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The Night That Never Ends
Sure, it's romantic now... but how about for 50 years?

We need its light
We need its heat
We need its energy
Without the sun, without a doubt
There'd be no you and me
Louis Singer and Hy Zarret (but more famously covered by They Might Be Giants), "Why Does the Sun Shine"

The big brother of Total Eclipse of the Plot, who crashes on the couch for a "few" days.

This trope usually involves a Big Bad's attempt to bring about either an eternal or extremely long night, for whatever reason. He could be trying to put out the sun,note  block it, or just find a metaphorical light switch. This is often the goal of a vampire, for obvious reasons. The only requirement is that the darkness is supposed to last a ridiculous length of time, ranging from a hundred years to an eternity. It rarely does, though, thanks to those pesky heroes, who somehow manage to get past all of the looting, panic, and mooks to Cue the Sun.

In Real Life, the amount of sunlight reaching the surface of the Earth can be dimmed to a surprising degree by dust thrown up by major volcanic eruptions (volcanic winter), the asteroid strike at the end of the Cretaceous Period credited with killing off the dinosaurs (impact winter), and, in theory, the fallout of a nuclear war (nuclear winter).

Often the setting for a literal Darkest Hour, and can result in widespread Darkness Equals Death. Don't be surprised if a Dark World happens to have a bad case of this.

Compare The Stars Are Going Out, Total Eclipse of the Plot, Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death, Spring Is Late, Endless Winter.

Contrast Cue the Sun, Endless Daytime.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Darkstalkers OVA has Demitri inflicting this upon the Earth, driving humanity to desperation — and setting up Light Is Not Good symbolism when Big Bad Pyron drives the night away with his presence. Incidentally, if the sky's perpetually covered with clouds, how can Jon Tailban turn into a wolfman if there's no moon?
  • Hades in Saint Seiya wants to bring the Greatest Eclipse which would darken the earth forever.
  • In Digimon Adventure 02, MaloMyotismon tries to drown both the Digital World and Earth in darkness, even saying "You foolish DigiDestined, watch closely now! Your world is being consumed by eternal night!"

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering
    • The dual plane of Lorwyn/Shadowmoor switches between the two settings every few decades. Lorwyn never gets darker than dusk, while Shadowmoor never quite sees dawn. It's also very unpleasant, since most of the creatures that were nice in Lorwyn are monstrous in Shadowmoor.
    • The plane of Diraden (inspired in part by Shadowmoor) in The Purifying Fire was put under a curse of eternal night by the evil vampire Prince Velrav.

    Comic Books 
  • This is the whole premise of DC's Final Night crossover event, when the Earth's superheroes are completely and totally unable to keep the Sun from being eaten, even with help from the villains. Only the Heroic Sacrifice of Hal Jordan saves the day.
  • Justice Society of America
    • Obsidian attempts to spread darkness over the entire world in one arc.
    • He does it again with the help of Mordru and Eclipso in the "Princes of Darkness" arc... and succeeds.
  • In Blackest Night, a famous Green Lantern story by Alan Moore features a planet where this is, in fact the natural state of affairs orbiting a star that somehow produces heat but not light.
  • After the Crime Syndicate defeated the Justice League and assembled every supervillain they could enlist in Forever Evil, Ultraman pushes the moon out of position to block the sun, casting the Earth into perpetual eclipse so it won't interfere with his powers (being the reverse-Superman, sunlight weakens him and kryptonite empowers him).

