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Orbital Kiss

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An Orbital Kiss is a common phenomenon in Film, Western Animation, Live-Action TV and other visual media, where two characters kiss, and the camera rotates a full 360 degrees around them as this happens. This may or may not be accompanied by Slow Motion. Look for one of the two to lift a foot.

Subtrope of Orbital Shot. Not to be confused by a kiss on the orbitals. Or in near Earth space. A symptom of The Big Damn Kiss. Compare Twirl of Love.


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  • Happens in episode 3 of Date A Live with Shido and Tohka's First Kiss. Bonus points because Tohka's clothes disappear in the process.
  • FLCL:
    • Parodied in the first episode, with the characters wondering how they can hold their breath while the camera pans around.
    • In a later episode, Naota is sent flying toward the class rep—who has a massive crush on him—and, for several seconds, time slows down, the Bishie Sparkle comes in and it seems like they're going to have the most painful, glorious, awesome kiss in all history. Their foreheads collide and he goes tumbling down a nearby staircase, simultaneously infecting her with the latest forehead-burst monster.
  • This happens once in Fushigi Yuugi, when Miaka resolves to stay in the book world with Tamahome. However, they don't kiss, they just embrace.
  • At the end of Slayers Next, not only does the camera spin when Lina and Gourry kiss, but they spin too. In mid air.

    Films - Animated 

    Films - Live-Action 
  • Played straight at the end of Airplane! — until the end, when the romantic background chorus sings so high they injure their voices.
  • Aquaman and Mera share a kiss during an undersea civil war, which means their orbit is accompanied by some spectacular pyrotechnics.
  • This is the basis for a gag in Being There. Chance is watching the buildup to the moment in question when Eve enters the room in tears, out of desire for him. As per his tendency to imitate what he sees on TV, he furiously embraces and kisses her, and when the scene goes orbital, he spins their embraced bodies around and around to match it.
  • Subverted in Body Double (1984). The Stalker with a Crush starts making out with the woman he's obsessed with in a tunnel where she snapped him out of a claustrophobic attack, then it cuts to a passionate orbital kiss on a beach, then suddenly we're back to the tunnel where it's shown this is his fantasy and he's forcing the kiss on her. The orbital kiss (and the fantasy) is shown again when he has Wall Bang Her sex with a porn starlet, the body double of the title.
  • The second version of Kotaro Terauchi's Boys Love ends with the former teacher and student kissing while the camera spins around them.
  • Happens in Don Jon, between Jon and Barbara in the theatre lobby.
  • The final scene of First Reformed is the camera frantically spinning around two people kissing as a choir sings in praise of God. It just so happens to one of the pair is our main character, a delusional, celibate priest wearing a suicide vest. The high romance mixed with the priest's delusion, faith, and suicidal ideation adds a lot of ambiguity to this scene.
  • The geeky guy and girl get one at the end of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
  • It's the theme of Claude Lelouch's 1 minute short for the Lumière and Company project.
  • Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! also features the equivalent, at the end of the Elephant Love Medley. Having learned his lesson from the Romeo + Juliet example, this time the actors were placed on a turntable in front of a static camera to make it easier to film.
  • Josie and Sam at the end of Never Been Kissed. Earlier Josie describes this trope as what a real kiss is like, hence the title of the film.
  • Played with in North By Northwest: The train car in which Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint perform their first kiss proved too small to allow a cameraman to rotate around them, so the actors turned around while kissing.
  • A particularly disturbing one takes place in Outbreak. Jimbo and Cindy have one, but Jimbo's got Motaba virus and passes out in Cindy's arms when the orbit comes full circle.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End has this happen at Will and Elizabeth's wedding.In the midst of a battle, no less.
  • Greg Pilkington and Graham in Priest, complete with sweeping orchestral music on the beach.
  • We get two looks at the same kiss between the two stars of the movie within the movie in Sweet Liberty.
  • Such a kiss, set to This Year's Love by David Grey, takes place in The Girl Next Door as the party drunkenly spins around the kissers.
  • Three Poplars in Plyuschikha: In the opening scene, right before the scene cuts to Nyura waking up from her dream, revealing that instead of being kissed by a handsome man in the forest she's actually living in drudgery as a housewife.
  • Vertigo has a long one between Scottie and a made-up Judy. The lips of the two kissers are obscured by shoulders and heads during the rotation at regular intervals, due to rules at the time that forbade showing a kiss for more than a few seconds.
  • The Warrior's Way has the first Big Damn Kiss between Lynn and Yang, the two of them dancing in the desert night as the camera circles around them. They stop their dance and kisses, the camera moves in closer, and keeps orbiting.
  • In Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, our eponymous star-struck and Star-Crossed Lovers share a kiss in an elevator - which was actually too small to fit cast and crew inside. There were a lot of breathless grips running around the outside of the tiny lift set, removing and replacing panels to allow the steadicam to move freely around the couple.

