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"His golden shield was uncovered and lo! it shone like an image of the Sun, and the grass flamed into green about the white feet of his steed. For morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and darkness was removed...''

"Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
And I say
It's all right..."
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And the sun rises epically over the horizon...

Used for any number of reasons, but usually symbolizes a new beginning.

The sun is an important part of life. It gives light, which in turn allows the Earth to live. It is the center of the solar system. So, naturally, in entertainment, it becomes a useful symbol of something, usually good. For instance, in Vampire films where the tradition about the monster being destroyed by being exposed to sunlight is upheld, the heroes realize their time of greatest peril is over and now they have the advantage.

The sun can be used for all sorts of funky symbolism. A sunrise at the beginning of a journey is pretty self-explanatory. Perhaps one of the more common variations is the sun, on cue, breaking through the thick, overcast clouds, shining rays of light down onto the Earth. For heroes, this is often an encouraging sign, even something of an omen. Expect things to turn toward the hero's side quickly.

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Another fairly common use is a sunrise at the end of the story, usually symbolizing "the dawn of a new day"; everything has been put right, and the evil (darkness) that had previously hung over the land is dispelled by the protagonists' victory. Another variation is using the sunrise before the very final showdown with the Big Bad/Dragon

Alternatively, the sun disappearing on cue can have the opposite effect, as the will of heaven is suddenly snatched away. Total Eclipse of the Plot can be either hopeful or negative depending on how it factors into the heroes' struggle.

The trope name comes from a moment in the film The Truman Show, with Ed Harris' character "cueing the sun" (actually a gigantic stage light) to find the eponymous Truman, even though in-universe, it's supposed to be the middle of the night. (Notably, there is a real lighting device brand-named "The Sun" used for such effects in film and theatre. It is very large, very expensive, and has a very poor supply/demand ratio, so only the most wealthy companies actually have their own; everyone else rents.)

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See also Heaven Above, Natural Spotlight, Rays from Heaven, Riding into the Sunset (when a character is shown driving towards the sun at the end of a story), Against the Setting Sun, Watching the Sunset, First Time in the Sun, and Suicide by Sunlight. Contrast Melancholy Moon and Cue the Rain, which are inverses. Connected to Red Sky, Take Warning. Subverted with Daylight Horror.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Attack on Titan: It starts raining during Trost as Mikasa recalls her memories of her past and especially when she believes Eren is dead. When it looks like it's curtains for her, she suddenly remembers Eren's exhortation to fight and win just as the sun breaks through the clouds.
  • In Berserk the evil spirits that are drawn to Guts' brand are more prevalent and more powerful at night, and Guts has to spend the entire night fighting and warding them off. However, the spirits are vulnerable to light, so when the sun begins to rise and eliminates all other evil spirits in the vicinity, it means that Guts has successfully cheated death once again! ... only to have to repeat it the following night! Woo!
  • Inverted in Black Blood Brothers when Jiro is facing off against Cassa; it's not the sun that makes his skin burn, it's the rain.
  • In Bleach, Orihime Inoue has been portrayed as the sun. When Ulquiorra states that the 'Sun has already set' in the Arrancars' hands, cueing a very sunset like image with Orihime. Later on, Orihime is once again portrayed with this light when she finally begins cheering Ichigo, influencing a power-up for the boy.
    • And when Aizen re-kidnaps her and says that she should smile more to 'let the sun shine on.'
    • Yet again right after Ichigo finally defeats Aizen and Urahara seals him away. Kubo is very subtle with his symbolism, huh?
  • Near the end of the second Cardcaptor Sakura movie, the sun rises at just the right moment. Saying any more than that would spoil a really sweet ending.
  • At the end of the manga version of Chrono Crusade, Rosette looks out at the sun rising through the clouds, spreads her arms, and says "Come on, let's go. There's plenty for us to do!"
  • Happens several times in Death Note, most notably at the end, when Mikami's Death Note is revealed to be fake.
  • In Detonator Orgun, the eponymous character's Wave-Motion Gun is solar-powered. Guess what happens in the fight against the Big Bad.
  • Justified in Digimon V-Tamer 01, as storms form when powerful monsters fight one another.
  • Lampshaded in Duel Masters.
    Shobu: (after beating a game, the dark clouds dissipate into a blue sky) "Right on cue!"
  • Fairy Tail:
    • The sun rises in the Nirvana Arc after the defeat of the Oracion Seis and the destruction of the titular magic superweapon as well as the arrest of the Heel Face Turned Hoteye and no-longer-brainwashed-and-now-amnesiac Jellal, with Erza weeping for her old friend.
    • After the defeat of Grimoire Heart's leader, Hades, the sun rises, signifying the titular guild's victory over the dark guild. This is only a temporary victory, however, as later Acnologia shows up...
    • In the Tartaros Arc, the sun rises after the failure of Tartaros' plan to activate Face, and Zeref takes back the book of E.N.D., and right after Acnologia kills Igneel. Natsu screams Igneel's name in despair.
  • An overcast clears when Cure Passion makes her debut in Fresh Pretty Cure!. Same with the more appropriately-named Cure Sunshine in Heart Catch Pretty Cure.
  • In Fruits Basket, while Rin is letting Tohru hold her during her sickness, the sun rises.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Wrath has Scar dead to rights, all while mocking him about his belief in a god... then the eclipse above them ends, and the sun's light glints off of Wrath's sword and blinds him long enough for Scar to fatally wound him. The irony isn't lost on Wrath.
  • After Kaname breaks Sousuke out of his Heroic BSoD at the end of Full Metal Panic!! TSR, the sun rises behind her.
  • Inverted by GaoGaiGar FINAL. The Sun (or the machine disguised as it) gives the villains ridiculous regeneration, so when it's activated and starts shining brightly, the battle suddenly gets a lot tougher for the Brave army.
  • During the climax of The Garden of Words a momentary break in the storm allows sunshine to illuminate Takao and Yukari after the former finishes venting his frustrations to her outside her apartment. The sunlight falling unto Yukari's face mirrors her finally opening up to Takao.
  • GUN×SWORD makes heavy use of the sunrise as a symbol; the protagonist even takes "Van of the Dawn" as his preferred nickname. The most notable Cue the Sun moment comes in Episode 16, when Van experiences an epiphany right as the sun rises, making the cross-shaped object in his hands shine brightly.
  • Inuyasha:
    • When Miroku and a possessed Sango square off, just as Miroku affirms his intention to purge the demon from Sango, the sun starts to peek over the horizon in the background.
    • Also seen in the episode which reveals that Inuyasha becomes fully human during the new moon. Just when it looks like the spider demon has won, sunrise breaks, restoring Inuyasha's full strength.
  • In Les Misérables: Shōjo Cosette, this happens once, when Javert decides not to suicide, symbolizing his change of heart.
  • At the end of the Magic Knight Rayearth TV series, the impenetrable canopy of pitch-black clouds (which had covered the world ever since the last episodes of the first season) dissipates and lets glorious columns of sunlight shine through.
  • Although things are about to go from bad to worse, Volume 2 of Maiden Rose manages to end on a somewhat hopeful note with a scene of the young cadets walking towards the wreckage as the sky lightens.
  • The sun starts coming up when Tohru's father leaves and Tohru reunites with Kobayashi in the final episode of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid.
  • In My Hero Academia, All Might tells Izuku that he can be a hero just as the sun is beginning to set, turning the sky a warm orange with the sun shining brightly down on the two of them.
  • In The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Esteban has the ability to summon the sun. Which is convenient, since much of the Lost Technology is solar-powered.
  • In the final scene of Osamu Tezuka's OVA Hi no Tori 2772 aka "Space Firebird", when planet Earth, Olga and Godo are reborn to new life, sun rises above the sea.
  • More than symbolic in Pluto: the robot Epsilon is solar-powered, so the appearance of the sun in the middle of a fight signals a shift in his favour.
  • Pokémon:
    • In the "Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden" episode, just as it seems Team Rocket might gonna be successful, the sun rises. Cue the epic guitar theme, and Bulbasaur charging its Solarbeam.
      Poke Dex: Solar Beam, Bulbasaur's strongest attack. Light is collected and formed into a powerful beam with intensive force.
    • The eponymous Sea Temple of Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea rises above the water at the same time as the sunrise.
    • Pokémon: I Choose You!: After Ash's Pikachu uses 10,000,000-Volt Thunderbolt, the black sky clears to show a beautiful sun as Ash is restored to life and deemed worthy of the Rainbow Wing by Ho-Oh, granting him eternal happiness as the Rainbow Hero.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • The heartwarming scene of Mami having tea with her new friends is underscored by the setting sun's light flooding into her apartment.
    • The goddess of hope's general aesthetic is that of a sunrise: Supernatural Gold Eyes, pink hair, and a cloud-white dress. Fittingly, whenever she appears (except in the third movie) it's a sign that things are about to get better.
  • When the Big Bad of the fifth season of Sailor Moon Chaos is defeated, the clouds break apart.
  • Happens a lot in Saiyuki for numerous reasons thematically. The first is obviously to imply that the heroes are, well, heroes, can't you tell? Look at this heroic shot! The second is as part of a symbolic bet between Ukoku Sanzo and Koumyou Sanzo, the first being thematically attached to darkness and the second to the moon. Their bet is over who will be the rising sun who finally defeats Ukoku, and Koumyou obviously bet on his student, Sanzo. The third is just the obvious fact that the main characters are traveling west. What else travels west? WHY, THE SUN! There are actually more, but they mainly support Sanzo's thematic ties with the sun as per the bet Koumyou and Ukoku made, so I won't bother mentioning them. So I suppose this could perhaps be the most justified use of this trope? Ever?
  • Symphogear used the final battle version in Episode 12 of the first season. Tsubasa and Chris had sacrificed their lives, and Hibiki was having a pretty bad Heroic BSoD. Then Hibiki's friends started singing the school anthem over the school's announcement system. Cue the sun rising, Heroic Second Wind, Climactic Battle Resurrection, and 11th-Hour Superpower to show that the tide had just turned.
  • The sun rises immediately after the climax of the Battle of Teppelin in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • Tower of God: The end of the Untrustworthy Room arc ends with Viole staring into the morning sun.
  • The rising morning sun plays a vital role in the climax of The Wonderful World of Puss 'n Boots, as sunlight is the only way to destroy Lucifer's necklace and Lucifer himself.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, the sun rises in Episode 10 after Yami slays the Five-Headed Dragon.

