A Twinkle in the Sky

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Dragon kick your ass into the Milky Way! (Milky Way)

Any object, if launched with sufficient force, will sail clean over the horizon and vanish into the distant sky. A moment after it disappears, a four-pointed "twinkle" will appear in the spot where it was last seen, sometimes rotating briefly, along with a high-pitched "ringing" noise. If the object is potentially explosive, it will blow up after the twinkle.

It's also sometimes used to show that something is coming down from the sky. This particular use may be true; during World War II, Japanese AA gunners on ships were trained to watch for the gleam of an approaching dive bomber's canopy. Because after that, the only indication that something was coming was the whistling of bombs approaching.

Examples of A Twinkle in the Sky include:

Anime and Manga

  • Whenever "Team Rocket is Blasting Off Again!" in Pokémon. This happens when they're blasting off from almost anything: Pokémon attacks, human intervention, high water pressure when springing a leak in a water pipe, doing honest work for an honest day's pay, etc. In the Advance seasons, they've sometimes blasted off multiple times in one episode. This may be why the trope has been greatly reduced in the current series, where they have yet to be blasted off, preferring a more traditional villain escape instead.
    • In Double-Time Battle Training, they blasted themselves off when Jessie tried to combine Pokémon attacks together like how Dawn just learned.
    • "Malice In Wonderland" subverts this, hard. Team Rocket gets blasted off for half the episode bouncing back and forth between various causes. They never get this trope. Ouch.
    • There's also when Team Rocket wanted to get sent flying; well, James does anyway (it's because it's the only way he can get away from his dreaded fiancée, Jessiebelle).
    • Subverted HARD in Best Wishes, because they faked blasting off.
    • Subverted again in another episode. Ash and Co. wind up being the ones blasting off since the episode focused on Team Rocket.
    • In several circles, internet and otherwise, this trope has become known as "Pulling a Team Rocket".
  • When Haruka hurls the "airplane" far from Windbloom in episode four of Mai-Otome.
    • According to a bonus feature on the first DVD, the thing ended up in orbit.
  • Any time someone gets booted into low earth orbit in Ranma ½. Inverted in an episode where Kuno delivers a message tied to an arrow, which appears out of a twinkle.
  • Excel Saga hangs a lampshade on this trope in episode 18, where Iwata gets punched and says "Look for the twinkle!" just before he disappears into said twinkle.
  • Played with in Martian Successor Nadesico. In an episode titled The Lukewarm Cold Equation Akito's robot was thrown into the distance during a fight, creating the twinkle. This had happened a couple of times in previous episodes, but this time the rest of the episode focused on where he went, with Yurika and Megumi actually going out to search for him.
  • Hanagata often gets sent flying into a twinkle by Otaru's marionettes in Saber Marionette J To X.
  • Happens all too often to Keitaro in Love Hina.
    • Not as often as you'd think though. He gets flung skyward regularly, but usually comes crashing back down rather than disappearing into the sky. It does happen this way on rare occasion, though.
  • Ram-Dass launching from the Cool Ship in Soukou no Strain.
  • Happens at least once every episode of Soreike! Anpanman. Baikinman and his cohorts are usually taken care of in this manner - sent flying to the horizon screaming their Catch Phrase "Bai baikiiin!"
  • Ueki from The Law of Ueki manages to pole vault twinkle out in episode 17.
  • A car twinkles out in an episode of Usavich. A later episode has a police officer twinkle out after being hit by a barrel.
  • When Zatch Bell was riding on a cart tied to the bumper of the bus, both him and another character are launched into the distance thanks to the unstability of the cart and the rope breaking.
  • Frequently comes up in the Pretty Sammy series. Both Rumiya and many of the Love-Love Monsters go out this way.
  • During a baseball game in the anime Ninin ga Shinobuden, one of Shinobu's home run hits does this. It ends up reaching another galaxy!
  • Happens to giant robots frequently in Transformers Cybertron. Unsurprisingly, the Team Rocket-ish Ransack and Crumplezone experience it a time or two, complete with post-booting dialogue on one occasion:

Crumplezone: "Why us, Ransack?"
Ransack: "It's the wheel of fate, my friend."
Both: "It ran right over us!"

