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Cue the Sun
Peek a boo!

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
And I say
It's all right...

And the sun rises epically over the horizon...

Used for any number of reasons, but usually symbolizes a new beginning.

The sun is an important part of life. It gives light, which in turn allows the Earth to live. It is the center of the solar system. So, naturally, in entertainment, it becomes a useful symbol of something, usually good. For instance, in Vampire films where the tradition about the monster being destroyed by being exposed to sunlight is upheld, the heroes realize their time of greatest peril is over and now they have the advantage.

The sun can be used for all sorts of funky symbolism. A sunrise on the beginning of a journey is pretty self-explanatory. Perhaps one of the more common variations is the sun, on cue, breaking through the thick, overcast clouds, shining rays of light down onto the Earth. For heroes, this is often an encouraging sign, even something of an omen. Expect things to turn toward the hero's side quickly.

Another fairly common use is a sunrise at the end of the story, usually symbolizing "the start of a new day"; that is, everything has been put right, and the evil (darkness) that had previously hung over the land is dispelled by the protagonists' victory. Another variation is using the sunrise before the very final showdown with the Big Bad/Dragon

Alternatively, the sun disappearing on cue can have the opposite effect, as the will of heaven is suddenly snatched away.

The trope name comes from a moment in the film The Truman Show, with Ed Harris' character "cueing the sun" (actually a gigantic stage light) to find the eponymous Truman, even though in-universe, it's supposed to be the middle of the night. (Notably, there is a real lighting device brand-named "The Sun" used for such effects in film and theatre. It is very large, very expensive, and has a very poor supply/demand ratio, so only the most wealthy companies actually have their own; everyone else rents.)

See also Natural Spotlight and Rays from Heaven, Riding into the Sunset (when a character is shown driving towards the sun at the end of a story), Against the Setting Sun, Watching the Sunset, First Time in the Sun and Suicide By Sunlight. Contrast Melancholy Moon and Cue the Rain, which are inverses. Connected to Red Sky, Take Warning. Subverted with Daylight Horror.

Examples:

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     Anime and Manga  

  • Tower of God: The end of the Untrustworthy Room arc ends with Viole staring into the morning sun.
  • When the Big Bad of the fifth season of Sailor Moon Chaos is defeated, the clouds break apart.
  • In The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Esteban has the ability to summon the sun. Which is convenient, since much of the Lost Technology is solar-powered.
  • In Fruits Basket, while Rin is letting Tohru hold her during her sickness, the sun rises.
  • In Bleach, Orihime Inoue has been portrayed as the sun. When Ulquiorra states that the 'Sun has already set' in the Arrancars' hands, cueing a very sunset like image with Orihime. Later on, Orihime is once again portrayed with this light when she finally begins cheering Ichigo, influencing a power-up for the boy.
    • And when Aizen re-kidnaps her and says that she should smile more to 'let the sun shine on.'
    • Yet again right after Ichigo finally defeats Aizen and Urahara seals him away. Kubo is very subtle with his symbolism, huh?
  • Happens several times in Death Note, most notably at the end, when Mikami's Death Note is revealed to be fake.
  • In the InuYasha episode "Miroku's Most Dangerous Confession", Miroku and a possessed Sango square off. Just as Miroku affirms his intention to purge the demon from Sango, the sun starts to peek over the horizon in the background.
    • Also in the episode that reveals that Inuyasha becomes fully human during the new moon. Just when it looks like the spider demon has won, sunrise breaks, restoring Inuyasha's full strength.
  • Inverted by GaoGaiGar FINAL. The Sun (or the machine disguised as it) gives the villains ridiculous regeneration, so when it's activated and starts shining brightly, the battle suddenly gets a lot tougher for the Brave army.
  • In Detonator Orgun, the eponymous character's Wave Motion Gun is solar-powered. Guess what happens in the fight against the Big Bad.
  • At the end of the Magic Knight Rayearth TV series, the impenetrable canopy of pitch-black clouds (which had covered the world ever since the last episodes of the first season) dissipates and lets glorious columns of sunlight shine through.
  • After Kaname breaks Sousuke out of his Heroic BSOD at the end of Full Metal Panic!! TSR, the sun rises behind her.
  • Inverted in Black Blood Brothers when Jiro is facing off against Cassa; it's not the sun that makes his skin burn, it's the rain.
  • Near the end of the second Cardcaptor Sakura movie, the sun rises at just the right moment. Saying any more than that would spoil a really sweet ending.
  • Lampshaded in Duel Masters.
    Shobu: (after beating a game, the dark clouds dissipate into a blue sky) "Right on cue!"
  • In the end of the manga version of Chrono Crusade, Rosette looks out at the sun rising through the clouds, spreads her arms, and says "Come on, let's go. There's plenty for us to do!"
  • The sun rises immediately after the climax of the Battle of Teppelin in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • More than symbolic in Pluto: the robot Epsilon is solar powered, so the appearance of the sun in the middle of a fight signals a shift in his favour.
  • An overcast clears when Cure Passion makes her debut in Fresh Pretty Cure!. Same with the more appropriately-named Cure Sunshine in HeartCatch Pretty Cure!.
  • GUN×SWORD makes heavy use of the sunrise as a symbol; the protagonist even takes "Van of the Dawn" as his preferred nickname. The most notable Cue the Sun moment comes in episode 16, when Van experiences an epiphany right as the sun rises, making the cross-shaped object in his hands shine brightly.
  • In the final scene of Osamu Tezuka's OAV Hi no Tori 2772 aka "Space Firebird", when planet Earth, Olga and Godo are reborn to new life, sun rises above the sea.
  • The eponymous Sea Temple of Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea rises above the water at the same time as the sunrise.
  • In Berserk the evil spirits that are drawn to Guts' brand are more prevalent and more powerful at night, and Guts has to spend the entire night fighting and warding them off. However, the spirits are vulnerable to light, so when the sun begins to rise and eliminates all other evil spirits in the vicinity, it means that Guts has successfully cheated death once again! ... only to have to repeat it the following night! Woo!
  • Happens a lot in Saiyuki for numerous reasons thematically. The first is obviously to imply that the heroes are, well, heroes, can't you tell? Look at this heroic shot! The second is as part of a symbolic bet between Ukoku Sanzo and Koumyou Sanzo, the first being thematically attached to darkness and the second to the moon. Their bet is over who will be the rising sun who finally defeats Ukoku, and Koumyou obviously bet on his student, Sanzo. The third is just the obvious fact that the main characters are traveling west. What else travels west? WHY THE SUN! There are actually more, but they mainly support Sanzo's thematic ties with the sun as per the bet Koumyou and Ukoku made, so I won't bother mentioning them. So I suppose this could perhaps be the most justified use of this trope? Ever?
  • Although things are about to go from bad to worse, volume 2 of Maiden Rose manages to end on a somewhat hopeful note with a scene of the young cadets walking towards the wreckage as the sky lightens.