    Art 
  • The Sistine Chapel's altar faces the east end so worshippers will be facing the rising sun, which symbolizes the risen Christ who shines life on all the just. To emphasize that connection, there's a painting right above the altar of Jesus bringing Earthly Paradise to the faithful where He is surrounded by a full-body halo painted like the sun.
  • The Raft of the Medusa: The foreground of the painting is rather dark. The sunshine in the distance, to which the hopeful passengers are looking, represents the possibility of rescue.

    Comic Books 
  • Bone: Spoofed. After the Great Red Dragon lets the townspeople catch him, the townspeople tell Phoney (who has set himself up as a "dragonslayer") to finish him off. Phoney, who has no intention of actually killing any dragons, let alone the Great Red Dragon, insists on waiting until sunrise to slay the dragon. Unfortunately for Phoney, the sun rises in the middle of his impassioned speech on the subject: "The heavens themselves shall determine... oops."
  • Superman:
    • When Golden Age Superman appears to save his cousin Kara from the Secret Society of Super-Villains in Infinite Crisis, it causes the red skies to momentarily disappear, in favor of sunlit blue.
    • In Krypton No More, when Superman decides that he has got enough brooding and he flies away to face up to two villains who have been hounding him, the Sun rises above the clouds.
    • In Last Daughter of Krypton, Supergirl has just arrived in Earth and is being overpowered by a squad of Powered Armor-clad mercenaries. Right then the Sun rises over the mountains and her powers awaken for the first time, letting her fight and defeat her assailants.
    • The Last Days Of Superman: After spending one month fighting his illness, it looks like Superman is finally dying. As his loved ones gather around his deathbed to say their goodbyes, the Sun sets into the horizon.
    • In Way of the World, Supergirl is paying a night visit to the graves of the parents of a child whom she was unable to save, as wondering whether she should use time-travel to sort everything out. Nonetheless, she decides she should finally move on, and flies away as the Sun rises behind her.
    • Escape from the Phantom Zone: In the aftermath of their joint adventure, Supergirl and batgirl are sitting on a rooftop, watching the sun rising while arguing the latest developments and promising to help each other before parting ways.
    • Day of the Dollmaker: The final panel shows Supergirl flying happily across the sky as a kindly sun shimmers on her.
  • In the Tintin adventure "The Calculus Affair," after a funny Cue the Rain moment, Tintin and Captain Haddock are walking through a downpour, oblivious to the fact that Tintin's dog Snowy is carrying Professor Calculus's umbrella...
    Captain: If only we had an umbrella!
    Tintin: [turning and noticing Snowy] An umbrella? Captain, what idiots we are. Look!
    [And just as they start to open the umbrella, guess what happens?]
  • The Ultimates: The cover of the first issue has some sun reflections.
  • X-Men: The third issue of X-23's series ends with her leaving an Extranormal Institute at dawn, having conquered her past. The usual connotations of freedom and (tentative) hope are present.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Mutts, Mooch sticks his head out the door to be faced with an enormous The Face of the Sun, smiling. He observes it's summer (Sunday after the solstice.)

    Fairy Tales 
  • In The Brothers Grimm's tale "Maid Maleen", the protagonist likens her happy ending to "the sun [shining on her] once more" after "seven years in the darkness".
  • At the end of Asbjørnsen and Moe's "The Old Dame and her Hen", the sun rises before the troll can find shelter in his vault, killing him and ensuring the main characters will not be threatened by him again.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): This occurs twice. First at the end of the Yonaguni battle, the stormclouds caused by the Many's Weather Manipulation break up and sunlight begins filtering through. Later, when Keizer Ghidorah is defeated, its sky-blotting storms dissipate just moments before dawn breaks.
  • A Crown of Stars: In chapter 25 Shinji and Asuka finally open up and talk about their feelings. At the end of that chapter, the Sun rose and it is explicitly stated that it symbolized the beginning of something new.
  • Antipodes: Inverted. The last chapter before the epilogue ends with Celestia setting the sun for the first time in ten thousand years, signifying the resumption of the world's natural day-night cycle.
  • Evangelion 303: Chapter fifteen's cover features Asuka watching the rising Sun right before taking off. There are several symbolisms present in the image: it is the start of both a new chapter and Part III of the doujin: Asuka is about to leave for a mission and fight her newest rival; and after hitting rock-bottom during Part II, she has fully recovered and it is a new dawn for her.
  • Happens twice in RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse.
    • Inverted in the series' first episode, where the rising of the sun in the middle of the night shows that Corona, the Tyrant Sun, has been freed.
    • Then played straight at the end of the first episode of the second season, where Luna offers to let Corona raise the sun, and Corona accepts, showing that she is beginning to break free of the madness that rules her.
  • In Juxtapose, Izuku meets Toshinori in a park at sunset. By contrast, he meets the villainous Tsuchigumo at night.
  • In the 12th chapter of Loved and Lost, the usurped Princess Celestia is about to be hanged on the orders of Jewelius (who has used the Changeling invasion to turn everyone against his aunt) at nighttime, with most of Canterlot's ponies advocating for this, and the manipulated Twilight Sparkle choosing to reluctantly let this happen. After the other denigrated heroes fail to convince anyone that Jewelius is the true mastermind behind the invasion, Celestia makes a final speech in which she apologizes to Twilight and everyone else for her own role in the events that led to the invasion happening. This causes Twilight and everyone else to feel forgiveness toward Celestia, but when the former princess raises the sun to bring morning to Equestria one last time, Twilight and the crowd plead for Jewelius to spare Celestia. Though they're unable to change his mind, Luna appears from the crowd to save Celestia and free the other heroes, and from that point begins the gradual process of Jewelius' downfall as well as the heroes reconciling with Twilight and gaining their lives back.