    • However, it can also happen to fellow comedic villain Thundercracker, and the serious villain Scourge. Sideways does it voluntarily, his zigzagged departures often ending in this.
  • In some animated episodes of Getter Robo, the titular robot's Getter 3 form has a special "Dai-Setsu-Zan-Oroshi" move that involves wrapping enemies in its extending arms and hurling them sumo-style into the air in a whirlwind. The enemy is thrown to the air so far, he disappears in a twinkle. This was even used in Getter 3's appearances in some Super Robot Wars games.
  • Bleach anime:
    • Episode 37. After Tatsufusa Enjoji, the assistant adjutant and 3rd seat of the Eighth Division confronts Chad and does a lot of boasting, Chad knocks him into the sky with a single punch.
    • Episode 127 when the Vizard Hiyori Sarugaki jumps into the sky while carrying Orihime Inoue.
    • Twice in Episode 205 during the kemari game. Once when the referee Ururu Tsumugiya throws the ball up into the sky, and once when Jinta Hanakari knocks Kon (in Ichigo's body) into the sky.
    • Episode #213, after Tessai throws Kon (in Ichigo's body) through a hole in the ceiling of Kisuke Urahara's underground area and back into the surface world.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, during Yusuke's first (mass elimination) match of the Demon World Tournament, he blows away every other competitor in the match with one punch, causing about 43 separate twinkles at the same time.
  • Thorfinn and Thorkell's last fight in Vinland Saga almost comes to an abrupt end when Thorkell kicks Thorfinn into the distance. The boy slams into a tree, breaks his arm, most of his ribs, and then gets back up.
    • Thorkell also pulls of a reversed one, when Askeladds men notice a Twinkle in the Sky that turns out to be a spear thrown by Thorkell from several miles away and completely ipales a man through his chainmail and through his heart. Yes, that man is a pure monster.
  • Happens in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, whenever Kenichi attempts to spar with Appachai.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00
    • Happens twice while Setsuna is piloting Gundam Exia. The first during the very first episode. The second during the final episode. Although it is somewhat justified considering that the Gundams in question actually emit sparkles.
    • Patrick is often being blown away, and it's not for nothing that he got the Fan Nickname "Team Patrick", in reference to Team Rocket. Kind of played with though, in that unlike Team Rocket, it's actually surprising that he survives when this happens.
  • Happens to Kotengu in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou OAV episode "Kokoro no Yukue", after he is struck by lightning as a punishment for losing a tengu competition.
  • The explosion variant happens Once an Episode to Prince Collection in Mon Colle Knights. More specifically, when blasted over the horizon, his machine explodes, with the ensuing cloud turning into a rose with one of its "petals" falling off.
  • Happens to Suzuo once in Dokkoida?! after an over-enthusiastic greeting of Marilyn Ronmoe.
  • Guame ends up becoming a twinkle underground when he falls through a hole in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • With any minor Monster of the Week villain that doesn't contribute majorly to the plot in Wedding Peach, this happens (the major ones dissolve into sparkles and "are destroyed")...
  • Cowboy Bebop episode 3 "Honky Tonk Woman". After Faye blasts out of the casino in her ship with Spike and Jet clinging to her windshield, she flies straight up and disappears in a twinkle.
  • Parodied in Suzumiya Haruhi when Yuki lost against Mikuru in a battle. "Curses."
  • Hanaukyo Maid Tai La Verite
    • Episode 2, when Taro is kicked into the sky by Ryuuka.
    • Episode 7, when Ryuuka uses a grenade underground.
  • Happens at least once in Dragonball Z; Trunks blasts Vegteta into the distance so that he can have time to kill Cell before he absorbs Android 18. We get a lovely twinkle out of it. The situation and the music provide a nice contrast to the lighthearted celebration inspired when it happens in Pokemon.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Episode 24, Elfman punches Totomaru, who was frozen by Gray. Added with Elfman's Speech during the punch and a 'wow' sound effect when a twinkle appeared

Elfman:"If you're a man..."

  • Punches Totomaru to the sky*

Elfman:"...fly to the heavens and become a star!"
Totomaru:"What is that supposed to mean?"

