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An HBO original comedy made in the first half of The Nineties by the creators-to-be of Friends, Crane and Kaufman. The series was essentially a sex farce, detailing the life of a neurotic New Yorker trying to get laid in the wake of his divorce, his expectations of life addled by a childhood spent watching old TV.

The series used a variation on the Imagine Spot as its primary gimmick. Clips from old movies and TV shows were used for the Imagine Spots of its main character, Martin Tupper. Also, being on HBO, it got a lot racier than network television might imagine.

Tropes used in Dream On include:
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: In one episode, Martin is suffering from impotence. Trying to cure it, he goes to bed with a busty, blonde cheerleader, naked except for her short skirt and pom-poms. She does the "We got spirit, yes we do!" chant while straddling him. The fact that this doesn't make him "rise to the occasion" seems proof that his condition is really bad.
  • Always Someone Better: Martin Tupper's ex-wife Judith's new husband Richard was annoyingly perfect in every way.
  • Black Best Friend: Eddie Charles
  • Bowdlerise: The series, being basically a sex farce comedy, was cut pretty badly by this on Fox and in syndication.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Nice little sendup -- Martin has to give up coffee. Suddenly every one of the little film clips in his head is about....
  • The Ghost: Annoyingly perfect Richard.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Wait, when did Lenny turn Australian?
  • Imagine Spot
  • Incest Is Relative: In the episode "Theory of Relativity", Martin and his cousin Sarah (played by Helen "Supergirl" Slater) find themselves attracted to each other but unable to act upon it for most of the episode. When they finally find themselves alone and unable to be interrupted, their mutual passion fizzles out when they notice how much their feet resemble each other's.
  • Looking for Love In All the Wrong Places: Martin Tupper went through woman after woman in a effort to replace his true love, his ex-wife, Lilith. (It should be noted that many fans of the show found Martin and Lilith's final season reconciliation to be the show's Shark Jump moment.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Eddie Charles, is replaced by a different actor partway through the first series. This is explained away by having him get surgery to change his eyelids. So he gets a whole new face and several extra inches of height! However, everybody says that he doesn't look any different. Martin quips "A little younger maybe." Devillishly clever, these eyelid surgeons!
  • The Missus and the Ex: This happened in the episode Three Coins in the Dryer. Martin imagined all kinds of craziness about them viciously fighting each other. It turned out that they were indeed rather awkward and uncomfortable with each other, but perfectly nice to each other. Martin's ex-wife only reacted with a friendly detached amusement that they had so obviously been having sex.
  • The Other Darrin: The aforementioned magic face of Eddie.
  • Prima Donna Director / The Mean Brit: Sir Roland Moorecock (David Bowie) in "The Second Greatest Story Ever Told" -- he's nasty to everyone but is kowtowed to nonetheless. Martin ultimately tries to call him out on his nastiness only to discover that he's more than aware of how much he's resented -- he just doesn't care.
  • The Talk: Spoofed Martin steels himself to tell Jeremy The Facts Of Life and is hugely relieved when Jeremy says, "Dad, I know all this. We learned it at school." Martin smiles and relaxes, calmly asking if Jeremy has any questions. "Yeah, what's cunnilingus?" Cut to man falling from a building with a horrified scream.
    • Followed immediately by a series of equally direct questions, with similar clips as "responses".
      • Played straight(er) later by Martin talking to Jeremy about a completely different and wrapping up by saying it was "as awkward as bad sex".

  Jeremy: (looking stunned) Sex can be bad?!

  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?:In "The Second-Greatest Story Ever Told", Richard's life is becoming a Biopic. Martin falls in love with the woman playing Judith...and then she meets the man playing Richard...
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