So a character, most likely via a flying vehicle/creature or a newfound ability, is experiencing the wonders of flight for the first time. Sooner or later, their joyous moment may bring them somewhere over a body of water. When that happens, there's a good chance that they will decrease their altitude just enough to be able to reach out and touch it with their hand or fingers. Especially common during the Flight of Romance.
It does not necessarily have to be the character's first flight, or that the water has to be touched specifically with their hand — the trope mostly refers to the general act of touching or splashing the water while having fun flying.
If a vehicle skims the surface of water because it's on the brink of a crash, that's Belly-Scraping Flight.
- Disney films had a couple of these:
- Aladdin: During Aladdin and Princess Jasmine's first "A Whole New World" magic carpet ride together, the carpet swoops down to the surface of a river and splashes in it momentarily.
- Peter Pan: The "You can Fly" segment where Peter gave the Darling children the ability to fly. Peter rode on the backs of two swans in a lake and Wendy flew a foot over the water with Tinker Bell deliberately breaking up her image in it.
- The Rescuers Down Under: On their first flight together, Marahute (an eagle) holds Cody above a river and lets him skate on the surface.
- Accomplished by Pixar's peculiar robot WALLE while clinging to the outer hull of the shuttle rocket. As the rocket passes close to the ice rings of Saturn, the awestruck robot brushes the ice crystals with his mechanical hand.
- In How to Train Your Dragon, Hiccup has his first test flight on Toothless over the sea. They fly close to the water, and at some point Toothless touches the water with his wing. Later, when Hiccup takes Astrid on a flight with Toothless, the dragon dives underwater mid-flight to mess with her.
- In Mr. Peabody & Sherman, when Sherman and Penny steal DaVinci's flying machine, they eventually fly over the Venice's canals, and Penny briefly puts her hand in the water.
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry flies around Hogwarts on the back of Buckbeak, the hippogriff flies close to the Hogwarts' lake and touches the water with one of its talons.
- Ice King and Princess Monster Wife do this in the "A Whole New World" parody sequence in the Adventure Time episode "Princess Monster Wife".
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: In "The Waterbending Scroll", Momo the flying lemur gets chased by a carnivorous reptile-bird owned by the villain of the week. At one point during the chase, they fly low over a river, and each trails the tip of one wing in the water while doing a banked turn.