Nothing spoils plans for a day out like that day out being overcast and pouring down rain.
Often a form of Breather Episode, a common situation for series such as sitcoms, slice-of-life shows, and cartoons featuring children as its main cast. A rainy day forces the cast to remain indoors when they would much rather be outside. It forces them to find alternative entertainment. Depending on the severity of the storm, the electricity may go out and force them to find non-electronic forms of entertainment.
This can also be used more seriously for character development if, for instance, two characters are stuck in whatever shelter is handy at the time the storm hits. Can also cause a bit of Cabin Fever in some characters.
In media made in Japan, rainstorms are frequently substituted with typhoons.
This trope is, in essence, when the plot for an episode is derived from bad weather either causing the characters to be unable to go outside or having to find some place to get shelter. If there is An Aesop about the untapped forms of entertainment available that don't require electricity or outdoor sports, the most popular activity is reading — in which case, Portal Books may appear.
Snowed-In is the more extreme variation of this trope.
Not to be confused with It Was a Dark and Stormy Night.
- Kanamemo featured an episode in which all the girls were stuck indoors due to a typhoon.
- Haruhi Suzumiya: Someday in the Rain.
- Happened twice in the Monster Rancher, one episode had the Searchers take refugee in a structure where Holly recounts her past and what lead her to start her quest in the first place. Another had them end up taking shelter in an abandoned factory and end up accidentally activating a Melkaba.
- Sgt. Frog has a few chapters that take place on rainy days. It's occasionally made a major plot point, since Keronians thrive in humid weather.
- Not surprisingly, Windy Tales, being about girls who could control wind, also had an episode featuring a typhoon.
- Issue #66 of The Powerpuff Girls (DC run) is titled "Rain, Rain, Go Away." It deals with a troubled sea monster who makes Townsville do a rain dance through a catchy pop tune which produces so much rain it floods the city.
- In Aunt Dimity's Death, an extended rainstorm gives way to three days of dense fog. Aside from visits to and from neighbour Emma Harris, Lori and Bill remain at the cottage, postponing an expedition to a location in a photograph Lori's mother left her.
- The Cat in the Hat - so they sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day.
- In Coraline, the heroine's parents forbid her to go out in rain, so she has to explore the house, and thus finds the secret door.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
- In one of the books, the Heffleys go to a water park but are rained out.
- In another book, Greg and his father Frank try to camp but it's raining, so they stay at a hotel.
- Drives the plot in the Elephant & Piggie book "Are You Ready to Play Outside?"
- In Hey You, Come 'Ere: a Poetry Slam, the poem "Storm" starts when the poets are caught in a storm and have to run back inside after sunbathing.
Ratchit: "Interruption! Interruption! Here comes a storm!"
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Rainy days force the Pevensie siblings to explore The Professor's Big Fancy House and, in doing so, find the Cool Gate of a wardrobe to the Magical Land of Narnia.
- In the Mog book "Mog and Bunny", the Thomases eat outside, then run inside when it rains, with the exception of Mog, who stays outside because her favorite plushie Bunny is caught under a rake.
- A raging storm hits in the final chapter of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic, so the kids play a number of games to pass the time.
- In The Secret Garden, the children have to work out that they can explore the house while it rains.
- In Teddy And Co, it rains late in the book, which puts Teddy in a pretty sour mood.
- Inverted in The Addams Family: The family gets bored if it doesn't rain.
- Barney & Friends has episodes (including one by the same name) and songs. "It's Raining, It's Pouring" manifests as a failed attempt to cheer up the kids.
- Kingdom Adventure: Lolly's attitude toward a rainy day amounts to this. The characters pass the time by telling the story of when the Prince was murdered, and how He came back to life again.
- Married... with Children had an episode in which the Bundys and the D'Arcys were stuck in the basement during a tornado.
- This was the plot of an episode of Pee-wee's Playhouse, despite the fact that Pee-Wee spends most of the show indoors.
- Sesame Street: Zigzagged.
- "Imagine That" has several others disliking the rain, but they cheer up when they're doing their imaginative play. Oscar and the plants, however, like the rain.
- The animated story "The Cat Who Hated Rain" has a cat who hates rain because it makes mud. He wishes it would never rain again, but then a drought happens so he wishes it would rain.
- Zigzagged in the song "Rain Falls", which has Gordon enjoying the rain, and Oscar enjoys it too... because other people dislike it. Oscar has also expressed enjoyment for the rain for that reason in the song "I'm Sad Because I'm Happy".
- One skit has Bert trying to share Ernie's umbrella, but Ernie is too distracted by doing a speech about his mixed feelings on rain to let Bert have the umbrella. Ernie also mentions feeling sorry for everyone whose picnics were cancelled because of the rain.
- Averted in the episode "Natasha is Scared of the Rain", where the characters play in the rain.
- In the song "Rainy Day", it talks about how rain is important, but the singer says that they can't play in it.
- In one song, three adults happily sing in the rain, but then change their minds and run inside.
- Discussed and defied in one skit that has Gordon do a speech on how rain gets a bad rap, but it's important.
- Worzel Gummidge: The pilot has the kids go to look at the titular scarecrow, then run inside when it rains.
- Breaking Benjamin has a song patterned after the rhyme, called simply Rain:
Rain, rain, go away,Come again another day,All the world is waiting for the sun.
- According to John Lennon, The Beatles' song "Rain" (available on Past Masters) is a mockery of this mindset and general excessive griping about weather.
- Trent Reznor sang this at the end of the Piss-Take Rap-laden "Down In It".
