A Happy Flashback is pretty much ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, a {{Flashback}} to a happy time in a character's past. Frequently they have a drastically different color palette from the rest of the film/tv show in keeping with most {{Flashback}}s. It'll be very bright, warm and colorful (possibly even supersaturated with color) or almost completely white from the brightness, or in simple [[DeliberatelyMonochrome sepia tones]] with blurriness added. Then again, it might be drawn in crayon to ''really'' invoke the "good old days" feel.

The Happy Flashback is often used as a mood counterpoint in a scene that is decidedly dark. It especially helps when the entire story is very sad or even [[{{Tragedy}} tragic]] because it provides a "breather" for the audience and helps avoid DarknessInducedAudienceApathy. It's similar to comic relief, with the benefit of adding BackStory and helping to breathe some [[HopeSpot hope]] back into a character or plot. The emotional counterpoint is especially useful for storytellers since it serves to show that the character(s) aren't walking bags of {{Angst}}, they ''can'' feel other emotions and the pain they feel now is all the more keen because they once were happy.

Point in fact, the Happy Flashback is almost a necessity for the TroubledBackstoryFlashback to work as well as it does; transitioning from a SugarBowl into a SugarApocalypse.

Compare HappyPlace and HappierHomeMovie.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' Soi Fon has one of these, during her fight with her sempai/possible love interest, Yoruichi. During their time together, we see a younger, happier Soi Fon. At least, she was until Yoruichi betrayed her trust and devotion when she ran off with [[spoiler: Urahara Kisuke]]. Soi Fon swore vengence for this, leading to the person that earned her the FanNickname "Captain Bitch-Ninja".
* This happens ''twice'' in ''ChronoCrusade'', both times leading into a TroubledBackstoryFlashback. Early in the series there's a flashback that shows Rosette's childhood with her brother, Joshua, as well-taken care of orphans who spend their days picnicking and playing before Joshua is kidnapped by the BigBad. The second time it happens is when Chrono flashes back to when he met [[spoiler:Mary Magdalene, whom he fell in love with but accidentally killed when he made a contract with her after he betrayed Aion.]] In the manga version, Rosette even wonders to herself if Chrono attempts to go back to those happy memories in his dreams.
* The ''SaintBeast'' [=OVAs=] as a whole are meant to be this, although they are tinged with hints of [[CallForward darker things to come]].
* GundamSEEDDestiny dedicates an episode to establishing Shinn's carefree civilian life in Orb and how he really wasn't interested in politics and war, featuring one of these...followed immediately with the Battle of Orb.
* ''WebComic/AxisPowersHetalia'' has a one of these in another flashback. The viewer briefly gets a glimpse of America's childhood, with England taking the younger nation's hand and them going home together. It serves to contrast [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution the current situation]] with how happy they used to be.

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[[folder: Comics ]]

* In the [[ComicBook/RobinSeries Red Robin]]/[[ComicBook/{{Batgirl 2009}} Batgirl Collision]] crossover, Red Robin gets a couple of himself and Batgirl. Just as an assassin named Prudence, who's life he saved, and who he neglected to immediately incapacitate, is pointing a gun at Batgirl's head and saying she was ordered to kill her. The flashbacks include a nice one with a pink background of him and Stephanie kissing, and Tim blaming himself for getting someone else killed.
** Of course, Bat-Steph then proceeds to hand Prudence her ass, so the tragic contrast is subverted two seconds later.

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[[folder: Fan Works ]]

