Embarrassing Ringtone
A charecter's cellphone goes off at an inconvenient moment, and the song they use is their ringtone is something they'd be embaressed by
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(permanent link) added: 2012-07-25 11:30:09 sponsor: BrokenEye edited by: Larkmarn (last reply: 2013-12-28 11:06:29)

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A character's cellphone goes off at an inconvenient moment, and the song they use is their ringtone is something they'd be embarrassed by. The Jerk Jock might have the Theme Song from some incredibly geeky television series as his ringtone. The Wicked Cultured villain's ringtone may be a crappy auto-tuned pop song. The Heteronormative Crusader's ringtone may be a song about having Intercourse with You. The ringtone of Colonel Badass may be something uncomfortably cute and cheery. The Evil Luddite will be embarrassed to have a ringtone at all. Or one could always just go with a ringtone that anyone would be embarrassed by.

If the character is attempting to be mysterious or intimidating at the time, or attempting to win the trust/approval/respect of someone who find's the song's content objectionable, this is doubly likely to happen. Expect them to answer the phone as quickly as possible just to end the song, and be very grumpy towards the caller.

Please note, it doesn't have to actually be the character's phone, but instead be a phone belonging to someone else that they're holding onto for some reason.

Examples

Advertising
  • A beer commercial featured a guy trying to prove to his ex-girlfriend that he's matured enough to hook back up with her ... until his cellphone rings, with "I Like Big Butts" as the ringtone. Oops.

AnimeAndManga
  • Astro Fighter Sunred: The nominal head villain gets a new cell phone with a ringtune that pegs him as an old guy--and later it goes off when people are trying to hide, and of course the hiding people can't figure out how to turn it off.

Comics
  • One Nemi strip showed a LARP gathering, which was interrupted by a ringing cellphone. Last panel has the guilty party telling that, worst of all, the ringtone was a Britney Spears song.
  • Quai D Orsay: Arthur's ringtone is a Metallica song. Not the best way to be taken seriously when it rings in the middle of a diplomatic summit.
  • One of Deadpool's attempts at a stealthy assassination was spoiled by his agent calling him, his ringtone was "YMCA".

Film
  • This happens repeatedly to the titular character in Paul Blart: Mall Cop, but only because his phone was lent to him by a teenager.
  • In Inside Man, the thieves taking hostages in the bank demand that everyone turn over any cell phones. One executive (read rich white guy) claims he has turned in his phone, but then it rings and loudly plays Kanye West's "Gold Digger" to the thieves' incredulous amusement. Then they beat the crap out of him.
  • This sort of happened on Megamind. When Megamind and Minion were suiting up to create a new superhero to replace Metro Man, the cell phone Megamind had stolen earlier went off, ruining the villainous pose scene.
  • In The Astronaut Farmer one of the two government agents who are trying to prevent the titular farmer from building his rocket and going into space has The Imperial March as his ringtone, as part of their gradual decent over the course of the film from genuinely intimidating antagonists to Those Two Guys.

LiveActionTV
  • An early episode of Burn Notice features Michael using a ring tone on his phone as an alarm for when someone sets off a motion sensor he sets up at a safe house for the clients of the week. It's from some flash in the pan girl group.
    Teen girl: Nice ring tone.
    Michael: It came with the phone.
  • An episode of The Newsroom sets Jim up on a date with Maggie's girlfriend, which introduces her ringtone as a Chekhov's Gun. Apparently she's a fan of Rod Stewart.
  • In Sherlock, Irene Adler replaces Sherlock's ringtone with the sound of her orgasmic groaning.
    • Moriarty's Staying Alive ringtone also qualifies. It's hard to be menacing with the Bee Gees providing a bouncy little riff.
  • In the Supernatural episode, "The Real Ghostbusters," evil spirit children trapped Sam and Dean along with many patrons at a hotel convention. To get the spirits to free everyone, Sam and Dean recruited an actress to play the ghost of the stern, turn-of-the-century school mistress (who Sam and Dean mistakenly banished earlier) to scare the ghost boys into releasing the hold on the hotel. Everything was going well until the actress' cell phone rang with a jaunty hip-hop tune. Cue her Oh Crap moment as the evil spirit children smiled menacingly, realizing she wasn't the school mistress and they had no reason to be scared.
  • Completely subverted in House who has a strong of seemingly embarrassing ringtones that he uses completely shamelessly.

Music
  • Weird Al Yankovic's song "Ringtone" is about this.

WebOriginal
  • One "learn from my fail" entry in Fail Blog mentioned an "Another one bites the dust" ringtone going off during a funeral.

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