"Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph."Two lovers run toward each other in slow motion across a meadow filled with flowers and butterflies, arms spread, totally suffused in the joy of their reunion, as Tchaikovsky's Love Theme from the Overture to Romeo and Juliet or Pachelbel's Canon in D (or some other piece deemed romantic) plays on the soundtrack. This trope hasn't yet passed into Dead Horse Trope territory (creators can still play it straight to great effect), but even those who love it usually can't resist poking a little fun at how corny it is. Sometimes subverted by interrupting one of the lovers in mid-stride (fell, distracted by bees, picked off by sniper fire), making one lover violently allergic to all the pretty flowers, having the lover run right past his beloved because he wants whatever is behind her, etc. The trope is also very often subjected to merciless parody.
— Jennifer Hart, submission to The Style Invitational's "Simile Outrageous."
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- Played straight at the end of .hack//SIGN during the ending credits. Not in a meadow, though. Also, the two parties involved are both girls, and one of them is in a wheelchair.
- Ifurita and Makoto at the end of El-Hazard: The Magnificent World.
- Kurau and Christmas interact lovingly in a sunny meadow during the opening credits of Kurau Phantom Memory, wearing summer dresses—which doesn't appear anywhere in the series itself.
- Spoofed in Fullmetal Alchemist in "The Flame Alchemist, the Bachelor Lieutenant and the Mystery of Warehouse Thirteen", where Havoc tries to imagine Major Armstrong's sister, and gets an Imagine Spot of Armstrong in a wig and dress doing a Meadow Run. It turns out that she's actually really hot. She turns him down though.
- Played straight with Misa Hayase and Hikaru Ichijo in the episode of Super Dimension Fortress Macross where Earth is glassed. For some reason they forgot to color it.
- Tadao Nagahama LOVES this trope. After his Robot Romance Trilogy actually did show romantic premises with Voltes V and Daimos, the ending credits depicts the Reunion Runs accompanied by heartwarming Award Bait Songs (The Gou brothers to their father Dr. Kentaro Gou, Kazuya with Erika.)
- Soul Eater:
- Parodied, although they aren't in a meadow. After a "break up," Soul and Black Star run at each other in slow motion calling each others' names with Love Bubbles in the background.
- Parodied in the final chapter of the manga. Maka and her father are shown running towards each other, only for Maka to run past him and into Marie's arms.
- Renton and Eureka did this in episode 47 of Eureka Seven when they reunite with each other.
- An early filler episode of Dragon Ball Z has villains Vegeta and Nappa land on an alien planet. On a whim they decide to act heroically, killing the tyrannical ruler, and reuniting two lovers. The final scene has the lovers doing a Meadow Run towards each other... then Vegeta blows up the planet.
- Toriko has the female Battlewolf and her child start running towards each other... Only for Bui to fire a laser through the mother's body.
- A variant here in Billy Bat, with the lovers running to each other from across a train station.
- In episode 3 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Sho has an Imagine Spot of himself and Asuka running towards each other.
- Spoofed in Episode 157 of Detective Conan; Tagaki assumes that Sato is running up to him for a loving embrace, but then the latter grabs the former's collar and demands to know where the nearest restroom is.
Films — Animated
- Spoofed in Shrek 2, as the meadow run soon turns into Shrek and Fiona running arm-in-arm from an angry mob.
- Spoofed in Madagascar as well, where in the middle of Alex and Marty's run, it turns out that Alex is actually pissed off, with it quickly turning into Alex chasing Marty around.
Marty: Oh, sugar honey iced tea!
- Again spoofed in Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, when Scrat "reunites" with his acorn after running away from Scratte, and the acorn falls down a hill in slow motion towards Scrat who also runs in slow motion.
- Played for Laughs but still sincerely in Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. While reuniting after being forced into separate classes, George and Harold have an Imagine Spot where they run to each other through a meadow... even though they're actually dashing towards each other for a hug in the school bathroom. It's a funny moment, but it's still sweet, since it's clear that the short while they were apart really does feel like an eternity to George and Harold.
Films — Live-Action
- Spoofed in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, when Kumar engages in a Meadow Run with an anthropomorphized bag of marijuana. And then the bag o' weed and Kumar get married. And fuck.
