Follow TV Tropes


Hope Sprouts Eternal

Go To
"If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously. [...] life finds a way."
Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park (1993)

Pan across a desolate landscape. Was it a war? A science experiment Gone Horribly Wrong? Divine Retribution at last for the bastardry of humanity? Who cares? All is dead. All is lost. It's the end. Or is it?

Out of the dust there sprouts a plant. It could be just a shoot with a few little leaves, or perhaps a single, tremulous flower. A tree that seemed dead may have shoots on it, or flowers, or even a bit of bark stripped away to reveal a green, wick heart. Is it a Hope Spot? Or does it mean that the Darkest Hour is over? Who cares? Maybe the heroes have earned their happy ending after all. And that's what's important.

Often used as a way to show that Hope Springs Eternal. Compare Fisher King and Fertile Feet; this can be a Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane version of either one. See also Babies Ever After.

Sometimes related to Green Aesop.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In the end of Barefoot Gen, a plant is shown sprouting at the same time Gen's hair is growing back, showing that life can still go on despite all that was destroyed by the bomb.
  • Subverted in Batman Ninja. Batman and Red Hood come across the Joker and Harley Quinn working as farmers, having been restored to sanity after losing their memories. Over Red Hood's objections, Batman decides to leave them be as the couple happily celebrate the sprouting of their first flower. Turns out the flower sprouting was the hypnotic trigger for their previous evil personalities to reawaken. Knowing that Batman would Never Hurt an Innocent, the Joker and Harley hypnotised themselves as a Memory Gambit.
  • In Battle Angel Alita, after Alita's climatic final battle with Zapan, her broken and nearly destroyed body collapses in the ruins of her former home... and she sees a single flower sprout, under a beam of sunlight, where she planted Ido's seeds days before.
  • In the epilogue of the Eureka Seven movie which is shown after the credits, a single lunar Crystal flower is shown along with Renton & Eureka's pendant, emitting rainbow light that is believed to grant wishes to whoever prays to it.
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within does this with an eagle at the end that signifies not all is lost, since the phantoms had allegedly destroyed all life, especially animals, in their path.
  • Fist of the North Star:
    • The movie has Lyn carting around a flower. It gets knocked out of her hands near the end, and the last shot before the credits is a small field of flowers grown from where it got knocked down... somehow...
    • The outros for the main series show fields of grass and mountains, implying that the world might recover one day.
  • The last scene of the 2006 Kyoto Animation adaptation of Kanon shows a single sprout coming out of the tree stump (and a fox cub in the background...).
  • Macross:
    • In Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Hikaru actually finds a field of flowers in the middle of the wasteland.
    • There's another in Macross Frontier, late in the series: After the Frontier has been ravaged by Vajra, we see a couple of kids watering a flower that has sprung up among the wreckage.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 does this in the final episode. After the final battle, Feldt's flower drifts out of the Exia's shattered cockpit and falls towards Earth. During the epilogue, we see a massive field of similar flowers. This also ties into the imagery of the fourth and final ending theme, which shows the Gundam Meisters abandoning their ruined Gundams, complete with a badly damaged 00 covered in flowers as a young Setsuna looks on and smiles.
  • The very last shot of Princess Mononoke is a fantastic variation: a Kodama appears amid the downed trees of the forest.
    • From the same author/director, the last shot of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is of a normal, non-corrupted sapling sprouting next to Nausicaa's forgotten flightcap at the bottom of the Sea of Corruption. Vindicating Nausicaa's hypothesis that the "corrupted" plants were actually processing the pollution of the world and rendering it harmless, and the bottom stratum of the Sea of Corruption has perfectly clean air and water.
      • Cruelly subverted in the manga, though: It turns out that humans have adapted over time to a moderately polluted environment, and pure air and water are just as deadly as the Sea.
  • This happens at the end of Tekkonkinkreet, when the apple seed which White plants nearly a year earlier finally sprouts and blossoms in the end, reflecting the hope that Black's reunification with White will lead to a brighter future.

