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Red Sky, Take Warning

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Red skies at night, sailor's delight. Red skies at morning, sailor take warning.

Clouds are symbolic. White, fluffy ones mean happiness and light. Looming grey ones mean doom, disaster and, more prosaically, bad weather. They're no less ominous in fiction, as evidenced by the tropes A Storm Is Coming and the Cliché Storm. But what if the sky is red?

Often the clouds being talked about are more... direct than their symbolic cousins. They're not just a sign or symptom of impending doom and disaster, they are the impending doom and disaster. Maybe they're a mass of enemies so large that they just look like a cloud, or maybe they're some ghostly beast of a supernatural nature. Maybe they burn. Or maybe they just hang there looking ominous and threatening to unleash something awful, which never happens because the player/watcher either sees the story through to a Happy Ending or turns off the television. Or maybe it's nothing more than a visual representation of a story being dark and edgy. Whatever they are, you'd better believe it won't be good.

Evil clouds are not necessarily red, but this is still the general colour of choice: Red signifies a hazard in the West, so showing clouds in a crimson hue automatically flags them as dangerous. When the clouds roll red, it's time to run.

There is some Truth in Television to this, namely in the latter half of the "Red skies at night, sailor's delight. Red skies at morning, sailor take warning" adage. This is due to two things: 1. storms usually move from west to east, and 2. the sun sets in the west and rises in the east. In other words, approaching clouds will be illuminated in red in the morning, usually a sign of rainy weather to come. Clouds going away will be illuminated red in the evening, a sign of dry weather.

Subtrope of Portent of Doom. See also Death from Above and Cosmic Flaw. Not to be confused with Red Eyes, Take Warning though it can elicit a similar reaction. Related to Red Skies Crossover (when the source of the red skies is someone else's problem.). If the sky is supposed to be red, then it's an Alien Sky.

See also Ominous Clouds.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Night time in Hellsing seems to always feature red skies.
  • In the anime version of Attack on Titan, the sky turns red when Eren awakens the wall titans and initiates The Rumbling.
  • Berserk
    • Red skies show up several times, usually when Guts or the Hawks have to fight one of the many demons of the series.
    • As soon as the Crimson Behelit activates, the surrounding skies turn blood-red, immediately preceding the Eclipse.
  • The "Catastrophe" arc of the Gantz features a red sky that heralds the Alien Invasion.
  • In Rebuild of Evangelion, during 2.0 Shinji causes the start of the Third Impact. Guess what the color of the sky is.
  • Naruto:
    • Members of the Akatsuki organization can be identified by their black cloaks with a pattern of red clouds.
    • The only colors in the Tsukuyomi illusion are black, white, and red. Especially ominous is the red moon when Itatchi tortures Kakashi.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, when the demon bugs start appearing in Mushiyori ("Swarm" in the dub and "Swarm City" in the manga), the sky turns red.
  • The sky briefly turns red when Asura is released in Soul Eater, and later on when Arachne uses him to increase the spread of insanity throughout the world. Appropriately, the only 'blue sky' left is in the Death Room. Once Asura is defeated, the sky immediately returns to normal.
  • Happens in the Sengoku Basara anime whenever we see Oda Nobunaga's hideout, complete with Dramatic Thunder.
  • Happens in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds when Aporia comes into existence.
  • In the first episode of Saint Seiya Omega, the sky turns red right before Mars appears to kidnap Saori.
  • Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School: In Side: Future, the sky is always red. Might be justified, as it takes place After the End.
  • Heaven's Lost Property: When Hiyori returns from the dead (more or less) she has been corrupted. When the main cast finds her, the sunny sky turns deep purple as she reveals how much she was changed. Justified, because she was given weather control powers.
  • The Afterlife Antechamber where Ai and her minions take their targets before ferrying them to Hell proper sometimes has this as a feature. In a few cases, it's the only visual difference between the Afterlife Antechamber and the world of the living. The perpetual sunset in the realm where Ai resides also becomes this when she offers her deal to a prospective client. Michiru also gets a sunset world when she becomes a second Hell Girl, with the same red sky when she meets with clients.
  • In Red River (1995), Yuuri asked Ramses to have the horse halt to look at the setting sun. She trembled at the eerie blood-red color of the sky and contemplated about the Japanese old saying "Twilight invite devils to rise," feeling anxious about the situation of Kail, Ursula and herself at the moment. Her hunch was right - back at the capital, Ursula was hanged on the background of the very same sunset, around the same time.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: A variant, in that the sky is purple instead, but it still counts as the sky in the Pleasant Goat universe is generally not that color. In Joys of Seasons episode 34, the sky turns purple when the crack it forms from Wolffy being hurled into the sky one too many times finally breaks, creating a big hole that pours out rain and threatens to flood the Green Green Grassland.