    Live Action TV 
  • Sydney and Vaughn's kiss at the end of the Alias episode "Phase One" was the culmination of almost two solid seasons of UST.
  • Oliver and Felicity in Arrow; bittersweet as it comes while Ollie is breaking it off with her because of his double life
  • Bridgerton: In season 2 episode 6, after holding back for so long, Anthony and Kate eventually share a passionate kiss when left alone in the church (following the cancellation of his wedding with Edwina). Later in the final episodenote , they confidently kiss passionately in front of his family, as if unleashing their longtime repressed desires as well as expressing their gratitude.
  • On Burn Notice, Michael and Fiona have an Orbital Hug at the end of the episode "Shock Wave", when Fiona is released from prison.
  • In Chernobyl, Lyudmilla and Vasily get an Orbital Hug version, when she enters his hospital room and sees him up and about, playing cards with the other patients. The hug is accompanied by Lens Flare. The flare is likely a visual shorthand for Lyudmilla getting irradiated by touching her husband, a Chernobyl first responder, who is in his "Walking Ghost" phase of Acute Radiation Syndrome and would die within days. Lyudmilla is actually pregnant and would lose her baby mere hours after giving birth. While she would later remarry and have another child, both of them would have health problems because of that single hug.
  • Doogie and Michele in an episode of Doogie Howser, M.D.
  • Glee:
    • Rachel and Finn in the episode "Michael". It starts off as a hug then turns into a kiss.
    • Finn and Rachel again in "Nationals", this time it doubles as a Concert Kiss.
  • Chidi and Eleanor in The Good Place Season 3 episode "Janet(s)". In Janet's void where they kiss, everyone is stuck in a Janet body, but Eleanor's has started shifting rapidly due to having an identity crisis fueled by Chidi rejecting her on philosophical terms and discussing the self. When they kiss, Eleanor's form stabilizes back to her Janet body, and the two shift back to their original human forms, Eleanor first and then Chidi, while they hold on it and the camera spins.
  • Loki and Sylvie in the sixth episode of Loki, right before Sylvie thows Loki into a portal to the TVA and traps him there. The camera does not actually rotate around them though. Rather, Sylvie turns Loki around to take the TemPad which imitates this effect.
  • Ned and Moze in the Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide series finale.
  • Shawn and Juliet in Psych. Their second after their first is a "Shut Up" Kiss.
  • School of Rock: Done in part 2 of the Grand Finale as Freddy and Summer become a couple.
  • In Smallville, Chloe and Justin in "Crush". Frustratingly, they never seem to do that with long-term love interests.
  • One features at the end of the Supernatural episode "Monster Movie" fits beautifully as the entire episode is shot in the style of old black-and-white monster movies.
  • Star Trek:
    • Kirk and Uhura's famous "first interracial kiss" in Star Trek episode "Plato's Stepchildren" was, as a result of cultural taboos, hidden by an Orbital Kiss that just didn't make it all the way around.
    • Star Trek: Voyager. Although a kiss isn't involved, the camera does a half-circle around Tuvok and Noss as they Mind Meld at the end of "Gravity", to show the romantic subtext of this act.

    Music Video 
  • Billy Joel's video for "The Night Is Still Young" ends with one of these.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • In Central Park, Season 1 finale "A Fish Called Snakehead", Owen and Paige have one near the end of "Die Trying". Despite being married, what makes this unique is this is the first time they kissed on-screen.
  • Hiccup and Astrid's kiss is this, in the Dragons: Race to the Edge episode "Mi Amore Wing".
  • From Futurama, Bender and the Countess get one in the episode, "A Flight to Remember". A more recent one happens between Fry and Leela in "Fun on a Bun".
  • The kiss in Phantom Planet, the series finale of Danny Phantom: "Wow. Remind me to save the world more often."
  • Bob and Dot's kiss in a ReBoot season finale.
  • Recess plays this one for all it's worth, complete with the playground scenery suddenly transforming into a fairy-tale land and back again, in the episode where TJ and Spinelli have their Practice Kiss.
  • The Simpsons: In "There Will Be Buds", the camera spins around Homer and Marge's kiss after Marge convinces Homer to go find Kirk in the strip club and bring him back to the lacross game that he and Homer coach.
  • Happens in Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo with Robin and Starfire.


Video Example(s):


Finally Been Kissed

After waiting her whole life, Josie gets a full-blown Hollywood Kiss, with soft lights, 360 camera shot, and the Beach Boys playing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / HollywoodKiss

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