    Fan Works 
  • Antipodes features both this and Endless Daytime, with the sun and moon freezing in place.
  • Nights Favored Child, a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic, shows what would have happened if Nightmare Moon had succeeded in defeating Celestia. Notably, the story manages to avert the Word of God about this trope's consequences (see Western Animation below), as Nightmare Moon created a second moon to take the sun's place during the former daylight hours, one that magically generates enough light and warmth to keep the world from freezing without disrupting the night.
  • Sailor Moon fanfic Thy Kingdom Come has an alternate universe villain Calcite. In the vanilla setting, Calcite and his friends and family are genetically predisposed towards good in a species of demons. But in the universe, he goes above and beyond to capture the dark goddess Metallica within himself to attain god-like powers. He is much more Dangerously Genre Savvy than other series villains and quickly dispatches the Sailor Senshi before launching an invasion of Earth from the Dark Kingdom. Actually, "invasion" is a bit of a misnomer. He make a grand announcement to all the world leaders, they defiantly vow to resist him to the last breath, and then he sets a magic dome of darkness over every landmass on the planet. Within a matter of months, there are massive ecological disruptions as plants cannot grow, animals can't eat plants that aren't there, and so forth. Calcite then imports nocturnal-growing plants from the Dark Kingdom and feeds them to the nations that surrender. Dark Kingdom flora and fauna quickly adapt and thrive and fill in the missing ecological niches. Too keep the planet from total extinction, the sun still shines on the oceans after about a hundred miles away from land to promote plankton growth and so on. After he is defeated and the sun is restored, there is another wave of extinctions as the Dark Kingdom-based life dies off, along with another big percentage of humanity who have adapted to it to survive.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Matrix, this is done by the humans to stop the machines, since the machines are solar powered and it was assumed they'd run out of power if denied the sun. Instead, they won the war anyway then turned the humans into a new power source.
  • The Strangers from Dark City die when exposed to sunlight, so they keep the title city in a constant state of night.
  • The Day the Earth Froze (based on The Kalevala, seen on MST3K) has the witch Louhi cause this by stealing the Sun, resulting in a neverending winter night.
  • Subverted in 30 Days of Night, in that the vampires don't cause the absence of sun, they take advantage of the fact that it's naturally absent.
  • In the movie Legend, the Big Bad Lord of Darkness is attempting to bring this trope about by killing the world's unicorns (the source of the world's light.)
  • In A Knight's Tale, Will flirts with Jocelyn along these lines, saying if he could ask God for one thing, it would be to stop the moon, so the night would last longer and he could spend more time with her.
  • The majority of John Carpenter's The Thing takes place at night. The exact timeline isn't entirely clear but most fans approximate the film to be set roughly over the course of a week. This is actually a justified example, since the story takes place in at the beginning of winter in Antarctica.

    Gamebooks 
  • In the backstory of the Lone Wolf series, Agarash the Damned's reign of terror was called the "Age of Eternal Night". In the series proper, Agarash's lieutenant Deathlord Ixiataaga used his powers to maintain a permanent cloud cover over the city of Xaagon which prevented any sunlight from reaching it.

