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When a show needs a moment to pause and reflect on the fleeting joy and serenity of friendship, particularly right before things all go to hell, a small group of friends — sometimes two, but more usually three — will find themselves sitting on a grassy hillside on a bright sunny day. As they talk of the important issues in their lives, they will flop back and look directly up into the sky with arms, legs and hair spread out around them. The camera emphasizes the moment by taking to the air and shooting straight down to show the friends lying together on the hillside. Artificial riverbanks are useful for this purpose.

Compare with Sitting on the Roof, when you need to get away from it all.

Examples of this trope include:

Anime and Manga

  • A brief moment of peace and togetherness for Arika, Nina and Erstin in Mai-Otome — possibly their last before the series explodes around them — takes place as they sprawl on a hill overlooking Windbloom.
    • It's particularly poignant when you watch the scene again armed with the knowledge that Erstin dies.
  • Kiki's Delivery Service opens showing the heroine in that position.
  • Briefly seen in the opening credits of Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z.
  • In the last episode of Outlaw Star, Gene wakes up on a field with his friends, but it turns out to be a fake world, so no important issue talk.
  • Subverted (as usual) by Neon Genesis Evangelion during the fight with the Fifth Angel — the Children are sitting together upon a hillside right before the second attack on the Angel, but it is the middle of the night, and their conversation is mordant and philosophical.
  • Kimi ga Nozomu Eien.
  • Many a romantic Rina/Hamasaki scene in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, as well as the last ending theme, where the Power Trio sits on a cliff.
  • Akazukin Chacha, at the turning point in the series where the kids decide it's time to take the fight to the bad guy.
  • Shikamaru Nara has a habit of doing this, simply because he enjoys watching the clouds. He also tends to do so alone.
  • The ending of Kaze no Stigma has Kazuma lying on a hillside, contemplating the sky (interspersed with random cast shots), until Ayano shows up to rouse him at the end.
  • In Mokke, Shizuru and Mizuki do this ever so often, starting in the opening credits.
  • Kai and Takao do this in the very last episode of Beyblade.
  • Kuu is shown doing this in Haibane Renmei.
  • Makoto and Minako of Sailor Moon do this in the R movie.
  • Takashi and Yoru do this in Video Girl Ai while watching the sunset.
  • Honey and Clover.
  • Utena and Wakaba of "Shoujo Kakumei Utena" or "Revolutionary Girl Utena" do this in the first episode.
  • Edward and Alphonse Elric sit together on a hillside as young children, in the first anime. Alphonse gets upset during the conversation about getting their mother back, and Edward ruffles his hair to reassure him.

Live Action TV

  • The Starry Night TV ad for Halo 3 starts out this way.
  • Done in Scrubs, albeit in a park, not a hillside.
  • The Tenth Doctor and Rose do this in the Doctor Who story "New Earth".
  • Kamen Rider Faiz ends with three of the main protagonists on a hillside (though, since 555 likes screen doors/windows, the camera backs through a screen window and at the very end, we're seeing them through a tear in it.


  • Invoked in Paul Simon's "The Side Of A Hill" (better known as the lyrics sung in counterpoint to "Scarborough Fair" in Simon and Garfunkel's version of the song).

Western Animation

  • Done in The Lion King, with Timon, Pumbaa and the adult Simba at night.
    • Kiara and Kovu in the sequel.
  • In Up, newlyweds Carl and Ellie discuss their future together while enjoying a picnic at the top of a hill — including lots and lots of babies represented in the clouds.
  • A Boy Named Charlie Brown opens with Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus lying on a hilltop discussing cloud shapes.
  • Finn and Jake do this in Adventure Time during a music segment while looking for a new home.