- Played straight in the movie The Sidehackers (as seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000), set to the film's love theme, "Nothing Lasts Forever" ("Only love/Pads the film").
- Appears during a montage of romantic-film-tropes in The Muppet Movie, along with rowing-a-boat and meeting-on-a-foggy-noir-street-corner-in-the-40's. Piggy & Kermit meadow run at each other - but when they meet in the middle, Piggy keeps going and Kermit ends up running backwards.
- Used in The Pirate Movie when Mabel first sees Frederic on the beach. Somehow they end up riding horses on the beach moments later.
- The trope comes from one of the film versions of Wuthering Heights with Up to Eleven use of Say My Name. "Catherine!" "Heathcliff!" "CATHERINE!" "HEATHCLIFF!" (This particuler scene was spoofed many times.)
- Appears in Gone with the Wind when Ashley returns to Tara after the war.
- Spoofed in Wagons East, in which the heroes are facing death and each imagines his or her loved one in a brief vignette. The last hero is a redneck farmer whose vignette has him performing a Meadow Run with a sheep.
- Rama and Sita in Sita Sings the Blues after Rama and the monkey army rescue her. He promptly drops her saying he's redeemed the shame upon his name by rescuing her, but since she lived in (actually just outside) the house of another man (the King of Lanka who kidnapped her, but mostly left her alone), people will believe she must have slept with the King and is no longer "pure" — even if she did not.
- Happens four times in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, each time managing to be more heartwarming than the last, mostly because it's kids reuniting with their long-lost pets (or said pets reuniting with each other after one was presumed dead) instead of lovers.
- Most Narm-filled moment EVER in New Moon when Aro is seeing Alice's version of the future to prove that Bella will eventually become a vampire. They sparkle as they frolic.
- Tony and Maria toward the end of West Side Story. Only, instead of a meadow, it's an outside basketball court. And Tony gets shot, where he ends up Dead in Her Arms Tonight.
- A non-romantic version in The Color Purple: Celie runs towards her sister Nettie through a meadow after not seeing her for decades.
- Played straight in the 1971 film Friends to the tune of Elton John.
- In Bridget Jones' Diary II, Bridget and Mark run towards each other and then together at the beginning when Bridge assures herself she has found her happily-ever-after. It's her Imagine Spot.
- After Parris gets his friend Drake to have a critical psychological breakthrough in Kings Row, the film ends with Parris going home, and running towards his new girlfriend Elise across an open meadow.
- A variant in City Girl, in which Lem and Kate arrive at the front gate of Lem's wheat farm after the trip from Chicago. After they hop over the gate, Kate goes dashing through the meadow of wheat, with Lem following after. A couple of times they embrace, only for Kate to go dashing ahead again. The shot of Lem and Kate running through the wheat as the camera tracks them is the most famous in the movie.
- In The Force Awakens, much of the Ho Yay between Finn and Poe Dameron comes from a scene in which they are surprised to see one another still alive, across a wide landing area, and proceed to run toward each other in a manner evoking this trope.
Live Action TV
- Spoofed in the British TV series Ballykissangel where a man and a woman run towards each other across a grassy meadow. When they meet the woman suddenly punches the man in the face.
- On the final episode of series 19 of Have I Got News for You, after given his Odd One Out group, Paul Merton begins to ponder the answer. Suddenly, the camera fade-cuts to some footage of Paul and fellow captain, Ian Hislop, skipping through a field in slow motion to sappy soft music for several seconds. Camera cuts back to Paul, who's got a day dreamy expression on his face. He then shakes his head and apologizing, saying he was "miles away". The footage popped up again in the later seasons when Joan Collins hosted in a Dynasty spoof, but aside from that, there was no explanation for it. According to Paul of the Very Best of HIGNFY DVD commentary, he tried for eight years to get that gag onto the show and was rejected two times by two different producers, the third try helped and the gag was put in.
- Doctor Who:
- Twisted in the episode "The Stolen Earth" when the Doctor and Rose run towards each other, meeting for the first time since "Doomsday"... only for a single Dalek to appear in the scene and shoot the Doctor without so much as an "Exterminate". And if that wasn't enough, this leads to a pretty damn big cliffhanger as the Doctor begins to regenerate...
