Rikku: Mm-hm. When I was little, a fiend attacked me while I was swimming at the beach. My brother tried to beat it back with a spell. (squeaks at another thunderclap) But he missed and hit me instead! It was a Thunder spell — "Bzzzzzzt!"
Rikku: I've been scared of lightning ever since.
Your otherwise capable or serious character has an inordinate fear of thunderstorms. This is a primal, almost childish fear that surprises other characters, although it's not always played for laughs. The actual name of this fear is "Brontophobia" or "Astraphobia". note It also happens to animals, especially dogs.
Note that fear of thunder is often treated as silly; after all, it's just a lot of noise. Fear of lightning, on the other hand, is absolutely justified — and confirmed by Snopes — but by the same token, since you hear the thunder after the lightning, it's good news: it means you weren't hit. Nothing Is Scarier may also come into play, as Alfred Hitchcock once said: "There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it."
- Ciel Phantomhive of Black Butler mentions that, as a smaller child, he would get scared during thunderstorms, and would always go sleep with his parents. It's not clear, however, whether he ever outgrew the fear or is simply hiding his fear to act more mature.
- Ai from Zombie Land Saga is immensely terrified of thunderstorms and curls up whenever lightning strikes. It becomes reasonable once she reveals that she died after being struck by lightning during one of her concerts.
- In The Eccentric Family, the Shimogamo matriarch is notably afraid of thunderstorms.
- Tomboyish Hard-Drinking Party Girl Tina Foster in Ai Yori Aoshi has a panic attack during a thunderstorm that knocks out the house's electricity.
- Haruhi Fujioka in Ouran High School Host Club has a debilitating phobia of thunderstorms despite having an abnormal lack of fear of anything else.
- Kid Samurai Motoko Aoyama in Love Hina is said to be afraid of lightning, although it never comes up.
- Azumanga Daioh:
- Chiyo-chan is a genius, ridiculously cute, and scared of lightning. In her defense, she's still only 10 years old.
- In the manga, one of the Yonkoma shows that Sakaki is also scared of lightning.
- Osaka is scared of lightning too, but she enjoys it. She even peers closer to the window. If this doesn't make sense, remember, this is Osaka we're talking about.
- After having to endure a rather traumatic car ride with Yukari-sensei, Chiyo-chan is asked by Tomo if she thinks lightning or cars are worse during a particularly bad storm; Chiyo promptly suffers a BSOD.
- Elie, from Rave Master, is a young female Badass Normal who dual wields two high-caliber guns (with highly explosive ammunition) and other dangerous ballistic instruments, faces demonic threats with relative frequency, and carries the world's most powerful magic inside her... and is so scared of storms a little zap is enough to send her to the ground quivering and unable to act. In her defense this fear comes from the trauma of being almost killed by extremely powerful lightning spells — twice.
- Usagi Tsukino in Sailor Moon had a touch of this throughout the series, though it was particularly played up during an episode of Sailor Moon R in which Chibi-Usa was revealed to have the same fear. The villains used a Monster of the Week to create a massive thunderstorm as a way to ferret out Chibi-Usa, which works when the poor girl becomes so frightened she loses control of her powers after being left alone during the storm. Usagi spends the whole episode freaking out as well, and when she fights the monster later, she's particularly upset with it for ruining her day. This trope is also one of many clues (as if you really needed them) that Chibi-Usa was Usagi's Kid from the Future.
- Dragonar Academy: Silvia Lautreamont, First-year student at Ansarivan Dragon Riding Academy and Fourth Princess of Lautreamont.... is shaken by the sound of thunder.
- Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright is revealed in the manga side stories to have a paralyzing fear of storms, though the side stories are generally considered non-canon.
- Kou Shuurei in Saiunkoku Monogatari goes into fits of screaming terror during thunderstorms, as memorably revealed during her brief stint of posing as a boy to work for Ko Kijin.
- It's played up for fanservice and BrotherSister Incest Mikan Yuki of To Love-Ru is scared of storms and Rito used to comfort her.