     Comic Books  
  • Spoofed in Jeff Smith's Bone. After the Great Red Dragon lets the townspeople catch him, the townspeople tell Phoney (who has set himself up as a "dragonslayer") to finish him off. Phoney, who has no intention to actually kill any dragons, let alone the Great Red Dragon, insists on waiting until sunrise to slay the dragon. Unfortunately for Phoney, the sun rises in the middle of his impassioned speech on the subject: "The heavens themselves shall determine... oops."
  • The third issue of X-23's series ends with her leaving an Extranormal Insitute at dawn, having conquered her past. The usual connotations of freedom and (tentative) hope are present.

    Films — Animated 
  • In the animated cartoon version of Mulan, this happens at the climax of "Make a Man out of You". Ping/Mulan fails the whole training regimen and Shang pretty much tells him/her to go home. She then sees the arrow at the pole and decides to give it one last try. As she does, the sun rises and the other men start cheering her on. She succeeds and throws the arrow down to Shang's feet for emphasis, proving she can pull her own weight around.
  • Convenient sunbeams illumine Pride Rock in The Lion King when a new monarch (lion cub) is presented. When Simba regains his throne, the clouds part to reveal the starry sky where the former kings are said to reside.
  • In Princess Mononoke, the culmination of the movie is a race to return the head of the Forest Spirit before the sun rises, and the forest dies forever. Naturally, the heroes retrieve the head and hold it aloft to the 'Nightwalker' just as the first rays shine across the hills...
  • Kung Fu Panda:
    • The coming of the morning after Shifu's argument with Po that ended after Po confessed his deep sense of worthlessness and Shifu likewise admitted he did not have an idea of how to fix that. After a night of racking his brain for an answer, the sun comes up as Shifu hears a ruckus in the kitchen and finding Po doing some impressive physical feats for food. Thus with the sun rising, so does the critical inspiration for Shifu concerning a way to train Po effectively.
    • And then again near the end, after Shifu and Tai Lung's intense duel in the rain. The sun rises as soon as Po appears, signifying that the dark part is over and it's time for the hero to kick ass. It's at this point that the real final battle begins.
  • At the end of Igor, this is justified since Igor has destroyed the Big Bad's Weather Control Machine.
  • Wakko's Wish, near the end; "Mr. Speilburg loves this shot!"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the Patrick Bergin/Uma Thurman version of Robin Hood, the sun doesn't shine until the Norman/Saxon rift begins to heal with the marriage of Robin and Marian.
  • In Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, the shots of Ichabod Crane heading for Sleepy hollow are dark and gloomy, and the sunlight is NEVER seen in Sleepy Hollow itself, but only when those same shots are repeated as Ichabod and Katrina are heading back for New York City.
  • In slasher movies Just Before Dawn and Hell Night, the climax happens just before sunrise.
  • Satirized in Buster Keaton's The Scarecrow. The opening title, "Slowly and majestically the sun steals gradually over the hill-tops," is followed by the sun shooting straight up from the horizon and then hanging in place.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • In The Two Towers, when Gandalf and the Rohirrim arrive to save the day. They ride down the hill, bearing down on the Uruk-Hai army, who form lines with spears out, but just before the two groups clash...SUNRISE! and it is so sudden and so fast that the light from the sun blinds the spear-wielding Uruk-Hai on the front line, making them turn away, thus enabling the Rohirrim to crash through what is normally a cavalry-charge-breaking defensive tactic. The cinematic effects make it look as if Gandalf helped it along quite a bit, too. Which matches the magic he used for his dramatic reveal earlier. (And to bring the symbolism full-circle, remember that he identified himself as a "wielder of the flame of Anor" to the Balrog. Anor is the Sindarin name for the sun.)
      Gandalf: A Wizard is never late. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.
    • Also done in "The Return of the King" during the Ride of the Rohirrim. As the Rohirrim shout "DEATH!" for the third time, the camera pans out from them, revealing the entire army with the sunrise gloriously shining from behind them (from the wrong direction, but whatever), as Crowning Music of Awesome swells up triumphantly.
  • In an incidental Special Effects Failure which turned into a Crowning Moment of Awesome in Blade Runner, Deckard releases the dove and it flies into the sunny sky, giving some hope to Deckard the future would be brighter.
  • In the typical vampire film, the heroes are enduring a harrowing night fighting a vampire and they are about to lose against the powerful monster. Suddenly, the sun comes up and everyone realizes that the hunters now have the advantage against the vampire.
    • From Dusk Till Dawn plays this perfectly. The characters have finally been hopelessly surrounded by vampires, they have just two bullets left, the rest of the cast has just been killed (and promptly re-killed). Then the sun rises, and bullet holes in the bar's walls bring its light in at odd angles, turning the entire arena into a laser hallway for the vampires.
      • Zig-zagged in the sequel, when the sun finally rises in similar circumstances and moments later equally quickly vanishes due to the full eclipse.
    • Fright Night has a simpler version where the hunters have had a harrowing time fighting the vampire and are barely holding him back when the sun comes up. As the vampire reels in horrified realization, Peter Vincent, now having passed his trial by fire, notes, "You are out of time..."
    • In Thirst, the sunrise is awaited by the vampire as the only way he can end his sinful life.
  • In Apocalypto a solar eclipse occurs while Jaguar Paw is laying on the altar, about to be sacrificed. The priest interprets the eclipse as a sign that the gods' thirst for blood had been sated, and he calls off the human sacrifices.
  • In Hocus Pocus, the rising of the sun marks when the spell allowing the three witches to live again for one night on Halloween runs out because they didn't succeed in draining the lives of the children of Salem. They go "poof."
  • During the final battle of Blade II (which has taken place entirely at night) inside the top of the Big Bad's Evil Tower of Ominousness, the Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter is bitten by the mutant vampire (who just happens to be her brother). After the hero wins the battle, she requests he destroy her before she becomes one of them, prompting him to walk outside to the end of the tower's pier-like balcony cradling her limp form, allowing the sunrise to turn her to dust in his arms and blow away in the breeze.
  • The Truman Show does, in fact, have a moment like this, but it is not in fact when the line is spoken. It's right when the storm lets up in the climax that is the true example.
  • In The Proposition, a sunset coincides with the shooting of primary villain Arthur Burns. Although Not Quite Dead, he spends his last few minutes going outside to watch the sunset. Charlie, who just shot him, goes and watches it with him.
  • In the movie Westworld, the technicians watch for sunrise, and cue all the robots to start up at the instant where the sun rises above the horizon. A western town is frozen in mid movement, then everything starts up when the sun rises.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick franchise:
    • Used straight in Pitch Black, as the shuttle lifts off and the triple suns reappear from behind their respective planets (meaning no more dark-loving beasties)
    • Inverted in The Chronicles of Riddick, where Riddick finds himself on a prison planet where the sun can actually kill you. (And thus a desperate sprint away from sunrise manages to not be full of Narm.)
  • Used near the end of Dark City when John, after having taken control of the massive space station, rotates it so that the sun is shining across its surface for the first time.
  • At the end of The Matrix Revolutions, the Oracle and Sati are sitting on a bench in a green park under a stunning sunrise. Which was made by Sati ("for Neo"), showing her to be pretty Genre Savvy where symbolism is concerned.
  • The entire story of Collateral takes place at night. At the end, when Max has killed Vincent and gets away with the girl we see the sun coming up, showing us that night's finally over and order's restored.
  • The most recent Pride and Prejudice movie ends with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth confessing their love for each other at dawn, finally embracing as the sun comes up.
  • At the end of TRON: Legacy, Sam shows Quorra something she so eagerly wanted to see for herself: a sunrise. She's enraptured by the sight. In some theaters, the house lights were brought up with the sun.
  • At the end of The Land Before Time Littlefoot climbs up onto a ridge, following the spirit of his deceased mother in the form of a cloud. When the cloud dissipates, he sees the Great Valley spread out beneath him, bathed in sunlight. Cue the water works.
  • The film Morning Glory cleverly uses a sunrise shot to close the film - which is very apt as it is about a morning TV show - and watching protagonists walk into a sunrise is that much more interesting than seeing them ride off into the sunset.
  • Implied in Joy Ride: while it's the rain that "makes everything clean again" and ends Rusty Nail's Ax-Crazy phase, the rain is followed by the sun, which brings a "new day".
  • I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK ends with a stunning sunrise creating a rainbow over the desolate landscape.
  • Mishima A Life In Four Chapters begins and ends with a sunrise as well as having a plane break through dense clouds during the eponymous characters "World of Cardboard" Speech moment.
  • Spaceballs: "Nice dissolve!" They go on to be rescused by the Dinks, and meet Yogurt later that day.
  • Thirteen Days: In the climax when they're not sure if the next day will start nuclear war or resolve the situation, a shot of an exploding nuke is shown which morphs into the rising sun.

     Folk Lore  
  • Some older Arthurian legends claim that Sir Gawain's strength rose and fell with the sun. So he was strongest at noon and weakest at midnight. Understandably, he fought mostly in the late morning.