    Films — Animated 
  • 9: Both films' ending scenes after the machine antagonists that threaten the protagonists have been defeated end at dawn (or possibly dusk in the 2009 film).
  • Used at the end of The Black Cauldron, after Gurgi comes back to life for no particular reason.
  • The final shot of Fantasia, set to Franz Schubert's Ave Maria, no less.
  • Frozen (2013): At the very end of "Let It Go", which both represents and celebrates the awakening of the "new" Elsa, the sun rises, and this coincides with her walking towards it after singing "Here I stand, in the light of day."
  • At the end of Igor, this is justified since Igor has destroyed the Big Bad's Weather-Control Machine.
  • Kung Fu Panda:
    • The coming of the morning after Shifu's argument with Po that ended after Po confessed his deep sense of worthlessness and Shifu likewise admitted he did not have an idea of how to fix that. After a night of racking his brain for an answer, the sun comes up as Shifu hears a ruckus in the kitchen and finding Po doing some impressive physical feats for food. Thus with the sun rising, so does the critical inspiration for Shifu concerning a way to train Po effectively.
    • And then again near the end, after Shifu and Tai Lung's intense duel in the rain. The sun rises as soon as Po appears, signifying that the dark part is over and it's time for the hero to kick ass. It's at this point that the real final battle begins.
  • At the end of The Land Before Time Littlefoot climbs up onto a ridge, following the spirit of his deceased mother in the form of a cloud. When the cloud dissipates, he sees the Great Valley spread out beneath him, bathed in sunlight.
  • Convenient sunbeams illumine Pride Rock in The Lion King when a new monarch (lion cub) is presented. When Simba regains his throne, the clouds part to reveal the starry sky where the former kings are said to reside.
  • In Mulan, this happens at the climax of "Make a Man out of You". Ping/Mulan fails the whole training regimen and Shang pretty much tells him/her to go home. She then sees the arrow at the pole and decides to give it one last try. As she does, the sun rises and the other men start cheering her on. She succeeds and throws the arrow down to Shang's feet for emphasis, proving she can pull her own weight around.
  • In Princess Mononoke, the culmination of the movie is a race to return the head of the Forest Spirit before the sun rises, and the forest dies forever. Naturally, the heroes retrieve the head and hold it aloft to the 'Nightwalker' just as the first rays shine across the hills...
  • Wakko's Wish, near the end; "Mr. Spielberg loves this shot!"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the typical vampire film, the heroes are enduring a harrowing night fighting a vampire and they are about to lose against the powerful monster. Suddenly, the sun comes up and everyone realizes that the hunters now have the advantage against the vampire.
    • From Dusk Till Dawn plays this perfectly. The characters have finally been hopelessly surrounded by vampires, they have just two bullets left, the rest of the cast has just been killed (and promptly re-killed). Then the sun rises, and bullet holes in the bar's walls bring its light in at odd angles, turning the entire arena into a laser hallway for the vampires.
      • Zig-zagged in the sequel, when the sun finally rises in similar circumstances and moments later equally quickly vanishes due to the full eclipse.
    • Fright Night (1985) has a simpler version where the hunters have had a harrowing time fighting the vampire and are barely holding him back when the sun comes up. As the vampire reels in horrified realization, Peter Vincent, now having passed his trial by fire, notes, "You are out of time..."
    • In Thirst (2009), the sunrise is awaited by the vampire as the only way he can end his sinful life.
  • In Apocalypto a solar eclipse occurs while Jaguar Paw is laying on the altar, about to be sacrificed. The priest interprets the eclipse as a sign that the gods' thirst for blood had been sated, and he calls off the human sacrifices.
  • Avengers: Endgame has everything turn dark and gloomy after Thanos's army arrives. And in the Darkest Hour, as Captain America prepares a last stand, a luminous magical portal opens up behind him, revealing the noon sunshine of Wakanda.
  • During the final battle of Blade II (which has taken place entirely at night) inside the top of the Big Bad's Evil Tower of Ominousness, the Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter is bitten by the mutant vampire (who happens to be her brother). After the hero wins the battle, she requests he destroy her before she becomes one of them, prompting him to walk outside to the end of the tower's pier-like balcony cradling her limp form, allowing the sunrise to turn her to dust in his arms and blow away in the breeze.
  • Blade Runner: In an incidental Special Effects Failure which turned into a moment of awesome, Roy Batty releases his dove and it flies into the sunny sky, giving some hope to Deckard the future would be brighter. This is averted in the Final Cut of the film; they fixed the shot so that the dove now flies up into the rainy night sky.
  • When Jake and Elwood visit a church for inspiration in The Blues Brothers movie, just as the preacher points at him and asks, "Have you seen the light?", the sun comes streaming through the stained-glass window, illuminating Jake in a heavenly glow.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick franchise:
    • Used straight in Pitch Black, as the shuttle lifts off and the triple suns reappear from behind their respective planets (meaning no more dark-loving beasties).
    • Inverted in The Chronicles of Riddick, where Riddick finds himself on a prison planet where the sun can actually kill you. (And thus a desperate sprint away from sunrise manages to not be full of Narm.)
  • The entire story of Collateral takes place at night. At the end, when Max has killed Vincent and gets away with the girl, we see the sun coming up, showing us that night's finally over and order's restored.
  • Used near the end of Dark City when John, after having taken control of the massive space station, rotates it so that the sun is shining across its surface for the first time.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Drifting in space after suffering major damage, Superman recovers when the rotation of the Earth brings the sun, enabling him to regenerate.
    • Wonder Woman: Diana obliterates Ares just at the crack of dawn. Everybody just takes in the sun afterwards.
  • Justified in Dredd as the protagonists have been trapped inside the megastructure for most of the movie. After the Big Bad is defeated, they're able to raise the blast doors and walk out into the sunlight for the first time (they'd escaped onto an external ledge at one point, but it was night time then).
    • Subverted in the earlier Judge Dredd. Chief Justice Fargo is taking the Long Walk into the Cursed Earth, the lawless radioactive wasteland surrounding Megacity One. As two huge doors to the outside are opened, you see his honor guard flinch from the glare and the aghast expression on Fargo's face as he sees what he's walking into.
  • Subverted in Empire of the Sun. What appears to be this trope is actually the atomic bomb being dropped on Nagasaki hundreds of miles away. Though that does mean the war will soon be over.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019):
    • During the Darkest Hour, when Godzilla's been seemingly killed and King Ghidorah is free to unleash global havoc unopposed. The human protagonists are sitting in their ocean base in despair wondering what they can possibly do now, as one of Ghidorah's violent global storms pours down. A bright glow gradually begin to pierce through the clouds, growing larger and larger before suddenly the whole storm is blown away in a blinding light as Mothra appears, leading to the characters discovering Godzilla is still barely alive underneath the seafloor]].
    • King Ghidorah continuously creates a massive storm around himself at all times, and when he's finally killed by Godzilla at the end, it immediately dissipates. The other monsters arrive on the battlefield just a little too late to save Ghidorah, and instead bow before their new king Godzilla in the sunrise/sunset.
  • In Hocus Pocus, the rising of the sun marks when the spell allowing the three witches to live again for one night on Halloween runs out because they didn't succeed in draining the lives of the children of Salem. They go "poof."
  • The Hunger Games: Invoked by the Gamemasters, who can control the ambient lighting.
  • I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK ends with a stunning sunrise creating a rainbow over the desolate landscape.
  • Implied in Joy Ride: while it's the rain that "makes everything clean again" and ends Rusty Nail's Ax-Crazy phase, the rain is followed by the sun, which brings a "new day".
  • At the end of Jurassic World, the Tyrannosaurus rex roars victoriously as the sun rises over the now-abandoned park.
  • In slasher movies Just Before Dawn and Hell Night, the climax happens just before sunrise.
  • The second-to-last scene in Key Largo is Nora opening the blinds to let the sun in after the hurricane has passed.
  • Lemon Tree Passage ends with Jordan and Maya walking along the road out of the bush with the sun rising behind them. This signifies that the night, and the nightmare they have been battling, is over. This is further cemented when they find their car and it starts the first time.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • In The Two Towers, when Gandalf and the Rohirrim arrive to save the day. They ride down the hill, bearing down on the Uruk-Hai army, who form lines with spears out, but just before the two groups clash...SUNRISE! and it is so sudden and so fast that the light from the sun blinds the spear-wielding Uruk-Hai on the front line, making them turn away, thus enabling the Rohirrim to crash through what is normally a cavalry-charge-breaking defensive tactic. The cinematic effects make it look as if Gandalf helped it along quite a bit, too. Which matches the magic he used for his dramatic reveal earlier. (And to bring the symbolism full-circle, remember that he identified himself as a "wielder of the flame of Anor" to the Balrog. Anor is the Sindarin name for the sun.)
      Gandalf: A Wizard is never late. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.
    • Also done in The Return of the King during the Ride of the Rohirrim. As the Rohirrim shout "DEATH!" for the third time, the camera pans out from them, revealing the entire army with the sunrise gloriously shining from behind them (from the wrong direction, but whatever), as music swells up triumphantly.
  • At the end of The Matrix Revolutions, the Oracle and Sati are sitting on a bench in a green park under a stunning sunrise. Which was made by Sati ("for Neo"), showing her to be pretty Genre Savvy where symbolism is concerned.
  • Mishima A Life In Four Chapters begins and ends with a sunrise as well as having a plane break through dense clouds during the eponymous characters "No More Holding Back" Speech moment.
  • Used as a Bait-and-Switch moment in the climax of Mission: Impossible – Fallout. The film gives the impression that the nuclear bombs they're trying to defuse went off, but it turns out to be the glare from the sun shining over the skies of Kashmir.
  • The Rising Sun has of course long been a symbol of Japan. In Morning for the Osone Family it takes on a new meaning. The Osones greet Ichiro, who is released after the war following nearly two years in prison. He points out the sunrise, saying "It's a new day for the Osone family...the dawn of Japan." The final shot of the movie shows the sun, here symbolizing the birth of democratic Japan, rising over the ocean.
  • The film Morning Glory cleverly uses a sunrise shot to close the film - which is very apt as it is about a morning TV show — and watching protagonists walk into a sunrise is that much more interesting than seeing them ride off into the sunset.
  • In Napoléon, the final night of the Siege of Toulon is fought during a rain- and hailstorm. After the battle is won, the weather clears up and the sun rises.
  • The Phantom of Crestwood ends with the sun coming up, the killer dead and the police planes arriving as Esther and Frank kiss.
  • Pride & Prejudice (2005) ends with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth confessing their love for each other at dawn, finally embracing as the sun comes up.
  • In The Proposition, a sunset coincides with the shooting of primary villain Arthur Burns. Although Not Quite Dead, he spends his last few minutes going outside to watch the sunset. Charlie, who just shot him, goes and watches it with him.
  • In the Patrick Bergin/Uma Thurman 1991 film version of Robin Hood, the sun doesn't shine until the Norman/Saxon rift begins to heal with the marriage of Robin and Marian.
  • Satirized in Buster Keaton's The Scarecrow. The opening title, "Slowly and majestically the sun steals gradually over the hill-tops," is followed by the sun shooting straight up from the horizon and then hanging in place.
  • In Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow (1999), the shots of Ichabod Crane heading for Sleepy hollow are dark and gloomy, and the sunlight is NEVER seen in Sleepy Hollow itself, but only when those same shots are repeated as Ichabod and Katrina are heading back for New York City.
  • Spaceballs: "Nice dissolve!" They go on to be rescued by the Dinks and meet Yogurt later that day.
  • Luke Skywalker watches a sunrise in one of the last scenes of The Last Jedi, indicating that hope is returning to the galaxy, and also providing a lovely Call-Back to the binary sunset all those years ago. It also serves as a transition because he dies just after.
  • Thirteen Days: In the climax when they're not sure if the next day will start nuclear war or resolve the situation, a shot of an exploding nuke is shown which morphs into the rising sun.
  • At the end of TRON: Legacy, Sam shows Quorra something she so eagerly wanted to see for herself: a sunrise. She's enraptured by the sight. In some theaters, the house lights were brought up with the sun.
  • The Truman Show does, in fact, have a moment like this, but it is not in fact when the line is spoken. It's right when the storm lets up in the climax that is the true example.
  • In the movie Westworld, the technicians watch for sunrise, and cue all the robots to start up at the instant where the sun rises above the horizon. A western town is frozen in mid-movement, then everything starts up when the sun rises.

