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Commonly used in animation to indicate that one is sad, disappointed, or just plain depressed. The rain is often used to exaggerate their mood depending on how sad they are, or if their character is always like that, then this means that they're expressing true sadness for the first time. May be exaggerated to the point that the bad weather is restricted to a single Personal Raincloud following the character around.

The juxtaposition of rain and depression is also made frequently in Film Noir and similar settings, including Cyberpunk. After all, slogging about in the rain and mud, or being forced to stay indoors, will depress you pretty quickly.

Contrast Dramatic Thunder and A Storm Is Coming, which indicate danger -- or if emotions, anger. This rain is seldom accompanied by wind, either, and will not produce Lightning Reveal. Contrast Happy Rain.

Super-Trope of Personal Raincloud, It Always Rains At Funerals, and Cue the Rain. Related to Grave Clouds.

Examples:


Anime and Manga

  • This begins right after Naruto and Sasuke's confrontation in episode 134, as Sasuke stares down at his unconscious rival, and continues as he stumbles off to Orochimaru while Kakashi starts hauling Naruto home.
    • Most of the time it rains when something bad happens to the Uchiha. It rained for Itachi back when we thought he was the Big Bad and during his and Sasuke's fight.
    • It also rained when the Third Hokage died and when Asuma died. There'a also a perpetual Gray Rain of Depression over the Hidden Rain Village; one of the characters even compares it to the country constantly crying.
  • In Prétear, Sasame is shown wandering around depressed in a rainstorm after his Anguished Declaration of Love to Takako.
  • The final dramatic climax of the Fruits Basket anime occurs in the rain, after the rest of it is sunny.
  • Occurs in Gankutsuou. Most often in the later half of the series. Albert even walks home in the rain in a depressed manner at one point.
  • This happens in the 25th episode of Death Note, which has an unusually poetic kick to it overall. At a moment of high drama, it instantly becomes Dramatic Thunder.
  • In episode 194 of Sailor Moon, rain begins to fall when Usagi collapses in tears because she can no longer bear the strain of wondering why her Love Interest in America hasn't written back to her at all.
  • In Monster, Tenma sinks to his knees to curse and bemoan the cruel fate that made him the savior of a murderer in the middle of a rainstorm. It's very sad, but the water getting on his pants is like the clothing equivalent of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich.
  • In Evangelion, Tokyo-3 is rainy and dark during the battle with Arael, when Asuka traumatically has her mind invaded. She herself is bathed in bright light, however.
  • In Robotech, one of the episodes is called A Rainy Night, and is just that, a rather restrained, remarkably mature (in the proper sense of the word) conversation takes place between two of the major female characters about their love lives past and present, while a soaking rain comes down outside. One of the women is involved in a very dysfunctional relationship with a mecha officer, and the other tells her the story of how she met and got together with a by-then-deceased pilot. No explosions, no gunfire, not much comic relief, the entire episode is conversation and memories of a deceased character.
  • Played straight in Berserk after Guts awakens four days after the Eclipse and has a huge Freak-Out after fully realizing what had occurred.
  • Code Geass: The entire colour palette is overlaid with grey after Shirley meets Lelouch having missed her date with him because she had to identify her father's body. Whose death Lelouch was responsible for. And things just get worse from there.
  • Vol 2 of Girl Friends ends with Mari walking out of Akko's house and into the rain after she finally reveals to her best friend that she was in love with her and gives her a Forced Kiss on the lips, causing them to be estranged from each other for several days. The rain seems to continue until the two of them meet again and try to reconcile their friendship once more.


Comic Books

  • Justified in Sandman where the Dreaming reflects Dream's emotions. After Thessaly dumps him we see him simply standing and moping in continuous rain, and Lucien remarks that after Nada, the entire Dreaming was razed and stayed a wasteland for hundreds of years. In an interesting twist, the landscape does not change after he is forced to kill Orpheus although he is obviously upset and grieving.