  • followed with a twinkle and a "wow" sound effects*
    • Episode 51, Happy becomes a twinkle as well when he commented about Gray being shirtless and stalking girls. Before he could get to finish his sentence of Gray is a giant pervert, he got punched into the sky by Gray.
    • This is also the fate of Bluenote Stinger after being defeated by an angry Gildarts.
    • Natsu get this when Erza stepped on the trap which was intended for Gray in the 2nd OVA
  • Played straight in A Certain Magical Index‍'‍s season season, when an awakened Accelerator destroys Kihara Amata. It wasn't just a twinkle in the sky, though, but a fire trail as the man burned to ash from atmospheric friction.
  • Sekirei, in the second season's of the anime's third episode, to members of the disciplinary squad, launched by Kazehana.
    • Yume does it to them at the end of episode 12 in Season 1 as well.
  • Kinnikuman Nisei has this happen to Mantaro sometimes, usually courtesy of Roxanne.
  • This happens to Buggy the Clown early on in One Piece as well, where Luffy defeats him for the first time by sending him flying after Nami interrupts and messes up his pulling of himself back together.
  • In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira's second episode, this happens to Takano as well after Magical Girls Oyashiro Rika & Trap Satoko destroy her current Ritual Tool Devil, Nail Ripper, with their 07th Explosion attack (whose name is a Shout-Out to 07th Expansion, which the franchise belongs to). As Takano goes flying into the horizon, just before becoming a twinkle herself, she screams, "Sorry, Brother!" all the while.


  • Happened in Shaolin Soccer when Sing demonstrates his kicking ability by kicking a beer can towards the sky later to be seen again on impact.
  • It also happens in Kung Fu Hustle during the final battle. The film uses a lot of Animation Tropes despite being live action.

Live-Action TV

Video Games

  • Slayer's Instant Kill in Guilty Gear XX involves punching an opponent into the sky and then reciting a haiku. When he completes the poem, there's a twinkle in the sky right before "Destroyed" is announced.
  • BlazBlue : Makoto's Astral Finish ends in a uppercut that turns the opponent into a twinkle in the sky, and then leaves a huge impression on the moon... and smashes it apart.
  • If someone is hit upwards out of the arena in Super Smash Bros. or its sequels Melee and Brawl, this is the result...unless they fly forwards and bounce off the screen (only from Melee onward). It's actually pretty satisfying, especially since they scream the whole time; after a long and bitter fight, hearing a morose, "Pika piiiiikaaaaa..." makes the whole thing seem worthwhile.
    • Especially gratifying in that particular instance if you are a fan of Team Rocket... which accounts for, oh, 99% of the fanbase.
    • ...unless you happen to get KOed by a stage hazard while your opponent is gently floating off toward the horizon. Remember: it doesn't count as a KO until you leave the screen.
      • There's been quite a bit of controversy around this trope in Smash Bros tournaments, because which animation you get when you're knocked into the sky (the twinkle or falling against the screen) is completely random...but a "blasting off" animation takes three times longer to actually KO someone. This could potentially result in someone winning a match even though they were defeated first. Because of this, there are some hacks of the game which remove the twinkle altogether.
  • Super Mario Bros. examples:
  • Happens to Wario in the "Punch!" minigame in Wario Ware: Touched.
    • Happens to the second boss in Wario Land: Shake It, Hot Roderick, after Wario's final attack against him.
  • In Shadow Hearts: Covenant, Joachim has a damage-or-OHKO attack that launches an enemy high into the sky. The player will know it succeeded if the enemy creates a twinkle.
  • At one point in the original Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, you're confronted by the game's resident Goldfish Poop Gang, who demand a toll to continue down the road. Earlier on, the team's resident Moogle declared a wish to become a star - if you choose not to pay the toll, you'll barge onwards, knocking the Moogle into the sky. Although you're never shown the Moogle "turning into" a star, you do get this gem:

Selkie A: "And so, he became a star."
Selkie B: "Big time."

Web Animation

Web Comics

  • Looks like the Robster's blasting off again! Or, at the very least, being thrown by a big, naked purple guy in this strip of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
  • Subverted in Dominic Deegan. A minor villain is thrown into the sky by an angry animal and Stunt expects nothing but Amusing Injuries. Then it turns out he was thrown directly up and he comes crushing down, landing on his neck and dying instantly.

Web Original

  • In The Impossible Man, when Yuki use her most powerful attack, the villains are sent into the sky until "stars flashed in the distance."
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series, Marik kicks Crump out of Tea's mind. We then see Crump's spirit fly into the distance. As he becomes a Twinkle In The Sky, he actually screams, "AAAAAAaaaaaaah! Twinkle!"
  • Spoony/Gandalf gets sent flying when he attempts to fight Malacite in Suburban Knights. He comes back later, unharmed, after having orbited the Earth at least twice.

Western Animation