    Literature 
  • Heir to the Shadows sees Jaenelle create an illusion of this in order to force the government to let her stay with her guardian.
  • In Simon R. Green's Blue Moon Rising, the title evil moon also brings with it a side order of eternal night.
    • The Nightside, setting for another Green series, hasn't seen a sunrise since prehistory. Unlike most examples of this trope, the unending night hasn't done it any harm; in fact, the usual Night-That-Never-Ends plot is inverted when one novel's Big Bad plots to call the Sun back to the sky, which would bring disaster.
  • The ultimate goal of the vampire bats in Sunwing is to free their god from imprisonment and bring about eternal night.
  • The Night Land: Millions of years in the future, the sun has burned out and all of the other stars in the universe are dead as well. The last few million humans still alive stay warm by means of the the "Earth Current", or geothermal heat.
  • Garth Nix's The Seventh Tower series: unusually, done by the good guys in backstory to wipe out a race of evil shadows; without light, there are no shadows. The villains want to restore the sun, and the heroes have to stop them.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Have Space Suit Will Travel, the intergalactic security council decides to punish a race by sending the race's planet to a separate universe... without their sun. Earth avoids this fate only by the hero's Patrick Stewart Speech and actions.
  • In The Courtship of Princess Leia, an ex-Imperial warlord punishes a rebellious planet by employing an "Orbital Nightcloak", a system of satellites that not only keeps all sunlight from reaching the surface, but also blocks all signals they send to other planets asking for help. He's a jerk like that.
  • Middle-earth stories:
    • Sauron does a minor version of this in The Lord of the Rings, to depress his human enemies' morale, and because a lot of his armies consist of creatures such as orcs and trolls which can't go out in daylight or are seriously impaired by it. He uses toxic fumes from his volcanoes to just blot out the sky for days at a time.
    • Morgoth does this three times in The Silmarillion:
      • The first time he knocks down the Two Lamps originally set to illuminate Middle-earth with Endless Daytime, which alters the ''geography''. The Ainur are the only sapients existing then (This was before the Awakenings of Elves and Men), and they end up moving to the continent Aman. On Middle-earth, life only survives because the Ainu Yavanna puts some of it into hibernation until the much later creation of the Sun. note 
      • Later, after the Awakening of the Elves, Morgoth and Ungoliant destroy the Two Trees which the Ainur had created to light Aman, and spread clouds of "Unlight" which hide even the stars. The effects probably wouldn't have been quite so bad if Morgorth hadn't previously sowed dissent among the High Elves, and/or hadn't stolen the Silmarils, the only things that could have resuscitated the Trees. During the period of darkness following that, we have, in short order: the rebellion of the Noldor, Elves slaughtering each other in the first Kinslaying, the declaration of the Doom of the Noldor, Elves betraying each other left and right, and the deaths of countless more of them crossing the Grinding Ice (after which the Moon and Sun rise for the first time).
      • Morgoth responded to the creation of the Moon and Sun by covering his Hell-fortress in volcanic clouds of toxic fumes, and then started spreading the fumes southward to blot out the sunlight over Hithlum and Beleriand.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, a character tells about the Long Night back in the Age of Heroes, which lasted a generation when The Others almost overran all of Westeros. And now, they're rising again...
  • An old folk story, adapted as The Moon in Swampland by M.P. Robertson, reverses the trope to have the Moon vanish, but with a similar effect. The Moon visits a swamp out of curiosity about the world below, where she's quickly captured, chained up and thrown into a sealed well by the bogies. Once her light's gone, they completely rule the night; every sunset ushers in hours of horror for the miserable humans, until a hero returns the world to normal by finding and freeing her.
  • Let's not forget the classic: Darkness by Lord Byron. Long story short, society collapses as all people panic and unsuccessfully try to save themselves. Biblical imagery is repeatedly introduced, but any related tropes are deconstructed, and the overall tone is one of cynicism.
  • A Russian children poem "Stolen Sun" by Korney Chukovsky narrates about how the crocodile consumed Sun and how the bear gave him a proper pummeling and forced to release the star back into the sky. No, it doesn't make sense in context either, but it does takes on the motives of Slavic myths about a dragon stealing the Sun and imprisoning it for thirty three years, cuing global night and cold.
  • Robin Jarvis' The Deptford Mice: Jupiter intends to put out the sun and cause eternal winter.
  • In Fritz Leiber's story "A Pail Of Air", Earth has frozen over after being pulled out of its orbit and cast into deep space.
  • In The Sword of Shannara the Warlock Lord turns the Northland into this.
  • Nightfall depicts a world with several suns, where normal night never falls and people are completely unaccustomed to darkness. Which is why, when every two thousand years total solar eclipse occurs, the ensuing darkness drives everybody insane and makes them burn down their cities in a desperate craving for light. How long the eclipse actually lasts is unknown, but apparently everybody decides, that The Night That Never Ends has fallen.
  • The Adversary Cycle ends with the threat of this trope, as every day the sun inexplicably rises later and sets earlier than the last.
  • In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel Goth Opera, vampires use a 'time freeze' to bring this about so they can go about their plan to vampirise humanity without having to worry about getting caught in the sunlight.
  • It's always three in the morning in the Nightside.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has the planet Ryloth, home of the Twi'leks. It's tidally locked, causing this on one side (known as the Nightlands) and Endless Daytime on the other (known as the Bright Lands), with a thin habitable area along the terminator line. The natives live underground in both the twilight region and the Nightlands, but their underground warrens have exits into all three zones (though the exits into the Nightlands and the Bright Lands are normally only used by those who've been sentenced to death in one of the two extremes).
  • In A Deepness in the Sky, the planet central to the plot, Arachna, orbits a star that spends about thirty years around sol brightness and two hundred as a brown dwarf. The planet therefore has a few decades of normal day-night cycles and a couple centuries of endless night. Arachna's native inhabitants have adapted to hibernate during the dark periods and recolonize when the star relights.
  • The Stories Of Nypre series features the Night Land, a place of eternal night. People who enter it tend to get mind controlled by the Big Bad. Oh, and it's expanding.
  • In The Strain, by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, the goal of the Master is to do this (or, at least, something very much like it) via nuclear winter. He succeeds.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Angel, The Beast blocked out the sun over Los Angeles, giving vampires and other demons a chance to come out and play without worrying about their curfew. After a few days or weeks of this, L.A. begins to look distinctly After the Endish. If not for Angelus, the block would have spread all over the world.
  • In Tin Man the Wicked Witch planned on locking the suns behind the moon during a solar eclipse.
  • Doctor Who has used this trope a couple of times:
    • The Doctor, Martha, and Jack travel to the end of the universe in "Utopia". All the stars have burned out by then.
    • The night caused by the Daleks' theft of Earth in "The Stolen Earth". The theme is even called "The Dark And Endless Dalek Night". Everyone not freezing is explained as the Daleks using an "atmospheric shell".
  • Every planetary surface visited in the original Battlestar Galactica was cloaked in night for at least the first 14 episodes.
  • Twilight Zone
    • TOS episode "I Am the Night — Color Me Black" has darkness eveloping regions of the world where hatred reigns.
    • The Twilight Zone Twist to "The Midnight Sun" was that the young woman who'd dreamed of a broiling Endless Daytime woke up into a freezing world headed for The Night That Never Ends.
  • Played with in the Sanctuary episode "Carentan", where a localised time bubble causes time to pass at an accelerated rate for the inhabitants of a french town. Because of this, six years pass for every day outside of the bubble and the nights last for over 3 years. Due to the lack of sunlight during this period, the temperature drops to near-freezing and one of the inhabitants explains that many people do not survive.
  • One episode of Star Trek: Enterprise took place on a rogue planet (see Real Life below). Unlike many examples, it was actually a fairly nice place, with a thriving ecosystem sustained by a very active geology. The hunters that they met on the planet mentioned that there were higher primates, implying the planet might eventually produce a civilization.