    Comic Books 
  • In The DCU, they have red skies, which includes the clouds, whenever there is a major reality-threatening crisis. This was lampshaded in Joker: Last Laugh, when the Joker, during his vast campaign against all of humanity, complained that he didn't warrant having anti-matter waves and red skies. In DC Universe #0, the prologue to Final Crisis, this was explained by "the Bleed" (the space between universes and "life-blood" of the Multiverse) seeping through into the material universes due to damage to the structure of the cosmos.
  • In Supergirl story arc Many Happy Returns, a red sky was Linda's clue that their time was running out and the original Supergirl had to be sent back to Earth-One at once before The Multiverse collapsed because Kara didn't fight the Anti-Monitor.
  • As said by the Mouse Guard:
    Red sky at night, Guard Mouse's Delight. Red sky in morning... Guard Mice take warning.
  • Hellblazer once put John Constantine in a twisted nightmare/facet of Hell sort of version of America, with a monotonous dull blood red sky. John is... less than thrilled.
  • In the backstory of Black Hammer, the skies turned red during Anti-God's universe-threatening attack on Spiral City. When the skies about Spiral City start turning red in the alternate reality created when the heroes left the farm, it's a clear sign to everyone involved that Anti-God is returning to finish what he started.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin: Once Jafar takes full control and becomes a sorcerer, the sky over Agrabah turns red after a brief purple phase, and it stays that way until he's defeated.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2: The sky is as red as rubies in Shen's introduction. Ironic, since red is the color of luck in China.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, after the Dazzlings summon their siren avatars, the sky turns from indigo to a threatening red.
  • InThe Secret of NIMH, the sky temporarily turns red during Justin's fight with Jenner.
  • Wreck-It Ralph:
    • The "Out of Order" sign paints everything in Niceland tints of yellow and red.
    • The sky of Sugar Rush turns incarnadine after the Cy-Bugs have caused enough havoc.
  • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad : During The Headless Horseman's entrance the sky turns burning red probably signaling danger.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The skies of Transylvania in Bram Stoker's Dracula are primarily blood-red in color.
  • Somewhat parodied in The 'Burbs. The film DOES take on a somewhat more creepy tone after that scene.
    Ricky Butler: Green sky tonight... Green sky at morning... neighbor take warning.
    Ray Peterson: Green sky at night?
    Ricky Butler: Neighbor take flight?
  • Fully justified in the Sci-Fi Channel movie [[Literature/Deathlands Deathlands: Homeward Bound]], as it's a sign the chem clouds are heavy. With acid rain.
  • Flash Gordon (1980). The clouds in front of the plane Flash and Dale are in, which are part of Emperor Ming's attack on the Earth (fiery hail).
  • Godzilla:
    • The Return of Godzilla: The red clouds and sky produced by the nuclear missile explosion in atmosphere, which is actually kind of pretty, if you forget what caused it in the first place.
    • Godzilla (2014): Done in for night time scenes of the places that Godzilla has demolished, as a result of all the burning buildings.
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): The sky is ominously reddish-orange during Rodan's first appearance, reflecting his extreme power as a force of nature and his wrathful personality.
  • Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell starts off with a severe case of this.
  • Referenced in The Great Race. Maximilian explicitly quotes the koan, only for the film to cut to the ensuing storm.
  • Independence Day: The giant fireballs in the sky caused by the city destroyers entering Earth's atmosphere. Also, the sky of the destroyed cities takes on a dusty, reddish hue.
  • To quote Legolas from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
    Legolas: A red sun rises. Blood has been spilled this night.
  • This happens in Sin City in The Big Fat Kill, when the girls of Old Town are revealed to have surrounded Manute and his men in an alleyway and rain down a fire of bullets on them.
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Justified when the Van Allen Belt is on fire. Well ok, it's actually ridiculous Hollywood Science, but leads to an impressive visual when the submarine surfaces to see icebergs melting as the sky burns.

