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Clifftop Caterwauling
A creature, character, hero, villain...stands at the edge of a cliff and lets loose a roar to the heavens, either in grief, a display of power, or some other strong emotion.

Common variations include:

  • Wolves that can't howl unless they're standing at the edge of a cliff.
  • The top of a castle parapet
  • The top of a skyscraper
  • A rooftop

Common environmental embellishments include:

The one climbing up on a high place to roar at the heavens is almost Always Male. Often there's an implied element of Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter. Rarely to never do we see a female, even the Mama Bear or Action Girl climbing up anywhere to roar at anything.

Oddly enough, the Big Bad never seems to be available or around to take this opportunity to turn it into a Literal Cliffhanger, either.

See also Climbing the Cliffs of Insanity, I Have the High Ground, Skyward Scream. May happen early in the film, or right after the Climbing Climax. Can overlap with Howl of Sorrow.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Advertising  

     Anime  
  • The Wolf Man in Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust climbed up a cliff and howled before the full moon when he transformed.
  • Simon does this in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, while on top of the Dai-Gunzen. The reason is, Kamina just got Killed Off for Real. It's accompanied by a volcano in the background suddenly erupting.
  • Averted in Spice and Wolf. The only places we see Holo howling are in a field sitting in the back of a wagon and in a sewer.

     Comic Books  
  • Spider-Man tends to do angst-filled ones, when someone he loves has been kidnapped or hurt.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Aslan, at least in the trailers for The Chronicles of Narnia films.
  • Predator films:
    • Arnie in Predator does the tree branch version of this. In this case, he's using the howl to attract the Predator.
    • Predator 2. The Predator does this while standing on top of a building, with lightning striking his metal spear.
  • Red Dawn (1984): "Wolverines!"
  • Superman subverts this. He stands at the bottom of a cliff, utters a bunch of little nos, then roars at the heavens before the scene where we're forced to invoke the MST3K Mantra.
  • Also happens in The Incredible Hulk. Hulk no like sky flash and boom noise.
  • In Hard Boiled, after the warehouse shootout, Alan, who has just had to gun down his boss, join Johnny Wong and take on fellow cop Tequila, lets loose with a scream to the heavens while aboard his yacht.
  • In Evil Dead 2, Ash does this on finding that the bridge is out and he can't escape.
  • In Rocky IV, the last scene of Rocky's preparation for his fight against Drago consists of him free-climbing his way up a snow-covered mountain; once at the summit, Rocky repeatedly screams out his foe's name.
  • Garden State, anyone?
  • Mimi-Siku lets loose a triumphant yell from atop a cliff at the beginning of Jungle 2 Jungle.

     Literature  
  • Thor in The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams stands on the edge of a fjord cliff and roars (in his rage at Odin and Toe Rag's manipulation and treachery.)
  • Aslan, in Prince Caspian, roars. First it starts the ground and earth shaking. Then it scares the men in Miraz' camp. Then it wakes the nymphs and the river god. Then it alerts every last animal in Narnia. Then it wakes the trees. Then it scares every mother and wakes every man in Narnia. Then, even the giants on Narnia's northern frontier are alerted, looking out from their castles. This was an oh crap moment the movie version more or less completely failed to capture.
  • A particularly unlucky version is the fate of Father Feodor, the bumbling rival to the main characters from The Twelve Chairs. He climbed the cliffs to escape Ostap, found out he cannot go down by himself, and eventually went mad from isolation.

     Live Action TV  

     Video Games  

    Western Animation 
  • Anakin does this after defeating Asajj Ventress in Star Wars: Clone Wars. Easily the narmiest moment in the whole miniseries.
  • Gargoyles, often substituting skyscraper or castle ledges.
  • After Avatar Kiyoshi breaks her homeland off to keep it safe from Chin the Conqueror, Chin lets out a roar of frustration from the newly-created cliff...which promptly gives way from under his weight.
  • Wildebeest does this in Teen Titans when he is cornered by Madame Rouge.
  • Courage does this in Courage the Cowardly Dog after the magic tree of Nowhere gets chopped down. In fact, he screams so loud that he caused the moon to shatter and fall!
  • Early Cuyler as part of his anger therapy. Most of his screaming is Lynrd Skynrd lyrics.

Chekhov's VolcanoA Mountain of TropesClimactic Volcano Backdrop
Charge Into Combat CutFilm TropesColor Wash
Clean CutAction Adventure TropesClimbing the Cliffs of Insanity
Cliffhanger CopoutAdded Alliterative AppealClimbing Climax

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