    Literature 
  • Older Than Feudalism: In The Bible, in the Book of Joshua, Joshua commands the "sun to stand still at Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon" so that his troops will have enough light to finish their battle.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings:
    • At the end of the War of the Ring, Aragorn and the rest's Heroic Sacrifice at the gates of Mordor is averted, when the successful destruction of The One Ring causes the perpetual cloud-cover to dissipate, letting the sun break through — and sending the bad guys fleeing in panic.
    • The dramatic high point of the Siege of Gondor turns around the sun rising during the confrontation between Gandalf and the Witch-King of Angmar in the ruins of the main gate of Minas Tirith. Also the simultaneous charge of the Rohirrim during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
    • Helm's Deep: Gandalf said "Await me at Helm's Gate!" Erkenbrand and Gandalf are specifically noted as arriving from the west, while on the east the valley is said to be "too sheer and stony" for anyone to escape. Further, they only actually arrive while Saruman's hosts are already in retreat.
      • As dawn breaks, Aragorn speaks to the orcs and tells them they should flee. They mock him, but he says that every dawn brings a new hope.
  • In The Hobbit, Bilbo is caught by three trolls, and the dwarves are captured in their turn when they arrive to find out what has become of him. While Bilbo escapes to hide in a bush during the fight with the dwarves, he can do nothing but listen helplessly while the trolls argue about how to cook them; but Gandalf, unseen, keeps re-igniting the argument until sun-up, when he shouts, "Dawn take you all!" and they turn to stone in the sunlight.
  • Also from Tolkien, The Silmarillion:
    • The first Sunrise signals the awakening of the race of Men, in a suitably dramatic passage.
    • There's even a Cue the Moon. It first appeared at the same time the Noldor reached the end of the Grinding Ice.
    "and Fingolfin unfurled his blue and silver banners, and blew his horns, and flowers sprang beneath his marching feet, and the ages of the stars were ended."
  • In the climactic Final Battle of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the morning sun rises while Harry and Voldemort are talking to each other,and it's the cue they use to attack for the last time. It was a long night after all...
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel Fulgrim, Lucius, having betrayed them and tricked him into killing loyalist Space Marines, walks away from the dying Solomon Demeter. Solomon is glad of the peace, but sees the diminishing light and feels as the world was marking his death.
  • Whenever Dracula needs to be killed, it's even money that it's the first rays of a sunrise that finishes him off. Unless some angry man with a whip and a family grudge comes beats his ass silly first.
    • In Super Castlevania IV, it's both!
    • In the original novel, Dracula's appearances were foreshadowed by the sunset.
    • Subverted in the actual novel. Dracula is able to walk around in sunlight, he just has to stay in his coffin from dawn to noon. In fact, Dracula dies at sundown. It's a race to prevent him from becoming more powerful, not to waste time until he's weak.
      • Also he can shapeshift only at dawn and dusk so if they'd been a moment too late he could have turned into mist and escaped.
  • Rand al'Thor in The Wheel of Time books is apparently the prophesied leader of every diverse group of people in the world. Sucks for them that he's destined to destroy them as a result. Anyway, one of said groups, the Aiel, know him as (among other things) "He Who Comes with the Dawn." After journeying to an ancient city to prove his identity to them, he returns, successful (though battered) at, you guessed it, sunrise.
    • Another example involving Rand comes at the end of The Gathering Storm, where after absorbing enough saidin to break the world out of his anger and self-pity, he also gathers a mass of storm clouds overhead. When after a dramatic moment of redemption he truly laughs for the first time since declaring himself the Dragon Reborn, the sun breaks through the clouds. This is especially poignant since the sun had not been seen for a long time due to the Dark One touching the world.
    • Similarly in "Towers of Midnight," because of what happens in "The Gathering Storm" where ever he or Elayne (who is bearing his children) are, there is a ring of sunlight.
  • With an excessively dramatic "Behold!" Belgarath causes the sun to rise in a far northern land, in the dead of winter, causing the demon summoners who are busy summoning demons to lose their concentration, with naturally fatal results. Naturally, it was a rather neat illusion on Belgarath's part.
    "Behold!" I thundered—augmenting my voice, I'll admit—and I pointed dramatically toward the south. I didn't want the moon or the northern lights lessening the impact of what I was going to do.
    Then, posing like a charlatan in a country fair, I spoke the words that released my Will in a voice they probably heard in Kell.
    "Rise up!" I roared—and the sun came up.
    ————————————————————————-
    Oh, come now. You know better than that. Nobody can order the sun around. Don't be so gullible.
    It looked like the sun, though. It was a very good illusion, even if I do say so myself.
  • In The Lions of Al-Rassan, there is a climactic duel between the champions of two armies at sunset. This is absolutely full of symbolism, given that one side is the sun-worshiping Jaddites, and the other is the star-worshiping Asharites. True to form, the Asharite wins as the sun sets.
