The fun of fiction is that there are no rules. If you want a character to live in a world where chocolate is currency and the sun is constantly ruining the dollar index, go for it. It's no wonder than, that many creative minds dream up fun fixes for sleep across all mediums. Wouldn't it be great, they ask, to nod off in a special chamber and exit ten minutes later with the equivalent of eight hour of sleep logged? What about having a furry creature who can fling you into someone else's dreams? Why yes, yes it would. After digging through the cultural detritus, we came up with these seven items we'd love to have in real life. Because wouldn't it be great to learn an entire syllubus in your sleep?
As seen in: American Dad, “The Vacation Goo” Season 3, Episode 1
Working at the CIA gives Stan Smith access to more than a few bits of classified technology including time machines, cloning equipment and a nifty modification of a cryo-pod that allows users to experience vacations in their dreams. Needing some alone time, Stan sends his family into the hallucinatory chamber for a week while computer program plays the part of doting dad. The real Stan, meanwhile, spends it drinking and watching sports. Not a bad way to
As seen in: Judge Dredd, Multiple appearances since the comic book 2000 A.D.
In the dystopian future of Judge Dredd, be it the comics, the 1995 Sylvester Stallone travesty or the forgotten 2013 reboot, there are few things to be happy about. One, however, is that insomnia and sleeping disorders in general have been effectively cured. Case and point: Judge Dredd, being a justice monster who runs on protein and hatred of miscreants, needs just 10 minutes in one of these babies to get his rest.
As seen in: Futurama, “Game of Tones,” Season 7, Episode 23
At the end of one of Futurama’s more heart-wrenching later episodes, the galactically-renowned strategist and warrior Nibbler, seldom taken seriously on Earth because of his immense cuteness, reveals his most incredible power yet. After the hapless but lovable main character, Fry, helps Nibbler’s species recover a lost spaceship, Nibbler rewards him by projecting one of Fry’s mother’s dreams into Fry’s sleep, making him realize how missed he was and giving him much needed closure.
As seen in: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
In the computer-animated film version of the beloved fantasy video game, Dr. Aki Ross makes her last stand on Earth against an unbelievable alien power. One of her greatest strengths is the ability to record and replay her dreams, which tell of both destruction and incredible power. While few of us can claim to dream of walking on water as Ross does, a device that captures our REM reveries would be great just in case we want to relive that trip to Peter Luger’s with Zoe Kazan.
As seen in: The Venture Brothers, Multiple Episodes
Hank and Dean Venture, two Hardy Boy-types trapped in a Johnny Quest fever dream, have been guinea pigs for their father’s experiments since birth. Our favorite of their many covetable gadgets? Their “Learning Beds." Based on the idea of Hypnopaedia from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, the beds allows the boys learn while they’re asleep. School would be so much simpler.
As seen in: A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) (2001)
“Until you were born, robots didn't dream, robots didn't desire unless we told them what to want,” says Professor Hobby to his creation, David, in Stephen Spielberg's robotic Pinnochioan-tale, A.I. There are those who will say that once robots can dream on their own the human race’s time as masters of the planet will be swiftly on the heels of the first reverie, but we think having a window into the minds of the machines could very well be the thing that saves us when the robot apocalypse comes for us.
As seen in: The Simpsons, “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace,” Season 10, Episode 2
Unless you’re lucky enough to be a homeowner, the odds are better than good that there’s someone making a great deal of noise above you at all times. And what’s more, when you wake up in the middle of the night on account of those noises, you often feel a hankering for a midnight snack. The good news is that Dr. Frink of The Simpsons has already solved your problem. The bad news is that it’s fiction. Plus ants.