  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Mordor is blanketed by a perpetual red cloud cover, at least in the movies. The air was said to be poisonous there, so it's a similar idea. In the original books, it's not clouds, but masses of smoke from Mount Doom. Sauron deliberately summoned it up to hide under it, covering his preparations for his attack on Gondor (but also making "spy" hobbits harder to detect, which actually worries him).
    • Also subverted in The Return of the King (book only) when, after the Ring is destroyed, Sauron rises as a vast anthropomorphic cloud of dark smoke from the Dark Tower and appears to threaten the armies of Gondor — only to be swept away, impotent, by the wind from the West. Happens again in a very similar manner to Saruman at the end.
  • In Faction Paradox's the Eleven-Day Empire the sky's always blood-red, like something's burning beyond the horizon, forever and ever...
  • The World of Rod described in Labyrinths of Echo has red sky over one of its continents, not the most dangerous or safe. Theories vary, up to "the sky here reflects sands of Red Desert under it". In the Heart of the World any changes of sky color upset people. In the era of clashing dozens of magical orders, the sky was painted constantly, and just from statistics of celestial hues it was clear which one's adepts are stronger. Even the Great Magister of the only surviving order and a great aestheticist dared not to play with this (after the threat of magic overuse was gone): people remembering the civil war are still around.
  • In Fear Nothing and Seize the Night by Dean Koontz, the world visited through the egg room in Fort Wyvern has a blood-red sky, fleshy black trees, and hellish puppeteer parasites.
  • In The Night's Dawn Trilogy, given enough possessors they will begin to use their reality dysfunction powers to create a red glowing cloud above their territory — which, given the speed with which they spread usually means a planet. This is a psychological urge for them, and a prelude to removing the planet from the normal space time continuum.
  • Dune: In Heretics of Dune the sky of the planet Tleilax (home of the Tleilaxu masters, Face Dancers, Axolotl tanks, and a multitude of other dangerous and/or morally questionable things) is described as being an intense carnelian (a deep, reddish-brown) color.
  • In the second Warrior Cats book, the morning that WindClan arrives home, their medicine cat, Barkface, announces that the clouds are stained with blood, and the day will bring an unneccessary death. This comes true when Fireheart and Graystripe head home — rather than taking the long way around RiverClan territory to get home like they're supposed to, they take a shortcut through it. A patrol spots them and starts a fight, and one of the RiverClan warriors dies when he falls into the gorge.
  • Raft, the first published book of the Xeelee Sequence, takes place in a micro-galaxy in another universe (everything but life forms is smaller due to the higher gravitational constant). The galaxy is dying and must be evacuated. Guess what the most visible sign of the situation is.
  • Alluded to in Arthur Machen's Novel of the White Powder. Though it's implied to be nothing but an ordinary sunset, Francis Leicester cheerfully describing the sky as "as if the great city were burning in flames and [...] raining blood", while apparently considering fire and blood "a pleasant evening" is one of the first big signs that there's something seriously wrong with him. It gets worse.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Poison Sky" has the sky turning red when it's set on fire to clear it of a poisonous gas spread by aliens.
    • "Planet of the Dead" involves the characters being stranded on a desert planet comprised entirely of the deconstructed bodies of an entire civilisation and encountering what, from a distance, looks like a gigantic sandstorm heading their way. This in itself would be bad enough, but as it turns out it's not a storm, it's a living swarm of billions upon billions of stingray-like creatures that survive by completely deconstructing and using the energy of entire civilizations — as they have already done with this world.
  • The Fades features this in the final episode. After Paul reopens Ascension, the final shot of the series is a pan up to the sky, indicating that something very bad is about to happen.
  • In the finale of M*A*S*H, Klinger is admiring the reds from the setting sun when Potter says it would look a lot better if it was in the west. Turns out he's seen this before; a wildfire.
  • In the aptly named Stargate SG-1 episode Red Sky, the team accidentally "poisons" a planet's star when their MacGuyvered DHD lets their wormhole pass directly through it. Minutes after their arrival the star's light shifts towards the red end of the spectrum, and the locals - who are protected by the Asgard and follow Norse mythology - believe it to be the sign of Ragnarok.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Amok Time", Vulcan's sky is scarlet when Kirk, Spock, and McCoy arrive for Spock's wedding, almost as though it knows what will happen before our hapless heroes do.
  • Titans (2018). After the Titans shut down the factory Scarecrow was using to create his fear toxin, Commissioner Barbara Gordon projects a giant T on the clouds. However Scarecrow goes to Plan B and dumps a massive dose of fear toxin into the water supply, whereupon Barbara looks up at the sky and sees the T is projected onto menacing red clouds.
  • The end of the episode "Red Sky" in the V 2009's remake when Anna finds out her soldiers were blown up in her spaceship by Erica causing her to breakdown and scream.
  • Just as in the comic version, in the Arrowverse, red skies mean a crisis is coming!
    Earth-66 Robin: "Holy crimson skies of death!"
  • In Once Upon a Time, flashbacks in the episode "Desperate Souls" show that the ongoing Ogre War in the Enchanted Forest has caused the horizon to turn blood-red, as if there was a perpetual unnatural sunset throughout the day. Rumple cites it as symbolizing all the child soldiers who have died during the war.


