->''"We've gotta have a great show, with a million laughs... and color... and a lot of lights to make it sparkle! And songs - wonderful songs! And after we get the people in that hall, we've gotta start em in laughing right away! Oh, can't you just see it... ?"''
-->-- '''[[JudyGarland Patsy Barton]]''', ''Babes In Arms''

So [[SavingTheOrphanage the orphanage is in trouble]]. Big, costly trouble. How are those orphans going to raise all that money? It's simple: put on a show! We'll use the modest singing talents of the secretary corps, and we can put a stage in that old barn out back, and surely it won't be too hard to rig up a spotlight or two...

This trope was made popular by Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in the 1930s, but saving the unfortunate through musical theater is a surprisingly resilient Stock Plot. It can even work when there's no orphanage to save, as ''Series/{{Taxi}}'' demonstrated by giving a whole show, in which the main cast performed song and dance numbers.

This trope causes ''no end'' of frustration for those who work in theater, especially when they have to explain just how long it takes and how much it costs to "just put on a show."
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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Ciel and crew from ''BlackButler'' hire some actors to put on a play for a bunch of orphans (for publicity rather than money, they already have plenty of that). When the actors get delayed, guess who has to fill in the cast...

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In the ''JimmyOlsen'' story "The Boy Olympics", [[NiceGuy Jimmy]] is bothered by how it will affect the staff if a rival newspaper folds and comes up with the idea of a show to raise money.

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[[folder: Fanfiction ]]

* In the ''Anime/YuGiOh'' fanfiction ''FanFic/DecksFallEveryoneDies'', the characters put on a show that is meant to convince people to start dueling again. This is because [[WorldGoneMad life has gone downhill]] after the fall of dueling and the rise of dice games.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* BabesInArms, with JudyGarland and MickeyRooney, of course. And it's hardly the only one they did.
** In fact, one of the ''That's Entertainment!'' films did a FullyAutomaticClipShow where Rooney's characters from his films suggested they put on a show.
* The ''TheBluesBrothers'' put on a show to get money to save the Catholic orphanage. However, they were already a successful and good band before the orphanage needed saving, were forced to blackmail their manager to actually get a gig on such short notice, and let's not even get into how much trouble PuttingTheBandBackTogether was...
* A form of...er...show is the one that forms the end of ''TheFullMonty''...
* KevinSmith deals with this trope [[SarcasmMode with his typical taste and refinement]] in ''Film/ZackAndMiriMakeAPorno''.
* In ''{{Hamlet 2}}'' the titular play is put on to save the drama class from budget cuts.
* In ''BeKindRewind'', two video store clerks make short parody movies, first to cover up for their destruction of the store's tapes, but then in an effort to save the store from demolition. Eventually the whole neighborhood joins in on making one final video.
* The main plot of the ''HannahMontana'' movie.
* ''The Young Ones'', the 1961 [[Music/CliffRichard Cliff Richard]] movie, had exactly this plot, except they were trying to save a youth club.
* ''Film/WhiteChristmas'' was like this, but for their old Army commander's ski lodge.
* This forms the basis for ''ItsAVeryMerryMuppetChristmasMovie'' and ''[[Film/TheMuppets The Muppets]]''. Sure, they had two TV shows about putting on a show, but in these films they're doing it to save the theater.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}} 3'', it's a case of "Let's put on a ''better'' show" to save the circus and boy, do they ''ever''!
* TheLittleRascals did it all the time.
* ''ShakespeareInLove'' at some points seems to invoke this trope as a WholePlotReference to the above-mentioned Mickey Rooney / JudyGarland musicals. Notably in one scene where Shakespeare's production of ''RomeoAndJuliet'' seems doomed(the Master of the Revels orders the Rose Theater closed for casting a woman in the lead role), and a surprise benefactor saves the play(Richard Burbage offers the use of his Curtain Theater) for the stated reason that TheShowMustGoOn.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* The ''[[Literature/AnneOfGreenGables Anne of Avonlea]]'' miniseries.
* Played with in the ''Literature/HiveSeries''. Before the first book starts, St. Sebastian's orphanage is falling apart, putting it at risk of being shut down due to no longer being safe. Otto makes up a fake television reality series called ''Please, Think of the Children'' and convinces local contractors to lend a hand in fixing the orphanage for free, with the promise of them making it on television. Obviously, they don't.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Parodied in the ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' episode "My Life in Four Cameras", in which JD treats a former writer of the sitcom ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' and [[ImagineSpot imagines]] what life would be like as a sitcom. One subplot had Dr. Cox try to keep Dr. Kelso from firing NiceGuy Kenny, the newest employee, since the hospital couldn't afford to keep him. There turns out to be a talent show [[ContrivedCoincidence and the prize money is the exact amount of money needed]]. Kenny ([[CastTheExpert played by Clay Aiken]]) is a talented singer and wins the talent show. In the real world, [[RealityEnsues Kenny just got fired.]]
* ''Series/TheBradyBunch'' did this more than once, including the episode in which the family stages "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" in the backyard to raise money for a gift for a teacher.
** They basically did this in TheMovie too.
* In ''Series/OneDayAtATime'' the cast saved their building and in following seasons put on a show as a charitable gesture meant to entertain the people at the local Senior Citizens' center every New Year's Eve.
** This was a popular trope in the Land of Norman Lear. ''GoodTimes'' and ''Series/{{Maude}}'' did similar charity amateur-hour episodes.
* ''Series/AreYouBeingServed'' did this quite a few times, usually for Mr. Grace's birthday.
** In later seasons they seemed to happen more often, seemingly as an excuse to get Mrs Slocombe and Mr Humphries into ridiculous outfits and flamboyant dresses, even if it made no sense in context of the show.
* ''TheDrewCareyShow'' did an epsiode that parodied ''TheFullMonty'' where the boys decide to put on a strip show in order to raise money to replace a pedigree dog they accidentally had neutered.

