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Sickly Green Glow

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"Why is it that deadly chemicals are always green? Why can't they ever be pink?"
Batgirl, The Batman note 

Power Glows, but evil power glows green. Most of the time, this glow is closely related to death, as well. Good characters may wield power that has a green glow, but this is always a "healthy" or "natural" shade of green. Evil green is a more sickly, yellower shade that makes you want to take a shower to wash it off after just looking at it.

According to the principles of Technicolor Science, radiation and all things nuclear have a green glow, although this is seldom the case in Real Life. (Cherenkov radiation in the pools of nuclear reactors is blue, concentrated radium will glow blue, radioactive cesium chloride fluoresces faintly blue, and hot radioactives are orange.)

Maybe the trope originated with radium-dial watches, in which radium excited a different phosphorescent compound, which did glow green, or uranium glass, which glows a vivid yellow-green under UV light and was a popular material for glassware in the first half of the 20th century before most uranium supplies began being funnelled into the production of nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel. Or, perhaps bioluminescence (usually green), or perhaps just the odd pale green that corpses turn (and very faintly glow).

Not to be confused with Green Around the Gills.

Sister Trope to Emerald Power. See also Good Colors, Evil Colors, Technicolor Toxin, Colour-Coded for Your Convenience, Green Is Gross, Dangerously Garish Environment, Cyber Green, and Green and Mean. Contrast Bioluminescence Is Cool. Often seen in Slime, Snails, and Mutant Tails.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: The waters of the Lazarus Pits are always depicted as green and glowing.note 
  • Green Lantern: Depending on the artist, Green Lantern's evil counterpart Power Ring is often depicted having a more yellow-green color motif.
  • The Incredible Hulk: On a few occasions the Hulk has become so angry that he glowed with gamma energy.
  • Robin (1993): Monsoon is a woman with pale green skin that glows when she's using her powers. She is incredibly dangerous and would have killed Tim had he not been accompanied by a couple of Comic Book/Shadowpact members, Blue Devil and Ragman, when she attacked him.
  • In Shazam!, the hero's Evil Counterpart Ibac is transformed by green flames.
  • Necroplasm in Spawn is the Hellspawn's weapon and source of power, and glows a bright sickly green.
  • Superman:
    • In the stories of Superman, Supergirl, Superboy... and other members of the Super-Family, Kryptonite glows green in its most common — and most directly toxic — form.
    • In The Leper from Krypton, Lex Luthor mutates a strain of microbes by exposing them to Green Kryptonite radiation. The mutated and incredibly deadly pathogens glow a pale, sickly green.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: The Green Geni's nuclear projectiles have lines of green radiating from them.

    Fan Works 
  • Zig-zagged in Fallout: Equestria - Occupational Hazards. 'Bruce', the nuclear fission reactor in Stable 34, is shown to glow blue with Cherenkov radiation, while places such as the balefire warhead craters outside Pripytrot and inside Quebuck glow a sickly green.
  • The Characters from the Book of Characters in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. Also the book they emanate from.
  • In the sequel to Sleepless called Thirsty, Berry Punch is glowing green when the rescue party finds her.
  • The mind control pills in Trouble Island produce green glows.