    Myths & Religion 
  • Jesus uses this phrase as the religious scholars asked him for a sign, rebuking them."Matthew 16:2"
  • In Guatuso mythology the sky and all the heavenly bodies turned blood-red as a prelude to the global flood that transformed the earth.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Avernus (top layer of Lawful Evil plane in Planescape-based Dungeons & Dragons cosmology) has it. Take war-torn wasteland, scrapyard, Fire and Brimstone Hell and mix unholy hybrid combining their worst traits — it will be Avernus. And it's the least horrible of the Nine Hells.
  • Gamma World adventure Alpha Factor. One possible weather condition is "acid rain" (with real acid). It falls from an unusual storm system with red-tinged clouds.

  • In Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto, a blood red moon and clouds are projected over the stage in the scene where Cesare confronts the two traitors.
  • The lighting is done to invoke this in Finale, as the characters walk into the burning sunset and to their deaths.

    Video Games 
  • Upon starting the final battle against the titular Giant Spider in Choo-Choo Charles by placing his eggs into the artifact meant to destroy them, Charles appears and absorbs the released energy to go One-Winged Angel. The sky turns a deep red in response to this and only turns back to normal after he's dead.
  • The final battle in Dragon Age: Origins has this... though it might only be the burning city of Denerim.
  • The final sequence of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood has this, as Ezio travels through Spain to face his nemesis.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time:
      • In the Ganondorf-dominated future, Death Mountain is perpetually surrounded by a red ring of fire instead of clouds. Once the boss of Fire Temple is defeated, the fire goes away and is replaced by the standard cloud ring.
      • In the future, Castle Market Town and Ganondorf's tower are perpetually covered in brimstoney clouds and dark backgrounds.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, the horizon takes on a red hue on the night of the final day. In the 3DS remake, the entire sky on the final night is blood red, complete with clouds of dark swirling energy.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: Vaati's Evil Makeover of Hyrule Castle includes turning the sky a vibrant shade of red red with black clouds everywhere, though it doesn't extend beyond the castle itself.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has the sky turn a bloody red every few days on the stroke of midnight, when Calamity Ganon uses his power to revive all the monsters you killed. The event is called a "Blood Moon" because the moon turns blood red, and in the 15 in-game minutes (15 real-life seconds) before midnight the sky starts becoming filled with red sparks as a warning to the player.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In Morrowind, the skies over Red Mountain have been a swirling red blight storm ever since Dagoth Ur reemerged. After you complete the main quest, the skies clear for the first time in centuries.
    • In Oblivion, the skies of the Deadlands (the Daedric plane of Mehrunes Dagon, Daedric Prince of Destruction, and the closest thing to a Fire and Brimstone Hell in the setting) are red. This goes not only for the sky and clouds, but also the visible stars and nebulae. Within Mundus, the mortal plane, a red sky means you are approaching an Oblivion Gate. Expect to see some of Dagon's lesser Daedra minions.
    • Coldharbour is the realm of Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of Domination and Corruption. It is said to have a Bloody Bowels of Hell aesthetic, and the sky is not only red, but actively on fire. However, when you actually get to visit it in Online, this is not the case.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
      • Hircine's quest involves going to a valley where he's made blood-red moon appear, turning the sky red and compelling his worshippers to start Hunting the Most Dangerous Game. The quarry in question? The werewolf that gave you the quest, whom you can either fight alongside or hunt yourself. The sky returns to normal after either outcome is achieved.
