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Gigantic Moon

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"All right, this is just getting ridiculous. Is the Moon just larger in Japan?"

Depictions of the Moon in fiction vary, but it's not supposed to... grow. In fiction, the Moon can be twice as large on the horizon compared to the sky, and even the Moon in the sky is larger than it really is! The Moon will dominate the scene as a clue to the time of day and effect on the story.

In Real Life, the Moon is about 30 arc-minutes across when seen from the Earth's surface, about the size of a small coin held at arm's length. The Supermoon, a phenomenon where the Moon is full at the same time as its perigee (closest approach to Earth in its orbit) can also make the Moon appear substantially larger in the sky, though not to the extent seen here.

Your eyes can create the Moon illusion, an optical illusion which causes the Moon to appear larger near the horizon than it does higher up in the sky, but in fiction this is taken to the extreme.

Subtrope to Weird Moon. See also Full Moon Silhouette, which can overlap if the foreground characters are too large/close for the effect to be anything other than artistically created. For examples in fiction of something being as big as the Moon, see That's No Moon.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The moon in ef: A Tale of Memories is huge.
  • The second opening of Gintama end with the Yorozuya trio standing on a rooftop and looking at a gigantic moon. the 10th opening have them, again on a rooftop, in front of one.
  • The Hellsing OVAs show a moon that, in one scene, is so big that the bottom 15% or so half fills a row of windows about ten meters across. To get that kind of size with a real camera, you'd need a lens with a focal length measured in meters, and you'd have to photograph the (indoor) scene from a couple kilometers away.
  • Hoshin Engi: Bunchou is seen standing in front of a huge moon when he makes a dramatic arrival in Chapter 43.
  • When Toutousai is first introduced in the manga Inuyasha, he is riding his three-eyed bull in front of a giant full moon.
  • In Kurau Phantom Memory , the full moon looks awfully huge behind the flying silhouettes of Kurau and later Christmas, to make some lovely framing.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, the distant moon is drawn larger than nearby objects. In Episode 6, for example, it is shown bigger than Rei's body.
  • Much like the movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero's Journey has one on Christmas Eve.
  • At the end of the intro to Ojarumaru, the time of day changes to night and a massive-sized moon appears to distinguish the silhouettes of Ojarumaru, his wagon, and Cow who is pulling the vehicle.
  • In Miyazaki's Ponyo, the moon comes so close to earth it appears huge.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion, when Homura and Kyoko discover that nothing exists outside their town, a few scenes play out with a moon that one might think is only a few thousand miles away, given its size.
  • Sailor Moon Crystal: Photorealistic but massively oversized full moons feature prominently in the Title Sequence and Closing Credits.
  • Shamanic Princess is full of lush watercolor backgrounds which, given it's occult-centered subject matter, naturally include selectively huge depictions of the moon.
  • The Moon from Soul Eater in the sky is as large as a nearby building. Subverted in that this is more than artistic embellishment—it's actually much smaller than in real life, but so close (within the humanly-breathable parts of the atmosphere) it's more of a Floating Continent than a satellite.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, there's a three-week period when the moon is about to crash into the Earth, which justifies it filling more and more of the sky.
  • Mira in Xenoblade Chronicles X has 5 moons, all but one of which are absolutely massive with the largest dominating the eastern night sky.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 5 episode 23, Happy S. and Shao Long have a battle in the night, and a large moon illuminates to make Shao Long more visible in the sky.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons episode 72, there are a couple of shots of Goat Village at night where the moon looks absolutely massive in the sky compared to real life.

    Comic Books 
  • The larger moon is justified in one story arc of Justice League; The Heroes pull the moon into Earth's atmosphere as a mechanism to defeat an Alien Invasion.
  • In the story "Zio Paperone e la scorribanda nei secoli" (lit.:"Uncle Scrooge and the Waltz of the Centuries"; American title: "Money is the Root of Upheaval!"), a malfunctioning Time Machine temporarily transports Gyro and Scrooge in the year 487,000. The Earth is cold and deserted and the moon appears unusually huge: there are great treasures around and a recorded message declares that humanity has been destroyed by its own greed; as for the moon, it is because it is falling to Earth.
    • The script for such an unusually dark story by Disney standards is by Jerry Siegel. note  The pencil of the story is Luciano Scarpa.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield likes to either perform on the fence, or sit with Arlene on the fence for their dates. The Moon is usually dominating the panels.

