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Scene Of Wonder

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One or more characters see some kind of environment for the first time, and have a short scene where they look around and are struck in awe by what they see.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
MaartenTroper on Sep 16th 2018 at 10:36:13 AM
Last Edited By:
MaartenTroper on Oct 17th 2018 at 10:41:23 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

You open the door, go through it, and the lights are turned on. And what you are seeing now, leaves you in awe for a moment, because you have never seen something like this before. During this moment, you look around to take in all of the details.

If you just experienced this, you may have had a Scene of Wonder. Here, one or more characters see some kind of environment for the first time, and have a short scene where they look around and are struck by what they see. Their reaction could be a positive one, like amazement, but does not have to be bound by this as it could also be something negative, like horror. Expect to be exposed to environment in its entirety, and by shots or descriptions of details or smaller events happening in it. Bonus points if the music swells when the reaction happens or when we see the environment.

Compare to The World Is Just Awesome and "Hell, Yes!" Moment. Also compare to Stunned Silence, where the reaction is silence to something a person does, while in here, it has to be an environment of some sort. Of course, people (or creatures of some kind) could be part of the scenery. It could possibly include Scenery Porn. Not to be confused with One-Scene Wonder. When the setting shown is establishing a Period Piece, this trope could very well be overlapping with "Mister Sandman" Sequence.

No Zero Context Examples please! When adding examples, please say who is reacting and at what. Also add why the environment evokes the reaction and how the characters are reacting.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 
    Anime and Manga 
  • Your Name revolves around a boy from Tokyo named Taki and a girl from a rural village named Mitsuha swapping bodies. Mitsuha is fed up with small-town life and wants to go to Tokyo, so when she first swaps bodies with Taki she is awestruck at seeing Tokyo for the first time.

    Film - Animated 
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa: The zoosters have this kind of moment when they look overs the African plains and see others of their own kind for the first time.
  • In Mulan, immediately following the number "A Girl Worth Fighting For," all the soldiers fall silent as they arrive at the decimated village. They even stop before singing the last note of the song to stare in shock and horror. This is taken even further when they come across the fallen troops that came before them.
  • The number "What's This?" from The Nightmare Before Christmas, in which Jack wanders into Christmastown and runs around singing about the wondrous sights he's never witnessed before.
  • In The Secret of NIMH, there's the scene where Mrs. Brisby first enters the rosebush. At first everything looks dark and foreboding, but then she finds a clearing illuminated by glowing flowers. She looks around in wonder at the beauty all around her... but the mood is suddenly shattered when she encounters a rat guard with a sharp trident who chases her away.
  • The Spongebob Squarepants Movie: In the middle of their journey to Shell City, Spongebob and Patrick reacts in shock upon seeing the Alluring Anglerfish monster that chased them ran towards a giant chasm (which Bob and Pat narrowly avoid) and then gets eaten by a gigantic Sea Monster that leaps out of the chasm. Doubly so since they have to cross said chasm to get to their destination.
  • There are two such instances for the odd li'l bot WALL•E: 1) while clinging to the outside of the shuttle rocket, WALL•E escapes the lifeless clutter of his Crapsack World, and gazes in wonder at the infinitude of outer space. There's even a moment of Midflight Water Touching as he passes the ice rings of Saturn; and 2) upon leaving the Axiom's docking bay, WALL•E sees the multitude of living people whizzing around the glistening luxury liner, and can only gaze in awe at this spectacle.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Back to the Future is the Trope Namer for the related trope "Mister Sandman" Sequence; in the aforementioned sequence, Marty walks around staring in wonder when he's gone back to 1955. He has similar reactions whenever else he goes forward or backwards in time (he also stares in dismay at the changed Hill Valley in the version where Biff owns a casino).
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: When Georgie Henley, who plays the youngest of the Pevensies, first enters the mystical land Narnia. As with the Willy Wonka example, this was Enforced Method Acting. She was actually blindfolded and carried onto the set.
  • In Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, when the children enter the room with the chocolate waterfall, they all stare in wonder. This is partially because of Enforced Method Acting, as none of the actors had seen the set before it was filmed.
  • The Wizard of Oz
    • After the farmhouse lands in Oz, Dorothy goes to the front door to open it. Up to this point, the movie had been in drab sepia. When she opens the door, the movie turns to glorious Technicolor. Dorothy spends more than a minute walking around a village filled with beautiful flowers, just staring at the scenery.
    • The Emerald City definitely dazzles Dorothy and company from the outside, and once inside the city's gates, they gape at a wondrous place that's much glitzier and busier than the Munchkin village where Dorothy began her journey.

