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[-[[caption-width-right:345:[[AltText It's amazing what it does for YouTube comments.]]]]-]

The tendency when enjoying a story to "read" or "hear" a character's voice depending on the observer's preference. More frequent when a character does not or [[SuddenlyVoiced did not]] officially have a voice (such as a book), especially until some much later adaptation.

Movies are frequently cited (accused) as creating the assumed voice of a character even when there's no objective reason this should occur (e.g., it is simply the actor's normal voice or an actor doing his own interpretation). If the work is ''frequently'' adapted, this is usually based on the most popular actor portraying the role. Many writers do in fact "hear" and "see" their characters but generally don't feel the need to enforce this view on the audience except in BroadStrokes.

Interestingly, why one voice is locked into our minds may not be related to how good, official or genuine it is. It might be that the "official" or mainstream interpretation is seen as pretty terrible or disingenuous by the observer. Maybe the audience remembers an obscure adaptation which existed as the sole version until recently as a childhood memory, or maybe there was something merely memorable (or infamous) about said "voice".

Not to be mistaken with BrainBleach. Also, [[IThoughtItMeant has nothing to do with]] {{Mondegreen}}s.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* An often obscured argument in the old "dub vs. sub" wars is that some audience members prefer a character they ''largely can't understand'' simply because of voice intonation, while others prefer a newer interpretation if the original is seen as an overdone PigeonholedVoiceActor.
** It's even possible, with a sub, to "hear" the character speaking English in the non-English VA's voice when you try to remember it, because you were paying attention to how the voice sounded and the English subs, not the exact sounds the voice actor was making.
* Similar to the [[{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}} Hubert Farnsworth]] example below, someone on an ImageBoard posted a page out of an {{eroge}} featuring [[LightNovel/TheMelancholyOfHaruhiSuzumiya Tsuruya]] saying "My breasts... Megassa squeeze them" - a reference to a verbal tic she's {{Flanderized}} into saying repeatedly in {{Fanon}}, despite saying only once in canon. The next post had a picture of [[ThePhantomMenace Jar-Jar Binks]] with the exact same line. [[HilarityEnsues Hilarity]], and BrainBleach, soon followed.
* Many fans consider Creator/MegumiHan's performance as [[spoiler: young Obito Uchiha]] in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' to be a lot more memorable than that of the character's original voice actor, Sosuke Komori.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* Regardless of which version you think is best, Creator/MarkHamill's [[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries interpretation]] of SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker is often the one comics fans will hear in their heads when reading his lines.
** And Creator/KevinConroy's Batman. Or if not him, Creator/BruceGreenwood.
** Those over a certain age are likely to "hear" Caesar Romeo and Adam West instead, particular in the older, campier stories. Or, if a bit younger, Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton. For the same reasons, the Riddler sounds like Frank Gorshin or Creator/JimCarrey (or ''possibly'' Gomez Addams if you preferred Astin's interpretation to Gorshin's).
** Creator/WallyWingert's take on Riddler in the ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'' is also a possible choice for ''the'' Riddler voice.
** Add to that Creator/DavidWarner (Comicbook/RasAlGhul), Music/PaulWilliams (the Penguin), Creator/RichardMoll (Comicbook/TwoFace), and Creator/MichaelAnsara (Mr. Freeze). The show was so full of iconic voice acting, it might be easier to list the ones where they didn't become "the voice".
** Also coming from the Franchise/{{DCAU}}, Creator/ClancyBrown's interpretation of SelfDemonstrating/LexLuthor is considered to be ''the'' voice of the character.
** A lot of younger fans grew up with the DCAU's versions of the characters and thus consider the voices featured to be the definitive voices. Such as Creator/TimDaly as Franchise/{{Superman}}, Creator/SusanEisenberg as Franchise/WonderWoman, Creator/PhilLaMarr as John Stewart!Franchise/GreenLantern, Creator/CoreyBurton as ComicBook/{{Brainiac}}, Creator/MichaelIronside as ComicBook/{{Darkseid}}, etc.
* For Marvel:
** Creator/SteveBlum as SelfDemonstrating/{{Wolverine}}, Creator/FredTatasciore as SelfDemonstrating/TheIncredibleHulk, Creator/NolanNorth as SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}, Creator/JoshKeaton as Franchise/SpiderMan, and Creator/BrianBloom or Creator/RogerCraigSmith as Comicbook/CaptainAmerica, among others.
** The casting of Creator/JKSimmons as J. Jonah Jameson in the ''Film/SpiderManTrilogy'' was so perfect that not hearing a voice like his coming out of the character is practically an impossibility.
