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Everything's Better with Rainbows

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"Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me."
Kermit the Frog, The Muppet Movie

Rainbows in stories are not just symbolic, but also prone to traits that actual rainbows never exhibit, the most common being solidity, treating the rainbow as an object that can be interacted with.

Because rainbows seem to travel from the ground to the sky (and back, if complete), they are usually seen in mythology as some kind of bridge or other connection point to and from heaven; in Norse Mythology the rainbow is Bifröst, the bridge to Ásgarðr; in Greek Mythology, Iris is the goddess of the rainbow as well as the messenger of the gods (Which makes this Older Than Feudalism). In Ireland, a rainbow's base is also a great place to keep a pot of gold (in fact, it serves as a perfect hiding place, since it's impossible to reach). In The Bible, the rainbow is a pledge that the world will never again be flooded to destroy all living things. Meanwhile in Japan, a rainbow is traditionally an ill omen, of doom or at least bad weather, though the Western perspective has become more widespread there.

Some people even associate rainbows with ULTIMATE POWER, of all things.

Since rainbows are natural phenomena of great power, it's also reasonable to give them to actual characters and forces within a story. Expect some of the flashier Anime characters to use them directly as a weapon or to incorporate them somehow into Ki Manipulation. They're also a common symbol in worlds known for their Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, as a representation of a character's equal dedication to each element. Finally, they are known in some circles to be extremely girly and are often a symbol of Camp Gayness.

May overlap, especially in the second variant, with All Your Colors Combined. See also Rainbow Motif, Rainbows and Unicorns, and Ride the Rainbow. If a rainbow is drawn with fewer than seven stripes, that's Rainbow Lite.

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Examples of natural Rainbows as objects

  • There was once a Skittles commercial in which some kids were sitting on a rainbow, eating Skittles. When one questioned the plausibility of this, part of the rainbow opened up beneath him like a trapdoor and he fell to his death. Don't question the rainbow.
  • At Dairy Queen, they don't just have rainbows, they have rainbows that are on fire!

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Rainbow Crystals (fragments that come together to form the Silver Crystal) of Sailor Moon. Also, her Rainbow Moon Heartache attack in the 3rd season is an upgrade to Moon Spiral Heart Attack, signified by a rainbow accompanying the otherwise similar Stock Footage.
  • In one episode of Mushishi, Ginko joins up with a man who's looking for a rainbow colored being called the Rainbow Serpent.
  • In the Code Geass opening, "World End", there's a scene of Nunnally, a blind, crippled girl, throwing a paper crane that trails a rainbow and sparkles. Whether or not it has meaning is up to the viewer.
  • A rainbow appears in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 after the Gundam Meisters successfully rescue Allelujah and Marina, making a dramatic escape. This can be justified by the amount of water thrown into the air from Ptolemios II's plunge into the ocean.
  • Rainbows and the colors of the rainbow are a central theme in Brigadoon: Marin and Melan. It's highlighted by the ending theme, "Rainbow-colored Treasure."
  • Rainbows are common in Rebuild of Evangelion; at one point, a rainbow shows through a rain of blood.
  • Johan Andersen's ultimate monster, Rainbow Dragon, in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
  • Eureka Seven has Humongous Mecha SURFING on rainbows at various points in time. Trapars are usually green, rainbows show up a lot, too.
  • Unlike everyone else (whose magic is only one color), Vivio from Lyrical Nanoha has rainbow colored magic, which In-Universe is known as Kaiserfarbe (Emperor Color).

  • Oni Embodiments: A staple of Takashi Murakami's work, the sculptures are covered in bright, psychedelic coloring. Their eyes, teeth, and the platform they stand on feature a wide range of saturated colors.
  • Sistine Chapel: Calling to mind the Noah story, “The Crossing of the Red Sea” features a rainbow on the left side of the painting parallel to the rains on the right that drown the Pharaoh. The rainbow symbolizes the covenant the Jews will make with God and their newfound freedom.

    Comic Strips 
  • Once in Peanuts, Lucy worried about the persistent rain flooding everything. Linus assures her that the rainbow is a sign of the promise that it won't.
  • In Rose is Rose, Pasquale "catches" rainbows — the little ones. That is, he sprays the hose and makes small rainbows (He always releases them unharmed).
  • In Frank and Ernest, once two newly hatched birds see a beautiful bucolic scene, with a rainbow. One thinks it's big and scary; one reflects that at least it's not eggshell white.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Demon of the Lute, a martial-arts fantasy film, have the hero's sword emitting rainbow-colored lights in the final battle as he fights the titular demon.
  • The Muppet Movie rainbow. All right, it arcs down through a hole in the soundstage roof, but it's a naturally occurring rainbow!
  • According to Rainbow, if you track the rainbow to its landing site, you get to ride inside it to the other side.
  • A visual motif in Phil Lord & Chris Miller movies, such as in Cloudy Witha Chance Of Meatballs, The LEGO Movie, and 21 Jump Street.
  • In Equilibrium, the main character accidentally misses the dose of medication that makes all citizens of Libria emotionless. Next morning he wakes up from a nightmare, and all colors are unusually vibrant. Then he tears off the paper covering the window in his room, and sees the rainbow as a symbol of hope and renewal in this grey Crapsack World.
  • The Wizard of Oz. "Over the Rainbow".
    "Somewhere over the rainbow
    Bluebirds fly
    Birds fly over the rainbow
    Why then, oh why can't I?"