- Subverted at the end of "The Girl Who Waited": Old!Amy attempts one towards the Doctor (who is in the TARDIS), only for him to slam the doors shut and lock them (as Old!Amy cannot exist inside the TARDIS at the same time as normal Amy). Then he lets Rory choose which one he wants.
- A beautiful, bromantic Meadow Run happens during Season 1 of Chuck, in Chuck Versus the Sandworm between the titular geek and his BFF Morgan.
- A rather one-sided Meadow Run (taking place in an office, but still using the slow-mo and romantic music) occured at the end of a 3rd Rock from the Sun episode in which Dick was really happy to see Mary return after she had been gone for a week. Seen here.
- Engine Sentai Go-onger spoofed this in one episode when the two female Rangers, Yellow and Silver, do this. Since they were just meeting up to start stage one of their plan to save Yellow's mecha, there was No Hugging, No Kissing, but this didn't stop the blatant imagery from making certain fans Squee! regardless.
- Spoofed in an episode of The Suite Life on Deck. After sneaking out on a date after curfew, Cody and Bailey run towards each other in the sky deck, and end up bumping into each other by accident.
Bailey: This doesn't happen in movies.
- Happens rather bizarrely in the tokusatsu Space Sheriff Sharivan, with the run being done by the hero and Jesus.
- Parodied in Monty Python's Flying Circus:
- This is done by Raymond Luxury-Yacht and a plastic surgeon.
- The "Attila the Hun Show" skit.
- "And now, 20th Century Vole is proud to present: The semaphore version of Wuthering Heights!"
- How I Met Your Mother: Barney Stinson makes a reference to this trope in an episode, when talking about Robin.
Barney: I don't love her, okay, I just... miss her when she's not around, I think about her all the time and I imagine us one day running towards each other in slow motion and I'm wearing a brown suede vest.
- Happened in The War At Home between Larry and Kenny after their fathers apologized to each other.
- Done in The Goodies between Bill Oddie and his new gal. Then done in the same meadow between Graeme Garden and...his computer. He also tries to push it on a swing, which...doesn't work so well.
- Spoofed and lampshaded in Kamen Rider Double: In one episode, Shotaro ends up chasing another man along a beach, complete with the slow-mo and the romantic music. As it's happening, Shotaro thinks to himself how strange it must look to someone who doesn't know the context.
- Parodied on Bewitched when Mr. and Mrs. Kravitz are reunited after separating.
- Catherine-and-Heathcliff was spoofed mercilessly on numerous episodes of Dave Allen At Large. But, then, what wasn't?
- Parodied in the SCTV episode "Bouncin' Back to You" when Lola Heatherton and Guy Caballero reflect on a relationship they once had. They run through the meadow, or in Guy's case, wheel through the meadow (he sits in a wheelchair, but for respect rather than being handicapped)
- Conversational Troping in the Only Fools and Horses episode "Watching the Girls Go By".
Del: You see, Rodders, I used to have this vision of love. I used to imagine that me and my sweetheart were running in slow motion through a field of buttercups. (Rodney rolls his eyes) We're both, y'know, we're both like that, dressed in white, and, like, I'd done a bit of weight. And suddenly, there in the background, I can here Semprini's Orchestra playing the theme tune from Doctor Zhivago. (he starts to hum the theme, then stops as Albert leaves) Where's he going?Rodney: He's probably gone to be sick.
- In Korean drama Lie To Me, this is done fairly subtly, with Ah Jung waiting at her home, and suddenly running outside, and Ki Jun running from the aeroport. Justified, as one character has been living in a fairly rural area.
- Not Necessarily The News liked to subvert this, with narration like "They were young, they were in love, they needed glasses", at which point the couple missed each other and kept running.
- Several commercials used this, among them Delsey Tissue and Clairol hair dye products. "The closer he gets — the better you look!"
- Lucas and Hinawa doing this (sort of, because Hinawa is walking away)]] is the entirety of Chapter 6 of MOTHER 3. Sad version of the trope.
- In one of the later missions of Brütal Legend, Eddie Riggs imagines sharing a Meadow Run with Ophelia, complete with druid-slaying.
