->''"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge."''
-->-- '''Creator/RaymondChandler''', ''Red Wind''

%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

The temperature is 115 plus degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius), and people are soaked with sweat. It's the hottest it's ever been since June 26, 1889. You could fry an egg on the sidewalk. Everyone has their air conditioner cranked up, and those not fortunate enough to own one are desperately looking to cool down. Just staying outside for a prolonged period of time can be dangerous. No one wants to ''move''. Everyone is understandably cranky because of the hot weather, but according to the weatherman, there's no sign of things cooling down.

It's the [=Heatwave=], a common device employed by writers to increase irritability and stress among characters LockedInARoom, in a HostageSituation, in a [[DieHardOnAnX Die Hard Plot]], or in a climactic Courtroom Battle. In TV episodes and movies in which the entire plot takes place in one day, the [=Heatwave=] will be dubbed The Hottest Day Of The Year. Alternatively, or additionally, the [=Heatwave=] may serve as a symbolic metaphor for the tension or anger that builds up among the characters throughout the story.

Can also serve as a good excuse for [[{{Fanservice}} people to walk around in swimsuits or soaked to the skin clothing.]]

See also BigBlackout. Like SnowedIn and RainRainGoAway, an aversion of ItsAlwaysSpring. Often a sign that AStormIsComing, in fiction as in real life.

Not to be confused with ItWasADarkAndStormyNight. Unless the night was ''[[Film/ThrowMommaFromTheTrain sultry]]''. See also [[FatSweatySouthernerInAWhiteSuit The Boss Hogg]].

AKA Long Hot Summer (media shorthand for the urban riots of the '60s-70s) or The Dog Days Of Summer.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'': Escaping a [=Heatwave=] kicks off the plot of the 2nd movie. Needless to say it goes FromBadToWorse and HilarityEnsues.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' takes place towards the end of a 15 year long heat wave. While this sounds impossible, it's a consequence of [[ApocalypseHow Second Impact]] shifting the planet's axis, eliminating the Antarctic [[strike: icecap]] continent and screwing up every weather pattern.
* ''{{Macross 7}}'' does it as well, with the heat wave being caused by the titular spacecraft heading dangerously close to a sun.
* An early episode of ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'' has an increasingly irate Gintoki searching for a place to get a new electric fan after the one in his house breaks down during a heat wave.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''TheDarkKnightReturns'' during a heat (and crime) wave. The local anchors seem to think the former excuses the latter. By the end of the first volume, Bruce Wayne is back in the suit and it's [[RedemptionInTheRain pouring rain]]. (subtle no?)
* During the Confessor Arc of ''Comicbook/AstroCity'', a major [=heatwave=] heightens the amount of paranoia and short-fuses that accompanied a Serial Killing, with the narrator {{Lampshad|e Hanging}}ing this trope.
* MilestoneComics had a quasi-CrisisCrossover called ''Long Hot Summer'', where the stories of its titles converged around the construction of the "Utopia Park" theme park in the middle of the worst part of Dakota City, and the stresses caused during the summer when the park was built culminating in the Blood Syndicate crashing the gates on opening day and unintentionally inciting a massive riot.

