Created By: bhl88 on November 6, 2011 Last Edited By: rmctagg09 on August 27, 2016
Troped

Sky Face

When a character's face is shown in the sky.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Basically this is when a character's face is shown in the sky. This could be used in different ways. When a missed character is remembered, other characters might see their face in the sky.

This could also be used when a character is missing or absent and their friends worry about whether they are safe or not. A character might see a cloud formation and think it's a particular person and hallucinating that they see them in the sky. This can sometimes be a Floating Advice Reminder if the character that is in the sky gives some advice to the characters on the ground. The faces in the sky could also be from a mental projection from the characters on the ground.

This is not to be confused with The Face of the Sun or The Man in the Moon, when the sun or moon are anthropomorphized respectively. Anthropomorphized clouds don't count either.

Related to Died Happily Ever After, which is used when the clouds are used to represent dead characters and reassure their loved ones that despite being murdered by the villain, they are doing perfectly fine in Fluffy Cloud Heaven. Died Happily Ever After is more a related and overlapping trope than a subtrope, as it's not always the character's face on the sky that indicates a happy afterlife.

See also Floating Head Syndrome.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Kimba the White Lion: Kimba sees the stars in the night sky form the image of his dead mother, who speaks encouragement to him. Since Kimba was swimming many miles through the Atlantic Ocean, this might have been delirium.
  • At the end of the third Pokémon movie, Entei's face appears in the clouds in the sky.
  • Sometime after arriving in El-Hazard and finally accepting they're no longer on Earth, Makoto has one of his unrequited crush, Nanami, while wondering where she was and if she was safe. He promptly dismisses it, believing she was probably still safe at school. Wrong.
  • In Ranma ˝, Ryoga will often imagine Akane this way while lost and trying to find his way to Tokyo to see her, or while suffering bouts of depression due to his inability to confess his feelings for her.
  • At the end of the first season of Sailor Moon, Usagi sees her friends' faces in the sky after they're killed.
  • Conversed Mocked in Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga. Koji and Kentaro were discussing the elements of a successful Shōnen Genre manga. This trope was apparently one of them, and it must always happen at the ending with the main character's face after the final confrontation according to them.
  • In Persona 4: The Animation, the image of "King Moron" appears when Yosuke remembers him arranging a school trip before being murdered.
  • Happens near the beginning of 'Touhou side story manga Silent Sinner in Blue'', where the two MainCharacters Reimu and Marisa recalls the people they've met in their adventures. There's quite a lot of faces being shown.
  • This happens in Serial Experiments Lain Episode 06. Lain's face appears in the sky and freaks everyone out.
  • Kamichu! is about a schoolgirl who is a kami, for some reason. One episode involves her causing a tornado which has her face in it.

Comic Books
  • The comic adaptation of Shadows of the Empire that takes place just after A New Hope features Luke remembering Obi-Wan with his face in the sky.
  • Parodied in the Lobo story "Babykiller": After Lobo fights and kills his half-Czarnian daughter, her image appears in the sky, vowing that there'll be a next time and it'll be HIS image in the sky. (There wasn't).
  • The part in Scott Pilgrim 6 where Kim's face shows up magically from a distance in the final scene. It's signifying that she's in there in spirit, and it's sort of related.

Fan Fiction

Film - Animated
  • Treasure Planet ends with a shot of a nebula in the form of Long John Silver's face.
  • In The Lion King, Simba sees his deceased father's face in the night sky, telling him, "Remember who you are. You are my son, and the one true king."
  • Littlefoot sees his mother's silhouette in the clouds when he's wandering around alone in the original The Land Before Time. Not quite the same symbolism, as she's just been killed and her grieving son is seeing her shape in rocks and shadows too.

Film - Live Action
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, God's face appears in the sky to send King Arthur and his knights on a quest.
  • A scene in the first Superman movie where Superman flies through the air surrounded by sky faces.
  • At the end of Van Helsing, Anna's face appears in the sky, along with her brother's and hints of other people (presumably their ancestors, those "nine generations of the Valerious" the cardinal mentioned early in the film). This is a visual cue that the Valerious family souls have all been saved from Purgatory.