Film

  • Blade Runner. Only at the end is there clear skies, and even then, it's still drizzling.
  • The City with No Name in Se7en "enjoys" constant rain. Word of God says it's an exaggeration of this trope.
  • While this is also a fact of life for The Other Rainforest, The Goonies notably has this early on when Mr. Perkins arrives with paperwork regarding the imminent demolition of the kids' neighborhood.
  • Lampshaded in The Fox and the Hound 2. "Why does it always rain when things go wrong?"
  • So many John Cusack movies. So many.
  • This happens at the end of the 2010 film The Illusionist when Alice is told that magic isn't real.
  • A frequent motif of Akira Kurosawa. When his protagonists are at their lowest point, you can be sure rain will follow. Totally reversed in Ikiru ;the protagonist is so happy to have achieved his final goal that not even heavy rain nor snow can stop him from rejoicing in a swing.
  • Parodied in Hot Shots Part Deux with the flashback to when Ramata leaves Topper. She sends him a card to break up with him. When it sinks in, it starts to rain but entirely localised to where Topper is standing.
  • In The King's Speech, after an argument, Lionel tried to see Albert to apologize. At the time, Albert's brother was planning to abdicate his sovereignty to Albert, so he was told that the Duke was "too busy" and shown to the door, where it was pouring rain outside.
  • Used literally in Men in Black 2, as the Light of Zartha leaves Earth.
  • It was either parodied or used very cheesily in Alpha and Omega. When it looks like Kate has been trampled to death by cariboo, everyone is very sad and the sky turns gray and there's thunder, then Kate wakes up, and instantly the sky turns blue again without a cloud in the sky.


Live Action TV

  • The Killing is a show based on this trope. Every scene so far in the series has either been overcast, raining, or night. Granted, its set in Washington, but still...


Music

  • This is a common trope in country music to show that the singer is depressed or there is turmoil:
    • David Nail's "Let it Rain" involves the singer cheating on his wife and being thrown out into the rain (apparently inspired by the last scene of the movie "The Last Kiss").
    • Gary Allan's "Songs About Rain" is told from the point of view of an ex-boyfriend on his love's wedding day to someone else--and as he's driving around being depressed, all the radio will play are "songs about rain."
    • The Eli Young Band's "When it Rains", about a bad break-up.
    • Garth Brooks "The Thunder Rolls", about a wife discovering her husband's affair (or, according to the video, Domestic Abuse)
    • Blackhawk's "I Can Sure Smell the Rain", about an impending break-up.
    • Steve Holy's "Come on Rain", in which a distraught boyfriend begs the rain to delay flights at the airport so he can stop his girlfriend from leaving.
    • SHE Daisy's "I Wish I Were the Rain"
    • Jason Michael Carroll's "Let it Rain"
    • Reba Mc Entire's "Rain Fallin'"
    • Rascall Flatt's "What Hurts the Most"; the singer mentions that the rain on the roof "don't bother me" but it fits with the mood of the song.

Tabletop RPGs

  • The art for the country of Eisen in 7th Sea player's handbook has this. Justified, because Eisen is based on post-Thirty Years War Germany, which was a grim and depressing place.


Video Games

  • Grand Theft Auto IV: After the final mission.
  • The main plot of Heavy Rain. It starts raining after the Time Skip and then the sun never comes out again for the entire rest of the game except in some of the happier endings.
  • This is one of the biggest and most effective visual elements in The Saboteur, as Nazi-oppressed areas become monochrome and storm-covered until they are liberated.
  • Red Dead Redemption - After Jack buries Abigale.
  • All the friggin' time in Max Payne 2 The Fall of Max Payne.
  • Kaori Yae, the Broken Bird of Tokimeki Memorial 2, has such a scene in the early stages of your relationship with her, if you meet her at the school's gates after school in rainy days.
  • In Final Fantasy Crisis Core's ending, in which Zack dies before Cloud's eyes.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, Squall gets one of these during a flashback.


Web Animation

  • Urban Fantasy web series Broken Saints uses this in Chapter 14, Act 2, as one of our heroes, Kamimura, walks alone through a very depressing and disturbing section of downtown Coast City--reflecting his own display of sorrow at what he sees around him.


Web Comics


Western Animation

  • In An American Tail, it starts to rain as Fievel curls up alone in Orphan Alley and cries. And given what's going on, we do too.
  • Disney is fond of using this trope when characters die or seem dead. Such examples include:
  • It rains as Littlefoot of The Land Before Time finds his mother after her fight with the Sharptooth. It starts to rain harder as she dies.
  • In Winx Club S4 episode 24 it starts raining after The Wizards of the Black Circle escape after having used the gift of life on a dead flower, taking away the Winx's only chance to save Nabu who had sacrificed himself to save the Earth fairies.
  • In an episode of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers it rains as Gadget sadly wanders through alleys and stares at her reflection in the puddles, after "quitting" the Rescue Rangers.
  • In X-Men: Evolution's episode 25, Mindbender, Jean Grey is mind raped in her sleep by Mesmero right before he kidnaps and brainwashes her. Said Mind Rape sequence starts with her dreaming that she's trapped in a Circus of Fear and under the rain.
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