- In the Detectives Koshien arc from Detective Conan, a storm starts when the four teenaged detectives are gathered in an old mansion and one of them has actually been killed. Once thunder breaks in, Natsuki "Detective of the South" Koshimizu screams in utter horror and collapses to the floor. She was actually faking it, to distract the others while she was searching for a piece of lost evidence that could potentially reveal her as the Sympathetic Murderer of the arc - and the one who killed her fellow sleuth. Conan and Heiji weren't fooled by her act, though, and later use it to unmask her.
- Filicia Heideman of Sound of the Sky, the only visible chink in her Captain Smooth persona.
- In the first episode of Stitch!, Yuna is shown to be afraid of lightning.
- Nano is shown to be afraid of lightning in Nichijou when she walks her Professor to the bathroom during a storm. The Professor herself is also afraid of lightning; considering the former is a robot and the latter only eight years old, it's not surprising at all.
- Aria from Aria the Scarlet Ammo is quite afraid of thunder. This presents problems in missions where it's raining.
- Mobile Suit Gundam:
- Ramba Ral's Zeon crew are completely freaked out when they land on Earth in the middle of a thunderstorm, actually thinking that it's some sort of Federation defense system until Ral corrects them and explains what's going on. A Justified Trope: most of them were born and live in massive, climate-controlled colony stations, and have never been to Earth before.
- Meanwhile, the children on White Base, who have also lived in space for most or all of their lives, think it's a Zeon weapon.
- Junpei/J.P. in Digimon Frontier is afraid of thunder and lightning; ironically, he is the Thunder Warrior element of the group.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Tails is shown freaking out, clinging to Sonic when lightning strikes nearby.
- Fairy Tail:
- Pantherlily, Gajeel's Exceed companion post-Edolas Arc, is shown to have an inordinate fear of thunderstorms, although it is unknown whether his fear is only present when he is small, or also present in his much larger and stronger Battle Mode.
- At a critical point in the anime during the Tenrou Island arc, all of the Fairy Tail mages present on Tenrou were shown suffering varying degrees of astraphobia. Little did they know that the storm raging that night foreshadowed the timely intervention of a once-misguided former guildmate: Laxus Dreyar, the Lightning Dragon Slayer.
- Fubuki from Inazuma Eleven, thanks to the sound of thunder reminding him of that of avalanches, as his family died in one.
- Chapter 15 of How to Treat a Lady Knight Right reveals that Leo has a phobia of lightning. She herself is surprised, as the only special memory she has of lightning was training outside on a stormy night and getting struck head on, but the lightning was so weak she was barely hurt, so it couldn't have traumatized her, right? When she can't deny it anymore, she swears Houli to secrecy. He is happy to comply, since it means he gets this side of Leo all to himself.
- Chise Hatori from The Ancient Magus' Bride is afraid of thunder, perhaps because she had to suffer it alone.
- In the 6th episode of As Miss Beelzebub Likes, during a thunderstorm, it is revealed that Beel is afraid of thunder.
- Musuko ga Kawaikute Shikataganai Mazoku no Hahaoya: Lizette expresses a fear of thunder during a lightning storm. In contrast, baby Gospel is loving it. Lorem tells Lizette a story of how her sister Merii was scared of it herself when they were younger, to the point of crying that if she got struck by lightning she'd die. When Lizette asks how Merii got over it, Lorem reveals the answer was actually getting struck by lightning, at which point she healed herself with her Healing Hands powers and was fine. This actually helps comfort Lizette, since she her own Healing Factor that heals her when she drinks blood which would do much the same thing.
- In a Silver Age Supergirl story, Supergirl dreams a What If? in which she was raised by Superman's parents. In one part of the dreams, she wrecks the Kents' house during a thunderstorm.
- One Archie Comics strip had one thunderclap scare Veronica into the awaiting arms of Archie, exploiting this trope. Unfortunately for him, her father saw all that and told the both of them many tales and fables about thunder and lightning to lessen her fear of those elements and lessen her time in Archie's arms. It worked.
- Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines had "Spy In The Sky" (Fun-In #3, August 1970), in which Muttley is sent to find out Yankee Doodle Pigeon's weakness. Yankee Doodle plants a fake fear for Muttley to take back—a fear of thunder and lightning. Dick Dastardly has the squadron push thunderclouds towards Yankee Doodle, but it backfires. He's wearing lightning rods atop his flying helmet and the lightning bolts strike the Vulture Squadron. Cue Dastardly relieving Muttley of his medals.
- Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Italy is terrified of lightning. Let's just say he gets over it later on thanks to the...activities...he does with Germany and Japan during storms.
- The Megas XLR/Touhou Project crossover Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness depicts Flandre Scarlet as being afraid of thunderstorms... so much so, in fact, that the chaotic weather caused by the destruction of the Moon's Glorft base scares her sane.
- Kyoshi Rising; Kyoshi expresses an extreme dislike for storms, citing that she used to run crying to her parents when she was little whenever a storm rolled in. Some have speculated this is due to the previous Avatar, Kuruk, dying while trying to quell an unusually strong storm, and the memory carried over to Kyoshi.
- Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Duo: In chapter 18, Seira is revealed to be just as terrified of thunder as Lucia is.
- In The Planets, Winry laments that Edward had a fear of thunder as a child. So did she and Alphonse, but Ed was especially stubborn and refused to admit his fear.
- Played with in "The Eagle in the Oak Tree," a short fic for the Fairy Tail fandom, wherein Lucy acquires the silver key of a new Celestial Spirit, Aquila the Eagle. Aquila refuses to serve any summoner who is afraid of his element, so he throws lightning at people who approach his oak tree until a Celestial mage comes along who is brave enough to climb up and grab his key in spite of all his threatening behavior. Lucy loses all her fear once she realizes that Aquila is testing her bravery, and credits the once-misguided Laxus with forcing her to overcome her fear of lightning when he had instigated the Thunder Palace incident seven years prior.
- In the Jem fic Fresh Blood, Roxy hates storms. This stems from a childhood incident where she was locked outside during a storm.
- In the The Loud House fic Irrational Fear, both Lisa and Lily Loud are afraid of storms, and for Lisa it's the main plot point because she's embarrassed about having, well, an irrational fear.
- In the film Mongol about the early life of Genghis Khan (called Temujin here), it is explained that Thunderstorms are a cultural fear of the Mongolian people. Of course, Temujin himself is the first one to overcome this fear.
- Apparently all of the Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music are deadly afraid of thunderstorms, as shown in the scene leading up to "My Favorite Things".
- In the film Top Hat, a clap of thunder momentarily causes Ginger Rogers to drop her haughty manner towards Fred Astaire.
- In One Stormy Night, one of the things that brings Gabu and Mei together when the first meet in a barn on a stormy night is their shared fear of thunder.
- In The Avengers Loki becomes uneasy when a storm starts, prompting this exchange:
Captain America: What's the matter? Scared of a little lightning?Loki: I'm not overly fond of what follows.
- In Ted: Ted and John have this. Not only that, but they also have a "thunder song" about it. It actually becomes a plot point by the end of the movie: Ted claims he's the reason that John can't grow up, and uses this as an example ("He'll never be scared of thunder again!"). Sure enough, when Ted dies, there's a thunderstorm outside and John doesn't even flinch. Their Thunder Song:
Ted and John: When you hear the sound of thunder, don't you get too scared/Just grab your thunder buddy, and sing these magic words:/Fuck you thunder, you can suck my dick;/You can't get me thunder 'cause you're just God's farts! *fart noise*
- Bride of Frankenstein: Mary Shelley as said by Lord Byron:
Byron: Astonishing creature.Mary: I, Lord Byron?Byron: Frightened of thunder, fearful of the dark, and yet you have written a tale that sent my blood into icy creeps.
- In Mario (1984), Mario is scared of thunder because it reminds him of gunfire and explosions.
- In Swedish folklore, trolls and werewolfs are said to be afraid of thunder. It has been suggested this is due to memory of Thor as a slayer of monsters.
- Alfie from Dear Hound is a puppy who hates thunder. He promised not to chase any animals in exchange for his cat friend snuggling with him during storms. When he gets lost in the woods, he convinces a pair of foxes to help him due to his fear of thunder.