  • In Hogfather, the sun rises just as Susan saves the Hogfather's life. This is important, because if the Hogfather hadn't been saved the sun wouldn't have risen. Had she failed, a mere ball of flaming gas would have illuminated the world. The again, given the Discworld's dependence on Narrative Causality, the difference between the two is probably more than semantic.
    • The final line of Night Watch is "And the world turned toward morning."
    • At the end of Pyramids, Pteppic causes the sun to rise, which brings Djelibeybi back into contact with the outside world.
      • It's more subtle than that. It's a sort of Running Gag that may or may not be true, due to the Discworld's Narrative Causality, that the pharaoh causes the sun to rise. The pharaoh himself is kind of uncertain about this, but all the priests assure him it's true. Even the way it's done in the book leaves it up to the reader to determine whether or not it was a coincidence.
  • In Deryni Rising, Kelson invokes this in his coronation duel with Charissa, calling the sun to appear to help him kill one of her monsters, then calling on the skies to darken until he finished her. Afterward, the sun reappears to cast the same pool of multicoloured light on the floor (from a stained glass window), and people in the congregation murmur, thinking it's still dangerous. Kelson moves to stand in it before summoning Morgan and Duncan to join him there.
  • Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, has, near the end, a scene where Han and Leia sit outside of the Millennium Falcon waiting for the world to end. They could fly off the planet, but they couldn't escape - gravity well generators were preventing escape into hyperspace and causing massive solar flares, massive solar flares were killing everything that wasn't shielded by the bulk of Mindor, and the bulk of Mindor was about to go to pieces. Everything that they could do had been done, and they didn't know what Luke was doing. So they decided to sit outside, have a picnic, get in a Last Kiss, and watch the sunrise, thinking these would be their last moments. They weren't.
  • In The Phantom Tollbooth, our protagonist, Milo, runs into Chroma the Great, conductor of the orchestra that gives light to the world (It's a bit metaphysical.) Basically Chroma's job early in the morning is to cue the sunrise, and during the final battle, he whips up an epic lightshow.
  • In The Ugly Swans by Strugatsky Brothers, the city of Tashlinsk is perpetually clouded. When The children take the city over and baddies flee, the sun evaporates the clouds, the proceeds to evaporate the old city.
    • In The Doomed City, the artificial sun is re-ignited just as the revolution caused by its malfunction has reached its peak.
  • Tavi literally cues the sun in Codex Alera Book 3. He orders his windcrafters to part the clouds and reveal the sun at high noon. He does this so the windcrafters can shape the air into a giant magnifying glass and fry the Canim like ants.
  • In John C. Wright's The Phoenix Exultant, Phaethon defies Atkins — "Let them try" — just when the dawnlight came to hit his armor and make it gleam.
  • Malevil makes use of this twice.
    • The world suffers from The Night That Never Ends after World War III. The survivors struggle to survive for several months before two events give them hope for the future: confirmation of other survivors and the first rain since the war is non-radioactive. Just as everything is finally looking up, the sun finally breaks through the ash and the world truly begins to heal.
    • Near the end, during Emmanuel's Kangaroo Court trial at Fulbert's hands. The setting sun comes through the chapel's stained glass window behind Emmanuel and he feels the light emanating from around him and illuminating the room as he turns the trial against Fulbert.
  • In The Pale King, David Foster Wallace says that a rural Midwest sunrise is as soft and romantic as someone’s abruptly hitting the lights in a darkened room.
  • Douglas Adams lampshades this in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
    "With an impeccable timing of which it is very rarely capable the sun chose this moment to burst briefly through the gathering rainclouds, and as she played her cello a stormy light played on her and on the deep old brown of the instrument. Richard stood transfixed.
  • In Devon Monk's Dead Iron, the sun comes from behind the clouds just as Mae sets out to the Madder brothers'. She takes it as a good omen.
  • Sunrise has significant magical power in The Dresden Files. Because of its symbolism of renewal, it tends to wash away existing magics, even quite strong ones, so most spells will end at dawn unless enforced or protected. As well, intensely magical beings such as ghosts, vampires and some otherworldly beings cannot bear the sunrise, and will be destroyed or forced out of the mortal plane unless they can find shelter.
  • The most popular Warrior Cats book, The Darkest Hour, ends with a rising sun.
    ...and it seemed to Firestar that no dawn had ever been brighter.
  • The Urth of the New Sun: Severian stands to be executed over a misunderstanding, until an apparent miracle makes it appear that he both delayed and caused the sunrise.
  • In Richard Ellis Preston Jr.'s Chronicles Of The Pneumatic Zeppelin novel Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War, when Romulus sees the "dawning bore" — a flood of colors — he feels new hope that Max will live.
  • In Literature/Steelheart, near the end of the final fight. Has more than symbolic significance, because it also shows that Nightwielder is dead.