  • The Book of Lost Tales (the precursor to The Silmarillion), featured the Olórë Mallë (Path of Dreams) over which the spirits of children in Middle-earth would travel in their sleep to meet the Elves in Valinor; this was implied to be a rainbow.
  • In a story told in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the children of the Creator slipped through a rift in creation to chase a rainbow and got trapped, becoming the stars.
  • In The Last Continent, after the rain returns to FourEcks, the Man Who Carries The Universe In A Sack produces a boomerang decorated with more colors than the Ecksian Aborigine boy has ever seen in one place, and throws it at the sky, where it sticks.
  • In George MacDonald's The Golden Key, the key is found at the end of the rainbow — which also shines at night, but then, it's in an Enchanted Forest.
  • In Victoria Hanley's The Seer and the Sword, Landen fondly remembers the rainbows of his native land.
  • In Warbreaker, more Breath will create an aura of brighter color around a person. if the person takes this to insane levels (which only the god king has reached), white objects will gain a prismatic appearance.
  • Rainbow Drops in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory allow you to spit in six different colors (seven in the 1971 movie!).
  • In Loskutik And The Cloud, a scarf left as a parting gift by Granny Thundercloud turns into a rainbow.
  • In Robert Frost poem "Iris by Night" a moonbow (the lunar equivalent of a rainbow, naturally far rarer and harder to see) forms itself into a ring and encircles a pair of young lovers.

  • Metal band Rainbow featured several songs using rainbows as a symbol for imagination, ambition and human effort. "Catch the Rainbow" from their debut album is about trying to reach for the impossible, and "Rainbow Eyes" is about mourning for The Lost Lenore, who grows more mythicized and fantastical in the singer's memory over time. Various other songs name-check the word now and then, though in a more random manner. The cover for the album Rising features a hand reaching out of the rolling sea and actually catching the rainbow.
    • Rainbow's initial vocalist and lyricist Ronnie James Dio held on to the symbolism in his later career, often singing about rainbows, mostly notably in "Rainbow in the Dark", whose oxymoronic title refers to the topic of solitude.
  • Insane Clown Posse: "After it rains, Fuckin' Rainbows!
  • Kesha's third album, Rainbow which includes a song of the same name.
  • This line from Psychostick's "We Ran Out of CD Space":
    What if your dad was made of rainbows?
    You would be like,
    OMG, that's lame
    I want a dad made out of ninja robots!

    Mythology & Religion 
  • In Australia Dreamtime stories, the Rainbow Serpent created the lands.
  • In Norse Mythology, Bifröst is a rainbow bridge connecting Miðgarðr (man's domain/earth) and Ásgarðr (realm of the gods). Presumably every rainbow is an instance of the same bridge.
  • Inverted in Japanese Mythology, where rainbows are a sign of misfortune.
  • In the Abrahamic religions, the rainbow is a promise not to flood the world again.

  • Farfalla takes place in a flower garden filled with butterflies; a large rainbow dominates the playfield.
  • The playfield for Time Fantasy includes a large six-color rainbow in the background.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The gimmick of the tag team known as Rainbow Bright, Luscious Latasha and Gabby Gilbert, is wearing rainbow gear.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Fraggle Rock: In his latest postcard, Traveling Matt tells of his trip to Rainbow Farms (a chicken farm), where he thinks rainbows are hatched from eggs.

