When some characters are having a peaceful night together, there's a good chance they will take a moment to admire the stars. They may try and Make a Wish (often with a shooting star), or point out constellations, or ponder the cosmic significance of human life, or even speculate about what's out there in space. Sometimes this leads to a romantic moment with the peaceful atmosphere, but the characters involved can be friends or family and the scene can still work. The moment could even feature a single character, which often gives the scene a much lonelier feeling.
It's always quiet and calm, sometimes even introspective, and allows for a nice moment of character interaction if there are multiple characters. If there's drama involved, it's almost always a moment of internal conflict, and even comedic moments tend to be innocent and light-hearted. In this way, it might be an Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene, especially when the moment comes as a break from more intense or active scenes. There can also be a bit of Foreshadowing if one of the "stars" turns out to be an alien ship or the like. In a romantic scene, this trope may lead to Girls Stare at Scenery, Boys Stare at Girls.
- In Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, Atsushi Kinugawa and his Evil Former Friend Kinshirou Kusatsu lie on their backs stargazing as children. They promise to remain friends (they don't) and each make a wish on a shooting star. There's a repeating motif of shooting stars in the sky which parallels the relationship between the two. The two wishes end up being central to the plot, as the apparent failure of Kinshirou's is his Start of Darkness.
- Heaven's Lost Property has a unusually somber example. A distracted Ikaros is staring at a brilliant full moon when a suspicious Sugata confronts her about her identity, powers, and origins. Her dour responses convince him that as far as Ikaros is concerned, she is the blank slate she claims to be.
Sugata (to himself): So the problem becomes a question: who sent Ikaros to Tomoki?
- Chapter 56 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War has the student council watching the Autumn Moon. Kaguya tries to turn it into her latest Battle of Wits with Shirogane, but -in true You Were Trying Too Hard fashion- Shirogane's innocent love of the stars turns him into a full blown romantic that reduces her to putty in his hands.
- In Revolutionary Girl Utena, Akio has a planetarium and telescope in his house. Akio likes to look up at the stars on his ceiling and make philosophical observations, and he often dispense advice to Utena during solemn sessions of stargazing. These scenes develop the Akio-Utena romance, as Utena grows to trust Akio during these sessions. The fact that the stars are a planetarium show and not real is symbolic, representing the fact that almost everything in the world of Ohtori Academy is an illusion created and manipulated by Akio.
- The comic has this as an Establishing Character Moment for Skywise (who else?) at the beginning of the very first story arc, where he and Cutter has a moment of friendship together after the rescue of Redlance, and right before the forest is set on fire. The scene has a parallell at the end of the Final Quest arc, where the two paraphrase the same conversation, while they prepare for the final farewell.
- Also, a couple of instances where Skywise uses this as a pick-up line for getting an elven girl to lie down. This happens with Ruffel early on, and is later taken up by Newstar, to get Skywise to comply.
- The Lion King:
- Simba, Timon and Pumbaa spend a night staring at the stars and wondering exactly what they're made of. Timon guesses fireflies, Pumbaa guesses they're "giant balls of gas", and Simba mentions the story he was taught as a cub, that stars are really the ancient kings of the past watching over them, showing how he still hasn't fully moved on from his past.
- In The Lion King 2, Kiara and Kovu have a scene where they're staring up at the sky and pointing out different constellations, like a rabbit and "two lions killing eachother for a scrap of meat". Kovu admits it's something he's never done before, while Kiara had done it all the time with Simba. When she mentions the "kings of the past" story, Kovu gets upset and asks if she thinks Scar is up there, too.
- Shrek: While stopping for the night as they escort Fiona to Duloc, Shrek and Donkey stare at the night sky, as Shrek points out the constellations, all of which are about famous ogres.
Donkey: So, uh... Are there any donkeys up there?Shrek: Well, there's, um... Gabby, the small and annoying.Donkey: Okay, okay, I see, I see it now. Yeah, the big shining one, right there. Right, th-that one there?Shrek: (beat) That's the moon.
- The Beach: Richard and Francoise had a night on the beach taking pictures of the stars. Richard starts talking about parallel universes, and in his internal monologue, discusses how he's become infatuated with Francoise as the two mess around with the star camera.
- As Sir Bowen and the dragon from Dragonheart prepare for a night's rest al fresco, Bowen points out the constellation Draco in the night sky, and suggests calling the dragon by that name. The dragon replies that he'd feel honored to be named after an array of stars.
- The star watching scene in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind made it onto the movie poster. Clementine takes Joel on a romantic trip onto a frozen lake where they lay down and watch the stars. Clementine asks Joel which constellations he knows but he doesn't know any, so he makes one up. Watch the scene here.