    Films — Animation 
  • An American Tail: During "Somewhere Out There", Fievel is watching the moon rise over the horizon, dwarfing the New York skyline.
  • The Book of Life features a gigantic Cheesy Moon in the background when Manolo serenades Maria at night.
  • The final shot of Despicable Me depicts the moon as being much closer than it should be, justified by the events of the film: Gru had shrunk, then stolen the moon, and when it grew back to normal, it ended up in a closer orbit.
  • The Lion King (1994) features a large moon in the backdrop when the main characters walk across a plank.
  • The moon in The Nightmare Before Christmas is pretty big and doesn't have any craters.
  • When Shrek and Donkey are stargazing at their makeshift camp, the moon dominates the night sky, and is large enough for them both to be silhouetted against it simultaneously. Given that this takes place in a fairytale world, their moon may just be that large and/or close.
  • In Turning Red, after Ming sends the aunts off to a hotel, she looks up at a crescent moon which is much too big.

    Films — Live-Action 


  • In the Myst tie-in novel Book of Atrus, Atrus is trying to figure out what is destabilizing the world of Riven so he can save it. One of his experiments involves lunar orbits, and after using a Portal Book to see the results, he realizes he's visited the wrong place when he sees a massive moon appear over the horizon, followed by a gigantic tidal wave that nearly kills him.
  • In Nightside, the moon looks a lot bigger than it usually does, for reasons unknown. John remarks, on more than one occasion, on his hope that someone will hire him to find out why the moon is so close and what the hell is wrong with it.
  • Wayward Children: The first sign that the Moors are a Magical Land is the "vast and bloody moon", which many of the locals regard as an ambivalent deity.
  • In Witches Abroad, the witches comment on how much bigger the moon is in Genua than in Lancre. Since the moon orbits much closer to the Disc than ours does to Earth, and the witches are now a lot nearer the Rim, this probably isn't an illusion.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Supernatural is guilty of presenting the "unbelievably enormous" version of the moon; in real life, the moon looks about the size of a pea held at an arm's length... not a baseball.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Despite deserved praise for its attention to detail with modern science, they have taken artistic license with Earth's moon. From orbit, the moon is no different in size to human eyes than on land. Contrast this image from Best of Both Worlds and this NASA image.
  • In Terra Nova, the moon is shown to be huge due to it apparently moving back a centimeter each year, and this being 85 million B.C. However this doesn't quite work. The moon would have been about 3,000 kilometers closer... that's less than one percent of its current average distance, around 380,000 kilometers. The moon's distance varies by nearly 40,000 km every month due to its eccentric orbit. To a normal person, the moon 85 million years ago would have looked exactly the same.

  • The man on the front of the cover of Kansas's Monolith has an enormous moon in the sky behind him.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The moon in the skies of Blades in the Dark had once appeared about the size of Earth's moon, before the Cataclysm, but has been steadily growing in size ever since. Nobody quite understands what it means, and most don't even want to think about it.
  • Sel√Ľne, the Moon-sized Abeir-Toril's moon in Dungeons & Dragons' Forgotten Realms (Third Edition at least), orbits at just 20,000 miles of the planet, thus in theory at least appearing quite big (around twenty times larger than ours) in the sky. The issues brought by a moon so big and so closenote  are not touched upon.