    Literature 
  • Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has this multiple times in the book and movie, most notably when everyone first sees the main Chocolate Room, which is made entirely out of candy and a sight to behold.
  • In the Discworld book Interesting Times the throne room of the Agatean Emperor is supposed to have that effect, to make uncivilised and uncomplicated tribesmen step back in awe at its grand majesty and submit to the throne. However when Cohen and his Silver Horde turn up they immediately start calling it gaudy, flimsy, and are generally just unimpressed and miss the point of it. Perhaps they were just too uncivilised to recognise how uncivilised they were...
  • Diagon Alley is this for Harry Potter in the first book, having seen little of the wizarding world yet. In the movie this is shown by multiple shots of the shops and emphasized with the loud music.
  • Although she was initially reluctant about it, Marle from Pindakaas en Sushi admits to be amazed by seeing an anime convention for the first time, describing it as something to experience. She also becomes happy about the few things she does recognize, though she pulls herself back at that moment, telling herself not to get too much into it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A negative reaction gets evoked in iCarly, during the episode iSell Penny Tees, where Sam makes fourth-graders do labor work. Naturally, Carly and Freddie are not pleased at the sight of the visibly tired and sweaty children, their expressions being somewhere between shock and confusion. However, due to the nature of the show, this is Played for Laughs.

    Theatre 
  • Hansel and Gretel dedicates Scene II of its third act to the reveal of the Gingerbread House. Its sudden appearance amid the woods is greeted by the children with a few moments of Stunned Silence as the orchestra begins a luxurious melody.

    Video Games 
  • Fallout series:
    • Most notable in Fallout 3 where the main character has never even seen the sky until he/she is forced to leave in search of their father.
    • For the main character in Fallout 4, when having witnessed the nuclear blast for a few minutes before he/she is cryogenically frozen in the local vault, the result 200 years later is all the more horrifying.
    • The trailer for Fallout 76 gives the player this feeling upon first leaving the vault. It shows empty forests and abandoned, worn down locations, with ominous mist and a used protective suit laying on the ground, of which the supposed player character inspects the helmet of.
  • Invoked by the developers of Journey, who have designed its locations specifically to elicit this kind of reaction from players. With the ultimate goal of fostering friendships between online strangers, they reasoned that people who experience awe and wonder of an environment together tend to bond with each other much more naturally.
  • In Ni no Kuni Oliver has this reaction after first teleporting to the other world. Although he has already met the magical creature Drippy, who is a doll which came to life, the shining gate appearing out of thin air and the beautiful green landscape that follows sure makes him stand still for a moment.

    Western Animation 
  • Discussed a little in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Master Piandao is educating Sokka on the use of a sword. One of his lessons involves blindfolding Sokka and leading him to a picturesque environment, with waterfalls, a gorgeous view, and polished stone. Sokka is given a few seconds to marvel at the scene, before Piandao yanks him away, gives him paper, brushes, and ink, and tells him to paint the landscape he just saw, telling Sokka that a swordsman may have only a moment to observe the scene before they must make use of it in combat.
  • In Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas the Santa Workshop evokes a gleeful reaction from Huey, Dewey and Louie. After a camera pan from their faces towards the entire room, the audience gets to see some shots of the creative ways the toys are manufactured.