- Live A Live has two Dream Sequences where Pogo strolls through a endless flower field towards Bel.
- Spoofed in the Doctor Who fan film "I'm a Time Lord, Get Me Out Of Here!"
- At the very end of A Very Potter Musical, Quirrel and Voldemort start to do this, first running towards each other, and then turning around to join back-to-back (it makes sense if you've seen it).
- In a Yogscast Minecraft Series special, during Granny_Bacon's funeral, Simon Lane reminisces his time with her, which consists entirely of him and her colliding into each other in a field of wheat and having, presumably, dirty sex.
- Parodied in the animated version of Welcome to the Convenience Store. L (the singer from Infinite) is locked in the store and desperate for the bathroom (there isn't one in the store itself). When he sees Eun Ah, the store clerk, return he imagines himself running towards and then dancing with a roll of toilet paper. Unfortunately Eun Ah gets distracted and he's left in there.
- In a certain YouTube Poop video, the one from the "Eternal Eclipse Of The Heart" music video is parodied.
- Spoofed in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, where lovers Eris and Hoss Delgado run towards each other in a meadow. Hoss is also in a monster truck.
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "It's About Time!", Dr. Doofenshmirtz and Perry The Platypus spoof this, somehow managing to still turn it into Foe Yay. They run toward each other on the beach... and Perry kicks Doofenshmirtz in the face.
- Parodied in Tiny Toon Adventures when Buster reunites with his lost dinosaur, and again when Babs and Montana fall in love at the hands of Concord substituting for Cupid.
- In the KaBlam! episode, "Won't Stick to Most Dental Work" had a scene where Henry and June were happy to see eachother again after Henry quit, and they ran through a meadow with romantic music playing as they ran up to one another and hugged.
- Spoofed in an episode of The Simpsons telling the story of Paul Bunyan. The giant Paul and his normal sized love interest see each other at a distance and run towards each other, but when the love interest realises his true size she turns and starts to run away from him instead.
- Parodied in the Beetlejuice series when Lydia and the newly humanoid tree Spooky run to each other.
- Played for Laughs in the "Hearts and Hooves Day" episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, where Big Macintosh and Cheerilee run toward each other near the episode's end, after being separated by the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Thing is, they were under the influence of a love potion (which the CMC themselves had given) and the separation was necessary for it to be broken. Edges into Mundane Made Awesome as the fllies desperately try to keep them apart.
- Spoofed in the Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness episode "The Way of the Prawn", when Tigress has an Imagine Spot about her and Yijiro the samurai prawn running towards each other in a meadow. Then they both draw katanas and it turns out they're completely surrounded by enemies and are running towards them, because Tigress's idea of romance is being a Battle Couple.
- In the Rugrats episode "Chuckie Loses His Glasses", when Tommy finds a blind Chuckie, the two run toward each other. Unfortunately, due to both of them being unable to see (Tommy's reason being he was wearing Chuckie's glasses to find him), they passed each other and crashed into lawn chairs.
- In a wedding-themed special of The Smurfs, Smurfette has a series of Imagine Spots with the male Smurfs. In her fantasy of Greedy Smurf, they do the meadow run — only for him to run right past her to the overflowing buffet table.
Smurfette: At last! At last!
Greedy Smurf: At last! At last! Lunch!
- Kaeloo: The show actually managed to subvert the trope in Episode 112 by using the Bait-and-Switch trope. Kaeloo and Mr. Cat are on the beach when they turn their heads in the opposite direction and the viewers assume that they are looking at each other. They are both separately shown running with outstretched arms, leading the viewers to believe that they are running towards each other... and then the camera pans out to reveal that they're both running in the same direction, towards the bathroom.
- The Church of Scientology had a field dug up and planted with flowers for Tom Cruise and new wife Nicole Kidman to romp in.
- Isaac Asimov was once invited to an apparently-tedious US/Soviet diplomatic event, without his wife. When it was done, they were to meet outside the venue. Seeing each other at a distance, they simultaneously ran at each other in a Meadow Run. It was, Asimov later found out, caught on film by a Soviet cameraman, and was shown often on Russian TV for a while.