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Rain of Something Unusual

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Usually, when it rains, you'd expect water. Occasionally, you'd expect ice (in case of blizzards, flurries and hailstorms).

But not here—instead, it's something that you would never expect to rain from the sky. It could be raining money, or raining food, or literally raining cats and dogs, etc. This can have any number of justifications—maybe it's not a normal world in that work's verse, maybe it's an act of a divine being (or other magical being), maybe somebody modifies the weather in... a unique way, etc.—but for most of the time it's the Rule of Funny.

Note that this isn't the same as someone flying (whether by himself or on a vessel) and drops things while flying (whether Santa dropping presents or a plane dropping bombs); however, when a rain of something unusual is thought to be a weird rain and turns out to be someone dropping things from the sky, it's a subversion of this. Rain of meteors also doesn't count here.

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Subtrope of Weird Weather. Supertrope to Rain of Blood, Rain of Arrows and Storm of Blades. Compare Alien Sky, when something unusual shows up in the sky regularly; and It's Raining Men, where a great number of people deliberately fall through the sky to land on the ground (typically via parachute or some other equivalent), giving the visual impression of this trope when done in sufficiently large numbers (especially if they're being viewed by someone to whom the very concept of parachuting is exotic).


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Jagaaaaaan: The plot kick-starts when all of a sudden Uncanny Valley amphibians starts raining down over the city from a clear sky.
  • Urusei Yatsura: In an early issue, an alien accepts "all of the oil on Earth" as payment for driving Ataru from school to his home. When Lum's family agree to pay for the trip instead, the alien returns the oil by making it rain oil all over the entire Earth for several weeks. (Being a comedy, the ecological damage this would cause is simply ignored.)
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: The aptly named Weather Report has a power that allows him to control the weather. At one point he makes it rain poison arrow frogs, as it has rained frogs in the past.
  • Gunnm: The conclusion of volume 6 of Battle Angel Alita has Alita and Figure Four saved from dehydration, starvation and overheating in the desert by a rain of fish.
  • Toriko: Area 8 of the Gourmet World is known as the "Rain Area" because of this trope. The something unusual ranges from candies, souls, eyeballs, meteors, lasers, deadly poison and, in a comparatively mundane case, waterdrops the size of a small lake each.
  • The Voynich Hotel: In the last pages, as Helena admits to Taizou that she's a witch, it begins to rain frogs.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Magnolia: The climax has frogs raining from the sky.
  • In Schindler's List, a scene in which Schindler is walking outside to his car there are children running out playing in what looks like snow. But when Shindler wipes it off his car one can see that it is actually ash that has come from a death camp.
  • Bedtime Stories: The children that Skeeter is telling a story to interrupt his tale with gumball rain. Because the stories supposedly comes to life, Skeeter is caught in the middle of a gumball rainfall when he's driving home. The camera reveals that it's the result of a gumball lorry crashing into a pillar on the road above him.
  • Sharknado: A freak storm causes it to rain live sharks (and, oddly enough, no other kind of fish).
  • In Big Game, after an explosion evaporates a huge lake, Oskari's family experiences a rain of fish.

