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Balcony Wooing Scene

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Calling up to your desired paramour's bedroom balcony window

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
theGreat on Aug 1st 2014 at 9:15:05 AM
Last Edited By:
naturalironist on Jan 13th 2019 at 8:53:53 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

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http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bellow2b_9655.png

David: No, wait... Can we meet after work?
Fatima: Our families hate each other...
David: I don't care. Let me come to your balcony tonight to annoy your parents and neighbors by singing you a really overdramatic song about feelings and love.

A would-be lover calling up to his desired paramour's bedroom window or balcony, in order to win her attention/affection. Often the scene will begin with the lover on the ground throwing pebbles at the window of the his paramour inside. The device is used to convey a distance between the two parties, either imposed or due to lack of interest on the recipient's end.

This scene demonstrates despair of the caller as normal channels of communication are either not working or out of reach. This often occurs with teenage characters whose movements are restricted. When this trope is employed, the couple's chances are doubtful as there are usually significant obstacles to their being together. May double as an Anguished Declaration of Love if it occurs at a climactic point in their relationship. If the lover on the ground's performance is especially elaborate, or if he went through hell just to get to the balcony, it's also a Grand Romantic Gesture.

This trope may have its origins in the ideal of Courtly Love, which idealized chaste courtship from afar. However, this is often subverted by having the lover on the ground climb in through the window, allowing a less chaste relationship. Because of this history, in most cases the character in the window is female and the one on the ground is male, though other gender combinations are possible.

Often overlaps with Serenade Your Lover if the caller sings or performs a song. Many modern executions instead have the lover on the ground holding a boombox over his head, as a Stock Shout Out to Say Anything....

This is an Undead Horse Trope, as parodies are common but you can still find straight examples that play up the romantic element.

Not to be confused with Balcony Speech, where a politician gives a speech from a balcony. Rarely overlaps with Balcony Escape, when a character escapes a room by moving laterally across balconies.


Examples

    open/close all folders 
     Classic Balcony Scene 

Fanfics

  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: In combination with Serenade Your Lover, one of the things General Jadeite learned from reading romance novels, and a discarded plan to get Mercury to fall more in love with him, as said in Beryl's Plan:
    Somehow, he didn't think she would be impressed if he serenaded her from below a balcony. Not that she had a balcony in this dungeon.

Film

  • The Adventures of Robin Hood: Robin climbs up to Marian's window for a romantic meeting where he hangs on the outside of the building and she leans out to kiss him.
  • In Animal House, Pinto tries to get his girl's attention by chucking pebbles at her window. He breaks the glass.
  • In Braveheart, the hero is at odds with his love interest's parents so he has to resort to throwing stones at her window to catch her attention. Played for laughs as he doesn't recognize that she already opened the window, thus his third stone almost hits her.
  • Played for laughs in Bringing Up Baby, where the lead couple starts singing a song in front of a house in order to get a leopard coming down from the roof. The house owner opens the window and thinks he is dealing with lunatics.
  • Naomi Watts in Diana when she calls for Hasnat to come to the window of his apartment, but he does not because he is not comfortable with the public exposure.
  • Ethan Hawke in Great Expectations when he yells "Everything I have ever does has been for you!" from the street-level. The receiving Estella is aloof to his affection.
  • Hackensacker in The Palm Beach Story performs the serenade "Goodnight Sweetheart" with complete orchestra beneath Gerry's balcony, though producing the opposite of the desired effect.
  • Mike Myers in So I Married an Axe Murderer when he recites his poetry outside Harriet's kitchen window in order to win back her affection.