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[[folder: Music ]]

* Benefit shows in general would fit under this trope. Specifically, not as much the planned "global relief" concerts such as Live Aid or Farm Aid, but the usually smaller shows bands perform to get fast money for something (jailed/sued/evicted/etc friends needing bail/lawyers, the relatives of a late bandmate need money or a show done in memory of a late bandmate, someone sick needing money for medical bills, someone's gear got stolen or trashed, etc...).

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* One of the possible plot examples given in ''AdeptusEvangelion'' is to put on a show, either a dance contest or an advert ...

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[[folder: Theatre ]]

* ''{{Babes in Arms}}''. Note that, although it shares this trope with the Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney movie it inspired, it's got a completely different score, plot and set of characters.

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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Parodied heavily in an article at ''TheOnion'', in which a ragtag bunch of kids band together to save their clubhouse by putting on an incredibly dark, sexual, [[TrueArtIsAngsty angsty]] and [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible incomprehensible]] avant-garde art play, including a "whore" squatting out filthy young and pre-teen boys nude with body-painted penises.

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[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* The Battle for Barthis story arc in ''DominicDeegan'' is mostly about putting on a concert to raise money for the ruined town.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' had "Chef Aid".
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' has an episode centered on this trope (trying to save Earth from the TV-addicted Omicronians); Fry even used the trope name directly.
* Done in ''SpongebobSquarepants'', but they weren't trying to save anything, Krabs just wanted to earn even more money.
* [[WesternAnimation/TheBrakShow Brak]] and his family put on a presentation of "Psychoklahoma" to save Seņor Science from the disastrous results of his latest science experiment. By the time they get the money together, he's managed to save himself. This is Seņor Science's SOP; every episode of his show-within-a-show ends with him desperately needing funds from the audience if he is ever to survive. Just send cash, check, or money order to...

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