    Folklore 
  • Some older Arthurian legends claim that Sir Gawain's strength rose and fell with the sun. So he was strongest at noon and weakest at midnight. Understandably, he fought mostly in the late morning.

    Literature 
  • With an excessively dramatic "Behold!" Belgarath commands the sun to rise in a far northern land, in the dead of winter, causing the demon summoners who are busy summoning demons to lose their concentration, with naturally fatal results. Naturally, it was a rather neat illusion on Belgarath's part.
    "Behold!" I thundered—augmenting my voice, I'll admit—and I pointed dramatically toward the south. I didn't want the moon or the northern lights lessening the impact of what I was going to do.
    Then, posing like a charlatan in a country fair, I spoke the words that released my Will in a voice they probably heard in Kell.
    "Rise up!" I roared—and the sun came up.
    ————————————————————————-
    Oh, come now. You know better than that. Nobody can order the sun around. Don't be so gullible.
    It looked like the sun, though. It was a very good illusion, even if I do say so myself.
  • Older Than Feudalism: In The Bible, in the Book of Joshua, Joshua commands the "sun to stand still at Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon" so that his troops will have enough light to finish their battle.
    • And God said, Let there be light! And there was light.
  • Book of the New Sun: Severian stands to be executed over a misunderstanding until an apparent miracle makes it appear that he both delayed and caused the sunrise.
  • In Richard Ellis Preston Jr.'s Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin novel Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War, when Romulus sees the "dawning bore" — a flood of colors — he feels new hope that Max will live.
  • Tavi literally cues the sun in Codex Alera Book 3. He orders his windcrafters to part the clouds and reveal the sun at high noon. He does this so the windcrafters can shape the air into a giant magnifying glass and fry the Canim like ants.
  • In Devon Monk's Dead Iron, the sun comes from behind the clouds just as Mae sets out to the Madder brothers'. She takes it as a good omen.
  • In Deryni Rising, Kelson invokes this in his coronation duel with Charissa, calling the sun to appear to help him kill one of her monsters, then calling on the skies to darken until he finished her. Afterward, the sun reappears to cast the same pool of multicoloured light on the floor (from a stained glass window), and people in the congregation murmur, thinking it's still dangerous. Kelson moves to stand in it before summoning Morgan and Duncan to join him there.
  • Douglas Adams lampshades this in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
    "With an impeccable timing of which it is very rarely capable the sun chose this moment to burst briefly through the gathering rainclouds, and as she played her cello a stormy light played on her and on the deep old brown of the instrument. Richard stood transfixed.
    Several billion trillion tons of superhot exploding hydrogen nuclei rose slowly above the horizon and managed to look small, cold and slightly damp.
  • Discworld:
    • In Hogfather, the sun rises just as Susan saves the Hogfather's life. This is important, because if the Hogfather hadn't been saved the sun wouldn't have risen. Had she failed, a mere ball of flaming gas would have illuminated the world. Then again, given the Discworld's dependence on Narrative Causality, the difference between the two is probably more than semantic.
    • The final line of Night Watch is "And the world turned toward morning."
    • At the end of Pyramids, Pteppic causes the sun to rise, which brings Djelibeybi back into contact with the outside world.
      • It's more subtle than that. It's a sort of Running Gag that may or may not be true, due to the Discworld's Narrative Causality, that the pharaoh causes the sun to rise. The pharaoh himself is kind of uncertain about this, but all the priests assure him it's true. Even the way it's done in the book leaves it up to the reader to determine whether or not it was a coincidence.
  • The Divine Comedy: Hey, Dante, what's a good time to emerge from Hell? Oh, alright, I'll meet you when "Daybreak defeats darkness's last hour" and we'll start heading over to God's place. It'll be more symbolic than last time, I promise.
  • Whenever Dracula needs to be killed, it's even money that it's the first rays of a sunrise that finishes him off. Unless some angry man with a whip and a family grudge comes beats his ass silly first.
    • In Super Castlevania IV, it's both!
    • In the original novel, Dracula's appearances were foreshadowed by the sunset.
    • Subverted in the actual novel. Dracula is able to walk around in sunlight, he just has to stay in his coffin from dawn to noon. In fact, Dracula dies at sundown. It's a race to prevent him from becoming more powerful, not to waste time until he's weak.
      • Also he can shapeshift only at dawn and dusk so if they'd been a moment too late he could have turned into mist and escaped.
  • Sunrise has significant magical power in The Dresden Files. Because of its symbolism of renewal, it tends to wash away existing magics, even quite strong ones, so most spells will end at dawn unless enforced or protected. As well, intensely magical beings such as ghosts, vampires and some otherworldly beings cannot bear the sunrise, and will be destroyed or forced out of the mortal plane unless they can find shelter.
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Oecumene, Phaethon defies Atkins — "Let them try" — just when the dawnlight came to hit his armor and make it gleam.
  • Happy Birthday to You!: The Birthday Bird is implied to show up around this time in the "brightening sky" but, with "not all awake".
  • In the climactic Final Battle of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the morning sun rises while Harry and Voldemort are talking to each other, and it's the cue they use to attack for the last time. It was a long night after all...
  • In The Hobbit, Bilbo is caught by three trolls, and the dwarves are captured in their turn when they arrive to find out what has become of him. While Bilbo escapes to hide in a bush during the fight with the dwarves, he can do nothing but listen helplessly while the trolls argue about how to cook them; but Gandalf, unseen, keeps re-igniting the argument until sun-up when he shouts, "Dawn take you all!" and they turn to stone in the sunlight.
  • In The Lions of Al-Rassan, there is a climactic duel between the champions of two armies at sunset. This is absolutely full of symbolism, given that one side is the sun-worshiping Jaddites, and the other is the star-worshiping Asharites. True to form, the Asharite wins as the sun sets.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings:
    • At the end of the War of the Ring, Aragorn and the rest's Heroic Sacrifice at the gates of Mordor is averted, when the successful destruction of The One Ring causes the perpetual cloud cover to dissipate, letting the sun break through — and sending the bad guys fleeing in panic.
    • The dramatic high point of the Siege of Gondor turns around the sun rising during the confrontation between Gandalf and the Witch-King of Angmar in the ruins of the main gate of Minas Tirith. Also the simultaneous charge of the Rohirrim during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
    • Helm's Deep: Gandalf said "Await me at Helm's Gate!" Erkenbrand and Gandalf are specifically noted as arriving from the west, while on the east the valley is said to be "too sheer and stony" for anyone to escape. Further, they only actually arrive while Saruman's hosts are already in retreat.
      • As dawn breaks, Aragorn speaks to the orcs and tells them they should flee. They mock him, but he says that every dawn brings a new hope.
  • Malevil makes use of this twice.
    • The world suffers from The Night That Never Ends after World War III. The survivors struggle to survive for several months before two events give them hope for the future: confirmation of other survivors and the first rain since the war is non-radioactive. Just as everything is finally looking up, the sun finally breaks through the ash and the world truly begins to heal.
    • Near the end, during Emmanuel's Kangaroo Court trial at Fulbert's hands. The setting sun comes through the chapel's stained glass window behind Emmanuel and he feels the light emanating from around him and illuminating the room as he turns the trial against Fulbert.
  • Perhaps not as epic as some, but after spending a stormy night stranded on an island inside a rickety, smelly shack, Bobby Marks wakes up to find the sun rising over Rumson Lake for a calm, clear day. It Mark's the turning point of his character development in One Fat Summer.
  • In The Pale King, David Foster Wallace says that a rural Midwest sunrise is as soft and romantic as someone’s abruptly hitting the lights in a darkened room.
  • In The Phantom Tollbooth, our protagonist, Milo, runs into Chroma the Great, conductor of the orchestra that gives light to the world (It's a bit metaphysical.) Basically Chroma's job early in the morning is to cue the sunrise, and during the final battle, he whips up an epic light show.
  • Also from Tolkien, The Silmarillion:
    • The first Sunrise signals the awakening of the race of Men, in a suitably dramatic passage.
    • There's even a Cue the Moon. It first appeared at the same time the Noldor reached the end of the Grinding Ice.
    "and Fingolfin unfurled his blue and silver banners, and blew his horns, and flowers sprang beneath his marching feet, and the ages of the stars were ended."