- In the novelette "The Long Remembered Thunder" by Keith Laumer, it's noted that a character "fears the thunder". That's because he's really an agent from a world of "a different harmonic series" who has been fighting for decades to protect Earth from an interdimensional invasion by an alien race called the Niss, "evil beings who loot the continua". The noise of the enemy's portal being opened sounds like thunder.
- In H. P. Lovecraft's "The Lurking Fear", the Martense clan and their Morlock-like degenerate descendants share the hereditary trait of being driven to frenzied, violent panic by thunderstorms.
- Marley in Marley & Me is terrified of thunder and the frequent south Florida thunderstorms cause him to frequently destroy the house in fits of fear.
- Mrs. Smith's Spy School For Girls: Double Cross: Abby finds out that Poppy Parsons is afraid of thunder in Hawaii, while trekking through dense foliage to Owen Elliot's last known location. When thunder booms overhead, Poppy cries out "Thunder!" and jumps into Abby's arms.
- The lesser-known character Monks in Oliver Twist is afraid of thunder, and has a good old rant about it at one point. However, in his case it is a pretty legitimate fear.
- Exploited in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, where Cao Cao assesses Liu Bei and says that the two of them are the only true heroes; Liu Bei is immediately mortified by the possibility that Cao Cao might see him as a rival and, thus, someone who the shrewd and powerful Cao Cao will eventually have to kill. Thankfully for him, a bolt of lightning happens to strike at this time, and Liu Bei pretends to cower in fear...thus causing Cao Cao to dismiss him as coward. Cao Cao would eventually regret this; Liu Bei walked off unscathed, and would later become the ruler of one of the rival kingdoms to oppose Cao Cao.
- Fami, from M.A. Bell's Spyhunt, is terrified of thunder, mostly due to the fact that his father died and he went blind during a thunderstorm. Despite this, Fami crosses a roof during a storm in the first book.
- Survivor Dogs: The former pets are initially terrified of storms and thunder as they've never been outside their houses during a storm. It gets to the point where they run around in fear right in the middle of a thunder storm. They quickly learn to deal with their fears.
- In the Swallows and Amazons books by Arthur Ransome, Peggy is afraid of thunder, much to the scorn of her sister Captain Nancy (who isn't afraid of anything). This comes to a head in Missee Lee, where the girls are in a ship under attack by Chinese pirates with cannon, and Nancy comforts Peggy: "That's guns, not thunder!"
- In Poul Anderson's Time Patrol story "The Only Game In Town", the Mongols refuse to be afraid of their technological gadgets because the only thing a Mongol should fear is thunder.
- James Joyce had a fear of thunder and lightning, which he bestowed upon Stephen Dedalus, who serves a Joyce's Author Avatar in and Ulysses. Dedalus, even though he is an atheist, sees thunderstorms as a manifestation of God's power, and believes that thunder is God's punishment against him for failing to meet the last wishes of his dead mother.
- The official iOS app of the Warrior Cats series claims that Hollyleaf has this - justified, since Ashfur had attempted to murder her and her littermates during a thunderstorm that started a fire.
- Game of Thrones: Hodor's massive panic attack during a storm almost gets Bran and Rickon discovered by wildlings.
- M*A*S*H: in the episode "C*A*V*E", Margaret comforts Hawkeye concerning his claustrophobia by telling him that she has a fear of loud noises, such as the nearby Chinese artillery strikes. She ends up confronting it when the two have to operate on a soldier right in the middle of the shelled area.
- All My Children. Erica Kane is afraid of thunderstorms. This is initially explained by her having seen a man get struck by lightning and killed right in front of her. Later, the explanation for her fear becomes even darker—there was a thunderstorm the night of her 14th birthday party, when she was raped by a friend of her father's.
- In Little Lunch, Atticus has a fear of thunderstorms, although he continually denies it. His attempts to tell stories about 'this kid I know who is afraid of thunderstorms' are usually interrupted by Rory going "That's you!".
- "Thunder" by Katy McAllister revolves around a girl learning to like thunder when she spends time with a person she likes.
I've always been uptight when it comes to rain outside
Back then I never liked it—when it rained, it poured
I sit up and watch the lightning
You're here with me tonight and I've never been so frightened of something more
- "Down under" by Men at Work, featuring the lyrics "Can't you hear, can't you hear that thunder? You better run, you better take cover." - expressing clear sentiment of fearfulness.