    Video Games 
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum has an absolutely massive full moon hovering over Arkham Island, large enough to frame the Bat's face inside of it with your camera. It doesn't actually do anything, it's just for atmosphere. It's also backwards. The sequel Batman: Arkham City continues the overly large moon trend.
  • The Moon is a central theme in Bayonetta, as the powers from the Umbra Witches are Moon-related. That is probably why it is so fricking huge.
  • The Moon as seen in the opening sequence of BioShock is huge (it's obscured by clouds much of the time however).
  • The moon in Bloodborne appears at least twice as large as it should be. This is eventually revealed to be an effect of an Eldritch Abomination known as "Moon Presence" taking a keen interest in the town of Yharnam, and being only kept at bay by another old god for a time.
  • Most Castlevania games content themselves with an inexplicably gigantic moon. In the intro for Castlevania: Judgment, the moon is portrayed in such a size it would actually be BIGGER than the Earth itself, unless the satellite has broken orbit and is on a collision course for Eastern Europe.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist: The desert stage approaching Blackberry's pyramid is overseen by a massive moon with its craters forming a skull face looming over the sand dunes.
  • The moon in Final Fantasy VIII is enormous and takes up quite a bit of the sky in most outdoor backgrounds, foreshadowing for the events of Disc 3.
  • Final Zone: the game over screen shows the player's robot exploding against a background with a huge moon.[1]
  • The Grand Theft Auto games from the 3D era have an Easter Egg where, if you shoot the moon with a sniper rifle, it grows larger and larger until, after 5-6 shots, it reverts to its normal size.
  • The Moon which is seen during the Second Era in Hype: The Time Quest is pretty massive, at least five times as big as it should be in real life. Although the same goes with both the Sun and the stars.
  • Maniac Mansion, or at least the NES version, shows it about as tall as the player characters when they're outside of the house at the beginning.
  • The moon in Myst understandably bears no resemblance to our moon, but the moon in Channelwood Age is unbelieveably huge.
  • The moon in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is big enough to block out a huge percentage of the sky, as seen in the battle against the appropriately named Margaret Moonlight.
  • In Rogue Legacy, the moon is always visible in the Forest, and while it's mostly normal, it's gigantic in size, which The Prince comments on in a journal entry. Given that you're allegedly still inside a castle, it's likely fake.
  • The Simpsons Hit & Run: The moon seen in the night stages that make up the second half of the game is already large, but it appears especially huge in Level 6. When looking in its direction, it takes about a third of the sky horizontally.
  • In Sonic Heroes, the moon is absolutely enormous in the sky in Hang Castle, taking up at least half of it and easily dwarfing any background structures and details. There are certain camera angles in which the Moon occupies all visible sky.
  • During the Splatoon 2 Splatfest event in September 2018, an unexplained and unusually large moon could be seen in the night sky from Inkopolis Square. The reason for this was that in Japan, the Splatfest was themed around the Japanese moon-viewing festival, which it happened to coincide with. No references to the moon-viewing festival were present outside of the Japanese version, but the large moon remained present in all regions.
  • In Subnautica, both moons are bigger than Earth's moon. The red one takes the cake however, being ridiculously enormous, large enough to cause solar eclipses on a regular basis.
  • The Talos Principle has normal-sized moons in most levels, but B-2 has an impossibly gigantic moon and most of the puzzles have moon-themed names. This leads to an Easter Egg where you can turn the moon around to reveal an Aperture Science logo. This is justified as the entire game takes place inside a computer simulation.
  • Wario Land 3: One with a door will appear in the very upper-right corner of one area of Above the Clouds, if going there at night and you got the gong from the blue chest at Sea Turtle Rocks.
  • The moon in Wario Land 4's Crescent Moon Village is absolutely huge in the sky (about a bit bigger than many background buildings, or double the size of Wario and the pirate ghost).

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown has this as part of the background during the famous scene in the Pumpkin Patch when Snoopy rises up, Linus faints, and then Sally rants her The Reason You Suck speech.
  • The moon in the opening sequence of Kissyfur is bigger than it should be.
  • Parodied in The Simpsons. In the episode "Dude, Where's My Ranch?", Lisa and guest character Luke are looking at the night sky and comment on how big the moon seems. The camera then pans back to show the landscape they're on — with the moon taking up half the screen.
    Luke: You should see it when it's full!

    Real Life 
  • Those shots where an often huge (rising or setting) Moon dominates a landscape are either the results of image manipulation software or pictures taken through a very powerful telephoto lens or even a telescope — the actual apparent size of the Moon (and the Sun) as seen with the Mark I eyeball is, as stated above, small compared with the full sky.
  • Nonetheless, simulations suggest that, just after being formed, the Moon was only 20,000-30,000 kilometers away (i.e. 12-18 times closer, thus proportionally bigger).
  • Pluto's moon Charon, being roughly half the size of Pluto, is the closest known example of this trope in Real Life. Charon is so close to Pluto that it appears more than seven times larger than our Moon as seen from Earth.note 


Carmen Sandiego

On top of the world indeed, Carmen.

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