    Video Games 
  • At the end of Ōkami, a rainbow forms a bridge to the Ark of Yamato. In Ōkamiden, rainbows can be used as bridges on an inhabited storm cloud.
  • Fairune 2 has a rainbow over a waterfall in the Green Fields. It indicates the entrance to Dramos Cave.
  • At the end of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the seven multicolored Sages combine their powers to form a bridge to Ganondorf's castle.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario Party 5: Rainbow Dream lives up to its name thanks to the solid rainbow bridges and slopes that allow players to move across the floating islands of the board (though it's necessary to pay 5 coins to use them).
    • In Super Paper Mario, you end up creating a blocky rainbow bridge to Grambi's shrine.
    • Rainbow Road, the final course in every Mario Kart game, is just a big, long rainbow that you drive on. It even makes appearances in F-Zero X and Super Mario Galaxy 2.
    • Rainbow Ride from Super Mario 64 (and Rainbow Cruise from Super Smash Bros. Melee).
  • Rainbow Islands. A game where solid rainbows are used both to attack enemies and to create platforms for climbing.
  • In Pokémon Black and White, there is a new combination move that creates a rainbow that raises the chance of added effects from moves (for example, Thunderbolt will have a higher chance of causing paralysis).
  • In Team Fortress 2, the Rainblower is a weapon that shots rainbows, or at least, that's what the user sees.
  • In Keith Courage in Alpha Zones, levels are connected by a Rainbow Transport.
  • Inverted in The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, where the final stage has a very noticeable rainbow pattern, as well as rainbow enemies. It is not at all a good sign.note 
  • Subverted in We Happy Few. Both the natural world and Wellington Wells are extremely colorful, but while the subdued colors of the natural world tend to be quite soothing, the bright and obnoxious rainbow motif of Wellington Wells should induce the same fear that a poisonous frog does.
  • In Shadowverse, Legendary cards — the highest tier rarity — are denoted with a rainbow sheen in their card frame.
  • Played straight in Star Sky if the player takes the rainy path and stops after passing by the house. The sky will fill with an enormous rainbow that makes for one of the most beautiful scenes in the game.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Strong Bad Email "flashback," Coach Z and Strong Bad travel on a "sweet, sweet rainbow bridge" from the moon back to Earth.
  • Magical Dream Time!
  • In asdfmovie2, there's a clip that goes like this:
    Man: Doctor, I think I might be homosexual!
    Doctor: How can you tell?
    —>Man: (proceeds to barf rainbows on doctor) RAINBOWS!


    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The Fairly OddParents! has a rainbow bridge connecting Earth to Fairy World. It's unclear where exactly this bridge's Earthly end is located, and the bridge is rarely used in favor of teleportation between the worlds.
  • My Little Pony:
    • Generation 1 has the Rainbow of Light, which tends to be a go-to weapon of sorts.
    • There was also a G3 DTV movie in which a Rainbow Princess had to make rainbows for the entire kingdom, or else everything would lose its color. Though, their rainbow only had four colors in it, so when the colors did start disappearing, there were several large, unaffected areas.
    • And you can be forgiven for blocking the memory due to the horror, but the Newborn Cuties web shorts show that Sweetie Belle was created when two rainbows crossed. Rainbows are life! Also, that adds some Fridge Horror to The Runaway Rainbow: The world losing its color would suck, but if rainbows are how new ponies are born, no rainbows because the first rainbow of spring wasn't made on time would be very bad indeed. (Of course, it's also these shorts where we meet actual parents, and G3 Scootaloo was introduced as Cheerilee's sister. Maybe Sweetie Belle is a special case.)
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In this world, rainbows are made in a weather factory, where it's shown in liquid form. Pinkie Pie, who had previously been shown to relish cupcakes that had been slathered in copious amounts of intensely spicy hot sauce, tried tasting liquid rainbow and wound up fleeing in a fiery panic. There's also the traditional, non-liquid form, possibly the finished product; both are used in the landscaping of Rainbow Dash's cloud home.
    • Rainbow Dash creates a rainbow-colored streak behind her when she flies fast enough and is also able to perform a stunt known as the "Sonic Rainboom", a.k.a. the "Orbital Friendship Cannon", which is exactly what it sounds like.
    • The Apple family also occasionally harvests magical Zap Apples that only appear under certain rare weather conditions and are rainbow-patterned when they ripen.
    • In "Hearts and Hooves Day", the Cutie Mark Crusaders suck the colors out of a free-standing rainbow using a vacuum cleaner. They need it for a Love Potion.
    • And if you want ultimate power, you want the season four finale. In the premiere there's a mystery box of plot importance with six keyholes. One by one the cast will have a realization about what they should have done and work to set things right; when they do, an object relating to the situation will reflect rainbow-colored light into their eyes, causing their eyes to glow with rainbow color. In the final battle of the season, each one takes the form of a 'rainbow power key' to open the box and give them the new, toyetic Rainbow Power upgrades; this let them beat a villain that was more than a match for all the god-tier characters combined by the end.
  • Used in the logo of The Amazing World of Gumball; Tobias and his family/species has a rainbow color scheme as well. Also, Masami's dad owns a rainbow factory where Nicole works.
  • In Fanboy and Chum Chum the titular characters squeeze one out of the leprechaun cereal mascot Lucky Charlie's butt in the episode "Lucky Chumps". A myriad of "Double Rainbow" references predictably ensue.
  • In The Smurfs (1981), rainbows serve as bridges between the Earth and the Land of Myth, which Blue Eyes the pegasus uses to cross between worlds.