- The Noddy Shop had an episode about Truman having a fear of thunder called "Thunder and Lightning".
- The Puzzle Place episode "All-Weather Friends" reveals that Leon is afraid of thunder, and the other kids help him overcome his fear.
- Wimzie from Wimzie's House has a fear of thunder, as seen in the episode, "The Storm", with the reason given being that it is very loud and happens very suddenly. The other kids also carry a fear of it for the same reason, but all to a different extent.
- In the The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss episode, "There is Nothing to Fear in Here", Terrence McBird is revealed to be afraid of thunderstorms, especially ones that cause the lights to go out. The Cat in the Hat and the Little Cats help him overcome his fear by inventing in-the-dark games.
- All the Von Trapp kids in The Sound of Music, prompting the song "My Favorite Things".
- Metal Gear Solid 3: In a somewhat ironic twist, Big Bad Colonel Volgin of game is afraid of storms. Although this is directly passed on via radio communication from one character to another, there are other subtle hints, such as how Volgin retreats to his quarters during storms and chants a Japanese charm against lighting strikes when forced to be outside while it's raining. This is ironic because Volgin himself has control over electricity, uses it as his primary weapon, and one of his nicknames is "Thunderbolt." Naturally, he is killed at the end of the game by a direct hit from a lightning bolt when he decides not to say his little anti-lightning mantra for once. Standing knee-deep in exposed electrical cables on top of a giant tank probably didn't help.
- In Octopath Traveler, a tavern banter sequence reveals Intrepid Merchant Tressa is afraid of ghosts, thunder and debts. Interestingly, in gameplay wind-element enemies tend to be weak to lightning, and Tressa's elemental attack is wind.
- Tails from the Sonic the Hedgehog series dislikes thunder according to his Sonic Jam profile. Though the games seem to have removed this character trait, as his element power in Sonic Heroes is Thunder Shoot. It reappears in Sonic Mania when transitioning from Metallic Madness to Titanic Monarch, as the lightning that surrounds the big robot causes Tails to jump if he's present.
- Rikku in Final Fantasy X suffers this, due to a traumatic childhood experience of a mis-aimed attempt to protect her from a sea monster using lightning magic. She even screams out in fear when she's hit with a Thunder spell in combat. At one point, the party must travel through the Thunder Plains, where lightning is always shooting down, and never stops. Ever. Most people in Real Life would find it perfectly rational to be afraid of walking through a place where one must constantly dodge lightning bolts by jumping out of the way every few seconds. The other party members, meanwhile, consider Rikku's reaction to be well over-the-top. note By the time of Final Fantasy X-2, she has cured her phobia through the fairly simple method of camping for a week in the Thunder Plains. In battle, when casting Thunder spells, she'll occasionally quip "Astraphobic? Not me!".
- Shion in Xenosaga is traumatized by lightning because her fiancé and parents were both killed during thunderstorms. This also appeared in the anime adaptation of the game.
- Played straight in Dynasty Warriors 4 in one of the Shu Endings. Liu Bei is eating with Guan Yu and Zhang Fei when a bolt of lightning strikes, causing Liu Bei to dive under the table in panic while Guan Yu and Zhang Fei Watch.
- Friday Night Funkin': The Girlfriend will keep a straight face through pretty much anything... except when there's a storm; she'll jump a little whenever there's thunder. The Boyfriend is similar, with him displaying a slightly startled and fearful look whenever thunder strikes, even if the player never misses a note.
- Tess Keene, mother of PreTeena, manifests this fear. While her daughter and her friends would happily go out to play in a thunderstorm and will sit discussing the cool noise and light show, Tess hides under the kitchen table.
- Raining Knives: A flashback depicts Jerry going into his brother Dylan's room due to a storm.
- An episode of Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! revealed that both the villain and Scooby have lightning issues. Phibes apparently gets so upset that his prosthetic laser gun is fired off when he so much as hears the word "lightning". His plot of the episode revolves around creating a never-ending thunderstorm, thus leaving the severely astraphobic Scooby as a paranoid wreck. Since the lightning bolts are apparently violent and can strike anything, Scooby actually has justification for this. Shaggy drags him along to stop the storm anyway.
