Gray Rain of Depression

They walked the whole day over meadows, fields, and stony places; and when it rained the little sister said, "Heaven and our hearts are weeping together."

A type of Empathic Environment, commonly used to indicate that a character is sad, disappointed, or just plain depressed. The rain is often called on to exaggerate their mood depending on how sad they are, or if their character is always like that, then this means that they're expressing true sadness for the first time. May be exaggerated to the point that the bad weather is restricted to a single Personal Raincloud following the character around.

The juxtaposition of rain and depression is also made frequently in Film Noir and similar settings, including Cyberpunk. After all, slogging about in the rain and mud, or being forced to stay indoors, will depress you pretty quickly.

Contrast Dramatic Thunder and A Storm Is Coming, which indicate danger — or if emotions, anger. This rain is seldom accompanied by wind, either, and will not produce Lightning Reveal. The opposite purpose to Happy Rain; also contrast Rays from Heaven for a complete inverse. Related to Shower of Angst and Grave Clouds.

Super Trope of Personal Raincloud, It Always Rains at Funerals, and Cue the Rain.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Gintama episode 211, it's raining when when Gintoki finds Otose stabs and gets thrashed by Jirocho.
  • This begins right after Naruto and Sasuke's confrontation in episode 134, as Sasuke stares down at his unconscious rival, and continues as he stumbles off to Orochimaru while Kakashi starts hauling Naruto home.
    • Most of the time it rains when something bad happens to the Uchiha. It rained for Itachi back when we thought he was the Big Bad and during his and Sasuke's fight.
    • It also rained when the Third Hokage died and when Asuma died. There'a also a perpetual Gray Rain of Depression over the Hidden Rain Village; one of the characters even compares it to the country constantly crying.
  • In Prétear, Sasame is shown wandering around depressed in a rainstorm after his Anguished Declaration of Love to Takako.
  • The final dramatic climax of the Fruits Basket anime occurs in the rain, after the rest of it is sunny.
  • Occurs in Gankutsuou. Most often in the later half of the series. Albert even walks home in the rain in a depressed manner at one point.
  • This happens in the 25th episode of Death Note, which has an unusually poetic kick to it overall. At a moment of high drama, it instantly becomes Dramatic Thunder.
  • In episode 194 of Sailor Moon, rain begins to fall when Usagi collapses in tears because she can no longer bear the strain of wondering why her Love Interest in America hasn't written back to her at all. (Unbeknownst to her, he's dead.
  • In Monster, Tenma sinks to his knees to curse and bemoan the cruel fate that made him the savior of a murderer in the middle of a rainstorm. It's very sad, but the water getting on his pants is like the clothing equivalent of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Tokyo-3 is rainy and dark during the battle with Arael, wherein Asuka's mind is invaded and the trauma of her childhood relived. She herself is bathed in bright light, however.
  • In Robotech, one of the episodes is called (A) Rainy Night, and is just that, a rather restrained, remarkably mature (in the proper sense of the word) conversation takes place between two of the major female characters about their love lives past and present, while a soaking rain comes down outside. One of the women is involved in a very dysfunctional relationship with a mecha officer, and the other tells her the story of how she met and got together with a by-then-deceased pilot. No explosions, no gunfire, not much comic relief, the entire episode is conversation and memories of a deceased character.
  • Played straight in Berserk after Guts awakens four days after the Eclipse and has a huge Freak Out after fully realizing what had occurred.
  • Code Geass: The entire colour palette is overlaid with grey after Shirley meets Lelouch having missed her date with him because she had to identify her father's body. Whose death Lelouch was responsible for. And things just get worse from there.
  • Vol 2 of Girl Friends ends with Mari walking out of Akko's house and into the rain after she finally reveals to her best friend that she was in love with her and gives her a Forced Kiss on the lips, causing them to be estranged from each other for several days. The rain seems to continue until the two of them meet again and try to reconcile their friendship once more.
  • In Marginal Prince, Joshua sings four times in the course of the series. Twice the songs are about his feelings and despair and of course it rains in torrents during these montages.
  • It's raining in the Tokyo of You're Under Arrest! when Ken Nakajima becomes the victim of the "rogue officers" that cause accidents deliberately, and breaks his leg. He's seen laying down on the rain-wet pavement and grabbing his injured leg, much to the horror of his friends.
