An Insert Song is a song with lyrics that is inserted during a certain scene of a show or series. Usually, this is done to give a scene more emotional impact by using a song with lyrics which relate to the scene in question. Sometimes though, especially if it's a music-oriented show, the creators will have the characters play a song in-story.

What sets the in-story version apart from a regular MusicalEpisode is that there has to be something important happening in-story as justification for why someone is singing, and that the entire cast doesn't have to be involved.

This is very common in anime, as detailed in AnimeThemeSong, since most voice actors/actresses also happen to be popular singers.

Note that the opening theme only counts an example if it's used in the middle of the show, when something is actually happening. And the ending theme doesn't count as an example if it starts during a scene which segues into the credits.

Compare AnimeThemeSong (the opening theme, which can be used as this sometimes), ImageSong (can overlap with this if the song in question is brought into the show), {{Leitmotif}} (when a particular piece of music is tied to a certain character), and ThemeMusicPowerUp (when epic BGM is playing while a character is kicking ass).
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!!Examples:
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[[folder:Anime]]
* The ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' series has several:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dNDaJFmkQY Take A Shot]] from ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha''
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06cIayCPSlU Brave Phoenix]] from ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs''
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msPlwu7wEQk Pray]] from ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS''.
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' also has a couple:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kv3mMK7EP8 God Knows]] is used as the concert version of this trope, along with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI_wWlz2Rck Lost my music...]]
* Being a show about girls forming a music club, ''Manga/KOn'' has quite a few, such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvAR8tiQbsQ Fuwa Fuwa Time]].
* ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'' has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OV9pRh5ZOs this]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpDYg_WK6rU this]], and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxBQPjVWspM this]].
* ''Anime/MekakucityActors'': Given that it's an anime based on a [[LightNovel/KagerouDaze manga and light novel]] based on a [[Music/KagerouProject set of songs]], this was bound to happen: (Warning, spoilers)
** ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0buNdJyQfKU Kisaragi Attention]]'' at the end of episode 2.
** ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfBXWF6gQnQ Mekakushi Code]]'' at the end of episode 3
** And ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXyOuzLdP_E Kagerou Days]]'' at the end of episode 4.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' has several.
** ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2XsAhmrbc4 Happily Ever After]]''.
** ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNQvLECht08 Sorairo Days]]'' in episode 26
** The "Row! Row! Fight the Powah!" rap is featured in a few songs, most notably ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2AxpaH56WY Libera Me From Hell]]''.
* ''Anime/AngelBeats'' has several in-universe due to the Girls Dead Monster subplot, as well as infamous [[TearJerker Tearjerker]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSv_zkDOUvw My Most Precious Treasure]].
* In the finale to Part 2 of ''Anime/JojosBizarreAdventure'', the theme from the first opening plays again as Joseph finally defeats the BigBad once and for all.
* In episode 20 of ''Anime/FateStayNightUnlimitedBladeWorks'', the song "Last Stardust" plays when [[spoiler:Shirou finds the resolve to challenge Archer's beliefs]].

