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File:Star wars lightsaber air stab.jpg

Pictured: The real reason behind the hole in the ozone layer.

Okay, I finally climbed to the top of the hill. I brought my Cool Sword with me and I'll just like hold it like this. Wait, you want me to hold it up above my head, pointed straight up? That's stupid. I would be totally unprepared for an attack if I do that. Plus, this sword is pretty heavy. Why can't I just hold it like this...what do you mean, it'll look cooler? Oh come on, really? Okay, fine. <grunt, lift, wheeze> There, you happy? Hey, that does look sorta cool. Especially with that glint of light flashing off the blade there. I don't know how much longer I can hold it up like this though...ah, cramp!

This is a standard pose of someone (usually The Hero) raising his one or both of his arms up, holding a sword or other object also straight up. Often done as a Victory Pose or used as a signal by a Screaming Warrior. Sometimes forms part of an Item Get routine, if the item in question is a sword.

This is also common in film posters, because it helps create a cool image. Related to Milking the Giant Cow. See also Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You as well as Leg Cling.

Contrast Sword Plant.

Examples of Stab the Sky include:

Anime and Manga


  • The eponymous duck does it in Chapter 5 of Life And Times of Scrooge McDuck
  • Nightcrawler does it on the cover of Excalibur #16 as a parody of the John Carter of Mars books.

Fan Fiction

  • Three examples in With Strings Attached:
    • The Hunter does this with his BFS several times, once to chase away some bandits and once as a Victory Pose after he slaughters Poison Wolves.
    • As'taris stands up and does this while he's flying on George (a pegasus at the moment), which breaks George's rhythm in the air and nearly throws his riders off.
    • In a gender-bender, Aurion does it after (seemingly) defeating As'taris.

Films — Live-Action


  • King Arthur is depicted this way many times after he pulls that one sword from the stone.


  • Serves a purpose in the Discworld novel Pyramids, where Teppic stands on a pyramid and stabs the sky with his knife to provide a conduction point for the time flaring out of it.
  • One of the books in The Belgariad by David Eddings has the main character do this on accident. He was trying to attach the Orb of Aldur to the BFS on the wall, only for said sword to fall off into his hands. Expecting it to be incredibly heavy, he overcompensates when lifting the surprisingly weightless sword so it points skyward. Everyone is suitably impressed nonetheless, though the fact that he didn't die when the sword caught fire probably helped.
    • Later on in the same series another character gives several speeches to gather an army (incidentally the betrothed of the above character). After each speech, she jumps on her horse and brandishes her sword. Nearing the end of the series, said betrothed convinces the protagonist to do the same thing for his army, which has fought for him and deserves something in return. He gives in, but is very self-conscious about the whole thing.
  • Turin, in JRR Tolkien's The Children of Hurin, gives a Rousing Speech, does this, and then has a magic fire ignite behind him. Which does heavily resemble that same thing that this trope isn't to be confused with.

Live-Action TV

  • Zorro combines this with Rearing Horse for extra awesome.
  • In the Farscape episode "Crackers Don't Matter" John Crichton prepares for his battle with T'raltixx; Lock and Load Montage - heat-absorbent paste(pre-digested by Zhaan to increase its potency[1]), dorky flight goggles, a cap soaked in the same bio-paste, a cape (solar-reflecting flare wrap), a shield (an armored section of Aeryn's Prowler), and D'Argo's Qualta blade. He then strikes this pose while humming "Ride of the Valkyries". Upon seeing this Aeryn simply folds her arms and says: "We are going to die."
  • Whenever a warrior wins a battle with their sword on Deadliest Warrior, chances are high that they'll perform this move.


  • Manowar likes to do this in their covers.
    • So much in fact that you could probably get away with renaming this trope "Swords in the Wind".

Stand-Up Comedy

  • Gallagher does this in his 1984 special Over Your Head, during his signature Sledge-O-Matic routine. He smashes open a reticent newspaper box which has taken his money, retrieves his paper, and poses like this afterward.

