[[quoteright:350:[[Anime/SonicTheHedgehogTheMovie http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thunderfeartails.jpg]]]]

->'''Tidus:''' Are you that scared?\\
'''Rikku:''' Mm-hm. When I was little, a fiend attacked me while I was swimming at the beach. My brother tried to beat it back with a spell. (''squeaks at another thunderclap'') But he missed and hit me instead! It was a Thunder spell -- "Bzzzzzzt!"\\
'''Tidus:''' Ouch!\\
'''Rikku:''' I've been scared of lightning ever since.
-->-- ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''

Your otherwise capable or serious character has an inordinate fear, not of [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant giant sauropods,]] but of thunderstorms. This is a primal, almost childish fear that surprises other characters, although it's not always played for laughs. The actual name of this fear is "Brontophobia" or "Astraphobia." [[note]] The former suggests a fear of late-Jurassic Apatosaurine dinosaurs while the latter, a horror of affordable German family cars.[[/note]] It also happens to animals, especially dogs.

This trope in RealLife is OlderThanFeudalism, with the fear of thunder being a prime defining weakness of the UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar and the Julio-Claudian dynasty of Ancient Rome.

Note that fear of thunder is often treated as silly; after all, it's just a lot of noise. Fear of lightning, on the other hand, is [[http://www.straightdope.com/columns/040827.html absolutely justified]] -- and [[http://www.snopes.com/horrors/techno/phone.asp confirmed]] by ''{{Website/Snopes}}'' -- but by the same token, since you hear the thunder ''after'' the lightning, it's good news: it means you weren't hit. NothingIsScarier may also come into play, as Creator/AlfredHitchcock once said: "There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.".

A subtrope of WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes, especially common in {{anime}}. Would be logical in settings with DramaticThunder, but the tropes seldom combine.

