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"Everyone at the funeral felt a terrible sorrow at the loss of the Abbot, and the heavens, too, wept tears of grief."
As if funerals weren't depressing enough, it's gotta rain, too.
Weather has always been used symbolically when it comes to death. When characters die it's often overcast. Even when all the characters are doing is visiting someone's grave, the sky will be cloudy and the colors will seem to be washed out. But quite often, when there's an actual funeral, it's always raining (though sometimes it'll be snowing). Or precisely at sunset. Or at night. Anything but in the bright, shiny daylight.
This trope is a natural consequence of Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death, Grave Clouds, and Snow Means Death. Helps explain why characters think they can get away with invoking Sand in My Eyes: it's just raindrops.
Anime and Manga
- It rained during the Third Hokage's funeral in Naruto.
- It also rains when Asuma dies.
- Shirley's dad's funeral in the first season of Code Geass. Which probably doubles as a Shower of Angst of sorts for Shirley herself. Averted for Shirley's own funeral in the second season, though.
- In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, it starts raining immediately when Kamina dies, and the rain keeps going for some time afterward. The skies eventually clear as soon as Nia enters the cast.
- The nice instrumental work for the funeral in Seirei no Moribito is titled Drizzle
- Episode 25 of Death Note has L and Light talking for a bit on the rooftop of the investigation headquarters. It's raining particularly hard outside, leading to the infamous foot-washing scene when they go back inside. Sometime later, Ominous Latin Chanting rears its head AGAIN as Rem kills both L and Watari. Cue an uncomfortable silence shortly filled by church bells.
- In Chrono Crusade, when Rosette takes a Journey to the Center of the Mind in Azmaria's head, she's shown at a graveyard in the rain under a battered umbrella--but it's possible this is just a symbolic Shower of Angst, and isn't meant to depict an actual funeral. In the manga, a flashback to the funeral of Rosette and Joshua's parents is shown--it's snowing.
- It the anime One Piece, during Zoro's flashback, it rains at Kuina's funeral.
- In the Shuffle anime it rains during the funeral for Kaede's mother.
- In the manga Dengeki Daisy, it is stated in Chapter 11 by Kurosaki that it rained the day Teru's brother died and that it continued to rain until his funeral was over.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, when Sayaka's body is recovered and she is given a proper funeral in episode 11, it immediately starts raining.
- In Gundam AGE, it starts raining just before Grodek Ainoa gets stabbed to death by Arabel Zoi.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist Maes Hughes' funeral is accompanied by sunny weather...but not for Roy Mustang.
Roy: Terrible day for rain.
Riza: But the sky is clear.
Roy: [covering his face with his cap as he begins to cry] It's raining.
- The significance can be mentioned further, as it's been made clear before that Mustang's fire-based alchemy is useless in the rain.
- Bleach anime Zanpakuto: The Alternate Tale" arc. In episode 255, after Muramasa's death it starts to rain.
- It was raining so hard during the Comedian's funeral in Watchmen, the reader might get the impression that they were burying the man during a hurricane. There's also a great little bit where Rorschach mentions that rain falls on the rich and poor alike... and then you see Dr. Manhattan shielding the water from his body, and Adrian Veidt's assistant holding an umbrella over his head.
- That is more of a What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic moment, showing that they transcended such petty distinctions.
- Could be some symbolism in the fact that it's technically not raining on the Comedian either, since he's safely tucked in his coffin.
- That is more of a What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic moment, showing that they transcended such petty distinctions.
- Wesley Dodd's funeral in both Kingdom Come and The DCU proper.
- At Michael Yee's funeral in Witchblade #6, it is neither raining nor snowing nor exactly sunset. Sara Pezzini complains about the uncooperative weather. She is insufficiently Genre Savvy to notice the symbolic fall colors all around her, it seems.
- Parodied in the Radioactive Man comic book (and yes, that's the same Radioactive Man from The Simpsons). When RM heroically dies (for something like the fifteenth time) his friends gather to pay their last respects during what appears to be a gloomy, rain-drenched funeral. In the next panel, we pull back to see that it's actually a beautiful sunny day and everyone is standing under a large tarp to block the sun out, while the "rain" is really just the work of a guy holding a hose. Turns out RM's girlfriend Gloria hired a company to make the event as somber as possible (their slogan: "We take the 'fun' out of funerals.")
- During Thomas Elliot's funeral in "Hush," there is at least a drizzle.
- Played with in The Incredible Hulk: it rained at Betty Banner's funeral, but Thor showed up, swung his hammer around a bit... and stopped it raining over just the coffin.
- It continuously rains throughout Kraven's Last Hunt", including the time Spider-Man is buried alive, when he claws his way out of his grave, and the time Kraven is buried. Only at the very end does the sun come out.
- In Batman Begins, it rains during the flashback funeral of Thomas and Martha Wayne.
- In Daredevil it begins to rain just as the funeral for Electra's father breaks up. The resulting rain becomes a Shower of Angst for Matt.
- It was snowing at the funeral at the end of What Lies Beneath.
- Utterly inverted in The Crow, where it's not only raining, but its raining at night when Eric Draven pulls himself out of his own grave.
- Four Weddings and a Funeral has the funeral on a typical English weather day.
- A Better Tomorrow: Not quite a funeral, but it starts to rain when Kit and his girlfriend visit his father's grave.
- It snows at just about every version of Scrooge's funeral in A Christmas Carol, but it is also Christmas Eve, so you couldn't get away from it in this case.
