I've found a paradise that's trouble proof...
And if this world starts getting you down
There's room enough for two
Up on the roof..."
Sometimes the only option available to a character who desperately needs to be alone is to climb up and sit on the roof of their house. There they can look up at the night sky and contemplate their place in the universe in peace and quiet.
Naturally, everybody and their dog will promptly climb up there after them.
Often when appearing in Western stories, it's to show how the character is a Cloudcuckoolander or a free-spirited dreamer. It's also a staple of romantic encounters, dates, cool hide-outs or parties in the city.
This is often used in modern-day urban settings because it allows for a panoramic view of the character and the skyline without having to travel out of town — which explains why it seldom appears in non-urban settings. It also happens often in Western Medical Dramas, for the simple reason that the rooftop is usually the most quiet place in a hospital... unless it's near the helicopter pad.
Often used in Japanese media. The standard Japanese high school design includes an accessible roof, which is seldom locked in any serious way. Access to the roof is almost always explicitly forbidden, but that doesn't seem to stop anyone. Students and faculty will often find their way up to the roof for private lunches, heart-to-hearts, romantic goings-on, secret supernatural battles, or suicide. It has a chain-link fence to keep people from jumping off, except of course for all the people that do.
- Angel Beats! has several scenes involving conversations on the school roof, usually those between Yurippe and Otonashi.
- In the second chapter of Asteroid in Love (animated in the first episode), Moe gets Mira and Ao to have lunch together on the roof to handle the initial awkwardness between them. Moe turns out having to console Ao as the latter wonder if she has changed too much for Mira. Note that like a few anime in The New '10s, this roof is paved and have benches installed, indicating it is intended to be used by students.
- Several of the girls go on the roof in Azumanga Daioh to eat their lunch. Once, when they were up there, three fell asleep.
- Berserk: In volume six, after he asked Griffith why he risked his life against Zodd to save him, Guts goes up on a rooftop in Windham and contemplates what Griffith said while staring at the moon and holding the point of his sword in front of it. There, alone with his thoughts, he decides that he'll wield his sword for Griffith's sake.
- Train from Black Cat did this a lot, especially in the anime. Probably to try to show his similarities to cats.
- Ichigo and his schoolmates are frequently seen on the school roof, whether eating lunch or just being dramatic.
- Some of the shinigami are very fond of doing this, especially Aizen (pre-villain reveal), Hinamori, Hitsugaya, Matsumoto, Kenpachi and Ikkaku.
- Played for laughs in The Day of Revolution: Nakagawa insists on taking Megumi hostage in order to gain sole possession of the roof (and the implied Big Man on Campus status that comes with it) even though her True Companions are perfectly willing to share. Ironically when Makoto goes to the roof to report the kidnapping no one is there.
- A key Death Note scene has Light finding a distracted, uncharacteristically chatty L brooding on the roof of the headquarters building.
- Done for the wrong reasons in Digimon Data Squad, as Masaru moves Agumon up onto the roof in order to keep his mom from discovering him after Agumon tumbles out of his closet.
- Renamon from Digimon Tamers can frequently be found spending her downtime sitting on the roof of her tamer's house.
- Nobita and Doraemon in Doraemon occasionally does this. Doraemon usually chats with his lady-friends on the roof.
- Kyo in Fruits Basket spends a lot of time sulking on the roof of both Shigure's house and the school. Most times he does this, it's so that Tohru can follow him and give him a pep talk.
- Ghost In The Shell Standalone Complex. Togusa has a conversation with Major Kusanagi about the Laughing Man case on the roof of a skyscraper. The Major is standing on the wrong side of the safety rail at the very edge of the building, at one point casually turning to face Togusa and crossing her feet, as if to show off her Nerves of Steel and the perfect balance enabled by her cyborg body.
- One of the stock sets in Great Teacher Onizuka is the school roof. A third of their time is in class, another third on the roof and the remainder is everywhere else. Justified, since Onizuka lives in a room right next to the roof entrance and it's the only place on campus he can go to smoke.
- Gunslinger Girl. Triela is seen doing this while moping over her defeat by Pinochio. Those Two Guys from the Agency see her; one remarks that they better get her down as her handler will be furious is he sees here up there. His partner notes, "I think that's what she wants."
