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It's raining and you don't have an umbrella? What do you do? Grab the nearest items, fashion something out of them, and you have yourself an improvised umbrella.

Occasionally, a big leaf or a newspaper will be used for this purpose, and don't be surprised to see someone use a (empty) garbage bag as a raincoat, as all three are Truth in Television.

Examples of Improvised Umbrella include:

Anime and Manga

  • The rain spirit from Urusei Yatsura uses an oversized leaf, and so do the traditional spirits on which it's based.
  • In My Neighbor Totoro, Totoro uses a big leaf at one point.
  • In Change 123, during the Okinawa school trip, Kosukegawa and Motoko get lost in the forest, and so Hino and Tsukishima go out to search for them. As it's raining, they put on themselves improvised raincoats made from transparent garbage bags, which even have the word "garbage" written on them in huge katakana characters.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: a Flash Back revealing May Chang meeting Shao May for the first time had the former holding a large leaf as an umbrella in the rain.
  • Brock's infamous "Drying Pan" from Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns.


  • In an advert for Kellogg's Crunchie Nut Cornflakes, a guy walking into the rain with a laptop and a box of cornflakes put the cornflakes into his laptop case to keep them dry, and then used the laptop as an Improvised Umbrella.

Comic Books



  • Circle of Magic: Tris has been known to use her weather magic to create an area around the group where rain won't penetrate. Of course, she loves the rain; she makes the barrier only because her friends don't want to get wet.
  • 1632: In 1635: The Eastern Front, Jeff Higgins resorts to using a wooden plank.

Live Action TV

  • In and episode of Friends, Chandler was out on Monica's balcony smoking when it began to rain. When everyone refused to allow him back inside with his cigarette, he picked up the lid of her charcoal grill for an umbrella.

Newspaper Comics

  • Dilbert manages to make an improvised raincoat by making holes in a garbage bag.
  • In one Sunday strip of For Better or For Worse, Elly finds herself stranded at a department store in a rain shower with no jacket. Thinking quickly, she fashions a rain jacket and hat out of garbage bags - only to find that by the time she finishes her project the rain has already stopped.


Video Games

  • Metroid Prime 3: Admiral Dane is so badass that in the Space Pirate Homeworld, where the rain is acidic, he uses his personal flagship as an umbrella.

Web Comics

  • In PS238, Guardian Angel's power of 'protection from basically anything and everything' also protects her from rain, whether she wants such protection or not. It appears as if the rain is hitting a spherical energy shield... and for that reason, she always has to bring an umbrella when she goes out in the rain, to avoid revealing her secret identity.

Western Animation

Real Life

  • Common in Real Life, too, though not to the degree it's shown in fiction.
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