A Twinkle in the Sky
"Looks like Team Rocket's blasting off agaaaiiiiin...!" *ding*Any object, if launched with sufficient force, will sail clean over the horizon and vanish into the distant sky. A moment after it disappears, a four-pointed "twinkle" will appear in the spot where it was last seen, sometimes rotating briefly, along with a high-pitched "ringing" noise. If the object is potentially explosive, it will blow up after the twinkle. It's also sometimes used to show that something is coming down from the sky. This particular use may be true, as in the Second World War, Japanese AA gunners on ships were trained to watch for the gleam of an approaching dive bomber's canopy. Because after that, the only indication that something was coming was the whistling of bombs falling.
—Pokémon, in almost every episode (and some of the movies)
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Anime and Manga
- Whenever "Team Rocket is Blasting Off Again!" in Pokémon. This happens when they're blasting off from almost anything: Pokémon attacks, human intervention, high water pressure when springing a leak in a water pipe, doing honest work for an honest day's pay, etc. In the Advance seasons, they've sometimes blasted off multiple times in one episode. Team Rocket's pretty much the Trope Codifier, which may explain why the trope has been greatly reduced in the Black and White/Best Wishes series in which they rarely get blasted off, preferring a more traditional villain escape instead. In the X and Y series, this trope has made a comeback.
Meowth: [rough translation from original Japanese] Meowth! That's right!
- In Double-Time Battle Training, they blasted themselves off when Jessie tried to combine Pokémon attacks together like how Dawn just learned.
- "Malice In Wonderland" subverts this. Team Rocket gets blasted off for half the episode bouncing back and forth between various causes. They never get this trope. Ouch.
- There's also when Team Rocket wanted to get sent flying; well, James does anyway (it's because it's the only way he can get away from his dreaded fiancée, Jessiebelle).
- Subverted in Best Wishes, because they faked blasting off.
- Subverted again in another episode. Ash and Co. wind up being the ones blasting off since the episode focused on Team Rocket.
- In several circles, internet and otherwise, this trope has become known as "Pulling a Team Rocket".
- This happened to Meowth by himself in "The School of Hard Knocks", after Team Rocket abuses him physically again. He comes back down, complete with a second twinkle, right on cue after Jessie and James say their respective last lines in the motto later in the episode. He lands in the pool, gets out, and (at least in the Japanese version) says his line.
Meowth: [English dub line] I love a splashy entrance!
- Even a Pikachu Short even had Meloetta doing this when it flies up into the sky.
- In one episode, they are launched in a block of ice. Near the end of the episode, they are seen, still in the ice block, floating in the water. They then say the phrase they say in a somber voice, with Meowth saying "With no sparkle..." a bit after.
- Team Rocket isn't the only ones to get this treatment. In "Cerulean Blues", the Invincible Pokemon Brothers use their three Tentacruel to try and Poison Sting both Misty and her Gyarados into submission. Misty and Gyarados respond by blasting off the Tentacruel with a Hyper Beam, and then giving the same treatment to the brothers with a Hydro Pump. They even lampshade this by saying, "We're not Team Rocket, but we're blasting off!"
- As has Dario at the end of "The Great Pokémon-A-Thon", following a confrontation with Ash over his methods in the race.
- Burgundy also suffers this fate in the episode, "Clash of the Connoisseurs", when Crustle accidentally hits her with its Rock Wrecker.
- Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea. While Team Rocket is fleeing on a bicycle-powered balloon, a Fearow controlled by Jack Walker (the title Pokemon Ranger) pierces their balloon with its beak and sends them zooming away into the sky.
- When Haruka hurls the "airplane" far from Windbloom in episode four of Mai-Otome. According to a bonus feature on the first DVD, the thing ended up in orbit.
- Any time someone gets booted into low earth orbit in Ranma 1/2. Inverted in an episode where Kuno delivers a message tied to an arrow, which appears out of a twinkle.
- Excel Saga hangs a lampshade on this trope in episode 18, where Iwata gets punched and says "Look for the twinkle!" just before he disappears into said twinkle.
- Played with in Martian Successor Nadesico. In an episode titled The Lukewarm Cold Equation Akito's robot was thrown into the distance during a fight, creating the twinkle. This had happened a couple of times in previous episodes, but this time the rest of the episode focused on where he went, with Yurika and Megumi actually going out to search for him.
