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Lying on a Hillside

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"How many times have you sat in the grass and done nothing?"
Mrs. Tanner, Scrubs, "My Old Lady"

When a show needs a moment to pause and reflect on the fleeting joy and serenity of friendship, particularly right before things all go to hell, a small group of friends — sometimes two, but more usually three — will find themselves sitting on a grassy hillside on a bright sunny day. As they talk of the important issues in their lives, they will flop back and look directly up into the sky with arms, legs and hair spread out around them. The camera emphasizes the moment by taking to the air and shooting straight down to show the friends lying together on the hillside. Artificial riverbanks are useful for this purpose.

Compare with Sitting on the Roof, when you need to get away from it all.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • A brief moment of peace and togetherness for Arika, Nina and Erstin in My-Otome — possibly their last before the series explodes around them — takes place as they sprawl on a hill overlooking Windbloom.
    • It's particularly poignant when you watch the scene again armed with the knowledge that Erstin dies.
  • In a similar vein as the My-Otome example above, Dragon Ball Z's Son Goku and his son, Gohan, spent some time in the 10-day preparation period before the Cell Games doing this.
  • Kiki's Delivery Service opens showing the heroine in that position. This scene can be seen in the above photo on this page.
  • Briefly seen in the opening credits of Powerpuff Girls Z.
  • In the last episode of Outlaw Star, Gene wakes up on a field with his friends, but it turns out to be a fake world, so no important issue talk.
  • Subverted (as usual) by Neon Genesis Evangelion during the fight with the Fifth Angel — the Children are sitting together upon a hillside right before the second attack on the Angel, but it is the middle of the night, and their conversation is mordant and philosophical.
  • Many a romantic Rina/Hamasaki scene in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, as well as the last ending theme, where the Power Trio sits on a cliff.
  • Akazukin Cha Cha, at the turning point in the series where the kids decide it's time to take the fight to the bad guy.
  • Naruto: Shikamaru Nara has a habit of doing this, simply because he enjoys watching the clouds. He also tends to do so alone.
  • The ending of Kaze no Stigma has Kazuma lying on a hillside, contemplating the sky (interspersed with random cast shots), until Ayano shows up to rouse him at the end.
  • In Mokke, Shizuru and Mizuki do this ever so often, starting in the opening credits.
  • It's a recurring event in Bakuten Shoot Beyblade for the protagonists to head to the Aoki riverside whenever they are in Akebono and need a moment of peace.
  • Kuu is shown doing this in Haibane Renmei.
  • Makoto and Minako of Sailor Moon do this in the R movie.
  • Takashi and Yoru do this in Video Girl Ai while watching the sunset.
  • In Revolutionary Girl Utena, Utena and Wakaba do this in the first episode.
  • Edward and Alphonse Elric sit together on a hillside as young children in Fullmetal Alchemist. Alphonse gets upset during the conversation about getting their mother back, and Edward ruffles his hair to reassure him.
  • Madoka and Sayaka do this in the fifth episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica while they discuss Sayaka's wish and her becoming a magical girl.
  • In Berserk, the Band of the Hawk share their last serene moment on a hillside, in which they succumbed to the realization that their dreams as a mercenary band under Griffith were over but also realizing the friendship that they have with one another, while Judeau tries to give Guts some important relationship advice, and Casca makes a fateful decision concerning her future with Guts. And then Griffith found the Behelit again. Played for some irony, since Guts' first official encounter with the Hawks was on a hillside where they were lounging after a battle.
  • In Snow White with the Red Hair Obi and Shirayuki lie and sit respectively on a grassy hill after eavesdropping on some nobles when Prince Raji of Tanbarun visits Clarines for the first time and talk about why Shirayuki fled Tanbarun. Obi ends up falling asleep right out in the open signifying just how much the former drifter has come to trust Zen and Shirayuki and feel comfortable around them.


    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles: A few instances occur, all variants of this trope.
    • Applies to Penny and Bolt after a lengthy jog in "The Walk," although they're lying in a fallow field instead of on a hillside.
    • Applies to Mittens and Berlioz, who lie in the grass in Luxembourg Gardens looking up at the stars after having sex in "The Paris Trip," although they're not likely on a hillside given that this park is flat.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Lion King has multiple of these scenes:
  • In Up, newlyweds Carl and Ellie discuss their future together while enjoying a picnic at the top of a hill — including lots and lots of babies represented in the clouds.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Starry Night TV ad for Halo 3 starts out this way. Two kids stare up at the stars at night wondering if there are other lifeforms up there. Cue a cut to Master Chief in battle against the Covenant.
  • Done in Scrubs, albeit in a park, not a hillside.
  • The Tenth Doctor and Rose do this in the Doctor Who story "New Earth".
    • The Eleventh Doctor and Amy do this with Vincent Van Gogh, as he describes how he sees the night sky (The Starry Night), which is apparently why he painted like he did; he could see the fluid nature of the atmosphere.
  • Kamen Rider 555 ends with three of the main protagonists on a hillside (though, since 555 likes screen doors/windows, the camera backs through a screen window and at the very end, we're seeing them through a tear in it).

  • Invoked in Paul Simon's "The Side Of A Hill" (better known as the lyrics sung in counterpoint to "Scarborough Fair" in Simon & Garfunkel's version of the song).


    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Laying On A Hillside