Literature
  • In Alan Garner's fantasy novel The Moon of Gomrath, the fallen hero Albanac is last seen in the sky. The stars rearrange themselves to show him outlined as a very clear constellation, riding off in the company of the Valkyrie-like Sisters of the Moon.
  • In Warrior Cats, when Firestar's going on his Quest, he sees his deceased mentor/leader Bluestar's face in the clouds, and she looks worried. This is right before Sandstorm goes missing in the flood.
  • In The Hunger Games a killed tribute is "honored" by having their face projected against the sky. Given the setting, this is likely deliberately invoking the trope.
  • Beasts of Gor: When the Kur Supervillain Lair explodes Tarl sees an image of Zarendargar in the sky. Done via technology in imitation of the Northern Lights.

Live-Action TV
  • In an episode of Black Sheep Squadron the young mechanic gets killed (during an air raid?) and at the end of the episode we see a still shot of him in the sky.

Newspaper Comics
  • Calvin and Hobbes: One episode has Calvin look at a cloud that forms into his head, and he sees to his shock that it's sticking its tongue out at him!

Toys
  • BIONICLE: Once Teridax takes over the Matoran Universe, the first sign of his control is rearranging the stars in the image of the Kraahkan, the Kanohi he wore.

Video Game
  • The opening of Super Smash Bros.: Melee shows Zelda's head in the sky above Sheik's.
  • In the ending to Mega Man 3, Proto Man's face can be seen in the sky.
  • This seems to be what happens at the end of the Sega Master System version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 if you don't collect the Chaos Emeralds and rescue Tails. If you do win, it's an image of Sonic and Tails together.
    • Sonic 2 (not for the Sega Genesis, but another one) had both Sonic's and Tail's face in the sky as the good ending (you also see both of them running), but in the bad end, only Sonic was running and only Tails' face was in the sky, suggesting that the little fox was dead.
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow's entire body is imposed over the earth. Tecnically an example.
  • Also in BlazBlue The Kaka see Bang's face in the sky in one of his endings.
  • Occurs in one character's ending in Twisted Metal 2. In Spectre's ending, he wishes for the whole world to see his face. Unfortunately for him, he leaves out the "how", which prompts Calypso to grant his wish by stretching his face across the entire sky.
  • Some villains like to do this as an Evil Overlooker effect outside of cover art.
    • The opening demo for Super Contra shows Red Falcon's face looming over a destroyed city.
    • The first chapter of Child of Light has the Queen of the Night's face floating in the storm clouds.

Web Comics
  • Angel Moxie: Happens to two characters at the end of the story.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja. At the end of the "DARE to Resist Ninja Drugs and Violence" arc, Doc explains to the readers that Frans Rayner's plan (to become the US President by killing the President) would have failed even without Doc's intervention.
    Dr. McNinja: You see, we were safe from Frans all along... Thanks to the real hero of this story... Ben Franklin. Thanks, Ben... wherever you are.
    [The face of Ben Franklin appears in the clouds. Doc's eyes grow wide with shock.]
    Ben Franklin's sky face: I didn't come up with those parts of the Constitution.

Web Original
  • The video for Kikkoman Fight! features a cat remembering Kikkoman's help by envisioning his presence in the sky.

Western Animation
KILLINGER
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts; his acts being seven ages.
MANHOWERS
You said it killer! And you can read more about it in the Bible!
Community Feedback Replies: 97
  • November 6, 2011
    JRoch
    The obvious example would be Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • November 6, 2011
    sceller
    The Lion King is another biggy.
  • November 6, 2011
    CaveCat
    At the end of the third Pokemon movie, Entei's face appears in the clouds in the sky.
  • November 6, 2011
    AP
  • November 6, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • November 7, 2011
    PaulA
    • A scene in the first Superman movie where Superman flies through the air surrounded by sky faces.
  • November 7, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    Spoofed at the end of the fight between Lobo and his daughter.
  • November 7, 2011
    TonyG
    Treasure Planet ends with a shot of a nebula in the form of Long John Silver's face.
  • November 7, 2011
    randomsurfer
    I've read that in the intro to Star Trek Deep Space Nine you can see Spock's face in the stars as an Easter Egg, but I've never been able to pick it out.
  • November 7, 2011
    bhl88
    It's different than a cloud formation showing someone's face.

