preceding season, including the accident, were nothing more than a lengthy dream sequence. See Dallas Dream Season.

In its last episode, the medical drama St. Elsewhere (which ran for six seasons) implied that the entire series had been a dream season.[1]

A form of the dream season was utilized in the final season of Roseanne. This was retconned into the season being a book Roseanne wrote in the revival, with several potshots taken at that season's finale (particularly the death of Dan Conner).

The 80s sitcom Newhart ended with the entire show being a dream had by Bob Newhart's previous character from The Bob Newhart Show. To this day it's one of the most memorable finales in TV history, and was well received by the fans. (Or at least considered hilarious.)

A tragic example is Married With Children. When actress Katey Segal became pregnant, so did her character Peggy Bundy; however, Segal miscarried, so the pregnancy arc throughout the season was retconned into a dream Al had.

Archer may have broken the record for dream seasons, though, with three consecutive coma dream seasons in a row. The title character was shot way back in season 5 and has been in a coma since, embarking on a variety of fantastical adventures each time. The show has gained a bad rap among fans for this.


Beauty and the Beast (TV) fanworks often turn Catherine's death into either Catherine and/or Vincent's bad dream, thus ignoring the show's last one and a half seasons and the character Diana Bennett. See many issues of Tunneltalk. See The Beauty and the Beast War.

Voltron: Legendary Defender fans who hated the final season often employ this trope.



  1. ^ See Final Episode section of the "St. Elsewhere" page on Wikipedia. (Accessed 14 Feb 2012)