- Variant: In Hand Maid May, the ladder between their apartments serves as the private place for Kazuya Saotome and Kasumi Tani. But since it becomes practically an expressway in the anime, they head for the traditional roof escape later.
- In Hidamari Sketch, Miyako does it on the Hidamari Apartments' roof, usually with stray cats. Yuno, on the other hand, does this on the roof of Yamabuki High School, but for a different reason...
- One time, the main four eat on the roof to celebrate Chika, Sae's younger sister, getting into high school.
- On another occasion, Yoshinoya-sensei went up on the roof to read a novel on her mobile phone, but the main four, misinterpreting her previous behaviors, come to the conclusion that she's about to commit suicide, and go up to try to talk her down from that. They are relieved to learn the truth.
- Noelle and Yuusuke and Mikael and Raphael from I'm Gonna Be an Angel! are very fond of spending their time together on the roof. Mikael is even implied to sleep on the church's roof during the first season.
- Justified in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War. Students rarely go on the roof, and the only ones who do are either members of the student council (who probably asked for permission ahead of time) or Momo (who is mentioned in the light novel spin-off to have her own personal copy of the key as the president of the astronomy club). Of the two times that that regular students were shown to be there, Shirogane and or Momo were present and had presumably left the door unlocked.
- The school roof is used a lot in Kamichu!. Yurie and her friends go on the roof to learn what powers Yurie has, Kenji conducts club meetings on the roof, and Yurie later goes on the roof to sob in peace.
- In Kekkaishi, the main character often goes to the roof during lunchtime to contemplate the latest problem to crop up, often with another character beside him to comment. He also goes up there to get his much-needed sleep, cutting class (he puts a shikigami in his place) in the process.
- In the final episode of Kimi ni Todoke's second anime season, Kurumi and Sawako have an important conversation on the school roof.
- Izumo and his kabuki actor friends from Kunisaki Izumo no Jijou like to hang out on the school roof during lunchtime in school.
- In Monochrome Factor it's Akira and Kengo's favorite spot for avoiding classes and discussing the current situation.
- Nanoha and her school friends sometimes eat on the roof. At the end of A's, she, Fate, and Hayate head up to the roof and activate their Devices as they head out on a mission.
- Shinji also likes spending time on the school roof in Neon Genesis Evangelion. In Rebuild of Evangelion, he meets Mari there for the first time. Apparently, Mari thought that parachuting onto a school's roof is a good way to hide her arrival into Japan. She obviously didn't count on someone else being right where she lands. In the English dub she mentions not landing in the right location, however.
- The eponymous Niea from Niea_7 does this a lot, often while listening to her blues records. Mayuko also does this frequently, mostly while discussing things with her best friend Chiaki.
- In Otomen, Ryo, Asuka, and Juta eat lunch on the roof so that other students won't know about Asuka's amazing bento making skills.
- Noa and Asuma frequently relax and share quiet moments on the police HQ's roof in Patlabor. Most of the characters spend some time up there at some point. This gets them in trouble at one point, when a media helicopter gets pictures of most of Division 2 hanging out on the roof and runs a story about government waste.
- Many of the Shinsengumi in Peace Maker Kurogane sat on the roof in one episode to watch fireworks.
- The characters of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou frequently hang out on the roof of school or have rooftop confrontations, and the second intro sequence shows them having a hot pot party on the roof of Sakura Hall (not a flat roof, mind you).
- In Pokémon: I Choose You!, Ash stands with Verity and Sorrel on the roof of his school when he dreams about living in a world without Pokémon. He looks past the fence and wonders what's beyond his town. The Dream Sequence helps him appreciate the freedom he has as a Pokémon trainer.
- Ranma from Ranma ½. This is aided by the fact that he can leap up there from the ground. Many scenes also feature various characters up on the school's roof. This is anime only; in the manga Ranma sits in trees far away from the Dojo to get privacy but does use the roof as a meeting place.
- In School Days, Sekai, Makoto, and Katsura often eat lunch on the roof. In the ending to the anime (and one of the game's endings), Kotonoha lures Sekai to the roof with an email from Makoto's cell phone and kills her.
