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A camera trick used at the end of an episode or movie, wherein the view pans up to the sky upon conclusion of a story arc. The characters usually look up along with the viewer, too, or are implied to.
The sky is a powerful symbol in itself. Here are just a few uses:
- Clear blue sky (white clouds optional) promises happiness and freedom, just the things you expect from a Happy Ending.
- Stormy, ominous sky, on the other hand, indicates that trouble is brewing.
- Sunrise sky stands for renovation and a new beginning.
- Sunset marks a conclusion and definite ending or death.
- Night sky with visible stars has a similar meaning to clear daytime sky with an additional touch of eternity.
- Shooting stars promise the fulfillment of wishes.
- Birds and airplanes stand for unreachable things but also, freedom.
Compare Grasp the Sun.
Anime & Manga
- This was one of many tropes mocked by Haruhi Suzumiya episode 00, with Kyon sarcastically commenting on the frequent panning up towards the sky.
- Cowboy Bebop does this for its finale, which was ambiguously either Bittersweet Ending or straight up Downer Ending.
- Both Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha As and Nanoha Striker S use the clear blue sky version, with the added touch of the show's title appearing in the sky like it does in the intro.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann does this to cap off the Distant Finale, showing Gurren Lagann spiralling of into the night, piercing the heavens still.
- Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood ends this way while Ed speaks his final monologue. It's then followed by a Where Are They Now? Epilogue Photo Montage for ending credits.
- Chirin no Suzu
- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World gives us the sky with a "Continue?" and countdown, evoking arcade games. At zero, the credits begin.
- Nashville ends with a pan to a blue sky.
- Most of the Harry Potter films end this way.
- The film of City of Ember ends with a bright blue morning sky, which is especially meaningful because the characters have spent their entire lives living in an underground city, never knowing there was anything different or that there was such a thing as the sun or sky.
- Easy A.
- In the end of Arthur C. Clarke's The Nine Billion Names of God, the protagonists look up at the sky and see the stars going out one by one.
Live Action TV
- This shot was used at the end of every episode of the original Twilight Zone.
- This is used in the final episode of The Fades, which functions as a Sequel Hook by showing that the sky has turned blood-red.
- Several endings of Tsukihime contain this (Akiha True, Hisui True, and Hisui Good, possibly others), as well as the Epilogue.
- The nighttime and shooting star  version of this is part of Mega Man Zero 4's ending.
- Wild Arms 1 ends in this manner, complete with all three protagonists looking up to the sky.
- The nighttime version of this is the final shot of Sonic the Hedgehog 2006's ending.
- The Golden Ending of The Reconstruction ends with the camera panning up into the night sky.
- The ending of Super Mario Galaxy 2 (first time only) ends with a shot of a blue comet streaking across the night sky. Further completions of the final Bowser level results in a green comet in the ending.
- The final episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender did this.
- G.I. Joe: The Movie ends with a pan up to the night sky as the last of Cobra-La's mutation spores burn up in the atmosphere.
- Toy Story 3 ends with a pan up to the blue sky, calling back to the first Toy Story film's opening with a shot of the sky, with clouds that look like those on the wallpaper in Andy's room.
- The Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats episode "Life Saver" ends this way.
- Recess: School's Out ends this way with a clear blue sky.
- The Princess and the Frog ends with a shot of the Evening Star and Ray the firefly, now a star himself in the night sky.