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* Lucy from ''Anime/ServantXService'', about as much as Haruhi (who is listed below).
* Ciel Phantomhive of ''Manga/BlackButler'' mentions that, as a smaller child, he would get scared during thunderstorms, and would always go sleep with his parents. It's not clear, however, whether he ever outgrew the fear or is simply hiding his fear to act more mature.
* In ''Literature/TheEccentricFamily'' the Shimogamo matriarch is notably afraid of thunderstorms.
* Tomboyish HardDrinkingPartyGirl Tina Foster in ''Manga/AiYoriAoshi'' has a panic attack during a thunderstorm that knocks out the house's electricity.
* Haruhi Fujioka in ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' has a debilitating phobia of thunderstorms despite having an abnormal lack of fear of anything else.
* KidSamurai Motoko Aoyama in ''Manga/LoveHina'' is said to be afraid of lightning, although it never comes up.
* ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'':
** Chiyo-chan is a genius, ridiculously cute, and scared of lightning. In her defense, she's still only 10 years old.
** In the manga, one of the {{Yonkoma}} shows that Sakaki is also scared of lightning.
** Osaka is scared of lightning too, but she enjoys it. She even peers closer to the window. If this doesn't make sense, remember, this '''is''' [[CloudCuckoolander Osaka]] we're talking about.
** After having to endure a rather traumatic car ride with [[DrivesLikeCrazy Yukari-sensei]], Chiyo-chan is asked by [[{{Jerkass}} Tomo]] if she thinks lightning or cars are worse during a particularly bad storm, and [[ThousandYardStare promptly suffers a BSOD]].
* Elie, from ''Manga/RaveMaster'', is a young female BadassNormal who [[GunsAkimbo dual wields two high-caliber guns]] (with highly explosive ammunition) and other dangerous ballistic instruments, faces demonic threats with relative frequency, and carries the world's most powerful magic inside her... and is so scared of storms a little zap is enough to send her to the ground quivering and unable to act. In her defense this fear comes from the trauma of being almost killed by extremely powerful lightning spells -- ''twice''.
* Usagi Tsukino in ''Anime/SailorMoon'' had a touch of this throughout the series, though it was particularly played up during an episode of ''Sailor Moon R'' in which [[SharedFamilyQuirks Chibi-Usa was revealed to have the same fear.]] The villains used a MonsterOfTheWeek to create a massive thunderstorm as a way to ferret out Chibi-Usa, which works when the poor girl becomes so frightened she loses control of her powers after being left alone during the storm. Usagi spends the whole episode freaking out as well, and when she fights the monster later, she's particularly upset with it for ruining her day. This trope is also one of many clues ([[TheUntwist as if you]] ''[[TheUntwist really]]'' [[TheUntwist needed them]]) that Chibi-Usa was Usagi's KidFromTheFuture.
* [[Franchise/AceAttorney Phoenix Wright]] is revealed in the manga side stories to have a paralyzing fear of storms, [[{{Doujinshi}} though the side stories are generally considered non-canon.]]
* Kou Shuurei in ''LightNovel/SaiunkokuMonogatari'' goes into fits of screaming terror during thunderstorms, as memorably revealed during her brief stint of [[SweetPollyOliver posing as a boy]] to work for Ko Kijin.
* Kyou from ''Manga/BinbouShimaiMonogatari''.
* Lucia of ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' possessed this trait.
* It's played up for {{fanservice}} and BrotherSisterIncest Mikan Yuki of ''Manga/ToLoveRu'' is scared of storms and Rito used to comfort her.
* In the Detectives Koshien arc from ''Manga/DetectiveConan'', a storm starts when the four teenaged detectives are gathered in an old mansion [[spoiler: and one of them has actually ''been killed'']]. Once thunder breaks in, Natsuki "Detective of the South" Koshimizu [[http://www.mangareader.net/139-8612-8/detective-conan/chapter-565.html screams in utter horror and collapses to the floor.]] [[spoiler: She was actually ''faking'' it, to distract the others while she was searching for a piece of lost evidence that could potentially reveal her as the SympatheticMurderer of the arc - and the one who killed her fellow sleuth. Conan and Heiji weren't fooled by her act, though, and later use it to unmask her.]]
* Filicia Heideman of ''Anime/SoundOfTheSky'', the only visible chink in her [[CaptainSmoothAndSergeantRough Captain Smooth]] persona.
* In the first episode of ''Anime/{{Stitch}}'', Yuna is shown to be afraid of lightning.
* Nano is shown to be afraid of lightning in ''Manga/{{Nichijou}}'' when she walks her Professor to the bathroom during a storm. The Professor herself is also afraid of lightning; considering the former is a robot and the latter only eight years old, it's not surprising at all.
* Aria from ''LightNovel/AriaTheScarletAmmo'' is quite afraid of thunder. This presents problems in missions where it's raining.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'':
** Ramba Ral's Zeon crew are completely ''freaked out'' when they land on Earth in the middle of a thunderstorm, actually thinking that it's some sort of Federation defense system until Ral corrects them and explains what's going on. A JustifiedTrope: most of them were born and live in massive, climate-controlled colony stations, and have never been to Earth before.
** Meanwhile, the children on ''White Base'', who have also lived in space for most or all of their lives, think it's a ''Zeon'' weapon.
* Junpei/J.P. in ''Anime/DigimonFrontier'' is afraid of thunder and lightning; ironically, he is the [[ShockAndAwe Thunder Warrior element]] of the group.
* In ''Anime/SonicTheHedgehogTheMovie'', Tails (pictured above) is shown freaking out, clinging to Sonic when lightning strikes nearby. This is canon in the game version, but rarely shown.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'':
** Pantherlily, Gajeel's Exceed companion post-Edolas Arc, is shown to have an inordinate fear of thunderstorms, although it is unknown whether his fear is only present when he is small, or also present in his much larger and stronger Battle Mode.
** At a critical point in the anime during the Tenrou Island arc, all of the Fairy Tail mages present on Tenrou were shown suffering varying degrees of astraphobia. [[spoiler: Little did they know that the storm raging that night foreshadowed the [[BigDamnHeroes timely intervention]] of a [[HeelFaceTurn once-misguided former guildmate]]: Laxus Dreyar, the [[ShockAndAwe Lightning Dragon Slayer]].]]
* ''Anime/FreshPrettyCure'': Daisuke is afraid of thunder.
* ''Manga/NewGame'': Ko, as revealed in the OVA.
* Fubuki from ''Anime/InazumaEleven'', thanks to the sound of thunder reminding him of that of avalanches (his family died in an avalanche).

