A location with an unlikely vista. It may be a home where none were built or beyond the income of the characters, a geographically or geologically implausible location, beyond their security clearance, or from a building that simply has not been constructed at that location and is unlikely to ever be.
The characters aren't just passing it and it is not an Establishing Shot
is giving you a quick look at the identifying feature- the characters actually have a view from a perspective that it is impossible or extremely unlikely for them to obtain, usually from their alleged residence.
Does not generally involve Monumental Damage
. Related to The Eiffel Tower Effect
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Film - Live Action
- Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li starts in her first home, where she's playing the piano in a room of her house with an excellent view of the Golden Gate Bridge... one that would be somewhere in Golden Gate park, which is, well, park land and office buildings.
- This gets invoked with Devil's Tower in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It's a cool, weird monument and the focus of much attention throughout the movie, but the clearing/landing pad at the base of the tower in the climax does not/could not exist.
Film - Animated
- In Ratatouille, Linguini says his apartment is "not much", but it has a huge window with a spectacular view of the Paris skyline, which it doesn't seem like he could have afforded as an unsuccessful busboy.
Live Action TV
- Star Trek is all over this one; in every iteration, Starfleet academy is on the Marin County side of the Golden Gate Bridge. There's maybe a couple hundred acres of usable land in view of the bridge in Real Life (and not all together), the rest being steep hills and canyons. Unless the entire area was leveled, the facility is not possible and even with leveling would be crammed on a narrow strip of land next to a major thoroughfare.
- Star Trek Online did a great job fixing the problem. The Academy really is on that narrow strip of land (what we saw in the show was a trick of angles) and the main building goes into the cliffside under the road next to the Bridge and then goes up to a leveled portion of HQ where Janeway's office is in Nemesis.
- The view out of Frasier's apartment of the Space Needle doesn't exist. There's no such apartment with that view.
- In LOST, Boone's hotel room in Sydney was apparently suspended in the air above Sydney Harbour, as that is the only way he could have had that view out of his window.