    Real Life 
  • Became an internet phenomenon after this clip quickly spread like wildfire, going through various remixes, alterations and mutations along the way.
  • Double rainbows are very common, though the second one is often much fainter, and is reversed, with red at the bottom and violet at the top. You can also, rarely see a triple rainbow, with the third one even fainter, but the right way.
  • An airplane's condensation trail with proper lighting can make a distinctive rainbow too
  • During the 1970s-1980s, every VHS company ever tended to use rainbows in their logos, and (in some cases) on cover designs.
  • Groups dedicated to pets and pet-lovers sometimes use references to deceased pets crossing the "Rainbow Bridge" to an all-animal version of Fluffy Cloud Heaven.

Examples of Rainbows used by characters

  • Every Lucky Charms cereal commercial, ever.

    Anime & Manga 
  • A filler character in Bleach, Maki Ichinose has a zanpaku-to named Nijigasumi that uses rainbow-based attacks.
  • Eureka Seven: The "Seven Swell" attack is composed of rainbow-colored energy, and rainbows are used quite a bit in the series.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann uses it in almost every transformation, and in the final episode when the spiral power goes off the charts!!!
  • Xam'd: Lost Memories: Many simple little energy bursts, among other things, are rainbow colored.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has Johan's Rainbow Dragon card, itself summoned via having the seven colors of the Rainbow in their beast forms already present.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: After summoning the three polar gods in a non-duel Team Ragnorok activated the spell card "The Rainbow Bridge Bifrost" (not to be confused with with the card "Rainbow Bridge Bifrost, without the "The") to get Yusei and co up to the Arc Cradle.
  • The Lyrical Nanoha has the Kaiserfarbe (Color of the Emperors), a rainbow-colored magical aura unique to those of the Sankt Kaiser bloodline like Olivie Sägebrecht and Vivio Takamachi.
  • In Captain Earth, Albion's read, Teppei's singularity is creating a circular rainbow out of thin air. Doesn't sound very impressive, but his sword and shield in Kiltgang form are also made of rainbows and he's regarded as quite powerful.
  • In Kill la Kill, Ragyo Kiryuin has spectra in the underside of her hair, and rainbows figure in several of her garments. This may tie in with the Japanese view of rainbows as symbol of calamity, as she's the Big Bad in the series. Also, it indicates her connection with life fibers, which also emit rainbow sparkles on occasion.

    Comic Books 
  • Meet Rainbow Boy!
  • Batman:
    • Detective Comics #241 featured a story titled "The Rainbow Batman". In the story, Dick Grayson injures his arm while in public, making going out as Robin risky. As luck would have it, Batman's latest case requires Robin's assistance to help identify the crooks, which is a problem given that the case takes place at an event attracting media attention. Batman creates some differently colored uniforms (as well as a bullseye uniform) for himself to wear to distract the crowds from Robin's injury, culminating with the titular Rainbow Batman outfit.
    • A super villain called the Firefly fired a rainbow out of his belt to attack Batman and Robin. See it here.
  • Superman
  • The Flash has an enemy called Rainbow Raider, who can use rainbows as Hard Light constructs and manipulate emotions based on the color that hits his targets. Ironically, he's colorblind.
  • The cover of The Incredible Hulk #355 has a super character named Glorian using a rainbow against the title hero, as seen here.
  • Blackhawk. On the cover of Blackhawk #156, a villain called the Plutonian Raider fires rainbow beams to paralyze the protagonists.
  • The seven colours of the light spectrum (which constitute a rainbow) are each represented in the various Corps in the Green Lantern franchise. Each colour is part of what's called an 'Emotional Spectrum', though they better correlate to things that drive people (in order: Rage, Greed, Fear, Willpower, Hope, Compassion, Love), which the respective Corps use to manifest their rings' power. All of them combined create the White Light of Life, while the Black light of Death feeds on the independent 'emotions'.
  • Karolina Dean of the Runaways turns glittery and rainbow-colored when her powers are activated, and she can fire projectiles and make shields of the same color.
  • Julie Power from Power Pack, like Karolina, flies leaving a rainbow trail, except colors are not as pastel, and form lines. In Avengers Academy Julie came out as bi and kissed Karolina flying in the sky with rainbow tails.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Generating a rainbow out of the spikes on his back was the main form of attack for Barugon, Gamera's very first foe in War of the Monsters (a.k.a. Gamera vs. Barugon).