    Kiritsugu, have I become a hero? *teeth flashes*

    Picture 1

    Santa... COME BACKKKKK

    Picture 2

    Edit: This post has been edited by Arivne to change picture URLs that were breaking YKTTW to links. Original poster was bhl88. bhl88, to put your name back on this post just edit it in any way, such as by deleting this paragraph.
  • November 7, 2011
    X2X
    This can also be present with a character mistaking a cloud formation for a particular person and then hallucinating that they're seeing them in the sky.
  • November 7, 2011
    cygnavamp
    • At the end of the first season of Sailor Moon, Usagi sees her friends' faces in the sky after they're killed.

    • In The Hunger Games a killed tribute is "honored" by having their face projected against the sky. (Deliberately invoked?)
  • November 7, 2011
    cityofmist
    Anna's face appears in the sky at the end of Van Helsing.
  • November 7, 2011
    fulltimeD
    @randomsurfer: Damn, now I'm gonna have to hit Youtube.
  • November 8, 2011
    Arivne
    lol I think Sky Face sounds so ugly... wonder what trope should I name this...

    Anyway another image:
    some caption text

    picture

    Edit: This post has been edited by Arivne to change a picture URL that was breaking YKTTW to a link. Original poster was bhl88. bhl88, to put your name back on this post just edit it in any way, such as by deleting this paragraph.
  • November 8, 2011
    randomsurfer
    bhl88: Don't hotlink images in ykttw, it breaks the formatting. Just link them like, some caption text
  • November 8, 2011
    cygnavamp
    Yeah! How can I give a hat when there's this big pic in the way?
  • November 8, 2011
    TechUnadept
    In the "B" movie Battle Beyond The Stars, the Big Bad Sador does this with a holoprojection of himself, as a method of communication, to tell the people of Akhir that he's claimed the planed.
  • November 8, 2011
    PaulA
    ^ Huge Holographic Head we have already.

    This trope is more about faces appearing in the sky as a visualisation of the person being remembered.
  • November 11, 2011
    PaulA
    And as such is sometimes related to Floating Advice Reminder.
  • November 11, 2011
    Medinoc
    The opening of Super Smash Bros: Melee shows Zelda's head in the sky above Sheik's.
  • November 11, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    In re the Van Helsing example, not only her face, but her brother's and hints of other people (presumably their ancestors, those "nine generations of the Valerious" the cardinal mentioned early in the film).
  • November 14, 2011
    GlennMagusHarvey
    We need a better description for this trope--a description that describes how such a feature is commonly used, so this isn't just a list of instances.

    Granted, instances of this are pretty much exclusive to media and never found in real life, but still, some information on intent or trends of usage ought to accompany the trope.

    --- As for an example:
    • Angel Moxie: Happens to two characters at the end of the story.
  • November 14, 2011
    PaulA
    ^ If you think it's important to describe how it happens, and not just list works in which it happens, you could start with your own example.
  • November 15, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    ^Yeah, that's why I sought to clarify the Van Helsing example. It's a visual cue that the Valerious family souls have all been saved from Purgatory.
  • November 15, 2011
    MiinU

    Anime

    • Sometime after arriving in El Hazard and finally accepting they're no longer on Earth, Makoto has one of his unrequited crush, Nanami, while wondering where she was and if she was safe. He promptly dismisses it, believing she was probably still at school selling box lunches.