     Live Action TV  
  • Inversion: In the season 3 denouement of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Mayor's ascension was immediately preceded by an eclipse.
    • Another Inversion, an example of the sun not coming out being interpreted as a good sign. During an unusual heat wave around Christmas, on Christmas eve Angel (for complicated reasons) decides to kill himself by standing on a hill as the sun comes up, claiming that the world doesn't want him in it. After an argument with Buffy who is trying to talk him out of it, the sun doesn't rise. Instead it starts snowing. This is treated as a miracle as it saves Angels life but doesn't this mean that Buffy will have to work overtime?
    • Definitely subverted in the episode "The Harvest":
      Luke: You forgot, metal can't hurt me.
      Buffy: There's something you forgot about, too. Sunrise!
      (Buffy throws a mike stand through the window behind Luke. Luke cringes instinctively as light pours through. Then he looks up and sees it's only a lamp. Just as this realization sinks in, Buffy stakes him from behind.)
      Buffy: It's in about nine hours, moron.
    • Played straight in the season 5 finale, where the sunrise signals Buffy's decision to sacrifice herself to save Dawn.
  • On a similar note, the first season of Heroes concluded with Hiro gazing at an eclipse.
  • In The Pillars of the Earth, a monk tries to persuade a group of soldiers to allow workers to return to a quarry to cut stones for a cathedral. He arrives at the quarry right before dawn on purpose, so when the leader of the soldiers is about to strike him down with his sword, the sun rises behind him and reflects on the golden cross in the monks hand.
  • Shows up a few times in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Lokar's very presence darkens the sky, so when he's defeated it clears up. Also marks the turning of the tide in the Globbor and Dischordia fights in the third season. Especially in the Dischordia fight. Ninjor and the Ninja and Shogun Megazords get back on their feet, the sky clears, and then both Megazords charge and deck Dischordia, followed by an epic beatdown.
  • Done for Tear Jerker effect in Babylon 5 in the final episode where John Sheridan, knowing he is going to die very, very soon, rises early to watch his final sunrise, accidently waking Delenn (his wife). It becomes truly heartbreaking at the end, where we find that Delenn would get up early every day, for the rest of her life, to watch the sun rising as her way of keeping John alive in her memories.
    • Later, after he goes to Coriana 6, where he spends his final hours, Lorien visits him. As he tells Sheridan it's time to rest a bright light fills the ship.
    Sheridan: Well, look at that. The sun's coming up.
  • In the Supernatural episode 'Bugs', this trope saves the day, even though it's only a few minutes since the sun set!
  • Done for symbolic and dramatic effect at the end of the Forever Knight series finale, to further reinforce the indication of the Kill 'em All ending and probably to represent redemption in death.
  • In My Name Is Earl, the sun shines on Randy just as he realizes that his purpose in life is to help Earl complete The List. Earl points out that it's just the sun shining through a window in the jail where they're visiting an old friend. Randy replies, "Yeah, but it's shinin' just for me!"