    Films — Animated 
  • Rasputin's soul reliquary in Anastasia glows a sickly green and creates greenish smoke-imps. When it's destroyed, Rasputin is liquefied into a greenish ooze.
  • In Barbie and the Secret Door, when Malucia drains others' magic it gains a sickly green color as it's being absorbed into her scepter.
  • The Black Cauldron: An eerie green glow envelops the Cauldron-born.
  • The Book of Life:
    • Part of Xibalba’s color scheme has a deathly shade of green.
    • Instead of unique artistic designs on their skulls the Forgotten have glowing green spirals.
  • In Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, the Fairy Godmother's wand switches from white to green magic when Lady Tremaine gets a hold of it.
  • In Coco, no part of Ernesto's demeanour or wardrobe gives away his true colours - until the scene where he betrays Miguel after it's revealed that he poisoned Héctor to steal his songs. His guitar-shaped pool emits one of these, giving the whole atmosphere and especially Ernesto himself a very unsettling green tint, accentuating his reveal as Evil All Along.
  • Encanto: When Camilo transforms into Bruno and describes him as a dangerous, menacing character, he's surrounded by green glow, invoking this trope. However, Bruno is later revealed to be a Hero with Bad Publicity, though his magic still glows green.
  • The Loc-Nar from Heavy Metal, which is the primordial embodiment of all evil contained in a deadly-to-the-touch orb.
  • The River Styx from Hercules.
  • In The Iron Giant, the Giant's weapons arsenal includes Avada Kedavra-esque eye beams, floating blobs that engulf their targets and make them...disappear, and a strange, enormous "Dome of Doom" that is an ominous light green blast which looms over the horizon.
  • The song "Be Prepared" from The Lion King (1994).
  • The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea When Morgana finally has the trident in her possession, it turns from sunlight gold to sickly green. Bizarrely enough, the trident didn't change color when Ursula had it in the original film (just glowed with an even brighter yellow).
  • Quantonium, the mysterious substance that sets the events of Monsters vs. Aliens in motion, glows sickly green. After Susan is exposed to it (read: hit by a Magic Meteor full of the stuff), she too glows green when she starts growing.
  • Oogie Boogie in The Nightmare Before Christmas, depending on the lighting.
  • All the ghosts in ParaNorman glow pale green, to underscore their deadness. The witch's powers glow a bright green to underscore her apparent evilness.
  • The Medusa Serum from Penguins of Madagascar glows green, indicating its dangerousness. The transformed penguins also gain a greenish shade, which makes them look very unnatural.
  • The Friends on the Other Side from The Princess and the Frog are apparently dark green in color.
  • Quest for Camelot has Ruber's magic potion with glowing bright green liquid that transforms his human henchmen into ironmen. The drops of the potion in the well even lit up Juliana's farm during Ruber's Villain Song. Even all hell breaks loose when Ruber fuses Excalibur to his hand with that same potion.
  • Maleficent in the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty has green eyes and a green orb atop her staff. Her flames are also green. Her skin is green, although a very pale green.
  • The Cy-Bugs in Wreck-It Ralph are all green and metallic, until their eyes turn blue when they see the beacon.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alien: The movie poster shows a cracked egg with a green light shining inside.
  • The Arrival: The alien un-terraforming machine emits giant glowing green balls of greenhouse gases.
  • Batman Forever: This is the Riddler's visual-effects motif.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Kryptonite has a particular sickly green glow and when refined into a spear it's actually blinding painful for Superman and the audience.
  • Casper Meets Wendy: When Gabby asks the cabana boy to remove her shoes, a green scent waft emits from her long dirty toenails.
  • Creepshow: Ted Danson's character acquires a green glow as the tide covers his head. "I can hold my breath for a long time!"
  • The Curse: In this 1987 adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space", the colour turns out to be green. Of course, in the story, the color was something never seen on Earth before. Any special effects team that can really produce that probably HAS cut a deal with the Great Old Ones.
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008): The giant Sphere of Doom thing in the remake shines with a dirty green light.
  • Enchanted" The evil Queen Narissa's magic manifests as green electrical discharges.
  • Fantastic Four: Seemingly the case the 2015 reboot, where on an alien dimension a lava like substance takes on a green hue, and is seemingly the source of this version of their powers.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): The Oxygen Destroyer gives off a sickly green light when it explodes. All it accomplishes is to put Godzilla out of the fight and give Ghidorah unchallenged control over the Titans.
  • The Green Slime: The titular monstrosity doesn't glow, but this page wouldn't be complete without a reference to the old space monster movie.
  • Harry Potter:
    • All the scebes taking place in the Slytherin dorms. Someone went crazy with green light. In this case, though, there's a valid reason: in the second to last novel, the Slytherin dorms are explicitly said to be green-lit due to the windows being below the lake's waterline.
    • Avada Kedavra and the aurora borealis-like initial version of Voldemort's Dark Mark when it's cast in the sky at the beginning of Goblet of Fire.
  • Hobgoblins: The outer glow around the titles is green. Take warning.
  • The Imp: The titular supernatural entity's presence is marked by a green filter covering the entire screen. When all hell breaks loose in the finale, the entire movie goes green for at least 15 minutes when the hero is stalked by his dead friends.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Mordor and environs have a green cast. Minas Morgul has a bright green glow. The army of the dead is green. Gollum doesn't glow, but he sure has a sickly green pallor.
    • And in the book Gollum's eyes are sometimes described as making pale green glow. Minas Morgul gets the same deal as in the movie, too.
  • The Mask: The titular artifact sometimes emits a green glow but thankfully when it’s in the right hands it is not evil when the main character uses it and The Mask persona that comes out is a good hearted, harmless, kind hearted person and a troll but when it’s ends up in the hands of the Big Bad the results are not pretty.
  • The Matrix is suffused with a greenish tint, and the green Matrix Raining Code has that nice, sinister Borg-ish hue over a black background. When outside the Matrix, the hue is blue to cleverly signify reality.
  • Nightwish: The ghosts/aliens emanate a green light.
  • Re-Animator: In this Stuart Gordon film , Dr. Herbert West's re-animation reagent is an illuminating chartreuse color.
  • Repo Man: By the end, the aliens in the trunk convey a bright green glow to the Chevy Malibu.
  • Star Trek: Nemesis: The thalaron beam is green, and the final battle takes place in the Bassen Rift, which is a nebula with a very sickly green glow.
  • Star Wars: A particularly dark example in The Last Jedi, as padawan Ben Solo is sleeping in a Flash Back and a green glow falls upon him and he wakes up see his uncle Luke Skywalker holding his green lightsaber ready to kill him, with the sickly green glow making Luke look evil. Of course we learn Ben (now Kylo Ren) is an Unreliable Narrator and when Luke tells his side of the story, he states couldn't actually go though killing his nephew... though just the threatening act was enough to for Kylo to do a Face–Heel Turn to the dark side.
  • Thor: Ragnarok: Hela has a giant undead wolf and skeleton army who all glow green with Hela's power when she uses the Eternal Flame to revive them.
  • WarCraft: The demonic fel magic glows green.
  • The Wizard of Oz: The Wicked Witch of the West is green. Some of her magic is other colors though.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X2: X-Men United: Stryker's secret base is entirely lit in an unhealthy green light.
    • The Wolverine: Viper's shiny green suit evokes this.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: There is green lighting at both the East Berlin fight club and the Alkali Lake base, neither of which are pleasant places for mutants.