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* In a Silver Age Supergirl story, ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} dreams a WhatIf in which she was raised by {{Superman}}'s parents. In one part of the dreams, she wrecks the Kents' house during a thunderstorm.
* One Franchise/ArchieComics strip had one thunderclap scare Veronica into the awaiting arms of Archie, exploiting this trope. Unfortunately for him, her father saw all that and told the both of them many tales and fables about thunder and lightning to lessen her fear of those elements and lessen her time in Archie's arms. It worked.
* A ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' comic gave Aisha this.
* ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines'' had "Spy In The Sky" (Fun-In #3, August 1970), in which Muttley is sent to find out Yankee Doodle Pigeon's weakness. Yankee Doodle plants a fake fear for Muttley to take back--a fear of thunder and lightning. Dick Dastardly has the squadron push thunderclouds towards Yankee Doodle, but it backfires. He's wearing lightning rods atop his flying helmet and the lightning bolts strike the Vulture Squadron. Cue Dastardly relieving Muttley of his medals.

[[folder: Fan Fiction]]
* Fanfiction authors usually invoke this trope in {{Shipping}} fanfics.
* If it is not invoked in a shipping fanfic, it will usually be invoked in a [[{{WAFF}} family-fluff]] fic as an excuse for a child or younger sibling to cuddle with someone.
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' fanfic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11886910/1/Gankona-Unnachgiebig-Unità Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità]]'': Italy is ''terrified'' of lightning. Let's just say he gets over it later on thanks to the...activities...he does with Germany and Japan during storms.
* The WesternAnimation/MegasXLR[=/=][[{{VideoGame/Touhou}} Touhou Project]] crossover ''FanFic/FantasyOfUtterRidiculousness'' depicts Flandre Scarlet as being afraid of thunderstorms... so much so, in fact, that the chaotic weather caused by the destruction of the Moon's Glorft base ''scares her sane.''
* ''FanFic/KyoshiRising''; Kyoshi expresses an extreme dislike for storms, citing that she used to run crying to her parents when she was little whenever a storm rolled in. Some have speculated this is due to the previous Avatar, Kuruk, dying while trying to quell an unusually strong storm, and the memory carried over to Kyoshi.

[[folder: Film]]
* In the film ''Film/{{Mongol}}'' about the early life of UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan (called Temujin here), it is explained that Thunderstorms are a cultural fear of the Mongolian people. Of course, Temujin himself is the first one to overcome this fear.
* Apparently ''all'' of the Von Trapp children in ''Film/TheSoundOfMusic'' are deadly afraid of thunderstorms, as shown in the scene leading up to "My Favorite Things".
* In the film ''Film/TopHat'', a clap of thunder momentarily causes Ginger Rogers to drop her haughty manner towards Fred Astaire.
* One of the many phobias/unreasoning terrors that the heroine experiences in Hitchock's ''Film/{{Marnie}}''.
* In ''Literature/ArashiNoYoruNi'', one of the things that brings Gabu and Mei together when the first meet in a barn on a stormy night is their shared fear of thunder.
* In ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' Loki becomes uneasy when a storm starts, prompting this exchange:
--> '''Captain America:''' What's the matter? Scared of a little lightning?
--> '''Loki:''' I'm not overly fond of [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor what follows.]]
* In ''Film/{{Ted}}'', Ted and John have this. Not only that, but they also have a "thunder song" about it:
-->'''Ted and John:''' When you hear the sound of thunder, don't you get too scared/Just grab your thunder buddy, and sing these magic words:/Fuck you thunder, you can suck my dick;/You can't get me thunder 'cause you're just God's farts! ''*fart noise*''
** Which actually becomes a plot point by the end of the movie: [[spoiler: Ted claims he's the reason that John can't grow up, and uses this as an example ("He'll never be scared of thunder again!"). Sure enough, when Ted dies, there's a thunderstorm outside and John doesn't even flinch]].
* ''Film/BrideOfFrankenstein'': Mary Shelley as said by Lord Byron:
--> '''Byron''': Astonishing creature.
--> '''Mary''': I, Lord Byron?
--> '''Byron''': Frightened of thunder, fearful of the dark, and yet you have written a tale that sent my blood into icy creeps.

