In many works, wolves are heard howling at dusk or at night. It is a case of Noisy Nature. Also, it is often a case of not doing the research or Artistic License Biology: wolves don't live in all settings, and they usually howl to communicate with each other, not to establish the mood or tell time. Often overlaps with Cock-a-Doodle Dawn, which is when roosters crow at dawn.
This trope has two main types:
Type A: Wolf howls are heard to herald the coming of the night. The wolves that do the howling are rarely seen.
Type B: The howls are heard late at night, to reinforce a creepy setting or establish a fearful mood. Again, the wolves are rarely seen.
Type A: At Dusk Version:
Anime and Manga
- When Ash's Rockruff evolves into the appropriately named Dusk Form Lycanroc in Pokémon, it joins its other two forms (the Midday owned by Olivia, and Midnight owned by Gladion) in howling into sunset.
- Occurs in three installments of The Legend of Zelda series, paired with Cock-a-Doodle Dawn. Wolves howl whenever night falls.
- Happens in Ōkami.
- Warcraft III has a wolf howl to tell the player that night has fallen (and a rooster crowing to indicate daybreak).
- When you visit Garoh in Golden Sun: The Lost Age for the first time (at night), mournful wolf howls are heard (because it's a village of werewolves). Sadly, the version of the BGM with howls is not part of the soundtrack.
- Though the version without the howls is a darned fine song in its own right.
Type B: Late at Night Version:
Anime and Manga:
- Holo from Spice and Wolf does this on occasion, even when in human form.
- Boma in Heat Guy J does this before battle, when he changes into wolf-man form.
- Dracula (1931): "The children of the night! What beautiful music they make!"
- Love at First Bite: "Children of the night! Shut up!"
- Young Frankenstein: "Werewolf? There wolf. There, castle".
- Spoofed in Airplane II: The Sequel when a camera shot of the night sky with a wolf howl and Chirping Crickets tracks down to reveal it's actually a base on the Moon.
- In A Wolf in the Soul, Greg joins in howling late at night with the jackals who live in the forest just outside of Jerusalem.
- Ylvis's "The Fox" parodies this with an Auto Tuned howl.
- Howlin' Wolf: His singing voice was compared to howlin' wolves, thus earning him his stage name. His single "Moanin' At Moonlight" and the album cover from Moanin' in the Moonlight also delve into this trope.
- Banjo-Kazooie features howling wolves prominently in the background ambiance of various "spooky areas", most notably Mad Monster Mansion in the first game and Witchyworld's "horror zone" in the sequel.
- Conker's Bad Fur Day parodies the above "What beautiful music they make!" line.
- Warcraft III: A wolf howls whenever the game clock strikes 18:00.
- In Rocko's Modern Life, the Wolfe family do this on their rooftop. To emphasize that they consider Heffer to be a part of their family (despite not actually being a wolf), Heffer joins them (only instead of howling, he says "MOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!")