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Matt Stover's Shatterpoint: In the climax, as everyone is dying, and a fallen Jedi gains the upper hand over Mace Windu, dawn arrives just as Mace and his allies are able to call off the droid starfighters holding the planet's capital city hostage.
      In the skies over Pelek Baw, as the snowcap on Grandfather's Shoulder kindled with the first red rays of dawn, droid starfighters disengaged from clone-piloted ships and streaked back into the depths of space.
      In the command bunker, the swirl of dark power crested, paused, and began to recede.
    • Stover's Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, has, near the end, a scene where Han and Leia sit outside the Millennium Falcon waiting for the world to end. They could fly off the planet, but they can't escape — gravity well generators are preventing escape into hyperspace and causing massive solar flares, massive solar flares are killing everything that isn't shielded by the bulk of Mindor, and the bulk of Mindor is about to go to pieces. Everything that they could do has been done, and they don't know what Luke is doing. So they decide to sit outside, have a picnic, get in a Last Kiss, and watch the sunrise, thinking these would be their last moments. They aren't.
  • In Steelheart, near the end of the final fight. Has more than symbolic significance, because it also shows that Nightwielder is dead.
  • In The Ugly Swans by Strugatsky Brothers, the city of Tashlinsk is perpetually clouded. When The children take the city over and baddies flee, the sun evaporates the clouds, the proceeds to evaporate the old city.
    • In The Doomed City, the artificial sun is re-ignited just as the revolution caused by its malfunction has reached its peak.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel Fulgrim, Lucius, having betrayed them and tricked him into killing loyalist Space Marines, walks away from the dying Solomon Demeter. Solomon is glad of the peace, but sees the diminishing light and feels as the world was marking his death.
  • Rand al'Thor in The Wheel of Time books is apparently the prophesied leader of every diverse group of people in the world. Sucks for them that he's destined to destroy them as a result. Anyway, one of said groups, the Aiel, know him as (among other things) "He Who Comes With the Dawn." After journeying to an ancient city to prove his identity to them, he returns, successful (though battered) at, you guessed it, sunrise.
    • Another example involving Rand comes at the end of The Gathering Storm, where after absorbing enough saidin to break the world out of his anger and self-pity, he also gathers a mass of storm clouds overhead. When after a dramatic moment of redemption he truly laughs for the first time since declaring himself the Dragon Reborn, the sun breaks through the clouds. This is especially poignant since the sun had not been seen for a long time due to the Dark One touching the world.
    • Similarly in "Towers of Midnight," because of what happens in "The Gathering Storm" where ever he or Elayne (who is bearing his children) are, there is a ring of sunlight.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • The final book of the original series, The Darkest Hour, ends with the sun rising after Firestar defeats BloodClan and their murderous, Nietzsche-esque leader Scourge.
      ...and it seemed to Firestar that no dawn had ever been brighter.
    • The final book of The New Prophecy, ironically titled Sunset, ends with the sun rising after Brambleclaw reaffirms his loyalty to Firestar and the Clan by killing his evil brother Hawkfrost.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Subverted in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode "4,722 Hours"; there was no sunrise on the planet Maveth, and after her third day on the harsh alien world Simmons was driven to tears, shouting "Where's the sun?" Later played straight in "Chaos Theory", which ends with Fitz and Simmons watching a sunrise together, establishing that whatever Simmons may feel for Will, she still has feelings for Fitz.
  • Done for Tear Jerker effect in Babylon 5 in the final episode where John Sheridan, knowing he is going to die very, very soon, rises early to watch his final sunrise, accidentally waking Delenn (his wife). It becomes truly heartbreaking at the end, where we find that Delenn would get up early every day, for the rest of her life, to watch the sun rising as her way of keeping John alive in her memories.
    • Later, after he goes to Coriana 6, where he spends his final hours, Lorien visits him. As he tells Sheridan it's time to rest a bright light fills the ship.
    Sheridan: Well, look at that. The sun's coming up.
  • Inversion: In the Season 3 denouement of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Mayor's ascension was immediately preceded by an eclipse.
    • Another Inversion, an example of the sun not coming out being interpreted as a good sign. During an unusual heatwave around Christmas, on Christmas eve Angel (for complicated reasons) decides to kill himself by standing on a hill as the sun comes up, claiming that the world doesn't want him in it. After an argument with Buffy who is trying to talk him out of it, the sun doesn't rise. Instead, it starts snowing. This is treated as a miracle as it saves Angel's life but doesn't this mean that Buffy will have to work overtime?
    • Definitely subverted in the episode "The Harvest":
      Luke: You forgot, metal can't hurt me.
      Buffy: There's something you forgot about, too. Sunrise!
      (Buffy throws a mike stand through the window behind Luke. Luke cringes instinctively as light pours through. Then he looks up and sees it's only a lamp. Just as this realization sinks in, Buffy stakes him from behind.)
      Buffy: It's in about nine hours, moron.
    • Played straight in the Season 5 finale, where the sunrise signals Buffy's decision to sacrifice herself to save Dawn.
    • In the Musical Episode, Tara steps into the sunlight while singing the lyrics Now I'm bathed in light during the "Under Your Spell" song.
  • Done for symbolic and dramatic effect at the end of the Forever Knight series finale, to further reinforce the indication of the Kill 'Em All ending and probably to represent redemption in death.
  • On a similar note, the first season of Heroes concluded with Hiro gazing at an eclipse.
  • I Shouldn't Be Alive: At the climax of "Alaskan Avalanche", everything seems bleak. The pilot of the plane which crashed into the glacier and his wife are losing hope, Jim and Dave are on the verge of death after struggling to make it to the same glacier, and the low clouds mean rescue planes can't reach them. Then, miraculously, a break in the clouds comes just as one of the rescue planes flies over the glacier, and everyone makes it off the mountain alive!
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Just as Emu's faith was starting to break, sunrise shone on Taiga's unconscious body on life support, confirming his survival after the harrowing night that the CR crew spent fighting for his life.
  • Kamen Rider Build:
    • Zigg-zagged when the sunrise comes right at the moment Misora and Ryuga find out that Sawa handed over vital data to the enemy, potentially ruinning any chances of Sento winning. As it turns out, she spilled the beans to him about being forced to betray the team and they made counter meassures. Sento then procceeds to pull out some extras and win with ease.
    • Played straight when the sun comes out from behind the clouds upon Sento's return after being missing for several episodes, underscoring how the events are about to change in the heroes' favor.
  • Shows up a few times in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Lokar's very presence darkens the sky, so when he's defeated it clears up. Also marks the turning of the tide in the Globbor and Dischordia fights in the third season. Especially in the Dischordia fight. Ninjor and the Ninja and Shogun Megazords get back on their feet, the sky clears, and then both Megazords charge and deck Dischordia, followed by an epic beatdown.
  • In My Name Is Earl, the sun shines on Randy just as he realizes that his purpose in life is to help Earl complete The List. Earl points out that it's just the sun shining through a window in the jail where they're visiting an old friend. Randy replies, "Yeah, but it's shinin' just for me!"
  • In The Pillars of the Earth, a monk tries to persuade a group of soldiers to allow workers to return to a quarry to cut stones for a cathedral. He arrives at the quarry right before dawn on purpose, so when the leader of the soldiers is about to strike him down with his sword, the sun rises behind him and reflects on the golden cross in the monk's hand.
  • Supernatural:
    • In "Bugs", this trope saves the day, even though it's only a few minutes since the sun set!
    • In "Roadkill", it's almost dawn when Molly realizes she's been Dead All Along and that she let go and move on. She disappears into the afterlife just as the sun breaks and touches her.
    • Subverted in "Heart". The sun is seen rising over the San Francisco skyline and reflects off the window Sam, Dean, and Madison are staring out of. They assume this means Madison is cured of her lycanthropy as she didn't transform the entire night, but they're proven wrong, leading into the Downer Ending.
  • The War of the Worlds (2019): Experiments with typhoid bacteria have shown that Earth diseases can kill off the red weed. In an act of despair, Amy smashes the cloches they have set up to protect the experiment, only to find a green Earth plant growing among the dead Martian weed. Amy then looks up as a hole in the clouds lets the sun through, and the series ends.