Music

Theatre

  • The Trope Codifier is the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. Romeo woos Juliet from the ground, while she is at her window. Both families object, but Juliet is quite receptive to his advances. The term "Balcony Scene" is actually a case of Beam Me Up, Scotty!, as the word "balcony" did not exist during Shakespeare's time, but was commonly present in many later adaptations.
  • Another iconic and often-parodied example is in Cyrano de Bergerac, when Christian reads romantic lines from the garden to his love interest Roxanne who is up on the balcony, while Cyrano hides and feeds him lines. Eventually, Cyrano takes over and starts wooing Roxanne directly, while pretending to be Christian.
  • In some productions of Les MisÚrables, Marius approaches Cosette by throwing a pebble at her window before she steps out onto the balcony to investigate.
  • West Side Story, being an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, has a "Balcony Scene" for Tony and Maria. Due to the urban Setting Update, Maria's balcony is actually a window opening onto the fire escape. He climbs up, they begin a duet, and the world fades away.

Web Animation

  • The Demented Cartoon Movie has several scenes of a theater production of Romeo and Juliet doing the balcony scene. It never goes correctly.

Webcomics

  • The Oglaf strip called "balcony scene" (NSFW) features a man delivering lines of love to a woman on a balcony, in a Playing Cyrano scenario where another man hiding in the bushes feeds him lines. This being Oglaf, the two men end up together instead.
  • Tommy from the NSFW Furry Webcomic Better Days flees his home after the Shipping Torpedo Rachel vilifies Lucy to Tommy's parents. Tommy resorts to lobbing pebbles at Lucy's upstairs window in the Monday 23 October 2006 strip. The window is open, so one pebble bips off Lucy's shoulder. This leads to a face-to-face discussion that furthers their relationship.

Western Animation

  • The Amazing World of Gumball: One flashback to when they were teenagers courting has Richard standing on a ladder to serenade Nicole outside her bedroom window.
  • In The Fairly OddParents! episode "Love Struck", Timmy sings a broadway-esque serenade in front of Trixie's balcony, in hopes of becoming her Valentine. It didn't work.
  • In the Sonic Boom episode, "Tails' Crush", after Sonic and Knuckles' advice on how to impress women fails to win him the heart of Zooey, Tails turns to Amy, who says he should be romantic and chivalrous. Tails dresses like the title character from The Phantom of the Opera, calls Zooey from her balcony and tries to recite some flowery poetry for her, but messes up his lines, and Zooey, who has become sick of Tails' odd behavior, shuts him out.

     Say Anything Shoutouts 

Trope Maker

  • John Cusack with the boombox in Say Anything.... He is trying to win back the affection/attention of the female lead, substituting his own calling with music. The parent who objects to the romance ends up with bigger problems.

Film

  • Another shoutout to Say Anything... can be found in Deadpool 2, when Deadpool tries to make up with Colossus and does the stereo-under-your-window thing.

Live-Action Television

Music

  • The Ninja Sex Party video for "Three Minutes of Ecstasy" Danny and Brian get a woman's attention by throwing roses through her window and standing outside with a boombox. Danny then manages to throw himself through her window, much to her displeasure, so they can have their "three minutes of ecstasy".

Western Animation

  • Another Say Anything... spoof in Family Guy episode "Once Bitten" where Neil stands under Chris' window holding an old boom box up. It's his way of apologizing for sacrificing their friendship for a fling with Chris's sister Meg. Funny enough, Neil doesn't play a tape but the radio news because he doesn't own any cassettes. Then he asks if he can put the boom box down because the D batteries make it so heavy.
  • In the The Simpsons episode "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge", Otto holds up a boombox and plays a song for his girlfriend at a drive-in.
  • Parodied on South Park. In one episode, Stan is trying to get Wendy back, and one of Wendy's friends suggests he stand outside her window and play a Peter Gabriel song as a romantic gesture, in a reference to Say Anything.... But Stan, rather than choosing "In Your Eyes", chooses the decidedly unromantic "Shock the Monkey".

Feedback: 83 replies

Aug 1st 2014 at 9:44:52 AM

Even if it is a fairly simple trope, Zero Context Examples aren't okay. If you don't take your own trope seriously, nobody else will.

Aug 1st 2014 at 1:12:57 PM

It's one picture per page. The Romeo And Juliet one is best. Any time you reference a trope page or work page you should link to it with Camel Case. Does it really always mean that the couple will not end up together?

