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
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.
Film - Animated
- 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.
Film - Live Action
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The video for Kikkoman Fight! features a cat remembering Kikkoman's help by envisioning his presence in the sky.
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.
You said it killer! And you can read more about it in the Bible!