A Rain Dance is a ceremonial religious dance performed by people (usually aboriginal) who want to appeal to God/the gods to make it rain. Although it is commonly seen as a Native American device, rain dances have been practiced since [[OlderThanTheyThink Ancient Egyptian times]]. Rain Dances have been seen as recently as the 20th century in the Balkans.

According to Wiki/ThatOtherWiki, the Native American version was actually another dance altogether, that got its name changed [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain_dancing for political reasons]].

Probably close to a DeadHorseTrope, in fiction it is used almost exclusively for laughs. The (non-believing) characters dance, sometimes in full-feathered headdress, and... something other than rainfall happens. Sometimes the characters will look at a "step chart" after such a failure and remark, "Oh, wait, that was the ______ dance!"

And no, this doesn't allude to ''Film/SinginInTheRain!'' May be followed by RedemptionInTheRain, or possibly BattleInTheRain. One comedic result can be a PersonalRaincloud.


[[folder: Advertising ]]

* Used in an old Hamm's Beer commercial (which is probably [[ValuesDissonance now politically incorrect]]). Watch two [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9CAGxjuJ-o here]], with PersonalRainCloud results.


[[folder: Anime ]]

* Played with in ''Manga/SoulEater'', when Spirit does a rain dance outside his daughter's apartment window in order to give her luck on her exams. He obviously has no idea what he is doing, however, dancing around a bucket with lit candles duct-taped to his head.


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In one ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'' strip, an area inhabited by Native Americans is suffering from serious drought. As it turns out, their shaman has fallen from a horse and hit his head. He is otherwise OK, but can't get the dance right and his various attempts only produce minor weather anomalies (like a small blizzard after he does the macarena).
** In another, [[ItMakesSenseInContext a group of irate native dignitaries enters the local saloon to deliver an angry message to the townspeople]]. These include their shaman... and his unruly apprentice, who is far more interested in the saloon girls than their mission, and decides to start dancing on the stage. Afterwards, it starts raining in the girls' dressing-room.


[[folder: Comic Strips ]]

* [[ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes Calvin]] attempts a snow dance to get school canceled. (It doesn't work.)
* Parodied in one ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'' cartoon where the Indian chief is consulting a book called "101 Rain Dances" to figure out what the hell kind of dance he was doing ... while it's raining eggbeaters. ''The [=PreHistory=] of The Far Side'' also includes a rough draft of this cartoon which instead depicts an "Early American [[EverythingsBetterWithCows Cow]] Dance."
* In ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'', Jason and Marcus once did a snow dance. Paige joined them in the hope that school might be canceled if it worked.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Injun Joe does this as a weapon against a shapeshifter, since running water will cancel out magic.[[note]]As a side note, magic in the series is fuelled [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve partially by belief]] -- if you believe that dancing brings rain... it most likely will.[[/note]]
* In ''Literature/ClaudiusTheGod'', a Roman commander whose troops are lost in the desert follows his native guide's advice to invoke the local rain god. It works.
* In the children's horror anthology ''Still More Scary Stories for Sleepovers'', a RainDance [[spoiler:causes the DownerEnding]] in "Night of the Ki-Khwan". Perhaps the only time a RainDance was ever played for horror.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' has Ted perform Rain Dance as an OverlyLongGag in a desperate attempt to keep Robin from leaving to a company camping trip because she's close to dating her colleague. He ''did'' make it rain and it was one of his best [[GrandRomanticGesture Grand Romantic Gestures]].
* In ''Series/DoubleTheFist'', Womp performed a rain dance that summoned... hamburgers.
* ''Series/TheXFiles''. In "The Rain King", Daryl Mootz does TheThemeParkVersion of a rain dance, claiming MagicalNativeAmerican ancestry. Scully and Mulder are not impressed...until it starts bucketing down out of a clear sky.
* In an episode of ''Series/NedsDeclassifiedSchoolSurvivalGuide'' a ''reverse'' rain dance is performed by [[CloudCuckoolander Coconut Head]] and the other boys to get it to be sunny (after several days of rain, and therefore students cooped up indoors).
* The old ''Series/TruthOrConsequences'' program once had one hapless contestant dress up in full Indian regalia, feather headdress, buckskins, drums, and have him dance about in public supposedly to make it rain; his antics drew a total crowd of one.
* One ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' had several characters in a restaurant complaining about various inconveniences, and then cutting to a closeup of the guilty party nervously glancing from side-to-side. On the way out, they notice it's suddenly raining when there wasn't a cloud in the sky when they arrived. Cut to an Indian chieftain sitting in a corner booth, nervously shifting his gaze.
* ''Series/TheGoodies'' do a rain dance with some pretty native girls to drive away the tourists the villainous Nasty Person is trying to bring to the Lost Island of Munga. Somehow it [[RuleOfFunny turns into the square dance halfway through]]. The subsequent storm is a bit too successful and ends up blowing them out to sea on a raft.