- Mutsumi Saburo of Sgt. Frog is commonly shown hanging out on the rooftop; it's also a favored hangout for ninjas Dororo and Koyuki.
- Shana from Shakugan no Shana does this after her first day in Yuji's world, waiting for Friagne to return so that she can fight him again.
- Setsuna from Shattered Angels likes to use the roof as a vantage point to observe, and for looking cool.
- A rather large amount of Sonic X episodes have Sonic doing this. One episode even revealed he started a trend of people doing this to imitate him.
- In Special A, Kei retreats to the roof of Hikari's house when dealing with a crazy and ill Hikari was unbearable.
- In Steins;Gate Okabe retreats to the roof of his apartment on several occasions when feeling stressed, and is sometimes followed up there by Makise who confronts him about his strange behaviour.
- In Tactics Haruka frequently broods on the roof; it helps that he's a tengu and therefore can simply fly up there.
- The launching point for The Twelve Kingdoms, which starts off in a typical anime high school setting but leaves it more or less permanently after the first half of the first episode/chapter. Youko Nakajima and the kirin Keiki meet in a classroom and head for the roof not for the usual reasons, but because they are under attack by monsters powerful enough to kill every student and teacher in the building. In the anime, two other students, Ikuya Asano and Yuka Sugimoto, are on the roof for a more typical social rendezvous and are swept up in the adventure.
- Nao, Miki and Ryouko-chan from Windy Tales spend a lot of time up on the school roof. With flying cats.
- The boys in You and Me are constantly sitting on their schools roof when they're not in class. They spend so much time eating lunch on the roof that they've forgotten much about the cafeteria. When forced to use it when the door to the roof has been painted, they say they are unlikely to go to the cafeteria ever again.
- Yugi from the first Yu-Gi-Oh! has done this. LittleKuriboh even based a joke around this; he's been locked up there again.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Judai spends a good deal of time on the roof of Duel Academia talking to Duel Spirits.
- Yuri is My Job!: During a flashback to the time when Hime and Kanoko were in middle school, the latter often ate lunch on the roof, since she and Hime weren't friends at the time. Kanoko even worries that Hime might report her to the teacher and prevent her from going up on the roof anymore. After Hime and Kanoko become friends, they often eat together on the roof, such as in the bonus chapters of the first and third volumes of the manga.
- Batman spends a lot of time brooding on rooftops, usually near a gargoyle. Batman and Gordon usually meet on the roof of Gotham Central precinct house near the Bat Signal.
- Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown used to spend time sitting oh the roof her her house together prior to Batman giving allowing Steph to know Tim's secret ID. Tim started hanging out on the roof of his current abode by himself for quiet and to think after his father went bankrupt, and continued doing so through several moves.
- Spider-Man likes to have discussions with other superheroes on rooftops. Before Gwen Stacy died, he preferred the Brooklyn/Queensboro bridge.
- Supreme Power: Hyperion goes into space on a few occasions, partially to get his thoughts in order, partially to indulge in early fantasies of absolute power.
- During The Infinity Gauntlet, while the other heroes are making battle plans in Avengers Mansion, Hulk slips away to the roof to think. He's joined by Wolverine, and they share a rare sweet moment together.
- Once, in The Avengers, Hawkeye, after being rebuffed (yet again!) by Scarlet Witch, sat on the roof of Tony Stark's townhouse (at the time, the Avengers' HQ) bemoaning his lot; "I've been blown off by the Black Widow three times, first for the Commies, then SHIELD, and now Daredevil, and now Witchie won't give me a tumble, what's WRONG with me? I've got LOOKS, I'm fun to TALK to...."
- In Where Talent Goes to Die, this trope is briefly discussed when Monokuma opens the way to the top floor of Talent High School. Iwasawa, a girl from a farming community who's never gone to a traditional Japanese high school, mentions having heard about students sitting on the roof and eating lunch. Tezuka, however, recalls a time when he went to the roof to eat lunch and draw the clouds, and ended up getting in trouble.
- Superman has a variant of this where he floats above the Earth. As Clark Kent, he claims that he likes looking at the city from the Daily Planet roof, to explain why he's sometimes seen coming through that door.
- In Escape from the Phantom Zone: After escaping from a pocket dimension, Supergirl and Batgirl take a moment to sit on a rooftoop, relax and watch the sunrise as discussing their latest adventure.
- Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes occasionally ends up on the roof, but this is generally because he's hiding from something.
- In one comic, Calvin hides on the roof while his mom tries to find him to make him take a bath.
- In another comic, Calvin's bike attacks Calvin inside the house, so he climbs out a second-floor window and closes it behind him. Calvin then realizes that his parents will blame him for the bike tracks in the house, so he resigns himself to staying on the roof for a long time: "One of these days, the neighbors will look out the window and wonder why there's a grown man in six-year-old's clothes on our roof."
- Crabgrass: Kevin and Miles tend to do this, like in this and this comic.
- Snoopy from Peanuts often sleeps (and plays pretend) on the roof of his doghouse.
- Jeremy often does this in Zits, and his reason for being there isn't because his house is small (it's actually very big), it's because Jeremy is a teenager. "WHY AM I HERE?!" — "Because you climbed up there, you moron!" Note that falling off of said roof makes one an excellent candidate for a Darwin Award. Jeremy also likes to sleep on the roof. Once in the middle of winter. Another in Summer. Note he has a habit of sleeping in the nude when the temperature gets too hot. Now THAT caused quite a traffic jam in front of his house that morning.
- Cookie the Camp Cook in Beetle Bailey does this whenever someone insults his cooking in any way and has to be talked down from there, mostly because without him, everyone in Camp Swampy goes hungry.
- In Disney's Aladdin, Aladdin and Jasmine sit on a rooftop at the end of "A Whole New World", watching fireworks.
- In Chicken Run, Ginger goes up to the roof of her hut frequently to look out at the hills beyond the fence and imagine what it might be like to live there. Later on, she runs into Rocky there. "I'm sorry, is this your roof?"
- In Frozen, Anna and Hans stargaze on a rooftop during their Falling-in-Love Montage.
- In Meet the Robinsons, Lewis frequently retreats to the roof when depressed or pensive. He sits there after the disastrous science fair, only to be interrupted by Wilbur.
- In The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, one of the Yakuza guys pulls in the school's rooftop a dramatic fight against the Black guy who sold him a defective iPod, luring an entire mob of students up there.
- Will Stronghold and Layla from Sky High (2005) sit on the roof for a talk.
- Two out of three High School Musical movies have Troy and Gabriella getting some alone time on the roof, even singing up there in the third movie and The Musical.
- Van Wilder hangs around on the roof, not least for when he's being naked to distract jumpers.
- Backdraft. The firefighter played by Kurt Russell shows up at his ex-wife's house and starts fixing her roof for no apparent reason. "The Great Communicator," she quips dryly.
- We get one of these in The Wizard.
- Numerous scenes in The Room feature the boys relaxing on the roof of the apartment building. Of course, they also play football and apprehend a drug dealer up there.
- Peter Parker does this in The Amazing Spider-Man. While studying advanced biochemistry.
- The Asylum's movie Sunday School Musical features multiple scenes on the one roof...which opens up a huge Plot Hole.
- In Roxanne, a kid gets so tired of being teased at school that he refuses to come down from the roof of his house. His mother calls the fire department to get him down, but the fire chief sympathizes with him and just sits up there with him for while.
- The boys in Victoria (2015) have their favorite place on a building's rooftop.
- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Alleline uses the roof of the Circus to discuss matters away from the ears of the staff.
Tony Hayden: Looking for his Majesty.
Tony Esterhase: He's walking the battlements.
- In Iron Man 2, the titular character is chilling out on the rooftop sign:
Nick Fury: Sir, I'm gonna have to ask you to exit the donut.
- Death at a Funeral involves a scene of talking down someone high on drugs and about to jump, and later ends with a Brick Joke of an old-timer getting high, wandering onto the roof and being last heard musing that his surroundings are so damn green...
- Walter from Joyful Noise does this sometimes.
- Dean from Backstreet Dreams leans against a chimney while he angsts about his son's autism.
- In A Safe Place (1971), Noah and Mitch cuddle and kiss on the roof of Mitch's old apartment building.
- Secrets In The Hot Spring: After rumours about Hsu and Qie being a couple have spread around the school, Qie is seen eating his lunch on the school roof.