    Music 

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In Mutts, Mooch sticks his head out the door to be faced with an enormous The Face of the Sun, smiling. He observes it's summer (Sunday after the solstice.)

     Role Playing Games  
  • The last night of Survival of the Fittest version two doesn't end until Bryan Calvert has finally won and is being airlifted off the island. Only then does the sun finally start to rise, as if confirming that his fight for survival is over.
  • Given that one of the more prominent gods of the setting is called the Unconquered Sun and the default Splat consists of his chosen, the Solar Exalted, Exalted definitely has this trope in spades.
    • One of the best has to be the suggested climax to the Return of the Scarlet Empress campaign. Following the Unconquered Sun's death, a huge alliance of all non-Reclamation Exalts charges in to fight the Ebon Dragon under the blood-red orb of the Daystar. The Ebon Dragon is smirking because he's unkillable while Holy is offline, and the Unconquered Sun governs that particular power...and then a Sidereal promotes someone to replace him, and the Ebon Dragon craps himself as the red eye in the heavens blazes once again with golden fire.

    Theatre 
  • In The Magic Flute, the Queen of the Night is defeated when Sarastro, Tamino and Pamina arrive along with the sun.
  • Pippin has a disturbing use of this trope in its final scene. The Players tell Pippin to "think about the sun" as they bring on a backdrop depicting the sun and a lot of stage lighting as encouragement for him to commit Self-Immolation.

