[[quoteright:358:[[ComicStrip/{{Scamp}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Scamp_Stars.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:358:[-Why pay ten cents when you can see stars for free?-] ]]

An animated character who has been stunned, usually by blunt head trauma, will display a "halo" of twittering birds or twinkling stars orbiting their head at or above eyebrow level. Sometimes it's just circles or whirls spinning around. This is a cartoon representation of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphene "seeing stars"]]. [[HardHead Upon recovery]], the character will usually brush them away with an impatient or brusque sweep of their hands.

It is not uncommon for circling stars to sound like birds (cuckoo is very commonly added, although it's usually the cuckoo clock variation instead of the realistic version), even if it makes no sense. Similarly, this trope often occurs in live-action instances with just the sound effects of birds.

Occasionally, more idiosyncratic "satellites" will circle the character, usually related to either their personality or the task they were trying to accomplish when they were stunned. Unrelated to CirclingVultures, which foretell a [[MarkedToDie rather worse fate]] than a mild concussion.

May also go with NonSequiturThud. Compare ConcussionsGetYouHigh. CatchingSomeZs is a similar visual effect for characters who went night-night the usual way.

An example of EditorialSynaesthesia.
!!Example subpages

* CirclingBirdies/{{Advertising}}
* CirclingBirdies/AnimeAndManga
* [[CirclingBirdies/AnimatedFilms Films Animation]]
* [[CirclingBirdies/LiveActionFilms Films Live-Action]]
* CirclingBirdies/LiveActionTV
* CirclingBirdies/{{Theater}}
* CirclingBirdies/VideoGames
* CirclingBirdies/WebComics
* CirclingBirdies/WebOriginal
* CirclingBirdies/WesternAnimation

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* This is a common gag in ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'':
** In ''Astérix and the Great Crossing'', a KO'd native American sees [[http://storage.canalblog.com/56/25/761447/58713706.jpg American stars.]] In the same book, another native American sees all the stars from the American flag.
** In another book, an Egyptian sees hieroglyphs of birds.
* ''ComicBook/ArchieComics'':
** ''Archie Comics'' will sometimes have Archie dazed after a fight, and seeing, not just basic birds, but rather specific ones, such as Red-Winged Blackbird or Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, twittering and circling his head.
** One instance has Dilton fall off a skateboard while listening to headphones, commenting on how the track suddenly sounds like birds chirping.
* Not actually shown, but Kate Kane mentions she's seeing these just after her girlfriend punches her out in a boxing match in ''ComicBook/BatwomanRebirth''.
* The ''Literature/WarriorCats'' graphic novels use BloodlessCarnage, in contrast to their [[FamilyUnfriendlyViolence violently heavy source]]. In ''A Clan in Need'' Sorrelpaw is supposed to be severely injured, but she doesn't look remotely injured. Not even her fur is messed up. The only sign of her being injured is her lethargic behavior and the stars circling around her head.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Examples from ''Fanfic/TheCalvinverse:
** In ''Fanfic/RetroChill'', Hobbes gets socked by [[EvilKnockoff Evil Calvin]] and sees "a bunch of stars, planets, tweety birds and somewhere in the deeper recesses of his brain, he heard a harp playing for no apparent reason."
** ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'':
*** Socrates sees stars, checkers, and [[Disney/{{Dumbo}} little pink elephants with umbrellas]] after getting thrown at a tree.
*** Hobbes later sees stars after bashing a cage containing Calvin's parents open.
* ''Fanfic/MyLittleMagesTheNightmaresReturn'': Fie-Doe sees birds after Roh-Ver beats him up at one point. Then he hits him again, and they change into stars.
* ''Fanfic/EarthAndSky'': Happens several times to the point of being a RunningGag. For instance, after Soarin' finally kicks [[{{Jerkass}} Shootin' Star's]] flanks, the latter sees miniature Soarins circling his head while hitting bells with sledgehammers.
* To put this straight, [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7974078/11/Carry-On-Blissey Chapter 11]] of ''Carry On, Blissey'', there is one part where Matron Blissey mentions imagining seeing stars around her head.
* During [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9971271/8/Olimar-s-Experiences-on-Guard-Duty Chapter 8]] of ''Olimar's Experiences on Guard Duty,'' Roy sees stars when Kirby 2 hits Roy with a tuna fish.

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** In the novel ''Discworld/MovingPictures'', one of the minor side-effects that the motion picture industry has on the Disc's flexible reality level is that tweeting birds appear over the head of a wizard with concussion.
** In the ''Science of Discworld'', Ridcully mentions a wizard who "died of planets" (which presumably orbited his head).
* In ''Search The Sky'', by Creator/FrederikPohl and Creator/CyrilKornbluth, there's a scene where Ross is made to TalkToTheFist.
-->He brought up a roundhouse right, and Ross saw the stars and heard the birdies.
* In ''Amelia Bedelia Digs In'', one of the ''Young Literature/AmeliaBedelia'' chapter books, Amelia's father bonks his head and says that he's seeing stars. Amelia Bedelia doesn't understand, so he explains "stars like in the cartoons."
-->'''Amelia''': So right this minute, little planets and chirping birds are circling your head?
-->'''Alice''': (''Amelia's friend'') Ouch! That must hurt.
-->'''Amelia's father''': Tell me about it.
-->'''Amelia''': She just did.

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* A cartoonized version of Music/CyndiLauper experiences these when she's thrown from a motorcycle during the animated sequence in "She Bop".
* Aaron Carter's music video for "That's How I Beat Shaq" uses bird sound effects near the end after Aaron's mother asks him whether he had hit his head.
* 2-D from ''Music/{{Gorillaz}}'' sees stars and a few other symbols circling his head twice after being violently shaken in the short [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQpvb2oc2B4 "Hey, Our Toys Have Arrived."]]
* Music/KatyPerry sees stars circling her head after a basketball bonks her in the head in her music video for "Swish Swish."

* The playfield for ''Pinball/TheChampionPub'' has these circling elements regarding K.Os.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* In the video "Cucumbers" by Weebl, a cucumber attacked by a panda has stars circling its head.
* ''WebVideo/TheAnnoyingOrange'': [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyXX1ltl94E Orange gets hit on the head by Cantaloupe,]] and has stars flying around his head. Then two cartoon-like birdies turn up complaining that the stars are stealing their jobs. Later, Midget Apple gets hit on the head as well, and the stars turn up again. But this time, the birds get ''really'' angry and start beating up the stars.
* Happens to Strong Bad at the end of the ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' animation "Marshmallow's Last Stand" as a result of him being tripped by Homestar for ripping up the star on his shirt after a fight. Homestar then takes one of the stars circling Strong Bad's head and places it on his own shirt.
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'':
** In the "Yellow" trailer, when Yang knocks Junior across the room with a punch, he has hearts circling his head.
** In the episode "Players and Pieces" when Jaune collides with Ruby, knocking her against a tree. However, wolves are used instead of birds (complete with barking sounds).
* ''WebAnimation/TF2Analysis'': In "Mission Unpossible", after falling down a shaft and leaving an ImpactSilhouette in the floor, a stunned WebAnimation/ILoveKimPossibleAlot sees circling... WesternAnimation/{{Kim Possible}}s.