  • Shoggoths in H. P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness are described as enormous black masses of protoplasmic bubbles covered in luminescent green eyes that are constantly forming, shifting around and dissolving.
  • The Call of Cthulhu: From Wilcox's dream, green ooze of horror:
    great Cyclopean cities of Titan blocks and sky-flung monoliths, all dripping with green ooze and sinister with latent horror.
  • The Illearth Stone in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, though there's at least one example of a "good" green glow as well - explicitly stated as being of a different, more natural shade.
  • The Elenium: The God of Evil Azash, along with some of his nastier minions and Black Magic, are associated with a repugnant, pale green light. The trope is named verbatim to describe the idol his spirit inhabits in The Sapphire Rose.
  • In Gone, by Michael Grant, this trope is both played straight and averted: The radioactivity in the underwater cave is bright green, while the nuclear reactor is bright blue.
  • In The Green Futures of Tycho by William Sleator, the main character (11 year old Tycho) travels repeatedly in time, constantly altering the primary timeline. The time travel device (an egg-shaped object) becomes more green-glowing as he uses it, as does the future. First just in the color of the house paint, later there's green liquid-like shapes as furniture or structural additions to the house, glowing sickly green. The older versions of the main character gets more evil (and evil looking) as the "greenage" increases thus closely adhering to this trope.
  • The Killing Curse in Harry Potter fits the bill, as well as a particularly nasty potion that also has strong ties to the Big Bad.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Barrow-Wights. The Dead Marshes. Minas Morgul. In short, anything associated with the undead.
  • More like a Sickly Blue Glow in Star Carrier: Earth Strike, courtesy of an Orbital Bombardment leaving the area surrounding a Space Marine base so irradiated it's giving off Cherenkov radiation.
  • The Boundaries in The Sword of Truth series, being gateways into the underworld, are naturally bright green.
  • Titus Groan, the first Gormenghast novel, features Swelter the chef sharpening his cleaver in preparation to kill Flay in a room lit by a green lantern. Even the title of the chapter is "In Lime-Green Light".
  • In Stephen King's novel The Tommyknockers, the alien power has a green glow.
  • In the Warrior Cats series, the Dark Forest (which is basically a feline Hell) is described as being completely dark except for a sickly green light.
  • Double Subverted with Elphaba from The Wizard Of Oz's Perspective Flip Wicked. She was born with green skin and sharp teeth, however that was caused by the drug her biological father gave her mother. Despite the Fantastic Racism, Elphaba is not evil... initially. In adulthood, she does morally ambiguous things to the point where she's a Villain Protagonist.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Jasmine of Angel glowed green when she ate people.
  • The Battlestar Galactica episodes "Torn" and "A Measure of Salvation" feature a Cylon Baseship (which is bio-mechanical) infected by a virus. As the ship slowly dies, the computer panels and other sources of light on the ship give out an eerie green glow. Moreover, the "fleshy" bits of the ship, which normally have a healthy red coloration, take a rotten, dark-green appearance.
  • Because it's just not a trope without a Doctor Who reference; nine out of 10 classic series monsters, at least, were green. This was even referenced by former script-editor/writer Terrance Dicks in a documentary about the show; "The colour of monsters is always gween!"
    • Don't forget the classic story "The Green Death", which was perhaps the epitome of this trope.
    • The Discontinuity Guide's entry on "Logopolis" lists "Entropy is green" as one of that story's goofs.
    • "New Earth": The People Jars the clones are kept in are lit in green.
    • "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood": The inside of the titular Family's spaceship glows green, as do their faces when they communicate with each other. Their true forms are glowing green smoke.
    • "The Vampires of Venice": The room where the "vampires" drain people's blood is lit with green light. The vampire girls also glow greenish when arriving to attack the Doctor and company.
    • "The Doctor's Wife": House manifests itself as a cloud of green smoke when outside its "body". When it possesses an Ood, its eyes glow green (rather than red, which is what usually happens when Ood get possessed). Once it gets inside the TARDIS, the usual lighting scheme is replaced with a suitably ominous green one.
  • In Hercules in the Underworld, the entrance to the realm of Hades is a large hole that emits a column of green light, from which little green ghosts ascend.
  • In The Incredible Hulk (1977), David Banner's face glows green before he turns into Lou Ferrigno.
  • The evil Green Ranger from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Before the Heel–Face Turn, that is.
  • Dr. Clayton Forrester from Mystery Science Theater 3000 is perpetually outfitted in the absolute brightest greens possible, to denote his mad scientist nature.
  • Not the Nine O'Clock News parodied a British breakfast cereal based on porridge oats (but with lots of added sugar and other strange ingredients not to be found in regular porridge). The regular advert showed happy smiling kids being waved off to school on dark cold winter mornings by doting mothers. The advert was enhanced to show each kid enveloped in a warm glowing aura denoting the warm healthy feeling of starting the day with Redibrek oats. The Parody Commercial kept the happy families and glowing aura surrounding the kids - only it was tinged an unhealthy green. The voiceover said:
    "Give your kids that Redibrek glow." (beat) "Send them to school in Sellafield." note 
  • Parodied in British Dom Com One Foot in the Grave. Victor Meldrew takes delivery of a large consignment of horse manure which is dumped at the end of his drive so in order to stop people walking into it, he places fairy lights on top. When the public finds out that the manure was taken from a farm near a nuclear power plant, they immediately panic and think it's dangerously radioactive.
  • The green kryptonite in Smallville, well, at least when Clark comes near it. Usage of some kryptonite-induced powers also glow like this.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • The Borg have a particular green glow, sometimes referred to as "Borg-green". Interestingly, this was not consistently introduced until Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Voyager: prior to that time Borg lighting more often used blue-whites or purples.
    • Both Klingon and Romulan ships and weapons are coloured green. Subverted in the case of the Klingons, who are the Federation's allies. In the case of the Romulans using green as a color for ships and weapons may have to do with the fact that oxygenated Romulan blood is green in color.
  • Subverted again with the Romulans in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine when they join the Alliance.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Galileo Seven", the Murasaki 312 object is a glowing green cloud, in both the original and the new special effects.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, Malon ships are always seen dumping antimatter that's contaminated with lethal theta radiation, creating less-than-inviting green smoke.
  • An episode of Ultraman: Towards the Future have the return of Jack Shindo's old friend, Stanley Haggard, who was presumed dead since the first episode. Except that isn't Stanley - he's a form taken over by a demonic monster called Barrangas, who reveals himself while in human form with a sickly-looking green aura emitting from his body while he's alone in the dark. In the final showdown at night in a quarry, Stanley's entire body releases a glow that effectively bathes the entire area in green, right before he reveals himself as a monster.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Though not glowing, Death's horse in The Book of Revelation is called "Khloros", which can be translated as "Pale", "Sickly green", "Yellow green", and so on.
    • We get the word "chlorine" from the same place - quite fitting, as chlorine does look sickly green.

