Created By: neoYTPism on April 3, 2011 Last Edited By: neoYTPism on January 9, 2015

Window Staring Moment

A character looking outside the window in a way reflecting on the tone of a moment.

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Page Type:
Trope
Jack: Lemon, that's actually MY thoughtful window staring spot. Visitors stare... gestures to other window over here.
Liz: sighs and stares thoughtfully out her window
Jack: sighs and stares thoughtfully out his window

Do We Have This One?? Oh, and I'm open to title suggestions. (That, and suggestions for how to improve the wording of the description, as I am still not quite sure how to describe this.)

It seems thatwhether one is in a building, or a vehicle, or whatever else, a good a way to convey a mood, is to show a character or group of characters looking through a window, such that the combination of window-staring pose with the visuals and music would help emphasize whether a theme is hopeful or hopeless, ashamed or proud, or whatever other contrast might be involved.

Sometimes associated with the Contemplative Boss.


EDIT: Also, I tentatively scrapped the categorization, although this does make the trope seem a little more vague. Input on whether or not to go back to it, and why, might be helpful.


Examples:

  • An example of the "defeated" variety would the in "The Old Man And Lisa" when Burns is at an old folks' place, and stares through the window at the place's lawn after losing his job because a bunch of Yes-Men were to cowardly to inform Burns that his business strategies were flawed. He eventually makes it back to the top, but had to hire Lisa in order to do so, for which in turn he had to give up some of his old evil habits, at least temporarily.
  • The ending to Star Wars:The Empire Strikes Back would be an example of a more hopeful variety.
  • An optimistic, proud, "look what we accomplished" kind of mood like that used in this Pearl Jam video.
  • The way Picard stared out his space-window on Star Trek.
  • Another variety would be in The Dark Knight, when mayor Garcia looks out the window while saying something to Dent, only for a corpse of (fake) Batman to slam into the window. (Not shown in video.)
  • In Friends, after Chandler and Joey realise how miserable they are no longer living together. Chandler is shown looking sadly out of a window with rain dripping down it, then Joey is, before the camera pulls back and shows that Joey is actually looking at a square glass fountain.
Community Feedback Replies: 37
  • April 4, 2011
    Yukinojo14
    chairs
  • April 4, 2011
    neoYTPism
    No @ Yukinojo

    This is about showing characters looking through windows as a way to convey a mood. This is more specific than People Sit On Chairs and should not be strawmanned as though it were equivalent.
  • April 5, 2011
    henke37
    Wasn't there something about one part in a conversation looking out and the other not?
  • April 5, 2011
    SKJAM
    Often seen in anime openings and closings; one that pops to mind is the Dragonball Z closing where Bulma wistfully looks out a window at the rain, a little good weather doll charm hanging nearby.
  • April 6, 2011
    neoYTPism
    ^^ Was it a YKTTW or a launched trope? @ henke37
  • April 8, 2011
    Generality
    As the picture shows, this goes hand-in-hand with the Reverse Arm Fold.
  • April 8, 2011
    neoYTPism
    ^ Well, sometimes.
  • April 8, 2011
    Generality
    Okay, but most common in variant 3.
  • April 8, 2011
    Speedball
    Picard always stared out his space-window on Star Trek.
  • April 8, 2011
    MC42
  • April 9, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The Marvel Comics miniseries Powerless is kinda-sorta about real world versions of Earth-616 heroes Wolverine, Spider Man, The Hulk, etc. and their relationship with their shrink. At the end, the psyciatrist they've all been talking to decides to shave his head. After he's done he stares out the window of his apartment, and we see a reflection of him as The Watcher.
  • April 9, 2011
    neoYTPism
    ^^^^ I actually associated it with variant 1; are you sure it tends to go with variant 3?
  • April 9, 2011
    Vree
    I'd say that this is actually three semi-related tropes (couldn't find existing ones for the first two):

    For 3,-It is compulsory for nearly every Mega Corp CEO to have their office at the top of a tower building with a window with a good view to the city as a demonstration that it is effectively theirs.

    This is used, A. for inviting guests to look at their "empire" - the accompanying words is usually "look out the window and tell me what you see", followed by the character explaining their philosophy and interpretation of the workings of the city, B. so that the character can stand in front of it when in deep thought. This can be used for variants 1 and 2 as well, but 3 is ALWAYS associated with the above.

