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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.