[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* In {{Deadlands}}, a shaman who knows the appropriate favour can cause rain, and one way to earn the needed "credit" with the spirits is by dancing.

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In the ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' series, "Rain Dance" causes it to rain for five turns in battle. This boosts the strength of Water-type moves by 50%, cuts Fire-type moves by 50%, and has a [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Rain variety of other effects]] on certain moves and abilities.
* Done by Mumbo in ''VideoGame/BanjoTooie'''s Cloudcuckooland.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Pippin does one of these in ''Webcomic/DeviantartSecretWars''. It results in a BattleInTheRain.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In the ''WesternAnimation/TennesseeTuxedoAndHisTales'' episode "The Rainmakers", Chumley attempts a rain dance indoors, which does nothing. This is, of course, the lead-in to Professor Whoopee's explanation of what really makes rain.
* ''[=US Acres=]'', from ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'', has Roy buying a robot that will do dances for whatever... rain, snow, buckets of bolts, etc. Explained in the LiteralGenie entry.
* In the WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck cartoon "Grand Canyonscope", Donald fools around with a genuine raindancing costume and manages to summon a PersonalRainCloud before the ranger catches him. Note that when Donald dances a traditional dance, nothing happens. But when he [[RuleOfFunny switches over to the Charleston...]] instant rain!
* In a ''[[WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadRunner Road Runner]]'' episode, Wile E. Coyote creates a thunderstorm by using the rain dance. [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption It doesn't help.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}''. The Water Dance is basically this, as the townsfolk of Dirt make a CargoCult appeal for water to come out of a pipe faucet. It's actually [[UncannyVillage somewhat creepy]].
* Alluded to in the WesternAnimation/{{Goofy}} cartoon short "How to Dance." A crowd of characters are dancing to tribal drumming music, and it rains [[PersonalRaincloud on just them]], and they all unfurl umbrellas as they continue dancing.
* A bumper series on ''WesternAnimation/TheBeatles'' cartoon has the boys mistaking a desert for the beach, and thus dying of thirst. The sand is so hot it has Ringo jumping around wildly and it turns out to be a rain dance that makes it rain. In the last segment, the torrent of rain causes a mammoth flood as Ringo doesn't know how to make it stop.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AlphaAndOmega'', Humphrey attempts a rain dance (and song) to try and STOP rain. Upon being informed of this, he starts singing and dancing in reverse.
* The Warners short "Sioux Me" has a group of generic American Indians singing "Weeeee waaaant rainnnnn" and dancing around. It doesn't work at first, but a helpful traveling salesman and a small Indian boy save the day for them, especially for their shaman, who's been threatened with decapitation by the chief.
* ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'': In "[[HorribleCampingTrip Camp Keep a Good Mac Down]]", Bloo practices one. Later, Mac starts a campfire [[ShaggyDogStory only to lose it to a downpour]].
-->'''Bloo:''' See? My rain dance worked!