  • It also rains during several early episodes of Oniisama e..., while are also those were Nanako is most bullied and harassed due to being accepted into the the Sorority. Also, it's under a heavy and cold rain that Rei waits for five hours for Fukiko, not knowing that it's one of Fukiko's cruel mind-games. It causes her to fall extremely sick.
  • Megumi Hayashibara's Ranma Onehalf Image Song "November Rain" is about Ranma having a fight with Akane and then having to go back home alone under the rain.
  • In chapter 352 of Mahou Sensei Negima!, Asuna is wandering around Mahora in 2135, looking for anything that she can recognize from her time. When she comes across Eva's now ruined cottage, the weather goes from nice to downpour in two panels, with Asuna's head bowed.
  • In the Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind OVA, it beings to rain when Ryu barely controls his Super-Powered Evil Side known as "Evil Ryu" thanks to Sakura's Cool Down Hug, and falls into an Heroic BSOD.
  • In Sakamichi No Apollon when Kaoru finds out his father has only come to gather his stuff and won't have time for a proper visit. Kaoru thinks about the things he wants talk to his father about but won't get the time to, like him making new friends and wanting to know more about his Missing Mom.
  • Bleach:
    • Kubo generally uses rain to show when a character or group of characters (sometimes even all of Soul Society) have fallen into despair. The overriding symbolism of this belongs to Ichigo, where even his Empathic Weapon hates the rain because of the despair it represents inside Ichigo's soul. The origin of Ichigo's inner hollow lies with the proto-Arrancar White who only ever appeared when it rained and who merged with Ichigo's shinigami powers when passed down to him after hollowfying his Quincy mother. The reason why rain in Ichigo's inner world symbolises despair is because the inner hollow (as his real shinigami power) feeds on it to eliminate the source of that despair.
    • Second only to Ichigo, is Ryuuken. Flashbacks reveal a teenage Ryuuken was under enormous pressure to save the Quincy future. When Aizen's Hollowfication experiments bring Isshin and Masaki together, Ryuuken's life is destroyed in the process. As Masaki's designated future husband, Ryuuken's responsible for Masaki's wellbeing, but allows her to break the rules to save Isshin's life, leading to her Hollowfication. Forced to give her to the Shinigami to save her, his ability to protect the Quincy future in ruins, Ryuuken tries to walk away from the Quincies forever, stopped only by his future wife Kanae, whose fate it is to die with Masaki six years before the main storyline. Ryuuken's been living in the rain ever since.
  • Used in the America's Cleaning of the Storage episode of Axis Powers Hetalia during the flashback to the war.
  • This is used in a scene in the Kotoura-san anime's Downer Beginning, which is already Deliberately Monochrome. At the said scene, Haruka got past her Despair Event Horizon for a second time, which made her to believe cynically that her telepathy dooms every living thing she cares about.
  • In Manga/Saki, in a preview sequence at the end of the first season, this is present in a scene that seems to imply that a rift will eventually form between Saki and Nodoka; their backs are to each other, and one of the gifts they got for each other has been dropped in a puddle.
  • Happens in Uraboku when Shuusei goes missing. Hotsuma, who treasures him above all else, doesn't handle this very well and falls to his knees, in the rain, calling for him.
  • In one of the Dragon Ball Z movies, it was raining heavily when Future Trunks turned super saiyan for the fist time after finding the dead body of his Big Brother Mentor.
  • Used during two particularly tragic events in Tokyo Ghoul. It is raining when Mrs. Fueguchi takes her daughter out, but is played as a happy moment right up until the Investigators corner them. The skies quickly darken, with the bright colors muted as she makes a Heroic Sacrifice to give Hinami time to escape. The trope returns in full force in the final arc of the original series, raining heavily throughout the CCG raid of Anteiku, which concludes on a particularly bleak note.
  • The seventh episode of THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls has dark, constant rain for most of the episode. Appropriately, it's one where most of the characters are feeling down.

    Comic Books 
  • Justified in The Sandman where the Dreaming reflects Dream's emotions. After Thessaly dumps him we see him simply standing and moping in continuous rain. Mervyn complains about this causing people to have dreams of existential angst and everyone in the Dreaming to get wet, while Lucien remarks that after Nada, the entire Dreaming was razed and stayed a wasteland for hundreds of years. In an interesting twist, the landscape does not change after he is forced to kill Orpheus although he is obviously upset and grieving.

