Sunshine Noir

Sunshine Noir is a trope that combines elements of Shining City and City Noir. The setting may be a Crapsack World filled with gangsters, drug deals gone wrong, undercover police officers, criminal drifters, and violent youths. However, the setting does not necessarily look like a Crapsack World. This setting either tries to accentuate how lively it is, or is filled with beautiful sunshine and stylish chrome cars. Expect signs in the background (or the opening credits/title page of the story) to include a colorful neon font. Expect there to be a huge focus on vibrant, neon-lit nightlife in these kinds of settings. If not, expect to hear upbeat, poppy music playing in the background as undercover detectives bust a drug deal or as a young getaway driver makes his great escape. Often, in this setting, there is a juxtaposition of happy scenes set in broad daylight with events that would normally mark a Wretched Hive. However, unlike a Wretched Hive, this setting tends to be clean and polished. The setting in this peculiar type of Noir is usually a Vice City, that looks particularly fun on the surface, with charming characters, colorful and quirky fashions, but is, due to its underworld of crime, a Crapsaccharine World. May sometimes overlap with Cyberpunk City.

Compare Daylight Horror, the supernatural or Gothic Horror version.


  • Chinatown: The Trope Codifier, famous for its golden yellow cinematography. According to an interview with Roman Polanski, Robert Towne was furious when he saw the sunny colors he was using. When Towne had wrote the script, he assumed the film would have the dark red filter the Godfather had made so popular.
  • Drive. Pretty neon, chrome, sunshine, and an upbeat pop soundtrack juxtaposed with a serious crime drama? Check.
  • Hotline Miami: well, to varying degrees. It is certainly this in Biker's arc. In Jacket's arc it is definitely a Wretched Hive, although due to Sanity Slippage Jacket tends to be something of a Weirdness Magnet. The game has been stated to have been partially inspired by Drive as well.
  • Magnum, P.I., a detective show set in sunny Hawaii, featuring beaches, women in bikinis and men in flowery shirts, and including every single Noir trope you could possibly think of.
  • Miami Vice: combines this with Vice City.
  • Tropical Heat is set on the fictional island Key Mariah, which is beautiful, sunny and full of thugs.
  • The Pusher film trilogy. This kind of setting is emphasized heavily in the remake, which uses bright, colorful urban environments and an upbeat electronic soundtrack to frame a relatively grim story of seedy dealings.
  • Silk Stalkings is about sexy, noir-style crimes among the super-rich in glamorous Palm Beach, Florida. The color palette is noticeably bright.
  • Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye is an adaptation of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe story of the same name, but has many scenes drenched in the California sunlight.
  • Inherent Vice and the film adaptation are both examples of this trope, and partly a Genre Throwback to the noirs of the 1970s.