Created By: SharleeD on November 17, 2012 Last Edited By: SharleeD on December 6, 2012
Troped

Instant Soprano

Suffering a Groin Attack causes a male character's vocal pitch to rise by a few octaves

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A comic follow-up to a Groin Attack, this is when a male character whose gonads have suffered injury cries out or speaks in a much higher frequency than his voice usually displays. Most often it's just a brief squeak of anguish, surprisingly high-pitched; in more extreme cases, he may talk, whine or even sing in falsetto for a time, or have his voice dubbed temporarily by an actress.

Less slapstick-oriented works sometimes reference this phenomenon, as when a Deadpan Snarker taunts a male with a high-pitched voice about his Vocal Dissonance, or The Snark Knight narrowly avoids a Groin Attack and muses how close he came to playing this trope straight.

While shrill yelps at the initial injury may be justified, prolonged high-pitched speech is a misconception, based on the false notion that eunuchs' voices are always high-pitched. In actuality, while boys whose testes are lost before puberty will retain a high vocal range into adulthood, a grown man whose voice already changed in adolescence can't lose his masculine tone of speech due to testicular injury: his larynx (voicebox) has already grown to a larger size that produces deep sounds, and lack of testosterone won't make it shrink.

Subtrope of Vocal Dissonance. Works that really overplay it follow it up with Share the Male Pain.

Examples:

Advertising
  • An animated commercial for Duluth Trading Company's Ballroom jeans shows a large man squatting in a competitor's brand, and singing soprano while doing so.

Comics
  • Referenced by Dona Hermine in De cape et de crocs.
    "Come any closer and you'll be able to sing for the pope!"

Film
  • In The Ice Pirates, the eunuchs speak in falsetto after being castrated during their conveyor-belt ride.
  • Happens to Topper's unfortunate opponent in the opening scene of Hot Shots! Part Deux.
  • This happens to Jernigan in Home Alone 3 after Alice hits him with a crowbar when attempting to hit Doris the rat, who had crawled into his pants.
  • The Inspector Gadget movie has Gadget crush a guru's testicles when told to "reach out and grab the balls" (meaning the marbles on a pedestal). The guru's reduced to squealing "TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF!" in a voice like a little girl's.
  • Happens in the Three Stooges 2012 movie when Larry gets a lobster down his pants.

Literature
  • In Cold Copper Tears, Garrett refers to members of a nihilistic cult as "sopranos" after finding out that they're all ritually castrated.

Live-Action Television
  • In an episode of Red Dwarf, Rimmer says he believes that in a past life he was Alexander the Great's... chief eunuch. Lister responds, "No wonder you're such a good singer."
  • In All in the Family, Mike spoke in falsetto after having a vasectomy. (He was only kidding.)
  • Referenced in Band of Brothers when one of the troops sings a line from Oklahoma in tenor, and another soldier teases him, asking if he was sitting on his bayonet.
  • Referenced in a holiday episode of Fear Factor -- the host described a plate of ten reindeer testicles as "five reindeer singing soprano".
  • Done on Cheers when Rebecca accidentally hits Sam in the crotch with a coatrack, excited about the prospect of making a baby with him. Later, as he sings to her seductively while they dance, she comments that she didn't know he could reach a note that high. "I couldn't before the coatrack," he admits.

Music
  • The Paul and Storm song "Why, Baby, Why?" is a falsetto doo-wop in which it turns out that the woman he's singing to has just done this to him.

Web Original

Western Animation

Real Life
  • Invoked, albeit as a very delayed effect, by the past practice of removing young boys' testes so they would retain a high-pitched singing voice into adulthood. Such castrati were in demand for female-role vocal performances because their man-size chests gave them powerful voice projection in an era before amplifiers.

Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • November 17, 2012
    robinjohnson
    • In an episode of Red Dwarf, Rimmer says he believes that in a past life he was Alexander the Great...'s chief eunuch. Lister responds, "No wonder you're such a good singer."
  • November 17, 2012
    Koveras
    • Happens to Topper's unfortunate opponent in the opening scene of Hot Shots Part Deux.
  • November 17, 2012
    cygnavamp
    • In All In The Family, Mike spoke in falsetto after having a vasectomy. (He was only kidding.)

  • November 17, 2012
    CaveCat
    • This happens to Jernigan in Home Alone 3 after Alice hits him with a crowbar when attempting to hit Doris the rat, whom had crawled into his pants.
  • November 17, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
  • November 17, 2012
    DracMonster
  • November 17, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ A bit bulky for my tastes, but what the hell, the pun makes it worth it. :D
  • November 17, 2012
    dvorak
    • The Nostalgia Critic does this a lot.
    • The Inspector Gadget movie has Gadget crush a guru's testicles when told to "reach out and grab the balls" (meaning the marbles on a pedistal). The guru's reduced to squealing "TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF!" in a voice like a little girl's.
  • November 17, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    The jeans commercial mentioned in the example is for Duluth Trading Company's Ballroom (ha, "ballroom", geddit?) Jeans, that have extra room "down there". Funny commercial.
  • November 18, 2012
    SharleeD
    ^^ Does TNC do this to other characters, or does he suffer this himself?
  • November 19, 2012
    Chabal2
    Do threats to do this to a person count, as in "Come any closer and you'll be able to sing for the pope!"?

    Averted in Shrek 2: As Puss in Boots is clawing his way inside Shrek's clothes, Donkey kicks Shrek right in the fork, but Shrek's voice remains normal.
  • November 19, 2012
    SharleeD
    ^ A threat like that would probably be a "referenced" example rather than a straight use. Several of those are already listed, so it's fine to suggest those.

  • November 20, 2012
    Chabal2
    In that case, "Come any closer and you'll be able to sing for the pope!" is used by Dona Hermine in De Cape Et De Crocs.
  • November 26, 2012
    FalconPain
    The Paul And Storm song "Why, Baby, Why?" is a falsetto doowop in which it turns out that the woman he's singing to has just done this to him.
  • November 26, 2012
    TonyG
    Happens on the Three Stooges 2012 movie when Larry gets a lobster down his pants.
  • November 26, 2012
    jatay3
    Castrati were this on a more permanent basis.
  • November 26, 2012
    billybobfred

    why do i remember this
  • November 26, 2012
    SharleeD
    ^^ Actually, castrati would've suffered their Groin Attack years before it had a secondary, non-pain-related effect on their vocal pitch, so I don't think they'd technically fit this trope except as something to contrast it with.
  • November 29, 2012
    HaggisMcCrablice
    Done in Ch Eers when Rebecca accidentally hits Sam in the crotch with a coatrack, excited about the prospect of making a baby with him. Later, as he sings to her seductively while they dance, she comments that she didn't know he could reach a note that high. "I couldn't before the coatrack," he admits.
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