    Comic Books 
  • In Countdown to Final Crisis, Earth-51 is destroyed, leaving only its Monitor floating in a blank universe—except for a single living plant, which gives him hope. When next we see Earth-51, it's been completely overwritten with a new continuity.
  • Subverted in the Firestorm (DC Comics) series by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake. Firestorm finds a single sprout growing in a war-torn wasteland, and calls it little hope. Then Shadowstorm comes along and deliberately destroys it.
  • Towards the beginning of Planet Hulk, the slaves cleaning up after the Hulk's gladiatorial debut discover a plant growing from his spilled blood, on land previously thought infertile. By the time Hulk becomes emperor, the barren lands are lush with vegetation, all owing to that single plant.
  • Referenced in the end of The World Below. The surviving protagonists are trapped in the bizarre underground world, kept prisoner with seemingly no way back above. The last panel shows one of the strange alien plants from the underworld sprouting on the surface.
    You want hope? Here's hope.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • At the end of 9: In a world where life has been wiped out so thoroughly that stuff isn't rotting (no bacteria), at the end, we see little bits of green pop up.
  • Disney also uses this trope in Bambi II. The film starts just after the death of Bambi's mother. The "There is Life" number shows winter slowly but surely melting into spring ending with a small sprout emerging from the melting snow. At the end of the film, the sprout is shown again, larger and with a new sprout growing entwined with it.
  • A plot-point in Harlock: Space Pirate. After The Reveal that the Earth isn't the pristine sanctuary the Gaia Coalition claims it to be, but a scarred and ravaged nightmare torn apart by dark matter, Yama lands on the planet and brings back a flower he finds there to convince everyone that the Earth is repairing itself and therefore still worth fighting for.
  • In a similar vein, the peach tree sprout after the credits of Kung Fu Panda (the "hope" in this case being that there is now a Dragon Warrior to keep the peace, thanks to Shifu finally believing in Po as Oogway asked him to).
  • In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, a tiny plant grows from the ashes of the burned land as Simba explains to Kovu that one generation can grow to be better than the one before it if given the chance.
  • The Lorax (2012) ends with the dark and desolate remains of Truffula Tree forest valley regaining light when the last seed was planted and grown.
  • WALL•E takes this concept and turns it into a MacGuffin that drives the entire plot. The eponymous trash-compacting robot finds a plant growing in the wasteland of a long-abandoned, heavily-polluted Earth. When he develops a crush on EVE, a robot probe sent to look for plant-life, WALL-E follows her to space and ends up helping a group of human survivors return to their home so they can rebuild civilization. After the humans, WALL-E and EVE have successfully returned to Earth and replanted the sprout, the final shot of the movie pans over the outskirts of the city to show hundreds of sprouts just like the one WALL-E found, ending on a wide shot of the Earth's surface showing the entire coastline is tinged with green; the Earth had already started repairing herself. The end credits take it a step further, showing humanity rebuilding the world. That sprout WALL-E found? By the end of the credits, it's grown into a gigantic tree.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Downfall. The courtyard of the Fuhrer Bunker appears desolated: full of dirt, shell craters and stockpiled munitions, but Traudl looks down and smiles when she sees a white flower. We then see there are other flowers and trees growing around the courtyard. But the moment of peace is soon broken by an air raid siren.
  • In Excalibur, when Arthur and his knights ride out to face Mordred for the final battle, a flower slowly blooms in the corner of the shot.
  • It also happens in Idiocracy when they switch from Brawndo (it's got electrolytes!) to water.
  • At the beginning of Joe Versus the Volcano. A single flower grows in the desolate area outside the factory where Tom Hanks works.
  • Inverted at the end of Little Shop of Horrors. Seymour and Audrey get married and move to the suburbs just like they wanted. A sprout is shown growing just outside their new house... but it's a sprout of Audrey II! Depending on who you're rooting for, that could be seen as a good thing.
  • In the film version of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Denethor is ranting and raving about how the White City is doomed, all is lost, that the line of kings is ended ... and the camera pans to focus in close-up on the "dead" White Tree of Gondor — which has suddenly, out of death, spawned a single, white blossom.
  • The Martian. The sprouting of Mark Watney's first potato plant is presented like this. Subverted when an explosive decompression of the Habitat later kills off all his potatoes, with no means of growing more. Fortunately he's already grown enough to survive. And on his first day back on Earth, he sees another plant sprouting through the gravel at his feet.
  • The rainbow and the cat at the end of The Matrix Revolutions could fall into this category.
  • Oblivion (2013): At least one small valley within the area of the state of New York remained forested. Harper found it, and it's where he keeps his collection of scavenged memorabilia and a small cottage he built. Him trying to give Victoria a small plant (presumably from this place) and her casually throwing it away, justifying it as the plant possibly being contaminated with radiation, is another sign of Victoria's Stepford Smiler behavior.
  • At the end of Pan's Labyrinth a white flower blooms on a tree branch in memory of Ofelia.
  • Planet of the Apes (1968): From the description on This Very Wiki:
    At first it appears that the planet is completely desolate, but they look for signs of life anyway. They discover that it has life when they see a small plant growing in the desert. They pull it up — go figure. "Where there's one, there must be more!" so, hope renewed, they keep looking.
  • Snowpiercer: A variation, fitting the movie being set after a devastating ice age wiped almost all life from the face of the Earth. At the end, as the camera pans over a desolate icy wasteland after the Snowpiercer is derailed, a polar bear is seen walking in the distance, implying that life still exists outside of the train.
  • Snow White & the Huntsman. Snow White's mother found a rose growing in the middle of a harsh winter, and prayed that she'd have a daughter with the strength and beauty of that rose. Later Queen Ravenna finds a flower growing in the desolate Dark Forrest, implied to have grown as a result of Snow White's passing. She makes a point of crushing it.
  • In Sunshine, Corazon finds a growing sprout in the burned-down Oxygen Garden. Subverted though in that she's murdered a few seconds later.
  • The Thin Red Line: The very last scene shows a coconut sprouting on the beach.