Feedback: 39 replies

Sep 16th 2018 at 12:14:21 PM

  • The number "What's This?" from The Nightmare Before Christmas, in which Jack wanders into Christmastown and runs around singing about the wondrous sights he's never witnessed before.
  • In The Secret Of NIMH, there's the scene where Mrs. Brisby first enters the rosebush. At first everything looks dark and foreboding, but then she finds a clearing illuminated by glowing flowers. She looks around in wonder at the beauty all around her... but the mood is suddenly shattered when she encounters a rat guard with a sharp trident who chases her away.

Sep 16th 2018 at 3:07:26 PM

  • Madagascar Escape 2 Africa: The zoosters have this kind of moment when they look overs the African plains and see others of their own kind for the first time.

Sep 17th 2018 at 1:24:56 AM

  • Examples section
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
    • Italicized work names as per How To Write An Example - Emphasis For Work Names.

Sep 17th 2018 at 4:19:20 AM

If "scenes of horror" counts too then many horror and slasher flick have at least one scene like this.

Sep 17th 2018 at 9:18:50 PM

Theatre

  • Hansel and Gretel dedicates Scene II of its third act to the reveal of the Gingerbread House. Its sudden appearance amid the woods is greeted by the children with a few moments of Stunned Silence as the orchestra begins a luxurious melody.

Sep 18th 2018 at 1:28:29 AM

  • Invoked by the developers of Journey, who have designed its locations specifically to elicit this kind of reaction from players. With the ultimate goal of fostering friendships between online strangers, they reasoned that people who experience awe and wonder of an environment together tend to bond with each other much more naturally.

Sep 18th 2018 at 5:35:57 PM

Film

  • The Emerald City from The Wizard Of Oz definitely dazzles Dorothy and company from the outside, and once inside the city's gates, they gape at a wondrous place that's much glitzier and busier than the Munchkin village where Dorothy began her journey.

Sep 18th 2018 at 5:53:27 PM

Sep 20th 2018 at 1:31:42 AM

Film - Live Action

  • The Wizard Of Oz
    • Emerald City example above.
    • After the farmhouse lands in Oz, Dorothy goes to the front door to open it. Up to this point, the movie had been in drab sepia. When she opens the door, the movie turns to glorious Technicolor. Dorothy spends more than a minute walking around a Munchkinland village filled with beautiful flowers, just staring at the scenery.

You can watch the scene here.

Sep 19th 2018 at 8:40:32 AM

Hatted. A word of caution though, I foresee this trope being a magnet for zero-context examples.

Sep 19th 2018 at 10:53:25 AM

  • In Mulan, immediately following the number "A Girl Worth Fighting For," all the soldiers fall silent as they arrive at the decimated village. They even stop before singing the last note of the song to stare in shock and horror. This is taken even further when they come across the fallen troops that came before them.

Sep 19th 2018 at 12:22:53 PM

Video Game

  • In Ni No Kuni Oliver has this reaction after first teleporting to the other world.

Sep 19th 2018 at 2:46:28 PM

  • The Spongebob Squarepants Movie: In the middle of their journey to Shell City, Spongebob and Patrick reacts in shock upon seeing the Alluring Anglerfish monster that chased them ran towards a giant chasm (which Bob and Pat narrowly avoid) and then gets eaten by a gigantic Sea Monster that leaps out of the chasm. Doubly so since they have to cross said chasm to get to their destination.

Sep 24th 2018 at 6:52:09 AM

Video Game

  • In the Fallout Series.
    • Mosts notable in 'Fallout 3'' where the main character was born and raised in one of the nuclear shelters called vaults. The Wanderer has never even seen the sky up until he/she is forced to leave their homw in search of their father.
    • For the main character in ''Fallout 4', it would be safe to assume that the protagonist will be more horrified by the results of the nuclear blast that happened 200 years after he/she witnessed it few minutes before he/she is cryogenically frozen in the local vault.
    • The trailer for Fallout 76 Gives the player this feeling upon first leaving the vault... also to find someone.