    • In Ranma 1/2, Ryoga will often imagine Akane this way while lost and trying to find his way to Tokyo to see her, or while suffering bouts of depression due to his inability to confess his feelings for her.
  • November 15, 2011
    ChickInTheMoonlight
    What about Celestial Visage? It means the same thing, but sounds nicer.
  • November 15, 2011
    amyrose
    Is this as it specifically relates to like, a dead character? This happens at the end of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (8-bit), in the bad ending (if you didn't collect all the chaos emeralds). It doesn't show it, but it implies (I'm pretty sure) that you've failed to save Tails, and as Sonic is running through the land, he looks up into the night sky and sees Tails.

    It actually also happens in the good ending of that game, but in that case you did save Tails, and you see the faces of both Sonic and Tails up in the night sky.
  • November 15, 2011
    MiinU
    The OP should mention that it isn't used soley in rememberence of those who have died, as I've seen it used to express concern for missing persons, to suggest longing, and for both dramatic and/or omnious effect.
  • November 16, 2011
    Rytex
    Lion King. Mufasa's cloud ghost appartition.
  • November 20, 2011
    bhl88
    @amyrose: Oh... it's either like a character that died (or was blasted away/and escaped). And their face shows up in the sky.

    @Chick: Yeah it sounds better than Sky Face, which I hurriedly named.
  • November 22, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    @ Miin U I agree. It's as if the person on the ground is thinking of the person(s) seen in the sky, and their thoughts are projected onto the sky. The people they see may be dead (as in the Van Helsing and The Lion King examples) or simply missed/love objects/whatever.

    Seconding Celestial Visage.
  • November 22, 2011
    SharleeD
    • IIRC, Littlefoot sees his mother's silhouette in the clouds when he's wandering around alone in the original The Land Before Time. Not quite the same symbolism, as she's just been killed and her grieving son is seeing her shape in rocks and shadows too.

    Note that the description should probably exclude cartoony versions of clouds, the sun or moon, etc, that have faces because they're portrayed as anthropomorphized creatures, not just symbols.
  • November 24, 2011
    JackalopeChris
    Andross in the bad ending of Starfox 64
  • December 3, 2011
    Oreochan
    We are not going to get anywhere if the OP dosen't edit their draft and it appears that they've forgotten about this YKTTW.I will pm bhl88 to see if he/she still wants this draft.If he/she don't reply by late December or early January when this YKTTW becomes Up For Grabs. I will adopt it and try to write more description and add examples for it,so it can be launched.
  • December 4, 2011
    bhl88
    @Jackalope: It's actually a Good End. In the True End, where you fight against his True Form, there'll be none.

    In Carnival Phantasm, Ilya's castle, where Lancer died (and will always die), had an 8-bit Celestial Vistage.
  • December 4, 2011
    Oreochan
    Bh188 said that I can adopt this draft.I'll try to write a description tomorrow.
  • December 8, 2011
    SmashingMelons42
    • At the end of an episode of The Venture Brothers, the faces of Dr. Henry Killinger and Gen. Manhowers appear in the sky to say this:
    KILLINGER
    All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts; his acts being seven ages.
    MANHOWERS
    You said it killer! And you can read more about it in the Bible!
  • December 9, 2011
    morenohijazo
    The two first comments are still missing.
  • December 9, 2011
    Dawnwing
    Literature:

    • In Warrior Cats, when Firestar's going on his Quest, he sees his deceased mentor/leader Bluestar's face in the clouds, and she looks worried. This is right before Sandstorm goes missing in the flood.
  • December 10, 2011
    ArcadesSabboth
    There's some anime named Kami-Chuu about a schoolgirl who is a kami, for some reason. One episode involves her causing a tornado which has her face in it.
  • December 10, 2011
    Oreochan
    Should I change the name to Celestial Visage instead?
  • December 10, 2011
    Dawnwing
    Fanfiction (this is a valid category for trope examples, right?)
  • December 10, 2011
    MrInitialMan
    Sonic 2 (not for the Sega Genesis, but another one) had both Sonic's and Tail's face in the sky as the good ending (you also see both of them running), but in the bad end, only Sonic was running and only Tails' face was in the sky, suggesting that the little fox was dead.
  • December 12, 2011
    ScanVisor
    This isn't a trope? Sweet Jesus. I hat'd. Not sure if already said (read the draft and went straight to the Hat button.) but in Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow's entire body is imposed over the earth. Tecnically an example.
  • December 12, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    @ Dawnwing I've seen FanFic folders on other pages, so I don't see why not.

