Half Duet YKTTW Discussion

Half Duet
A character sings one half of a Duet without the other half
(permanent link) added: 2011-06-10 09:17:41 sponsor: randomsurfer (last reply: 2012-07-21 14:23:40)

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Other possible title: One Sided Duet, Un Duet.

Alice and Bob have rehearsed a duet, but Bob doesn't show. What does Alice do? Sing her half only. Or maybe it's not even strictly speaking a "duet," Alice is just the backing vocalist.

Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples.


  • The Simpsons: Homer & Marge are planning to sing "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" at Marge's cousn's wedding reception but for plot relevant reasons Homer doesn't show up, so Marge just sings her half.
    You say potato
    You say tomato
    Let's call the whole thing off
  • The Richard Pryor Show: and the Pips perform "Grapevine" and "Midnight Train to Georgia" without Gladys Knight
  • Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny: Heterosexual Life-Partners JB and KG split up because they've been invited to a sorority house party: KG wants to go, JB feels they should concentrate on their Quest to find the eponymous pick. At the party KG's talked into playing some of the songs he & JB have written, but he only knows the words for his parts (which are backup to JB). This doesn't go over well.
    across the devil's plain
    and his cross
    climbed K2, even stopped a moving train
  • Alluded to in Chicago when Velma Kelly describes her act with her sister -- which can't be done anymore because her sister is dead. Instead of only doing her half, Velma goes "I'd go --" and does her part, then goes "She'd go --" and does her sister's part.
  • Inverted on The Office: Michael sings a duet of "Islands in the Stream" by himself, both the male and female vocals, until Jim comes to his rescue.
  • There's an episode of Clarissa Explains It All where Clarissa wants to perform a duet, but her duet partner can't make it. She performs one half of the duet in front of Sam and he tells her she looks like she's waiting for a bus when she's not performing.
  • Elf - Jovie starts off singing an Unduet of "Baby It's Cold Outside" in a Shower Scene. Buddy joins in, softly at first, ever slowly increasing in volume until Hilarity Ensues.
  • "What Would We Do Without You?" from Stephen Sondheim's Company- everyone in the cast has a tap partner to do a Call and Response move with except Bobby- who does his move, then there's no one to follow him. Only a very brief moment in the song.
  • An episode of Blue's Clues uses this, having Steve sing half of a duet and "you" the viewer are supposed to sing the other half.
  • Taken to an extreme in Malcolm in the Middle - Hal is in a Barbershop group, but his son Dewey points out all he does is dance around in the back and offer the occasional backing vocal. Dewey goes on to throw the Apple of Discord around the whole group, until they're so furious with each other they refuse to perform... so Hal gets on stage and dances around in near-complete silence doing his part of the act, until the rest of them join in out of pity.
  • This gets played with, at the very least, in Enchanted. After the prince finally finds Gisele again, he starts singing the duel from the start of he movie. However, when it comes to Gisele's part, there's silence. The prince even points out, "You're not singing." This is plot relevant, as it reveals that Gisele is no longer in love with him but another.
  • Dancing version: In episode 13 of Princess Tutu, the titular Princess Tutu dances a pas de duex (that is, a ballet intended for two people) by herself because the Prince she is in love with has been brainwashed by the Evil Princess and she is hoping to get through to him via the emotion in the dance.
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