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Let There Be Snow

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"When the snow comes down in Tinseltown, we'll be dancing in Hollywood..."
Hilary Duff, "When the Snow Comes Down in Tinseltown"

This is when character wants snow for Christmas where it doesn't usually snow, so he asks Santa Claus, or sometimes God, for snow in a tropical or arid locale that maybe sees it once a century if at all.

At the end of the episode, it miraculously starts snowing, thus verifying the existence of the jolly fat man (or the Man Upstairs).

A Snowball Fight is likely, to show them appreciating it. For some characters, it will be a First Snow. Sometimes the "snow" will not actually be snow at all, but something like laundry soap flakes. Expect characters in that case to either not notice, barely notice, or just not care.

A Sister Trope to Dreaming of a White Christmas (when it usually is snowing around that time).


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  • Played with in an advertisement for the California Lottery. A child wakes up to his father showing him that it is snowing outside. The camera pulls back to reveal street signs indicating that the family lives in San Diego. Pulling further back, it is revealed that the father has used his lotto money to hire snow machines so that his son can finally see snow.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Guu does this in Haré+Guu, giving the jungle kids a taste of pleasant winter activities. And then a taste of what freezing to death feels like. She decides to call it a "gift from God".

    Comic Strips 
  • While it wasn't exactly asked for, during Duke's time as the Governor of American Samoa back in the '70s in Doonesbury, he's standing on a beach dictating a letter to Washington listing the various natural disasters that have hit the island, with a note wondering what could happen next. Which leads to this exchange:
    Duke: I'm a reasonable man, Macarthur, so I know this isn't snow.
    Macarthur: Don't worry, sir. It never sticks.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Subverted many a time; Calvin often begs, yells, prays, chants and on one occasion, even dressed as a snowman as part of a decoy, to get snow but is always disappointed. Then again, it may be because he keeps praying to "snow demons" instead of God...
      Calvin's Dad: I don't know if your grasp of meteorology or theology is more appalling.
    • Then there's the time Calvin is standing at the bus stop alone, and pleads with the Powers That Be for snow. He gets a torrential downpour.
      Calvin: So close... and yet, so far.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Iron Man fic White Christmas, Tony decides to give Pepper a white Christmas in Malibu. Hilarity ensues.note 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • There's a film called Wide Awake, which is about a young boy named Josh who is struggling with his Christian faith. One of the more mind-boggling elements of the film is the fact that whether it snows or not (when he wants it to) is one of the biggest factors in regards to whether or not he believes God exists.
  • In the Whoopi Goldberg film Call Me Claus, her character's decision to assume the mantle of Santa not only ends the record December heat wave, but causes it to snow in Los Angeles.
  • Similarly, at the end of the Kelsey Grammer vehicle Mr St Nick, his assumption of his Santa Claus powers causes it to snow in Miami.
  • The first present that the new Santa Claus gives at the end of Ernest Saves Christmas is to let a man who'd moved to Florida for work related reasons have snow on Christmas for the first time in years.
  • In A Dennis The Menace Christmas, Joey's Christmas wish is for it to snow, despite the fact that it hasn't snowed in his town for 30 years. He gets his wish in the end.