- Lady Bird has a star gazing scene involving Lady Bird and her first love Danny. She asks him to pick a star for them and then they start cuddling. Afterwards they discuss a name for their star with Danny suggesting "Claude" which Lady Bird finds too pretentious so she suggests "Bruce" instead.
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: After Jen and Lo's love scene, they spend an intimate moment gazing at the stars in a hot spring, while Lo recounts his childhood.
- Mansfield Park: Edmund and Fanny talk about the sublimity of Nature, about stars and how gorgeous they are. From the house, they can see Arcturus looking very bright and the Bear. Fanny wishes to see Cassiopeia and Edmund encourages her to go outside with him to "have star-gazing" but he wants to stay inside for a while to hear his sisters and their guests singing. He somehow forgets about the stars, to Fanny's great disappointment.
- Leaves of Grass, "On the Beach at Night Alone":
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes and of the future.
- Saturnin: The unnamed narrator and his love interest Miss Barbora spend summer at his grandfather's beautiful villa. They watch stars together on the terrace, try to see a shooting star and are mostly silent. The narrator muses whether it was right when he decided not to try to kiss her. However, he has a very specific idea about their first kiss. He wants them to simply "kiss", not to "kiss her" or steal the kiss from her.
- There are many scenes like this in Warrior Cats, with the added significance that the Stars Are Souls of Clan cats who have passed away, so they're actually looking at their ancestors in their version of heaven. One such scene in The Darkest Hour has Firestar heading out alone to think and watching the stars on Sunningrocks; he ends up yowling to the sky asking them for help, and they answer him in a dream after he falls asleep there.
- Doctor Who introduced The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond with a special stargazing trailer that did not appear in an episode. There was a 3D surround sound version made for cinemas.
- House of Anubis: Nina and Fabian share a small moment together in season one admiring the night sky from Fabian's bedroom window. In addition to being another moment of Ship Tease for the pairing, this moment also allows them to figure out the meaning of the next clue, which turns out to be tied to a downstairs telescope.
- Star Trek: Voyager
- Early in the series, Captain Janeway finds a member of her crew casting a Longing Look at the stars out the window, as they've on the far side of the galaxy and everyone is longing to get home.
- In "Counterpoint", Janeway and Kashyk spend a UST-filled brainstorming session together, including gazing at an aurora-like star cluster. Slash Fic fans have also noted the amount of times Janeway and Seven of Nine have a close conversation in Astrometrics.
- Scream: Noah and Riley spend a night out on the football field, drinking martinis and talking about fictional romance plots while gazing at the stars. This culminates in a kiss between them.
- You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown: At the end of the play, Linus, Lucy and Sally are admiring the stars, with Sally and Linus wondering what exactly they're looking at.
Linus: It could be a star, or maybe even a satellite.
Sally: It could be a satellite! I wonder...
- In Carl Orff's opera Der Mond, Petrus's near-soliloquy about gazing upon the earth from on high and seeing the world-wheel turning beyond the clouds captures the nocturnal mood, if not the letter, of this trope.
- The Suikoden series uses these scenes a number of times, often on the nights before big battles to show the characters reflecting on their lives.
- To the Moon shows one between Johnny and River when they were still kids.
- The Starry Night commercial for Halo 3 begins with one of these, with two children (presumably a younger Master Chief and another Spartan) wondering if alien life exists, with the boy, ironically, hoping to meet them.
- The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has one between Alisa and Rean in Chapter 3 of the first game, during the field study to the Nord Highlands. During the scene, Alisa ends up explaining to Rean that after her father died, her mother Irina became Married to the Job. She also tells Rean how Irina betrayed her father Gwyn (Alisa's grandfather) to take up the position as CEO of the Reinford Group.
- Undertale, despite being set Beneath the Earth, manages to pull off a Second-Hand Storytelling version of this using sparkling ceiling stones. The Echo Flowers in an area of Waterfall record wishes whispered by monsters to these stones, which unsurprisingly include wishes that they could go to the surface and see the actual stars. There are two telescopes in this area for the player to use: one has a clue painted over the lens, and the other, managed by Sans, has some red stuff on the other end.
- In Critical Role, Caleb and Nott get one of these while aboard the Mystake.
- The Simpsons:
- In "Mother Simpson", when Homer's long-lost mother is forced to flee Springfield after a brief reunion, Homer tearfully waves her goodbye as she drives into the sunset, then sits and watches the stars as the credits roll.
- In "Brother from the Same Planet", Homer and his new "little brother" Pepi sit and look at the stars, something the latter has never done because he's lived in the city all his life. Homer tries to name some constellations, which are all members of the Dallas Cowboys.