Aug 1st 2014 at 1:13:34 PM

Well, I thought this was a duplicate trope of Skyward Scream from the name.

Aug 1st 2014 at 1:16:25 PM

Another thing, I think there's a big difference between shouting up at someone and actually trying to romance the person. It doesn't seem like these belong on the same page.

Aug 1st 2014 at 1:43:01 PM

> difference between shouting up at someone and actually trying to romance the person

This is a question of effectiveness. In all these examples, the bellower desires the recipient romantically. The cause of the distance varies.

Aug 4th 2014 at 7:35:50 PM

  • Rocky: Rocky yells up "Yo Adrian!" when he is trying to get her to go out with him [Actually, I'm not sure if this actually happened or I'm just misremembering.]
  • In Rocky 2 just before he goes to the big fight, Rocky gets a priest he knows to give him a blessing out his window.
  • South Park: Bebe tells Stan to go to his girlfriend's house and hold up a boombox playing Peter Gabriel (a la Say Anything), so he plays "Shock the Monkey."

Aug 4th 2014 at 8:51:52 PM

the name kinda sounds like a sound bellowing up from below the earth... idk im bad with names but something more romance-implying would be better

Heartbroken Call Up?

Aug 4th 2014 at 11:40:43 PM

Theater's other famous "balcony scene" is in Cyrano de Bergerac, where Christian provides a pretty face too Roxanne with, but ultimately the words he uses come from Cyrano.

Aug 5th 2014 at 2:06:25 AM

Bellow From Below, while the pun is hilarious, is a really misleading name. Why don't we call this Balcony Scene? The classic scene from Romeo And Juliet is always referred to as such, so Balcony Scene still invokes the "lover stands under the window / balcony, confessing his love", even if the actual scene does not involve a balcony.

Aug 19th 2014 at 9:08:46 PM

I mistook Balcony Scene for a king/president or a celeb greeting/giving a speech on a balcony with his/her followers listening from below -> Balcony Speech.

Call this Praise To The Balcony? :p

Aug 20th 2014 at 1:46:03 AM

Film:

  • In The Palm Beach Story, Hackensacker performs the serenade "Goodnight Sweetheart" with complete orchestra beneath Gerry's balcony, yet having the opposite effect of what he intends.

Aug 20th 2014 at 1:47:27 AM

I vote for the pic from medieval times.

Aug 20th 2014 at 2:06:36 AM

Easy A has a tribute to Say Anything. Or maybe Can't Buy Me Love. There's a lawnmower and I'm not up on my 80's movies. But anyway, the male lead holds up speakers and stands beneath the bedroom window of the female lead, Olive. Olive hears him, looks out the window, and goes downstairs to join him.

Aug 20th 2014 at 3:02:05 AM

^^ Agreed. The painting shows both the person on the balcony and the one below it. The other three only show the person below.

Aug 20th 2014 at 7:07:00 AM

Beseech The Beau On The Balcony???

(Probably too long but what the hell, tossing it out there.)

Aug 20th 2014 at 1:45:12 PM

Parodied in Blackadder 3...

Aug 20th 2014 at 1:47:07 PM

Also, the Cyrano de Bergerac version shows up in the movie Roxanne, because that's a modernisation of the same story.

Aug 20th 2014 at 1:53:46 PM

If we keep the name Balcony Scene (which I, unsurprisingly, like), then we should add "Not To Be Confused With Balcony Speech" to the description.

Aug 20th 2014 at 3:18:38 PM

Film:

Aug 20th 2014 at 5:17:56 PM

^^^ technically I Thought It Meant is meant for humorous misreading of titles, not genuine mistake of thinking this is another trope.

Aug 20th 2014 at 5:30:08 PM

Film

  • In Animal House, Pinto tries to get his girl's attention by chucking pebbles at her window. He breaks the glass.