  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Iris sends messages for the characters when they throw coins into rainbows. Real rainbows, creating occasions where they have to quickly fudge up some spray to generate one.
  • In Warbreaker, the God King, or any other person with a sufficient amount of Breath, causes anything white in his vicinity to produce rainbows. These colors can then be used to power Awakenings.
  • In Seanan McGuire's Velveteen vs.. The Junior Super Patriots, Yelena's powers are rainbow related.
  • In Victoria Forester's The Girl Who Could Fly, Bella can create a rainbow.
  • From Jack Vance's Dying Earth, the Excellent Prismatic Spray is a widely-known spell that instantly kills anyone it's cast on and the reason so many spells in other media are named "Prismatic Whatever"
  • The circle representing God the Father in The Divine Comedy is described as an oscillating rainbow of light that reflects off the golden circle representing Jesus.

    Live-Action TV 

    Mythology & Religion 
  • In Greek Mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. Even when Hermes took up the messenger role, she never gave it up; gods sent both of them.


  • In We Are All Pokémon Trainers, Spectrum the Flygon speaks in rainbows. Her voice breaks physics, and does not go unnoticed by those who hear her.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The game has a long history with powerful rainbow spells. The weaker effects can blind or otherwise temporarily disable enemies, while the more powerful versions, the "prismatic" spells, have a separate effect for every color of the rainbow, ranging from very high damage (of three different elements) to instant death, being turned to stone, or being banished to another dimension. As every effect has to be resisted separately, this resulted in these spells being difficult to bypass and resist. 3.5 Edition has the Initiate of the Seven Veils, a set of magical prismatic veils and more rainbow spells. Also, the most powerful wizard isn't some battlemage throwing around fireballs - it's Rainbow Brite. This causes massive confusion amongst newbies, who expect the flashy fireballs to be more powerful than shooting rainbows, when the reverse is invariably true - the strongest first level spell is generally agreed to be Color Spray (which shoots a rainbow of colors out to blind and stun enemies).
    • Dungeon magazine #45 adventure "Prism Keep". When the Rainbow Crystal is activated, a rainbow appears between the Crystal and the castle floating overhead. The rainbow will take everyone in the area up to the castle.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Back at the very start with Rogue Trader, there was a Space Marine chapter listed called the Rainbow Warriors.
  • The Compleat Arduin Book 2: Resources
    • A number of spells use or create rainbows as part of their effects.
      • Sporling's Wall of Whimsey: Creates a wall of pulsing rainbow light that confuses anyone who passes through it.
      • Santander's Wasp Conjuration: Summons a rainbow-colored wasp that can be used to attack creatures.
      • Jastrakahn's Conjuration of the Resplendent Repulsion Area: A rainbow colored glow emanates from the caster.
      • Stafford's Star Bridge Ritual: Creates abridge of coruscating rainbow-hued light that can be walked upon.
      • Tokkrang's Star Bore: Creates a rainbow-hued energy stream that massively damages anything it hits.
      • Goraling's Ritual of the Opening Gate: Creates a shimmering, rainbow-colored half-oval archway.
      • Arturo's Rainbow Spray: Generates a bright rainbow colored burst of lights.
    • The magikal item Dream Dust is a rainbow colored metallic dust.
    • Monsters
      • The Star Dragon's Breath Weapon is a 1,000 foot long rainbow hued beam that disintegrates anything it hits. Likewise, every scale on its body glows with all the colors of the rainbow.
      • A Shimmerling is a Faerie with rainbow colored wings that can fire a faery bolt (rainbow-hued burst of energy) up to 66 feet away.
      • Dyrdyrions are bright metallic red dragonflies 8-9 feet long with compound eyes that glow every color of the rainbow.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Daria from Rune Factory 3 is obsessed with rainbows; she SCREAMS "RAINBOW" at any given chance, uses rainbow-colored attacks, and interrupts Sakuya's tour to scream "RAINBOW!"
    Sakuya: Here, we have Rainbow Falls. There's always a rainbow here, and some say you can even hear the rainbow.
    Daria: [off-screen] RAINBOW!
  • The whole point of the game Rainbow Islands.
  • In Chrono Trigger, there's a sidequest to gather a chromatic "rainbow shell," from which several of the game's most powerful items are made. And in Chrono Cross where you see what a weapon made from rainbow shell should actually look like.
  • Kirby:
    • In Kirby's Dream Land 2, collecting all the Rainbow Drops earns you the Rainbow Sword, which you need for fighting Dark Matter.
    • In Kirby: Canvas Curse, you control Kirby using a magical paintbrush that paints rainbow-colored lines as paths for Kirby. After defeating the final boss, a rainbow also appears in the sky in the game's ending.
    • In Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, it's a magic pen that makes rainbow clay lines. note 
