Back in the early 1980s, when Creator/{{MTV}} was new, people who directed music videos tried to catch eyes by cutting (shifting the scene) quickly to the rhythm of the music and using other special effects. The movement in them also tended to be in time to the song because doing it any other way would distract from the music.

Music Video Syndrome is when media that are not music videos are cut to resemble music videos. The actions onscreen correlate and are edited to be in rhythm with the song playing in the background, which is usually something recognisable and popular, though classical music can be used instead (in particular 1812 Overture, the Ode to Joy, "Fur Elise," or AmazingFreakingGrace). Bonus points if the theme of the lyrics relate to the actions being shown onscreen. The plot may progress through this song, but this may happen through actions that are timed perfectly to the song being played.

This first became noticeable in television shows in TheEighties. It became more common when TV production studios and record companies became closely related: not only was it easier to get rights to the song, but using the song was ProductPlacement: a show with Music Video Syndrome can sometimes sell songs as well as actual music videos.

Commercials and trailers get Music Video Syndrome, too - after all, music videos ''are'' commercials. They just have value of their own. Commercials often deliberately invoke this; you can tell if that's happened when the artist is credited at the beginning of the commercial.

Note that this is not the same thing as a {{Musical}} of any kind - the music is a backing track that is not present in the actual scene shown.

