[[quoteright:300:[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GandolfWhite_6662.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300: '''''Pray''''' Gandalf doesn't get any [[IdeaBulb bright]] [[{{Pun}} ideas.]]]]

A character is lit from behind by a blinding light, usually making the figure rather indistinct. Makes for a dramatic appearance, and seems like [[WhatWouldXDo something Jesus would do]]. [[FauxSymbolism What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?]] Remember, PowerGlows. This is what a HolyHalo is ''supposed'' to represent.

Very nearly all {{Messianic Archetype}}s will sport one of these at some point, but conversely, not all heroes who sport one of these is a MessianicArchetype; sometimes it's just there because [[RuleOfCool it looks cool]]. See also BackgroundHalo.

----
!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* Parodied in ''{{Slayers}}'' when Amelia [[IHaveTheHighGround stands serenely atop a pillar]] looking out to the sea while in the unexplored (by the magical part) {{Muggle}} part of the world. While the Muggles below look horrified at a small girl standing at a high location thinking she'll fall, this turns to shock when the see her [[{{Flight}} fly down]] with the sun's rays behind her, and assume she's an angel. Being the LoveFreak that she is, she uses this to convert them to the way of justice.
* Parodied in ''ShugoChara'', where Amu makes a dramatic entrance in her Amulet Angel form. Turns out the backlighting is provided by Ran, Miki, and Suu operating floodlights behind her.
* Parodied in ''SchoolRumble'' during Harima's hermit/god phase, when he also displays a FriendToAllLivingThings persona.
* ''Manga/HidamariSketch'': After mentioning how Yuno ("Juno") ([[labelnote:Note for English speakers]]In most European languages the J in "Juno" pronounced like an English "Y".[[/labelnote]]) is the goddess of marriages, Miyako has Yuno stand in front of the glass door to show off her divine power. Behold the power of backlighting...
* Shows up in ''Anime/KillLaKill'' whenever [[BigBad Satsuki]] shows up; LightIsNotGood.
** [[BiggerBad Her mother Ragyo]] takes this a step further, with a ''rainbow'' HolyBacklight. Unfortunately, LightIsNotGood is still very much in effect.
*** And then, when [[spoiler: [[DragonWithAnAgenda Satsuki]] turns on her mother]], the two take turns making speeches preaching their [[CallingTheOldManOut own]] [[HannibalLecture respective]] [[KirkSummation philosophies,]] their backlights increasing and decreasing in intensity as the argument progresses. It eventually results in the background [[UpToEleven being completely filled with blinding light.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* Luke Skywalker is [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/luke_our_savior_2388.JPG drawn with one]] in the comicbook adaptation of ''[[TheThrawnTrilogy The Last Command]]''. His sister is their Mal'ary'ush, "[[ThisIsMyNameOnForeign child of the savior]]" while Luke is merely "firstson of the Lord Vader", but she doesn't get backlit when talking to Noghri.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Fiction ]]
* Kyon is seen that way by Kanae in ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'' after fighting a giant robot at the beach.
* In the ''[[WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland Total Drama]]'' story, ''Fanfic/{{Legacy}}'', Heather comes out of the kitchen and sees Duncan standing in the doorway to the lodge, but she can't make out much detail at first because he is backlit. When he comes into the lodge and is no longer backlit, she recognizes him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]
* Kirk's entrance in ''Film/{{Star Trek II|The Wrath of Khan}}''.
* The ending of ''Film/BatmanForever'', the Bat-signal filling in for the light.
** In the fourth installment, again as a CallBack.
* ''Film/TheCrow'' has this during the "I do care" scene in the movie, with Eric silhouetted by the sun in the big window.
* It happens in ''Film/{{Ghost}}'', just before Sam goes to Heaven. Notably this is the only time in the entire film his girlfriend sees him as a ghost.
* It happens a couple of times in ''Film/AHardDaysNight''. In the first "Can't Buy Me Love" when Music/TheBeatles first break out of the TV studio and into the field, they get backlit by the sun as they clamber downstairs. And Paul [=McCartney=] gets this for a second or two, via a stage light, near the end of the "And I Love Her" segment... WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic
* Used in ''Film/RoboCop1987'' when he busts the drug factory.
* ''Film/TheFrighteners'' has this as Michael J. Fox' character gets booted back to life by his ghostly afterlife pals. Who've got the holy light behind them.
* Jake Blues' release from prison at the start of ''Film/TheBluesBrothers''.
* Mal Reynolds is lit this way (from above and behind) during his RousingSpeech in ''Film/{{Serenity}}''. This is "justified" by being on Miranda, a SingleBiomePlanet of Oh God The Sun Is Bright.
* Mako's first memory of Pentecost in ''Film/PacificRim''. The memory may be subjective, as memories often are.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]
* OlderThanFeudalism: [[Literature/TheBible Jesus and company]]. Heaven is a pretty bright place, doncha know.
* Aslan in ''TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' books.
* {{God}} is so bright in [[DivineComedy Dante's writings]] you can't see him at all, while God in ''ParadiseLost'' is like this for the first few minutes... then becomes a grumpy, rather repellent old man.
** Also shamelessly ripped off by ''Jerry Springer: The Opera''.
* Gandalf the White in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* In the XWingSeries novel "Iron Fist", BigBad Zsinj makes some preparations for a meeting with potential allies, then stands in front of a hologram of the galaxy and asks TheDragon, Melvar, what he thinks. General Melvar dryly notes that he might also want to be softly backlit to give him a holy glow.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action Television ]]

* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': This happened to Cordelia Chase whilst she was twiddling her thumbs in the afterlife.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', one of the first episodes of Season 7, pulled off by - who else? - Gibbs, after [[spoiler: shooting the bastard who tortured his team, beating the crap out of said bastard's lackeys, AND arriving in a few minutes from a mile away. Not impossible, but nothing is with Gibbs.]]
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', when Rose becomes the Bad Wolf, she exits the TARDIS glowing and backlit by golden light. Bonus points for her hair having that weird I-look-like-I'm-underwater-but-I'm-not thing going on.
** The Doctor in "The Fires of Pompeii" when he [[spoiler:goes back to rescue Caecillius and his family]].
* Parodied in ''BlackBooks'' when Manny is briefly transformed into a human "Little Book of Calm".
* A rather {{Narm}}y moment early in ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' had Clark rescuing a boy from a trash truck by tearing a hole through the side. The boy sees Clark's head pop in to view surrounded by loads and loads of [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic holy backlight]].
** Kara gets her turn in season 7, pulling Lex out of the river. Lex is inspired to run a "reformed because an angel saved me" con for a while. It helps that Kara looks exactly like the pop-culture image of an angel.
* The cast of ''TouchedByAnAngel'' always get the glowing treatment whenever they reveal their identities.
* Used comedically in ''{{Seinfeld}}''--a priest sees Elaine, in a modest white dress, backlit by the window with the sun behind it, and think's she's the Virgin Mary.
* Played with in an episode of ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}''. When Kara goes to [[spoiler: see Anders, who has become a Hybrid]], the hallway lighting makes her look angelic as she stands in the doorway. When she steps inside the room and the door closes, the MatrixRainingCode projected onto her makes her look demonic.
* In Season 5 of ''Series/TheAmazingRace'', the editors used a version of the HolyBacklight on, of all things, an airport departures board when they were talking about their faith. To underline the effect, they also added a sound effect of a heavenly choir. On the next leg, the same sound effect was used, along with a shot of a line of white-robed nuns descending an escalator, when they were able to secure seats on an earlier flight that hadn't been available the day before.
* An episode of ''Series/ColdCase'' reverses this by [[spoiler:having a HolyBacklight incident be the trigger for a serial killer's mania, leading to his first murder: the poor backlighted sap.]]
* In Part IV of AngelsInAmerica, as Prior is in the graveyard telling Belize about his visitation by the Angel, he is aptly lit from behind, so much so that Belize shields his eyes.
* A ''Series/{{Mash}}'' episode with a ''{{Rashomon}}''-style story line had Major Burns' version of the story showing him as a cool, capable surgeon, backlit in a very holy fashion.
* Parodied in ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' with Kevin Casey, who simply blinks and asks the nurse in the next room to turn the incredibly bright light away from him.
* A RunningGag in an episode of ''Series/NedsDeclassifiedSchoolSurvivalGuide'' has a backlight shining on Suzie accompanied by a heavenly choir, making Ned assume it's his imagination, but it turns out to be Gordy trying to fix a spotlight while the chorus is singing in the hallway (their room had been wrecked earlier in the episode). [[RuleOfThree The third time it happens]], Ned tells Gordy to knock it off, but he tells him that he fixed the light and the chorus is back in their room, meaning it ''is'' his imagination this time.
* In the ''Series/TrueBlood'' episode "I'm Alive and on Fire", while Hoyt and Jessica are driving, they spot a badly wounded Jason by the side of the road. As they tend to him, the car's headlights create a beautiful glow around Jessica. This plus being fed Jessica's vampire blood to heal him triggers Jason's attraction to her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theatre ]]

