Scenery Porn

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It's just like that.

Scenery porn is the emphasis on luscious backgrounds with great detail, lovely lighting or both. It means that the makers put in extra effort for something that might not have direct influence on the Plot. Of course, there are extra points to be earned when the scenery actually enhances the Plot in some sort of symbolic fashion.

In live-action movies, scenery porn is in effect when extra effort is put into emphasizing a beautiful surrounding, usually wide-open landscapes. Stage productions can have copious amounts of this trope with elaborate sets and backdrops. A main characteristic is that the scenery is almost treated as a character in its own right, either as a passive onlooker or with a more active role, depending on the setting of the show (if the scenery is literally a character with a mind of its own, then it's a Genius Loci). Bonus Points when Awesome Music is added.

In Literature, scenery porn manifests itself as long paragraphs that go into more detail about the setting than necessary, such as describing at length the mountains of the Swiss countryside, or name-dropping all the streets in Chicago as the character turns on them. It's the author's way of proving that he's from the area in question or did the research, and while it's a great bonus for people who know the area, it can be seen as Filler to just about everyone else. On the extreme end of this, some works are popular entirely because they are nothing but Scenery Porn.

Often used to show that The World Is Just Awesome. Compare Shoot the Money. This can be distracting in Video Games when part of an Empty Room Psych. Silent Scenery Panel has a high chance being this. Scenery Gorn is when Scenery Porn goes bad. Also compare Costume Porn, Gun Porn, and its Super-Trope, Awesome Art. Not to be confused with when someone "knows" the scenery.

Compare Real Place Background.

Examples of Scenery Porn are listed on these subpages:


Examples of Scenery Porn include:

Card Games[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Many of the Land cards in Magic the Gathering are pretty impressive.
    • In particular Mirrodin's metal fields, Ravnica's city-scapes and Zendikar's impossible rock formations. This is particularly noticeable with the full-card art variants for basic lands.
    • Many of the newer land cards from blocks go together with other like-blocked, same colored, lands to make large, overly detailed pieces of art.
    • The Invasion basic lands were particularly impressive, with all of the five basic land types having at least one example each of what could be considered the "definitive" Plains/Swamp/whatever.
  • A handful of Yu-Gi-Oh TCG Field Spells depict some absolutely gorgeous scenery.
  • As does the Pokémon TCG. A lot of the backgrounds in the card illustrations are gorgeous, especially in the Holon series.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • If there are two things that Cerebus is known for, the one that isn't soul-crushing misogyny are the intricate pen-and-ink backgrounds rendered by artist Gerhard. The trade paperback covers are even more impressive.
  • The series Top Ten is a good example of this trope in comics. Every bloody panel is filled with incredible detail of the city of Neopolis, as well as no less than three visual Easter Eggs per page.
  • Another independent comic book example, Luther Arkwright and its colored spinoff Heart Of Empire had a lot of thought put into the Steampunk backgrounds, which were usually flooded with references to other issues, Victorian culture, Science Fiction or random statues of Luther (after he died).
  • Sky Doll puts great effort in settings that will only be shown for few panels. It helps that one of the creators is an architect.
  • Kazu Kibuishi's Amulet has far more interesting scenery than characters, at least so far.
    • His Copper strips on the other hand have both.
  • In Archie Comics' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures series, the Turtles' world tour arc is kicked off with some breathtaking artwork of the cliffs of Tibet.
  • Archie Comics themselves were prone to this, especially if Bob Bolling was behind the desk. Just look.
  • Roger Leloup of Yoko Tsuno fame loves drawing very complicated backgrounds of all kinds.
  • Bryan Hitch. His Triskelion is a sight to behold.
  • Moritat the main artist for the Elephantmen series has his work often compared to Blade Runner’s fantastic Cyberpunk sets.
  • James Stokoe’s comics like Wonton Soup have heavily detailed backgrounds full of Easter Eggs.
  • Brandon Graham's comics have weird and wonderful environments full of imaginative bizarreness and Funny Background Events.
  • Geof Darrow, hands down. Though his work can also enter into Scenery Gorn due to Squick, like when the main character in Hard Boiled wonders through the red light district.
  • Moebius, who is a major influence on the four artists mentioned above, is quite the master of this trope, ranging from the Arcadian forests of The Adena cycle, the strange alien worlds of Arzarch and the futuristic metropolises of many of his sci-fi stories.
  • Philippe Druillet takes this to insane heights with his multiple page spreads of epic, near-surreal landscapes.
  • Jack Kirby liked to create so many distinct and strange fantastic machines and cities that Kirby Tech is practically a Trope in and of itself.