- Hanagata often gets sent flying into a twinkle by Otaru's marionettes in Saber Marionette J to X.
- Happens to Keitaro in Love Hina. Not as often as you'd think, though. He gets flung skyward regularly, but usually comes crashing back down rather than disappearing into the sky. It does happen this way on rare occasion, though.
- Ram-Dass launching from the Cool Ship in Soukou no Strain.
- Happens at least once every episode of Soreike! Anpanman. Baikinman and his cohorts are usually taken care of in this manner—sent flying to the horizon screaming their Catch Phrase "Bai baikiiin!"
- Ueki from The Law of Ueki manages to pole vault twinkle out in Episode 17.
- A car twinkles out in an episode of Usavich. A later episode has a police officer twinkle out after being hit by a barrel.
- When Zatch Bell! was riding on a cart tied to the bumper of the bus, both him and another character are launched into the distance thanks to the instability of the cart and the rope breaking.
- Double-time in Nichijou, after Mai-chan releases a fish in episode 6 and in episode 7 when Nano throws a baseball past the professor.
- Frequently comes up in the Pretty Sammy series. Both Rumiya and many of the Love-Love Monsters go out this way.
- During a baseball game in the anime Ninin Ga Shinobuden, one of Shinobu's home run hits does this. It ends up reaching another galaxy!
- Happens to giant robots frequently in Transformers Cybertron. Unsurprisingly, the Team Rocket-ish Ransack and Crumplezone experience it a time or two, complete with post-booting dialogue on one occasion:
Crumplezone: "Why us, Ransack?"Ransack: "It's the wheel of fate, my friend."Both: "It ran right over us!"
- However, it can also happen to fellow comedic villain Thundercracker, and the serious villain Scourge. Sideways does it voluntarily, his zigzagged departures often ending in this.
- In some animated episodes of Getter Robo, the titular robot's Getter 3 form has a special "Dai-Setsu-Zan-Oroshi" move that involves wrapping enemies in its extending arms and hurling them sumo-style into the air in a whirlwind. The enemy is thrown to the air so far, he disappears in a twinkle. This was even used in Getter 3's appearances in some Super Robot Wars games.
- Bleach anime:
- Episode 37. After Tatsufusa Enjoji, the assistant adjutant and 3rd seat of the Eighth Division confronts Chad and does a lot of boasting, Chad knocks him into the sky with a single punch.
- Episode 127 when the Vizard Hiyori Sarugaki jumps into the sky while carrying Orihime Inoue.
- Twice in Episode 205 during the kemari game. Once when the referee Ururu Tsumugiya throws the ball up into the sky, and once when Jinta Hanakari knocks Kon (in Ichigo's body) into the sky.
- Episode #213, after Tessai throws Kon (in Ichigo's body) through a hole in the ceiling of Kisuke Urahara's undergrou
- Thorfinn and Thorkell's last fight in Vinland Saga almost comes to an abrupt end when Thorkell kicks Thorfinn into the distance. The boy slams into a tree, breaks his arm, most of his ribs, and then gets back up.
- Thorkell also pulls of a reversed one, when Askeladds men notice a Twinkle in the Sky that turns out to be a spear thrown by Thorkell from several miles away and completely impales a man through his chainmail and through his heart. Yes, that man is a pure monster.
- Happens in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, whenever Kenichi attempts to spar with Appachai.
- Gundam 00:
- Happens twice while Setsuna is piloting Gundam Exia. The first during the very first episode. The second during the final episode. Although it is justified considering that the Gundams in question actually emit sparkles.
- Patrick is often being blown away, and it's not for nothing that he got the Fan Nickname "Team Patrick", in reference to Team Rocket. Kind of played with though, in that unlike Team Rocket, it's actually surprising that he survives when this happens.
- Happens to Kotengu in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou OAV episode "Kokoro no Yukue", after he is struck by lightning as a punishment for losing a tengu competition.
- The explosion variant happens Once an Episode to Prince Collection in Mon Colle Knights. More specifically, when blasted over the horizon, his machine explodes, with the ensuing cloud turning into a rose with one of its "petals" falling off.
- Happens to Suzuo once in Dokkoida?! after an over-enthusiastic greeting of Marilyn Ronmoe.
- Guame ends up becoming a twinkle underground when he falls through a hole in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
- With any minor Monster of the Week villain that doesn't contribute majorly to the plot in Wedding Peach, this happens (the major ones dissolve into sparkles and "are destroyed")...
