Age Inappropriate Music
Characters singing or dancing to songs that are not considered socially acceptable for their age.
This trope is about characters or singers playing songs that are considered too mature for their age. It can be Played for Laughs - such as a character being ignorant about a songs meaning (especially if the song is in a different language) or they're too young to notice the profanity or sexual/violent themes - however it can also be played straight. Young characters singing or dancing to particularly adult sounding songs is often the result of Most Writers Are Adults. However, it can also be the sign of an Adorably Precocious Child, someone who is Wise Beyond Their Years, or in darker cases Troubling Unchildlike Behavior. A Dirty Kid or Covert Pervert teen might sing songs that are rather NSFW. This trope is why a lot of preteen and teen singers get so much flak from older audiences. Singing about themes that are considered too mature or serious for their age-bracket, such as committed romances, can easily lead to their songs being narmy and awkward with people outside of the target demographic. Compare to Age-Inappropriate Art, Isn't It Ironic?, Age-Inappropriate Dress, and Ironic Nursery Tune.
- In the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, twelve-year-old Greg Heffley gets caught listening to his older brother's CD that is said to have a parental warning sticker on it.
- On one episode of Black-ish, Jack sings the uncensored version of "Gold Digger" for a school talent show. This leads to a discussion on N-Word Privileges.
- One episode of Arrested Development has Michael Bluth and his niece Maeby performing a duet of "Afternoon Delight", completely unaware that it's about having sex in the afternoon.
- One episode of Grounded for Life sees Sean fighting Lily's teacher because Lily and her friends want to perform "Hey Big Spender" (which is officially about taxi-dancing, but the lyrics suggest otherwise) for their Catholic-school talent show.
- Children in talent contests are not unknown for doing this:
- On the Spanish version of The Voice Kids, La Voz Kids, a young girl sung "Cake By The Ocean", which is an Intercourse with You song (its chorus is a synonym for "sex on the beach").
- The whole Mini-Pops thing on British TV. On its inception, Channel Four came out with a children's talent show where precocious kids of five, six, or seven would dress up like adult stars and perform cover versions of their songs. It was pointed out that having, for instance, a six-year-old girl dress up as Madonna and warble "Like A Virgin'' carried lots of unfortunate implications. The show was dropped because of all the implications that could be read into it by suitably inclined viewers.
- Arrested Development: In one episode Michael and his niece Maeby are doing karaoke together and pick the first song on the playlist to sing. Unfortunately it is "Afternoon Delight", which has very suggestive lyrics, especially given Maebe's age. Latter, Michael's sister Lindsay and his son George Michael also sing the song together.
- In the Supernanny episode, "The Amouri Family", it is revealed that 4-year-old Hayley listens to gangster rap on her mom's MP3 player. When Jo finds out, this is one of the things she confronts the parents, Tamara and Michael about.
- Mean Girls:
- One of the scenes has Regina's kid sister dancing to "Milkshake" by Kelis.
- Several of the girls do a flirtatious dance to "Jingle Bell Rock" at their high school talent contest.
- In Little Miss Sunshine, the seven-year-old Olive performs a burlesque dance to "Super Freak" by Rick James (which is about a highly promiscuous girl) at a child beauty pageant.
- Kidz Bop sometimes doesn't recognize that a song isn't family friendly. Fallout Boy's song "Dance Dance" was scrapped from one of their albums due to the band and its manager not wanting a bunch of kids singing it (plus, they didn't have permission anyway).
- Chiaki Ishikawa's song "House" is about an adult looking back nostalgically at their carefree childhood. One of the verses is about singing and laughing at a song with their friends, despite not understanding half the words in it.
- Brian "Head" Welch has said that he decided that he needed to quit Korn after finding out that his daughter was singing "A.D.I.D.A.S." (which stands for "All Day I Dream About Sex".)