  • This is one of the primary color schemes in Big Bang Bar. Somewhat justified in that it's taking place inside a wild alien nightclub.
  • A sickly green goo drips all over the playfield in Scared Stiff.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the modern version of the Arkham Horror board game, the Color Out of Space, which in the original story was a color never seen on Earth, is pictured as a glowing green.
  • This is a running theme for the Yozi Malfeas in Exalted. His central soul Ligier is the Green Sun, illuminating his hellish landscape. A considerable number of Malfeas's powers also manifest a green glow of some form, and any Infernal Exalt who opts to learn Malfeas's powers can join the fun.
    • The "Green Sun Wasting" disease (caused by Malfeas's powers) is basically radiation poisoning.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse likewise goes for green in theming Malfeas. Balefire, the sickly green flame associated with the Wyrm and its servants, is explicitly compared to radioactive flame. It even causes mutations.
  • The Cryx in Iron Kingdoms are renowned for the sickly green emanations of their jacks' necrotite-fueled engines and their tendency to stalk swampy areas, to the point where the livings of Immoren call even mere Will-o'-the-Wisps "Cryxlights".
  • Occasionally played straight with those suffering from the Shadowlands Taint in Legend of the Five Rings, but more frequently inverted, as blessed green jade is pretty much the only reliable way to protect both one's soul from spiritual corruption and one's body from physical harm when dealing with the Shadowlands. It also gives off an apparently radioactive glow. This, for instance, is a chief holy priest of the good guys.
  • The black-mana regions of Mirrodin in Magic: The Gathering are covered in eerily glowing necrogen gas, and that's only gotten more pronounced with the Phyrexian takeover.
  • The Martian Menace in Monsterpocalypse.
  • In Princess: The Hopeful, the Court of Storms typically dresses in green, and their Invocation, Tempesta, usually manifests in green flames. They also happen to be the Knight Templars prone to Van Helsing Hate Crimes, and their Invocation, aside from running on The Power of Hate, is associated with acid, nuclear and destruction in general.
  • Warpstone in Warhammer is a glowing green hunk of insanely destructive pure magic. This being Warhammer, it is of course insanely dangerous and destructive, capable of rendering entire towns permanently uninhabitable.
  • The Necrons in Warhammer 40,000 have a sickly green glow to everything from their weapons to their vehicles to their artifacts. While recent reworks to their character expanded the range of colors they can glow ominously with, greenish “corpse-light” remains their visual benchmark, used by the majority of their dynasties.

    Theme Parks 

  • Antidermis in BIONICLE's story. For the toys, there are the figures that come with glow-in-the-dark pieces — Nocturn, Takadox, Morak, Gadunka, the Piraka teeth, the thingamajig in Roodaka's mouth, and the 2004 collectible disks. Also the Visorak Minifigs and the special Rhotuka spinner from the 2005 playsets.