      • The Dawnguard DLC revolves around an ancient vampire lord's plan to darken the sun forever so that his kin can walk the world without being Weakened by the Light. No matter which side you decide to join, once the quest line is completed, you can enact this plan yourself by shooting the sun with a special bow and arrows dipped in pure vampire blood. This results in the sky darkening and the sun turning into a black void surrounded by a blood-red corona for 24 in-game hours. It not only looks creepy as hell but also results in Death Hounds, gargoyles and vampire hunting parties spawning absolutely everywhere, which is most definitely not a good thing even if you're a vampire yourself.
  • Earth Bound: Giygas is not really a cloud per se, but he is red and vaporous.
  • The rolling distant red clouds in the point and click game Exmortis 2 which inspired this trope (found here). The player is racing against time to solve the puzzle and get out before the clouds get to him, these clouds actually being the Exmortis themselves and therefore very dangerous. While the red clouds indicate the Exmortis are approaching, a red sky is present throughout the game as a sign of the Exmortis' domination of Earth.
  • In the original Star Fox/Starwing, the first level Corneria is different for each difficulty setting/route. On the third and hardest one, the normally blue sky is replaced with an ominous red one, presumably from the sunset (or sunrise, as the 'normal' boss has a "cameo" as a set of parts being carried around), and the level has hiked up the difficulty.
  • Warcraft:
    • When the orcs started worshiping demons and practicing warlock magic, they inadvertently turned the sky of their home world from blue to red. Good things did not result.
    • In the final Orc mission of Warcraft III, which pits Thrall's New Horde and human allies against Grom Hellscream's corrupted Warsong Clan, the red sky heralds the demons called to reinforce Grom — falling Infernals.
      Jaina: Thrall! The sky is burning!
      Thrall: This is no natural storm. Blessed ancestors... Everyone, brace yourselves!
  • Similarily in the World of Warcraft Cataclysm expansion, Deathwing flies around at random scorching cities and other areas, incinerating anyone unlucky enough to be outside. His coming is noted by a dramatic change in the sky from "clean blue skies" to "red and on fire". Unfortunately this is actually a subversion because there's an achievement for dying to Deathwing's flames. A webcomic took note on the absurdity of it all.
  • In S.T.A.L.K.E.R., repeated lightning strikes and the sky shifting to red clouds means an emission is in progress, and it's high time to find shelter if you want to avoid (almost) certain death, or worse. During the course of the emission, it's guaranteed that all the light in the Zone will turn a vivid blood red for a second or two.
  • In Command & Conquer: Renegade, Nod's superweapon (a beacon that calls a nuke) turns the sky red before it strikes.
  • Touhou Project:
  • In Iji, the second time the Alpha Strike is shown charging up at the end of the game, the sky is ominously red. However, that's because the scene takes place at sunrise, not due to anything about the Alpha Strike, since the first time we see it used, the sky is blue.
  • When things really start going downhill in Drakengard, the skies take on a hellish red hue. The sky doesn't just change shatters into thousands of pieces to reveal the red beneath the blue.
  • The final battle in Luigi's Mansion against King Boo (and Mecha Bowser) takes place among orange/red flame-like clouds on the floating rooftop of the mansion.
  • The level Boogie Mansion in Wario Land: Shake It! has a background of ominous purple trees and clouds.
  • The After the End Crapsack World of Baroque has a blood-red sky.
  • The sky turns red on the 6th and Last Days of Devil Survivor due to the barriers between the Demon World and real world breaking down.
  • In the final chapter of Tales of Monkey Island, the Caribbean sky is turns red, as part of LeChuck's latest bid to conquer the seven seas.
  • In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes's Dark Aether, taking some energy from one of the dark areas turns the sky from purple to red.
  • The Director's Cut of Scratches replaces the sky's dark gray hue of the starting scene with a dark red one.
