To show ultimate triumph, all you need is a chorus. It's probably because a chorus is made of multiple people, and it gives the feeling of multiple people sharing in triumph. When you hear a chorus, combined with Orchestral Bombing, it sometimes means that something epic is happening. Usually, in a minor key, the chorus is used to reinforce the atmosphere of a battle. But when it shifts to a major key it becomes this trope. It usually means that the hero has defeated the villain once and for all, the hero has obtained the ultimate MacGuffin, or something like that. The Standard Snippets for this trope are the Hallelujah chorus from the Messiah oratorio by Handel and "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. A Sister Trope to Fanfare. Compare and contrast Ominous Latin Chanting and Ethereal Choir. Due to the nature of triumph in stories, may contain spoilers!
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Anime and Manga
- Subverted in Neon Genesis Evangelion, where both aforementioned Standard Snippets are used for maximum Soundtrack Dissonance.
- The composer Hiroyuki Sawano has this as something of a Creator Thumbprint, along with the related tropes of One-Woman Wail and Ominous Latin Chanting. Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and Attack on Titan have lots of examples in their soundtracks, with the theme of the former, Unicorn, being representative.
Film — Live Action
- The Russian Chorus in the film adaptation of The Hunt for Red October.
- The end of Return of the Jedi (Star Wars episode VI) had a choral piece in the soundtrack when the fireworks were going off on Endor, celebrating the destruction of the second Death Star and the defeat of The Empire.
- Can be heard in the finale of Independence Day as they watch the remains of the mothership falling from the sky.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Choir Triumphant kicks in when the One Ring is destroyed in the lava of Mount Doom towards the end of Return of the King, the last installment.
- The Matrix Revolutions. Near the end of the movie when the Agent Smiths are being destroyed, the chorus starts singing triumphantly.
- The end of Les MisÚrables (2012), although not as literal a victory, has this in spades nonetheless, showing the deceased members of the cast singing together on the barricade and waving flags.
- In Skyrim, you hear a male choir chanting something in Draconic each time you defeat a dragon or learn a thu'um.
- Catherine uses the Hallelujah chorus for when you clear a level.
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess added a choir to the iconic Item Get theme.
- In Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors, the final phase of the Final Boss theme in each game incorporate a triumphant-sounding chorus into an orchestral reprise of the main theme.
- In the Worms series, a Hallelujah chorus will ring out every time you throw the mighty Holy Hand Grenade. Yes, that Holy Hand Grenade.
- Starcraft II: The main theme uses this a lot, particularly just before the horns section comes in.
- Beating a level in Peggle and activating Fever Mode is always accompanied by "Ode to Joy".
- The Halo theme is generally used for awe inspiring moments, but sometimes it is involved during victories, such as when the Chief blows up a Covenant assault carrier in Halo 2, or when Kat explains her genius plan to Carter in Halo: Reach.
- In Shadow of the Colossus, most colossus fights have two themes, a tense one at the start which changes to a triumphant fanfare when you do something to help you get to a weak spot, such as finding the right place to Colossus Climb.
- The 10th mission of Blue Planet: War in Heaven, Aristria ends with the Toutatis trashing the enemy destroyer Hood and the heroes having captured one of the villains' supply ships, delaying their attack on Earth by about a few months, giving the heroes enough time to launch a counterattack, all the while an uplifting and heroic chorus plays in the background, listen to it here, it's from a let's play, sadly.
- Many of the finale tracks in the Mass Effect series make good use of choral backing, such as The End Run (around 2:15) or Stand Strong, Stand Together (around 0:48). The usual pattern is that the theme is first explored by horns and percussion, only for the chorus to join in when things turn decisively in Shepard's favor.
- There is some choir singing at the climax of The Last Unicorn, when the unicorns are freed.
- Frequently at the end of Disney Animated Canon films as the characters are heading off to enjoy their Happily Ever After, including:
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- Peter Pan
- Sleeping Beauty
- Robin Hood
- The Little Mermaid
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Lion King
- Fantasia, worth noting in that it's the only vocal music in the film, Franz Schubert's Serene Ave Maria, which plays immediately after the horror of Night On Bald Mountain
- Lampshaded in an episode of The Emperor's New School, when Kuzco, in the school cafeteria, comes up with an idea, and a ray of light shines on him as a chorus is heard.
Malina: You know, they should really fix the hole in the ceiling.Kuzco: And can't the choir practice somewhere else?