  • Briar Moss, the plant mage from Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic books, has a few of these in his life. Initially, when he's a street rat and thief and has been imprisoned, he "befriends" a patch of moss in his cell (which is where he takes his last name from). In a later book when his teacher is dying, he magically follows her into death and finds himself in a huge wasteland, where he begins seeing little bits of plant growth that grow denser and denser until he finds her in the middle of a garden.
  • The covers of the Deathlands series (set in an After the End North America) often used this theme — as seen here in the first novel, taken from a scene in the book. Acknowledged in The Film of the Book from Sci-Fi Channel where the True Companions go Riding into the Sunset desert in their Sec Wag, and a couple of daisies are in the foreground.
  • In Viido Polikarpus and Tappan King's Down Town, after the mystical sapient tree Taara is reduced to ashes in a Heroic Sacrifice, a tiny green shoot remains to communicate with Zenovac in Down Town, and a similar sprout appears at the ancient oak's stump in New York's Central Park.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry visits Dobby's grave and finds green shoots already sprouting.
  • Probably the most famous chapter in The House on Mango Street is the one about the four skinny trees that grow on the protagonist's city street and how she identifies with them.
  • In The Hunger Games, eleven-year-old Katniss Everdeen realizes what she can do to survive after her father's death (hunt in the forest, which he taught her) when she sees the first dandelion of the year.
  • James Thurber's The Last Flower. [PDF link]
  • The Lorax ends with a single sprout in an otherwise industrialized, treeless wasteland.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, the newly crowned Aragorn finds a sapling of the White Tree way up in the moutains; the line of White Trees goes back to his people's ancestral home, and ultimately to Eressëa accross the Western Sea. Their flourishing has always been connected to the prosperity of realm and kingship. The sapling is then relocated to the traditional spot in the citadel's courtyard, while its dead predecessor is laid to rest in the tomb of the kings.
  • In the midpoint of The Neverending Story, Bastian has to rebuild Fantastica from a single seed, through the power of his imagination. Everything else is pitch darkness.
  • The Overstory.
    • When The Hoel chestnut is cut down, sprouts grow on top of it ready to become new trees, but subverted these are destined to be destroyed by the blight anyway.
    • Later near the ending, Adam discovers a bur clinging to him while in prison, and thus isolated from all other plant life.
  • The Remnants series by KA Applegate subverted this trope. The whole world is a wasteland after it was hit by an asteroid, and the characters have been travelling on a generation starship and then reach Earth. They're thinking about trying to restore Earth to its life-supporting ecology, but they also have the understandable option of just getting back on the starship where they can be supported by its technology. Then they see a flower growing somewhere. Guess what? It was a fake, placed there by a character named Yago, who, if he was outside the Moral Event Horizon before, has now fallen deeply within it. While everyone else is looking at this flower, celebrating Earth's chance for a new life, Yago makes the ship take off and leaves them stranded.
  • Subverted in Thunder and Roses by Theodore Sturgeon. Fresh roses are seen growing in a United States devastated by nuclear war, but the roses are mutated and the thorns grow inward, killing the plants.
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, as you might expect, has a motif of a species of tree that reflects on the toughness of the people in Brooklyn by being the only kind that can grow in their neighborhoods.