  • The recent Call of Duty games from Modern Warfare onward seem to adore blood-red skies. Whenever something horrible is happening, whether it's a nuclear bomb or a bloody street battle in Hue City, the skies are an ominous shade of red. Sometimes subverted when a terrifying moment or something plot-critical happens under clear blue skies.
  • The Wii version of a A Boy and His Blob: In the first boss level, the sky is an orange-red hue. The sky also turns red during fights against a final boss and normal again when it is defeated.
  • The second half of Final Fantasy VI. However, it's because of the pollution that has reached the sky due to the cataclysm making it impossible to see anything but red, and it's more of a reddish-orange, though if pollution were to ever get that bad, it would certainly be enough to take warning.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, Esthar's sky turns red and monster-infested resulting from the Lunar Cry triggered by the Lunatic Pandora.
  • In City of Heroes, the skies over most of Paragon City are a glowing blue because of the War Walls - leftover Hand Waves for why you couldn't freely run from one zone to another except in designated spots. Slightly varied in other areas, and in the Rogue Isles and Praetoria, the areas of the two expansions. But, when certain conditions are met (specifically a Halloween event that pops up semi-randomly after a certain quest is completed any time of the year) zombies invade one of the zones. Guess what color the sky becomes?
  • In Persona 3, the sky turns green and all water turns to blood during the Dark Hour.
  • In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, during the climax of the game the sky is turned red by a frenzied Dialga/Palkia, leading to the Final Boss battle.
  • A red sky in Half-Minute Hero means that you have less than ten seconds to finish your quest before the stage boss casts a spell to destroy the world.
  • Lampshaded in one level of Legitimate TD. The level preview says "That is never a very good thing, is it? The whole 'red sky' thing." Then comes a nuke that takes up almost half the screen.
  • In Star Control II, the Ur-Quan slave shields have a red color. Guess how the sky looks from the surface of, for example, slave-shielded Earth-something mentioned by Starbase Commander Hayes.
  • Doom is a fan of red skies in the last third or so of the games. The third episode of the original game, Inferno, set in Hell itself, has a fittingly blood-red sky. The fourth episode, Thy Flesh Consumed, has a mostly sunset-yellow sky tinged with red. In Doom II it goes further, displaying nightmarish mirages of bones and skulls fused together, and in The Plutonia Experiment of Final Doom (where the sky is blood red as early as MAP12), the skybox seems to be made of meat or muscle strings. In a few levels of Doom 64, the sky is taken over by bright red fire.
  • The end of the beta for The Matrix Online features the sky turning red with eyes, signifying that the Machines were watching as they prepared to reboot the Matrix.
  • Most of Super Tanooki Skin 2D is spent with a red sky. It turns blue once you get your skin back from Mario.
  • Tomb Raider:
    • Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation uses this in its final stages, by the time mythological monsters have largely replaced human and animal opponents, and Set is about to reform.
    • Tomb Raider II uses an unnaturally-colored green sky in the Floating Islands.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: The Sierra Madre is always overcast by a red toxic cloud, adding to the unsettling ambiance.
  • The last part of story mode in Mortal Kombat X has Shinnok absorbing Earthrealm's energy while corrupting it with his own life force. Shinnok's actions change the sky from normal to a deep, bloody red. Only when Shinnok is defeated and Raiden purges the corruption does the sky return to normal.
  • In sora, you have to fight Star Breaker at the end of stage 6, up in the sky which has turned red, and it remains the same in stage 7, during the final battle.
  • Inferno's skies and clouds in Bayonetta 2 are of a lovely blood red coloration. Needless to say, it is a very dangerous place.
