Which came first, the rooster or the sun?note
A common staple in fiction, Roosters are often shown to crow at daybreak. In fact, almost all works set on a farm have this happening. In many depictions, a rooster's crowing itself is what brings the sun up.
In certain works, the rooster is replaced with a creature more suited to the setting.
Related to Howling to the Night
and Wolves Always Howl at the Moon
, which is when wolves howl at dusk.
Not Truth in Television
, as in Real Life
they never shut up regardless of what time it is. They are just the only animals awake at that ungodly time. The trope is reinforced because a large part of the population don't live anywhere near farms, and likely have rarely seen a living rooster, let alone hear it crow at dawn.
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- This trope is why a rooster is used as a symbol for insomnia for Ambien (prescription sleep aid) commercials.
Anime & Manga
Films — Animation
- Rock-A-Doodle involves the sun not rising at all unless the rooster crows.
- In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a ratbird crows, heralding the beginning of an ice cream snow day.
- A rooster is heard to crow right before daybreak in Yellow Submarine, which is odd, since the meanies seem to have turned every other living creature to stone.
- Played for laughs in the claymation movie, Chicken Run. Fowler the rooster is seen at sun rise at the beginning of a scene, where he loudly shouts in very obvious English, "COCKADOODLEDOO!"
Films — Live-Action
- In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf's confrontation with the Lord of the Nazgűl at the gates of Minas Tirith is interrupted by a rooster crowing somewhere in the city, heralding that the sorcerous cloud which has hidden the sun for three days and aided Sauron's darkness-loving armies is dispersing. Sure enough, the battle starts to turn with the arrival of the dawn.
- The book The Enormous Egg starts with a mini-plot about the family's chicken, Ezekiel, who crows every morning, annoying the neighbors. The solution is to put him in the cellar at night and not let him out until well after sunup, so he doesn't know when its dawn and therefore doesn't crow.
- In the novel Reaper Man, there is Cyril the Rooster, who never remembers to crow at the right time till he is given the words "Cock-a-Doodle Doo" to read by Death. Unfortunately, Cyril is dyslexic. Dock-a-loodle-fod!
- In Wyrd Sisters there's a spell that must by completed before the first rooster crows. Nanny Ogg has her vast army of children and grandchildren gag all of the area's roosters so the spell will work even if takes until after dawn to finish it. Given that this is such a witchy response to this kind of limitation, one must wonder why Granny Weatherwax is so concerned with doing the spell the "right" way and disapproves of Nanny's loophole.
- Geoffrey Chaucer's Chanticleer thinks that the sun rises because he crows. Pertelote persuades him not to crow one morning, and he is shocked when it still rises.
- In one Encyclopedia Brown story, high school dropout/con artist Wilford Wiggins tries to get kids to invest in a device that can control birds. He demonstrates its abilities by making a rooster crow at sunset. Encyclopedia ruins the scam by pointing out that since the rooster had been kept under a blanket beforehand, it probably thought the sun was rising instead of setting.
- Mentioned in Friends, Chandler and Joey's pet chick, now a full grown rooster, apparently has a habit of waking up the whole apartment building at dawn, though only Monica and Rachel know that they own it.
- In The Office, Dwight hints that a rooster wakes him up every morning. Not surprising since he lives on a farm.
- Xena: Warrior Princess: This is the first thing Xena hears every morning when she gets stuck repeating the same day over and over. At one point she even tries to end the cycle by ending the rooster, with a chakram. It doesn't work.
- When Kramer buys a rooster in Seinfeld, it makes its presence known to Jerry by crowing early in the morning and waking him up.
- The Beatles' "Good Morning" starts with a rooster.
- Camille Saint-Saëns' "Danse Macabre", which begins When the Clock Strikes Twelve, has its climax interrupted by the crow of an oboe, after which the diminuendo is quick.
Myths & Religion
- Referred to in The Four Gospels, in which Jesus correctly predicts that Peter will deny him three times before the cock crows.
- In Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, the sun doesn't rise until a rooster crows.
- Warcraft III has a rooster crowing to indicate daybreak.
- Multiple Zelda games, to indicate that it's officially daytime.
- Played with in a sidequest in the first level of Black & White 2. A rooster starts out subverting the trope, waking up its exasperated owner out of a sound sleep no matter what time of day it is. Your job is to change the time of day from night to day several times. The bird crows each time the sun rises until it finally loses its voice.
- The Order of the Stick: Two strips open with a rooster crowing, heralding a new dawn in the Azure Empire. There's also a younger rooster who is unimpressed with this, commenting in the first strip "You're such a sell-out." and in the second "You're not my real dad."
- Occurs as a Chekhov's Gun in Tales of the Questor: the hunt of the protagonist is stated to end when "the cock crows the dawn". Unfortunately, there's a way around that, or is there? There is. someone didn't take the possibility of a nickname or code name into account.
- On Spongebob Squarepants, the crowing is done by scallops.
- One episode of The Angry Beavers spoofed this by having a bear crow. At the end of the episode, Dagget asks, "Norbert, what is wrong with that bear?"
- There's a rooster who crows at dawn in The Fairly Oddparents, which, on one occasion, explodes.
- A rooster crows in the Title Sequence of Shaun the Sheep.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", Applejack remembers when she left the farm for the big city, and is surprised to find that city folk have no concept of a rooster. Homesick, she watches the sun rise the next morning and sadly cock-a-doodle-doos to herself.
- A sight gag in the Super Secret Secret Squirrel cartoon "Dr. O" has the sun repeatedly coming out and disappearing as Secret Squirrel struggles with the controls of Dr. O's sun-blocking satellite. A rooster farmer is seen crowing when the sun comes out, and stopping when it disappears again. Eventually, the light starts changing so fast he keeps getting cut off, and he eventually gives up.
- At the very beginning of Der Fuehrers Face, a rooster can be heard crowing "Heil Hitler!" while performing a Hitler pose outside Donald Duck's chalet (which for some reason, resembles Adolf Hitler's face).
- In the classic Tex Avery MGM cartoon Cock a Doodle Dog (alternate title: Each Dawn I Crow), Spike the Bulldog has his sleep interrupted by a rooster with an especially obnoxious crow. After various backfiring attempts to shut the bird up, Spike winds up crowing loudly by the rooster's house after the rooster goes to bed.
- A rooster can be heard crowing in the background in the Recess episode "Good Ole T.J.", after T.J. pulls an all-nighter to revise his and Gretchen's project. This is the only time this trope is used in the show.
- This is played straight on several episodes of The Ren & Stimpy Show, but gets inverted in the "Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen" episode, where a rooster is shown Howling to the Night.