    Music 
  • Jonathan Coulton's "Always The Moon".
    Remember when there was a you and me?
    When there was such a thing as gravity?
    And the tides came in and the tides went out again
    But the water got too high
    And the sun began to die
    And I tried to make you stay
    But the world pulled you away
    And now there are darker longer colder nights
    And the sun has gone for good and so here we are
  • The Kovenant's (formerly Covenant) debut album In Times Before the Light had this as a recurring theme in many of its songs, with lyrics referring to the "forevernight". They're from Norway, which might explain a few things.
  • The Cat Empire has a song titled "The Night That Never Ends".
    As long as I am living
    I never forget
    That the sun is never rising
    And it never set.
  • Opeth's song, Blackwater Park, features the closing line of both the song, and of the album: "The sun sets forever over Blackwater Park."

    Myths & Religion 

    Puppet Shows 
  • Dinosaurs ended with Earl accidentally starting the ice age that will kill the dinosaurs by blanketing the Earth in a cloud cover.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Vampire: The Masquerade
    • The "Crucible of God" Gehenna scenario features the Antediluvian/ancestor of the Clan Lasombra blanketing the Earth in darkness for three weeks while it consumes its childer/descendants. No explanation is given as to how or why the darkness abates.
    • During The Week of Nightmares, Kuei-Jin elders created a supernatural storm to shield them from the sun to battle Ravana, the Antediluvian ancestor of the Clan Ravnos — who was practically a vampire-god at this point. Then the Technocracy bombed them all, killing everyone who joined the battle; werewolves, Kuei-Jin and their own Agents. After storm dissipated, they scorched Ravana with orbital mirrors, a spirit nuke and then some more end-world scenario weapons. The battle damaged the reality so much that it started the events that nearly ended the world. Perhaps letting the night from never ending was the better idea in the long run?
    • This is also one of the long-term goals of Clan Giovanni - tear down the Shroud that separates the world of the dead from the world of the living, thus creating an endless twilight kingdom where flesh and ephemera are one.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • One of the several planar gateways accessible in the 1st Edition AD&D module Queen of the Demonweb Pits leads to a world without a sun, where undead abound and vegetation must be sustained by magic.
  • One artifact and a trio of adventures feature mind flayers trying to put out the sun. (In the second edition, mind flayers had great darkvision, could only see in darkvision, and regular light rendered them nearly blind.) A third edition book mentions that illithids hate and fear sunlight, and some of the more... unstable elder brains are deliberately working on plans to knock out the sun.
    • While the Hollow World of Mystara usually experiences Endless Daytime, the disruptions brought on by the Wrath of the Immortals causes the planetary interior's central sun to go dark for a week. Most inhabitants thought that the world was coming to an end.
  • This is the sign for the Elder Evil (from the book of the same name) Father Llymic, who becomes slowed (and eventually frozen over) when the sun is shining. In the final battle with the monster, the sun has completely gone out, allowing him to burst free of his icy prison and try to wreak havoc over the entire world.