    As for a description, I think it might do to note that the faces might be mental projections (or visualizations of memories or thoughts) as in the case of the Superman example, or are meant to be "actual" depictions of souls as in Van Helsing.
  • December 16, 2011
    Ceekur
    Video game:

    Occurs in one character's ending in Twisted Metal 2. In Spectre's ending, he wishes for the whole world to see his face. Unfortunately for him, he leaves out the "how", which prompts Calypso to grant his wish by stretching his face across the entire sky.
  • December 16, 2011
    Earnest
    What's the difference between this and Died Happily Ever After?
  • December 16, 2011
    Glitchunter
    Don't forget Mewtwo in the end of Mewtwo returns.
  • December 18, 2011
    TiggersAreGreat
    Newspaper Comics

    • Calvin And Hobbes: One episode has Calvin look at a cloud that forms into his head, and he sees to his shock that it's sticking its tongue out at him!
  • January 8, 2012
    Oreochan
    ^^^ That seems to cover using it representing dead characters but not the whole trope. How about deleting those examples that belong or already on Died Happily Ever After and mention that those go there?
  • January 8, 2012
    JingleBells
    This happens in Serial Experiments Lain Episode 06. Lain's face appears in the sky and freaks everyone out.
  • January 8, 2012
    NicklePlatedStephen
    ^^There's no reason the same example can't rtepresent two different tropes.
  • January 8, 2012
    Oreochan
    But they are subtropes of each other, having them have the same examples could make this one look like a duplicate. But, maybe a few could go on both...
  • January 8, 2012
    Nora
    Does the part in Scott Pilgrim 6 where Kim's face shows up magically from a distance in the final scene count? It's signifying that she's in there in spirit, and it's sort of related. Also I'm not sure if the Hunger Games thing really is the same, since it's the same execution but a very different mood (and it's hella creepy).
  • January 8, 2012
    somerandomdude
  • January 8, 2012
    Oreochan
    I think that might work. What about the name of this trope? I think it can be easily mistaken for anthropomorphisms of the sky and am inclined to name it something else like Celestial Visage that suggested earlier.
  • January 9, 2012
    PaulA
    I'm not sure about that image suggestion. Taken by itself, it's not clear that Mufasa's in the sky.
  • January 9, 2012
    Oreochan
    I guess we have to look for something else then.
  • January 10, 2012
    somerandomdude
    This one is from the same scene but has Simba on the ground for reference.
  • January 12, 2012
    Beed28
    In the ending to Mega Man 3, Proto Man's face can be seen in the sky.
  • February 6, 2012
    Telcontar
    One of Kseniya Simonova's sand art videos does this beautifully, with the parents looking down on their son who has forgotten them. I am having trouble finding the right clip, though.
  • February 8, 2012
    KeithTyler
    The climax of Star Trek V. Technically Sybok's metaphysical alter-ego.

    The closing pan of the recent H 2 G 2 film (Douglas Adams' face on a planet).
  • February 8, 2012
    Wackd
    ^ That was the Heart of Gold transforming one more time before take-off, actually. You know, it does that thing...

  • February 8, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    As for the distinction between this and Died Happily Ever After, I'd say there's overlap between this and DHEA.

    FWIW I think the Van Helsing example isn't clouds per se, but rather faces of light against a backdrop of clouds. The importance of this distinction is up to you.
  • January 10, 2013
    MiinU
    bump.
  • January 10, 2013
    McKathlin
    To follow up on the second comment on this YKTTW, here's a writeup for the Lion King example:

    Film - Animated
    • In The Lion King, Simba sees his deceased father's face in the night sky, telling him, "Remember who you are. You are my son, and the one true king."
  • August 16, 2013
    Noah1
  • August 16, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    Parodied in the Lobo story "Babykiller": After Lobo fights and kills his half-Czarnian daughter, her image appears in the sky, vowing that there'll be a next time and it'll be HIS image in the sky. (There wasn't).