     Video Games  
  • In "Shounen Kininden Tsumuji" after the Demon Castle is destroyed, the Sun rises over the mountains showing that the adventure is finally over.
  • In one of the earliest examples, we've got the Angry Sun in Super Mario Bros. 3. To say the least, it was annoying.
  • Entries in the Lunar series have a penchant for filing the sky with ominous clouds (or even blotting out the sun) as the finale approaches.
  • The final boss of Kirby Triple Deluxe is fought high in the sky, with a gigantic moon in the background. In the end, Kirby is grabbed and hopeless until Dedede comes to bring him his Eleventh Hour Superpower. From that point on, the battle definitely turns to Kirby's advantage and the rest of it is fought in front of a glorious sunrise.
  • The final battle in Dragon Age: Origins opens with the Ferelden army charging the Darkspawn with the dawn at their backs.
  • In Blood Rayne 2, the entire plot revolved around a group of vampires creating an artificial cloud barrier called the Shroud which would block out the sun's rays and allow them and their demonic minions to wander the earth freely. Interestingly, they accomplish this, and the Shroud seems for the moment anyway to be permanent (Rayne going so far as to say that she felt "for some reason" like everything would go back to normal after she killed the final boss). The last cutscene shows a Sequel Hook that implies a third game about a Rayne-led organization that defends humanity in this vampire-ruled world.
  • In the Pokémon games there are moves called "Morning Sun" and "Sunny Day"; the former recovers half the HP of a Pokémon (all of it when it's bright out), while the latter powers up Fire attacks and certain Grass Pokémon.
    • Many Grass Pokémon are typically taught Sunny Day and Solarbeam in tandem; under Sunny Day, the charge time for Solarbeam is thrown out, meaning four rounds (or more, if a drought stone or a Pokémon with the Drought ability is sent out) of nonstop solar-powered bombardment.
    • Contrast Rain Dance, which, of course, makes it rain. As long as it's raining, Fire attacks and Solar Beam deal less damage, and Thunder is guaranteed to hit (in Diamond and Pearl, it even penetrates Protect and Detect 30% of the time).
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky, special episode five, Grovyle, Dusknoir and Celebi all finally see a sun rise right before they disappear. This shows that the world of darkness has been stopped, and symbolizes a new future.
  • Inverted in the Final level of FreeSpace 2. As you try everything you can to get at least some of the fleeing ships to the jump point before they are picked off by shivan ships before the system is cut off from hyperspace to trap the shivan fleet, the small star in the distance suddenly starts to grow bigger and brighter, leaving you only half a minute to reach the jump point before the explosion reaches you.
  • The first Ninja Gaiden game ends with Ryu and Irene watching a sunrise and Ryu saying "Look, the sun is rising. Everything is so bright now. The darkness is finally over." The third game also ends with a sunrise.
  • This is one of your powers in Ōkami. Of course, you are playing the incarnation of the sun goddess. Very early in the game you summon the Sun just to dry somebody's laundry...
    • A more textbook example is in the fight with Orochi, when you dramatically summon the moon to match the legend of Orochi's original defeat. Later you're sent back in time to the first fight with Orochi, and do the dramatic moon-summoning that makes its way into the legend.
    • The ultimate example comes during the Final Battle: even after being restored to her greatest glory by a Combined Energy Attack from all of Nippon, Amaterasu is still unable to harm Yami, Emperor of Darkness, in any way, even despite the Theme Music Power-Up. The only way to make it vulnerable (and, indeed, make it lethally vulnerable) is to use Ammy's most basic skill, Sunrise, which pierces Yami's Eclipse and makes it writhe in pain.
      • Made even more powerful by the fact that she never lost it. Even when Yami destroyed all the other brush spirits, the other gods who surrendered themselves to Amaterasu, who became part of her by returning to where they came from, he didn't destroy her. The reason Amaterasu had that power to begin with is because she is the Sun God, and unless Yami destroyed her, he could not destroy that power. As the trope description reminds us, cuing the sun is a way to signal that victory is near, that the darkness has passed and that it's time for the light to shine. It's the ultimate way of giving people hope, and Amaterasu had it all along. Fridge Brilliance like that is what makes the scene even more heartwarming when you stop to think about it.
  • Used heavily in the Credits of Live A Live.
  • Subverted, played straight, and possibly reversed in Suikoden V, where the plot centers around a set of runes related to various times of day - and which can be used to call down the fearsome power of the sun itself upon your foes! And since the runes end up on both sides of the central conflict, 'cueing the sun' in Suikoden V is synonymous with wholesale destruction for one side or the other...
    • It even serves as the pre-battle wipe every time you have a Random Encounter...
  • In the post-apocalyptic future of Chrono Trigger, one of your quests later in the game takes you to the peak of Death Peak. When you reach the summit and bring Crono Back from the Dead, the sun peeks out from behind the thick cloud cover.
  • The sun rises during the final mission of Ace Combat 5; if you shoot down the optional fighters quickly enough, your wingmen remark on the beautiful sunrise and the hope they have for the future.
  • The final stage of Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 finds the sun burning out and catastrophic ice storms engulfing the planet. The rival cheerleader squads finally join forces and channel the positive feelings of everyone on Earth to reinvigorate the sun, while awesome music plays. Upon the song's completion, the sun rises from the gloom and the world is saved, making this one of the more literal uses of the trope.
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin takes place in a meteor-devastated Earth covered in clouds of dust and ash. The sun rising in the epilogue is a pretty big deal. As a bonus, the final level is called Sunrise.
  • Touhou 8: Imperishable Night subverts this, see The Night That Never Ends for more details...
  • The sun is one of the enemies in I Wanna Be The Tribute.
  • Occurs at the end of God of War III. This is pretty much the only implication that, even after Kratos wrecked the planet out of revenge, the world might be coming back together.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), at the end of Silver's story, after Iblis is defeated and sealed away, the perpetual cloud cover breaks, allowing the "the HEALING RAYS of the SUN!" to shine on the post-apocalyptic landscape for the first time in the entire game.
  • The "Light of Dawn" solo in Brütal Legend causes the rising sun to appear and motivate your on-field troops. It can only be played by Eddie.
  • The sun rises as you leave Ravenholm in Half-Life 2.
  • Skies of Arcadia does this as well. When you are in the final corridor of Soltis, you can see the clear blue sky through the holes in the ceiling, and right after you defeat Ramirez and he sacrifices himself to summon the Silver Gigas Zelos, the sky is suddenly smothered with dark clouds. After you defeat Zelos and face off against Zelos-Ramirez, the sun starts to shine through the clouds, which is laid out right behind your characters, with the darkest part of the scenery behind Zelos-Ramirez and where he crashed onto the Delphinus. Finally, when you defeat him once and for all, the dark clouds dissipate entirely, and Soltis falls back into the Vortex.
  • The final battle in Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy takes place during nighttime. The sun rises during the cutscene after winning.
  • Seen in T. Hawk's ending in Super Street Fighter II: as he vows to rebuild his homeland that M. Bison had devastated, the sun rises and he greets it with open arms.
  • Seeing this happen is the entire point of Fight 'Til Dawn mode from Alan Wake's American Nightmare. Each round starts ten minutes before dawn, and ends at sunrise (when the light kills every Taken on the field). Also, in the story mode you kill Mr. Scratch by luring him in front of a film projector and playing a movie of Alan and Alice watching the sun rise.
  • In most Castlevania games, when you finally defeat the Big Bad Dracula, the sun will come up moments later to herald the endgame cutscene.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the Sun's Song is one of the melodies you learn on your ocarina. Link can summon the sunrise if he's in Hyrule Field at night, and doing so makes nocturnal enemies such as Stalchildren and Poes disappear. It can also temporarily freeze Re-Deads and Gibdos.
  • When you defeat Diablo for the third and final time, the dawn slowly breaks over heaven itself.
  • After the game took place entirely during the night, the campaign "Blood Harvest" in Left 4 Dead ends with the sun rising over the horizon as the survivors escape the zombies. Granted, the survivors go through a lot more crap after that, but as far as the video game goes, this was their happy (or, at least, relieving) ending.
  • At the end of the Story Mode in Mortal Kombat, after Raiden defeats Shao Kahn and the Elder Gods take him away, the sun shines down on him, Johnny Cage, and Sonya Blade.
  • DragonFable inverts this at the end of it's first chapter, with the sun being eaten by a giant skeletal dragon.
  • Night falls as the penultimate battle of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter begins. After you finish killing the lots and lots and lots of monsters present, the sun comes up again.

