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"Pan Up to the Sky" Ending

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"If you don't know what to do next, slowly pan the camera and shoot the sky..."
Kyon, Haruhi Suzumiya, "The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina: Episode 00"

A camera trick used at the end of an episode or movie, wherein the view pans up to the sky upon conclusion of a story arc. The characters usually look up along with the viewer, too, or are implied to.

The sky is a powerful symbol in itself. Here are just a few uses:

  • Clear blue sky (white clouds optional) promises happiness and freedom, just the things you expect from a Happy Ending.
  • Stormy, ominous sky, on the other hand, indicates that trouble is brewing.
  • A clearing storm signifies hope to come in the future, often bittersweetness.
  • Sunrise sky stands for renovation and a new beginning.
  • Sunset marks a conclusion and definite ending or death.
  • Night sky with visible stars has a similar meaning to clear daytime sky with an additional touch of eternity and divinity.
  • Shooting stars promise the fulfillment of wishes.
  • Advertisement:
  • Birds and airplanes stand for unreachable things but also, freedom.

Compare Grasp the Sun, Flyaway Shot and Fly-at-the-Camera Ending. Contrast Ending by Ascending, when a character does this instead of the camera, and "Pan from the Sky" Beginning.

Has nothing to do with holding a frying pan in the air.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Invoked in Yu-Gi-Oh! right after the final duel concludes and the characters are left in the desert, with the camera rising to the sky. However, this isn't the actual final scene, but the 4Kids Entertainment dub pulls another whammy and cuts out the last moments of the last episode. Gee, thanks.
  • Bleach uses the clear blue sky version at the end of the Arrancar arc.
  • The anime Death Note ends with panning up to a night sky and crescent moon.
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time ends this way, though there is another quick scene on the baseball pitch after that.
  • In the ending of Your Name, the scene pans up to a blue sky with bright clouds right after Taki and Mitsuha finally find each other again, break into Tears of Joy and asking each other's name 5 years (8 for Mitsuha) after the comet flew by and both of them forgot about each other.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid does the blue sky version as Kobyashi takes Tohru and Kanna to meet her parents.
  • The first opening for Saiyuki, For Real, ends with a pan up to the sky, with the lower half of the shot showing their destination, Gyumaou's castle in the West.

  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron begins by inverting this, showing a beautiful blue sky filled with horse-shaped clouds before panning down across the landscape and coming to Spirit's racing herd. At the end of the film, the trope is then played straight, as after Spirit returns home to lead the herd, the camera pans back up to the same sky.
  • The Princess and the Frog, like Spirit, begins with an inversion, staring on a shot of the Evening Star, then panning down to the streets of New Orleans; the end plays it straight, panning up from Tiana and Naveen dancing to the Evening Star and Ray the firefly, now a star himself in the night sky.
  • Toy Story 3 ends with a pan up to the blue sky, calling back to the first movie's opening with a shot of the sky, with clouds that look like those on the wallpaper in Andy's room.
  • Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch ends this way with a starry night sky, while a star twinkles to prove Lilo's mother would be proud of her.
  • In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the camera pans up from the closed door to the sky, giving us a "Continue?" and countdown, evoking arcade games. At zero, the credits begin.
  • Most of the Harry Potter films end this way.
  • City of Ember ends with the sun rising into a bright blue sky, which is especially meaningful because the characters have spent their entire lives living in an underground city, never knowing there was anything different or that there was such a thing as the sun or sky.
  • The Nativity Story ends with the sun and clouds on a bright day.
  • Easy A begins and ends this way, with the Screen Gems logo.
  • You've Got Mail pans up to a bright, clear sky at the end.
  • At the end of The Professional the camera zooms up from Mathilda onto the skyline of New York.
  • Ballad of a Soldier, which establishes in the opening scene that the young soldier protagonist will be killed in combat at some point after the movie's time frame, pans up to the sky at the end as the voiceover muses that he could have done many things with his life if he'd lived, but in the end will be remembered as a Russian soldier.
  • The final scene of Battle of Britain shows the sky over England, which has a few clouds in it, but after months of struggle against the Luftwaffe, finally has no German planes.

  • In the end of Arthur C. Clarke's The Nine Billion Names of God, the protagonists look up at the sky and see the stars going out one by one.
  • Sergey Lukyanenko's Seekers of the Sky duology ends with the protagonist Ilmar looking up while atop Tel Megiddo, having just refused to follow Marcus as one of his apostles, claiming that Marcus is not second coming of The Messiah and believing that, as before, there must be one dissenter.
  • Togetherly Long: In order to convey this effect in a written work, the story mentions various creatures at different elevations that might hear the lines of dialogue of two characters that are talking to each other as the scene ends, and it mentions how the conversation would sound fainter and fainter to successively higher creatures.

    Live Action TV 
  • This shot was used at the end of every episode of The Twilight Zone (1959).
  • This is used in the final episode of The Fades, which functions as a Sequel Hook by showing that the sky has turned blood-red.
  • This was used going into a commercial in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The City On The Edge Of Forever." Inexplicably, the stars in the sky change to a different pattern 2 seconds before the commercial break.
  • A starry night sky is used at end of the first season of True Detective to illustrate Rust's belief that although the dark may be greater, the light is winning.
  • A lot of reality TV shows make use of this for at least some episodes. It works because the "universe" of reality television is not bound within a contained space like a studio set or a piece of paper.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • The final episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender did this after a shot of The Big Damn Kiss between Aang and Katara.
    • The final episode of the sequel series The Legend of Korra has a pan up to the sky directly over the new Spirit Portal after the final scene of Korra and Asami becoming a couple.
  • G.I. Joe: The Movie ends with a pan up to the night sky as the last of Cobra-La's mutation spores burn up in the atmosphere.
  • The Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats episode "Life Saver" ends this way.
  • The 1972 CBS/DePatie-Freleng Enterprises adaptation of The Lorax ends with the camera panning up from the Once-ler's house to a clearing in the smoggy skies.
  • Recess: School's Out ends this way with a clear blue sky.
  • King of the Hill's intended Grand Finale "To Sirloin With Love".
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power ends this way as the Best Friends Squad decide to have one last adventure together to bring the magic back to the universe after Horde Prime's defeat.
  • How "Suspended Animation, Part 1" from the 2020 reboot of Animaniacs ends after Yakko, Wakko, and Dot finish "Catch-Up" with a final shot of the Warner Bros. Studio as fireworks light up, welcoming home the Warners.
  • VeggieTales does this at the end of the episode "The Toy That Saved Christmas", complete with Junior singing "Away in a Manger".
  • Tamagotchi Video Adventures: Inverted at the beginning of the video, with the frame panning down to the surface of Tamagotchi Planet as the Bandai logo and opening titles appear on-screen. Played straight twice later on - the first time is at the end of the main cartoon segment with the frame panning up as Cosmotchi and the Tamagotchis ride a car proposed as a museum exhibit into space; the second time is at the end of the video after the credits, with the footage of the Tamagotchis riding the car being reused.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Look Up The Sky Ending


Hopping Mall

Finished with a sky shot.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

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Main / PanUpToTheSkyEnding

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