- The biopic Selena contains a brief scene in which the title character does this while daydreaming about a becoming a singer.
- Spider-Man: No Way Home: After his secret identity is exposed Peter Parker and MJ start hanging out on the roof of their school to avoid the attention of the other students. Peter asks if it's possible for them to just stay up there all day. After Aunt May's death Peter returns to the roof in the middle of the night to be alone with his grief. Luckily MJ remembers his previous comment allowing her and Ned Leeds to find and comfort him.
- In the superhero parody Spider-Plant Man, the title character tries standing on a rooftop like superheroes do. Unfortunately he chose the Gherkin and slips off (He Got Better).
- Spider Robinson is fond of this trope, and in his Callahan series the bar even has a beautiful iron circular staircase leading to the roof. Before the staircase was installed, patrons rode up in a large dumbwaiter.
- Circleverse: A favorite pastime of the four main characters from Circle of Magic; the first-floor roof of Discipline Cottage is accessible from a second-floor window. Briar even makes it his Happy Place.
- In A Little Princess, one of the only things Sara likes about her Fallen Princess circumstances is that her attic room has a skylight, and she can stand up through it to people-watch and see the sunset. It's because the roofs are connected that she meets the Indian servant next door one day, which leads to her being discovered and rescued.
- In G. K. Chesterton's Manalive, one of the first eccentric stunts pulled by the Blithe Spirit main character is to climb up on the roof of the boarding house he's staying in. Two of the other characters follow him up and realize that they're enjoying themselves for the first time in years.
- Mistborn: Vin does this a few times in the original trilogy, notably after an argument with the rest of the crew.
- Newsflesh: In Deadline, the roof of the apartment building is a hangout for several of the blog team, especially Shaun. Fortunately for them, the one tenant who isn't one of their group doesn't even object to the firing range. She did object to land-mine testing up there, though.
- A Westernized version in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Francie reads on the fire escape every Saturday afternoon, when weather permits. Since they live on the top floor of their third home, they also have dibs on the roof.
- In the first graphic novel published in the Warrior Cats series, there's a scene where Graystripe and Millie have a heart-to-heart conversation on a random roof. It kind of makes sense because they're cats. This image was even colored and used in promotional materials.
- Tally from Can You See Me? likes to sit on the garden shed, even though she's not supposed to be up there.
- Harry in 3rd Rock from the Sun. Later, make that the whole team. Before long, it became a Once an Episode, where the aliens discussed what they learned, usually putting some comic spin on it. Of course, just because this is how every episode ends, it didn't prevent the characters spending time on the roof throughout the episode either.
- In the pilot episode of Altered Carbon, Takeshi Kovacs says he's going to his room for Hookers and Blow, but ends up on the roof of the Raven Hotel with a pistol in his hand, seriously considering blowing his cortical stack out. A hallucination of his deceased lover talks him out of it.
- Batwoman (2019). After the traumatic events of "Through the Looking-Glass", Julia Pennyworth finds Kate Kane Drowning Her Sorrows while sitting on the ledge of Wayne Tower over a very long drop. Seeing this, Julia does not respect Kate's desire to be alone.
Julia: You don't have to say anything, but a friend wouldn't leave you drinking on a ledge.
- The Big Bang Theory:
- The guys performed a laser experiment on their building's roof once.
- Howard and Bernadette had their wedding ceremony on the rooftop.
- Tskushi and Rui sit on the fire escape in Boys Over Flowers.
- In Chernobyl Scherbina and Legasov go up on the flat rooftop of an apartment block in Pripyat. Given that they are Being Watched by the KGB, it's a good place to have a candid conversation without being overheard, and they've already been exposed to so much radiation that they're not going to live any longer by sheltering inside.
- Max of Dark Angel liked to sit on top of the Space Needle.
- Doctor Who: In "The Runaway Bride", Donna and the Doctor chill out on top of a tall building after he rescued her from a taxi driven by a robot Santa.
- In Emily Owens, M.D., the doctors try to find a calm place on the hospital roof quite often. They're seen there having lunch or trying to have a private conversation (which often gets interrupted because the hiding place is no secret).
- Happened often on Friends. Joey practised dancing with the building's super there, the gang went there to watch a comet or stars, and Joey organized there parties for his fellow actors. Similar outside scenes were done on Monica's mini-balcony.