Sep 21st 2018 at 7:06:12 AM

Folderized the categories and did some minor fixes to a few entries.

Sep 24th 2018 at 4:22:24 AM

I believe this trope has a good enough description and has acquired enough examples and hats for it to be launched. The feedback has all been dealt with. Therefore, I will launch it a few hours after this post.

Sep 24th 2018 at 6:52:26 AM

You might want to update the fallout series description.

Sep 24th 2018 at 6:53:27 AM

  • Dawn Of War: Soulstorm: When trained, the Dark Eldar's Worker Unit (the aptly-named Tortured Slave) will sometimes exclaim that the new cage is so big, he can't even see the bars. This tells you everything you need to know about living conditions for the Dark Eldar's captives.

Sep 24th 2018 at 7:39:37 AM

@ Draft maker: If I were you, I'd like to wait for anime and comic book examples. And I'd wait for at least a month before launching.

Sep 24th 2018 at 8:22:50 AM

All right, that all sounds reasonable. To be honest, although I felt like it was ready, I was not 100 percent sure, but didn't know what it could be missing, since I don't have a lot of experience with this. So I made my previous post just in case there was something left to do I had not realised yet, and for someone to point that out. Thank you all for the feedback!

Sep 27th 2018 at 3:37:46 PM

Film Animated

  • There are two such instances for the odd li'l bot Wall E: 1) while clinging to the outside of the shuttle rocket, Wall E escapes the lifeless clutter of his Crapsack World, and gazes in wonder at the infinitude of outer space. There's even a moment of Midflight Water Touching as he passes the ice rings of Saturn; and 2) upon leaving the Axiom's docking bay, Wall E sees the multitude of living people whizzing around the glistening luxury liner, and can only gaze in awe at this spectacle.

Sep 27th 2018 at 4:20:26 PM

In the Discworld book Interesting Times the throne room of the Agatean Emperor is supposed to have that effect, to make uncivilised and uncomplicated tribesmen step back in awe at its grand majesty and submit to the throne. However when Cohen and his Silver Horde turn up they immediately start calling it gaudy, flimsy, and are generally just unimpressed and miss the point of it. Perhaps they were just too uncivilised to recognise how uncivilised they were...

Sep 27th 2018 at 11:50:28 PM

  • Your Name revolves around a boy from Tokyo named Taki and a girl from a rural village named Mitsuha swapping bodies. Mitsuha is fed up with small-town life and wants to go to Tokyo, so when she first swaps bodies with Taki she is awestruck at seeing Tokyo for the first time.

Sep 28th 2018 at 12:19:34 AM

As with the Willy Wonka example, this was Enforced Method Acting with Georgie Henley, who plays the first of the Pevensies to enter Narnia. She was actually blindfolded and carried onto the set.

Sep 28th 2018 at 9:07:13 PM

Back To The Future is the Trope Namer for the related trope Mister Sandman Sequence; in the aforementioned sequence, Marty walks around staring in wonder when he's gone back to 1955. He has similar reactions whenever else he goes forward or backwards in time (he also stares in dismay at the changed Hill Valley in the version where Biff owns a casino).

Oct 1st 2018 at 1:24:29 PM

Western Animation

  • Discussed a little in Avatar The Last Airbender. Master Piandao is educating Sokka on the use of a sword. One of his lessons involves blindfolding Sokka and leading him to a picturesque environment, with waterfalls, a gorgeous view, and polished stone. Sokka is given a few seconds to marvel at the scene, before Piandao yanks him away, gives him paper, brushes, and ink, and tells him to paint the landscape he just saw, telling Sokka that a swordsman may have only a moment to observe the scene before they must make use of it in combat.

Oct 11th 2018 at 11:42:29 AM

Anyone got comicbook examples?

Oct 17th 2018 at 10:41:23 AM

Is this launching anytime soon?

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