[[folder: Literature]]
* Exploited in ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'', where [[MagnificentBastard Cao Cao]] assesses Liu Bei and says that the two of them are the only true heroes; Liu Bei is immediately mortified by the possibility that Cao Cao might see him as a rival and, thus, someone who the shrewd and powerful Cao Cao will eventually have to kill. Thankfully for him, a bolt of lightning happens to strike at this time, and Liu Bei pretends to cower in fear...thus causing Cao Cao to dismiss him as coward. Cao Cao would eventually regret this; Liu Bei walked off unscathed, and would later become the ruler of one of the rival kingdoms to oppose Cao Cao.
* In the ''Literature/SwallowsAndAmazons'' books by Arthur Ransome, Peggy is afraid of thunder, much to the scorn of her sister Captain Nancy (who isn't afraid of anything). This comes to a head in ''Missee Lee'', where the girls are in a ship under attack by Chinese pirates with cannon, and Nancy comforts Peggy: "That's guns, not thunder!"
* Josefina from ''Literature/AmericanGirls'' (although it's actually the lightning she's afraid of).
* Fami, from M.A. Bell's ''Spyhunt'', is terrified of thunder, mostly due to the fact that his father died and he went blind during a thunderstorm. [[spoiler:They get better. Both of them]].
** Despite this, Fami crosses a roof during a storm in the first book.
* Marley in ''Literature/MarleyAndMe'' is terrified of thunder and the frequent south Florida thunderstorms cause him to frequently destroy the house in fits of fear.
* The lesser-known character Monks in ''Literature/OliverTwist'' is afraid of thunder, and has a good old rant about it at one point. However, in his case it is a pretty legitimate fear.
* In Creator/HPLovecraft's "The Lurking Fear", the Martense clan [[spoiler: and their Morlock-like degenerate descendants]] share the hereditary trait of being driven to frenzied, violent panic by thunderstorms.
* In Creator/KateDiCamillo's ''Literature/BecauseOfWinnDixie'', the dog is horribly afraid of thunderstorms.
* Creator/JamesJoyce had a fear of thunder and lightning, which he bestowed upon Stephen Dedalus, who serves a Joyce's AuthorAvatar in and ''Literature/{{Ulysses}}''. Dedalus, even though he is an atheist, sees thunderstorms as a manifestation of God's power, and believes that thunder is God's punishment against him for failing to meet the last wishes of his dead mother.
* The official iOS app of the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series claims that Hollyleaf has this - justified, since Ashfur had attempted to murder her and her littermates during a thunderstorm that started a fire.
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/TimePatrol'' story "The Only Game In Town", the Mongols refuse to be afraid of their technological gadgets because the only thing a Mongol should fear is thunder.
* Alfie from ''Dear Hound'' is a puppy who hates thunder. He promised not to chase any animals in exchange for his cat friend snuggling with him during storms. When he gets lost in the woods, he convinces a pair of foxes to help him due to his fear of thunder.
* In the novelette "The Long Remembered Thunder" by Creator/KeithLaumer, it's noted that a character "fears the thunder". That's because he's really [[spoiler: an agent from a world of [[AnotherDimension "a different harmonic series"]] who has been fighting for decades to protect Earth from an interdimensional invasion by an alien race called [[TheReptilians the Niss]], [[MultiversalConqueror "evil beings who loot the continua"]]. The noise of the enemy's portal being opened sounds like thunder.]]

[[folder: Live Action Television]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Hodor's ''massive'' panic attack during a storm almost gets Bran and Rickon discovered by wildlings.
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'': in the episode "C*A*V*E", Margaret comforts Hawkeye concerning his claustrophobia by telling him that she has a fear of loud noises, such as the nearby Chinese artillery strikes. She ends up confronting it when the two have to operate on a soldier right in the middle of the shelled area.
* ''Series/AllMyChildren''. Erica Kane is afraid of thunderstorms. This is initially explained by her having seen a man get struck by lightning and killed right in front of her. Later, the explanation for her fear becomes even darker--there was a thunderstorm the night of her 14th birthday party, when she was raped by a friend of her father's.
* In ''Series/LittleLunch'', Atticus has a fear of thunderstorms, although he continually denies it. His attempts to tell stories about 'this kid I know who is afraid of thunderstorms' are usually interrupted by Rory going "That's you!".