- Franklin: In both an original storybook and an episode based on it, Franklin Turtle was afraid of thunderstorms. He was worried that his friends would make fun of him, since in most other matters he was normally pretty courageous, but they turned out to be quite understanding.
- Defied on Dexter's Laboratory, while laying in his bed during a thunderstorm, Dexter dismisses his initial fear by reminding himself of the science behind lightning.
- Dudley from T.U.F.F. Puppy is afraid of thunder. He got over it the same episode that it was introduced.
- In The Venture Bros., Dean contemplates living with Dr. Orpheus, fantasizing that he's comforting Triana when she's scared of a storm.
- Jasper the wasp on The Hive; his friends and family help him to get over it by singing a song.
- In ¡Mucha Lucha!, Pulgita is afraid of thunderstorms; her brother the Flea helps her by telling a scary story, and at the end she no longer fears them.
- In King of the Hill, the Hill's dog Ladybird develops a fear of thunder and bites Hank, and the rest of the episode deals with the repercussions and discussions about medicating her (which fails) or having her put down before she attacks someone else, at the end of the episode Hank's ready to decide when he learns that Ladybird's gone deaf.
- The Steven Universe episode "When It Rains" revolves around one of the Gems mistaking a thunderstorm for the apocalyptic event of the Cluster emerging from the Earth's core.
Peridot: IT'S HAPPENING!
- Tails in Sonic Boom displays a comical fear of lightning storms, often jumping into Sonic's arms and shaking when one occurs.
- In Dennis the Menace, Dennis, Joey, and Margaret get stuck in a hot air balloon. Eventually a storm hits, and Joey notes how he's afraid of thunder. Margaret assures him that thunder is nothing to be afraid of, but then she sees a lightning strike, and notes that lightning, on the other hand, is something to be afraid of.
- In the Thomas the Tank Engine episode, "Skarloey Storms Through", Skarloey is revealed to be afraid of thunder, and he hides in a siding when he, Rheneas, and Peter Sam are tasked with delivering a farmer's sheep to a shelter. Rheneas and Peter Sam collect as many sheep as they can, but they run out of coal. Realizing that he let his friends, the farmer, and the sheep down, Skarloey overcomes this fear and collects the rest of the sheep.
- John Adams had one of these, making his successful argument in the debate for American independence (which took place during an intense thunderstorm) an even bigger Moment of Awesome.
- The Russian composer Tchaikovsky would hide under his bed during thunderstorms. Modern psychologists theorize that he was Brontophobic.
- Culturally, fear of lightning/thunder is common in the Middle East (where there is little cover in the desert). For this reason, the US Army experiments with nonlethal targeted-energy electric discharge weapons that resemble arc lightning.
- Many dogs and cats are scared of thunder and loud noises. In certain, very rare cases, this can make them a threat to others as they blindly lash out at anyone or anything around them.
- Likely anybody raised in an area without thunderstorms and several people raised in areas with frequent thunderstorms, more likely if they've been struck by lightning.
- Thunder can sometimes sound a little like artillery, and is therefore likely to bring back unpleasant memories if you've ever been on the receiving end of it.
- According to Roman historians Tacitus and Seutonius, the Julii family had considered thunder to be their own personal curse, as every time they were caught in a thunderstorm away from home in Rome something awful was going to happen.
- This likely stems from Julius Caesar's stint as Pontifex Maximus, the most powerful priest in Rome, and receiving auguries about such things happened frequently.
- Augustus had a particularly strong fear of thunder because a slave was once struck by lightning right in front of him while traveling. Emperors are recorded as doing any number of things to avert the danger: wearing a bit of sealskin, wearing a laurel wreath, and going underground.
- Romans, as a whole, had lots of beliefs and superstitions related to gods of nature. I.e.: Thunder and lighting were associated with Jupiter, the Father of the Gods, and being on the bad side of a pissed off Jupiter was something you really did not want.
- Thunderstorms may strike tall electric poles, knocking out power from nearby areas, which can easily create this fear if it causes the lights to go out at night, or the air conditioner to shut off while sleeping during a hot day/night.