Mr. Sandman, Dream Me a Dream
Production Number: 75009 [1986 - ABC Season One]

A yuppie-ish couple is having an argument over what they should be doing with the weather outside being so nice. The woman wants to go out to play tennis, but the man just wants to stay home and read comic books.

The woman gives up and leaves to go to the tennis court on her own, while the man continues to read. Moments later, a ghostly being comes out of the floor vent and puts the man to sleep with some kind of sparkling dust. As the woman is getting ready to go, she's attacked by something the camera doesn't show us.


Meanwhile, at Ghostbusters HQ, Peter has just woken up from a terrible night's sleep. He kept having a nightmare about a "weird old guy in a robe with glowing eyes". Ray tells him that whenever he has a nightmare, he should try telling himself that "it's only a dream", and then he'll be able to control the dream.


Janine receives a phone call and everyone takes off except Peter, but Slimer helps motivate him to go. They end up at the same yuppie couple's apartment from earlier, but everything is extremely quiet... too quiet.


When Peter opens the door, he's attacked by a monster that looks just like the one that was on the front of the young man's comic book. The proton beams make it vanish into thin air, and Peter discovers the comic book reader sound asleep, but floating several feet in midair above the floor.

Egon thinks he knows what's responsible for this weirdness, and has his suspicions confirmed when they look out the window and see even more bizarre stuff going on out there. Extraordinary spectacles, such as animals holding drag races, flying viking ships, and UFOs, are seen alongside sleeping people everywhere. Egon believes a Sandman, a creature that usually helps people fall asleep, is behind all of it.


Winston is skeptical to believe a Sandman could be real, but the evidence is mounting up... evidence that includes an hilarious scene of a mailman dreaming of a mailbox arguing with an envelope over where it gets sent, and a little boy dreaming of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man walking down the street.


Peter questions why a Sandman would want to do this, and the perpetrator responds to his inquiry by appearing on a building across the street to announce his plans. He explains that there are hundreds of Sandmen who help fulfill the world's need for sleep, but he is angry because no one is fulfilling the world's need for peace. He hates all the fighting and wars that go on in the human world and his solution is to make everyone sleep for 500 years so they can't fight. When the Ghostbusters fails to be amused by his ideas, he hurls a statue head at them in a fit of rage and vanishes.


When the Sandman reappears again, the ghostbusters attempt to capture him, but he's too fast and teleports away. Winston only succeeds in burning off the bottom part of his robes. This annoys the Sandman so badly, that he starts turning some of the "dreams" into "nightmares"...


...changing them from harmless creatures into monsters.


Somehow they manage to outrun the army of tanks, dinosaurs, knights, and other what-have-you by ducking into an alleyway. They decide that they need Ecto-1 if they're going to be able to get anywhere, but Peter indicates that there's something guarding it.


Yeah, there's a giant fucking rabbit blocking it. Ray is reluctant to attack it, but Egon assures him that it's not what it seems. Ray starts telling himself, "It's not really the Easter's not really the Easter Bunny"...


...and he zaps it away. Peter responds, "Besides, who needs Easter baskets, anyway?", to which Ray replies, "You said it really wasn't the Easter Bunny!" (Classic comedy gold right there.)


So, they get Ecto-1 back, but it won't start. Ray gets out to take a look under the hood, and you-know-who is under there.


Ray gets sleep dust blown in his face and succumbs to the Sandman's 500 year nap. He dreams of a giant pizza, which promptly falls on the car just as the rest of the Ghostbusters leap out of it to safety.


With Ecto-1 out of commission, they track the Sandman on foot with Egon's PKE Meter. The trail leads to a building guarded by a sleeping dragon. They attempt to sneak past the dragon, but it wakes up and they have to blast it anyway. (Yeah, that's not terribly important to the plot, but I'm mentioning it anyway as an excuse to show off how cool the dragon's design is.)


They split up inside the building. Peter goes to check an open door and he's caught offguard by the Sandman. Once the dust knocks him out, he dreams of winning a bunch of awards, such as the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Oscar. Now it's up to Winston and Egon alone.


After escaping to another alleyway, Egon says he's been thinking all day about what Ray said earlier in the episode - how if you tell yourself it's only a dream, you can control the dream. But then he gets a reading on the PKE Meter that leads them right to the Sandman. They attempt to catch him, but again he proves to be too fast for them.


Egon suddenly exclaims that he finally figured out what they need to do based on what Ray had said earlier. But just as he's about to explain it to Winston, the Sandman appears behind him in a window and puts him out. He dreams up Albert Einstein, of course.


Winston is alone and wonders what he can do to stop this. He believes he can't do anything because he's not a scientist like the others are. Einstein tells him that he doesn't need to be a scientist to solve a problem. He just has to try his best and use his mind, and he'll find a solution. Winston takes off running, thinking hard about what Ray and Egon had said.


And, it hits him! So he runs back to the firehouse to discuss a plan with Janine.


Within moments, the Sandman arrives at their front door. Winston and Janine attack him with the proton beams, but he continues to teleport to safety. Eventually, he appears behind Janine and knocks her out with the sleep dust.


Winston is now alone to face the Sandman. He makes one last attempt to reason with him, explaining that the whole reason people dream is so that they can try to make their dreams come true. How can they do that if they're all asleep for 500 years? But the Sandman will have none of that noise.


Just as the Sandman is about to get Winston with the sleep dust, Janine cries out in her sleep, "I'm a Ghostbuster!" And sure enough, her dream of being a Ghostbuster comes true, and she appears in full uniform with a proton pack behind the Sandman.


That finally gives them the element of surprise they need to catch the little bugger! Slimer pops out of a desk drawer and quickly tosses out a trap.


And the Sandman is history!


This breaks the sleeping spell on everyone, including the other ghostbusters.


Which results in a particularly hilarious predicament for Egon as he continues to argue with the now non-existent Albert Einstein over the Theory of Relativity in front of a group of onlookers.


Later at the Ghostbusters HQ, Janine explains how she was able to control her dream by telling herself over and over again, "I'm dreaming!" and making sure to dream she was a ghostbuster. Meawnhile, Winston takes a long-deserved nap. The end.

Notes & Trivia

People in this cartoon's world have some really bizarre dreams, that's for sure.

There are a lot of cool monster designs in this episode. It's too bad many of them are only on-screen for less than a minute.

Man, controlling your dreams is an extremely difficult thing to do, even if you prepare yourself ahead of time. It's a good thing Janine was able to pull it off on her first try.

Just me nerd-raging, but I find it kind of funny that the previous episode made a big deal about how the Boogieman is not a ghost, and yet the Sandman is...?

J. Michael Straczynski said he got the idea to write this episode after hearing the song, "Mr. Sandman, Dream Me a Dream" on the radio.

When the Envelope runs away from the Mailbox yelling, "Letters of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your stamps!", he is quoting a take on Karl Marx's, "Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains".

The Tahiti song "Mr. Sandman" plays just after they first meet the Sandman, and again during the part where he puts the radio DJ to sleep.

The radio DJ askes if the Sandman "works for Spielberg", meaning the famous movie director, Steven Spielberg.

The comic book that the yuppie guy is reading in the beginning has some rather... interesting... dialogue.

The ad on the back of the comic book is as equally hilarious.

Also, W-UGH FM. Wah, wah, wah.


Some of the nightmare monsters that chase the ghostbusters in this episode appear to be the same ones from the opening sequence.



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