** The 90's ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'' also had the late Roscoe Lee Brown's distinct voice for Wilson Fisk, ComicBook/TheKingpin.
** Almost everyone reads ComicBook/{{Ultron}} in the voice of either Creator/TomKane or Creator/JamesSpader.
** Thanks to the MCU, everybody expects Rocket Raccoon and Groot to sound like Creator/BradleyCooper and Creator/VinDiesel.
** Who ''doesn't'' read Professor Xavier in the voice of Creator/PatrickStewart?
** Creator/RobertDowneyJr as Tony Stark, full stop.
** Creator/TomHiddleston as SelfDemonstrating/{{Loki}} has recently became the most popular portrayal and may be the default voice of the character for some newer fans.
* Who can read ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' and not think of the late, great [[WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends Lorenzo Music]]? It probably helps that pretty much every voice given to the character since has at least sounded like an imitation of his performance.
* When reading [[Creator/CarlBarks Scrooge McDuck]], expect to hear Creator/AlanYoung's voice, complete with Scottish accent.
** The voice of Creator/AlanYoung applies for the voice of [[WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs Farmer Smurf]] as well, from reading the [[ComicBook/TheSmurfs English translated comics]] to reading fanfics based solely on [[Film/TheSmurfs the 2011 movie]].
** You can't read a Donald Duck comic, where the words of Creator/CarlBarks can clearly be read, without reading in in the unintelligible voices of Clarence Nash and Tony Anselmo.
* Those who watched the ''WesternAnimation/{{Dilbert}}'' cartoon probably have trouble reading [[ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}} the actual comic]] without hearing Daniel Stern as Dilbert, Larry Miller as The Pointy-Haired Boss, Gordon Hunt as Wally, Creator/KathyGriffin as Alice, Creator/TomKenny as Asok and Ratbert, etc.
* Similarly, readers of ''ComicStrip/OverTheHedge'' will [[Film/OverTheHedge forever hear]] Creator/BruceWillis as RJ, Garry Shandling as Verne, and Steve Carrell as Hammy.
* Try reading the ''{{ComicStrip/Popeye}}'' comics without imagining Popeye with Jack Mercer's interpretation of the character, from the raspy voice to the almost impish-like mumbling.
* Inverted example: Read an issue of TheGoon and imagine what Goon and Franky sound like. Then watch the promotional short for the not-yet-in-production Goon movie featuring the voices of Creator/ClancyBrown and Creator/PaulGiamatti.
* Even across various iterations of the character, most fans will hear any character named [[Franchise/{{Transformers}} Optimus Prime]] as Creator/PeterCullen when reading the various comics. While notables such as Creator/DavidKaye, Creator/NeilKaplan, and Creator/GaryChalk have all voiced characters named Optimus Prime, most people know Peter's deep, sagely voice from the [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers original cartoon,]] [[Film/{{Transformers}} live-action movies,]] [[VideoGame/TransformersWarForCybertron video]] [[VideoGame/TransformersFallOfCybertron games,]] and [[WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime the latest cartoon]], appropriately known as ''Transformers Prime''.
* Naturally, anyone who watches [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic the show]] has claimed they can easily hear [[Creator/TaraStrong Tara]], [[Creator/AndreaLibman Andrea]], [[Music/HeyOcean Ashleigh]], [[Creator/TabithaStGermain Tabitha]], [[Creator/CathyWeseluck Cathy]] and other voice actors from the show when reading their respective characters' lines in ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'' and '' ComicBook/MyLittlePonyMicroSeries ''.
* ''ComicBook/TransformersLastStandOfTheWreckers'': James Roberts says that Overlord sounds like the Ainely/[[Creator/JohnSimm Simm]] incarnations of TheMaster from ''Series/DoctorWho''. He also tells his troops to 'please attend carefully'.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Sean Astin's distinctive accent for Samwise Gamgee in the ''Film/LordOfTheRings'' films is very similar to one of the most famous (extant) audio narrations of the book, though Astin claims he wasn't aware of the audio version. Eerily, Sam is never actually written with such an accent in the books, making it all the weirder.
** Also, Creator/IanMcKellen as Gandalf.
** Creator/ChristopherLee also fits this trope perfectly, the man was born to be the voice of Saruman.
** And of course, Creator/AndySerkis as Gollum.
* Janet Evanovich has gone on record saying that she will now picture Katherine Heigl as Literature/StephaniePlum when writing her novels, having been extremely impressed by her performance in the [[Film/OneForTheMoney film]]. Fans of the books were not quite as enthused.