* In ''AngelsInAmerica'', the Angel is described as "four divine emanations - phosphor, fluor, lumen, candle." In stage versions and the TV miniseries, this usually means she is back-lit to an almost blinding degree.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* For some inexplicable reason, Eliwood rescuing Ninian in ''FireEmblem''. It even comes with a PietaPlagiarism bonus!
* Rosalina's first appearance in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy''. Appropriate, since she [[WildMassGuessing might be]] {{God}}.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Animation ]]

* Used in conjunction with {{Lens Flare}}s for Saltman's [[CallingYourAttacks "Salt Laser"]] attack in ''BananaNanaNinja'': [[http://www.banana-ninja.com/episodes/OCBZ_Saltman2.html Battle of the Elements.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In ''TheLastDaysOfFOXHOUND'', Solid Snake appears exclusively in this manner.
* [[http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v299/skater910/1172125605987.jpg Godly Kitten]]
* Dechs, the ''AntiheroForHire'', loves doing this, with the help of a portable floodlight. At one point, Crossroad complains about it, calling it his "Ghost of Christmas Past schtick".

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Sab Shimono's character in ''Where The Toys Come From''.
* Parodied (what else?) in ''TheSimpsons'' episode "Bart's Girlfriend": Bart first sees Jessica when she steps to the church podium to do a Bible reading and she is immediately surrounded by a HolyBacklight. Bart exclaims "There IS a God!"... then we cut to outside to see that ''a lighthouse'' is shining its light directly at the church window.
-->'''Random Guy''': I'm telling you the light would work better if it pointed it out to sea!
-->'''Sea Captain''': Arr, shut up! I know what I'm doing!
-->''[a boat crashes against some rocks the distance]''
-->'''Sea Captain''': Arr, I hate the sea and everything in it.
* Done by [[{{Ninja}} Prowl]] who, to quote [[Wiki/TFWikiDotNet Transformers Wiki]], "[[http://tfwiki.net/w2/images2/b/b6/TFA_Nanosec_Prowl_awesome.JPG uses his Ninja skills to maximize the available lighting effects]]" in one episode of TransformersAnimated.
* In the ''Futurama'' episode "A Tale of Two Santas", as Bender is about to be executed for being Santa Claus, each of the main cast enters dressed as Santa declaring [[IAmSpartacus "I am also Santa Claus!"]], despite the fact that Santa is a robot. Zoidberg enters last, backlit and dressed as Jesus. [[AndZoidberg "And I'm his friend Jesus!"]]

[[/folder]]
----