    Fairy Tales 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Blade Runner. Only at the end is there clear skies, and even then, it's still drizzling.
  • The City with No Name in Se7en "enjoys" constant rain. Word of God says it's an exaggeration of this trope.
  • While this is also a fact of life for The Other Rainforest, The Goonies notably has this early on when Mr. Perkins arrives with paperwork regarding the imminent demolition of the kids' neighborhood.
  • So many John Cusack movies. So many.
  • A frequent motif of Akira Kurosawa. When his protagonists are at their lowest point, you can be sure rain will follow. Totally reversed in Ikiru ;the protagonist is so happy to have achieved his final goal that not even heavy rain nor snow can stop him from rejoicing in a swing.
  • Parodied in Hot Shots! Part Deux with the flashback to when Ramata leaves Topper. She sends him a card to break up with him. When it sinks in, it starts to rain but entirely localised to where Topper is standing.
  • In The King's Speech, after an argument, Lionel tried to see Albert to apologize. At the time, Albert's brother was planning to abdicate his sovereignty to Albert, so he was told that the Duke was "too busy" and shown to the door, where it was pouring rain outside.
  • Used literally in Men In Black 2, as the Light of Zartha leaves Earth.
  • It was either parodied or used very cheesily in Alpha and Omega. When it looks like Kate has been trampled to death by caribou, everyone is very sad and the sky turns gray and there's thunder, then Kate wakes up, and instantly the sky turns blue again without a cloud in the sky.
  • In a sad scene from the film Ernest Goes to Camp, Ernest lampshades the appearance of a rainstorm with a song called "Gee I'm Glad It's Raining".
  • In Crazy Stupid Love, this happens when Cal's attempt to reconcile with his estranged wife falls to pieces. He even lampshaded it by saying that it is such a cliche.
  • In The Hustler, Eddie Felson takes Sarah out to dinner, then tells her that he will be leaving town for a little while. Fearing that he's dumping her, Sarah bolts out of the restaurant and runs straight into a downpour.
  • It's a perfectly nice day when Michel arrives at the Empire State Building in Love Affair to meet his lover Terry after six months apart. But she gets hit by a car in front of the building and misses their rendezvous. When he finally has to leave at closing time after having waited for hours, rain is pouring in New York.
  • Film:Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest opens with rain falling on the abandoned paraphernalia of Will and Elizabeth's wedding as Cutler Beckett's men show up to arrest them both. And it's grey and drizzling in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides when Barbossa reaches Whitecap Bay. His landing party surveys the carnage wrought upon the mermaids, and the Providence is taken down by the surviving mermaids.

  • In C. S. Lewis's The Great Divorce, Hell has this. All the time. And the houses don't keep it out.
  • This shows up in Tempest: A Novel, when Jackson gets stuck in the past, it starts to rain. Justified in that time travel apparently causes rainy weather.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Killing is a show based on this trope. Every scene so far in the series has either been overcast, raining, or night. Granted, its set in Washington, but still...
  • Sherlock:
    • The titular character jumps from the roof of St. Bart's hospital, apparently committing suicide, and as his best friend John tries to get to him the sky goes from partly cloudy to dark and rainy in a matter of minutes.
    • From the same episode: as John is describing the event to his therapist, and later when he's sitting alone in 221B, probably soon after the funeral, it's again raining heavily.
  • Friends:
    • After Ross and Rachel break up in "TOW the List".
    • Lampooned in "TOW Eddie Moves In" with Chandler and Joey.
  • Happens in the first season finale of How I Met Your Mother when Lily calls-off her engagement to Marshall to follow her dreams. They eventually got better in the following season.
    • This instance was played with a bit in that it started out being a Happy Rain; Ted had spent the whole episode wanting it to rain so Robin wouldn't go on a corporate camping trip with a coworker who wanted to hook up with her. The rain was therefore seen as a good thing, complete with Ted and Robin finally getting together in the Romantic Rain, until Ted goes home the next morning and suddenly comes across the despondent Marshall.
  • Doctor Who: The final scene of "Journey's End".
    • And, in "Blink", "It's the same rain" during the heartbreaking conversation in the hospital between Sally Sparrow and Billy Shipton, who she last saw as a young man but was caught by the Angels and is now dying of old age. The rain stops and the music swells as she determines to puzzle out the mystery of the DV Ds.
  • Zoey 101: The episode "Chase's Grandma" has Chase sitting out in the rain when he learns that his grandmother had died.