- Cowboy Bebop:
- Episode 3 "Honky Tonk Woman". After Faye blasts out of the casino in her ship with Spike and Jet clinging to her windshield, she flies straight up and disappears in a twinkle.
- Episode 19 "Wild Horses". When a pirate spaceship escapes Faye and Jet, it flies off into the distance and disappears in a twinkle.
- Parodied in Haruhi Suzumiya when Yuki lost against Mikuru in a battle. "Curses."
- Hanaukyō Maid Tai La Verite:
- Episode 2, when Taro is kicked into the sky by Ryuuka.
- Episode 7, when Ryuuka uses a grenade underground.
- Happens at least once in Dragon Ball Z; Trunks blasts Vegteta into the distance so that he can have time to kill Cell before he absorbs Android 18. We get a lovely twinkle out of it. The situation and the music provide a nice contrast to the lighthearted celebration inspired when it happens in Pokemon.
- Fairy Tail is rather fond of this.
- Episode 24, Elfman punches Totomaru, who was frozen by Gray. Added with Elfman's Speech during the punch and a 'wow' sound effect when a twinkle appeared
Elfman: "If you're a man..." (punches Totomaru to the sky)Elfman: "...fly to the heavens and become a star!"Totomaru: "What is that supposed to mean?" (followed with a twinkle and a "wow" sound effects)
- Episode 51: Happy becomes a twinkle as well when he makes a comment about Gray being shirtless and stalking girls. Before he could get to finish his sentence of Gray is a giant pervert, he got punched into the sky by Gray.
- This is also the fate of Bluenote Stinger after being defeated by an angry Gildarts Clive.
- Natsu get this when Erza stepped on the trap that was intended for Gray in the 2nd OVA.
- In Episode 126, this happens to the Jiggle Butt Gang once Natsu gets over his motion sickness. They launch themselves again, accidentally, and, despite missing the twinkle this time, it is accompanied by the trio shouting "WE'RE FLYING OFF AGAAAAIIIINNN!".
- In Episode 154, Happy gets this again after he mocks and epically trolls Erza.
- Episode 24, Elfman punches Totomaru, who was frozen by Gray. Added with Elfman's Speech during the punch and a 'wow' sound effect when a twinkle appeared
- Played straight in A Certain Magical Index's season season, when an awakened Accelerator destroys Kihara Amata. It wasn't just a twinkle in the sky, though, but a fire trail as the man burned to ash from atmospheric friction.
- Sekirei, in the third episode of the anime's second season, to members of the disciplinary squad, launched by Kazehana.
- Yume does it to them at the end of Episode 12 in Season 1 as well.
- Kinnikuman Nisei has this happen to Mantaro sometimes, usually courtesy of Roxanne.
- This happens to Buggy the Clown early on in One Piece as well, where Luffy defeats him for the first time by sending him flying after Nami interrupts and messes up his pulling of himself back together.
- In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira's second episode, this happens to Takano as well after Magical Girls Oyashiro Rika & Trap Satoko destroy her current Ritual Tool Devil, Nail Ripper, with their 07th Explosion attack (whose name is a Shout-Out to 07th Expansion, which the franchise belongs to). As Takano goes flying into the horizon, just before becoming a twinkle herself, she screams, "Sorry, Brother!" all the while.
- At the start of the Demon Tournament of YuYu Hakusho, all the demons on Yusuke's group decide to gang up on their mutual boogey-man. Yusuke welcomes the attention and then proceeds to just punch all 48 opponents clean out of sight. Yusuke then comically lampshades the trope (and reveals his actions were intentional) by calling out the judges because none of his opponents fainted, died, or surrendered (which were the only loss conditions the rules had stated). They declare him the winner of that round anyway.
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, when Italy was launched into the sky by an Ejection Seat, the last thing we saw of him was a twinkle.
- A sort-of Running Gag in Fushigi Yuugi. Occasionally, the Nyan-Nyans will try to help the protagonists or their boss Tsiitsukun, only to mess up or say the wrong thing - and more than once they've gotten punched through the roof as punishment.
- Kenshiro once kicked a guy in the nuts SO HARD, he flew high enough to become this trope. No, seriously.