    Live-Action TV 
  • As mentioned in Real Life below, The final season of Blackadder ends with the deaths of most of the main cast, cut down mere feet into their (pointless) over-the-top advance on the German lines. In near silence, the scene cross-fades into a shot of a field of poppies. Very moving.
  • Edge of Darkness manages to invert the idea to chilling effect. After the hero dies of radiation poisoning, the last shot is of black flowers growing on a hillside; the chilling part is that, throughout the series, black flowers have been invoked as Gaia at work (cf. James Lovelock), and their implied purpose is to induce Global Warming in order to rid the planet of the human race.
  • In the final episode of Game of Thrones, as Jon Snow and Tormund Giantsbane lead the Wildlings north to resettle the areas ravaged by the White Walkers, there's a shot of a single blade of grass protruding from the ground. Spring is coming.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: After all the hardships suffered by the Harfoots to reach a shelter, Orodruin's eruption destroys the orchard where they usualy spend the winters. The Stranger tries to revive a tree, but only succeeds in injuring Dilly. As a result, he is asked to leave. Shortly after his departure, a yellow flower sprouts from the trunk of the tree he tried to revive earlier. The next day, the whole orchard is healed and everyone has plenty of food.
  • In Lost Season 6, Sun is frustrated to find the garden she started is now dead. Jack finds one little tomato that defied the odds to survive.
  • In the final episode of Mahou Sentai Magiranger, Magi Red has crossed the Despair Event Horizon, with his older siblings and fellow teammates trying to reawaken his confidence by pointing out a single flower that had grown despite the main villain, N. Ma, having devoured all life in existence.
  • In The Office (US), Michael and Dwight think about this trope while looking for business leads that got thrown away.
    • Hope... grows... in dump.
  • Power Rangers RPM:
    • In his first-episode Establishing Character Moment, Dillon waters a wasteland flower, wipes out a squad of attacking Mecha-Mooks (offscreen), and drives on (making sure not to run the flower over).
    • The series uses this trope as a bookend — after Venjix's defeat, Dillon, Summer and Tenaya venture out into the recovering landscape, and find a small field's worth of flowers.
  • At the end of The War of the Worlds (2019), experiments with typhoid bacteria have shown that Earth diseases can kill off the red weed. In an act of despair Amy smashes the cloches they have set up to protect the experiment, only to find a green Earth plant growing among the dead Martian weed. Cue the Sun.
  • In the season 3 finale of The Mandalorian, Bo-katan and the other Mandalorian recon party members to the surface of Mandalore encounter a group of their kinsmen who survived The Purge and were stuck on the surface afterwards. After fleeing the Imperial Remnant base they discovered, the Survivor captain takes them to a refuge: a cave full of life surrounded by the more prevalent vitrified dead surface. He tells Bo-katan how plant species once extinct after the century-long Mandalorian civil war before the Clone War, including crop species, sprouted anew after the Purge, and the Survivors have been cultivating them for their sustenance.

  • Bette Midler, "The Rose"
    When the night has been too lonely
    And the road has been too long,
    And you think that love is only
    For the lucky and the strong,
    Just remember in the winter
    Far beneath the bitter snows
    Lies the seed that with the sun's love
    In the spring becomes the rose.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • In The Bible, Noah sends birds from his ark after the world is apparently destroyed by floods, resulting in this, making this one Older Than Feudalism.
    He waited another seven days, and again sent out the dove from the ark. And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked-off! Then Noah knew that the waters had decreased on the earth.