    Webcomic 

    Web Original 
  • The Sun shows up near the end of Ducktalez 7, indicating a new beginning for Scrooge and his nephews.

     Western Animation  
  • The final shot of Fantasia, set to Franz Schubert's ''Ave Maria'', no less.
  • The sun rises when the JusticeLeague defeats the Justice Lords.
    • Several times in the DCAU, not always exactly a sunrise but sometimes just its appearance, with added meaning as the sun is the source of Superman's powers.
  • A reversal in Avatar The Last Airbender, as the sun powers up the Firebenders attacking the Northern Water Tribe, and the tide shifts in the heroes' favor when the sun sets.
    • And then shifts back to favor the villains just as an important duel between a waterbender and a firebender was about to end.
    • Of course the moon being restored after disappearing entirely (along with the Waterbenders' abilities) leans rather closer to this trope
    • Much later has a weirder version: Sozin's comet finally passes just after Aang beats Ozai. Then it becomes possible to see that sun, which was being blocked by another light source
  • Played with (literally) in an episode of The Simpsons, which results in Homer (during a Mushroom Samba) breaking the sun.
  • Lampshaded in Home Movies in the 3rd-season episode "My Cheatin' Heart." McGuirk walks up the golf green, silhouetted by rays of sunlight:
    McGuirk: Sorry I'm late, I had to wait for the sun to be at the right angle, for the effect...
    Andrew: Nice.
  • Used at the end of The Black Cauldron, after The Scrappy comes back to life for no particular reason.
  • Used in the the Gargoyles episode "Long Way to Morning": Hudson has spent all night protecting a hurt Goliath from Demona, buying time until the sun can restore the gargoyle leader's health. Thus, the sun, which usually leaves the gargoyles helpless, is in this case their savior.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward, Earth's sun is alien invader's Sh'Okanabo's main weakness. When he (not yet knowing of this weakness, since it affects him only when he's particularly weak) begins turning New York's population into mindless, subservient Kanabo drones, the effect only lasts until the sun rises, which coincidentally occurs just when Sh'Okanabo is about to defeat last turtle standing Raphael. Later, in the episode "The Day of Awakening", Sh'Okanabo has taken over a moonbase and has programed it to block out the sun in preparation in order to allow him to create Kanabo drones, and again, it is only as he is about to win that the heroes manage to open these shutters.
  • Odd case in ReBoot. When Hexadecimal infects the system paint program the first thing we see her do with it is to paint a sun into Mainframe's sky. Since Mainframe never had a sun before (since it's inside a computer) this confuses everyone until Phong alerts Bob about the paint program. After that the painted sun is completely ignored.
  • Rock-A-Doodle actually does this twice: The first time during the opening credits, and again when Chanticleer fights the Grand Duke of Owls.
  • In an episode of Garfield and Friends, during a US Acres segment, Bo the sheep actually says "cue the sun".
  • In the second episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the sun rises immediately following Nightmare Moon's defeat. It's justified, because Nightmare Moon was keeping Princess Celestia, who is responsible for raising and lowering the sun, imprisoned; that's right, the sun literally wasn't allowed to rise until the big bad was defeated.
  • In ThunderCats (2011) this is inverted, as storm clouds part just as The Duelist claims a sword from another unprepared victim, leaving him crushed and defeated as the sun blazes high above his head.

     Real Life  
  • Dramatic example: When The Who were performing Tommy at Woodstock, the sun began to rise during the dramatic final number ("See Me, Feel Me"). John Entwistle later joked that "God was our lighting man." The band later had a lighting rig, which were rarities at the time, constructed to replicate this.
  • Some accounts of Abraham Lincoln's inauguration speech in 1865, just as the American Civil War was in its ending phases and by then the North knew they were going to win, has the final moments of the speech be illuminated by the sunlight shining through the clouds and onto the President's platform. To the audience it seemed like hope was shining down on America for the first time in several years.

Binary SunsHeliotropesEndless Daytime
Cock-a-Doodle Dawn 24 -Hour Trope ClockDawn Attack
Cue the RainPrecipitation IndexImprovised Umbrella
Caught in the RainWeather and EnvironmentCyberpunk with a Chance of Rain
Clothes Make the SupermanThis Index Is Not an ExampleDaydream Believer
Crazy SurvivalistImageSource/PhotographyCunning Like a Fox

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