    Machinima 

    Music 
  • The page quote is of course from The Beatles and "Here Comes the Sun" from Abbey Road, in which George is actually singing about springtime as the season of new life and renewal.
  • The triumphant appearance of the sun marks the climax of the Led Zeppelin song, "The Battle of Evermore" from Led Zeppelin IV. This song is about The Battle of the Pelennor Fields, though, so that's quite appropriate.
  • "Lay beside me, tell me what I've done / The door is closed, so are your eyes, but now I see the sun"
  • Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting".
  • "The Day Begins", the opening poem of Days of Future Passed, the first Concept Album by The Moody Blues, ends with the narrator calling for the sun (by way of invoking its ancient personification):
    Brave Helios, wake up your steeds
    Bring the warmth the countryside needs
  • "Sonne" by Rammstein is pretty much a love song to the sun. "Sie ist der hellste sterrrrrn von allen!"
  • John Mackey's "Aurora Awakes".
  • The finale of Arnold Schoenberg's "Gurrelieder", with the huge 8-part choir (not to mention the 150-piece orchestra) singing "see, the sun!"
  • "Chasing the Sun", by The Wanted. As fits the trope's spirit, it is hopeful and highly energetic.
  • Inverted in David Bowie's "Memory of a Free Festival": "The sun machine is coming down, and we're going to have a party..."
  • Anthem of the Sun by The Grateful Dead mentions the sun several times on the album and sunrise in "Born Cross-Eyed".
  • "Sunrise" by Uriah Heep'' is about how the sunrise doesn't bring the protagonist joy, because "it's another day without you."
  • In"First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes, the narrator feels born anew thanks to The Power of Love, and nature responds in kind:
    I went out in the rain, suddenly everything changed,
    They're spreading blankets on the beach.
  • Swans has a number of songs about or referencing the sun, often in a negative context as is typical for Swans' work - "God Damn The Sun" (a song cursing the sun for shedding its light upon an undeserving world), "Song For The Sun" (portraying the sun as a fickle god who leaves the singer miserable), "I Am The Sun" (portraying the sun as a malevolent force which causes all the cruelty in the world), "Bring The Sun" (a long, droning anthem repeatedly shouting the title lyric), and the upcoming "Sunfucker". The sunrise is also mentioned in a rather... oblique way in the song "A Piece of the Sky":
    In the blood of the swans
    As the sun fucks the dawn.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Exalted
    • As one of the more prominent gods of the setting is called the Unconquered Sun and the default Splat consists of his chosen, the Solar Exalted, this trope crops up a lot.
    • One of the best has to be the suggested climax to the Return of the Scarlet Empress campaign. Following the Unconquered Sun's death, a huge alliance of all non-Reclamation Exalts charges in to fight the Ebon Dragon under the blood-red orb of the Daystar. The Ebon Dragon is smirking because he's unkillable while Holy is offline, and the Unconquered Sun governs that particular power...and then a Sidereal promotes someone to replace him, and the Ebon Dragon craps himself as the red eye in the heavens blazes once again with golden fire.
  • The last night of Survival of the Fittest version two doesn't end until Bryan Calvert has finally won and is being airlifted off the island. Only then does the sun finally start to rise, as if confirming that his fight for survival is over.

    Theatre 
  • An ironic version in Finale, as the characters walk to their deaths into the burning sunset.
  • In The Magic Flute, the Queen of the Night is defeated when Sarastro, Tamino, and Pamina arrive along with the sun.
  • Pippin has a disturbing use of this trope in its final scene. The Players tell Pippin to "think about the sun" as they bring on a backdrop depicting the sun and a lot of stage lighting as encouragement for him to commit Self-Immolation.