- Garth Marenghis Darkplace occasionally finished an episode with a light parody of this trope combined with Inner Monologue. Having Dagless up on the roof, staring off into a ridiculously fake sunset and playing some Fauxlosophic Narration in his head.
- In the Hannah Montana episode "Me and Mr Jonas and Mr Jonas and Mr Jonas", Miley ends up sitting on the roof after being caught out during her latest crazy scheme. Given that the "roof" is two feet off the deck it loses some of its impact once the wide-shot is established.
- Peter Petrelli of Heroes has a tendency for brooding on a rooftop. Other characters like Hiro and Sylar have made appearances on rooftops as well.
- Homicide: Life on the Street. The roof of the police station is used for a quiet word between various characters.
- House and Stacy have multiple romantic scenes on the hospital roof.
- House and Wilson were up there a lot too.
- Many episodes of How I Met Your Mother. There are parties organized on the roof-top (Halloween or birthday ones). It's also Ted favourite spot to end his romantic dates. He will often take his date there for some star-gazing and a kiss. The gang will also go to the roof to have a (secret) smoke. In one episode, they become envious of the roof on the neighbouring building, as it has a luxurious patio.
- Simon from The Inbetweeners climbs onto his garden shed to gaze at the sky when he is caught modelling by his parents.
- In an episode of iZombie, after Liv eats the brain of a costumed vigilante, she starts spending a lot of time on rooftops, looking over the city.
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: In one episode, Fin notes that in lower-income households, the roofs of apartment buildings are popular places for teenage couples to go for private "conversations". They're also choice spots for junkies to shoot up in peace, which is how they find their suspect dead of an overdose.
- The kids in Misfits hang out on the roof of the community center, where they have furniture set up.
- In the Japanese drama Nobuta Wo Produce, the three main characters often eat lunch on the roof of their school as they plot ways to make the titular character popular.
- Makoto eats her lunch on the roof in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. Usagi promptly drags all her friends up there too.
- Scorpion has an almost patio-like setup on the roof of the garage, including a barbecue grill.
- Happens frequently in Scrubs. Usually Ted's the one with the suicide variant, while Kelso's up there to egg him on. Furthermore for one episode the "Epiphany Toilet" is located on the roof.
- On Sons of Anarchy, Jax goes up on the roof to read John Teller's manuscript and think about the series' Black-and-Grey Morality.
- A couple of episodes of Torchwood use this. At the end of "Everything Changes", for instance, Jack and Gwen stand on a roof and watch the view as he recruits her into Torchwood and asks her not to tell the others about his Resurrective Immortality.
- Happens all the time in Workaholics, Ders, Blake, and Adam often sit on their roof, drinking and smoking weed.
- The cover of The Replacements' (not the cartoon, the American indie-pub rock band) album Let It Be (yes, the same as the more famous album) has the band engaging in this.
- A young version of Kelly Clarkson during the video to "Breakaway".
- Elton John:
I sat on the roof, and kicked off the moss! For a few of the verses had got me quite cross...
- Johan Lindells On the Roof has a man drinking wine sitting alone on a roof, mourning over his recent breakup. The first verse serves as a succinct POV description of this trope:
Up on the roof I go
Sit and drink my wine
People running down below
I wanna feel the cool winds blow
Killing time up here
Just me and the empty sky
Trying to sort things out
Bout what happened the other night
- "Carry Me Out" by Mitski is about falling into a reverie while sitting on the roof.
- Our Miss Brooks: Two episodes end with Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton sitting on a roof.
- In "Elopement with Walter, Miss Brooks lures Mr. Boynton atop Mrs. Davis' house to practice volunteer fire fighting maneuvers. It Makes Sense in Context.
- "Threat to Abolish Football" ends with Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton drafted into fixing the roof of Mr. Conklin's house. Again, It Makes Sense in Context.
- In the musical Fiddler on the Roof, the musical's title stems from a painting by Marc Chagall, one of many surreal paintings he created of Eastern European Jewish life, often including a fiddler. The Fiddler is a metaphor for survival through tradition and joyfulness in a life of uncertainty and imbalance. The main character explains that the lot of the Jews in Russia is as precarious as a fiddler on a roof: trying to eke out a pleasant tune while not breaking their necks.
