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When It Rains, It Pours
"Summer rains—you can never-
[interrupted by rain] ...predict them."
— Double D
, just before a flash storm occurs.
When it rains in media, it often never seems to restrict itself to a light sprinkling or a drizzle. On the contrary, if it rains at all, it rains in buckets. This trope is when A Storm Is Coming
, and when it gets here, it immediately
opens up with a torrential downpour (sometimes prefaced with Dramatic Thunder
). It never starts with a light rainfall that grows into a larger storm. When it rains, it pours.
The reason for this, of course, is that heavy rain is easier to pick up on camera than the usual light sprinkling seen in nature, thus directors and producers will choose to intentionally drench their performers for dramatic effect. Most such scenes are created using a sprinkler frame suspended over the scene, operated by a worker with a hose. In such cases the wide shots tend to have weather that looks very clement; in close-up, cue the downpour, with lots of shots of the performer's soaking wet hair and clothing.
If a light rain has to be used, it's usually represented as slow moving sparse white lines.
Truth in Television
, for some regions; in the desert, if it rains at all, you had best run
for high ground, 'cause there is serious danger of flash flooding.
See also Cyber Punk With A Chance Of Rain
, Cue the Rain
and Thunder Equals Downpour
open/close all folders
- In Sin City, it generally only rains when a major plot point comes to the surface, like Marv realizing some crucial facts about Goldie and her reason for coming to him, or Dwight and the Girls of Old Town finding out that the abusive scumbag they just killed is not only a cop, but is a decorated hero.
- Watchmen: Probably because a light rain just doesn't fit the gritty, depressing feel of the story.
- In Terry Pratchett's The Last Continent, the drought breaks with a torrential downpour, causing flash floods.
- In Gift From The Princess Who Brought Sleep, when Hanne's carriage pulls away from the check station it's assaulted with a downpour so violent it sounds like hail.
- In Harry Potter, Hogwarts has a pretty solid weather pattern. The narrative will show the transition from the last days of summer to autumn with rain lashing at the high windows, flooding the greenhouses, dark purple clouds, rain so thick you can't tell red from yellow, and one person complaining that he "hasn't been properly dry since August" due to rigorous Quidditch training in the aforementioned rain. Very rarely is a light drizzle ever noted.
Live Action TV
- A 1989 The Cosby Show Thanksgiving episode used this to set up a series of gags where Cliff has to go back and forth (in said downpour) to pick up items for the holiday dinner.
- In The Pacific, the rain goes on and on as a continuous downpour, giving one main character a severe illness and prompting the Staff Sgt. to take off his clothes and shower in it while loudly reciting the Marine rules of cleanliness. It abruptly stops.
- This is Truth in Television, as many of the Pacific Islands have climates that have massive downpours. (Some islands, like Hilo of Hawaii, gets as much as 126 Inches/3200 Millimeters of rain a year.)
- Averted in NCIS. There are scenes shot of light rain in a few episodes.
Folklore and Mythology
- Just about every human civilization has a Flood myth. It appears to be universal. Then again, most human civilizations evolved on coasts (high tides, typhoons and tsunamis) or in river valleys (river floods, events in the mountains coming downstream in accordance with gravity). And human civilization only took off as the Ice Age receded (lots of glaciers melting and sea-levels rising). The idea of the rain beginning and just not stopping is best known in the West via the Noah myth in the Bible. Even that was a take on the earlier Babylonian flood-myth and may have in turn influenced Greek mythology (which has not one but two Great Floods).
- If rain in Real Life was as intense as in Peanuts comics, the world would be flooded very quickly.
- Mutts seem to have a huge amounts of rain falling from the sky.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has a lot of these—in fact, in this game and in Majora's Mask, you gain the ability to make this happen on cue.
- Ōkami—the "Downpour" brush technique, in which it always rains hard enough for someone to take a shower in the resulting deluge. Very satisfying to use on one of the game's Flat Earth Atheists, who claims she wouldn't believe even if a god could make it rain right on her...
- Pokémon: There are certain areas in the game where it always rains, and it rains like this. Aside from these areas, there is no rain in the game.
- There is even a legendary Pokemon, Kyogre, with the special ability Drizzle. It does not make a drizzle. It makes freaking floods happen. This gets kicked up another notch with Primal Kyogre's Primordial Sea ability, which causes it to rain so fiercely that Fire attacks fizzle out altogether.
- Heavy Rain: It rains basically the entire game. It even tells you how many inches fall. Like you couldn't guess from the title.
- Generally, it always rains heavily in Mega Man (Classic) games.
- Averted in the opening scenes of Shadow of the Colossus, with misty drizzle and light rain. On the other hand, it pours for the final battle, although that's more a case of Empathic Environment.
- Happens in Scratches, on the second day.
- Patapon series: when it rains against your will, it's always a thunderstorm. When you use a rain miracle, the heavy rain is still there, but without lightning. It isn't until Patapon 3 when the light rain is present and even then the light rain is more like a few big drops falling slowly.
- Left 4 Dead 2 has the aptly titled "Hard Rain" level, where the weather rapidly devolves from a light sprinkle to torrential... torrents. Justified in that it's a freakin' hurricane.
- Averted in Uru, mostly because luring clouds of fireflies out of the garden without them getting wet is part of the challenge. Hence, rain showers are brief and fairly light.
- The blue rain in Minecraft is always heavy.
- In Final Fantasy IX it's always raining heavily in and around Burmecia. Initially this seems to be for dramatic effect, but you'll find it's still raining like crazy there long after the plot has forgotten it.
- In The Floor is Jelly, the gelatinous ground even jiggles about as heavy downpour pounds onto it.
Truth In Television
- There are many places in real life where it's liable to rain like this. (Anywhere in the Southeastern U.S. for instance.) Cue Dramatic Thunder and you'd better rush to the nearest porch or building. And, if it's in the tropics, stay there overnight. On the other hand, The Pacific Northwest and Britain are known primarily as places where it rains, but it's usually just a steady drizzle. However, both have been noted to seeing several days straight of nothing but a heavy downpour.