    Tabletop Games 

  • In the final scene of J.B., Sarah appears cradling a forsythia twig she found growing in the ruins of the town:
    I found it growing in the ashes,
    Gold as though it did not know...
    I broke the branch to strip the leaves off—
    Petals again!

    Video Games 
  • In Age of Mythology, when you play as Atlantians favored by Gaia, the land around your buildings turns lush green no matter what the environment. If playing on a desert or underworld map, your base can be an example.
  • In Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel, upon reviving the Planet and returning to the surface, the cast find out that the very first life to show up in the Planet's surface, after being covered by a poisonous cloud for over 700 years they helped to dispel, is a small plant. This marks the culmination of the efforts made by the entire casts of the three games in the series''.
  • This gets very darky subverted in BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm. At one point, the heroes visit a barren wasteland, where they have to wear special masks to filter the toxic air. And yet they find a village where the locals are able to breathe it just fine. While there, small plants start to sprout up around Catie wherever she goes, (since she’s a remnant of Virtua), and long-dead trees begin to bloom. It seems hopeful at first, but the locals mention that it’s getting harder for them to breathe… and by the time you return from the nearby dungeon, the plants have taken over, transformed the atmosphere, and killed everyone.
  • The (good) ending of Breath of Fire III, although the sprout comes after the game's credits. The sprout seems to be Peco, a talking onion and one of the main characters! But it's OK, as Peco may be a seed for a Wise Tree.
  • Chrono Trigger has the characters finding a single seed in a Bad Future, which the leader of the surviving humans promises to tend. A similar situation shows up later in the game in an earlier time period.
    • In fact, a single hopeful plant shows up in every time period (except in 1000 AD, when the planet's ecosystem is most healthy, it's a whole forest), and each has a caretaker who are clearly from the same family line. That plant and its descendants have been carefully tended since 65 million BC, in order to be around for the benefit of humankind in the dismal 24th century. "Hope sprouts eternal", indeed.
  • In the fluff in the Civilization IV mod Fall from Heaven:
    "And I stood in the valley, as I was commanded, and sang the songs of rebirth. I sang until I slept. And upon waking I sang once more. Water and food were brought to me, and I slept beneath the stars. I sang the songs of old. And I sang the songs of new. After one hundred days in the wastelands I looked down and saw something green. Something grew in those days, and I sang for a hundred more."
  • Some of the endings in Deus Ex: Human Revolution describe humanity coming together because of your actions. During this description, an image of a single sprout being planted by a team of people is shown.
  • In the text adventure sequel to Fahrenheit 451, a single buttercup grows in a bombed-out ruin. Montag uses it later on to prove his identity to Clairisse.
  • The post-apocalyptic world of the Fallout series is a blasted wasteland. But this trope comes into play once in a while.
    • In Fallout 3, there's an oasis filled with leafy trees and self-appointed druids. The only reason it can exist is a bizarre interaction between the Forced Evolutionary Virus, a tree, and a man named Harold. One option for completing the associated quest fits the trope in a broad sense: the Oasis will continue to expand until the Wasteland is green again.
    • Vault 22 in Fallout: New Vegas was the site of botanical experimentations by Vault-Tec. The result is a vault full of lush greenery spreading out through the Vault door. The scientists of the New California Republic are interested in studying the scientific data of the Vault to solve a potential food crisis in the future. Subverted in that this Vault is a Garden of Evil full of dangerous mutagenic plants that can infect the lungs of people who breathe the spores. One path to resolve the quest involves destroying the plants and all backups of the data.
  • In Fate of the World, a single icon of a sprout emerging from the soil is used on the event card for promoting Green politics in a country. It is fitting, as the most hopeful futures usually require a globally green outlook.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, the ravaged and desolate world shows its first signs of recovery when some children, who have been trying to get flowers to grow, succeed in getting a single flower up.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, Aerith's flower garden. The ruined church in the sector 5 slums is the only place they grow in Midgar. Probably because of her people's ability to heal the Planet after it's been seriously hurt.
    • A short clip may be seen after the end credits "500 years later," where Red XIII is running around with two offspring and the city is wrecked, but plants are growing everywhere. This also happens at the very beginning of Advent Children.
  • At the beginning of Heroes of Hellas III, Athena's sacred olive tree is barren and dying. After every so many completed levels, they give you a closeup of a slightly healthier tree with one or two new branches.
