What Is It Called When Good Things Come From Bad Things?

We all need a little optimism in our lives when things start to feel tricky. But what’s a good phrase that provides comfort during tough times?

In this article, we’ll teach you what to call a good thing that stems from a not-so-good situation. So, read on!

What Is It Called When Something Good Comes From Something Bad?

Our first list will contain all the idioms that are synonymous with this topic:

  • Every cloud has a silver lining
  • Light at the end of the tunnel
  • Blessing in disguise
  • Look at the bright side
  • Happy accident
  • No pain no gain
  • Good medicine tastes bitter
  • The darkest hour is just before the dawn
  • Break in the clouds

In our second list, we’ll look at one-word alternatives that encapsulate the idea of “when good things come from bad things”:

  • Consolation
  • Serendipitous
  • Solace
  • Hope


  • You can use “every cloud has a silver lining” to say that there is always an upside to any bad situation.
  • “Light at the end of the tunnel” means that no hardship lasts indefinitely, so you can use this phrase to encourage someone to keep pressing on.
  • A “consolation” is something that provides comfort and solace during difficult circumstances.

Keep reading! In the next section, we’ll discuss our three favorite words and phrases for when good things come from bad things.

Moreover, we’ll show you how to use each of our choices in some helpful example sentences.

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Merriam-Webster states that the phrase “every cloud has a silver lining” is “used to say that every bad situation holds the possibility of something good.”

In short, it is an optimistic metaphor that people use in difficult situations to comfort and encourage others.

This expression draws on the image of a cloudy sky. However, at the edge of each cloud, you can usually see the silver light of the sunshine hidden behind.

Therefore, the clouds represent hardship, and the sunshine represents the hope that exists once the clouds pass over.

This phrase stems from a 1634 poem by John Milton. Therefore, people sometimes call clouds with silver linings “Milton clouds.”

Let’s see this hopeful and evocative phrase in some example sentences:

I know you feel hopeless right now, but every cloud has a silver lining, and things are sure to turn around.

Every cloud has a silver lining, so try to remember the good things in front of you even when life feels dark and grey.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

“Light at the end of the tunnel” is an expression that essentially means good things come after bad things. More precisely, it means that no bad situation lasts forever, and things are sure to get better eventually.

According to Merriam-Webster, a “light at the end of the tunnel” is “a reason to believe that a bad situation will end soon or that a long and difficult job will be finished soon.”

In this expression, the tunnel represents a dark and difficult stage in one’s life. However, the light at the end signifies that you are near the exit and will soon be free of your hardship.

As we can see from this idiom and “every cloud has a silver lining,” sunshine is often an image of hope and darkness usually represents a hardship.

Check out the example sentences below:

I was not excited to be sent to Egypt, but meeting your mother was the light at the end of the tunnel.

There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, so keep trudging on and you’ll find what makes you happy.


The Cambridge Dictionary defines “consolation” as “something that gives comfort to someone who is sad or disappointed.”

Therefore, it is a word for when something good comes out of something bad. At least, it refers to finding comfort even in difficult times.

The meaning behind “consolation” is evident from the word itself. After all, a “consolation” is anything that consoles someone who is facing hardship.

This explains why we call a reward someone gets when they’ve lost a competition a “consolation prize.”

To see this term in action, have a look at the following example sentences:

James was my greatest consolation when my father fell ill, and we have been the best of friends for years.

I found great consolation in all the drawings from my pupils.