  • In the Mario sports games, Yoshi's special moves tend to be rainbow-powered if they're not egg-based (or even if they are).
  • Touhou Project: Hong Meiling has a lot of her attacks based on rainbows. As does Kaguya, Tree-Ocean of Hourai and End of Imperishable Night "Morning Mist", especially.
    • Kogasa's Spell Card "Over The Rainbow".
    • Alice's character title is Seven-Colored Puppeteer.
  • The Rainbow Pop Fly is a powerup in Backyard Baseball.
  • One of the mage skills in The Spirit Engine involves smiting your enemies with a rainbow.
  • The King of All Cosmos uses a Royal Rainbow to transport the Prince to Earth and back in Katamari Damacy.
  • Mori Motonari, the resident sun-worshipper of Sengoku Basara, carries a rainbow blade as one of his weapons. Subverted in that this does not make him a nice guy.
  • In the BIT.TRIP games, CommanderVideo always leaves a rainbow trail behind him for no apparent reason. In RUNNER in particular, you have to reach Extra Mode (via collecting Mode Power Ups) to get the rainbow. And the ending features the Five-Man Band lifting off with individual trials matching the rainbow's colors in these games.
  • Sonic Colors naturally. Especially the final color blaster used on Eggman in the final battle.
  • Robot Unicorn Attack: Your mane and tail are rainbow coloured.
  • The Pokémon Ho-oh is a rainbow-creating phoenix.
  • de Blob, being all about color, naturally uses this. Often you'll be asked to paint things in a Chromatic Arrangement, and in the sequel there is a Rainbow Powerup that automatically makes Blob the right color for a given object.
  • When a weapon in Ratchet: Deadlocked reaches level 99 its attacks become rainbow coloured.
  • In Banjo-Tooie, one puzzle in Cloudcuckooland involves creating a rainbow by conjuring up a rain shower. The Pot o' Gold is at its end.
  • One World of Warcraft quest in Felwood has you testing a rainbow-creating weapon on the local demon population. It proves extremely effective (and hilarious).
  • Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 11: Shang Tsung's "Friendship" Finishing Move has him form a rainbow with his hands.
  • Inverted in Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time, everything is better with rainbows... for the zombies. When her Pop Jam plays, the Glitter Zombie produces a rainbow trail behind her that makes all zombies (except Glitter Zombies) in it completely invulnerable to damage as well as removing slowing/stunning effects from them.
  • Oh, so, very subverted in Update 2 of Five Nights at Freddy's World. Chica's Magic Rainbow is the featured character of the minigame of the same name. She starts out encouraging the player, then turns into a Jerkass who berates the player, eventually killing the player herself if the player takes too long. She's also the True Final Boss of Update 2, is one of the hardest bosses to defeat, and, again, kills the party with one hit kills if the timer runs out.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, rainbows are associated with Meridia, a Daedric Prince whose sphere is obscured to mortals, but is associated with Life Energy, Light, and Beauty. One ancient Ayleid text even claims that by traveling the "rainbow road" (a reference to the prismatic refraction of light), Meridia can in some sense alter the rate at which time flows forward:
    "...thus does Merid-Nunda [ride? slide?] across the rainbow road from end to end, at one end stretching the dragon, at the other end compressing him..."
  • Lots of rainbows are in Terraria. One is in the background of the Hallow. Rainbow Slimes (which constantly cycle through the different colors) appear around the Hallow when it rains, and drop Rainbow Bricks to build with. The Merchant sells Disco Balls that give off rainbow-colored light. The Rainbow Rod, Rainbow Gun, and Last Prism are all magic weapons that let you kill enemies with rainbows, and another Rainbow Magic Weapon, The Rainbow Crystal Staff, can also be obtained from the same source as the Last Prism. You can also dye your hair and clothes with rainbow dye.
  • Valerie Rose from Fantasy Strike, a painter who wields a giant paintbrush with rainbow-colored paint. Most of her special attacks involve painting rainbows into existence, and the rest involve her hitting her opponent with her paintbrush (which splashes rainbow paint as a visual effect).
  • Inverted in Wild AR Ms 1 and Wild ARMs 3 via Siegfried/Ziekfried. His Signature Move Negative Rainbow is his most lethal move as it hits your party for a hefty amount of damage and in remake of the first game, it's damage is based on an inversion of your elemental resistance.
  • Street Fighter III's final boss, Gill, fills the screen with rainbow colored energy during his Seraphic Wing Super Art. In Street Fighter V it instead takes the appearance of a blinding white light of destruction.
  • Early in Freedom Planet 2, Milla accidentally reveals that she created a particularly explosive color-changing potion. In the Parusa arc "Relics of the Dragon War", Neera asks her to recreate that recipe as part of a plan to blow a hole in a soon-to-erupt volcano. The result is a mass of rainbow-colored lava.
    Lilac: Wow, it even smells like a rainbow. So, the flowers...
    Milla: Yup! All a part of Milla's "Ultimate Sanction Makeover Potion"! Patent pending.