Comic Strips[edit | hide]

  • Calvin and Hobbes sometimes does this when Calvin plays in the woods, or during the "Spaceman Spiff" strips. (Though arguably this served the Plot in each instance to emphasize the natural world as a Trope in Calvin's life—contrasting it with his television watching habits—or to emphasize the expanse of his imagination.) Incidentally, most of the alien desert scenery isn't made up—they're basically Bill Watterson's sketches of beautiful desert scenery in southern Utah.
  • Comic Strip/Pogo has some fantastic scenery.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • Maikaze did a great job with the landscaping in their portrayal of Gensokyo.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Kanye West loves this: "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" and "Amazing" were excuses to show off Prague and Hawaii respectively, "Stronger" showed off a pseudo Akira-inspired version of Japan and "Power" was what one imagines he imagines happens when he walks through his living room in the morning.
  • U2 tour stages. The most obvious examples would be the Trabant-lit, widescreen-adorned Zoo TV stage, the neon-filled Popmart stage with its gigantic LCD screen, and the current 360 "Claw" stage, but the relatively minimalistic heart-shaped Elevation stage deserves a mention. Their stage designer, Willie Williams, does this in many of his works.
    • Bono pointed out in a Rolling Stone piece that the 360 stage has been compared to that of David Bowie's Glass Spider Tour in 1987—can you blame them? Bowie was one of the first rockers to use this trope, starting with 1974's Diamond Dogs Tour with its giant "Hunger City" set -- so big and expensive that it eventually had to be dropped (complaints from the band and backup singers, who were all obscured by it for most of the show, probably didn't help). The 1990 Sound+Vision Tour substituted giant projections of Bowie and other performers for physical setpieces. Bowie averted this trope in other tours, such as the 1976 Isolar Tour that used only lighting to set scenes/moods...and even that was limited to white lights.
  • Snoop Dogg's video for "Beautiful" would be nothing but a stereotypical bootyshaking rap video if not for the breathtaking scenery of Rio De Janeiro. In fact, the last shot of the video is a panorama of the city with "Obrigado Brasil" ("Thank you Brazil") at the bottom of the screen.
  • The Gorillaz videos Feel Good Inc. and El Manana have the floating island, which looks like something straight out of Studio Ghibli. Butterflies flicking around, modest wildflowers and rolling grassy fields make the place stunning, especially when contrasted to the debauchery and filth of the Feel Good Tower.
  • Iamamiwhoami videos frequently feature secluded and oddly beautiful areas of the Swedish landscape. The concert takes this Up to Eleven.
  • Most of Ben Howard's videos, especially 'Keep Your Head Up', 'The Wolves' and 'Old Pine', filmed in the English countryside.
  • Guillemots' video for We're Here is made up of this.
  • Many of Iamamiwhoami's videos depict the natural beauty of the Swedish landscape- as is fitting for a conceptual series of videos about a Nature Spirit. Dark and snowy forests, fields, and rivers have all made prominent appearances.


New Media[edit | hide]


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The setting of Mortasheen has a lot of this for its weird and wonderful locations, which are macabre but not so depressing that they fall into Scenery Gorn. For example, there's the Corpse Sea, a crowd of zombies so vast that it actually qualifies as a sea, the Flesh Forest, a forest made out of meat due to bio-experiment runoff, and the Smut, a desert dominated by a sentient bone-collecting fungus.


Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • 'Katawa Shoujo has somne really gorgeous backgrounds, specially a certain country field in Hokkaido where Lilly and Hisao have their Love Confession.


Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • Elephants Dream. The sheer level of detail that was put into the machine is simply astounding.
  • Most everything in the Colour My... Series is drawn with great detail, even rooms or machines with little to no interactions.


Websites[edit | hide]

  • Reddit has a Subreddit named "Earth Porn" that is devoted entirely to real photographs of brilliant landscapes. [1] Related are the Subreddits City Porn, Space Porn, Village Porn, and Water Porn.