- At the beginning of Mazinkaiser this happened to none other than Kouji Kabuto, when the Mechanical Beast attacking the Institute grabbed Mazinger's Pilder with Kouji inside and threw it away. Way to ruin the until-then tense scene. And they land in the secret laboratory where Mazinkaiser is stored.
- In Guardian Fairy Michel, this happens frequently to the Black Hammer Gang as they're defeated. Bonus points for it happen to their castle, too.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic My Little Mommies, this is how many stars were made - if you anger Princess Luna, you will become A Twinkle in the Sky and stay there.
- This is Kirby's exit at the end of Paper Mario X.
- In Opening Dangerous Gates, this happens to Natsu when a drunk Rangiku punches him. Master Makarov wisely takes a careful step back.
- Kid Icarus Uprising 2: Hades Revenge does this to Teem Chaos almost every time they appear. Fitting considering they are clearly a parody of the Team Rocket Trio.
Live Action TV
- This is part of the Warp Drive effect in the various Star Trek series.
- This happens to the Monster of the Week in episode 14 of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. (It was a humorous episode and a tribute to the very silly Gekisou Sentai Carranger.)
- This is reversed by Glory in one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When Willow and Tara teleport Glory out of the hospital, she appears in the sky above Sunnydale in a starburst, then can be seen plummeting to earth as a falling star.
- Supermarioglitchy4s Super Mario 64 Bloopers
- In The Wacky Wario Bros.: The Welcome Invitation, Mario kicks Wario and Waluigi off into the sky at the end, both of the Wario Bros. twinkling instantly after.
- At the end of 101 Ways for Mario to Die, SMG4 kicks Mario into the sky. Mario then screams before turning into a star and losing his last life.
- In Pokémon: The Mew-sical, the Twinkle in the Sky has become part of Team Rocket's planning process:
"We'll steal the Dragonite, hop on its back, and ride it to the ding!"
- Get hit by Chuck Norris' One-Hit Kill uppercut in M.U.G.E.N, and this happens to your character.
- Slayer's Instant Kill in Guilty Gear XX involves punching an opponent into the sky and then reciting a haiku. When he completes the poem, there's a twinkle in the sky right before "Destroyed" is announced.
- BlazBlue: Makoto's Astral Finish ends in a uppercut that turns the opponent into a twinkle in the sky, and then leaves a huge impression on the moon... and smashes it apart.
- If someone is hit upwards out of the arena in Super Smash Bros. or its sequels, this is the result... unless they fly forwards and bounce off the screen (only from Melee onward). It's actually pretty satisfying, especially since they scream the whole time; after a long and bitter fight, hearing a morose, "Pika piiiiikaaaaa..." makes the whole thing seem worthwhile. Especially gratifying in that particular instance if you are a fan of Team Rocket. In the fourth game, however, it will stop occurring during the last seconds of a match.
- Super Mario Bros. examples:
- Happens to the player in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door when they're launched into the sky from a cannon. It happens again to Lord Crump when his robot explodes.
- When you use a secret cannon in New Super Mario Bros. 1 and New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
- Happens in reverse when Mario returns from a galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy.
- In Mario Party 3, there's a scene where Bowser sneaks up and startles Princess Daisy. She slaps him so hard that she sends him flying. That's probably the reason why Bowser only kidnaps Peach.
- Happens to Wario in the "Punch!" minigame in WarioWare: Touched.
- In Shadow Hearts: Covenant, Joachim has a damage-or-OHKO attack that launches an enemy high into the sky. The player will know it succeeded if the enemy creates a twinkle.
- At one point in the original Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, you're confronted by the game's resident Goldfish Poop Gang, who demand a toll to continue down the road. Earlier on, the team's resident Moogle declared a wish to become a star - if you choose not to pay the toll, you'll barge onwards, knocking the Moogle into the sky. Although you're never shown the Moogle "turning into" a star, you do get this gem:
Selkie A: "And so, he became a star."Selkie B: "Big time."
- In God Hand, Gene's more powerful God Roulette attacks (Dragon Kick, 100 Fist and Homerun God to name a few) end with the enemy being launch in the milky way (where they already are), like the awesome credit song puts it. However, unlike other examples said enemies will actually end up back in front of you as if the attack was played backwards, even if it's just to let out a death cry.
- Also, Evil Boisterous Bruiser Elvis does this before his second fight against Gene. He punches two of his henchmen into the skies for disrespecting the body of one of their victims.