    Web Animation 

  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Sparklelord is a unicorn with a rainbow-colored mane in his home dimension. When transported to McNinja's dimension, he takes the form of a sentient motorcycle with flippin' sweet rainbow markings on it. (Although Gordito mocks him for looking like a Lisa Frank creation.)

    Western Animation 
  • The Rainicorns from Adventure Time. Half unicorn, half rainbow. Doesn't get much more girly-awesome than that.
  • Rainbow Brite, naturally. She uses the power of colors in rainbow form to keep everything happy and bright and colorful in Rainbowland, as well as on Earth. When Rainbow Brite is unable to fulfill her duties, colors quick start to fade and everything becomes rather gloomy... Rainbow Brite can also weaponize her rainbow beams to deflect attacks or even to launch attacks directly at baddies force them away/trap them. Not just all that, but her rainbows are also strong enough to allow Rainbow Brite to ride over them on her horse Starlight. And lastly, she uses these rainbows to travel all the way from Rainbowland to Earth!
  • In the Disney Fairies franchise, light-talent fairies control and manipulate rainbows.
  • In the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Idiot Box", a Running Gag involves Spongebob making a semi-figurative rainbow with his hands to illustrate the power of imagination.
  • In the first episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, a band of leprechauns (well, and a half-Korean) use a machine to create rainbows that can be used to mug people.
  • An episode of Rocko's Modern Life where he said he likes rainbows freaks out the other characters.
  • Care Bears: The entire series seems to reek in terms of rainbows as decorations, traveling devices, energy, and for that matter, weapons.
    • Three little words: Care-Bear Stare.
    • Up to the extreme with all incarnations of Cheer Bear, whose belly badge is a rainbow. Aside from that, several other bears like Best Friend Bear also has rainbows as part of their belly badge.
    • Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-Lot: Remember what we said about the rainbow being Cheer Bear's belly badge? In this incarnation of the franchise she's the leader of the Care Bears.
    • In Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot, rainbows are everywhere and have been used for everything including acting as rails for a cable car system. This also carries down to Care Bears & Cousins.
  • God, the Devil and Bob: God creates a double rainbow to cheer up the people of Detroit (in a way that won't make the atheists feel left out). For his next trick, he makes a DMV run efficiently and politely.
  • My Little Pony:
    • The original cartoons, including The Movie, used the Rainbow of Light as their one and only weapon. It tended to act like a Care-Bear Stare — reviving good characters but rounding up the not-so-good and outright destroying the evil. In fact, the movie's the only time when the Rainbow of Light fails.
    • It's not neglected in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, either, although it's done with the 'Elements of Harmony'. Similar effects, aside from 'outright destroying' the evilnote . The season 4 finale replaces the Elements of Harmony with something outright called "Rainbow Power", which does essentially the same thing, but possibly better.
    • One of the characters in the Friendship Is Magic series is Rainbow Dash, a pegasus with a rainbow colored mane, and the only one to have achieved the Sonic Rainboom. This happens when she breaks the sound barrier (or goes from supersonic to hypersonic or something) and creates a rainbow explosion that can be seen miles away, after which she trails a rainbow behind her as she flies for a moment. In one episode, she used it to demolish a barn by flying straight down at it, creating a rainbow-colored mushroom cloud.
  • The Tom Terrific story arc "The End Of Rainbows" has Tom and Manfred helping painter Rembrandt Von Rainbow complete his latest rainbow by fetching the colors he needs.
  • On Wishfart, the main character Dez (who is a leprechaun) grants wishes by shooting rainbows from his pointer finger.
  • In The Smurfs (1981) episode "Smurf-Colored Glasses", Handy uses a rainbow in a waterfall to give his smurf-colored glasses the ability to see people and things are being cute and handsome instead of ordinary, ugly, or dangerous.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, when Sokka is instructed to paint a valley entirely from memory, he gives the sun a smiley face, and ad-libs in a rainbow.
  • Parodied with Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Star's wand can create rainbows... that catch fire.
  • In Gravity Falls short Mabel's Guide to Colors, Mabel tries to get Grunkle Stan to like colors by reflecting a rainbow to his office, when he opens the curtains he is blinded by bright light of the rainbows.
  • Towards the end of the opening sequence to Language Arts Through Imagination, Figment briefly surfs down a rainbow.

Examples of Rainbows as symbols

    Anime & Manga 

  • In The Apotheosis of Washington, one of the many signs of the President's divinity is the beautiful rainbow that flies right behind his feet.

    Comic Books 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Oh, God! You Devil!, God makes a rainbow appear in the night sky above Las Vegas in order to confirm that he has heard Bobby Shelton's prayer.