Aug 21st 2014 at 8:37:27 AM

Theatre

  • West Side Story, being an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, has a "Balcony Scene" for Tony and Maria. Due to the urban Setting Update, Maria's balcony is actually a window opening onto the fire escape. He climbs up, they begin a duet, and the world fades away.

Aug 21st 2014 at 11:54:07 AM

Balcony Scene is a bit non-descriptive, given that we have Balcony Escape already.

Aug 21st 2014 at 12:12:06 PM

I am still pondering the title.

What I liked about the original title "Bellow from Below" is the symbolism of the relative altitude between the caller and the recipient. Being lower, the caller is humbled by the action, conveying a measure of despair.

Aug 21st 2014 at 6:48:38 PM

^ which means it doesn't have to be balcony. I'm thinking of someone on lower ground talking to someone else on a high cliff, or even talking to the skies (frequently to the gods).

Jul 30th 2015 at 4:05:39 PM

Film:

  • In Braveheart, the hero is at odds with his love interest's parents so he has to resort to throwing stones at her window to catch her attention. Played for laughs as he doesn't recognize that she already opened the window, thus his third stone almost hits her.

Jul 30th 2015 at 4:25:04 PM

Played with in Shrek The Third. Prince Charming is engaged with the princess Rapunzel, and he apparently plays his role as every fairy-tale prince charming would do, but it turns out from afew earlier scenes that the dialogue is simply one act of his ambitious, pompous opera, which was promptly organized to humiliate and execute the show's designated villain: Shrek.

Aug 3rd 2015 at 7:40:53 PM

Advertising: In this Steak'n'Shake ad the Master calls his disciple with the use of a loud gong in order to go to Steak'n'Shake for Half Price Happy Hour in the middle of the night. The Master runs off when he hears the cops coming.

Aug 4th 2015 at 2:19:22 AM

Aug 4th 2015 at 6:27:57 AM

I Thought It Meant scenes taking place on a balcony.

Sep 28th 2018 at 12:54:11 PM

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/boombox.jpg
TV Series:

Jan 5th 2017 at 4:21:57 PM

Western Animation

  • In the Sonic Boom episode, "Tails' Crush", after Sonic and Knuckles' advice on how to impress women fails to win him the heart of Zooey, Tails turns to Amy, who says he should be romantic and chivalrous. Tails dresses like the title character from The Phantom Of The Opera, calls Zooey from her balcony and tries to recite some flowery poetry for her, but messes up his lines, and Zooey, who has become sick of Tails' odd behavior, shuts him out.

Jan 12th 2017 at 3:17:23 PM

Platonic example in the Farscape episode "The Choice". After the grief-stricken Aeryn's suitors Crais and Stark have been angrily disowned by her due to their Dogged Nice Guy tendencies, Rygel flies up to her balcony on his throne sled and manages to get through to her.

Jan 24th 2018 at 11:10:11 AM

Bumpo, Bumpo, wherefore art thou bumpeth not, Bumpo?

Jan 24th 2018 at 1:03:53 PM

It seems to me that the stone throwing bit as described in Enter Stage Window fits better as an element of this trope so maybe add a nod to it in the description? There's also a possible need for a name change to something along the lines of Balcony Serenade as the current is rather non-indicative. Other than that this looks good.

Jan 24th 2018 at 2:01:10 PM

We have Serenade Your Lover mentioning the balcony scenario. This trope seems more concerned with the distance between the lovers.

Jul 19th 2018 at 9:32:40 AM

I'm good with the current name- I found this draft by searching "balcony scene". If it's really not acceptable, what about Romantic Balcony Scene?

Is this a Dead Horse Trope or Undead Horse Trope? There are certainly a lot of parodies.

I kinda think this trope has its origin in Courtly Love- wooing someone from afar as the watch from a window seems very in line with that ideal. Anyone who knows more about courtly love want to weigh in?

Jul 19th 2018 at 9:46:05 AM

  • The Demented Cartoon Movie has several scenes of a theater production of Romeo and Juliet doing a balcony scene. It never goes correctly.