* The roaring, gravelly George C. Scott's legendary performance as the title general in ''Film/{{Patton}}'' completely belies the real-life George S. Patton's [[VocalDissonance weak, thin voice]], which served to make the general somewhat unfond of oration.
* Simply mentioning Creator/JamesEarlJones is enough to make someone think of [[Franchise/StarWars Darth Vader's]] distinctive voice.
* Creator/AlanRickman's performance as Snape in ''Film/HarryPotter'' was so memorable even [[Literature/HarryPotter the novels']] author Creator/JKRowling couldn't unhear it eventually.
** Another stand-out is Creator/EvannaLynch as Luna Lovegood.
** Hagrid was pretty much written for Robbie Coltrane's voice.
* Regardless of your opinion on the TV adaptation on ''Creator/TerryPratchett's Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'', Michelle Dockery and Marc Warren's performances as, respectively, Susan Sto Helit and Jonathan Teatime are probably going to be definitive. [[PsychopathicManchild Especially]] [[PsychoForHire Teatime]].
* Try reading ''The Maltese Falcon'' after watching [[Film/TheMalteseFalcon the film]] without hearing HumphreyBogart, PeterLorre, Sidney Greenstreet and Mary Astor in their roles.
* Many fans who have read ''Literature/AnneOfGreenGables'' and seen Kevin Sullivan's adaptations have a hard time reading the series again without imagining the movie cast in their book roles, especially Megan Follows, Jonathan Crombie, and Colleen Dewhurst as Anne, Gilbert, and Marilla, respectively.
* Just try to read ''Literature/{{It}}'' after seeing the television movie and not visualize everybody as from that, especially Tim Curry.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Some of the voices that Jim Dale gives the characters of the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' universe can be, for some, quite hard to unhear. Snape and Umbridge being the worst offenders.
** This is also true of Creator/StephenFry, as he does the British audiobooks. Try and read the first Mrs. Figg scene in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix Order of the Phoenix]]'' or Ron's love potion scene in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince Half-Blood Prince]]'' without remembering his hilarious performances and cracking up.
* Pretty hard not to hear Leo [=McKern=] when reading a ''Series/RumpoleOfTheBailey'' story-- especially later ones. You may even start to hear other actors from the show in their respective characters.
* It isn't possible to read any of the {{Sharpe}} novels by Bernard Cornwell and not hear all Sharpe's dialogue in Creator/{{Sean Bean}}'s accent. Especially since Cornwell {{Ret Canon}}ed in that Sharpe grew up in Yorkshire.
* Likewise with the ''Series/InspectorMorse'' novels by Colin Dexter, given the definitive portrayals of Morse and Lewis by John Thaw and Kevin Whately respectively, to the point that Dexter started writing the characters with the actors in mind.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action Television]]
* After once seeing the ''Series/JeevesAndWooster'' series, it is quite impossible to read Creator/PGWodehouse's ''Literature/JeevesAndWooster'' stories without hearing Creator/StephenFry and Creator/HughLaurie as the title characters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Just ''try'' to read the lyrics to a song you know, and read them in your head as if they were a poem or spoken words and ''not'' to the tune of the song. [[SchmuckBait Just try it]].
** This is actually a really useful exercise for actors. The trick is to separate the words on the screen/paper from one's memory of the song.
* Similarly, it's basically impossible to hear an instrumental demo for a song without the lyrics for the finished one popping out on your mind. For instance, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe1X3yOWhdA this old]] Eddie VanHalen track has plenty of comments noticing its resurgence as [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8y1prHEP7E a full song]].
* Just try singing "Daisy Bell" normally after watching ''[[Series/DoctorWho The Talons of Weng-Chiang]]''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Series/TheSuperMarioBrosSuperShow'' gave the then-voiceless Mario and Luigi accents based on the backstory assumed by the show's writers. For many older fans, Wrestling/CaptainLouAlbano's deep but friendly Mario voice still trumps the official "squeaky" one by Charles Martinet being marketed by Creator/{{Nintendo}}.
** The Koopa Kids, introduced in ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfSuperMarioBros3'', were also given voices based on their personalities. Similarly, for those who grew up watching the two Saturday morning spinoffs, those voices also trump the official ones given to the Koopalings in ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii''.
** Anyone who's seen enough [=YouTube=] Poop videos featuring the infamous [[MemeticMutation "Mama Luigi"]] episode will never be able to hear [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j89GDcp9H2k this song]] again without hearing the voices from the opening scene of the episode.
* Has anyone who has seen the animated adaptation of ''VideoGame/{{Pac-Man}}'' been able to play the game and not think of Marty Ingels?