* Spike Lee's ''Film/DoTheRightThing''. Racist attitudes collide on The Hottest Day of The Year.
* ''Summer of Sam'': Old school Italian street toughs beat on their punk rocker ex-friend, The Son of Sam killer commits several murders, and a full blown blackout/riot breaks out, all against the backdrop of the infamous NY summer of 1977.
* ''Film/TwelveAngryMen''. A jury deliberates the fate of a young man accused of murder on The Hottest Day of The Year.
* ''Film/BodyHeat'' takes place during an especially hot Florida summer.
* ''Film/FallingDown''. A man having a mental breakdown wanders the streets of Los Angeles and, alienated by his experiences, turns to vigilantism on The Hottest Day of The Year.
* ''Film/DogDayAfternoon''. Al Pacino unsuccessfully robs a bank and winds up creating a hostage situation on The Hottest Day of The Year.
* ''Film/ATimeToKill''. Matthew [=McConaughey=] defends a Mississippi black man played by Samuel L. Jackson who has killed his daughter's murderers during a [=Heatwave=]. See any Southern summer courtroom scene, really.
* ''Hundstage''. Taking place during the titular "dog days", traditional considered the hottest period of the year, this film is about suburban Austrians being unkind, sleazy or downright malevolent to each other.
* A native informs the military that the titular creature in ''Film/{{Predator}}'' only appears during the hottest years. [[Film/{{Predator 2}} The sequel]] has another one stalk the streets of Los Angeles during a heat wave.
* ''Film/RearWindow'': At the beginning of the film, the camera lingers on a thermometer showing the temperature as 90 degrees. The same day, one of the characters remarks that trouble seems to be brewing. Sure enough, it is. At the end of the film, the thermometer is shown again--[[spoiler:and it reads 70 degrees, showing that things have cooled down in the neighborhood now that the murderer has been caught.]]
* ''Film/AStreetcarNamedDesire''. You can feel the sweat pouring off MarlonBrando. It's set in TheBigEasy of course, where it's like this 9 months of the year.
* In Ingmar Bergman's ''The Silence'', the tension between the two sisters is emphasized by the high temperatures. The heat prompts Anna to go back home, leaving her sister to die alone.
* A [=heatwave=] is mentioned at the start of ''Film/ResidentEvilApocalypse''; behind the scenes, the film-makers decided to bring it up as an excuse to get the characters (especially Jill Valentine) in summer clothes, even during the night. Unfortunately for the actors, filming took place in Vancouver, during the winter.
* The New York [=heatwave=] in ''Film/TheSevenYearItch'' not only inspires Richard Sherman to contemplate illicit things with The Girl in the upstairs apartment while his wife and kids are escaping the heat in the country, but also leads to the {{Trope Nam|ers}}ing MarilynManeuver.
* Creator/AkiraKurosawa's ''Film/StrayDog'' (Nora Inu) has an [[EmpathicEnvironment empathic heat wave]] going on throughout the movie.
* Meta example: In ''Film/ThrowMommaFromTheTrain'', the [[MostWritersAreWriters writer protagonist]] spends the entire movie trying to find a synonym for [[ItWasADarkAndStormyNight "It was a hot night"]] as an intro for his new thriller, only to be informed by Momma that the night was ''"sultry. It's too goddamn'' sultry ''in here!"'' He then attempts to [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin strangle the poor lady]].
* ''Film/BartonFink'' takes place in a heat wave as oppressive as the protagonist's mental state.
* In ''Film/PassportToPimlico'', the rebel state of Burgundy is established in central London during an un-British [=heatwave=]. When the more traditional London rain returns, so does normality.
* ''Film/{{Laura}}'' begins with Waldo recalling the day of Laura's death as "the hottest Sunday in my recollection."
* ''Film/TheLongHotSummer''.

* ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird''. Atticus Finch defends an innocent black man on a brutally hot day, accused of rape on a brutally hot day.
* The first (and crucial) part of the novel ''{{Atonement}}'' takes place during a record heat wave, and characters comment at least once on how all this heat will make young people behave recklessly. They do.
* ''Red Wind'': This Creator/RaymondChandler novella takes place during the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Ana_wind Santa Ana winds]]. The well-known introductory passage is quoted up top.
* Several books into ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', the Dark One's influence on the world extends to causing a heat wave that covers the entire known world. This leads to a lengthy arc in the 6-8th books in which the characters must put the weather back into order.
* The Creator/RayBradbury short story "Touched With Fire" (in the anthology ''The October Country'') has its main characters theorizing about heat and its effects on people: one character asserts that the most murderous temperature is 98 degrees Fahrenheit (cooler than that you can cope with; hotter than that and you don't want to expend energy in violent behavior).
* In ''TheGreatGatsby'', the love triangle between Gatsby, Daisy, and Tom comes to a climax during what is described by all characters present as the hottest day of the year, the temperature obviously representing the high emotions running. This trope is then inverted in the next chapter, in which the now cool weather symbolizes the ending of Gatsby and Daisy's love affair, something he remains in complete denial of until the very end.
* The murder in Albert Camus's ''TheStranger'' takes place in an overwhelmingly hot and bright day; the heat wave assaulting all the senses of the murderer-protagonist.
** Heat is a recurring theme in ''TheStranger'', it's also brutally hot on the day of Mme. Meursault's funeral. Meursault himself lampshades the trope before his trial when he muses that when it became hot again, he knew something was going to happen.
* In Alfred Bester's "Fondly Fahrenheit", the main character has a ThreeLawsCompliant android, except that it will malfunction and kill people in hot weather (over 90°F). And he keeps on bringing it to hot planets.
* ''Literature/{{Cujo}}'' by Creator/StephenKing involves a woman and her son trapped in a car by a rabid dog. The stifling weather just makes things worse.
* A frequent device in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. ''Summer Knight'' makes the most use of the heat wave motif, feeding into Harry's irritability given his recent defeat and helping to highlight [[spoiler: how things are going seriously wrong with the Summer fae]].
* ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'' starts with a heat wave, which is possibly supposed to symbolize Harry being irritable because he hasn't been able to get any information about Voldemort and the Dursleys are irritable because there's a drought and they're busy making sure their neighbors don't cheat on the "no water sprinklers" ban. Ironically, the more dangerous part occurs when temperatures DROP, because that signifies the entrance of dementors.
* ''Literature/CrimeAndPunishment'' begins on an "exceptionally hot evening early in July".
* Heat Wave, the first book [[Series/{{Castle}} Richard Castle's]] [[{{Defictionalization}} first Nikki Heat book]] takes place in the middle of one in NYC
* The events recalled by Leo Colston in LP Hartley's ''{{The Go Between}}'' take place in the long hot summer of 1900. The temperatures rise as the plot unfolds, but the weather breaks at the climax with a thunderstorm.
* The ''Literature/RainbowMagic'' series has this in Autumn the Falling Leaves Fairy's book. Jack Frost wanted to skip fall and go from summer to winter, but instead he created an endless summer.
* In G.R.R.Martin's Dunk and Egg novella ''The Sworn Sword'', the feud between Ser Eustace Osgrey and Lady Rohanne Webber starts during a heat wave and is kick-started by Lady Rohanne cutting Ser Eustace's water supply in the middle of a drought.
* The Discworld novel ''[[Discworld/MenAtArms Men at Arms]]'' takes place during a heatwave in Ankh-Morpork. This is a bad thing tension-wise because Ankh-Morporkians frequently start fires during riots and if anyone sets fire to anything in this heat, the whole city will go up.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The ''[[Series/TheTwilightZone Twilight Zone]]'' episode "[The Midnight Sun" featured a catastrophic heat wave caused by the Earth moving closer to the sun. It turns out in the KarmicTwistEnding that [[spoiler: [[FeverDream it was]] AllJustADream, but reality isn't much better: the Earth is moving ''away'' from the sun, resulting in the Earth gradually freezing]].
* The above mentioned story by Creator/RayBradbury was adapted into an episode of The Creator/AlfredHitchcock Hour.
* ''Wild Onions", the eighth episode of ''Series/TheChicagoCode'', takes place during a brutal Chicago heat wave, and references the statistical correlation of above-average heat and violent crime.
* ''BlackBooks'': All three main characters go insane during a [=heatwave=]. Fran can't sleep, partly due to the heat and partly because her landlord has moved her wall, shrinking her flat. Bernard is stalking Fran's new neighbour and trying to make her his summer girlfriend. If Manny's temperature exceeds 88 degrees it will trigger "Dave's Syndrome" and, naturally, Bernard does everything he can to set Manny off: insisting he wear a winter jacket, a hot water bottle and "Heat B Gone Booties", storing books in the oven.
* The ''Series/{{iCarly}}'' episode ''iBeat The Heat''.
* In ''Series/{{Victorious}}'' one of these days prompts the characters to go to the beach. Instead of being a BeachEpisode however, they get stuck in an RV (except for TheDitz who spends the episode flirting with guys and oblivious to her friends' calls and texts). HilarityEnsues as they try to keep cool.
* In ''Series/PrisonBreak'' Michael sabotages the air conditioning during a heat wave. This works out exactly as planned, i.e. triggers a prison riot.
* At least a few episodes of ''Series/HillStreetBlues'' (such as episodes 2-3 of season 3), deal with the problems caused by high summer temperatures in a northern city where people aren't used to the heat. The heat causes domestic violence to flare and stresses the tempers of criminals, ordinary citizens as well as the police officers (neither the police cars nor the station house are air conditioned).

* Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''RomeoAndJuliet'' has one of its most pivotal scenes, where Tybalt kills Mercutio and Romeo kills Tybalt in vengeance, happen during an unusually hot day, setting the stage for the tragedy to come.
* ''Theatre/StreetScene'' takes place over two brutally hot days in June. Many characters complain about the weather, though the ice cream vendors seem to be doing good business. The first song in the musical adaptation is "Ain't It Awful, The Heat?"
* ''[[Theatre/SeventeenSeventySix 1776]]'' takes place during what really was an especially hot summer, which didn't do much for the Congressional delegates' tempers. The characters comment on it in more than one musical number.
** "Sit Down, John":
--->It's 90 degrees,\\
Have mercy, John, please,\\
It's hot as hell\\
In Philadel-\\
** "The Egg":
--->God knows the temperature's hot enough\\
To hatch a stone, let alone an egg.
* And, of course, ''Kiss Me Kate'' has the song "Too Darn Hot."
* ''InheritTheWind'' takes place during the Hottest Week of the Year. (Which the Scopes Trial, on which the plot is based, did too.) The characters frequently comment on how hot it is, and there's a small running gag of church-sponsored fans. Drummond doesn't get one.
* The Irving Berlin song "Heat Wave," originally written for Ethel Waters in the revue ''As Thousands Cheer'' but later featured in more than one movie musical, including, ironically, ''WhiteChristmas''.
* The Tony-award winning musical ''InTheHeights'' is set during a heat wave in New York.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies'', the DS version has a minigame set during a literal heat wave.
* Groudon causes a supernatural heat wave when awakened in ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Pokémon Ruby]]'', visually indicated by the area around Sootopolis City becoming brighter. In the remakes, the visual effects include a sun-like light in the sky regardless of the time of day, which suggests that Groudon accomplishes this by ''creating a miniature sun inside the Pokémon world's atmosphere''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' episode "Heat," in which a heat wave caused the neighborhood children to rebel against a megalomaniac ice cream salesman.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** When Homer gets Lisa a sax instead of an air conditioner. Twice.
** Occurred in another episode when the whole Springfield cranked up the air conditioners during the [=heatwave=] and one more electric output will cause a blackout. Unfortunately, it was Homer's fault for plugging in the dancing Santa Claus.
** And again in the episode when the family decides to get an above-ground pool, leading Lisa to become popular and Bart to live out a ''RearWindow'' spoof with a broken leg.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' where global warming and lack of ice on a nearby comet combine to make a heat wave.
* One episode of ''TheBoondocks'' featured a memorable pastiche of ''Do the Right Thing'', also set on The Hottest Day Of The Year... in February. Huey is the only one who remembers that it's actually winter, and is wearing a thick coat throughout the episde.
* This occurred in a ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' episode. Naturally, the emotional Danny has a mean case of the frownies because of it. Mayor Vlad solves the problem by forcing a weather ghost to cool the temperature, but as always, all hell breaks loose when he creates violent storms afterwards. It takes Danny's emotions (and a machine to enhance it) to actually win this battle.
* 1973-74 ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}}''. One episode ("Too Hot To Handle") had a worldwide heat wave caused by alien interference. They used a satellite to draw the Earth closer to the Sun so it would be [[{{Terraform}} xenoformed]] to make it hotter and thus more comfortable for them when they arrived.
* The 1987 ''[[TMNT1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'' episode "Burne's Blues" becomes this with someone destroying the air conditioners. Also in "Too Hot to Handle" but this time caused by Vernon's nephew's solar magnet.
* Despite the fact that they live in '''HELL''', ''JimmyTwoShoes'' has an episode based on this. Lucious prancing around Miseryville with tempting (but-can't-have) ice cream.
* The pilot episode of ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' involved the culdesac suffering one of these, they solve their initial problem by [[HumanPopsicle stuffing themselves into Ed's freezer]], but when Sarah kicks them out they find a new source of refreshment by bombing the neighborhood pool party... and wind up trapped in a pool with no trunks until night comes in and they start freezing.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' had a few episodes that started with them. One notable episode was "The Magnifying Mixture", which kicked off the [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever Attack Of The 50-Inch Whatever]] plot.
* An episode of ''TheMrMenShow'', appropriately titled "[=Heatwave=]."
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' episode "The Coolest [=Heatwave=] Ever", when the gang search for the backup water valve during a [=heatwave=].
* ''{{Rugrats}}'' had an episode entitled "Heat Wave," in which the babies visit the park on a sweltering summer day. After the water fountain breaks down, they befriend another baby and set out on an adventure to find "the land of many waters" (ie, the sprinklers on the other side of the park).

[[folder:Real Life]]
%% This, or a briefer version of this, is enough. We don't need to cite murders that happened
%% when it was hot.
* Summer heat is frequently cited as a contributing factor to urban riots. The disturbances in Watts (1965) and Newark and Detroit (1967) all took place during periods of higher-than-normal temperatures in those cities. [[http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2569097 One study]] showed that incidence of mental disorders with violent presentations increased when the temperature rose above 80 Fahrenheit. Also, the FBI found an average increase of between 35-40% in the murder rate in urban areas from February to July over a span of five years of records. It was 90 degrees in April when the 1992 Rodney King riots in LA started.
* As in ''SeventeenSeventySix'' above, it was unbearably hot in Philadelphia near the end (May-July, 1776) of the Second Continental Congress, during which the American Declaration of Independence was drafted and voted on. It would also have been incredibly muggy: Philadelphia, being in the Delaware River valley, is very humid, and various features of geography give it very still air, as well.
* The 2003 BigBlackout in the northeast of the U.S.A and parts of Canada came on a blisteringly hot August day, especially in New York. Think of the people stuck on the subway, where it gets even hotter...
* During the infamous blackout of 1977, described as the "summer that New York lost its mind", temperatures were skyrocketing, corruption was rampant, and the SerialKiller Son of Sam had made the city his personal hunting ground. The blackout capped everything off, leading to riots and looting--it took DECADES for some neighborhoods to recover.
* The summer of 2011 was a an aversion of the "heat waves cause crime" trope. Temperature records were broken all across the U.S. with many cities reporting 50+ (and even 90+) days of serial 100+ temperatures. Several states also recorded the hottest months of June, July, August, and September ever, with similar drought records being set. Despite this, crime was actually a lower compared to years previous. Presumably, it's not worth the energy to commit high crime in sizzling temperatures.