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: At the Abandoned Laboratory beneath Freeway 42, a Fungus Humongous evolved to undertake biological habits, forming green glowing splotches that emit deadly fumes to surround it.
  • The very useful and very Toxic Phlebotinum Kojima Particle that turns your mech into a Walking Wasteland in Armored Core 4/for Answer is very much a sickly shade of transparent light green.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum: Anyone injected with Titan develops eerie glowing green eyes. Then they turn into hulking ogre-like monsters with an ample supply of Body Horror.
  • BioShock 2, like the first game, has the Hypnotize Plasmid glowing green. It's not exactly evil, except in the opening cutscene, where it's employed to make Subject Delta complacent to an order to kill himself (he even starts seeing everything in green).
  • Body Harvest: The Bugs' teleporter technology appears as a toxic green cloud before their forces rematerialize.
  • In the finale of Bug Fables, the Wasp King eats the Everlasting Sapling's last remaining leaf and turns into the Everlasting King, not only giving his new Planimal form a green glow but also filling the Giant's Lair with an ominous green mist.
  • The Infernal Supernatural powerset in Champions Online tends toward a bright sickly green, both due to this trope and due to it being the primary "poisonous" powerset in the game.
  • In Civilization V and VI, uranium shows up as a green glow on resource tiles once the player has the technology to detect and mine it.
  • Civilization: Beyond Earth features Xenomass, a harvest-able resource that the Harmony affinity specializes in, glows green. Miasma, a Deadly Gas found across the landscape that damages human forces and prevents resource extraction, also glows green. And, of course, there are cylinders of glowing green stuff on Harmony tanks (which is believed to be either Xenomass or Miasma).
  • Tiberium crystals in Command & Conquer are green and give off toxic green gas. (Later, other forms are different colours). In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 radiation is green. And in the Command & Conquer: Generals series, Anthrax is a green gas so you know not to move your units into it. After you upgrade to extra-nasty Anthrax Beta, it's blue. You can also upgrade it to Anthrax Gamma, which is pale pink, on the Zero Hour Expansion Pack when playing as Dr. Thrax. Radiation, on the other hand, is orange.
  • In The Darkside Detective, denizens of the Darkside are translucent and glow an eerie green.
  • In Deep Rock Galactic, the Radioactive Exclusion Zone contains large radioactive crystals which glow bright green. Attacks from radioactive glyphids, as well as the Fat Boy, leave glowing green fallout.
  • Radiation from nuclear strikes in DEFCON glows green, though you change the colour if you wish.
  • In Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey, the Bogs' magic is like this, as is Zara's.
  • Doom: Radioactive nukage glows a vivid emerald and damages Doomguy for as long as he's standing on it. You need a radiation shielding suit to cross over it safely. There are barrels filled with the stuff, and if shot at, they explode.
  • The Mace of Molag Bal in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has a sickly green glow when drawn. If that wasn't enough to convince you that it's an Obviously Evil weapon, it's also spiky and has a demonic face with glowing red eyes adorning it. Guards will freak out if you carry the Mace and demand that you get away from them.
  • Xel'lotath and her minions in Eternal Darkness; although technically all the three major gods are Eldritch Abominations, she can be best described as the Goddess of Insanity.
  • The Gorgon of Evolve has a pale green, almost yellow, armor glow. Out of all the monsters it is the most abhorrent, spraying acid, poison, and webs.
  • Factorio has uranium ore that can be refined into two useable isotopes to make fuel rods, atomic weapons, and depleted uranium bullets. For gameplay convenience, everything that uses uranium is green - the ore and active reactor/centrifuge glows green, and all weapon and fuel items that use uranium are green. Fields of uranium ore will glow green at night, allowing you to spot them easily.
  • All over the place in the various Fallout games, naturally.
    • The series as a whole has a form of ghoul called a Glowing One, which, starting with Fallout 3, glows a bright green color. They are always hostile, with rare exceptions like Jason Bright of Fallout: New Vegas and Oswald the Outragous of Fallout 4's "Nuka-World" DLC.
    • Fallout 3 has a few specific examples:
      • Almost the whole world has a strong green tint, which echoes both this trope and the post-nuclear war setting. Some places exaggerate it to show extreme levels of radiation, such as the post-nuked Megaton; the remains are covered in a sickly green fog.
      • There's one quest where Moira Brown asks you to get radiation poisoning so she can study its effects for a survival guide she's writing. The optional objective is to get critical poisoning (600), which will cause Moira to mention that you're actually glowing. It also gets you a perk... which may possibly come in the form of a benign tumor.
      • A side quest in the Broken Steel DLC involves an atom worshiping cult that is tainting water with radiation. There are multiple ways to solve the problem, but the easiest involves convincing the cult that you're the avatar of their god and that you want them to stop irradiating the water. Since the avatar is said to have a bright glow, you also need to get said glow, which involves getting over 800 rads; for reference, 1000 is the lethal level.
    • Similar to Megaton, the green fog is also seen in Camp Searchlight and other irradiated locations in Fallout: New Vegas. You can generally tell when an area is radioactive because of sickly green flakes wafting through the air.
    • Fallout 4
      • The game features an entire area blanketed in a sickly green glow: the Glowing Sea, a vast stretch of land around where an actual , full size, multi-megaton atomic bomb struck near Boston. The entire area is blanketed by radioactive clouds, which occasionally blow across the Commonwealth. In addition, Glowing Ones aren't the only luminescent creatures that appear; the roster now includes glowing radroaches, glowing mirelurks, or worse still, glowing Deathclaws.
      • The Vault-Tec Workshop DLC has the player clear out an underground cavern; one section is full of uranium, which the player can collect for a quest if they need radioactive materials to do an experiment on unwitting subjects. The light in the caverns with the uranium are filled with this trope.
  • Far Cry 5 has Bliss, a hypnotic deliriant drug used by the cult and kept around in large quantities. Storage containers and areas tainted by it are given away by a vibrant green gas that causes an Interface Screw if you get too close.
  • Feeding Frenzy has tiny glowing green fish among all the others. They're small enough that you can eat them at any level, but they're either toxic or radioactive (the game doesn't specify) and eating one makes your controls freeze or work in reverse, depending on which version of the game you're playing. Eating a glowing green fish is a good way to die.
  • The third game in the Five Nights at Freddy's series is the only one that has a distinctive color palette: green. It invades everything; the menu screens has green background and yellow-green text, the Fazbear's Fright has a sickly greenish lighting and/or walls it's as if everything is seen from behind a green lens, and even the phantom animatronics, whose original counterparts came in different colors, are now burnt and colored lime green. There's also the fact that, while other games pit the player against empty animatronics haunted by children, this game pits the player against a lone green-colored bunny animatronic containing the mummified corpse of a serial killer. Which means that the player isn't just facing a Haunted Technology, they're facing a haunted psychopathic zombie technology!
  • The background nebulae in Freelancer have all a dominant color depending on where you are. Liberty's backgrounds are orange and dark blue, Bretonia's are purple and orange, Kusari's are turquoise, Rheinland's are orange with a little bit of green, while the Border Worlds' usually incorporate some white. The Edge Worlds, meanwhile, are barren, crime-ridden places where you get to fight the real enemy; coincidentally, all of them have gas clouds and backgrounds colored sickly green.