  • August 16, 2013
    CluLegacy
    What about Face In The Sky
  • August 16, 2013
    Larkmarn
    I made this: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=xunx0s0f0x31atzttk6c25gn

    Feel free to take my examples. Once you do I'll discard it.
  • August 17, 2013
    DAN004
    Floating Head Syndrome would be related I think?
  • January 10, 2014
    KZN02
    BIONICLE: Once Teridax takes over the Matoran Universe, the first sign of his control is rearranging the stars in the image of the Kraahkan, the Kanohi he wore.
  • January 10, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ See Handling Spoilers.

    Anime and Manga
    • Conversed/Mocked in Even A Monkey Can Draw Manga. Koji and Kentaro were discussing the elements of a successful Shonen Genre manga. This trope was apparently one of them, and it must always happen at the ending with the main character's face after the final confrontation according to them.
  • January 11, 2014
    Snicka
    Died Happily Ever After is more a related and overlapping trope than a subtrope, as it's not always the character's face on the sky that indicates a happy afterlife.
  • January 11, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    A possible page picture from The Simpsons.
  • January 11, 2014
    Snicka
    ^ Died Happily Ever After has practically the same page picture.
  • January 11, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Wow, okay, didn't remember that. That's a really weird page picture for that trope by the way...
  • January 11, 2014
    Snicka
    Monty Python And The Holy Grail is Zero Context Example at the moment.

  • January 14, 2014
    HellKillUsAll
    The Drawn Together episode "The Lemon-AIDS Walk" ends with Captain Hero looking up at the sky and seeing his dead friend Popeye.
    Hero: Who the hell is that asshole?
  • January 14, 2014
    DAN004
  • January 15, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    Examples overlapping with Died Happily Ever After should probably indicate that instead of ignoring. Also, hopefully Iwill remember to add the examples here to "Died Happily".
  • June 30, 2014
    DAN004
    Don't we already have this?
  • November 19, 2014
    eroock
    ^ You were probably thinking of either Died Happily Ever After or Seeing Their Spirit in the Sky
  • November 19, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump
  • November 21, 2014
    Patachou
    • Peanuts: One time Schulz had Charlie Brown hallucinating about the idea of seeing a baseball in the sky. He kept this going for weeks until Charlie finally got the courage to look at the sky. It turned out to be Alfred E. Neuman. [1]

    • Fantasia: Zeus and Hephaistos appears in the sky during the Pastorale segment.
  • January 5, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump
  • March 22, 2015
    Rikun
  • June 20, 2016
    DAN004
    Le bump
  • June 21, 2016
    BKelly95
    Real Life
    • In 2016, Vin Diesel released a photo of him holding up his daughter Pauline while the face of Vin's The Fast And The Furious co-star, the late Paul Walker, looks on from above. It should be noted that Pauline is named after Paul.
  • June 21, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    Throwing in another hat.

    Also, DAN, are you sponsoring this? The OP hasn't responded in five years.
  • June 21, 2016
    eroock
    Should be merged with Seeing Their Spirit in the Sky.
  • June 21, 2016
    Unicorndance
    Does it count if it's not a hallucination or daydream and the face really is in the sky due to magic?
  • June 21, 2016
    DAN004
    ^ it might count.
  • June 22, 2016
    BearyScary
    Fifty Two: Black Adam sees a vision of his murdered wife and brother-in-law telling him to avenge them when he murders his way across the fictional nation of Bialya looking for their killer.
  • June 22, 2016
    Morgenthaler
  • August 27, 2016
    StFan
    Latest MLP episode, "Dungeon & Discord", has Discord's face appearing in a cloud while in the RPG alternate reality.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=be31mwvxd6l2pngjlqo8gv0t