    Video Games 
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Ganondorf casts a curse onto the Great Sea that prevents dawn from ever coming. Fortunately, this does Link more good than bad, as it ensures that Link will always get Nayru's Pearl first due to the pirates taking time off at Windfall Island until morning. This same curse is also used in a more-localized fashion in the Forsaken Fortress, Ganondorf's base of operations. When Ganondorf abandons the joint to go after Zelda, however, the curse is lifted there, as well.
  • Imperishable Night sees the fugitive Lunarians in Gensokyo using powerful magic to seal the land from their home world, with a false moon placed in the artifical sky created as part of the spell. This causes lots of problems for humans and youkai alike, which in turn requires the heroines to help solve the problem.
    • Subverted big time; The Night That Never Ends is caused by your heroines to buy time. The false moon only appears at night, and if you fail to reach the source of the problem and fix it before the supposed time for dawn, the game ends. Also, Keine Kamishirasawa (who defends the humans) and either one of Reimu Hakurei (who enforces law) or Marisa Kirisame (who is pissed off with your unnatural magic) will fight you to stop your heroines' madman scheme. Let's You and Him Fight, definitely. Supplemental material even indicates that most people in the land were completely unaware of the true threat and just assume the heroines actually solved the problem of the unending night.
    • In fact, during the True Final Battle, once you defeat Kaguya, she uses her power over "eternity" to tear apart your spell causing the imperishable night. Every time you die to a section of her final spell card, the time advances 30 minutes. If it reaches 5:00 during that time, the sun rises and the game ends. That doesn't cause a bad end, but losing all your lives during her stage will speed time all the way to 5:00 in one go and triggers the bad end, presumably due to her power. Cue the Sun is subverted big-time here.
    • Let's not forget the original Windows Touhou game, Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, where Big Bad Remilia Scarlet's scheme was to block out the sun with a thick red mist, just so she could go outside whenever she wanted (she's a vampire).
  • In Ouendan 2, the sun is growing cold and it's up to the Ouendan team and the entire population of the earth to cheer up a Combined Energy Attack big enough to restart it.
  • Subverted in Ambridge Mansion. The titular haunted mansion is located inside of its own world in which there is nothing at all outside of the house, only infinite blackness. There is no day or night, but the constant blackness makes it appear to be this trope.
  • In Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Time and Darkness, the Bad Future was stuck in an eternal night because time had stopped.
  • This has already happened in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin: the meteorite impact kicked up a ton of dust which blotted out the sun.
  • Master of Magic has a spell that does this. Yes, you can cast it. It's not as dramatic as it sounds though...
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy III, Xande sinks most of the world into perpetual darkness and suspended animation because he does not wish to die after being blessed with mortality.
    • In Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, the second half of the game gives the world a red-and-black sky and the "night" music becomes permanent while on foot thanks to the time-breaking flood of darkness you unleashed from Rolan's soul.
  • Partly used in Ōkami during the 'Day of Darkness', when the monsters get stronger. Amaterasu being the sun, may also have something to do with it.
  • In Quest for Glory IV, the vampire Big Bads want to release Avoozl the Dark One in order to permanently cloak the world in the eponymous Shadows of Darkness.
  • The Crows in Billy Hatcher and The Giant Egg have already succeeded in bringing eternal night to Morning Land. Billy's job is to bring the day back.
  • A neverending winter night is the setting of Arx Fatalis. Luckily, sun was slowly dimming for five years, giving the population enough time to move underground. In the end, it's revealed that sun is obscured by a giant space dust cloud and is barely visible even out of the atmosphere.
  • In Ninety-Nine Nights, the King of Ninety-Nine Nights is so named because during his last reign he caused darkness to fall for ninety-nine straight days.
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night. It's right there in the title.
  • In Dark Souls, the First Flame that originally brought forth life is slowly dying, and sunlight is dying with it. There are already regions of the world that are covered in permanent darkness such as Anor Londo, which only looks sunlit thanks to an illusion. While the ostensible goal of the Chosen Undead is to rekindle the First Flame, the Primordial Serpent Darkstalker Kaathe claims that The Night That Never Ends won't necessarily be a bad thing for everyone in the long run.
  • The Dawnguard DLC for Skyrim has a Vampire Lord seeking to blot out the sun through the use an Elder Scroll. You eventually gain the tools to do this yourself, and learn it isn't quite as permanent as advertised, though easy enough to repeat on a daily basis.
  • Happens ever year in City of Heroes, during the annual "Halloween Event", in which for two weeks in late October and early November the game's normal day/night cycle is replaced by endless nighttime.
  • The StarCraft world Shakuras was shrouded in perpetual twilight for a considerable length of time. There were no plants, but plenty of fossils. The world lightened up after a significant plot event, but the Expanded Universe novels tell us the world is still fairly dark.
  • The Puff Puff Machine in Paper Mario 64 produces clouds that blot out the sun over Flower Fields, causing the area to experience The Overcast That Never Ends.
  • In Tales of Xillia, Fenmont is a localized and benign version of the trope. The city is situated within a spirit clime that creates an unending night. This is apparently just normal for the city.
  • The Tokyo Xtreme Racer series features a non-villainous example of this due to the attempt to integrate the system's clock into the game. There is an In-Universe Game Clock that matches up to the system clock, and is used for certain events, such as Wanderer opponents that only appear at certain times. However, the game is always set at night to reflect the nature of street racing as a nighttime activity; even if there's broad daylight outside your room and your system clock is set correctly, you will never see a single second of daylight in-game.