See also: MickeyMousing

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* 'Anime/{{FLCL}}'''s fight scenes are storyboarded and animated in relation to the music, rather than the opposite. The music is some very nice ProRock. Throughout the series, the music and the animation remain closely entwined.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Creator/QuentinTarantino films can invoke this with use of pop-culture references and general oddness. Most famous is the "Little Green Bag" sequence from ''Film/ReservoirDogs''.
* ''[[Franchise/{{Rocky}} Rocky III]]'' and ''IV'', during opening sequences and {{Training Montage}}s.
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in the ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' episode "The Krusty Krab Training Video", with similar BGM.
* ''Film/TheHangover'' has this, especially in the first act.
* An in-universe example in ''Film/{{Toys}}'': Leslie and his sister act out a music video on the security camera as an inventive way of sneaking past the guards.
* "[[Music/TearsForFears Head Over Heels]]" during ''Film/DonnieDarko'''s first scene in the school.
** Also [[Music/{{INXS}} "Never Tear Us Apart"]] over the opening scene in the director's cut, though the theatrical cut replaced this with Killing Moon since Richard Kelly couldn't afford the rights to the former. And again with the dance scene cut to match "[[Music/PetShopBoys West End Girls]]" perfectly, though for the same reason the song is replaced with "Notorious" in both versions.
* Very noticeable in ''Film/{{Catwoman}}'' during the basketball scene.
* Zack Snyder's ''Film/SuckerPunch'' fit this trope nicely, especially in the opening sequence, the prologue of the film set to lead actress Emily Browning's cover of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by the Eurythmics.
* Surprisingly averted in ''Film/DirtyDancing'', considering its premise (and later musical version). Much of the music is performed by the club band or played in-universe, on record players or other nearby equipment.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* ''Series/ColdCase''. Mostly appears in flashbacks, using period music from the time the current case takes place in, with the exception of one ending song (also using period music).
* Just about every scripted drama on MTV, fittingly enough.
* Found a lot on ''Series/{{Scrubs}}''.
* Subverted in an episode of ''Series/{{Lost}}'', when morose music plays over the end of one episode, only to shut off abruptly. The show then cuts to Hurley, who curses, [[SorryILeftTheBackgroundMusicOn as the batteries on his CD player have run out]]. The episode closes in silence except for the sound of the waves.
** The show did end on a "music video" a few times in the first half of the first season, and once using "These Arms of Mine" in season 2. Usually, the music was being played on Hurley's CD player or the turntable in the Swan station.
* Averted on ''Series/TheSopranos'' mostly. David Chase had wanted to only use "in-universe" music, but sometimes music plays with no apparent source. When this does occur, the music underscores and emphasizes the emotional effect. "The Beast In Me" playing over the end sequence and credits of the first episode, for example.
** An especially good one is the season three premiere's use of the ''Peter Gunn'' theme song and "Every Breath You Take" played simultaneously. The two songs have exactly the same beat and work surprisingly well together.
* As noted before, it happens on ''Series/{{House}}'', where almost every episode ends with a song juxtaposed with showing the patient of the week cured from the mysterious disease, although it is sometimes averted with House himself playing either the guitar or the piano in the end of certain episodes.
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' averts the trope by almost never using music outside of that composed for the series. (One of the few exceptions before the third season was using the old TV show's theme as the Colonial Anthem.) The trope is subverted in the two-part season 3 finale, when[[spoiler: Tyrol, Anders, Tigh, and Tory]] hear a chord repeated several times that no one else can--including, at one point, from a radio that's just producing static. (At one point, [[spoiler: Tigh, ''in court'',]] yells out "Will someone shut that frakking music off?!", in a scene that you can't look away from, like a trainwreck.) Eventually, the chord blooms into a full-fledged song, and they discover it's [[spoiler:a signal from the Cylons--indicating they are Cylons, as well. After they resolve to fight for the Colonial Fleet, the song becomes a version of ''All Along The Watchtower'' arranged specifically for the show, and plays over the remainder of the episode]]. The main riff of this version is present in the score from the first episode of the season, though, and is led up to by a surrealistic, almost hippie-commune-drug-fueled-orgy treatment of the song in the scene immediately preceding it. It should be noted that Ronald Moore, the head writer, had wanted to include the song on the show for some time. All of this together manages to play straight, avert, subvert, and justify the trope.
* Three-quarters of all scripted shows on the WB, UPN, and/or CW, ever.
** "Tonight's artists featured on ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' include...."
** ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', however, has managed to avert this trope. The creator, Eric Kripke, refuses to use what he calls the "anemic pop songs" that the other shows use in montages at the ends of their episodes. They only use classic rock, which the fans really enjoy. They will have an opening montage, but it's not cut to fit the rhythm of the background music, which is just that: background music.
* Mocked on an episode of Conan O'Brien, where a handsome young intern repeatedly enters the set to "Welcome To My Life" by A Simple Plan, completely with the camera zooming in on his and Conan's longing expressions...and then the intern says something mundane, and leaves.
* The season 2 finale of ''Series/{{Millennium}}'' featured an entire act portraying Laura Means' mental breakdown, arranged as a music video for Patti Smith's "Land".
* ''Series/{{CSI}}'' did this with subjects like autopsies and lab work.
* Quite common on ''Series/{{Alias}}'', and used to varying effect, from generic slow-motion action scene to genuinely awesome or heartfelt moments. One instance of this was in the season 1 finale, when [[spoiler:Arvin tells Emily that SD-6 really is]], with all the audio fading out and the haunting music of Natalie Merchant's "My Skin" playing over it.
* {{Averted}} by JossWhedon in the naturalistic ''Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}'' episode "The Body" in which no music can be heard (save for a few ambient tuba arpeggios) and each act is essentially comprised of a single scene.
** Other episodes of ''Buffy'' and ''Angel'', however, played the trope straight.
* ''MiamiVice'' was pitched as "MTV Cops", and turned this into an art form, with two similar sequences in the Pilot - one in the first half and one in the second half.
* ''SonsOfAnarchy'' is a little guilty of this.
* ''FreaksAndGeeks'' often [[JustifiedTrope justified]] its use of this. The show featured a lot of scenes set to music, but it was usually music that the characters were declared fans of and often was important to the plot (ie. Lindsay and The Grateful Dead, Nick and Rush). Setting the show in 1980 meant the creators could use the music they loved growing up ''and'' keep the network from [[ExecutiveMeddling shoehorning in]] the latest songs from the hottest acts.
* Mostly averted by ''TheWire'', which had a rule that artificial music could only appear in the final montage sequence of each season. Though apparently it took them a little while to nail down, as an early episode features drug kingpin Avon Barksdale approaching a group of his gang members with music playing from nowhere.
* ''HomicideLifeOnTheStreet'' used this quite often, particularly in Seasons Three to Six. Many of the songs worked well and were made of a nice combination of obscure classics, modern hits and classic rock.
* TheBigBangTheory parodies this trope, with Sheldon and Raj dramatically staring at a board, whilst the camera moves to the tune of "Eye of the Tiger".
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BObWxGdnzE Parodied]] on ''Series/ThirtyRock'' after Angie's reality show fakes a reconciliation with Liz and Tracy after a fight using (naturally) a musical montage.
* Taken UpToEleven in Series/TrueBlood, where music rises dramatically for about twenty seconds and then fades bluntly out again as [[spoiler:Jason and Jessica have sex.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling ]]

* Common in ProfessionalWrestling, with its entrance music, promotional packages, flashbacks, and so on. WWE actually licenses a reasonably popular song for each of its pay-per-views, ''two'' in the case of WrestleMania.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comic ]]

* Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}. Pretty much any panel with a [S] in the name will create an instant simultaneous CrowningMomentOfAwesome[=/=]CrowningMusicOfAwesome combo.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIEDBc1qkKk&feature=PlayList&p=8473D6BD6F736BD7&index=0&playnext=1 This]] series of online comic videos seems to be slipping in and out of this trope. Compare [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nHGsa69oSs this video]] with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSnLne4qDn8 this one]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''TheSimpsons'' has been doing this a lot in the more recent seasons, what seems like once per episode at this point.

----