Jul 19th 2018 at 9:00:27 PM

Maybe "Balcony Wooing Scene"?

Jul 20th 2018 at 10:33:58 AM

  • In The Fairly Odd Parents episode "Love Struck", Timmy sings a broadway-esque serenade in front of Trixie's balcony, in hopes of becoming her Valentine. It didn't work.

Jul 20th 2018 at 11:32:11 AM

I'm not sure exactly how to frame the example (perhaps in terms of Newer Than They Think), but as discussed in this Atlantic article, the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet is not at all implied in the text of the play (and in fact the term was unknown in English during Shakespeare's lifetime). Instead, it weirdly gained an association with the play via Recursive Adaptation.

Basically, a guy named Thomas Otway wrote a play in the late 17th century called Caius Marius, which granted bits of Romeo and Juliet into a Roman history setting, and Otway's play had a scene where the lovers met, with the girl talking from her balcony and the guy on the ground. Since Otway's play was more well-known and popular than Shakespeare's during the 17th and 18th centuries, people started adding the balcony scene to Romeo and Juliet stagings and the rest is history.

Jul 21st 2018 at 8:06:50 AM

I vote for the title Balcony Wooing Scene.

Jul 21st 2018 at 10:55:07 AM

^^ A literal balcony isn't necessary for the trope, and the stage directions and text of the scene make it clear that Romeo is in the garden and Juliet is at her window, so the example still qualifies. I will rewrite it to reflect that though.

Jul 21st 2018 at 12:36:05 PM

Created a title crowner. I didn't include any of the names that came up before Balcony Scene.

Jul 21st 2018 at 1:24:26 PM

Webcomics

  • Tommy from the NSFW Furry Webcomic Better Days flees his home after the Shipping Torpedo Rachel vilifies Lucy to Tommy's parents. Tommy resorts to lobbing pebbles at Lucy's upstairs window in the Monday 23 October 2006 strip. The window is open, so one pebble bips off Lucy's shoulder. This leads to a face-to-face discussion that furthers their relationship.

Jul 21st 2018 at 2:48:12 PM

Oh cool, are crowners working again? ... Okay, I voted.

Jul 21st 2018 at 5:20:05 PM

Voting down Balcony Scene because Balcony Speech is also a scene in a balcony.

Aug 21st 2018 at 1:16:37 PM

Any more interest in the crowner?

I will note that the top 20 hits on Google for "Balcony Scene" are all Romeo And Juliet related, suggesting that the phrase is strongly connected with the trope codifier.

Aug 22nd 2018 at 10:22:25 AM

I forgot that I'd voted and I visited the crowner again. Apparently I didn't vote thoroughly enough the first time around.

Oct 23rd 2018 at 7:21:14 PM

Film:

  • Another shoutout to Say Anything can be found in Deadpool 2, when Deadpool tries to make up with Colossus and does the stereo-under-your-window thing.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/deadpool_boom_box_mini.jpg

Oct 23rd 2018 at 7:22:43 PM

Another Say Anything spoof in Family Guy episode "Once Bitten" where Neil stands under Chris' window holding an old boom box up. It's his way of apologizing for sacrificing their friendship for a fling with Chris's sister Meg. Funny enough, Neil doesn't play a tape but the radio news because he doesn't own any cassettes. Then he asks if he can put the boom box down because the D batteries make it so heavy.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/neil_and_brian.jpg
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/neil_9.jpg

I am starting to think this should be troped separately as a Stock Shout Out.

Oct 23rd 2018 at 7:58:13 PM

Title crowner is close, but Balcony Wooing Scene is at the top, and it's the one I personally prefer. Why: "Balcony scene" is a common term for the trope namer. Balcony Wooing Scene preserves the reference while avoiding ambiguity with Balcony Speech etc.

Any strong objections?


^ The Say Anything reference would be a subtrope, as the original movie scene is an example of this trope. I say lump them for now, but someone can split off another trope in the future if there are enough examples?