- Chie's Galactic Punt Follow-up Attacknote from Persona 4 allows the Cute Bruiser to kick an enemy (and the occasional Mini-Boss) into the orbital frame. This makes hers the most powerful in the game, as every other character's simply deals a huge amount of damage and renders a target dizzy, whereas Chie's is an instant kill attack. The move returns as Chie's instant death special attack in Persona 4 Arena.
- Roger Sr.'s typical fate in later Tekken games.
- Raphael the Raven's death animation in Yoshi's Island. Skip to 2:38 for the boss battle and 3:50 for the actual twinkle.
- The icon for the "Throw" ability in Kirby's Adventure depicts Kirby tossing something so that it turns into A Twinkle in the Sky.
- The first boss of Gunstar Heroes is defeated in this way.
- What happens to Pamela once she's finally defeated in Milanor's chapter of the Yggdra Unison voice drama.
- In Portal 2, a twinkle, complete with the standard sound effect, is created when a portal opens up very very far away - specifically, on the moon.
- DLC for Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten gives us Mao bringing in his Getter Mao and showing it off to the Hades Party... before becoming sidetracked and showing an "interest" in Desco and, subsequently, losing the keys to Fuka.
- "Dash Strom" technique in Inazuma Eleven.
- Blaster Master uses a twinkle (on the ground) in it's intro as Sophia zooms off into battle.
- Played around with in Asura's Wrath In the DLC Lost Episode 2, Akuma punches Ryu so far away it seems like this would have happened. He flies back into the portal he came from in the distance instead.
- How Animal Contra is defeated in Neo Contra.
- This happens to the Rock Titan after being blasted off by Hercules in the opening cutscene for Olympus Coliseum in Kingdom Hearts II.
- In Breath of Fire IV, Ryu eventually learns to summon up to eight other dragons, whose attacks are short FMV's. The Sand Dragon's attack sends enemies flying off into the sky like this. Much like the God Hand example above, they will be back afterwards to take damage normally.
- In Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, after the party fights the Doom Eye, Dekar shows up to send it flying into orbit with his Exploding Sword attack. The twinkle's even accompanied by the "puzzle complete!" tune.
- Looks like the Robster's blasting off again! Or, at the very least, being thrown by a big, naked purple guy in this strip of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
- Subverted in Dominic Deegan. A minor villain is thrown into the sky by an angry animal and Stunt expects nothing but Amusing Injuries. Then it turns out he was thrown directly up and he comes crushing down, landing on his neck and dying instantly.
- In The Impossible Man, when Yuki use her most powerful attack, the villains are sent into the sky until "stars flashed in the distance."
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Marik kicks Crump out of Tea's mind. We then see Crump's spirit fly into the distance. As he becomes a Twinkle In The Sky, he actually screams, "AAAAAAaaaaaaah! Twinkle!"
- Spoony/Gandalf gets sent flying when he attempts to fight Malacite in Suburban Knights. He comes back later, unharmed, after having orbited the Earth at least twice.
- Adventure Time "The Party's Over, Isla De Seńorita": The Party God leaves a twinkle after the Ice King flings him into outer space.
- Zero, the Ghost Dog does this at the end of The Nightmare Before Christmas as he turns into a star.
- The Amazing Spiez episode "Operation: Twins of Trouble". When a WOOHP jet flies off into the distance, it disappears in one of these.
- Ned's Newt
- In "Planes, Trains, and Newtmobiles", a rocket launches off to Russia with Ned and Newton in it, and when it flies off we pan up to the sky where it vanishes into a star before we cut to a view from space.
- A similar rocket launches and twinkles in "Live and Let Dad" with Ned and Newton inside like last time, only it follows Dad's rocket and halfway though it initiates ejection sequence.
- Sokka's boomerang twinkled before returning in the second episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Iron Man became this in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes after Graviton launched him into outer space.
- The plot of the season 2 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is resolved by Princess Cadance and Shining Armor using The Power of Love to blast Queen Chrysalis and her army of Evil Minions over the horizon line in a Crowning Moment of Awesome - complete with a twinkle from the former.
- In the episode "Stars in their Eyes" of the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show the Mario Brothers' space ship does this as it heads torwards planet Quirk at the beginning of the episode.
- Happens to some of Lord Dregg's space ships sometimes, in later seasons of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987
- Happens in the "Bloom County" animated special "A Wish for Wings That Work" when Santa Claus's sleigh takes off.