What Does Rain on Your Parade Mean?

Rain on Your Parade Meaning

Definition: To mention bad news; to give negative information to someone who is happy or excited about something.

This expression often appears as I hate to rain on your parade, but… It can also appear as I’m sorry to rain on your parade, but…

Origin of Rain on Your Parade

This idiom first appeared in the latter half of the 1900s. A song titled “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from the musical Funny Girl may have helped popularize the expression. The joy and excitement of a literal parade being ruined and interrupted by a rainstorm may have inspired the song.

A common misspelling of this phrase is reign on my parade.

Examples of Rain on Your Parade

reign on my parade meaningHere is an example of a math professor and her student using the idiom.

Student: Do we have any homework today?

Teacher: Nope.

Student: Whoo hoo! I’m so happy right now!

Teacher: Why? What’s up?

Student: None of my teachers assigned me any homework. I’ll finally have a homework-free weekend. I might even go to the amusement park or something to celebrate.

Teacher: I hate to rain on your parade, but, unfortunately, we have a test on Monday.

Student: No! That means I’ll have to study all weekend long.

Teacher: Sorry!

don't rain on my parade meaningIn this example, two friends are discussing a potential date for a third friend.

Monica: I just met the greatest guy!

Janice: So what? You’re already dating someone.

Monica: Not for me! For Iris! She’s been so sad since breaking up with Jake that I want to set her up on a date with this new guy I just met.

Janice: I’m not sure that’s a good idea.

Monica: Are you kidding? It’s a great idea! And they’ll fall in love and live happily ever after, and they’ll always thank me for setting them up!

Janice: Not to rain on your parade, but Iris and Jake just got back together last night.

Monica: No! They’re terrible for each other!

More Examples

This excerpt is the title of an advice column about whether or not a woman should stay with her boyfriend. The advice writer is giving advice that is disheartening to hear. She explains that the boyfriend is not willing to put his romantic relationship ahead of his job. This is because he won’t even consider moving to another city in the future.

  • “Hate to rain on your parade, but if he won’t leave Seattle…” –Washington Post

The second excerpt uses the expression both literally and idiomatically to say that rainy weather may ruin the happiness of a weekend parade.

  • And not to rain on your parade, but there’s a good chance it will do just that on Memorial Day on Monday. –New York Times

Summary

The phrase rain on your parade is another way to describe ruining someone’s plans or dampening their joy.