In most instances, delayed emergence from anesthesia is attributed to residual anesthetic or analgesic medications. However, delayed emergence can be secondary to unusual causes and present diagnostic dilemmas. Data from clinical studies is scarce and most available published material is comprised of case reports. In this review, we summarize and discuss less common and difficult to diagnose reasons for delayed emergence and present cases from our own experience or reference published case reports/case series. The goal is to draw attention to less common reasons for delayed emergence, identify patient populations that are potentially at risk and to help anesthesiologists identifying a possible cause why their patient is slow to wake up.