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[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/SuckerPunch'' had several, such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZMrp8yDM78 this]].
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[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/KiraKira'', being a VN about forming a rock band, has gems such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brFnRTl_Q-c Let's Jump]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENi8XAEDG6I Kimi no Motoe]], and a rock version of their school theme, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC7D6sVBRnM O. H. B. I.]], all of them performed during their concerts.
* ''VisualNovel/MuvLuvAlternative'' has Takeru's ImageSong, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJigmBa1e5c Wings]], play [[spoiler:at the end of the PTSD Arc, when he finally finds his resolve to save the world]]. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiTfpxxqI2g Carry On]], another insert, plays at the start of the last arc. The all-ages edition also has the opening play when the last arc is well underway.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}''. In-game, we hear the instrumental version of ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSgQGKZocDA Blow Me Away]]'' by ''Music/BreakingBenjamin''. The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svdR8_w1N0Y original]] is featured in the game's soundtrack.
* The Creator/ShojiMeguro-composed ''[[Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiPersona Persona]]'' series has a ''lot'' of vocal themes, but uses them in an inversion of the standard expectations - vocal themes tend to play at more trivial moments and the instrumental themes are often reserved for more dramatic, important sequences.
** The standard battle themes in ''[[{{VideoGame/Persona 3}} 3]]'', "Mass Destruction", ''[[{{VideoGame/Persona 4}} 4]]'', "Reach Out to the Truth", and ''[[{{VideoGame/Persona 5}} 5]]'', "Last Surprise", have vocals. [[BossBattle Boss]] themes are entirely instrumental. ''[[VideoGame/PersonaQShadowOfTheLabyrinth Persona Q]]'', which wasn't composed entirely by Meguro, has vocal themes for both regular battles ("Light the Fire Up in the Night") ''and'' bosses ("Laser Beam").
** For the majority of ''3'' and ''4'', the various exploration themes are vocal. [[spoiler:During the final month of each game, wherein things begin look more grim and the story is reaching its conclusion]], the background music is replaced with usually-somber instrumentals.
** There are a few cases where the "used for dramatic effect" intention is played straight:
*** In the finale of ''Persona 3'', [[spoiler:a heavy hip-hop remix of the game's main theme, "Burn My Dread", [[BookEnds first heard in the opening]]]], plays against the [[spoiler:scripted, post-final boss sequence]].
*** The dungeon themes for ''Persona 4'' and ''5'' are all instrumental - save for a single dungeon near the end of the game when the stakes have suddenly gotten dangerously high. In ''4'', the vocal theme is for the dungeon [[spoiler:Heaven, which the party goes through when the protagonist's [[AdultFear seven year-old cousin is kidnapped]]]]. For ''5'', it's [[spoiler:Niijima's Casino, [[HowWeGotHere where the storyline comes back around full circle]]]] and everything is clearing up just before the game's final act.
*** In ''5'', the instrumental version of "Life Will Change" [[BackgroundMusicOverride replaces the standard dungeon themes]] when the Phantom Thieves are on their way to finish the dungeon. Near the end of the game, it upgrades to the vocal version, first heard in the prologue level.
*** A single boss theme in ''5'' has vocals rather than being purely instrumental: "Rivers in the Desert", the theme for [[spoiler:Shadow Shido, the big bad who ruined the protagonist's life at the beginning of the story]].
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'' is the first Franchise/{{Mario}} game in history to have vocal songs of any kind. In this game, there are two: one plays during the New Donk City festival, while the other plays [[spoiler:when Mario and Princess Peach escape the underground lair in the wedding hall on the moon.]]
* ''VideoGame/Klonoa2LunateasVeil'' has one during the "snowboarding" (or something like it) stage, which is sung in the [[SpeakingSimlish made up language]] of the series.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Forza}} Horizon'' has specific licensed songs play for each "boss" event and Bucket List Challenge, many of which are specifically chosen to tie into the themes of the event. Notable examples include "Train in Vain" by Music/TheClash playing during an event where the player races against a train in ''2'', and "The River" by Ladyhawke when racing a fleet of speedboats downstream in ''3''.
* ''VideoGame/SaintsRow'' became fond of this beginning with [[VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird the third]] installment:
** VillainSong "POWER" by Music/KanyeWest, which more-or-less serves as the game's RealSongThemeTune, plays in the background of the mission "Party Time". As said mission consists of the Saints crashing a penthouse party to steal it and use it as a base of operations, it's certainly a fitting jam.
** Used for hysterical effect during "Murderbrawl XXXI", where the inspiring "[[Film/TheKarateKid You're the Best]]" by Joe Esposito plays as the Boss [[ItMakesSenseInContext uses a chainsaw to slaughter a gang of luchadores during a live wrestling broadcast]].
** "Holding Out For a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler plays during the mission "Three Way", as the Boss has to decide between [[spoiler:saving several of their closest allies or leaving them to die and opting to go for revenge on the main BigBad]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' has several, considering that the entire series runs on {{Musical Episode}}s.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' also has a number of them, such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IRdw_Qgwqc My Shiny Teeth And Me]].
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