A mysterious, glowing cloud is drifting through Night Vale. What does it want? What does it mean? The Night Vale chapter of the Boy Scouts announces a change to its hierarchy, and a fire-breathing fugitive is wanted on suspicion of insurance fraud. Also, there is cat hovering at exactly four feet above the ground of the Night Vale Community Radio Station Men's Room. Well, everyone needs a pet!
Tropes present in Glow Cloud include:
- Bait-and-Switch: There is a twelve-foot-tall, five-headed, fire-breathing dragon wanted by the law for ... insurance fraud.
- Comically Missing the Point: Cecil, in regards to the Apache Tracker."The 'Apache Tracker'—and I remind you that this is that white guy who wears the large and cartoonishly inaccurate Indian headdress—has announced that he has found some disturbing evidence concerning the recent incident at the Night Vale Post Office, which has been sealed by the City Council since the great screaming that was heard from it a few weeks ago. He said that using 'ancient Indian magics', he slipped through Council security into the Post Office and observed that all the letters and packages had been thrown about as in a whirlwind. That there was the heavy stench of scorched flesh. That the words written in blood on the wall said 'More to come' and 'Soon'...can you believe this guy said he used 'Indian magics'? What an asshole."
- Conditioned to Accept Horror: The citizens of Night Vale see no reason to investigate the Glow Cloud just because a death was attributed to it. Apparently that kind of thing happens all the time.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Mixing up the red and blue dots will have permanent consequences.
- Eldritch Abomination: The titular glow cloud. And possibly Khoshekh the bathroom cat.
- The Hypnotoad: All hail the mighty Glow Cloud
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Cecil and the rest of the radio staff adopt Khoshekh, a cat floating four feet in the air in the men's bathroom.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: On Saturday, everyone in Night Vale will forget the existence of the local public library from 6am to 11pm because the library is undergoing renovation. Also, Cecil can't remember what happened during the weather segment, and the tapes from those few minutes have been erased.
- Magical Native American: The Apache Tracker continues to invoke this. Asshole.
- Phrase Catcher: This is the start of a Running Gag involving John Peters (you know, the farmer?). No one can mention him without making reference to you know, his profession?
- Police are Useless: The Sheriff's Secret Police suggest running directly at the Glow Cloud while waving your arms, just to see what will happen.
- Scout-Out: Averted. Cecil makes an explicit reference to the Boy Scouts of Night Vale, who have changed their hierarchy. It is as follows: Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Eagle Scout, Blood Pact Scout, Weird Scout, Dreadnought Scout, Dark Scout, Fear Scout, and finally, Eternal Scout. Sign-up is automatic and random.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!Representatives from local civil rights organizations have protested that officers had no legal grounds to search the vehicle, but they ceded the point when reminded by Secret Police officials that our backwards court system will uphold any old authoritarian rule made up on the fly by unsupervised gun-carrying thugs of a shadow government.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: No one is particularly concerned when a giant, menacing glowing cloud appears out of nowhere and starts raining down animal carcasses. In fact, Cecil suggests parents teach their kids the names of the colors by taking them outside to study the Glow Cloud's changing hues.