  • In Iji, a plant and some ants crawling over it in the (probably acid) rain is seen as part of the "humanity is not doomed" montage.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, bringing peace to a monster-infected forest will cause a single new shoot to grow at the base of the late Wise Tree. The hero bends down to examine it, and a man-sized sprout erupts from the ground and bowls him over.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Hyrule Castle is portrayed as a Bleak Level where Ganon's Malice and Guardians have left it and the surrounding area completely barren of any living thing that isn't one of his monsters. What few plants present are the grey or brown husks of the vegetation present before the Great Calamity a century ago. The sole exception is a Silent Princess located in Princess Zelda's study. This is especially notable because NPCs, the retrievable memories, and the item description for the Silent Princess indicate that this species of flower is not just endangered, but impossible to cultivate in any controlled setting, let alone a wrecked study in the ruins of a castle ruled over by an Enemy to All Living Things.
  • The end of Lunar: Eternal Blue shows a tiny patch of grass poking out of the surface of the Blue Star.
  • The point of Mandragoria is crossbreeding exotic plants in order to bring the magic back into a dying world.
  • In Mass Effect, much of the krogan homeworld of Tuchanka is a ruined wasteland, reflecting the state of the krogan themselves. There are no plants to be found when Shepard visits in Mass Effect 2. When Shepard returns to Tuchanka in Mass Effect 3 to cure the krogan's sterility and revive the species, s/he comes across an elegant stone garden where plants are beginning to grow again. Shepard's companions comment that it isn't too late for life to flourish on Tuchanka once again. In one possible ending, you can see a shot of Tuchanka beginning to bloom again.note 
  • Successful completion of the Mystery Case Files game Return to Ravenhearst gives you an animation of the terrible house going up in flames, while dead tree branches in the foreground suddenly come to life and produce nice purple flowers.
  • In Nightmare Realm, awakening the Spirit and restoring the river causes vegetation to burst back into life throughout the witch doctor's dying world, in all its full-color Scenery Porn brilliance.
  • Nintendo Wars:
    • The ending of Advance Wars: Dual Strike, where plants sprout in a nation almost completely reduced to desert by the Big Bad.
    • Darkly subverted in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin where, after a comet that blotted out the sun and has killed all plant life, they happen upon a field of thriving flowers. They're immediately told to steer clear because said flowers are infectious and anyone under 25 who comes into contact with them will end up having said flowers grow from beneath their skin, killing them. These plants go on to be a major driving antagonistic presence in the game, being an artificial bioweapon unleashed on the world by the Big Bad to satisfy his cruel need to "experiment" on people For Science!.
  • The world of Portal is a pretty bleak one. Inside, you've got an insane AI trying to kill you. Outside, you've got the Combine invasion, which, judging by Half-Life 2, has led to partly drained oceans, alien lifeforms inhabiting large portions of the planet, no children for the past fifteen or twenty years, and a severely culled human population under the iron fist of alien overlords. But the end of Portal 2, taking place an unknown number of years later, shows a beautiful field of grain waving in the wind... so maybe humanity survives and triumphs after all! The Art Therapy DLC later proves that man did survive, as we can hear someone yelling at the bird once it flies away.
    • As Chell is making her way through the ruined Enrichment Center, she finds a seed in a cup she planted on Take Your Child To Work Day (which is when all of her troubles started). It's grown into practically its own ecosystem.
  • Potion Permit: After you remove the toxic waste from Moonbury's natural areas, a new flower species grows in its place, bringing hope to the residents that you'll be able to save their home.
  • In the Quest for Glory games, the work of the powerful sorceress Erana is evident in various magical gardens that seem to spring up in the harshest places, whether in the middle of a swamp, a dry savannah, or a snowy mountain pass. In the fourth game, flowers magically sprung up around her staff where it was placed in the town, and a plant that was exhumed and placed in the swamp kept on living despite being submerged in a pile of evil goo.
  • In the first Suikoden, the farmer Blackman is found in the burned-out ruins of Kalekka, stubbornly caring for his seedlings. He only joins the Stars of Destiny if you avoid stepping on his plants. But why would you do such a thing, anyway...?
  • In Tomba!, one sidequest has you helping a dwarf child to grow a flower in his home village, which has had most of the life drained from it by the Evil Pigs.
  • In Terrafarmers, the more plants you add, the greener and healthier the surrounding landscape looks.
  • The ending of Wild ARMs 3.
  • In the flash game Wilt: The Last Rose, the planet has been demolished by pollution and everyone but the protagonist's daughter is infected, leading to massive patches of green skin on their bodies. At the end, after saving his daughter from a research facility, the pair sit together and admire a flower that is growing in the desolate wastes.
  • Happens a few times in World of Mana games, sans the ravaged world:
    • In Final Fantasy Adventure, the new Mana Tree, which the world needs to survive, is shown on the "The End" screen.
    • Used to show that, someday, mana will return to the world.
    • In Legend of Mana, your progress in the game is indicated by an icon of a seed that sprouts and then grows into a tree; at full growth, you're able to place the Mana Tree on the map and fight the Mana Goddess, or at least her Superpowered Evil Side. Defeat her and the Sproutlings come to heal the Mana Tree. After the ending cinematic plays, you are shown that the Mana Tree is sprouting again.