- It rains at Rudolf Smuntz's funeral in Mousehunt.
- In the film Deja Vu with Denzel Washington, it rains lightly during Claire's funeral. Justified as it is set in New Orleans, and there were concerns that the shoot in which the crew simulated rain would be interrupted by a real rain. The seasonal monsoon serendipitously delayed until immediately after shooting.
- In the first Hellboy movie, it rains heavily during Professor Bruttenholm's funeral.
- The Bodyguard. At the funeral of Rachel Marron's sister it rains buckets.
- Contact has a different take on this; when the first astronaut is killed it's not raining at his funeral, but it's raining outside when Jodie Foster's character is watching the event on television.
- Subverted in Firehouse Dog - at the celebrity funeral, it first appears to be raining, but when the ceremony is over, the camera pulls back to reveal that the rain is being faked by an FX crew.
- Return of The Fly starts of with a rainy funeral.
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Rex's funeral at Arlington is in the rain.
- In Amadeus, Mozart's corpse is dropped unceremoniously into a mass grave while it's raining cats and dogs.
- According to one Mozart scholar, the notion that it rained at Mozart's funeral is a myth. He checked out the local almanacs, and found out it was actually a bright and sunny day in Vienna.
- Auden's poem about Mozart contains the lines "Had a pauper's funeral in the rain/ The like of whom we shall not see again."
- In his book The Big Movie Glossary, Roger Ebert calls this trope "funeral weather" and notes that, when it occurs, the rain in question is rarely just a light sprinkling...rather, it's Biblical downpours.
- Justified in that it's really difficult to make light sprinklings show up on film.
- When Dave Barry went to temples and cathedrals in Europe, he was surprised at all of the people buried in the floor. He postulates that it must've been raining at all of the funerals, so the mourners decided to bury the deceased inside to stay dry.
- In Men At Arms, it rains at Cuddy's funeral near the end of the book.
- Number the Stars has a variant, when it's raining the morning after the protagonist's sister dies. Her friend recalls thinking that it was like the sky was crying along with everyone else.
- The Great Gatsby. It rains heavily at Jay Gatsby's already bleak and depressing funeral.
Live Action TV
- Firefly: It snows during Tracy's funeral at the end of "The Message". Of course, he was being buried on an ice world.
- It was snowing heavily at the funeral for Jonathan Kent in Smallville.
- Averted in a first-season episode of Friends, where the funeral of Ross and Monica's grandmother is a glorious autumn day.
Phoebe: What a great day!
Beat as the others look at her.
Phoebe: What? Weather-wise!
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Also averted with Joyce's funeral in "Forever". As with the Tear Jerker events of the previous episode "The Body", it takes place on a bright sunny day.
- In Fringe, a drizzily depressing funeral for Captain Lee.
- It Takes a Thief (1970) episode "To Sing A Song of Murder". The episode starts with the funeral of Marilyn Lee, which takes place in a pouring rain.
- Chris Isaak's Funeral In The Rain fits this trope perfectly, as should be expected given the song's title.
- The video clip of Guns N' Roses' November Rain has this.
- The music video of Helena by My Chemical Romance.
- Kenny Rogers' Reuben James: "And to your lonely graveside came / Just a preacher, me, and the rain."
- Moritz's funeral in Spring Awakening (though it isn't always shown on stage, both the original play and the musical's libretto state this).
- It rains during the Abbott's funeral in Dragon Quest VIII.
- It rains during Beatrice's funeral in Umineko no Naku Koro ni, though it's more of a coincidence since the funeral occurs on October 4, the same date when the typhoon traps everyone on the island.
- Syberia begins with the funeral of Anna Voralberg (sic), conducted by clockwork robots carrying umbrellas, during a thunderstorm.
- In Cyanide and Happiness this happens when someone's cell phone dies.
- In Homestuck, it rained on the funeral of Jaspers the cat.
- After Riff is declared dead in Sluggy Freelance, it actually stops raining just as the funeral's wrapping up.
- "Bleeding Gums" Murphy's funeral in The Simpsons.
- Also Asa Phelps' funeral in "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in the Curse of the Flying Hellfish"
- Also Bea Simmons' funeral in "Old Money"
- The Graysons' funeral in The Batman.
- Jerrica's father's funeral in the first episode of Jem
- During the state funeral of Néstor Kirchner, former president of Argentina and husband to current president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, thousands of people patiently waited under the rain in the Plaza de Mayo to pay their last respects.
- Keeping with the theme of former Argentine presidents, it also rained during Raúl Alfonsín's funeral. Not only that, but on the last day of the funeral, at dawn, there was a great rainbow in Buenos Aires. Lightened the mood quite a bit.
- Subverted with Pope John Paul`s funeral -- which had Dramatic Wind instead.
- It rained during the funeral of Archbishop Makarios, the first president of Cyprus - a highly unusual event for the island in August. Characteristically, the two ethnic groups on Cyprus had opposite views of this - the Greeks called the rain the tears of heaven, while the Turks claimed that rain attends the burial of a sinner to wash away his sins.
- Former Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston caught a cold while the very rainy funeral of his late opponent, General William T. Sherman, possibly beause he refused to put on his hat: "If I were in his place and he were standing here in mine, he would not put on his hat." The cold developed into pneumonia, causing Johnston's own death a month later.
- It was snowing during the funeral of Kim Jong-il.