    Web Comics 
  • Aurora Danse Macabre is set in The Night That Never Ends.
  • In Two Moons, the sun hasn't risen in 500 years, and life sucks. Humanity is kept alive, at least in one little city, entirely through genetically engineered food grown in unregulated for-profit labs. Much later the sun does rise, and it apparently won't set for another 500 years, which will probably make life suck almost as much. The cause is never explained, but the planet's orbit and rotation have likely been whacked by asteroids.
  • MYth: A Promise is set in an endless night because Cronus kidnapped Eos to avoid Helios of rising the sun to keep the eternal darkness that he controlled. To avoid it, Selene is being in the sky for who knows how much time. Luckily Eos was rescued and the sun cue before she got exhausted.

    Web Original 
  • The dark future in Spes Phthisica: "a carmine ember that could once have been a sun burns coldly in the sky, giving scarcely any light or warmth."
  • Terramirum starts with the sun imploding and the moon getting blown away, and works from there.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: The Trope Namer.
    • Causing neverending night was the plan of Tirac in the very first My Little Pony animated adaption, a television special from 1984. Said bad guy, a demonic-looking centaur, quotes the trope name word for word.
    • This is also the plot of the villain in the pilot episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (a clear shout out to the 1984 special).
    Nightmare Moon: Remember this day, little ponies, for it was your last. From this moment forth, THE NIGHT. WILL LAST. FOREVER!
  • The Powerpuff Girls, "Boogie Frights": the Boogie Man blocks the sun with a giant mirror ball so that monsters can stay outside forever.
  • The Simpsons two-part season cliffhanger Who Shot Mr Burns? had Mr Burns funding the construction of a sun-blocking device in order to force increased energy consumption by the town... just one of the many reasons people had to shoot him.
  • Happens in Rock-A-Doodle... sort of?
    • Not exactly night, but the sun does go into hiding, and the weather is perpetually gray, rainy and miserable, resulting in dangerous flooding and other nastiness.
  • Thanks to TMNT: Fast Forward Big Bad Sh'Okanabo and his progeny's weaksauce aversion to Earth's sun, part of his ultimate plan for world domination involved preventing the sun from reaching Earth via a series of satellites. It worked, too...for a few minutes.
  • Samhain attempts to bring this about (along with eternal Halloween) in an episode of The Real Ghostbusters.
  • Ben 10, Ghostfreak (to whom sunlight is fatal) tries covering the sunlit side of the earth with a shell of radioactive material in one episode, so he can rule it as his domain. (The fact that this will mutate the entire population of the Earth is an unfortunate side effect.)
  • In Yin Yang Yo, this was the goal of Carl the Evil Cockroach Wizard. As it turned out, this was also the Night Master's intentions so that he could be all powerful. Carl got upset over him copying his idea.
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, the combined power of Tarakudo's nine generals could summon enough Shadowkhan to shroud the earth in darkness. Why they didn't do this before they were trapped in masks isn't explained.

