Created By: Wiseblade on October 1, 2009
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The Day the Music Lied

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"Yes, Aizen is so Badass he can kill your theme music."
--This Troper, On the subject of Bleach

The Hero is squaring off with the Big Bad, but something doesn't seem right. His theme song is picks up and all doubts are cast out of your mind as he moves in to attack. Some ass kicking is GUARANTEED once that starts playing. But all of a sudden... The hero is soundly defeated! But it looked like such a sure thing! It looks like today is The Day the Music Lied.

If played for laughs, expect it to be accompanied with a Record Needle Scratch or a fading to bass.

Compare Cat Scare for when dramatic tension is build up with music only for a harmless outcome.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • Bleach uses it a few times, most notably when Aizen stops Ichigo with one finger in the middle of his theme song.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann features this in episode 25.
  • Hajime no Ippo does it in Ippo's Title fight against Date.
  • One Piece does this a few times, Particularly with Usopp.
  • Team Four Star's Dragon Ball Z Abridged, when Yamcha arrives to fight the Saiyans. He gives his fellow warriors a roguish grin, heroic music begins to swell in the background, he starts his rousing speech, and boom.
  • Digimon plays this trope for laughs whenever the titular characters try to digivolve while hungry.

Western Animation
  • Avatar: The Last airbender pulls it off in the Season two Finale.
  • Justice League: The New Frontier. Superman, being Superman, rouses and unites a divided group of superheroes, then, with heroic music playing in the background, charges off to scout and engage the enemy...only to be hit with an energy beam so powerful it knocks him several miles back and into the sea, pretty much removing him from the movie.
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • September 27, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Basically subverting Musical Spoiler. I like it and I know i've seen it lots of times, but i'm blanking on examples right now. ><
  • September 27, 2009
    Tacitus
    • Team Four Star's Dragon Ball Z Abridged, when Yamcha arrives to fight the Saiyans. He gives his fellow warriors a roguish grin, heroic music begins to swell in the background, he starts his rousing speech, and boom.
  • September 28, 2009
    Goldude
    Overlaps with Hope Spot?
  • September 28, 2009
    Medinoc
    If played for laughs, expect a Record Needle Scratch or a fade to bass.
  • September 28, 2009
    Wiseblade
    A Hope Spot is more about a downtrodden hero making a comeback... and failing. This is more about a musical cue setting up something to happen... and then it doesn't.
  • September 28, 2009
    Arilou
    M Ost examples of the Cat Scare works on this: Musical build-up... Oh, just a cat.
  • September 28, 2009
    Wiseblade
    Yeah, that would probably be a sub trope of this one.
  • September 28, 2009
    arekuru
  • September 28, 2009
    Giniku Hoshi
    Happens several times in the Digimon series, mostly when the Digimon haven't eaten, but try to digivolve anyway. And I second The Day The Music Lied as the name.
  • September 28, 2009
    Bisected8
  • September 29, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Fourth The Day The Music Lied.

    One interesting quote made by a troper on this wiki regarding the bleach example went something like: Yes, Aizen is so Badass he can kill your theme music.
  • October 1, 2009
    castaghast
    Justice League: The New Frontier. Oh god, Justice League: The New Frontier. Superman, being Superman, rouses and unites a divided group of superheroes, then, with heroic music playing in the background, charges off to scout and engage the enemy...only to be hit with an energy beam so powerful it knocks him several miles back and into the sea, pretty much removing him from the movie (Supes doesn't save the day in this one).
  • October 1, 2009
    superluser
    How about the case where the triumphal theme music (usually in a major key) is played in a minor key, signaling that this time the hero is doomed?

    Does that count?

    I can't think of any good examples, though I know Star Wars had this in spades. I do note that the main theme gets played in a minor key after C 3 PO gets shot and Luke leaves Dagobah.
  • October 1, 2009
    Wiseblade
    Not really, because then the music didn't really lie. you have to believe that things are going to be successful at first to invoke this trope.
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