  • If you read enough "real-life inspirational stories", you are bound to get the impression that one of the first things to do when you die is to make it snow for your friends and relatives on Christmas (or sometimes birthdays).
  • Good Omens: One of the things that caused rookie Witch Finder Newton Pulsifer to realize there was something odd about Lower Tadfield was that for ten years, it had always snowed on Christmas Eve there, no matter what the weather was like in the rest of the country.
  • Happens in "The Land of Decoration" by Grace McLeen where Judith makes it snow by using an artificial version on her model landscape, to avoid having to go to school and face the local bully. Things get much more sinister after that, though.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Doctor does this in "The Runaway Bride" episode of Doctor Who, but he's not God or Santa, even if he sometimes thinks he is ("red bicycle when you were 12"). It also snows in "The Christmas Invasion" but it's not snow: it's falling ash from an exploded spaceship. Urgh.
    • And in "Voyage of the Damned" it snows again, but this time it's the ash from the Titanic.
    • So when he lands on earth at the end of "Waters of Mars", he's pleased to see "real proper snow at last!" (He got some real snow in "Planet of the Ood", too, but that wasn't Christmas-related, so...) Except then he's lost his mind, so it's not exactly happy fun times.
      • In the original script, even the "Waters of Mars" snow was fake — it was a "carbon wash" cleaning up pollution, and Doctor's mistaking it for snow made the surviving humans even more suspicious of him. But apparently the creators felt that a fourth installment of the most macabre Running Gag ever would be a little much on top of the events of the episode.
    • The Doctor finally provides real proper snow, at Christmas, without any subversion in "A Christmas Carol", when he shuts down the forcefield suppressing the cloud of ice-crystals.
  • There's no specific request for it, but a miraculous snowstorm saves Angel's life in a 3rd season episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Seasons later, during Angel's spin-off, Jasmine takes credit for it.
  • Averted in an episode of Full House. Becky loves California but is really missing the snow of her hometown. Her husband gives her a pair of mittens for Christmas, and when she gives him a WTF look, takes her outside, where the backyard has been transformed into a winter wonderland... He says something about buying about a thousand snowcones...
  • In Thunderbirds, the Techno Wizard Brains makes it snow on their tropical island home for Christmas.
  • Another example where no one asked for it is a holiday episode of The Golden Girls (set in Miami Beach).
    • For the record, it actually did snow in Miami once, in January 1977.
  • Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh subverts this, a little girl wishes for snow at Christmas in her tropical home and Drake and Josh deliver on this via a wood chipper... eventually. It wasn't working until "Crazy Steve" loaded it up with hard cheese instead of Drake and Josh's original plan, ice, which didn't go to well for them - smashing windows and causing other massive property damage.
  • In the Disney Channel Original Movie The Ultimate Christmas Present Allie Thompson needs a snow day to complete a homework assignment, so she and her friend ride their bikes through the woods, steal Santa Claus' weather making machine, and use it to create a snowstorm in Los Angeles. But the machine malfunctions and causes an out-of-control snowstorm that threatens to cancel Christmas for everyone in Los Angeles.
  • It always snows in Barney Christmas specials, always, and it's made all the funnier by the show having been produced in Texas. The town in the series could be anywhere in America, but the young viewers don't know that, and the show makes references to cowboys and the like just a bit more often than your average children's show. Combine all that, and it seems like Barney makes it snow in Texas every Christmas just because he can.
  • In one episode of Grey's Anatomy, an army doctor formerly stationed in Iraq mentions that their unit somehow obtained a snow machine so a homesick soldier from Minnesota could have a white Christmas.
  • Leverage, "The Ho Ho Ho Job": Parker seems to believe that Hardison can make it snow. It does snow at the end of the episode, of course.
  • Used in Las Vegas, even though nobody'd actually wished for snow.
  • In the ABC sitcom You Wish!, the genie allows his master's kids one free wish for Christmas Day. The daughter asks for a light snow to celebrate, which he grants as the wishes would wear off once Christmas was over. Then the boy makes the old "Christmas every day" wish...
  • Adventures in Wonderland's Christmas special has the Queen of Hearts pining nostalgically for the one white Christmas she experienced as a little girl and the other characters going to wacky, unsuccessful lengths to try to make it snow for her. Naturally, it does snow in the end.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Santa Claus episode ends with a homesick Mike pining for the cold and snow of Christmas time on Earth. Then Gypsy excitedly directs him to the Hexfield Viewscreen, where we see that it is, indeed, snowing out, in space, and with a chimney on the satellite.
    Gypsy: "It's a Christmas miracle!"
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: In "The Great Bookala Escape", the Rangers help an alien called Bookala repair his ship so he can return to his planet. Billy mentions that it does not snow in Angel Grove. When Bookala leaves, he uses either his powers or technology to make it snow as a parting gift.