    Real Life 
  • A scientific journal detailed a Death World simulation where they took a standard climate simulation model, shut off all solar input and saw what happened. It took less than a week for the continents to reach 270 K (i.e., freeze over); the equatorial oceans lasted a few weeks longer because of their large heat capacity.
  • Places in the far north or far south such as Longyearbyen, Svalbard or Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station have a polar night that last for up to 4 months bracketed on either side by 1 month of polar twilight.
  • One of these probably occurred after the asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs. Dust thrown into the upper atmosphere partially obscured the sun for years (volcanoes can do a lesser version of this). While it wouldn't have actually been dark as night all the time, it would have been enough to kill off many plants (the things which support the entire food web) and reduce ocean temperatures (many marine organisms are very sensitive to temperature changes).
  • The Great Smoke of London in December 1952 would probably be the closest example in human history. The light-blocker was smoke from fireplaces and factories, with smog from cars and buses, which was not unusual. However, add cold weather, an anti-cyclone over London, and a lack of winds, and Londoners got a smoke denser than usual, with visibility only being a meter, and that was during the day. Out of all mechanized transport, only the London Underground operated anywhere near properly - buses had to have people in front holding torches. Concerts and movies had to be cancelled, because of the smog seeping indoors. Worse, it turned out to be a worse environmental disaster than originally thought. Estimates vary but between 4,000 to 12,000 people have died during the week of smog.
  • A planet that is tidally locked to its sun would have Endless Daytime on the side facing the sun and The Night That Never Ends on the side facing away. It used to be thought that Mercury was like this, but that turned out not to be the case.
  • In the polar regions of our moon there are a series of valleys knows as "The Vales of Eternal Night" where due to the low position of the sun in the sky and the surrounding mountains are believed not to have seen any daylight for over a billion years. They are actually seriously considered as a location for a permanent moon base since there is evidence that there maybe water ice from comets still there and the same geography that keeps them in perpetual darkness would also block radiation from solar storms. Power would be provided by putting solar panel farms on the near by "Peaks of Eternal Light"
    • Those aren't confined to the moon. The Norwegian village of Rjukan used to be entirely in darkness from September to March, until a large mirror was built on a nearby hillside.
  • Some Roman Catholics believe in a prediction of "Three Days of Darkness" in which the only light will come from blessed beeswax candles. St. Hildegarde of Bingen and Padre Pio are among many who have predicted this.
  • The three hours of darkness that The Bible attributes to the crucifixion of Christ was also recorded by pagans and referred to as "The Great Eclipse."
  • The Italian town of Viganella is situated at the bottom of a very steep Alpine valley, The mountains completely block out the sun between October and March. The residents finally got fed up in 2012 and installed a 10 metre by 10 metre mirror on top of the mountain to reflect sunlight down in to the village.
  • Rogue planets, thought to have been flung out of their solar systems by gravitational effects from passing planets or stars, drift in the emptiness between stars, with no sun to illuminate them.


Shadow of Impending DoomDarkness And Shadows TropesThe Shadow Knows
No FEMA ResponseApocalyptic IndexNuclear Nasty
Magnificent Moustaches of MexicoImageSource/PhotographyOlder than Television

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