Created By: StevenT on April 6, 2012 Last Edited By: StevenT on March 11, 2013

Persuasive Song

Need to convince people to go along with something? Just sing a song about it.

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Often crosses with Crowd Song.


  • In Bebe's Kids, in spite of all the evidence against Kahlil, Leon convinces the court to let him off by singing a song about freedom.

Western Animation
  • In the Family Guy episode "Let's Go to the Hop" Peter, in disguise as a high school student, convinces the students to stop licking toads to get high by singing a parody of "You're the One that I Want" from Grease.
    • In "Episode 420" Brian convinces the town to legalize marijuana by singing about its benefits. Later when he's forced to delegalize marijuana, he sings another song (which we only hear the tail end of) about why pot is bad.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Over a Barrel" Pinkie Pie sings a song about friendship to convince the buffalo not to wreck the town. Subverted in that the conflict had already been resolved before she starting singing and her song was so terrible it got the buffalo back to being mad at the town.
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • April 6, 2012
    • In The Simpsons episode about the Monorail, the monorail salesman starts singing a song about the benefits of the monorail, getting the whole town hall meeting to join in enthusiastically. At one point, Marge speaks up against the monorail but Bart, in song, tells her something like "Too late, mom, we're already singing about it!".
  • April 6, 2012
    Marge: But Main Street's still all cracked and broken
    Bart: Sorry Mom, the crowd has spoken

    In another Simpsons episode Marge stirs up a Moral Panic over a Burlesque House in Springfield and leads a mob to tear it down. The Burlesque House's owner & supporters sing a song which gets the mob on their side...but not Marge because she didn't hear it.
    Marge arrives hell-bent for leather on a bulldozer. "Here I come, everybody!" The crowd forces her to stop.
    Homer: What are you doing, Marge? Didn't you hear the song?
    Marge: No, I had to go rent the bulldozer.
    Ned: Well, we all changed our minds.
    Wiggum: Yeah, now we love the house.
    Marge: What about the sleaze and the depravity?
    Helen: It was a very convincing song, Marge.
    Skinner: Mm-hm, there were kicks and everything.
    Marge: Oh. Can you sing it again?
    Ned: I'm sorry, it really was one of those spur-of-the-moment type things.
  • April 6, 2012
    In yet another Simpsons example, Lisa gets elected as class president after singing the song Don't vote for me, kids of Springfield.
  • April 6, 2012
  • April 6, 2012
    • Also in The Little Mermaid, Sebastian sings "Under the Sea" to persuade Ariel to forget about the shore and be content with undersea life. It doesn't work; Ariel sneaks off during the last chorus.
  • April 6, 2012
    By the way, this strikes me as an incredibly common trope, though my mind is short on examples now. I really hope a better writer than myself can give it the snappy description it deserves.
  • April 6, 2012
    I agree ^ that it is very common. The description should probably discuss how and why music can be an influence. Good music is naturally going to make a person inclined to listen. If the music is especially stirring or catchy the person may get emotionally caught up in it and agree without really thinking about what they are agreeing to (and then freak out when the song ends and they realize what they've just done). Also, well-written lyrics may be more eloquent than speech.

    May overlap with The Power Of Rock.

    In Enchanted Giselle sings "That's How You Know" to convince Robert of the importance of romance.

    In The Producers Max sings "We Can Do It" to convince Leo to help him with the "creative accounting" scheme.
  • April 6, 2012
    • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 is another persuasive song. The Flim-Flam brothers use it to get Ponyville all excited about their machine (the stage was already set by the Apple family not producing enough cider as they arrived).

  • April 6, 2012
    All advertising jingles are attempting to be this.
  • April 12, 2012
    Night Surgeon from Repo The Genetic Opera, where Rotti Largo tries to bully Repo Man Nathan Wallace into collecting a debt, might qualify even though it ultimately fails?
  • April 13, 2012
    Captain Hook's Villain Song, "The Elegant Captain Hook" from Peter Pan, is an attempt to get the Lost Boys to join his crew, with an added incentive in case they say no.
  • April 13, 2012
    What about when a character sings a song so that someone will do something just so that the character will stop singing it? Or is that another trope? Because when I read "Persausive Song" the first example that came to my mind was:

    • In the film Ghost, Patrick Swayze's character Sam, now a ghost, sings "I'm Henry the Eight, I Am" over and over to get Whoopie Goldberg's Oda Mae Brown to go talk to his girlfriend Molly (Demi Moore). It's very persuasive.
  • April 13, 2012
  • April 17, 2012
    In one of the phineas and ferb episodes the boys sing songs to each member of the band to get them back together
  • April 17, 2012
    • Spongebob Squarepants sings the "Fun Song" in an attempt to get Plankton to have fun and experience friendship instead of plotting another scheme to steal Krabby Patties. It backfires tremendously.
  • April 17, 2012
    To elaborate on the mention of The Music Man above, Prof. Harold Hill's "You Got Trouble" number persuades the people of River City that the new pool table is going to be a bad influence on boys, and the good influence they need is a boys' band, for which Prof. Hill will sell the instruments and uniforms.
  • April 17, 2012
    Seems like there's a lot of overlap with Pep Talk Song, a lot of the examples from that page might count here too.
  • March 11, 2013