  • Zig-zagged between straight example and inversion in Darkwood. The bright orange light of sunset (around 5PM) is a warning for you to begin hauling ass back to the hideout; by contrast, if you can see the outside (between 6AM and 8AM), the blood red light of sunrise is a relieving sign that the deadly nighttime is about to end — it even comes accompanied by a motivating rising note.
  • In the days before the servers were shut down to remake the game from scratch, Final Fantasy XIV had the artificial moon, Dalamud, slowly fall towards the earth. By the final days, Dalamud was glowing a bright red while the sky turned into an unnatural mixture of yellow and gray.
  • Versus Umbra: The final planet in First Strike, Nivaga, has a red sky.
  • Hostile Waters: The game has a red sky at all times, which turns redder when you die.
  • In Ashes 2063, the sky in the City after the Scavenger leaves the settlement of Michonne Circle is crimson red and full of lightning because of a radiation storm. It's not just for show — the radiation counter will keep increasing whenever you're out in the open, and the only ways to prevent poisoning is to duck inside a building or use a Purge stim.
  • In Don't Escape: 4 Days to Survive, if you get within an hour or two of time running out on Day 4, the sky turns red as the moon comes closer to Earth. (Unless you deliberately waste time, this can only be seen if you have really bad time management or are going for the Mostly Walking achievement, where you can't use the car.)
  • Phantasy Star Online 2
    • A variant occurs on the ARKS vessels whenever an urgent quest starts, as the vessels' interiors will take on a red hue with warnings flashing all over the place.
    • On Harukatan, when Magatsu is released from its seal, the skies turn red, and ARKS has to fight it before it can destroy the Daybreak Province.
    • Happens twice on Naverius. First when Dark Falz [Elder] was released from its prison, and launched an assault on the Oracle Fleet. The second time was when the Profound Darkness was one the verge of being revived before [Persona] sealed it away again.
    • On Omega, when Elmir was in the processing of trying to revive the Profound Darkness, using Harriet as a vessel, the skies above the planet had turned red.
    • In New Genesis, whenever an urgent quest comes up, the skies above planet Halpha will take on a red hue, signifying that a powerful DOLLS is in the area.
  • In Dino Run, the sunlight gets overshaded by red and black as a sign of the Advancing Wall of Doom approaching.
  • In AMID EVIL, the skybox for the Arcane Expanse gets Palette Swapped to warmer colors in each successive level. The trend culminates when you reach the Boss-Only Level, whose sky is a very bright shade of red and features a Dual Boss fight against a pair of Void monsters that some corrupted wizards summoned.
  • In Splatoon 3's Salmon Run mode, the sky turns tomato-red when a King Salmonid appears, and is always deep crimson during a Big Run, when the Salmonids invade Inkopolis and Splatsville instead.
  • One of the first signs in Viewfinder that the real world is nowhere near as healthy as the virtual world you explore comes up when you need to reboot the machine generating the latter; a quick look outside to the city shows the sky a rather ominous shade of crimson. In fact, this ends up being your player character's main motivation—to find a device within the virtual space that can restore the climate to something safe for humanity.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Dark World of 11eyes is signified by a red sky and a black moon that, besides its color, is immensely huge and hanging over the city.
  • After society collapses and the world is reduced to war, chaos, and despair, the skies in Danganronpa are almost perpetually red.
  • Virtue's Last Reward: The total lunar eclipse seen in several endings is actually Earth circa 2074, as viewed from the Moon. Thanks to the fires and destruction caused by the Radical-6 pandemic and the antimatter explosions, the atmosphere was shrouded in dust and ash, plunging the world into a nuclear winter that lasted seven years and killed millions of plants, animals and humans. By 2036, things began to clear up a little, but even decades later, Earth is still largely a wasteland and has so much pollution in the atmosphere that the planet looks red from space.