- The Sia music videos to "Chandelier" and "Elastic Heart" have run into controversy due to this trope. The dancing by itself isn't inappropriate (it's just interpretive dance) but the fact the dancer is doing it in skin-colored clothes is what caused people to think twice. The "Elastic Heart" video has it worst because it contains the girl in a cage with Shia LeBeouf, who is shirtless and wearing skin-colored shorts. It doesn't help the video is incredibly vague on what it's about. Some interpret it as being about a daughter dealing with an addicted or depressed father while others think it's about a single dad whose daughter is entering adolescence but that doesn't clear up much.
- Subverted in Calvin and Hobbes:
Calvin'sMom: Calvin, the fact that these bands haven't killed themselves in ritual self-sacrifice shows that they're just in it for the money like everyone else. It's all for effect. If you want to shock and provoke, be sincere about it.Calvin: Mainstream commercial nihilism can't be trusted?!
- When Calvin buys a record from a band whose songs "glorify depraved violence, mindless sex, and the deliberate abuse of dangerous drugs". When Hobbes predict Calvin's mom throwing a fit, Calvin tosses the record in the trash since that's the main reason he got it.
- Calvin asks his mother for mone so he can buy a satan-worshiping, suicide-advocating metal album. She explains to him that they're Only in It for the Money, which is enough to put him off the idea.
- Amy Rose's theme in Sonic Adventure changes her from a Smitten Teenage Girl to a Hormone-Addled Teenager. The lyrics have a rather sensual tone to them that makes them sound like an Intercourse with You song, especially when the singer whispers lyrics like "Makes me want to be his speciality". Amy is only twelve.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks:
- The Chipettes (who don't seem older than middle schoolers but might even be as young as eight in Alvin and the Chipmunks) are prone to this combined with Age-Inappropriate Dress and doing somewhat risque dance moves. This was toned down heavily starting with the CGI films. The most infamous song The Chipettes have sung is "Get Lucky" from The Chipmunk Adventure. It's arguably about going on a date but the fact they sing it to a bunch of snakes in Belly Dancer clothing doesn't help the Intercourse with You implications. Another example was when they sung "Proud Mary"; their attire wasn't too inappropriate but their dancing was.
- While not too mature, both the Chipmunks and the Chipettes sing a lot of love songs that are more suited for older singers.
- South Park being South Park has done this for laughs:
- In Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright, the young Crissy sings a song at the talent show named "Homewrecker". It has lyrics which begin with "Stay away from my man, homewrecker/Nobody comes between me and my man" and is about how she will beat up anyone who tries to get near her boyfriend.
- During the eighties and nineties, Disney created a bunch of music videos that spliced together oldies with footage from their older cartoons. One of those videos was for the Mamas and the Papas' "I Saw Her Again Last Night"... which is about one guy bragging about how he's sleeping with his best friend's wife.
- The Simpsons:
- "Lisa's Pony" had a kid singing "My Ding-a-ling" at the school talent show. Principal Skinner quickly yanked him off the stage.
- "C.E. D'oh" had Homer/Marge's and Maggie's tapes switched, so the adults are listening to a lullaby, and Maggie dancing to a song called "Sex Bomb".
- In "Dude, Where's My Ranch?", Marge comments that ever since the Simpsons started staying at the ranch, the kids are acting like teenagers, pointing out to Homer that Maggie is dancing to Brittany Spears.
- Phineas and Ferb has a few songs of this nature get past the radar. One is "Gitchi Gitchi Goo", which has sexual sounding lyrics (the chorus literally contains the lyrics "Bow-chicka-bow-wow"). It was sung by the ambiguously nine to thirteen Phineas and the teenage Candace. To make it worse, they're siblings.
- In the The Loud House episode, "Potty Mouth", it is revealed that Lisa likes rapping and dancing to songs not suitable for four-year-old children, and because she and her infant sister, Lily share a room, Lisa worries she might have been a bad influence on her. She attempts to be a good influence on her by rapping a Blarney the Dinosaur song.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.