  • In this Loving Reaper comic, Life shows Death a sprout growing after the Australian wildfires.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Things are looking pretty grim for the heroes by chapter 15 — the cat tank is kaput, Sigrun's injury might be septic, poor Tuuri is still clinging to hope that her troll bite from chapter 13 doesn't turn out to be infected, and a band of vicious trolls is hot on the heels of our explorers. When Lalli and Emil are sent into a long-abandoned store to do a little shopping, Emil spots a flower growing under a pane of fallen glass. He points it out to Lalli, hoping to cheer the other up, but Lalli's fatalistic attitude isn't improving any time soon. The flower gets smushed several pages later when the pane of glass topples over, which puts a damper on Emil's mood too.
    Emil (In Swedish): See that? It's almost spring! Soon we'll be back in the embrace of civilization, and it'll be summer. I know you're worried about... things. But you believe in magic stuff, doesn't that look like a good sign to you? It's tough right now, but I know we'll come out of this happier than we were coming in. Because no matter what, we'll at least be friends. Right? Friends? Come on, I know you understood that last word!
    Lalli (In Finnish): You don't understand anything.

    Western Animation 
  • Not technically something growing, per se, but in Avatar: The Last Airbender, the pre-Toph Gaang visits a forest burned-down by a Fire Nation attack. Katara points out many, many acorns everywhere, and they all realize that the forest will grow back eventually. Aang later uses this to soothe the Hei Bai spirit, who turned vengeful after the loss of its forests and lashed out against the nearby villagers, unaware that it was the Fire Nation's fault.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: At the end of "Tree of Life", Kwame laments that the tree is gone, even though the forest at large is safe. However, Captain Planet waters the tree stump, producing a sprout.

    Real Life 
  • The famed Papaver rhoeas - the common poppy - is a symbol of remembrance for all veterans in various wars, particularly WWI. Specifically, it became a symbol because of its red color and because it can grow in disturbed soil (in fact, it thrives in such conditions), so in battlefields on the western front where nearly all plant life had been destroyed, poppies really did keep growing, sprouting from the earth and coming into bloom as the allies gained ground.
  • Ireland has its own version of the poppy, the Easter Lily, to commemorate dead IRA volunteers. Needless to say, this has caused some controversy in recent years.
  • There are Survivor Trees incorporated into the memorials in New York and Oklahoma City, each of which (barely) lived through those cities' respective terrorist attacks. Seedlings descended from the Oklahoma tree have been planted all over the country, and the NYC tree's offspring will likely be shared once it's healthy enough to produce them.
  • Fireweed is named for the fact that it is the first thing to grow after a forest has burnt down.
  • A surprising number of trees survived the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They are known as hibakujumoku ("A-bombed trees") and are used in peace education.
  • Amazingly, Chernobyl's wildlife has not only recovered from the disaster but there is more biodiversity and wildlife than ever. By creating an exclusion zone where people could not go, human beings unintentionally created a wildlife preserve.
  • Reportedly, the spring after The Great Fire of London saw the burnt areas filled with flowers.