    Web Animation 

  • In Furmentation, when the demons attack.
  • The homeworld of the Cherubs in Homestuck is near a red supergiant, coloring the sky appropriately red. Dave also lived under a red sky before he entered the Medium.

    Web Original 
  • Hamster's Paradise: Subverted. At certain times of day, the planets' second sun Beta is the only one visible in the sky and being a red dwarf, this caused the surface to be bathed in an ominous looking dim red light. It is no more dangerous than any other time of day and some animals have evolved to be more active at this time to exploit the relative safety, often gaining red coloration in the process so to better blend in.

    Western Animation 
  • The season 4 finale of The Adventures of Puss in Boots involves an Ancient Evil being summoned, and with it a blood red sun so strong that everything is colored red by it.
  • Amphibia: In "True Colors", during the moment Andrias reveals his true motives and the Newtopia Castle begins floating like a fortress, the sky turns fiery orange-red.
  • The sky turns red twice in Avatar: The Last Airbender: the first time is when Zhao captures the moon spirit, and the second is when Sozin's comet is passing by.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, Gotham City is such a nightmare dreamscape, the night sky is always red.
  • Big City Greens: In "Chipocalypse Now" when Big Coffee and the apartment complex are blown up by Chip Whistler, the sky turns an infernal red.
  • The Crumpets: At least two episodes end with a black silhouette of the Crumpet house under a red sky and the Crumpet family screaming due to serious threats where deaths are imminent.
  • Gravity Falls does this starting with the episode "Dipper and Mabel vs The Future". When the rift to Bill Cipher's world opens, the sky turns a murky red. This marks the beginning of Weirdmaggeddon, and Bill is more powerful and dangerous than he's ever been before. Subverted in "Escape From Reality" when the forcefield keeping Bill and his mooks inside the town is revealed: the sky is actually normal, it's just that the apocalypse had given everything inside a red tint, making the sky look red from within the town.
  • I ♡ Arlo: During the Final Battle against the Bog Lady in "The Uncondemning", the sky turns a very faint red, starting from the point Arlo escapes from the Heart with the girls and the Bog Lady begins to go One-Winged Angel.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: In the Villain World Alternate Timeline where the Demon Sorcerers reign, the sky is more often than not a grim, sickly-looking orange palette. In the Season 5 finale, Drago literally creates an overcast, bloodred sky over San Francisco when he's preparing to unleash Hell on Earth.
  • Any time something dangerous or scary is about to happen in Kaeloo, the sky turns red.
  • The skies are red on some episodes of The Mask.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2", from the moment the Library Tree is destroyed and during the entire Twilight vs. Tirek showdown, the previously blue sky turns red and dark.
    • In "The Cutie Re-Mark - Part 1", the flashback showing the return of King Sombra and his enslavement of the Crystal Ponies is under an ominous red sky. Justified, given his Fisher King abilities.
    • In "The Beginning of the End - Part 2", the sky turns a murky red-orange when Sombra takes over Equestria and mind-controls the Mane Six's friends and relatives.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998)
    • The episode "Tough Love" has the sky turn red when HIM's evil influence is spread throughout Townsville.
    • In "Speed Demon", the girls enter a dystopian future where the girls never protected Townsville for 50 years; in this Bad Future, the sky is threatening vivid red.
  • Storm Hawks: Terra Cyclonia's sky is red. That's how you know it's evil. The crystals used by the Cyclonians also seem to change the color of the sky to a degree, which would explain Cyclonia's unique horizon.
  • In The Smurfs episode "Lost Smurf", a shifting multicolored sky portends a danger that only Grandpa Smurf knew about — a mysterious haunted castle that has taken Nanny Smurf away when she went after him.
  • Steven Universe
    • In "Laser Light Cannon", the sky turns bright red as the Red Eye comes crashing down onto the beach.
    • Inverted in "The Return". The nearing Homeworld-ship turns the sky a luminescent green.
  • There is a reason the Darker and Edgier latest seasons of the '80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon were known as the Red Sky seasons.
  • Teen Titans used this trope for the three part finale of the season 4 Raven arc. It was for the post-prophecy world where everyone was turned to stone.
  • Regular Show: Whenever the gang is in danger, the sky pretty much always turns red/pink.

    Real Life 
  • There are known to be places in the world where poisonous fumes and fogs hang in low gullies — many animals have died by wandering into these places and not getting out fast enough.
  • Smog can sometimes cause the sky to turn red.
  • Red (or at least reddish) skies can happen when there's a big fire during a cloudy day or night.
  • The traditional saying "red skies at night, sailor's delight; red skies in morning, sailor take warning" (Alternatively, "shepherds delight", and with similar sayings in other languages.) According to The Other Wiki's entry Red Sky at Night, it's because weather systems usually move from west to east. Stable air masses scatter blue light more, making the sky red. If it is on the west, stable weather is coming, and if it is on the east, it is already past. This phenomenon is even mentioned in The Bible, making it Older Than Feudalism.
  • The 2009 Australian dust storm, especially during the early hours of the morning in New South Wales and inland Queensland.
  • Less ominously, this also can happen on cloudy nights when there is snow on the ground, or on particularly rainy ones with heavy cloud cover. The clouds take on a slightly red tinge. Particularly thick or heavy snowfall can result in the sky becoming orange or even slightly pinkish, as snow's excellent reflective properties result in longer wavelengths of visible light being bounced about everywhere.
  • The clouds can also glow reddish if overcast in a city with enough street lights, especially orange sodium-vapor lamps prevelant in many cities, resulting in a surprisingly bright night that almost invokes Hollywood Darkness.
  • Planes flying above the clouds at times close to sunset may fly through bright orange skies as well, as the increased height means the sun may still be visible just above the horizon.


Video Example(s):


Ganon's Blood Moon

On the hour of the blood moon, Calamity Ganon's power rises to its peak, with the glow of the moon reviving all the monsters that Link had slayed.

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5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / BadMoonRising

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