  • In Gadget: Past as Future, the meteoric ore used in the Empire's machines gives this off when activated. One notable example of this occurs when the player uses the Sensorama, which bathes them in green light and beams strange imagery into their brain. Since you end up repeatedly exposed to this ore throughout the game, it's never made clear how much of the game's events were real, and which were ore-induced hallucinations.
  • In Geneforge, the canisters are filled with a green glowing substance.
  • Radioactive material in Half-Life is florescent green liquid.
  • The ghostly wraith enemies in Hero of Sparta all radiates with a sinister green glow when they attack.
  • In The King of Fighters, Rugal's (KOF '98 and after) "Dark Barrier" is green, and one of his Desperation Moves has him producing green flames. Also, Ash Crimson fights using green flames.
  • Illaoi in League of Legends is associated with a green glow - her splash art shows her with glowing green eyes and summoning green tentacles. She's not so much evil as she is a priestess of a god who veers uncomfortably close to being an Eldritch Abomination, and has a philosophy that approaches Blue-and-Orange Morality. There are also a variety of sinister power sources that glow: chemtech is green, undeath is associated with a ghostly blue shade, and the Void tends to be purple.
  • Emperor Doel's castle in The Legend of Dragoon has a sickly green glow on the inside due to all the green magical fire lighting up the place.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, the sky takes on a green hue during the daylight hours of the Final Day before the Moon crashes into Termina.
  • Inverted in the Synthesis ending of Mass Effect 3, with the green glow actually being an instant transhuman upgrade, and Reapers that are glowing green are considerably more helpful than they were before they started glowing green.
  • In Max Payne, the designer drug Valkyr glows sickly green. And Drugs Are Bad, in case you didn't know.
  • In Metroid: Samus Returns, the rooms in which you find Metroids have a distinct green tint that disappears once you've killed them. The atmosphere of SR-388 also has a greenish-yellow tint to it that becomes a deeper and darker green at the very end when you fight Proteus Ridley.
  • The Nazgúl in Middle-earth: Shadow of War wear black armor and glow green, as does their newest member, Talion, after Celebrimbor betrays him. There's a neat inversion of the norm, in that the heroic Talion has green powers and wraith, while the antagonistic Celebrimbor has blue ones, color usually used by heroes.
  • Souls glow green in the Mortal Kombat series, and they're mostly used for evil purposes such as Quan Chi's magic or the Soulnado.
  • Nuclear Throne:
    • Averted with rads, which are essential to mutating, or leveling up your character. Since the characters are Mutants, in this case, touching the glowing green stuff is good.
    • You definitely shouldn't touch green toxic gas clouds, however, as all but one character is vulnerable to them.
    • Your character gains this after taking the Gamma Guts mutation, which causes you to damage any enemy you touch.
    • The Guardians, glowing green Energy Beings, play this trope straight, being the most dangerous enemy type in the game and definitely something you should stay very far away from.
  • In Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Mora, while under the influence of The Corruption, sports phosphorescent green Glowing Eyes of Doom and Cordyceps-like fungal growths.
  • In Overlord, your weapon gains a bright green flame when you infuse it with enough Minions.
  • Parasite applies this to the eyes and drool of creatures subjected to Mind Control.
  • Risk of Rain and its sequel have Acrid, a Poisonous Person whose poisons are all bright green. In the second game, his poison also literally glows.
    • The sequel has Malachite enemies, which stop anyone they damage from being able to regenerate health and are a blackish-green color.
    • N'kuhana, a death goddess and generally sinister figure worshiped by a Religion of Evil, is associated with green. N'kuhana's Opinion is green and black and causes the player to shoot out flaming green skulls, and malachite elites will rarely drop an item called N'kuhana's Retort, which is green and causes the player to have the same abilities as malachite elites. The altar to N'kuhana hidden in the Wetlands Aspect is also filled with green light.
  • In Samurai Shodown, Zankuro glows green when first introduced in the third game; also, several of his attacks have a green glow or make him glow green.
  • In the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. trilogy, the Fruit Punch anomalies are green puddles of highly reactive liquid chemical that flash a pale green light when triggered. In later games, the Gas anomalies tint the player's screen green. Radiation, on the other hand, is noticeably black-and-white or sepia in high quantities (such as standing next to a Pseudogiant in Call of Pripyat).
  • Starcraft: No matter what color the rest of your units are, the Zerg Spawning Pool is always green.
  • In TinkerQuarry, each toy has an Essence, which is like their own, specialized soul. Sera's Essence, Fear, resembles a green, glowing crying face.
  • TRON 2.0. Anything "corrupted" in the virtual world glows a sickly greenish-yellow.
  • The GES BioRifle in the Unreal series fires globs of green sludge+, which lingers on the ground until fading or activated by another player. The first game explicitly mentions that it's waste from refining Tarydium crystals.
  • Unbound Saga have areas containing neon green "Radiation Vapor" which drains your health - you must clear the area as soon as possible before a given time limit or lose a life.
  • Wherever there are demons in World of Warcraft, there's usually green-burning 'Fel Fire'.
    • Except for Warlock spells.
      • Which was Averted with Mists Of Pandaria, which adds a Harder Than Hard (at the time of release, at least) quest chain that turns all warlock fire spells green as a sign of prestige among the class.
    • Similarly, the Scourge used to have the same glow as demons when they were still servants of the Burning Legion. After they became independent, they adopted a new blue white scheme. The color of their embalming ichor remains unchanged however.
    • Also, the plague created by the Forsaken is green (the Scourge one is mostly orange, though they continue to use green glow at times).
    • When they started resorting to Fel magic, the Blood Elves' eyes changed from blueish white to fel green.
  • In Yoku's Island Express, those attacked by the God Slayer have distinct green slash marks wherever they've been wounded. Only defeating the God Slayer will cause those wounds to stop glowing and allow the victim to recover.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • In All Night Laundry, the Botfly glows lime-green, and things associated with it tend to be that color. It's also the Big Bad, and the source of the Naughts and the Hound.
  • The Harbinger, the demon in Garanos, is identified by this shade of green.
  • The Green Glowy Things chapter from Girl Genius. Getting hit with the green slime that covers said things costs Dimo an arm.
  • In Homestuck, energy with this is associated with the powers of the First Guardians and their energy source, the Green Sun. While First Guardians are not necessarily inherently evil, there is apparently a high tendency for them to be spawned as agents in the service of Lord English, facilitating his eventual emergence into and subsequent destruction of their universe. Currently, six known entities have/had the powers and accordingly the Sickly Green Glow - Becquerel, Doc Scratch, Jack Noir, Jade Harley, Gcat, and the Peregrine Mendicant; however, of the six only Scratch and Jack are evil, and how.
  • Awful Hospital: Fern's entire body glows bright green. Other characters have commented on it, but Fern sees herself normally-colored. She may be an asymptomatic carrier of the Parliament's manufactured disease.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • When Dark Nella destroys Chicago to spite The Nostalgia Chick, a grossly green glow descends over the city.