    Literature 
  • In Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss, the king tires of only rain, sun, fog, and snow coming from the sky, so he orders his wizards to come up with something new. Unfortunately what they create is basically a rain of glue, which nearly destroys the kingdom.
  • The Bible, Book of Exodus:
    • In (Exodus 16) the Hebrews subsisted on a bread-like substance that rained from the heavens while they wandered the desert. They called it manna (literally "what is it?") so it must have been pretty nondescript as a foodstuff. It was said to taste like honey cake, though, so basically a rain of donuts.
    • One of the Ten Plagues of Egypt was a rain of frogs.
  • The children's book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs discusses a fictional valley where the weather precipitates various foods instead of water. A film of the same name was made with this premise.
  • Discworld
    • On certain parts of the planet rains of fish are spotted occasionally, as a result of the Disc's Background Magic Field. The landlocked village of Pine Dressers is so used to them it's become a centre of the kipper-smoking industry. When the field is exacerbated, one might encounter more exotic and dangerous things, like doorknobs.
    • Jingo has a magical storm which includes a rain of sardines, in tins.
    • Constable Visit tells of the Murmurians, who were saved from starvation by a magical rain of elephants.
      "Elephants?"
      "Well, one elephant, sir," Visit conceded. "But it splashed."
    • In The Truth, William poo-poos other characters' comments about a recent "rain of dogs" in Ankh-Morpork, pointing out that it was one puppy that fell out of a window.
  • In The Divine Comedy, the bottom of the Seventh Circle of Hell is plagued by rains of fire that burn it down into a desert.
  • Dresden Files: Summer Knight opens with a rain of toads in Chicago. The first toads somehow survive the fall, but the following downpour necessitates the use of windscreen wipers.
  • In Johnny and the Bomb, a bomb lands on the pickle factory during the Blackbury Blitz, causing a short rain of vinegar. Kirsty also mentions a mysterious rain of fish from last September ("You mean, when there was that gas leak under the tropical fish shop?")
  • Star Trek: In the Q Continuum trilogy, Q and three other Sufficiently Advanced Aliens are testing the T'Kon empire. Q is allowed to test them first, and decides to "Start with something silly and see where it goes from there", and makes it rain fruit on the T'Kon capital to see how the people react to it.
  • Nightmares & Dreamscapes: The short story "Rainy Season" has a young husband and wife rent a vacation home in the small town of Willow, Maine, only to discover that every seven years, the town suffers a rain of grotesque black toads with razor-sharp teeth, which devour a visiting couple before melting away in the daylight; this sacrifice is what keeps the town prosperous.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The X-Files: In "Die Hand Die Verletzt", Scully expresses skepticism about any satanic, demonic or otherwise weird components to the crime, upon which it begins raining frogs. Lucky she had an umbrella, really.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures episode "The Curse of Clyde Langer part 1" has a scene of raining fish.
  • In Red Dwarf Lister hallucinates a real indoor rain of fish in the "Confidence and Paranoia" episode, all of which are quickly eaten by the Cat.
  • Fargo: A rain of fish comes down onto Duluth in the "Buridan's Ass" episode causing Stavros' head of security, Wally, to crash which kills himself and his passenger, Dmitri. A news report in the next episode explains that the fish were sucked up from a lake into the sky by a tornado.
  • Watchmen (2019), a Sequel in Another Medium to the original Watchmen, sees the occasional "squidfalls", or rain of tiny squids, since the events of the original comics.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Aztec Mythology: In the myth of the Five Suns, the era of the First Sun ended when Tezcatlipoca, whom Quetzalcoatl knocked off the sky in a quarrel, made it so it rained jaguars, who ate most of Earth's population. The Third Sun ended when Tlaloc, whose first wife was snatched by Tezcatlipoca and was sick of people demanding him to give rain, caused a rain of fire, killing most of the population and turning the survivors into birds.

