Created By: Lumpenprole on June 9, 2013 Last Edited By: Lumpenprole on June 10, 2013

Distracting Musical Number

Getting an opponent caught up in a song and dance routine

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When the rather unreal premise of musicals- people drop what they're doing to break out in song- is deliberately invoked by a character in order to distract or preoccupy someone.

Western Animation
  • Bugs Bunny does this so often it's hard to count the times. At least two are:
    • in Mississippi Hare, when he gets Colonel Shuffle to sing and dance to "Camptown Races" (right off the boat)
    • Hillbilly Hare, when Bugs gets two backwoods yokels caught up in a hoedown dance.
  • In Billy and Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure, Billy's impromptu production distracts the crew of a ghostly pirate ship long enough for Billy, Mandy, Irwin and Grim to escape.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • June 9, 2013
    In The Magic Flute, Papageno and Pamina use magic bells to get Monostatos and his minions to dance in order to avoid being captured. Justified because the bells are magic.

  • June 9, 2013
    Taken to extremes in The Mask, when the eponym uses his magic to force the cops surrounding him to take part in a huge dance number, then takes his leave while they're in a conga line.
  • June 9, 2013
    Hanna-Barbara produced a mixed live-action/animated version of Jack and the Beanstalk (1966) starring Gene Kelly. At one point when confronted by two "Woggle Birds", Kelly's character joins (and then slips away from) their "Woggle Bird Song".
  • June 9, 2013
    In The Music Man Harold Hill repeatedly distracts the members of the School Board by getting them to sing together as a barbershop quartet.
  • June 9, 2013
    In To Boldly Flee the heroes' plan for infiltrating the enemy ship calls for the Nostalgia Chick and Oancitizen to disguise themselves as Ursa and Non and distract General Zod. How do they accomplish this? Why with the hit Kryptonian musical number of 1983, "I'm a Distraction."
  • June 9, 2013
    On The Simpsons when Sideshow Bob is about to kill Bart, as his "Last Request" Bart asks Bob to sing the entire HMS Pinafore, which he does, and it lasts just long enough for the houseboat they're on to drift towards shore where some cops happen to be.
  • June 9, 2013
    This is an in-universe point in The Lion King. Simba sings "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" so he and Nala can escape their babysitter Zazu and find the elephant graveyard.

    But it's subverted in The Little Mermaid. Sebastian sings "Under The Sea" to convince Ariel to abandon her interests in the surface world, but it ends up distracting Sebastian himself while Ariel and Flounder leave to admire a statue of Eric that Flounder had recovered.
  • June 10, 2013
    In New Adventures of the Elusive Avengers, the titular heroes arrange for a singing, dancing Roma wedding to distract some White Guard soldiers who took one of them, Danka, prisoner. While the soldiers are caught up in singing and dancing, Yashka picks locks on Danka's handcuffs and puts them on a dancing bear instead. When the wedding leaves, the shocked soldiers find themselves chained to an angry bear instead of their prisoner.
  • June 10, 2013
    • ^^^^^ and in The Simpsons parody of The Music Man, "Marge vs. the Monorail"

    • In the Walt Disney cartoon short "In The Bag", Ranger Woodlore tries this to get the park bears to clean up the park's litter- it almost works, before the bears catch wise.
  • June 10, 2013
    How about Musical Diversion as a title? That makes it clear that it's an in-story diversion as opposed to a musical number that really is distracting or unwarranted (which verges dangerously on "Complaining About Shows You Dont Like" territory).

    As for another example from The Lion King, Timon and Pumbaa divert the attention of the hyenas by doing a small hula musical number. It's probably one of the funniest moments of the movie.
  • June 10, 2013
    Disney animators love this one.

    Western Animation
    • As part of a Batman Gambit to rescue Tammy and Bink from Fat Cat's lair in the Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers episode "Adventures In Squirrelsitting", Chip and Dale pose as chanteuses, and lead Fat Cat, his minions and all the casino patrons in a rousing chorus of "The Fat Cat Stomp." Only because Fat Cat is Genre Savvy does this ploy fail.
    • Part 3 of the pilot episode "Plunder And Lightning" from the Tale Spin series has Baloo succeed in springing Rebecca and Molly Cunningham from the pirates' brig, needing only to sneak them past a pirate assembly to get them aboard the Sea Duck. Then Don Karnage starts a self-aggrandizing number that gives the escapees the distraction they need.
    • Another Tale Spin episode "The Bigger They Are, The Louder They Oink" has Baloo attempt to rescue Rebecca and her monstrous pig from In A Stew pygmies by leading them in a conga line.
    • Yet another Tale Spin episode "A Spy In The Ointment" has Baloo and Rebecca team up and pose as gypsy folk dancers to distract Colonel Spigot and the High Marshall while another character switches packages in the High Marshall's office.