- The parody, A Shoggoth on the Roof has instead of a musician a shapeless malevolent predator on the roof. Which is just one of those things you have to learn to put up with when you live in Arkham. How does such a big monster stay on such a pointed roof, you might ask? Tentacles!
- 1776 has John Adams in the belltower of Independence Hall (the one with the famous Liberty Bell) whenever he's fed up with Congress or brooding over the unlikeliness of getting independence passed.
- A couple of characters do this regularly in Double Homework:
- Johanna does this in her apartment building when she wants to be alone and cry.
- Morgan does this at school when she wants some alone time.
- Yuuichi goes up on the roof to talk to Mishio in Kanon.
- In Persona 3, the roof of Gekkoukan High School plays host to numerous events within the game, both plot-driven and optional (in certain Social Links). Pretty much all of these involve some sort of personal heart-to-heart conversation. Also, you can actually access the roof yourself in the normal course of the game, although nothing happens if you do.
- There's also a sidequest to water the dying flowers up there, but it's the most trivial side-quest in the game.
- Persona 4's heroes also use their school's roof; it's where you can eat lunch with your friends, help out a few NPCs in Sidequests, and interact with Social Links — including preventing a threatened suicide attempt in one SL. Chie can be found on the roof when she's available on school days.
- Persona 5 has the heroes use chairs littered around their school's roof for their first "hideout" to secretly plan their Phantom Thief activities, before people notice they've been hanging up there a lot, forcing them to relocate. The roof also ends up being closed due to a student attempting suicide by jumping off the roof. Later on in the game, Haru takes care of a garden on the roof, and some of the player's Confidant events with her take place on the school roof.
- Near the beginning of Assassin's Creed II, Ezio and Federico have a race to reach the top of a church steeple. After Ezio wins, the two brothers joke around before commenting that they "lead a good life" and sitting down, staring up at the night sky while the game's title appears.
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood also has its titles appearing while two characters stand on a roof, although this time it's Ezio and Mario deciding what to do with the Apple of Eden.
- The opening cutscene of Mega Man 2 has the camera ascending up the side of a building to reveal the title character hanging out on the roof.
- The characters in ef: A Tale of Memories spend a lot of their time on the roofs of their high school and the local church.
- Shiraki Aeka from Yume Miru Kusuri manages to hit private lunches, heart-to-hearts, romantic goings-on, and (attempted) suicide. The only thing missing is a secret supernatural battle, and I think Antoinette pissing and shitting herself is close enough to qualify.
- In Hotel Dusk: Room 215, Iris and Mila are often on the roof, pondering stuff.
- In Star Fox: Assault, the cutscene following the completion of the Fichina level has Fox sitting on the roof of the climate control center.
- Katawa Shoujo has a rooftop lunchtime scene between Hisao, Emi, and Rin. You also end up hanging out on the roof with Shizune and Misha at the end of Shizune's route in Act 1. In addition, if you haven't gotten onto any girl's path by the day of the festival, Hisao winds up drinking with Kenji on the roof, which leads to him falling off and dying.
- The "access is almost always explicitly forbidden" gets touched upon, as in the previously mentioned bad ending, Hisao goes by a sign telling him to keep off, and in Emi's route, Misha, translating for Shizune, points out that it's against the rules (although the two often eat or talk on the roof with Hisao in Shizune's route).
- One illustration for Ganbare Goemon's Great Adventure has the eponymous Goemon doing this on a pagoda.
- In MOTHER, Loid hides in a trash can on top of a school roof to avoid bullies. Ninten befriends him by going up there and giving him a bottle rocket.
- One of the few emotional scenes in the game Cry of Fear has the protagonist, Simon, finding his friend Sophie on the roof of a random building. The scene starts with Simon, obviously confused, but continues onto being a rather heartwarming scene with the two of them sitting on the edge looking out over the city. That is, until Sophie tells Simon she likes him, but doesn't love him back, where-on she promptly commits suicide by jumping off the ledge.
- "Episode 3: Backdoor" of Code 7 begins with Raven sitting on the roof of the hideout, looking at the stars for what she feels is the first time and contemplating who she really is. It is up to you and META to try to cheer her up.