    Podcasts 
  • The Fallen Gods: When Tuatha sets off the Wild Magic table in episode twelve, it causes a rain of twelve cats and one dog to occur in a dungeon. Solvin ends up keeping one of the cats.
  • Welcome to Night Vale has a sentient glowing cloud that rains down animal carcasses. No one in Night Vale really seems to mind, however, since they've all been Conditioned to Accept Horror.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted:
    • In First Edition, there's a Sidereal Charm that turns the arrows they shoot into... well, anything. Examples given include grain, fire, and snow. Of course, since mortal minds are incapable of noticing or remembering Sidereals, they can't understand what caused this "rain".
    • In the demon realm of Malfeas, the weather is as bizarre, and often horribly dangerous, as everything else in Hell. Some of this occurs as part of "natural" weather events, while powerful entities often cause outlandish weather of their own.
      • The acid sea of Kimbery possesses its own equivalent of the water cycle, where caustic vapors rise into the sky, condense into clouds, and precipitate as deadly acid rain before flowing back to Kimbery once more.
      • When in Creation, the passage of the demon Zsofika is heralded by storms and rain. In the Demon City of Malfeas, she's followed by rains of blood, hails of basalt, snow of brass and stranger things.
      • The Yozi known as Hegra, the Typhoon of Nightmares, rains mortal dreams condensed into physical form, such as cold sweat from night terrors, erotic cloudbursts and blizzards of whimsical fancy. Anyone touched by this rain experiences the original dreamer's emotions as if they were theirs.
      • Occasionally, parts of Malfeas will be showered by rains of stone and rubble. This is the first sign that the Yozi is about to smash two of his layers together, as the aerial bridges that connect his sections shatter and fall, and that the demons of that area have better run for their lives before the layer above theirs comes crashing down.
      • Even absent all these factors, rains of blood, gall, pellets of metal, bone or glass, gelatinous blobs, and even small animals are all commonplace in Malfeas. These are generally harmless, if bizarre or disgusting.
  • Ironclaw: The Druid spells Rain of Fire, Rain of Ice, and Rain of Blood.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: In the Elder Evils sourcebook, Leviathan and Zargon have the Eerie Weather sign, which causes cataclysmic storms, droughts, and other extreme weather. At worst, it creates a Strange Storm, which in Leviathan's case can be blood, frogs, acidic rain, or flaming hail, and in Zargon's case is corrosive slime.
  • Invisible Sun: Satyrine, a city in the magical realm of Actuality are prone to rains of keys. Most keys dropped during said keyfalls are mundane and swept away, but a rare few will be wicked keys that help unlock potent magic, giving magic-users a reason to get excited about impending storms.

    Video Games 
  • Dwarf Fortress: Evil biomes have "evil weather" including rain of blood, other bodily fluids, or toxic sludge. Getting caught in any of these will not only make your dwarves miserable, but can also make them sick.
  • NieR: In the modern-day prologue, salt falls from the sky instead of snow.
  • Alice Is Dead: In the ending of episode two, it rains fish as a result of the Rabbit activating Oystercloud.
  • In ToeJam & Earl, one of the presents is called "Tomato Rain", which, when used, makes tomatoes rain down from the sky. These tomatoes can hit anyone unlucky enough to be standing under them, whether it be Toejam and Earl themselves, or the enemy Earthlings.
  • Oblivion: In one quest, you help Sheogorath the Madgod with an elaborate prank by fulfilling stages of a prophecy, in order to convince some villagers that the world is about to end. At the end of the quest, Sheogorath summons a rain of burning dogs, the final sign that the prophecy is coming true.
  • In Terraria, one of the game's various random events is for slimes to fall from the sky.
  • Hatfall is all about it starting to rain hats. It also rains refridgerators, automobiles, CRTV sets, and signposts, which act as hazards.
  • In D&D: Dragonshard, it rains crystals. These are collected as a resource.
  • Germination: The premise of the game is that it's raining seeds.