- Calvin and Hobbes had a story arc where the family goes camping and it starts raining once they get to the camp site. Despite Calvin's and mom's complaints, Dad decides to tough it out - for an entire week - but eventually he has enough and decides to pack it up. And in that very moment, the rain finally stops. Cue Face Palm and copious off-screen swearing.
- A series (or two, or three) where Charlie Brown stays out on the mound at the baseball diamond in the rain because he thinks it's going to clear up.
- A series where Linus and Lucy think that Linus may have some kind of special powers because when he's out in the rain and sings "Rain Rain Go Away", it does.
- Another series anticipates a solar eclipse - Linus awaits it with a homemade viewer (two sheets of cardboard with a pinhole in one sheet). On the day it happens, it's pouring down rain. Lucy goes out to Linus, standing forlornly looking up holding two sheets of wilted cardboard, and says "So how's the eclipse?"
- In another strip, Lucy is playing outside when it begins to rain. She recites "Rain, Rain, Go Away" a couple of times, only for it to rain even harder each time she says it. Finally she shouts, "YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!"
- Likewise, Bulletstorm has a section where the electrical storm will disintegrate anyone exposed to the sky.
- In one level of Gears of War 2, Marcus and Dom must stay in shelter or be torn to shreds when a rainstorm turns to deadly "razor-hail". A similar mechanic is in effect in one of the multiplayer levels, where the rain picking up signals players to seek shelter before it gets worse.
- Persona 3 has a week in the game calendar in which a typhoon hits the city. The necessity of finding something to do, however, is removed by the hero becoming sick during the entire week.
- When it rains in Persona 4, all social links, save for The Hermit and the nighttime Social Links, are unavailable. It's most likely done to force the player to go to the available dungeon and rescue the trapped victim. Otherwise, there's often not much to do other than go to the local restaurant and attempt the Rainy Day Beef Bowl Challenge.
- Played with in Adventure Time, where the fearless Finn and Jake are accosted not by water, but by a rain of daggers. When they attempt to use their imaginations to pass the time, it turns out that Jake's is almost deadlier than the rain!
- The episode "Bad Jubies" is about Finn, Jake, BMO and Lumpy Space Princess building a shelter for a huge superstorm. Rather than helping build it, however, Jake just sits there, claiming that he has something big planned. When the storm arrives and they go inside the shelter, Jake reveals that he was memorizing the sounds of nature to pass the time until the storm subsides. In fact, Jake's sounds calm down the storm and saves them all.
- Happens several times on Arthur.
- An episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender had taking shelter from rain as the backdrop for the telling of Aang's and Zuko's backstories.
- More like Aang was taking shelter from a hurricane in a cave, while Zuko was determined to head straight into it to capture Aang.
- The Berenstain Bears:
- The episode "Bears For All Seasons" has the Bear family dealing with different weather. Mama Bear, who was tolerant about all other types of weather, calls the rain "miserable".
- In "Get in a Fight", the bear kids have to go in out of the rain after arguing in their treehouse.
- The Donald Duck cartoon "Donald's Off Day", in which Don's golfing outing is rained out. In fact, every time the rain stops, it starts again the moment Donald steps out the door. He spends the day inside, while his nephews play pranks on him.
- In "Doug's Comic Collaboration", Doug and Skeeter decide to write a comicbook instead of reading all the same old ones again. The weatherman who said it was going to be sunny is the villain. The two eventually argue about how to proceed with Doug noting the God-Mode Sue powers of Silver Skeeter and Skeeter disliking the idea of having the heroes go to the library.
- Heckle and Jeckle have a picnic in the rain in "The Rainmakers." When Jeckle wishes upon a wishbone that it stops raining forever, he gets his wish. But now the drought becomes universally unbearable, so the boys have to find a way to make it rain again.
- Little Princess:
- In "I Want a Tent", the Princess is not allowed to camp outside as it's raining.
- In "I Want to Play Football", the Princess wants to play ball but cannot as she's not allowed to either go out in the rain or play ball indoors.
- Zigzagged for "I Want to Play in the Rain": Princess can't find anyone to play outside with because it's raining, so she plays alone but gets bored. Then, she sees everyone else playing in the rain, so she joins in.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Look Before You Sleep" has Applejack and Rarity seeking refuge in Twilight Sparkle's home during a rainstorm, and Twilight takes the opportunity to throw a slumber party.
- The Phineas and Ferb episode "The Great Indoors" has Phineas and Ferb build a bio-dome for the Fireside Girls to get a desert-tracking patch, since unexpected rain conflicted with their plains. Turns out the rain was caused by another one of Doofenshmirtz's inventions, which was once again thwarted by Perry.
- The Powerpuff Girls episode "The Powerpuff Girls' Best Rainy Day Adventure Ever" was all about the girls having to entertain themselves when the weather prevented any crime fighting.
- Happens in the Ready Jet Go! episode "Eye in the Sky". Sean plans a sleepout under the stars for his space scout troop, but the rain ruins his plans.
- The Recess episode "Rainy Days" had the kids having to spend recess indoors due to a week-long rainstorm and the onslaught of cabin fever that happens during it which threatens to make them mind-numbing drones that Mrs. Finster will be able to control easily.
- The Ren & Stimpy Show - Stimpy and Ren's cousin Sven stare gloomily out the window at a storm...then perk up and find a board game (and completely trash the house and Ren's prized possessions as well).
- One episode of Tiny Toon Adventures features a series of shorts about what to do during a rainy day.
- An episode of The Weekenders had Tino's "Ultimate Weekend" ruined, partially because it was raining.