    Video Games 
  • The sun rises during the final mission of Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War; if you shoot down the optional fighters quickly enough, your wingmen remark on the beautiful sunrise and the hope they have for the future.
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin takes place in a meteor-devastated Earth covered in clouds of dust and ash. The sun rising in the epilogue is a pretty big deal. As a bonus, the final level is called Sunrise.
  • Seeing this happen is the entire point of Fight 'Til Dawn mode from Alan Wake's American Nightmare. Each round starts ten minutes before dawn and ends at sunrise (when the light kills every Taken on the field). Also, in the story mode, you kill Mr. Scratch by luring him in front of a film projector and playing a movie of Alan and Alice watching the sun rise.
  • In BloodRayne 2, the entire plot revolved around a group of vampires creating an artificial cloud barrier called the Shroud which would block out the sun's rays and allow them and their demonic minions to wander the earth freely. Interestingly, they accomplish this, and the Shroud seems for the moment anyway to be permanent (Rayne going so far as to say that she felt "for some reason" like everything would go back to normal after she killed the final boss). The last cutscene shows a Sequel Hook that implies a third game about a Rayne-led organization that defends humanity in this vampire-ruled world.
  • The "Light of Dawn" solo in Brütal Legend causes the rising sun to appear and motivate your on-field troops. It can only be played by Eddie.
  • In most Castlevania games, when you finally defeat the Big Bad Dracula, the sun will come up moments later to herald the endgame cutscene.
    • In Castlevania II: Simon's Quest dawn is always heralded by the (unskippable, slowly scrolling onscreen) message "THE MORNING SUN HAS VANQUISHED THE HORRIBLE NIGHT".
    • The above and this trope are referenced in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia when Shanoa is about to storm Dracula's castle.
      Shanoa: I am the morning sun, come to vanquish this horrible night!
  • In the post-apocalyptic future of Chrono Trigger, one of your quests later in the game takes you to the peak of Death Peak. When you reach the summit and bring Crono Back from the Dead, the sun peeks out from behind the thick cloud cover.
  • The sun rises as Combat Instinct 3's Final Boss is Double Tapped.
  • Although Deus Ex is Always Night, during the last few levels you can see that the sun is starting to rise. Also ties in perfectly with Morgan Everett's "Badass Creed" end speech.
  • When you defeat Diablo for the third and final time, the dawn slowly breaks over heaven itself.
  • Digital Devil Saga first pulls a subversion, then plays it straight in its finale. Due to a string of events, the black sun has begun absorbing the data of the Earth into itself meaning that the heroes have to fix it before sunrise or else everyone will be erased by it. They manage to pull it of leading to it being played straight when the people left behind see the sun rising over the horizon, now back to normal.
  • The final battle in Dragon Age: Origins opens with the Ferelden army charging the Darkspawn with the dawn at their backs.
  • DragonFable inverts this at the end of its first chapter, with the sun being eaten by a giant skeletal dragon.
  • ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights involves the Blight, a neverending rain that turns anyone it touches into an undead monstrosity along with fusing them into whatever animals are nearby. Ending C has the Blight finally ending and the sun shining for the first time in so long.
  • The Enigmatis trilogy ends with a scene of the detective, her close friend Rick, and the resident Heartwarming Orphan watching the sunrise from the ruins of a Himalayan monastery.
  • Final Fantasy XV: when the game ends, the sun rises over Eos for the first time in over ten years.
  • Inverted in the Final level of FreeSpace 2. As you try everything you can to get at least some of the fleeing ships to the jump point before they are picked off by shivan ships before the system is cut off from hyperspace to trap the shivan fleet, the small star in the distance suddenly starts to grow bigger and brighter, leaving you only half a minute to reach the jump point before the explosion reaches you.
  • Occurs at the end of God of War III. This is pretty much the only implication that, even after Kratos wrecked the planet out of revenge, the world might be coming back together.
  • The ending for Gradius Gaiden features this.
  • The sun rises as you leave Ravenholm in Half-Life 2.
  • The arena for the True Final Boss of Hollow Knight, which you enter after trawling through dark caverns the entire time, is the only place in the game where the sun shines. Only it's not really the sun. When Challenging it, it suddenly sprouts wings, revealing it to be the boss itself.
  • The sun is one of the enemies in I Wanna Be The Tribute.
  • The final battle in Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy takes place during nighttime. The sun rises during the cutscene after winning.
  • The final boss of Kirby: Triple Deluxe is fought high in the sky, with a gigantic moon in the background. In the end, Kirby is grabbed and hopeless until Dedede comes to bring him his 11th-Hour Superpower. From that point on, the battle definitely turns to Kirby's advantage, and the rest of it is fought in front of a glorious sunrise.
  • After the game took place entirely during the night, the campaign "Blood Harvest" in Left 4 Dead ends with the sun rising over the horizon as the survivors escape the zombies. Granted, the survivors go through a lot more crap after that, but as far as the video game goes, this was their happy (or, at least, relieving) ending.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the Sun's Song is one of the melodies you learn on your ocarina, and it even plays on the Hyrule Field overworld every time the sun rises naturally, too. Link can use this ocarina tune to summon the sunrise if he's in Hyrule Field at night, and doing so makes nocturnal enemies such as Stalchildren and Poes disappear. It can also temporarily freeze Re-Deads and Gibdos.
  • Used heavily in the Credits of Live A Live.
  • Entries in the Lunar series have a penchant for filing the sky with ominous clouds (or even blotting out the sun) as the finale approaches.
  • Minecraft: Story Mode: After Jesse finally slays the Wither Storm, the sun comes out. Justified as the Wither Storm was blotting it out.
  • At the end of the Story Mode in Mortal Kombat, after Raiden defeats Shao Kahn and the Elder Gods take him away, the sun shines down on him, Johnny Cage, and Sonya Blade.
  • The first Ninja Gaiden game ends with Ryu and Irene watching a sunrise and Ryu saying "Look, the sun is rising. Everything is so bright now. The darkness is finally over." The third game also ends with a sunrise.
  • In the Survival Horror game ObsCure II, the Final Boss is fought just as the sun is starting to rise. Given that the monsters in the game are Weakened by the Light, this is your clue (in case the large stack of guns and ammo you found just before entering the boss arena wasn't enough) that you're about to enter The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • This is one of your powers in Ōkami. Of course, you are playing the incarnation of the sun goddess. Very early in the game, you summon the Sun just to dry somebody's laundry...
    • A more textbook example is in the fight with Orochi when you dramatically summon the moon to match the legend of Orochi's original defeat. Later you're sent back in time to the first fight with Orochi, and do the dramatic moon-summoning that makes its way into the legend.
    • The ultimate example comes during the Final Battle: even after being restored to her greatest glory by a Combined Energy Attack from all of Nippon, Amaterasu is still unable to harm Yami, Emperor of Darkness, in any way, even despite the Theme Music Power-Up. The only way to make it vulnerable (and, indeed, make it lethally vulnerable) is to use Ammy's most basic skill, Sunrise, which pierces Yami's Eclipse and makes it writhe in pain.
      • Made even more powerful by the fact that she never lost it. Even when Yami destroyed all the other brush spirits, the other gods who surrendered themselves to Amaterasu, who became part of her by returning to where they came from, he didn't destroy her. The reason Amaterasu had that power to begin with is that she is the Sun God, and unless Yami destroyed her, he could not destroy that power. As the trope description reminds us, cueing the sun is a way to signal that victory is near, that the darkness has passed, and that it's time for the light to shine. It's the ultimate way of giving people hope, and Amaterasu had it all along.
  • The final stage of Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 finds the sun burning out and catastrophic ice storms engulfing the planet. The rival cheerleader squads finally join forces and channel the positive feelings of everyone on Earth to reinvigorate the sun, while music plays. Upon the song's completion, the sun rises from the gloom and the world is saved, making this one of the more literal uses of the trope.
  • In the Pokémon games there are moves called "Morning Sun" and "Sunny Day"; the former recovers half the HP of a Pokémon (all of it when it's bright out), while the latter powers up Fire attacks and certain Grass Pokémon.
    • Many Grass Pokémon are typically taught Sunny Day and Solarbeam in tandem; under Sunny Day, the charge time for Solarbeam is thrown out, meaning four rounds (or more, if a drought stone or a Pokémon with the Drought ability is sent out) of nonstop solar-powered bombardment.
    • Contrast Rain Dance, which, of course, makes it rain. As long as it's raining, Fire attacks and Solar Beam deal less damage, and Thunder is guaranteed to hit (in Diamond and Pearl, it even penetrates Protect and Detect 30% of the time).
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers, the player and their partner are sent into a Bad Future: a world where time has stopped and everything is shrouded in eternal darkness. After managing to find their way back to the present, one of the first things they do is take a moment to watch the sun rise. They then set out to Set Right What Once Went Wrong and stop the future from happening.
    • The fifth special episode in Explorers of Sky features side characters Grovyle, Dusknoir, and Celebi all attempting to avert the Bad Future, a prospect that is complicated by their all being from said future (meaning their success will erase them from existence). As the episode nears its climax, the player character's actions have begun a Delayed Ripple Effect that gradually restarts time around them — the wind begins to blow again, they start gradually Disappearing Into Light, and the sky begins to grow lighter. They finally get to see the sun rise just before they all fade away, symbolizing the dawn of a new future.
  • Red Dead Redemption II: At the end of the final mission before Arthur Morgan dies of tuberculosis, if you have high honor then regardless of whether you help John Marston escape or go for the gang's loot, Arthur will die peacefully while looking at the rising sun.
  • Happens pretty frequently in Resident Evil.
    • In Resident Evil the sun comes up just before you kill the tyrant and Brad shows up in the helicopter to rescue you.
    • Resident Evil 2 By the time you evacuate Raccoon City via train, the sun has come up while it was completely dark in all other parts of the game.
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis The government is going to destroy Raccoon City at dawn, which is exactly when you escape.
    • The sun's arrival plays a more important role in Resident Evil 0 You have to open the roof of a landing pad so that the newly risen sun's rays can destroy the Final Boss.
  • Night falls as the penultimate battle of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter begins. After you finish killing the lots and lots and lots of monsters present, the sun comes up again.
  • Shadowgate: After the defeat of the Warlock Lord by turning the Behemoth against him with the Staff of Ages, leading to the beast dragging the Warlock Lord back into the abyss with him, the sun rises over Shadowgate for the first time in years.
    Narrator: Suddenly, it is very quiet. A beautiful light seems to fill the cavern. "The morning sun" you say to yourself. "It is over..."
  • In "Shounen Kininden Tsumuji" after the Demon Castle is destroyed, the Sun rises over the mountains showing that the adventure is finally over.
  • Skies of Arcadia does this as well. When you are in the final corridor of Soltis, you can see the clear blue sky through the holes in the ceiling, and right after you defeat Ramirez and he sacrifices himself to summon the Silver Gigas Zelos, the sky is suddenly smothered with dark clouds. After you defeat Zelos and face off against Zelos-Ramirez, the sun starts to shine through the clouds, which is laid out right behind your characters, with the darkest part of the scenery behind Zelos-Ramirez and where he crashed onto the Delphinus. Finally, when you defeat him once and for all, the dark clouds dissipate entirely, and Soltis falls back into the Vortex.
  • Sonic Adventure's Speed Highway ends this way. The first part of the stage is an intense highway run at night, which had Sonic get chased by police bots down a tall hotel. Upon leaving the hotel, the scenery switches to the morning sun, as Sonic navigates traffic to get to the end of the stage. The background track is even called "At Dawn."
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), at the end of Silver's story, after Iblis is defeated and sealed away, the perpetual cloud cover breaks, allowing the "the HEALING RAYS of the SUN!" to shine on the post-apocalyptic landscape for the first time in the entire game.
  • Seen in T. Hawk's ending in Super Street Fighter II: as he vows to rebuild his homeland that M. Bison had devastated, the sun rises and he greets it with open arms.
  • Subverted, played straight, and possibly reversed in Suikoden V, where the plot centers around a set of runes related to various times of day — and which can be used to call down the fearsome power of the sun itself upon your foes! And since the runes end up on both sides of the central conflict, 'cueing the sun' in Suikoden V is synonymous with wholesale destruction for one side or the other. It even serves as the pre-battle wipe every time you have a Random Encounter...
  • In one of the earliest examples, we've got the Angry Sun in Super Mario Bros. 3. To say the least, it was annoying.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 has one level taking place in the Slimy Spring Galaxy, which is mostly an underground cave system that's naturally quite dark and claustrophobic. At the very end of the level, Mario finally gets to breach back up to the surface, suddenly ending up in a quiet and lush little garden with an open view of the sunrise over the horizon. Considering the cramped, disorienting nature of the level before it, the effect is almost startlingly relaxing.
  • Used in the dynamic kill for the combination attack between Gorg and Manon's Guardian in Super Robot Wars BX, showing off the friendship between Yuu Tagami and Manon.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: The character trailer for the Hero pulls this twice; First, when the Luminary saves Link from a pair of Puppet Fighters, and then when the Luminary ends up on the ropes and Eight, Solo, and Erdrick come to his aid.
  • Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night subverts this, see The Night That Never Ends for more details...
  • At the end of the pacifist run in Undertale, the barrier sealing the monsters in Mt. Ebott is broken, the player leads his new friends outside, and they comment on how beautiful the rising sun is.
  • The end of Vampire Night has the sun rise after "Sir Vampire" Auguste is defeated. However, since the protagonists are dhampirs created by Sir Vampire, the sun instead takes their lives along with their creator.
  • The Egyptian chapter of Waxworks (1992) takes place during a single night, with the sun rising over the Pyramids when you exit the secret tunnel.
  • The minigame "Zombie Tag" in Wii Party ends with the sunrise, which turns all the zombie Miis to normal.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • The Sun shows up near the end of Ducktalez 7, indicating a new beginning for Scrooge and his nephews.

