Results are reported of a computational study investigating the responses of flat plate boundary layers and wakes to horizontal wave outer flows. Solutions are obtained for temporal, spatial, and traveling waves using Navier Stokes, boundary layer, and perturbation expansion equations. A wide range of parameters are considered for all the three waves. The results are presented in terms of Stokes-layer overshoots, phase leads (lags), and streaming. The response to the temporal wave showed all the previously reported features. The magnitude and nature of the response are small and simple such that it is essentially a small disturbance on the steady solution. Results are explainable in terms of one parameter ξ (the frequency of oscillation). For the spatial wave, the magnitude and the nature of the response are significantly increased and complex such that it cannot be considered simply a small disturbance on the without-wave solution. The results are explainable in terms of the two parameters λ −1 and x/λ (where λ is the wavelength). A clear asymmetry is observed in the wake response for the spatial wave. An examination of components of the perturbation expansion equations indicates that the asymmetry is a first-order effect due to nonlinear interaction between the steady and first-harmonic velocity components. For the traveling wave, the responses are more complex and an additional parameter, c (the wave speed), is required to explain the results. In general, for small wave speeds the results are similar to a spatial wave, whereas for higher wave speeds the response approaches the temporal wave response. The boundary layer and perturbation expansion solutions compares well with the Navier Stokes solution in their range of validity.