    2- The characters staring ahead "beyond the horizon and at the future", typically Against The Setting Sun. In a regular setting they will be in the open, even better if they are also at the egde of a cliff or on the beach staring above the sea which also represents being At The Crossroads of life. 2 does not actually need a window unless the characters are in space, where the characters can only stare into the ocean of space instead.

    1, is a variant of the Mirror Monologue (betrayed by the character's reflection on the window). Obviously, any other reflection is betraying the character's focus as well.
  • April 11, 2011
    neoYTPism
    That you pointed out that type 3 can double as a type 1 or 2 shows that this should be kept as one big trope.

    Also, the first variety doesn't require reflection in a window. That's just a coincidence in page image choice.
  • April 12, 2011
    Generality
    ^^^ Let's just say that it has been known to occur with both.
  • April 12, 2011
    neoYTPism
    ^ Fair enough.
  • April 12, 2011
    0dd1
  • April 12, 2011
    HonoreDB
    • Thirty Rock:
      Jack: Lemon, that's actually MY thoughtful window staring spot. Visitors stare... gestures to other window over here.
      Liz: sighs and stares thoughtfully out her window
      Jack: sighs and stares thoughtfully out his window
  • April 12, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Not sure window-of-contemplation would fit all subcategories that could get added. The point is that it conveys a mood, not that it implies contemplation. @ 0dd1
  • April 19, 2011
    chihuahua0
    I think we should scrape the sub-types.
  • April 20, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Scrap, you mean? Why? chihuahua0
  • April 30, 2011
    MC42
    At this point I think the description should mention the various ways that staring into or out of a window is used without soft-splitting the examples. the Star Trek Deep Space Nine example, for instance, doesn't exactly fall under the three types but is still relevant since it reflected the tone of the episode (an identity crisis).

    Although I think staring out a window or into a mirror to convey contemplation in general should be part of this. It's a recurring pattern with its own narrative meaning which warrants entry.
  • May 1, 2011
    CaoCao
  • May 3, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Edited into the description, then.
  • May 4, 2011
    KyleJacobs
    The protagonist of Oldboy gets this during a brief Journey To The Center Of The Mind at the end of the movie that manages to fall under Type 1 and Type 2 at the same time.
  • May 6, 2011
    neoYTPism
    ... I doubt that's even possible, given the contrast between the two. The former is pessimistic, the latter is optimistic.

    Come to think of it, I guess that might reflect on how blurry the distinctions between categories are though...
  • May 9, 2011
    neoYTPism
    EDIT: Ignore this comment
  • May 14, 2011
    AFP
    Every once in a while, this trope can be exploited to demonstrate the amount of danger the characters are in, when someone staring out the window is unexpectedly shot by a sniper, possibly as an immediate pretext to a full-on assault.
  • May 15, 2011
    neoYTPism
    One thing that comes to mind is the mayor from The Dark Knight looking out the window while saying something to Dent, and suddenly seeing the corpse of a Batman wannabe smack into the window.
  • May 16, 2011
    KyleJacobs
    About the Oldboy thing: It will make sense if you watch it, but basically it takes place while the character is under hypnosis. Also, the real one is actually the reflection in the mirror.

    Can we have the categories back please?
  • May 17, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Name your specific reason please @ Kyle Jacobs
  • May 19, 2011
    cityofmist
    In Friends, after Chandler and Joey realise how miserable they are no longer living together. Chandler is shown looking sadly out of a window with rain dripping down it, then Joey is, before the camera pulls back and shows that Joey is actually looking at a square glass fountain.
  • May 19, 2011
    neoYTPism
    You mean the TV show? @ cityofmist
  • May 20, 2011
    cityofmist
    Yes.
  • May 20, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Got it, thanks.
  • January 8, 2015
    eroock
    Was it too close to Contemplative Boss, or why has this trope been abandoned?

    Film:
    • The closing scene of Fight Club, where the hero and his love interest hold hands as they watch the other corporate buildings crumble in front of their window.
  • January 9, 2015
    Critfail0
    You might even say that they're Reflecting on their Reflection. *is hit with the pun brick* This trope is a bit similar to Window Love, although Window Love has two people.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=np2jtzvjdv7596fv0qg16bh6