    Web Original 
  • How to Hero talks about mad scientists making it rain 32 different kinds of condiments. In another entry the power to make it rain bullets is mentioned.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons: In the "Treehouse of Horror V" segment "Time and Punishment", Homer sneezes on a dinosaur and changes the course of history — which makes rain into donuts. This would have been perfect for him, but he leaves just before it rains because no one knew what a donut is.
  • The 7D: Grim once posed as a troll that literally made it rain cats and dogs.
  • Sponge Bob Square Pants:
    • In "Suds", SpongeBob has a dream that it's raining Krabby Patties.
    • "Employee of the Month" ends with SpongeBob and Squidward fighting over the award by making loads of Krabby Patties. They fill the Krusty Krab until it explodes, making Krabby Patties rain from the sky, much to the dismay of Mr. Krabs.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Lindapendant Woman", Louise ties frozen shrimp to balloons so that it could rain shrimp in the grocery store.
  • The Phineas and Ferb episode "Excaliferb" has the two boys' (in the story) Middle-Age adventures by noticing that the rain is fishy by it raining fish.
  • On The Huckleberry Hound Show, Huck disposes of a giant potato by sending it into orbit on a rocket. At the end, the rocket explodes and it rains potato chips.
  • Fairly OddParents: In one episode, Timmy's guilty conscience manifests itself in the form of "sleep-wishing". One such sleep-wish is for it to be raining ducks.
  • The season two premier of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic had a rain of chocolate milk from clouds made out of cotton candy, as one of the many weird signs that Discord had escaped.
  • Popeye: An Al Brodax cartoon has Popeye loading a tankload of liquid spinach in a water tower and blowing into the spigot, causing the spinach to blow from the top and fall like rain. This is part of a plan to get back at Brutus, who got him fired as Olive's weatherman at a TV station.
  • Kim Possible: One episode features a Weather-Control Machine being used by a reporter to make it snow prematurely, but the snowmen created by it develop sapience and become hostile because it was fueled by toxic water. One attempt to shut the machine off makes it rain frogs.
  • Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines: A Wing Dings blackout has Dastardly simmering in the hot sun. Zilly offers to fly up and seed the clouds so it will rain. In studying his inventory afterwards, Zilly says he'll have to go up again as he used the wrong seeds. He sure did: it was raining flowers.
  • Muppet Babies (2018): In "When You Wish Upon a Rizzo", Fozzie wishes to have cookies at snack time, and Rizzo, who takes on the form of a genie, grants that wish by making it rain cookies from the sky.

    Real Life 
  • Rains of fish are known to happen, though they're hard to verify and almost always exaggerated. When people describe a "rain of fish" what actually happened tends to be more like a handful of minnows falling from the sky. It's believed to occur when rare wind conditions pick fish and other small objects up from the surface of the water with enough strength to carry them a few miles inland.
  • Fortean Times loves this sort of story. In fact, one of the Ur-Example Fortean phenomena was a mysterious shower of fish and shellfish over Cromer, Norfolk, in 1887. Explained away as a mysterious, unwitnessed and never-found Mad Fishmonger who went around town in the early hours of the morning flinging buckets of produce everywhere, the mystery may have been solved. East Anglia gets tornadoes (yes, we have them in Britain too, but not to Mid-Western standards of severity or destruction). A waterspout originating at sea might have travelled inland, depositing marine life it picked up as it ebbed and died. Similar rains of fish have been reported world-wide and have happened often enough and to too many people to be dismissed as hoaxes or delusions. People have reported seeing fish seemingly flying through the air in high winds and storms...
  • After the Chernobyl disaster, rain was purposely seeded over the Belorussian USSR, in order to get rid of some of the contamination. People in the city of Gomel and surrounding areas reported heavy rain that was colored black (and presumably toxic).
  • Other planets due to their exotic — next to Earth — atmospheric conditions have unusual rain from our perspective:
    • Venus has sulphuric acid rain, that given the searing hot temperatures present there evaporates much before reaching the surface.
    • Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, has methane rains that due to it feeble gravity would appear to fall in slow motion, and to top it off rainfall on its equatorial regions -covered by extensive dunes- is infrequent but comes as strong thunderstorms.
    • It has been theorized that deep into Uranus and Neptune one could experiment either liquid methane, in the form of soccer ball-sized drops, or even diamond rainfalls as methane/carbon present in their atmospheres condensates and falls towards their cores being compressed by the pressures on them.
    • Planets orbiting extremely close to their stars, thus extremely hot, and tidally locked as CoRoT-7b are expected to have on their night hemispheres rains of molten rock, as winds move rock vapour from the dayside that condensates there as pebbles.

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