[[folder: Puppet Shows]]
* ''Series/TheNoddyShop'' had an episode about Truman having a fear of thunder called "Thunder and Lightning".
* In the ''Series/TheWubbulousWorldOfDrSeuss'' episode, "[[BigStormEpisode There is Nothing to Fear in Here]]", Terrence [=McBird=] is revealed to be afraid of thunderstorms, especially ones that cause the lights to go out. The Cat in the Hat and the Little Cats help him overcome his fear by inventing in-the-dark games.


[[folder: Theatre]]
* ''All'' the Von Trapp kids in ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic'', prompting the song "My Favorite Things".

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Chie from ''VideoGame/Persona4'' is scared of thunder. Yu can either tease her, or comfort her.
* In a somewhat ironic twist, BigBad Colonel Volgin of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'' game is afraid of storms. Although this is directly passed on via radio communication from one character to another, there are other subtle hints, such as how Volgin retreats to his quarters during storms and chants a Japanese charm against lighting strikes when forced to be outside while it's raining. This is ironic because Volgin himself has control over electricity, [[PsychoElectro uses it as his primary weapon]], and one of his nicknames is "Thunderbolt."
** Considering he has giant scars all over his body where his electricity burned/ripped his skin, he obviously isn't immune to it.
** [[spoiler: Naturally, he is killed at the end of the game by a direct hit from a lightning bolt when he decides not to say his little anti-lightning mantra for once. Standing knee-deep in exposed electrical cables on top of a giant tank probably didn't help.]]
*** Hell, he doesn't just forget to say his little mantra, he even MOCKS the thunder itself by declaring "Who's afraid of a little thunder?!"
** Oh, and his subordinate/boyfriend's last name is either a clever way to reinforce said subordinate's resemblance to Raiden or a really jerk-ass bit of bilingual humor. Anyone who disagrees with the previous designation is [[HoYay clearly lying.]]
* Tails from the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series is afraid of lightning in some versions. Especially in [[Anime/SonicTheHedgehogTheMovie the anime OVA]]. Though the games seem to have removed this character trait, as his [[ElementalPowers element power]] in ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'' is Thunder Shoot. It reappears in ''VideoGame/SonicMania [[UpdatedRerelease Plus]]'' when transitioning from Metallic Madness to Titanic Monarch, as the lightning that surrounds the big robot causes Tails to jump if he's present.
* Rikku in ''Videogame/FinalFantasyX'' suffers this, due to a traumatic childhood experience of a mis-aimed attempt to protect her from a sea monster using lightning magic. [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration She even screams out in fear when she's hit with a Thunder spell in combat.]] At one point, the party must travel through the Thunder Plains, where lighting is always shooting down, and never stops. ''Ever.'' Most people in RealLife would find it perfectly rational to be afraid of walking through a place where one must constantly dodge lightning bolts by ''jumping out of the way every few seconds''. The other party members, meanwhile, consider Rikku's reaction to be well over-the-top. [[note]]But then again, lightning in the real world is often lethal, whereas getting struck by lightning in this game (outside of battle) doesn't even take off any HP.[[/note]] By the time of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'', she has cured her phobia through the fairly simple method of camping for a week in the Thunder Plains. [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration In battle]], when casting Thunder spells, she'll occasionally quip "Astraphobic? Not me!".
* Shion in ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' is traumatized by lightning because her fiancé and parents were both killed during thunderstorms. This also appeared in the anime adaptation of the game.
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors 4'' in one of the Shu Endings. Liu Bei is eating with Guan Yu and Zhang Fei when a bolt of lightning strikes, causing Liu Bei to dive under the table in panic while Guan Yu and Zhang Fei Watch.
* Skilled {{Samurai}} Sakura Shinguji in ''VideoGame/SakuraWars'' is in fact deathly scared of lightning. [[Manga/LoveHina Motoko's]] phobia may be a reference to, or parody of, this.
* Lucy from ''Amour Sucré'' has thunderstorms listed as one of her dislikes.
* Kei Hinohara from ''Wagaya no Himegami-sama!'' has thunderstorms listed as her dislike.