    Western Animation 
  • A reversal in Avatar: The Last Airbender, as the sun powers up the Firebenders attacking the Northern Water Tribe, and the tide shifts in the heroes' favor when the sun sets.
    • And then shifts back to favor the villains just as an important duel between a waterbender and a firebender was about to end.
    • Of course, the moon being restored after disappearing entirely (along with the Waterbenders' abilities) leans rather closer to this trope
    • Much later has a weirder version: Sozin's comet finally passes just after Aang beats Ozai. Then it becomes possible to see that sun, which was being blocked by another light source.
  • Count Duckula's first encounter with Danger Mouse is interrupted as the sun is coming up. The Count flees to his castle in panic.
  • In an episode of Garfield and Friends, during a US Acres segment, Bo the sheep actually says "cue the sun".
  • Used in the Gargoyles episode "Long Way to Morning": Hudson has spent all night protecting a hurt Goliath from Demona, buying time until the sun can restore the gargoyle leader's health. Thus, the sun, which usually leaves the gargoyles helpless, is, in this case, their savior.
  • Lampshaded in Home Movies in the third-season episode "My Cheatin' Heart." McGuirk walks up the golf green, silhouetted by rays of sunlight:
    McGuirk: Sorry I'm late, I had to wait for the sun to be at the right angle, for the effect...
    Andrew: Nice.
  • The sun rises when the Justice League defeats the Justice Lords.
    • Several times in the DC Animated Universe, not always exactly a sunrise but sometimes just its appearance, with added meaning as the sun is the source of Superman's powers.
  • Looney Tunes: the sun rising in Porky in Wackyland is hoisted up from the bottom by denizens of Wackyland.
  • In the second episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the sun rises immediately following Nightmare Moon's defeat. It's justified because Nightmare Moon was keeping Princess Celestia, who is responsible for raising and lowering the sun, imprisoned; that's right, the sun literally wasn't allowed to rise until the big bad was defeated.
  • Primal (2019): "Terror Under the Blood Moon", appropriately, ends this way, with Spear and Fang running towards the sunrise after surviving the night.
  • Odd case in ReBoot. When Hexadecimal infects the system paint program the first thing we see her do with it is to paint a sun into Mainframe's sky. Since Mainframe never had a sun before (since it's inside a computer) this confuses everyone until Phong alerts Bob about the paint program. After that, the painted sun is completely ignored.
  • Parodied in Rick and Morty: after being forced to flee from the intergalactic government and search for an Earth-like planet out of the government's reach to live in refuge on, they finally decide on one. The Smith family gathers together to watch the sunrise, and it comes up - accompanied by the sound of it screaming. Yes, the sun. They decide to find another planet.
  • Rock-A-Doodle actually does this twice: The first time during the opening credits, and again when Chanticleer fights the Grand Duke of Owls.
  • Played with (literally) in an episode of The Simpsons, which results in Homer (during a Mushroom Samba) breaking the sun.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward, Earth's sun is alien invader's Sh'Okanabo's main weakness. When he (not yet knowing of this weakness, since it affects him only when he's particularly weak) begins turning New York's population into mindless, subservient Kanabo drones, the effect only lasts until the sun rises, which coincidentally occurs just when Sh'Okanabo is about to defeat last turtle standing Raphael. Later, in the episode "The Day of Awakening", Sh'Okanabo has taken over a moonbase and has programmed it to block out the sun in preparation in order to allow him to create Kanabo drones, and again, it is only as he is about to win that the heroes manage to open these shutters.
  • In Thundercats 2011 this is inverted, as storm clouds part just as The Duelist claims a sword from another unprepared victim, leaving him crushed and defeated as the sun blazes high above his head.
  • Transformers: Prime: The end of "Predatory", set during a particularly heartwarming moment between Arcee and Jack, after they've defeated Airachnid.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender
    • After the Balmera is finally saved from the Galra by Voltron and the Balmera itself in Season 1. Hunk and Shay watch the sunrise; for Shay, it's the first time she's ever seen it
    • Later on in Season 5, Prince Lotor finally manages to kill his insane, dictatorial father Zarkon. After his father's lights go out for sure, he looks toward the sky as sunlight washes over him.

    Real Life 
  • Dramatic example: When The Who were performing Tommy at Woodstock, the sun began to rise during the dramatic final number ("See Me, Feel Me"). John Entwistle later joked that "God was our lighting man." The band later had a lighting rig, which were rarities at the time, constructed to replicate this.
  • Some accounts of Abraham Lincoln's inauguration speech in 1865, just as the American Civil War was in its ending phases and by then the North knew they were going to win, have the final moments of the speech be illuminated by the sunlight shining through the clouds and onto the President's platform. To the audience, it seemed like hope was shining down on America for the first time in several years.
  • In his autobiography About Face, David Hackworth tells how he decided to shoot himself in the foot to escape a miserable winter night on the Korean front line. It took a while to unlace his frozen bootlaces, and when he'd finished Hackworth saw the faint glimmer of dawn on the horizon. Even though it was still freezing, just the knowledge that things would warm up in a few hours was enough for Hackworth not to go through with it.
  • Invoked by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in his 1997 victory speech, after Labour won a landslide general election. The speech took place outside in the very early hours, just as the sun was rising, and Blair even began the speech with "A new dawn has broken, has it not?"


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