  • This is a common trope in country music to show that the singer is depressed or there is turmoil:
    • David Nail's "Let it Rain" involves the singer cheating on his wife and being thrown out into the rain (apparently inspired by the last scene of the movie "The Last Kiss").
    • Gary Allan's "Songs About Rain" is told from the point of view of an ex-boyfriend on his love's wedding day to someone else—and as he's driving around being depressed, all the radio will play are "songs about rain."
    • The Eli Young Band's "When it Rains", about a bad break-up.
    • Garth Brooks' "The Thunder Rolls", about a wife discovering her husband's affair (or, according to the video, Domestic Abuse)
    • Blackhawk's "I Can Sure Smell the Rain", about an impending break-up.
    • Steve Holy's "Come on Rain", in which a distraught boyfriend begs the rain to delay flights at the airport so he can stop his girlfriend from leaving.
    • SHE Daisy's "I Wish I Were the Rain"
    • Jason Michael Carroll's "Let it Rain"
    • Reba McEntire's "Rain Fallin'"
    • Rascal Flatts' "What Hurts the Most"; the singer mentions that the rain on the roof "don't bother me" but it fits with the mood of the song.
  • Carole King's song "Crying in the Rain" (also covered by Aha) is about a person who's still not over a bad break-up and hopes it'll rain soon so they can cry underneath it and not let others know about their heartbreak.
    • Also "Standing In The Rain," about waiting outside in the cold rain for a date who doesn't show up.
  • Certainly at least invoked by "Cold Kentucky Rain".
  • "Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell" by ZZ Top knowingly uses the country metaphor, being from Texas, although it's a blues song. However, it doubles in that the desert is cold after rain falls, what with all the wet sand and all.
  • Albert Hammond's "It Never Rains (In Southern California) ... it pours.
  • Michael Jackson's "Stranger in Moscow" about loneliness and sadness has the opening line "I was wandering in the rain", the music video features Jackson in the pouring rain.
  • New Radicals "I Don't Wanna Die Anymore" features "A life of rain" and "It's gonna rain" The song is about depression after the failure of a relationship. It is not completely evident if the 'two months of fun, two years of pain' in the song refers to a two month relationship breaking up and two years of depression, or about a relationship that was fun for two months and abusive for two years, though the former is far more likely. The narrator wants the girl back because otherwise he's going to kill himself.
  • "Blue Heart Of Texas" by David Francey. He's feeling low about a failed relationship and the "pouring down rain" is not helping his mood.
  • YAPOOS's "Daitenshi no Youni"
    "The rain started to fall, it was so cold
    Tears hitting and running down the windshield"

    Role-Playing Games 

    Tabletop RPGs 
  • The art for the country of Eisen in 7th Sea player's handbook has this. Justified, because Eisen is based on post-Thirty Years' War Germany, which was a grim and depressing place.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Urban Fantasy web series Broken Saints uses this in Chapter 14, Act 2, as one of our heroes, Kamimura, walks alone through a very depressing and disturbing section of downtown Coast City—reflecting his own display of sorrow at what he sees around him.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In Winx Club S4 episode 24 it starts raining after The Wizards of the Black Circle escape after having used the gift of life on a dead flower, taking away the Winx's only chance to save Nabu who had sacrificed himself to save the Earth fairies.
  • In an episode of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers it rains as Gadget sadly wanders through alleys and stares at her reflection in the puddles, after "quitting" the Rescue Rangers.
  • In Xmen Evolution's episode 25, "Mindbender", Jean Grey is mind raped in her sleep by Mesmero right before he kidnaps and brainwashes her. Said Mind Rape sequence starts with her dreaming that she's trapped in a Circus of Fear and under the rain.
  • In the Teacher's Pet movie, the rain starts to kick in a few scenes after Leonard kicks Human!Scott out, when both know that they'll never see each other again. The rain stops once (Towards the end of a musical number, no less) they decide in a Distant Duet that no matter what the circumstances, they need to be together again.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has this in several episodes, including "Magical Mystery Cure" when Twilight laments the switching of her friend's cutie marks, "Rarity Takes Manehattan" when Rarity thinks her friends have abandoned her, and "Testing, Testing, 1-2-3" when Rainbow despairs of passing the Wonderbolts history test.

Alternative Title(s):

Grey Rain Of Depression