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* Tess Keene, mother of ''Webcomic/PreTeena'', manifests this fear. While her daughter and her friends would happily go out to play in a thunderstorm and will sit discussing the cool noise and light show, Tess hides under the kitchen table.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/ShaggyAndScoobyDooGetAClue'' revealed that both the villain and Scooby have lightning issues. Phibes apparently gets so upset that his prosthetic laser gun is fired off when he so much as hears the word "lightning". His plot of the episode revolves around creating a never-ending thunderstorm, thus leaving the ''severely'' astraphobic Scooby as a paranoid wreck. Since the lightning bolts are apparently violent and can strike anything, Scooby actually has justification for this. Shaggy drags him along to stop the storm anyway.
* In both an original storybook and an episode based on it, [[Literature/{{Franklin}} Franklin Turtle]] was afraid of thunderstorms. He was worried that his friends would make fun of him, since in most other matters he was normally pretty courageous, but they turned out to be quite understanding.
* Lola on ''Literature/CharlieAndLola''.
* Defied on ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'', while laying in his bed during a thunderstorm, Dexter dismisses his initial fear by reminding himself of the science behind lightning.
* Dudley from ''WesternAnimation/TuffPuppy'' is afraid of thunder. He got over it the same episode that it was introduced.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', Dean contemplates living with Dr. Orpheus, fantasizing that he's comforting Triana when she's scared of a storm.
* Martha and Skits from ''WesternAnimation/MarthaSpeaks'' are both afraid of thunderstorms. Martha deals with it better than Skits does.
* Jasper the wasp on ''WesternAnimation/TheHive''; his friends and family help him to get over it by singing a song.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MuchaLucha'', Pulgita is afraid of thunderstorms; her brother The Flea helps her by telling a scary story, and at the end she no longer fears them.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', the Hill's dog Ladybird develops a fear of thunder and bites Hank, and the rest of the episode deals with the repercussions and discussions about medicating her (which fails) or having her put down before she attacks someone else, at the end of the episode Hank's ready to decide when he learns that [[spoiler: Ladybird's gone deaf.]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' episode "When It Rains" revolves around one of the Gems [[MistakenForApocalypse mistaking]] a thunderstorm for the apocalyptic event of [[spoiler: the Cluster emerging from the Earth's core]].
-->[[spoiler: '''Peridot:''']] IT'S HAPPENING!
* In what appears to be a callback, Tails in ''WesternAnimation/SonicBoom'' displays a comical fear of lightning storms, often jumping into Sonic's arms and shaking when one occurs.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* UsefulNotes/JohnAdams had one of these, making his successful argument in the debate for American independence (which took place during an intense thunderstorm) an even ''bigger'' CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* The Russian composer Tchaikovsky would hide under his bed during thunderstorms. Modern psychologists theorize that he was Brontophobic.
* Culturally, fear of lightning/thunder is common in the Middle East (where there is little cover in the desert). For this reason, the US Army experiments with [[LightningGun nonlethal targeted-energy electric discharge weapons]] that resemble arc lightning.
* Many dogs and cats are scared of thunder and loud noises. In certain, very rare cases, this can make them a threat to others as they [[FreakOut blindly lash out at anyone or anything around them]].
* Likely anybody raised in an area without thunderstorms and several people raised in areas with frequent thunderstorms, more likely if they've been struck by lightning.
* Thunder can sometimes sound a little like artillery, and is therefore likely to bring back unpleasant memories if you've ever been on the receiving end of it.
* According to Roman historians Tacitus and Seutonius, the Julii family had considered thunder to be their own personal curse, as every time they were caught in a thunderstorm away from home in Rome something awful was going to happen.
** This likely stems from Julius Caesar's stint as Pontifex Maximus, the most powerful priest in Rome, and receiving auguries about such things happened frequently.
** Augustus had a particularly strong fear of thunder because a slave was once struck by lightning right in front of him while traveling. Emperors are recorded as doing any number of things to avert the danger: wearing a bit of sealskin, wearing a laurel wreath, and going underground.
** Romans, ''as a whole'', had lots of beliefs and superstitions related to gods of nature. I.e.: Thunder and lighting were associated with Jupiter, the Father of the Gods, and being on the bad side of a pissed off Jupiter was something you ''really'' did ''not'' want.