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII,'' the character Cait Sith was a robotic cat with no discernible idiosyncrasies in speech or diction, expressed or implied. As of the fully-voiced 'Compilation' entries, however, he has a thick Scottish accent.
* It's hard not to picture [[VideoGame/HalfLife Gordon Freeman]] ''not'' sounding like his ''FreemansMind'' incarnation should he ever talk, if only because it's the most popular version of giving him a voice. ''And that's a fan-made rendition of him.'' It doesn't help that his actor bears a fair resemblance to Gordon, which he showed because some people complained they can't imagine that voice coming from Gordon.
* This is one of the points of contention in the ''Videogame/TouhouProject'' games: While many video fan works featuring the characters were voiced by fans, it was not until the ''Anime/MusouKakyouASummerDaysDream'' fanime (who was voiced by professional voice actors and not fans) when you cannot picture the characters with other voices, especially Creator/MaiNakahara's rendition of Reimu Hakurei.
** Oddly enough, this is somewhat averted in the ''VideoGame/KoumajouDensetsu'' doujin game: Despise being also voiced by professional voice actors, since the whole topic of the game is an AlternateUniverseFic of the whole franchise, this is not a big problem per se, since the personalities of the characters in this game are different from the established canon.
* Are you an aspiring amateur YouTube voice actor and want to make your own [[{{VideoGame/Metroid}} Ridley]] voice? Be prepared to see your comments section flooded with complaints that you didn't give him [[{{LetsPlay/Slowbeef}} a screechy New Jersey accent]].
* People who've seen ''Anime/KirbyRightBackAtYa'' will have a good chance of imaging Dedede with his southern voice and Meta Knight with his Spanish voice
** So it becomes a problem when you hear Meta Knight's voice in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' as it just sounds like a deep, gravelly, menacing voice... until you listen real closely. He still has the accent!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* [[http://xkcd.com/462/ This]] ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'' comic.
* ''WebComic/{{Homestuck}}'' has a popular base of amateur voice actors. Particularly, the portrayal of Eridan by Octopimp caught on in the fandom so much that some of the {{Verbal Tic}}s he used for the character (for instance, his habit of saying odd nasal whiny nonsense sounds like 'nyeh' and 'wweh') hit BeamMeUpScotty levels. "Wweh" did actually get a FandomNod in ''Homestuck'' eventually... through putting it in the mouth of a character representing Website/{{Tumblr}} FanDumb.
** Creator/GreyDelisle's [[http://www.vocaltwit.com/4636 take on Vriska]] is also very popular, although her Rose voice is...less so.
* Creator/PhilFoglio, creator of ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', has expressed a desire to have '''Creator/{{BRIAN BLESSED}}''' voice the LargeHam Castle Heterodyne, should the comic ever be adapted to film or animation. A more perfect casting choice could not be made.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* After a certain ImageBoard post, it's become [[MemeticMutation memetic]] that any picture of [[WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} Farnsworth]] with the caption "[[CatchPhrase Good news, everyone!]]" will cause the viewer to read it in his voice.
** Same thing with the [[Advertising/TheManYourManCouldSmellLike Old Spice Guy]].
** One imageboard-made DrinkingGame has one card titled "Yay.", with a picture of [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Fluttershy]]. The text: if you read the card's title with Fluttershy's voice, finish your drink.
** [[http://us.acidcow.com/pics/20111006/this_is_true_20.jpg Oh nooo, y'all just read this in my voice.]]
** Some of the earliest imageboard examples of this involve Boxy Brown, a cardboard box inanimate object from WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce.
*** [[ThisIsForEmphasisBitch I'M JUST A WHAT, BITCH?!?]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[EarWorm Songs that get stuck in your head have this effect.]]
* Who ''hasn't'' ever read a book or an unvoiced game, only to have your preconceived and often cherished notions of the characters' speech or their delivery of pivotal lines and moments just shattered by an adaptation, sequel or update years down the road? The ones you can't ever unhear are the ones only ''you'' ever heard.
* Creator/StephenKing conceded that, after seeing Creator/JackNicholson as Randle P. [=McMurphy=] in ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'', there wasn't any other way of seeing the character when you read the novel. King cited it as a bad thing, however, as he claims it hobbles the reader's imagination to an extent.
* Creator/StanleyKubrick said that this was the reason why he cast Creator/MalcolmMcDowell as the role of Alex in ''Film/AClockworkOrange''; Kubrick had just come off of watching [=McDowell=]'s performance in the film ''Film/{{If}}'' before he read the Anthony Burgess novel, and as a consequence, could not get [=McDowell=]'s face and voice out of his mind when reading the narration of Alex.
[[/folder]]

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