  • After the massive flood in the Book of Genesis, God promises not to cause another cataclysm like the Flood and puts a rainbow in the sky as a symbol of His covenant with humanity.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Saruman the White electively promoted himself to "the Many Colored" to indicate he had evolved beyond a mere monochromatic title. Gandalf pointed out that a beam of white light broken into a rainbow is no longer white, so Saruman hadn't improved his worth so much as fractured it. As the color of each Wizard apparently symbolized the individual Vala he served, Saruman's rainbow robes could well symbolize his fall from grace: Morgoth was the only Vala to have a share of all the others' powers.
  • In The Wheel of Time, the Aes Sedai organisation is made up of seven distinct "Ajahs" each of which are devoted to a specific area of study or action. The organisation's flag shows a spiral of the seven colors, as does the headdress of their leader, the Amyrlin Seat. Since this symbol incorporates gray, brown and white into its overall scheme, this isn't a strict rainbow, but is evocative of such anyway.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire uses refractive crystals and rainbows as symbols of the Faith of the Seven. As a rainbow has seven colors, it's taken in the same sense as the three-leaf clover is sometimes viewed as symbolic of the Holy Trinity.

  • The playfield design of Spectrum is a set of multicolored rainbows interrupted by black circuit boards.

    Video Games 
  • Annie Frazier of Backyard Sports used to have a rainbow on her shirt; for her, it was a good omen.
  • At the end of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, the Moon dissolves in a globe of multicolored light, and leaves a rainbow streaked across the sky for all to see. This is probably a symbol in the biblical style, a sign that a great calamity has passed.
  • Game publisher LJN Toys, a subsidiary of Acclaim, intended for this to be in effect with their logo. Unfortunately, for gamers in the NES / SNES era, the rainbow instead symbolized a company notorious for poor quality games, typically licensed ones from popular franchises.
  • In Tokimeki Memorial, there's Saki Nijino, the bright and cheerful manager of Kirameki High's Soccer Club. The Kanji used for her name, "Nijino", can be translated as "Field of Rainbow" ; thus, the rainbow is one of the two main elements (along with a soccer ball) in the cover, title screen, and ending of the spin-off game she's the heroine of, Nijiiro no Seishun. Also, her two CD albums' names are "Over the Rainbow" and "Niji no Lithograph" (Rainbow Lithograph).
  • Rainbow Man from Mega Man Unlimited has a very trippy stage filled with these.
  • In SOUND VOLTEX, the Infinite difficulty level, used for Harder Than Hard charts introduced in Sound Voltex II, is "colored" rainbow.
  • The White Rainbow Knights organization in entire Virtual-ON franchise combines this with Light Is Good. And they pilot Lightning Bruiser Virtuaroids dealing with Shadow Virtuaroid problems, according to novel titles and MARZ.

    Western Animation 
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: The second season opening features these prominently thanks to Jimmy's Fertile Feet.
  • JoJo's Circus had an episode in which the characters chased a rainbow and did a rainbow dance.
  • The animated version of Punky Brewster starts right off telling how Glomer strayed from his home Chaundoon within a rainbow and became stranded in Chicago when the rainbow disappeared. One episode, "Be My Glomley", had Punky and her pals helping Glomer and a female glomley, Glomine, return to Chaundoon by creating a rainbow.
  • This is the entire premise of the Ready Jet Go! episode "Bortron Leprechaun". Jet sees a rainbow for the first time and thinks it's the most beautiful and magical thing he's ever seen. The rainbow serves as a symbol of the beauty of Earth.

    Real Life 
  • The Rainbow Flag, introduced in 1978, was designed by Gilbert Baker as a gay pride symbol that lacked the bleak historical baggage of the Pink Triangle, a badge used to identify queer prisoners during The Holocaust which was reclaimed by the LGBT+ community as their go-to pride symbol following World War II. Originally designed with eight brightly colored stripes, each representing a different queer virtue, before being whittled down to six within a year for practicality reasons, the flag resulted in rainbow iconography in general becoming a popular way to show LGBT+ pride (especially gay pride, resulting in other LGBT+ identities creating symbolism-driven pride flags of their own).
    Demetri Martin: I just think it's odd one group took refracted light. Pretty greedy, gay people.
  • The Quechua people of Peru, better known as the Incas, use a rainbow flag (it used to be the personal flag of the Emperor).
  • It's also on the flag of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast.
  • The symbol of Kopimi, an anti-copyright initiative.
  • This rainbow-themed exhibit at the Exploratorium demonstrates how plankton are affected by light.


Video Example(s):


Heavy Weather

Heavy Weather, through the power of subliminal messaging, allows for Weather Report to create rainbows that, when looked at, cause people to transform into snails.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / EverythingsBetterWithRainbows

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