Cold Snap

An episode in a series where snow and cold are the order of the day, as opposed to the normal setting.

In many series almost all of the action takes place in mild, clear weather. This allows the cast to dress comfortably, and saves money on weather effects. But some stories need extremely cold weather and/or snow to work. Thus the Cold Snap episode.

This may be an episode that acknowledges that the setting normally has winter, even if all the scenes are shot inside. Or perhaps there's a freak snowstorm in a setting that normally doesn't have cold weather, making it a Big Storm Episode. In some cases, the cast travels to a cold area specifically to enjoy winter activities.

A Christmas Episode may also be this, but usually that trope has the pleasant form of Dreaming of a White Christmas.

Compare Rain, Rain, Go Away, Heat Wave (both dealing with different weather extremes).


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  • In the Warrior Cats series, usually 1-2 books in each story arc take place in winter, and oddly enough they seem to have the biggest events happen in them. The fact that it's winter becomes plot-relevant as well, as winter makes it more difficult for the Clans to hunt and usually causes an outbreak of sickness, and the weather occasionally causes events to occur (such as a cat falling through the ice - which leads to a death once and a forbidden romance another time - or the thaw causing floods).
  • Murder on the Orient Express makes a point about how cold it is outside the train and the impossibility that the murderer could have escaped into the snow; the cold was turned into a motif during the TV adaptation with David Suchet.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An episode of Double Rush (short-lives series about a NY bike messenger service featuring David Arquette, Adam Goldberg and DL Hugley) takes place during a blizzard. The messengers actually like the snowy weather because delivery charges are tripled.
  • The Faerie Tale Theatre episode "The Snow Queen".
  • The M*A*S*H episode "The Longjohn Flap", in which Hawkeye's coveted long underwear is traded through the camp.
  • In Eureka Season 3 Episode 17 "Have a Ice Day" A ice core sample from the Artic sends Temperatures plummeting and causes the whole town to ice over.

    Web Comics 
  • In Plume, the weather suddenly switches from sun-burnt desert to snow-covered forests between chapter 9 and 10, on account of a three-month's Time Skip.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The episode "Winter Wrap-Up".
  • The Rugrats episode "The Blizzard".
  • The The Ant and the Aardvark cartoon "The Froze Nose Knows" had the Aardvark chasing after the Ant in the winter snow, at the same time dealing with a hibernating bear who trespasses in his home and ends with him falling into a frozen pond. At the end of the cartoon, the Aardvark decides to hitchhike to Palm Springs for the winter.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episodes "Survival of the Idiots" and "Snowball Effect".
  • The Simpsons episode "Homer the Heretic".
  • Zig & Sharko has two episodes: "Frozen Island", and the episode aptly titled "Cold Snap".