- Ibuki in Street Fighter V sits on a roof during her character story when she retells the events of A Shadow Falls and her experiences.
- In Kindred Spirits on the Roof, Yuna, who's rather uncomfortable around most other people, tends to eat lunch on the roof. The plot kicks off when she sees two ghosts on the roof, who realize that she can see and hear them and recruit her to play a "Yuri Cupid" to get lesbian couples together.
- In the "Two Thief or Not Two Thief" arc of Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, Bumper goes up on the roof to be alone and is soon joined by Luna, who spotted him while aerially patrolling the town.
- Misfile shows that even Angels like to mope on the roof.
- A strip of Original Life had the "Ghost" character hanging out on the school roof.
- Amazi-Girl is surprised to encounter Walky on the dorm roof in Dumbing of Age but Walky wonders why everyone isn't up there since it's stairway-accessible.
- In A Trailer for Every Academy Award Winning Movie Ever, Protagonist is seen sitting on the roof twice, once with Female Lead and then with Inspirationally Disadvantaged Guy.
- The Platoon of Power Squadron has a variant. In Episode 8, Donald and Jonas climb to the top of a skyscraper and have a serious discussion about heroism.
Jonas: Yeah, you come up here to feel like a hero.
- In RWBY, Jaune and Pyrrha have most of their conversations and/or training sessions note on the roof of Beacon Academy. Unfortunately, this makes it really easy for anyone in the top-floor dormitories to eavesdrop.
- Another western example is from Daria. It was a plot point in "Daria!" (A.K.A. The Daria Musical):
Daria: Hey, look at what the newspaper is saying.
Daria: It says a great big storm is on the way.
Daria: The roof's not really where we should be staying.
Daria: 'Cause this big-ass storm is happening today.
- Wendy sometimes hangs out on the roof of the Mystery Shack in Gravity Falls, highlighting her Cool Big Sis nature at one point by taking Mabel and Dipper up to show them.
- Hey Arnold! often has Arnold climbing up onto the roof (as well as other characters) of the boarding house on various occasions, both for thinking, when sad, for being happy as well as going there in his dreams.
- On Recess, Spinelli went up to sit on the roof of the school in "Parents Night" after being embarrassed by her parents in front of her friends.
- The Simpsons:
- Apu episode "Homer and Apu." ("Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart? I doooooo...")
- In the episode where Lisa becomes a vegetarian, Apu reveals an entire garden located on the roof of the Kwik-E-Mart. It's great for watching free drive-in movies.
- In "Bart vs. Thanksgiving" has Bart and Lisa talking and making up on top of the house's roof, which Homer watches from below in the bathroom window. This was actually based off of staff writer George Meyer's own experiences of sitting on the roof whenever he quarreled with his family.
- When Bart's comet is about to destroy Springfield and most people are Apocalypse Anarhy-ing, the Simpsons sit on the roof in comfy chairs and watch the sky.
- Homer made Springfield into Venice once as his art shtick. The family was sitting and watching people enjoy the water. Marge was painting a picture.
- Superman: The Animated Series:
- In "Superman's Pal", Jimmy stands on the Planet 's roof "kicking [him]self" over his part in the episode's conflict until Superman shows up to give a You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech.
- In the finale, "Legacy", Superman stands on the roof listening to all the horrible things that people are saying about him after his Brainwashed and Crazy rampage. Luckily, Lois turns up to comfort him.
- In the second episode of Teen Titans, and several afterward, Robin and Starfire have a heart-to-heart on the roof.
- Diane from Bojack Horseman has a habit of going to the roof to think. Often with Bojack coming up to join her, so they can have a heart-to-heart. The series even ends on them having a bittersweet final meeting on the roof of the the building being used to for Princess Carolyn's wedding reception, where Diane says her goodby to him, before moving on with her life.
- The season four finale of Regular Show, "Steak Me Amadeus", ends on Mordecai dejectedly sitting alone on the roof after trying to finally, officially ask his Love Interest, Margaret, to be his girlfriend, only for Margaret to reveal she has to leave town after getting into the college she wanted to, meaning they can't be together. Before Mordecai's best friend Rigby comes with a couple cold sodas to join him.