    Western Animation 
  • The Lich from Adventure Time has this going for him. He's the spirit of an Atomic Bomb.
  • Angel Wars: Demonic magic and negative human emotions given form tend to be glowing green. That said, Kira's Tron Lines and her energy weapon blasts are also green, so the series doesn't treat green like an inherently evil color by any means.
  • The tupua from Archer Danger Island is a legendary idol rumoured to carry a powerful curse that causes those who touch it to waste away and die. It turns out to be made of highly radioactive uranium. Naturally, it emits an ominous green glow once the characters open the final barriers sealing it away.
  • The Batman Beyond villain Blight, appears as a black skeleton wrapped in translucent, glowing green flesh.
  • Zig-zagged in Danny Phantom, where the hero often glows green due to his ghostly powers (and gets 'glowing green eyes' according to the show's opening). However, so do all the other ghosts, who also tend to have green skin or other attributes (and also tend to be evil).
  • Futurama: In "The Honking", the headlights and grill of SATAN, the original were-car, emit green rays when he awakes.
  • Godzilla: The Series: Subverted. This version of Godzilla has a light green atomic heat ray, as opposed to his classic sky blue one. However while this Godzilla is a Horrifying Hero both in and out of universe, he is still squarely heroic. The actually villainous Cyber Godzilla has the original blue to contrast.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2021): There's a destructive and corruptive cosmic power called Havoc which acts as an opposing force to the Power of Grayskull. When channeled, Havoc appears in neon green as opposed to the golden light of Grayskull.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Inverted. While magic is often Color-Coded for Your Convenience, Uncle's "chi spells" all shine neon green, while dark magic tends to be purple-blue.
  • Kim Possible: Shego is a supervillain with light green skin, green-tinted black hair, green eyes, and plasma powers that are green. Shego's glow stems from a rainbow comet hitting her and her brothers as kids. Her brothers are blue, purple. and red respectively.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Evil magic is usually depicted as glowing a bright, acid green.
    • Princess Cadence is shown to have a magical aura that is best described as "radioactive green". The flashback that shows her actual aura is light blue is the first sign that she is not actually Cadence, but instead the evil shapeshifter Chrysalis in disguise.
    • King Sombra, an evil Sorcerous Overlord, has radioactive-green eyes, as does Twilight when using his Black Magic.
    • "Inspiration Manifestation": When Rarity is corrupted by a magical book, and her magic and eyes go from their usual light blue to a vivid green, and stay like that until she manages to break free from its grip.
  • Primal: The color of The Coven's magic, eyes, and the fire in their sacrifices are supernaturally green.
  • Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja: The Sorcerer's magic often takes on the form of a glowing green gas (dubbed "stank") which he uses to possess people and turn them into monsters. In Season 2, these powers are revealed to be granted by his glowing-green Sorcerer Balls, highly-sought after artifacts with unpredictable powers.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: In "My Shiny Friend", Stimpy is addicted to on TV and eventually turns green from overexposure to the cathode rays.
  • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: Captain Cutler's "ghost" appears in a glowing green deep-sea diving suit and sets one of the fundamental colour motifs for the monsters to follow.
  • The Simpsons: Anything radioactive glows green and is dangerous. In the episode "The Springfield Files", Mr. Burns reveals that "a lifetime of working in a nuclear power plant has given me a healthy green glow." This also happens to Maggie when she exposes herself to a nuclear reactor in The Simpsons Ride.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • The Flying Dutchman glows green, as does his ship. This is lampshaded in one episode:
      SpongeBob: I dunno, Squidward. That ship has a spooky green glow around it.
    • One of Mermaid Man's nemesis the Atomic Flounder can apparently shoot out a green beam while howling.
  • In Steven Universe, the Hand Ship that brought Jasper and Peridot to Earth glowed like this, with anyone standing outside of it being bathed in the color. The color was later shared by Malachite, Lapis and Jasper's extremely toxic fusion.
  • Total Drama: A bright green glow is the telltale mark of radioactivity.
    • Izzy gets a bright green glow to her in "Anything Yukon Do, I Can Do Better" after jumping into a box containing radioactive material. While her team is taken aback, Izzy feels fine and is oblivious to the danger she ought to be in. She's fine and no longer glowing next episode.
    • During Revenge of the Island, an eliminated contestant receives the Marshmallow of Toxic Loserdom at the elimination ceremony. This marshmallow has been dipped in radioactive sludge and glows bright green. Most contestants dodge it when it gets thrown their way, but Staci and Scott suffer its damaging effect.
  • Yuck from Yin Yang Yo! has this color to his magic. Considering that he doesn't bathe and has a similar color to his fur could tie into the gross factor and his evilness.