  • Ariana Grande's "Snow in California" is about Ariana asking for snow so her man's flight back home gets cancelled and he can stay with her for Christmas.
  • Hilary Duff's "When the Snow Comes Down in Tinseltown".
  • The full version of the song "White Christmas". Most recordings, from its original singer Bing Crosby on, leave out the opening verse:
    The sun is shining, the grass is green,
    the orange and palm trees sway.
    There's never been such a day
    in Beverly Hills, L.A.
    But it's December the 24th
    and I'm longing to be up north...
    • Crosby joked about this with Fred Astaire on the radio show Philco Radio Time (April 7, 1948):
      Astaire: Say, Bing, how about a little "White Christmas" from Holiday Inn?
      Crosby: "White Christmas"? Fred, this is April.
      Astaire: Well, it doesn't make any difference. You sing it and I'll scamper through the auditorium sprinkling Ivory flakes on the folks.
    • Andy Williams, nearly as famous for his Christmas Specials as for his music, once sang the above intro while standing on a set made up to look like Southern California with palm trees, etc. After the intro, he closed his eyes and passionately sang the line, "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas . . ." Smash Cut to snow falling, already covering the gaily decorated palm trees, people having snowball fights and running for their sleds while Andy, in winter garb, gleefully proclaims, "When I dream, I don't fool around!"
  • Burl Ives' "Snow for Johnny" is about a youngster "way down in Louisian′" who prays for it to snow so he can build a snowman. Sure enough, come Christmas morning...
  • Greg Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas" waxes more solemn and realistic:
    They said there'd be snow on Christmas,
    They said there'd be peace on Earth.
    But instead it just kept on raining,
    A veil of tears for the virgin birth.

  • Hair uses this trope in a particularly heartbreaking way — Claude prays and shouts at the sky for snow early in the musical, and his wish is granted. But only after he's died, and can see the snow only as a ghost.
  • The Cirque du Soleil seasonal show Wintuk, which ran in New York City for several seasons, used a variation on this trope for its Excuse Plot: Winter has come to the kid hero's city but it hasn't brought the usual snow with it. He and some eccentric friends head to the titular land, located in the icy north, to find out what's happened. The show ends with an indoor snowfall over the stage and the audience.

    Western Animation 
  • In "Jolly Molly Christmas", the Christmas Episode of Disney's TaleSpin, Molly's Christmas wish gets it to snow in the tropics.
  • Santa Claus himself does this in The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  • Parodied in an episode of The Simpsons, in which Bart asks God for some extra time to study for his finals so he can pass his grade. The next morning, school is canceled for a freak snowstorm in late spring. And then he actually studies. Well, he was originally going to go play outside, except Lisa heard his prayer and guilts him out of it.
  • In an episode of Rugrats, the adults set up to take their Christmas pictures in the middle of July or something because they never get it right, and the babies start worrying that since they didn't know it was Christmas, Santa wouldn't know, either. They end up trying to ask the weatherman on TV to make it snow (because he controls the weather, right?). It does end up "snowing", but it's a washer with too much laundry soap.
  • The Recess Christmas Episode begins with the characters mentioning how warm it is for the time of year. Guess what the weather is by the end...
  • This is half the plot of The Year Without a Santa Claus: the mayor of Southtown, U.S.A. will help Santa Claus get a year off only if Jingle and Jangle can make it snow. They, Iggy and Mrs. Claus have to go to Snow Miser, but he can only help if his brother Heat Miser allows him, and the two despise each other.
  • Another one of Rankin/Bass Productions, The Story Of The First Christmas Snow, is similar. A shepherd boy named Lucas is blinded by lightning and is taken to an abbey, where one of the nuns, Sister Teresa, reminisces at length about the white Christmases of her youth. Lucas admits to his friend Louisa that his greatest wish is to have it snow. It happens at the end while the two are in a Nativity play, and he says her description is so nice that he can practically see it. Then he realizes he actually is getting his sight back.
  • Happens on Jimmy Two-Shoes in "A Cold Day in Miseryville", in which Heloise is inspired by Jimmy telling her and Beezy about snow to give Miseryville its first ever winter. Since Miseryville is essentially Fire and Brimstone Hell by another name, this quite an accomplishment.
  • The Rocko's Modern Life Christmas episode features an elf trying to make it snow in O-Town, where it hadn't snowed in decades (O-Town is almost certainly based on Orlando, Florida).
  • In Scary Godmother: The Revenge of Jimmy, Jimmy's efforts to prevent Halloween from coming cause all sorts of odd things to happen, including snowfall.
    Bug-a-Boo: Winter's coming early this year? I gotta start making my Christmas cards!
    Scary Godmother: That's not Jack Frost nipping at our noses. Something's wrong!
  • In the The Looney Tunes Show episode, "A Christmas Carol", it becomes 104 degrees in Bugs and Daffy's neighborhood, so the episode's B-plot has Foghorn Leghorn build a giant fan in the North Pole so it can spread snow to the rest of the world, and have Daffy Duck assist him. When they get to the North Pole, they are unable to find a place to plug the fan in, but fortunately for them, Santa Claus was able to help them out.