* * In FanFic/{{Mutant}}, this is combined with FlashBackEcho to wrench all the pain she feels out for the reader.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* This happens twice in ''Film/BatmanBegins,'' with Bruce Wayne reflecting on times with his father in at least two separate scenes from the movie. [[spoiler:The first is long before Bruce takes on the Batman identity, when he is planning to take revenge against the murderer of his parents. The second is after the climax of the movie, in the second-last scene of it. This is done to contrast the attitude Bruce had at the former time with that he had at the latter time.]] The first leads into a TroubledBackstoryFlashback.
* In ''Film/{{Pandorum}}'', Bower has happy flashbacks to his life with his wife back on Earth. Subverted when it turns out that [[spoiler: she left him and stayed on Earth which disappeared.]]
* ''Film/TheRoad'' contains a few flashbacks to the pre-apocalyptic family life of the protagonists.
* [[color:red:(Please confirm)]] Happens in ''Film/ShutterIsland.'' Some of the flashbacks have a more surreal, symbolic value and far from all of them are happy (but some are).
* Jill Tuck has one in ''[[{{Saw}} Saw: The Final Chapter]]''
* In ''Film/TheGodfather'':
** ''Part II'' ends with a somewhat happy scene showing the Corleone family sitting around the dinner table, as Michael tells them he is joining the Marine Corps and going off to fight in World War II. This represents the end of the happier, together times in the Corleone family's life, and Michael's transition to the lonely, ruthless man we see him as at the end. This is counterpointed by the final shot of Michael sitting alone in the Lake Tahoe compound.
** The final scene of the saga is preceded by a montage reprising Michael's happy moments with the women of his life.
* ''Film/ShallowGrave'' ends with [[spoiler:one flatmate dead, another stabbed and uncertain about his fate and a third discovering they've been cheated out of the loot]]. Cue ''Happy Heart'' rolling over a repeated sequence of the three flatmates earlier in the movie, laughing and hugging. [[TearJerker Wham]].
* In ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', 1973 Charles briefly reminisces about the first time he met Raven, which was a much happier and more innocent period of his life than his current state of abject misery and self-destruction. One notable difference between his memory of the event and what we saw in ''First Class'' is that Charles as a kid never said, "And that's a promise" right after he told Raven that she would never have to steal again.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{Firestarter}}'' this happens when the protagonist suddenly discovers the dead body of his wife. The feel of emotional pain is in contrast with the memories of their happy life together which start popping up in his mind at that moment.
* ''ASongOfIceAndFire'' is rife with these, especially with regards to the Stark family. Very often a TearJerker.
--> '''Sansa''': "She had last seen snow the day she’d left Winterfell. That was a lighter fall than this, she remembered. Robb had melting flakes in his hair when he hugged me, and the snowball Arya tried to make kept coming apart in her hands. It hurt to remember how happy she had been that morning."
* ''Series/NeverWipeTearsWithoutGloves'' frequently flashes back to moments from Rasmus' and Benjamin's childhoods, often playing in contrast to the tragic things that are happening to them in the present.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In ''{{Smallville}}'', ''Abyss'', Chloe starts to forget everything due to Brainiac's interference. She is rushed to a hospital in which the doctor tells her to focus on her happiest memories while they scan her brain. [[spoiler:They are ''all'' intimate moments with Clark. Including their FirstKiss. ''Aww''.]]
* ''Series/{{Jericho}},'' in a decidedly dark episode about a [[spoiler:war with nearby town New Bern]], has multiple flashbacks from Jake to the day of his brother's wedding.
* In ''Series/{{Monk}},'' all of his flashbacks with his wife Trudy. Averted with his childhood memories, which are awful.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer,'' used extremely effectively in season 7 by going back to a scene we didn't see from the beloved MusicalEpisode from the previous season.
* In ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode "Piper Maru", Scully is grieving for her murdered sister Melissa. Coincidentally, she goes to visit her old father's colleague at the naval station where the Scullys used to live. At one moment as she's driving, she sees kids playing outside, especially two girls playing hopscotch. She flashes back and she sees herself and her sister playing the same game.
* In ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' episode "Déja Vu All Over Again" we see Watson's life before she met Franchise/SherlockHolmes. She is happy, laughing and hanging out with her friends. When the scene moves to current time, we see her breaking into cars with Alfredo. {{Subverted}} in that overall, Watson actually enjoys working with Holmes.
* ''Series/NeverWipeTearsWithoutGloves'' frequently flashes back to moments from Rasmus' and Benjamin's childhoods, often playing in contrast to the tragic things that are happening to them in the present.
* ''Series/{{Rome}}''. Vorenus is having a dream where he's sharing a loving moment in bed with his (deceased) wife Niobe. Suddenly Niobe starts shouting in a foreign language and he wakes up in the squalid room of a bald Egyptian prostitute.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance]]'', Ike remembers [[spoiler: sparring with his dad]].

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[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In ''Webcomic/BlueYonder'', Jared remembers fighting as part of the family team, and also incidents from his childhood.
* It happens during [[http://www.goblinscomic.org/10302006/ Fumbles's torture scene]] in ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'', when he thinks back to the beginning of his adventures.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'': "Simon and Marcy" is basically an episode-long version of this for [[spoiler: Marceline and Ice King, [[LossOfIdentity though of course he doesn't know it.]]]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons,'' Bart and Lisa are on opposing hockey teams. While staring each other down during an overtime shootout, they each have one of these, remembering good times when they were ''friends,'' and not just siblings. [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming They end up hugging and skating off the rink arm-in-arm]], [[MoodWhiplash causing a riot in the stands]].
* Used to great effect in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': brief still images appear of Iroh playing with children, accompanied by happy laughter, as Zuko wanders through his family's abandoned house.
* Used in a ''HouseOfMouse'' episode when Pluto has a dilemma on whether or not to save Figaro and has flashbacks of them playing with each other.
* ''WesternAnimation/RandyCunninghamNinthGradeNinja'': The Sorcerer had this in ''Stank'd to the Future'' to the 1985. [[spoiler: It just showed him sitting annoyed in his prison, as a different rat did the moon walk.]]
** Hannibal [=McFist=] had one in ''[=McOne=] Armed and Dangerous''. [[spoiler:It was similar to the one Anton Ego had in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ratatouille}}'']].
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