Instant Soprano YKTTW Discussion

Instant Soprano
Suffering a Groin Attack causes a male character's vocal pitch to rise by a few octaves
(permanent link) added: 2012-11-17 07:02:44 sponsor: SharleeD (last reply: 2012-12-06 12:37:24)

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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.


  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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