Tabletop Games


  • In one of Nightmare's victory poses, he thrusts his sword skyward.
    • His (former) host, Siegfried, also had this as a victory pose. He stopped doing this in Soulcalibur IV, instead choosing to bring the sword out of the sky and hold it in front of his face.
  • In Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army, you can make Raidou do this - just call your demon to you while standing still. Raidou will raise his sword above his head. He does nothing out of the ordinary while running, though, so it seems he just has a taste for being flashy.
  • Usually, in the Zelda games, Link just holds new items over his head. But with a sword, he often does this pose instead.
    • Every time Link draws the Master Sword, there is a short kick-ass Cutscene involving this.
    • In The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword (where it is practically a Title Drop to do so), this position is used to charge up the Skyward Strike and trigger certain puzzles. Ghirahim in his third fight and his master/wielder Demise can do the same.
  • Frog in Chrono Trigger does this as part of the unsealing of the Magic Cave.
  • Lampshaded in Fancy Pants Adventure 2 when Fancy Pants does this with an ice cream cone after winning it, and the nearby mayor thinks, "Why do they always do that?"
  • Marth in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in his introductory sequence, one of his taunts, and Critical Hit Final Smash.
    • Also, Marth's Up Smash attack in both Melee and Brawl.
      • The trope doesn't quite qualify when you are stabbing at someone to attack rather than just stabbing upwards for dramatic effect.
    • Much like Marth's Final Smash, Eliwood's critical hit animation in Fire Emblem Blazing Sword begins with one of these dramatic flourishes.
    • One of Link's and Young Link's victory poses has this also, and the trope is also exhibited with their respective Up Smash attacks. Link, Young Link, and Toon Link's Up Aerial attacks (Up Thrust) also feature the swordsmen holding their swords in an upwards fashion, with the blade actually glowing in Super Smash Bros Brawl.
  • A few of your "master stroke" special attacks in Dragon Quest Swords require you to do this with your Wii remote.
  • Done by Gadwin of Grandia when he performs his legendary Dragon Cut attack. Justin does it as well when he uses the move himself, as well as with his ultimate move, Heaven and Earth Cut (which is basically an evolved version of Dragon Cut anyway).
  • Mega Man 10's retro-style "box art" has Mega Man pointing his Mega Buster at the sky and shooting a beam, looking similar to the poster for A New Hope. There are also floating images of the main characters and space-ships battling in the sky, also in a similar fashion to the A New Hope poster.
  • The box art of the HD Updated Rerelease of Serious Sam has Sam doing this with his trademark minigun Atop a Mountain of Corpses.
  • In the DS remake of Final Fantasy IV Paladin!Cecil does this as a level-up animation.
  • Final Fantasy VIII's Squall Leonhart does this as part of his Blasting Zone Limit Break.
  • Final Fantasy XII has Lord (Prince) Rasler do this in the opening cutscene for dramatic effect, to rouse his army's spirits for the upcoming battles.
  • Prince Cornelius in Odin Sphere uses this pose when using psypher skills or absorbing phozons into his sword.
  • Parodied in the Browser Based MMORPG Adventure Quest Worlds during the Introduction. On a dark stormy night, on a hill overlooking Swordhaven Castle, the PC proudly thrusts his sword in the air, and lightning flashes and the game's title logo appears on the screen...a few seconds later, a bolt of lightning strikes your sword and shocks you so badly that you fall off the mountain and to bounce all the way onto a flat rock, which breaks and sends you falling down the rest of the way as dramatic music plays in the background.
  • Using the two-handed special ability of the Stone Greatsword in Dark Souls involves this, casting a spell that slows all nearby enemies down. The Stone Giant enemies that drop them can do it too.
  • In RuneScape, the player and Wally are occasionally seen exhibiting this trope while wielding the sword Silverlight during the Demon Slayer quest.
  • Playing as a Jedi Consular in Star Wars: The Old Republic, you'll need to build a lightsaber for yourself eventually. When you do, the cutscene shows you picking up the hilt, holding it up above your head, and igniting the weapon so that the green energy blade shoots up toward the sky.
    • Activating one of the Jedi Knight's stances (Shii-Cho, I believe) does this briefly.

Web Originals

  • In the trailer for Peasant's Quest, Rather Dashing, who finally looks, smells, and is on fire like a peasant, holds his sword high to an Audible Gleam... for a second or two before his arm is tired. Then he walks away,

Western Animation

Real Life

  • In modern fencing, the salute has three steps, the first one is Stab the Sky, the second one is Staring Through the Sword. The third is Swipe Your Blade Off, but without the blood.
  • This posture resembles Jōdan-no-kamae, vom Tag and posta di falcon.
  1. "IT'S PUKE?!"