Oct 23rd 2018 at 8:27:26 PM

  • The Ninja Sex Party video for "Three Minutes of Ecstasy" Danny and Brian get a woman's attention by throwing roses through her window and standing outside with a boombox. Danny then manages to throw himself through her window, much to her displeasure, so they can have their "three minutes of ecstasy".

Oct 23rd 2018 at 9:33:41 PM

I found the one proposed title on the crowner that I didn't give an opinion on and voted on it.

Oct 23rd 2018 at 9:56:13 PM

^^ Maybe the examples could be sorted differently on the page? Have a separate section specifically for that shoutout?

Oct 23rd 2018 at 11:11:53 PM

^ No, just mention in the description about the Say Anything homage.

Oct 25th 2018 at 11:22:44 AM

Description should probably mention the idea of holding up a stereo/boombox if the time period permits.

Oct 25th 2018 at 11:50:33 AM

^, ^^ This has already been there for several months...

Oct 25th 2018 at 12:40:47 PM

Maybe the name should signal that in the default setup, the person being "wooed" in the window / on the balcony is a woman, and the wooer below is a man. While this may not be true for all examples, any deviation from this standard is likely to be Playing With A Trope. For example, a woman "wooing" a man from below is definitely an Inverted Trope.

Wooer At Her Window, Suitor Beneath Her Window?

Oct 25th 2018 at 3:50:28 PM

  • In some productions of Les Miserables, Marius approaches Cosette by throwing a pebble at her window before she steps out onto the balcony to investigate.

Oct 26th 2018 at 6:40:39 AM

Fanfic.Dungeon Keeper Ami: In combination with Serenade Your Lover, one of the things General Jadeite learned from reading romance novels, and a discarded plan to get Mercury to fall more in love with him, as said in Beryl's Plan:

Somehow, he didn't think she would be impressed if he serenaded her from below a balcony. Not that she had a balcony in this dungeon.

Oct 28th 2018 at 5:42:58 PM

Edited the description to make it less gender-neutral, as this is a gendered trope.

Whoever added the bomb, may I ask why?

Nov 1st 2018 at 2:34:34 PM

It's not my bomb. I was just dropping by to post a link to How To Split A Page so I could recommend soft-splitting the "Say Anything" shout-outs, as a compromise between deciding whether or not to start a separate page for them.

Nov 4th 2018 at 10:21:48 AM

The IMDB page for Say Anything shows 64 references to the boom box scene.

  • In The Simpsons episode "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge", Otto holds up a boombox and plays a song for his girlfriend at a drive-in.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/otto_boombox.jpg

Jan 8th 2019 at 2:05:25 PM

Any other thoughts about whether the Say Anything shoutouts should be lumped here or made into their own page? If split, they would be a subtrope of this.

Jan 8th 2019 at 8:25:10 PM

^ I'd say no, if only because there still isn't enough examples.

Jan 9th 2019 at 7:12:52 PM

Is this launchable as-is then?

Jan 10th 2019 at 2:08:17 PM

Does this fit?

  • The Adventures Of Robin Hood: Robin climbs up to Marian's window for a romantic meeting where he hangs on the outside of the building and she leans out to kiss him.

Jan 11th 2019 at 8:39:14 AM

Probably. I assume the distance in the relationship comes from the fact that Robin is an outlaw?

Jan 11th 2019 at 4:20:05 PM

^^Yes, and that she's Norman and he's Saxon.

Jan 12th 2019 at 12:58:34 PM

^Not adding that because that example needs more context.

Jan 13th 2019 at 4:47:08 AM

The Amazing World Of Gumball: One flashback to when they teenagers courting, has Richard standing on a ladder outsider her bedroom window to Serenade Nicole.

Jan 13th 2019 at 4:47:09 AM

The Amazing World Of Gumball: One flashback to when they teenagers courting, has Richard standing on a ladder outsider her bedroom window to Serenade Nicole.

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