    Real Life 
  • There is a sort of colored glass, named "uranium glass" because it is tinted with uranium salts, which was extremely popular in the beginning of the 20th century. This was the primary use of uranium before its role in nuclear applications became more prominent. note  It can be yellow to green or even blue, depending on the actual tinting composition, and is often smoky or opaque, but invariably glows neon green under UV light, including direct sunlight, which is probably how the color became associated with radioactivity. Although it's no longer made due to uranium becoming significantly hard to come across thanks to most supplies of the element being diverted to governments solely for fuel or for weapons, pieces of glasswork laced with the metal are now quite valuable collector's items. Most of them date from the 1930s at the latest.
    • Web chemist NileRed posted a video of him making uranium glass, which involved learning glassmaking and utilizing fine-ground uranium powder, which should be handled with care, as uranium is also toxic in the traditional chemical sense and can induce heavy metal poisoning long before you suffer any kind of radiation poisoning.
  • Green clouds are popularly associated with tornadoes. While a green sky isn't caused by a tornado directly, it is associated with the presence of strong hail within the storm. A storm strong enough to produce that much hail may also be capable of spawning a tornado.
  • Interestingly, most of the Sun's light is actually green. Though hardly considered evil (most of the time, at least), the Sun is a symbol for atomic power. Incidentally, this is why plants and other photosynthetic organisms are generally green: the intense green light from the Sun would actually burn them unless they reflected most of it away.
  • In the early 20th century, radium dial watches were painted by young women who shaped the brush tips with their tongues. This resulted in osteonecrosis of the jaw and other conditions.
  • The alkali earth metal element barium will burn with a bright green flame if you use a Bunsen burner to set a small amount of it or its salts on fire (it's used in fireworks). Salts of boron, molybdenum, niobium, thalium (that poisonous stuff) and copper will also burn in various shades of green, to name a few.
  • Phosphorus oxidates without a flame, causing a green glow called phosphorescence.
  • Many old monochrome monitors displayed green-on-black text. You can guess where that led.
  • According to Terry Pratchett, back when he was the press officer for British Nuclear Fuels, TV news crews used to arrange for a sickly green glow in the background so the viewers would know it was a nuclear power station.
  • Averted with Cherenkov radiation, the light of nuclear radiation strong enough to glow in the visible light range, which is actually blue.
    • It appears naturally in underwater nuclear reactors and has been observed at the site of nuclear accidents, such as the Chernobyl disaster, and the 1946 laboratory accident that killed Louis Slotin.
    • Einsteinium, a synthetic element, fissions so energeticallynote  that it glows blue.
  • On a goodwill tour in Beijing following STS-3, commander Jack Lousma displayed a photo he had taken from space of a "beautiful emerald-colored lake" in China and was surprised by the audience reaction. He later learned that the picture was likely of a secret atomic test site for the Chinese nuclear weapons program.


Video Example(s):


Homer Sees an Alien

While running through the woods, Homer sees a glowing being that looks like an alien (complete with the X Files motif). Despite it asking him not to be afraid, he runs off in terror.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / AlienEpisode

Media sources: