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->''"These songs have no purpose! They're like drive-by musicals! If you want to have singing, fine! But make sure they have a point, or are, you know, fucking entertaining!"''
-->-- '''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic''' (commenting on the musical numbers from ''WesternAnimation/QuestForCamelot'')

Mainly a product of TheMusical.

This trope most often occurs when a composer wrote a really keen song. Or if there is a big star in the movie who must have a solo. Or the director has a favorite song that he wants to put in the movie. Unfortunately, there is really no way to inject the song into the story in the traditional "burst into song" way. So, the writer often gives us the immortal line "That reminds me of a song," or something similar and the character sits down at a piano or hops up on the stage to sing a little ditty that has... '''no''' plot significance whatsoever. ("Let's rehearse the ___ number" or "Let's film our music video" or "Let's dance to ___" and then doing exactly that are also popular.)

At its most basic, this is a song sung [[EngagingChevrons just to kill time]], with a fairly thin excuse. The song doesn't tell us anything about the characters or the setting, it doesn't advance the plot, it doesn't serve any obvious purpose at all besides filling out the running time. If the song ''does'' have {{subtext}}, [[MrExposition exposition]], or plot-related action, and thus plot significance, it's SuspiciouslyAproposMusic.

The "out of the blue" musical number is a cliche often associated with Indian or "Bollywood" motion pictures. There is an incorrect stereotype that suggests every Bollywood film needs to have one or more musical numbers featuring upbeat songs
that have little or no relation to the plot, usually featuring an [[{{Fanservice}} attractive young singer]]. The term for this is an [[TheItemNumber Item Number]]. There are enough Bollywood films without musical numbers to make this a discredited stereotype, but "That Reminds Me of a Song" is still a trope often associated with the genre.

Frequent {{justifi|edTrope}}cations include having some or all of the characters be actors or actresses, or setting one of the scenes at a nightclub or similar. It may also overlap with HeyLetsPutOnAShow, giving the characters an opportunity to "rehearse" the numbers they'll need to perform. A small-scale variation on the ShowWithinAShow.

It still shows up here and there, often as the BreakawayPopHit, but is mostly a DiscreditedTrope. Modern musicals are specifically ''not'' supposed to do this anymore, except as a parody. For a more advanced version of this trope, one that is so out-of-nowhere that it borders on a MindScrew, yet is never treated as anything the least bit weird by the characters and never mentioned again, see BigLippedAlligatorMoment.

See also SillySong, where the characters don't even try to justify the singing.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In the HilariousOuttakes of the ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' dub, Griffith's voice actor has a tendency to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXYiFFM7WH4 burst into song]]. Strangely enough they somehow fit the situation. "Why did you do that to him?!?" [[Theatre/{{Oklahoma}} "Cause I'm just a girl who can't say no, can't seem to say it at allllllllll..."]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* What Beast Boy's Magic Voices are essentially in ''FanFic/TheEndOfEnds''.
* With the exception of the "Theme Song," all of the songs in ''Fanfic/MyLittleUnicorn'' are there just to be there. Most of the songs were removed in subsequent revisions, although that's more because Mykan believed that they were the reason the older versions were removed, as Fanfiction.net has a (rarely-enforced) rule against using copyrighted songs. As Website/DeviantArt does not have the same limitations, that version retains the songs.
* Fluttershy drunkenly sings Rock Lobster in the ''Blog/ReadingRainbowverse''. ItMakesSenseInContext.
* [[FanNickname Sweetie Bot]] says this almost word for word in the ''WebVideo/FriendshipIsWitchcraft'' episode "Neigh, Soul Sister".

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Similar to the "song in ''Film/{{Newsies}}'' that is just there so Anne-Margret can sing a song" example cited below, is the "Paris Holds The Key" song in ''WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}}'' that one Creator/DonBluth fan summed up as, "[[ShoppingMontage [=ZOMG=] we're in Paris [=LOL=]ers!]]". It's basically just there so Bernadette Peters can sing a song.
* This gem from ''WesternAnimation/GrandmaGotRunOverByAReindeer''.
-->'''Cousin Mel:''' Now all you have to do is sign this contract.\\
'''Grandpa:''' Did you say sing?\\
'''Cousin Mel:''' No. I said "sign".\\
'''Grandpa:''' I'd rather sing.
* ''WesternAnimation/FernGullyTheLastRainforest'':
** There's the infamous "Land of 1,000 Dances" scene.
** Not to mention that Raffi song. (But at least it's short.)
** The little-known [[{{Sequelitis}} direct-to-video sequel]], ''[=FernGully=]: The Magic Rescue'' follows the tradition by including one of these musical numbers. In it, the Fairies ride a roller coaster and sing a song about "[[ThatMakesMeFeelAngry having funner than]] [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment the funnest fun]]".
* ''WesternAnimation/GayPurree'' is an animated musical by [=UPA=], and in it the two lead characters are voiced by Creator/JudyGarland and Robert Goulet. You'd better ''believe'' it suffers hard from this trope.
* Happens twice in the ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'' series. First, in the third film, the possums begin singing "[[Franchise/AlvinAndTheChipmunks Christmas, Don't Be Late]]" after swallowing poison gas that makes them sound like chipmunks. Then, in the fourth film, Manny sang "The Candy Man" from ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory'' when trying to ignore the illusions that turn out to be piranhas. There's also that one scene in the second film, where [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment the heroes run from carrion birds singing "Food, Glorious Food."]] In that instance, it can likely be chalked up to RuleOfFunny, as the main group seems just as confused in a lampshade hanging way.
* There's a strange scene in ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsons'' movie where Judy and her [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Blue Skinned Space Hunk]] start to sing a song in a Holodeck, and the entire plot is completely derailed so that we can watch a DisneyAcidSequence set to a Tiffany song. This comes across as a MythologyGag to the episode of the series in which teen heartthrob Jet Screamer sings the song "Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah".
* Happens at the end of ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2'' when Wheezy gets a new squeaker and feels like singing a song, to which he sings a big-band rendition of "You've Got a Friend in Me", with his singing voice by Robert Goulet.
* ''WesternAnimation/MickeyDonaldGoofyTheThreeMusketeers'' had a singing turtle as a narrator, who found any excuse to introduce a musical number into the story. The hero just made the princess laugh -- time for a song! Pete is happy -- time for a VillainSong! HappyEnding -- One more song! That Reminds Me of a Song is practically his CatchPhrase.
* The intensely weird ''WesternAnimation/RaggedyAnnAndAndyAMusicalAdventure'' is very appropriately named. Everything gets a song in this movie. ''The question "Who are you?" gets a song in this movie''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/YellowSubmarine'', there is at least an excuse: Music/TheBeatles need to use ThePowerOfRock to defeat the [[CardCarryingVillain Blue]] [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Meanies]].
* Surprisingly, the Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon has avoided this for the most part. Though some have argued that a few qualify.
** "Trashing the Camp" from ''Disney/{{Tarzan}}''.
** "Everybody Wants To Be A Cat" from ''Disney/TheAristocats''.
** And ''Disney/SnowWhite'''s "Whistle While You Work."
** Neither of the songs added to ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' and ''Disney/TheLionKing'' for their TurnOfTheMillennium Platinum Edition DVD and VHS releases, ''[=BatB=]''[='=]s "Human Again" and ''TLK'''s "Morning Report", exactly advanced the plot, or provided much if any character development. Consequently, they disappeared again for the 3D conversions, and the prints and home video releases struck from the same masters.[[note]]Plus, the ''[=BatB=]'' 25th Anniversary Edition DVD only includes the 2010 restoration of the Original Theatrical Version, while the 2D Blu-Ray and Digital HD copy released under the same banner (Disney didn't release a 3D disc under it) bury the Extended Edition in the extras.[[/note]]
** Lampshaded in ''Disney/{{Moana}}'', when the greedy, self-absorbed GiantEnemyCrab Tamatoa feels the need to talk about how great he is "in song form" and breaks into his VillainSong "Shiny".
* ''WesternAnimation/InsideOut'' has a rare variant of this trope that advances the plot happen when Joy and Bing Bong [[spoiler: get stuck in the memory dump]]:
---> '''Bing Bong''': [[spoiler: Joy, we're stuck down here.]] We might as well be on another planet.
---> '''Joy''': Another planet? (starts singing) Who's your friend who likes to play?
---> (Bing Bong then looks shocked. He then decides to sing along)
---> '''Bing Bong''': His rocket makes you yell, "Hooray!"

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In the JukeboxMusical ''Across the Universe'', a number of Beatles songs that didn't fit the plot of the film are shoehorned in by way of being performed by Sadie's band. Still subverted once with "Oh! Darling", which turned out to be bizarrely relevant to Sadie & Jojo. The same method is used in ''Film/AHardDaysNight''. John lampshades this by yelling "Let's put on the show right here, yeah!" before The Beatles rehearse a musical number. He was bummed that it ended up looking like he was serious. However, a lot of ''A Hard Day's Night'' does avert this, since the whole movie is building up to their TV performance, [[JustifiedTrope so it made sense for them]] to be "rehearsing" musical numbers. This is due in part to the band not being fans of this trope.
* The Mamushka scene in Series/TheAddamsFamily movie. It's an entertaining variation, but the entire movie does kinda ''stop'' for it.
* "Let's Go to the Movies" from ''Film/{{Annie 1982}}''.
* In an infamous scene in ''Film/{{Beetlejuice}}'', several dinner guests are possessed, and forced to perform Harry Belafonte's "Banana Boat Song" - which they rather enjoy.
* There is a scene in ''Film/TheBreakfastClub'' where, ''in the middle of their big emotional group therapy session,'' everyone up and starts dancing to the song "We Are Not Alone". It's a good song, lyrically, it's at least thematically appropriate to the scene in question, but [[MoodWhiplash what the hell]]? In the broadcast version, that is completely random. In the uncut version, Bender shares his marijuana with the others. Cue dancing.
* Used to great effect in the film ''Theatre/{{Cabaret}}'', where the only off-stage song is from a young boy who just begins to sing a capella in a cafe's garden, "Tomorrow Belongs To Me."
* Parodied in ''Film/CannibalTheMusical'': Swan's infamous "Snowman" song, which he sings at the worst times. The second time, though, one of the group loses it and just shoots him halfway through it.
* In the film of ''Theatre/DamnYankees'' there's a show for the Senators baseball team where their fans pay tribute with song. But Lola and another dancer perform a random mambo number that has nothing to do with the team at all. Everyone claps when it ends and the show continues. Next scene.
* ''Film/DancerInTheDark'' uses an elaborate excuse for squeezing song-and-dance numbers into a miserable social realist film filmed under the Dogma95 rules of hand-held camera and no artificial lighting, sets: All the song and dance numbers were inside her head. Later on in the film she really performed song and dance numbers to the bemusement of everyone else.
* In the [[TheFilmOfTheBook Film of the Musical]] for ''Theatre/KissMeKate'', they transformed the IrrelevantActOpener "Too Darn Hot" into an audition for Ann Miller's character.
* ''Film/LightsOfNewYork'': part of the movie as set in a cabaret, so director put in a song number with zero plot significance.
* This one would be a borderline BigLippedAlligatorMoment if the whole damn movie wasn't completely nuts: the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdvO0tmNjGo impromptu dance-off]] [[ProductPlacement at]] UsefulNotes/McDonalds in ''Film/MacAndMe''.
* Even Creator/AlfredHitchcock succumbed to this: the 1956 remake of ''Film/TheManWhoKnewTooMuch'', which showcases Doris Day singing "Que Sera, Sera" ''multiple times'', ultimately using it [[spoiler:in a game of Marco Polo so our protagonists can locate their kidnapped offspring]].
* Both {{lampshade|Hanging}}d and {{defied|Trope}} in ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'', where Prince Herbert of Swamp Castle declares that he just wants to... ''sing''... There's an over-the-top song cue, and then his father King Brian [[LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand explicitly squashes any further attempts in that regard]]. In ''Theatre/{{Spamalot}}'', the musical based on the movie, King Brian is substantially less successful. In fact, several songs in ''Spamalot'' fit in this trope: the Finland song and "Diva's Lament (What Ever Happened to My Part?)" most notably.
* There's a particularly tedious song in ''{{Film/Newsies}}'' that seems to be included (Creator/RogerEbert said it best) "just so that they could say there's an Ann-Margret number in the movie." It would be cut from the ScreenToStageAdaptation.
* The Floor Show in ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow''.
* ''Film/SinginInTheRain'' does this with the ''longest song in the movie'': "Broadway Melody" / "Gotta Dance!!!"
* In several ''Creator/MarxBrothers'' movies, Harpo and/or Chico would get one of these as an excuse to play their characteristic instrument -- the harp for Harpo, or the piano for Chico.
* Richard Tauber's films were just a string of these. No surprise -- he was a famous vocalist and was able to use the talkies to showcase his talent.
* Extremely common in movie musicals from their inception to around the time movie musicals began to be SeriousBusiness before disappearing almost entirely. For example, in both ''Film/HolidayInn'' and ''Film/WhiteChristmas'', a full ''third'' of the songs fall into this category. The other two thirds belong firmly in either a spectacular ShowWithinAShow, or an actual song that furthers the plot, heaven forbid.
** ''White Christmas'' justifies a lot of this by making most of the movie rehearsals for or performances of various stage shows and nightclub acts.
** The movie ''That's Entertainment!'' has a ''{{Montage|s}}'' of characters in various films declaring "I've got an idea! Let's get the [insert group of characters] together and put on a show!"

* Tolkien's contemporary [[Literature/{{Gormenghast}} Mervyn Peake]] was also in the habit of doing this, using whatever literary device was most expedient in order to drop his nonsense rhymes onto the page -- usually apropos of absolutely nothing.
* All over ''{{Literature/Redwall}}'', to the point where it seems each book has to have at least one song and a feast.
* This trope is a staple of Creator/JRRTolkien's writing and it can be a bit grating for some. The intrepid heroes will wander into a distant land and suddenly break out into ubi sunt poetry. Next, they'll discover the long-lost shiny and go off on a stanza or two of ye olde NurseryRhyme. The different styles of poetry are often matched to different cultures/contexts, and some of them don't really come out of nowhere -- for example, singing is an easy way to make a long walk less boring. Bilbo's three-page poem detailing the history of Eärendil in Rivendell is still sleep-inducing, though (even Frodo can't seem to stay awake for it).
* Creator/LewisCarroll might be considered an ancestor of Tolkien's, as the citizens of Wonderland and Looking-Glass World frequently do this as well, mainly to show off Carroll's skill in parodying nursery rhymes. It's sometimes HandWaved as Alice trying to recite a poem she knew in the real world, only for it to be twisted into a humorous new version ("How doth the little busy bee" becomes "How doth the little crocodile," for instance).
* In ''Literature/AStormOfCrows'', Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth and Cleos Frey arrive to Maidenpool's namesake pool, only to discover it's full of corpses. Brienne and Cleos react appropiately (horror). Jaime starts singing about pretty bathing maidens.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Disney's ''Series/AdventuresInWonderland'' is notorious for this, though that may be because in the [[Literature/AlicesAdventuresInWonderland source material]], the characters often recite poetry and song. That doesn't make the songs in the show any less strange or sudden, though, especially because every episode ''has'' to feature at least three and usually four songs. A prime example is "TV or Not TV," which features some of the Wonderlanders getting hooked on television; because watching TV is a rather passive activity, two of the episode's four songs occur like this:
** Alice speaks to the Mad Hatter about an upcoming softball game. The Hatter remarks that he plays left field because he's "always out in left field." Cue a song about the Hatter being nuts, complete with surreal imagery. He then moves on as if nothing had happened.
** Later, Alice visits the White Rabbit, who's just received an order from his Book of the Month Club. They begin to sing "Look! A Book!", all about the joy of reading -- which has nothing to do with the plot at hand. And as before, no comment is made about this.
* Played straight in the 1986 made-for-TV version of ''Theatre/BabesInToyland''. The protagonists are captured by the villainous Barnaby, who unleashes a vial of concentrated evil (a rather literal example of SealedEvilInACan in the form of green gas) to transform them into his wicked servants. While Mary Contrary, Jack Nimble, and Georgie Porgie begin to succumb to the effects of the gas, Lisa discovers that she is immune to it -- and realizes it's because "I'm from Cincinnati!" She then bursts into "C-I-N-C-I-N-N-A-T-I," a song about the city, and encourages everyone to sing along to help her friends clear their minds and free themselves from the evil fumes. It works.
* In-universe in one episode of ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'', when Will and Carlton end up in jail. Will gets Carlton to sing "Go Down Moses" to cheer him up, only for the rough-looking criminal in the cell with them to start belting out the lyrics. He repeatedly sings random songs, including "One Is the Loneliest Number" when Will and Carlton are finally released.
* Random singing is a common occurrence in ''Series/{{Glee}}''.
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d nicely by Jesse.
--->'''Jesse:''' Just come out so we can talk. Or sing about it.
** Subverted hilariously when Rachel and Sunshine burst into a rendition of [[Music/LadyGaga "Telephone"]] in the girls' bathroom. A few stanzas in, Sue comes in and tells them to shut up. By this point in the show, viewers are so used to random musical numbers being ignored by all the other characters that someone actually reacting to one is a [[Funny/{{Glee}} Crowning Moment of Funny]].
* Happened rather regularly on ''Series/ILoveLucy'', with cutbacks to Ricky at the club frequently including a full performance by his band. Also notable is the time when Ethel kept making Ricky be reminded of songs to keep him from going to the freezer [[ZanyScheme while Lucy was transferring 700 pounds of meat from said freezer to the furnace]].
* Done quite a lot, and with a lot of self-awareness in ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', as a policeman will break into a song in a courtroom, for instance. I never wanted to be a barber anyway...
* Happens in ''Series/PushingDaisies'' with Olive singing "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and another episode with the song "Birdhouse in Your Soul." In this case they're a chance for KristinChenoweth to show off.
* Roughly 50% of the monologues on ''Series/SaturdayNightLive''.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' would have one of these on occasion because Nichelle Nichols was a professional singer. Every now and then she would serenade the crew.
* A trend that continued into ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' when every attempt possible was made to give Jeri Ryan a chance to sing in various episodes. Even going so far as to give her the personality of a caberet singer in World War II during a battle with aliens on the holodeck, just so she could impress Alien Nazis.
* ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'' has a game called Show-Stopping Number where the players act out a scene as normal, but whenever the host hits the buzzer, they have to take the last line spoken and turn it into a Broadway-style song. So of course, Drew always tries to find the most awkward line possible.
* Shaun Micallef shoehorned in a strange parody of this at least once (in ''World Around Him''). He did it by suddenly referring to the Pointer Sisters and neutrons. And then he claimed that that reminded him of a song, and promptly launched into a verse of said song, complete with dancers.
* Brian Stokes Mitchell, a noted Broadway singer who starred in productions of ''Theatre/ManOfLaMancha'' and ''Theatre/SouthPacific'' (and others), occasionally guest-starred in ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' as Cam Winston, Frasier's rival who lives in the same apartment building. In one episode, Cam drops an American flag out of his apartment window just to block Frasier's balcony view; when Frasier complains, Cam builds support for himself by singing a patriotic song. It somewhat makes sense, but it feels more like an excuse to have Mitchell sing than anything else.
* On an episode of ''Series/FreshOffTheBoat'', the boys of the family break out into an impromptu rendition of Boyz II Men's "End of the Road" during a dinner scene.
* Parodied in ''Series/Danger5''. In Season 2, Pierre always has "the right song" for a particular moment, then pulls out a cassette tape depicting as such: usually something like "Stop Bitin (My Friend's Face)".

* "Simple Song" by Music/MileyCyrus.
* Parodied in Music/WeirdAlYankovic's long and rambling narrative song "Albuquerque", where he's reminded of a song while his face was being torn to shreds by one dozen starving crazed weasels... which sounds remarkably similar to a guy screaming while getting his face torn to shreds by one dozen starving crazed weasels.
-->You know, I think it was just about that time that a little ditty started goin' through my head. I believe it went a little somethin' like this: \\
DAARGH! Get 'em off me! Get 'em off me! Ohhh! No, get 'em off, get 'em off! Oh, oh God, oh God! Oh, get 'em off me! Oh, oh God! Ah, Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhohhhhhhhhhh!

* Lampshaded in an episode of ''Radio/ImSorryIllReadThatAgain'' -- Bill has been doing a scene in his 'Grimbling voice'. After an audience cheer at one of his jokes, he starts speaking normally, and this happens:
-->'''Bill:''' Thank you, thank you! You're my kind of people!\\
'''Crowd:''' What kind of people?\\
'''Bill:''' Showpeople!\\
'''John:''' ...He's gone nuts!\\
'''Graeme:''' No, he's leading up to a song.\\
'''Bill:''' And oh, how I love our business!\\
'''Crowd:''' What business?\\
'''Bill:''' Showbusiness!
:: This leads into the song "The Show Must Go On", which continues until David Hatch tells him to stop it.
* Parodied in ''Music/MitchBenn's Crimes Against Music''; Robin Ince either {{lampshade|Hanging}}s the silliness of his asking whether Mitch has a song about this week's topic, or just asks the question with so much sarcasm it amounts to the same thing.
* Parodied by Creator/StanFreberg's ''Omaha!'', a commercial for Butter-Nut Coffee that goes on for longer than six minutes because the characters keep preempting the pitch with irrelevant songs about their favorite Nebraska city.

* "The Heaven Hop" and "Let's Step Out" from ''Theatre/AnythingGoes'' are good examples of songs that have nothing to do with the characters, the setting, or anything that happens in the story. Indeed, they had nothing to do with ''Anything Goes'' before the 1962 Off-Broadway revival.
* In ''Theatre/BellsAreRinging'', Dr. Kitchell wants to be a songwriter, and constantly takes innocent conversational phrases as cues to burst into song.
* Subverted in ''Theatre/{{Brigadoon}}'', where the protagonist is literally reminded of a song -- he hears a phrase from it used in everyday conversation, and it suddenly reprises itself in his mind. (Used mostly in TheMovie.)
* "Move, Move, Move Right Out of My Life" and the rest of the talent show from ''Theatre/{{Dreamgirls}}'' does very little other than serve a nifty opener.
* Parodied in ''Theatre/{{Drood}}'' with "Off To The Races". A character says something like "we can't jump to conclusions, or we'll all be [[TitleDrop off to the races]]!" The chairman steps to center and announces that no production at the Music Hall Royale would be complete without their signature song, "Off To The Races". The song is performed quite randomly, with one member of the cast passed-out drunk. After the song ends, we immediately return to the murder-mystery at hand, and it is [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment never mentioned or thought of again]].
* A subversion of this would be Stephen Sondheim's ''Follies'', in which half the songs are numbers that the women used to sing in their days in the Zeigfeld Follies, but are used to point up the melancholy of the story.
* "Those Magic Changes" from ''Film/{{Grease}}'' has nothing to do with '''anything''' else that happens during the show; it's just a random "hey, let's sing a song" moment. They fix it in TheMovie, where instead of having Doody randomly play a song, a live band performs it in the background as a warm-up number for the National Dance-Off in Rydell High's gymnasium.
* ''Guys and Dolls'' -- "I Love You (A Bushel and a Peck)". Probably applies to any of the songs Adelaide sings with the Hot Box Girls.
* ''Theatre/KissMeKate'': "Wunderbar." "Too Darn Hot" as well, but only in the film: the live show features it later, and incorporates it into the story. Except... not really. It's ''loosely'' tied in by purportedly being sung "backstage" by the "stagehands" of the ShowWithinAShow. It has ''nothing'' to do with the overall plot and we never really see most of the stagehands before or after (except to the extent required by them doubling in other parts).
* In the third DreamSequence in ''Theatre/LadyInTheDark'', this little bit of dialogue is all it takes to introduce a completely irrelevant patter song:
-->'''Ringmaster''': Charming, charming! Who wrote that music?\\
'''Chorus''': Tchaikowsky!\\
'''Ringmaster''': Tchaikowsky! I love Russian composers!
* "Thank You For The Music" in ''Theatre/MammaMia!'', though this could also be applied to the song "Super Trouper."
* ''Theatre/TheMusicMan'' -- "Shipoopi." It becomes a RunningGag for Harold to distract the school board by feeding them the first line of a song and watching them sing the rest as a barbershop quartet. Here's the cue for them to sing "Lida Rose":
-->'''Harold''': Oh, you'll never forget the name. Lida Rose. Same as the old song. ''(sings)'' Lida Rose, I'm home again, Rose...
* In musicals written before ''{{Theatre/Oklahoma}}!'' this was ubiquitous almost to the point of every single show using this excuse to put in a song.
* In ''Theatre/{{Oliver}}'', Nancy starts up the {{Bawdy|Song}} CrowdSong "Oom-Pah-Pah" as [[WeNeedADistraction a distraction]] to let Oliver escape from Bill Sykes.
* ''Theatre/ThePiratesOfPenzance'' had a short bit where everyone stops to sing a little song extolling the virtues of poetry. This is right in the middle of a rather dramatic bit where the Major-General is attempting to deceive the pirates about being an orphan, so that they won't marry all his daughters and take them away.
** G&S get away with this one, though, on the account of said little song being [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic fucking awesome]].
* The protagonist of the musical ''Seesaw'', studying obscure passages of New York State law, is advised to read it in rhythm to make it easier to remember. In short order, "Chapter 54, Number 1909" has turned into a big production number.
* ''Theatre/{{Spamalot}}'' parodies this with "The Diva's Lament", which has the female lead singing about how she's been offstage for most of the second act. Of course this is also playing it straight since without it she would be off-stage for most of the second act.
** Though this one is not a BigLippedAlligatorMoment, as she does mention how she's been away "for far too long" (quoting her last number) the next time she talks to Arthur.
** The song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UM1W-40n4Q "Finland"]], however, is a BigLippedAlligatorMoment, as it's not even remotely related to anything else in the play, only existing because the performers misheard the narrator when he was talking about '''England'''.
* In ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'', the Beadle does this with the "Sweet Polly Plunkett" song. He remarks that Lovett has an organ, and he sits down to play, to her dismay.
** Of course, since this is a Sondheim musical, this also has a dramatic function: the Beadle insists on staying, while Mrs. Lovett is desperately trying to make him leave, as his hanging around threatens to expose the [[ImAHumanitarian humanitarian]] operation she's running.
* "The World's Biggest Tea Party": a musical stage show later released on DVD featuring the G3 versions of the ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' characters, had numerous songs that were basically there just to fill time and really do much to drive forward the plot. Many of these were lifted almost wholesale from the G3 DVD releases.
* "I have a song to sing, O!" from ''Theatre/TheYeomenOfTheGuard'' starts out like this, but by the DarkReprise becomes heartbreakingly significant for Jack Point.
* Creator/BertoltBrecht made this into an art form, having That Reminds Me of a Song moment at least once in every play to alienate the audience. "Music/PirateJenny" from ''Theatre/TheThreepennyOpera'' is probably the most famous example.
* A kid's production about Lewis and Clark decided to introduce a vague-ified cover of "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" by having Charbonneau, of all people, say some unspecified Indian word for stranger out of the blue. Not to mention that the song is about death and heaven, despite the fact that only one person died on the expedition and they were well past him.
* The Willow Song Desdemona sings in ''Theatre/{{Othello}}'' could be one. As well as the two tavern songs Iago sings earlier.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Gato's song in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''.
* ''A Pirate I Was Meant To Be'', a brief musical number around halfway through ''VideoGame/TheCurseOfMonkeyIsland'', begins with this exact phrase. From then on it's up to the player to get his crew, who all [[RhymesOnADime rhyme on a dime]], to stop singing and get back to work. [[spoiler:The solution is to feed them the phrase "We'll surely avoid scurvy if we all eat an orange", which [[LeastRhymableWord they can't rhyme]].]] But if you skip straight to the solution of that puzzle instead of hearing the song out, you're severely missing the point of these games.
* [[JeanneDArchetype Leliana]] gets a song in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' if you have sufficient [[RelationshipValues approval]]. That doesn't explain where the instrumental accompaniment comes from out in the wilds of Ferelden.
* Replace "song" with "puzzle" and you've got ''Franchise/ProfessorLayton'' in a nutshell.
** Especially since they use that exact phrase -- repeatedly.
** And at the strangest times, too...
** Which gets severely lampshaded in later games.
* ''Reveries: Sisterly Love'' has a mercifully-brief song which literally comes out of nowhere. One minute the main character's no-longer-identical twin sister, who traded her youth to a witch in a DealWithTheDevil in exchange for curing the main character's leukemia, is admitting to having seen (and fallen in love with) another character in her dreams and the next minute she's singing about whether the guy will stick around once he sees how decrepit she really is.
* Lampshaded (kind of) in ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxHitTheRoad'', when an entire room of hunting trophies recite a limerick extolling the virtues of John Muir, and a huge flashing sign reading "EDUTAINMENT" swings through the scene. Conroy Bumpus's performance of "King of the Creatures", again accompanied by a chorus of hunting trophies.
* Any time Marie takes out her violin in ''VideoGame/RhythmThiefAndTheEmperorsTreasure'', she does so because she sees something that invokes memories of a song. This then [[AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent shifts the player character from Raphael to Marie]], and the following stage involves reciting that song. Raphael himself counts many times, only with dancing instead of singing. These two quirks come together in the stages "Melody of Hope" and "Mastermind," where Marie spontaneously plays on the violin, prompting Raphael to spontaneously dance to it.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Every video of ''WebAnimation/CharlieTheUnicorn'' has one very strange song towards the end, but the trope applies in particular to the third:
-->'''Blue Unicorn:''' It's right up ahead now, you can see -- Oh my god it's a--\\
'''Charlie:''' Stop it! I don't care about each and every sea creature you see!\\
'''Pink Unicorn:''' But Charlie... They care about YOU!\\
''[sparkling lights turn on, music starts playing]''\\
'''Charlie:''' Oh no... no... NO!!!
* In the ''WebAnimation/StrongBadEmail'' "different town", Strong Bad randomly bursts into song while listing all the ways he'd make Free Country USA different.
-->'''Strong Bad:''' Make the town different, eh Steven? Weeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhllllllll...\\
The Poopsmith, he could talk!\\
And Marzipan would rock!\\
And the Stick would be this big ol' tree\\
That'd try to eat everybody, except the Cheat and me!

[[folder:Web Original]]
* WebVideo/TheNecroCritic did this once in his review of CallMeTonight, where he mentions one of the most obvious traits of the anime, to the tune of Ode To Joy.
--> "Eighties, Eighties, Nineteen-Eighties, This was made in Eighty-Six!"
* ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic'':
** Mocked by then Critic in his review of ''WesternAnimation/RockADoodle'' (which in itself is guilty of this) with a brief sendup of this phenomenon: "I'm tal-king! / I'm tal-king! / I'm drin-king / my cof-fee!"
** Critic later performs one himself in his ''Film/JudgeDredd'' review, complete with ''can-can dancers in Judge Dredd helmets'': [[http://www.thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nostalgia-critic/13682-jd "LAAAAAAW LAW LAW LAW LAW LAW-LAW / LAW LAW LAW LAW LAW-LAW / LAW LAW LAW LAW LAW / LAW LAW LAW LAW LAW LAW LAW!"]]
** He shows disdain for the endless singing in ''WesternAnimation/QuestForCamelot''. As he said, does everyone in the movie ''have'' to sing? And why sing when you're in pain?
** Hell, in his later review for ''WesternAnimation/ThePebbleAndThePenguin'', he attempts suicide after one too many pointless musical numbers.
** Invoked in ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee'' when WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick and [[WebVldeo/BrowsHeldHigh Kyle]] sneak aboard Zod and Turl's ship, disguised as [[Film/SupermanII Ursa and Non]]. Zod encourages them, pretty much for no reason, to sing the number one Kryptonian hit from 1983. Though possibly simultaneously a subversion, since [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFTMiBvElXk the song]] is titled "[[SuspiciouslyAproposMusic Distraction]]", while the rest of the crew infiltrates the enemy ship. Might still count as this, since Kyle wanted to do it just for the chance to sing, despite the numerous other ways they could distract the enemy. Of course, since he was disguised as [[TheVoiceless Non]], [[TheCastShowoff he ends up blowing their cover]].
* In the SMOSH video "My Bathroom Secret", Anthony sings the theme song to WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants in the bathroom for no reason.
* ''WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment'': The Spoony One did this in his ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' review. Also to the tune of "Ode to Joy".
--> "Quistis boobies, Quistis boobies, Squall is getting laid tonight!"
* ''WebVideo/TheMarkRemark'': If something reminds Martin of a song, he will sing it. Anything from merely saying the word "{{Disney/Frozen}}" to Wrestling/JohnCena almost quoting [[{{Music/Chumbawamba}} "Tubthumping"]] verbatim.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Happy from ''WesternAnimation/The7D'' does this as a running gag, he usually does them when he finds a certain word funny, when he and the other dwarves are on a long trip, or when he wants to lighten up the mood. He confesses that it especially happens when he gets nervous.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfTeddyRuxpin'': "I feel a song coming on!"
* In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'''s LighterAndSofter AnimatedAdaptation of ''ComicBook/EmperorJoker'', after Harley asks the Joker to unmask Batman, the Clown Emperor responds, "And reduce my enemy to a mere man? Harley, my dear, I'm so disappointed in you! WheresTheFunInThat" He then suddenly shifts to using a villainous version of ThePowerOfRock and an electric guitar and singing, you know, "[[CaptainObvious Where's the Fun in That?]]" while he sings to Batman to give in to the Joker's madness and smile.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBeatles'' is pretty weird this way; the episodes were written around [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]] songs, but feature situations having [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids little or nothing to do with the original meaning of said songs]]. For instance, "And Your Bird Can Sing" is a sarcastic send-up of a man who boasts about his girlfriend ("bird" being Liverpool slang for "girl")[[note]]or maybe not; the WordSaladLyrics are hard to decipher[[/note]], but in the cartoon it's about a literal bird that the Beatles are trying to catch. . . and, viewed in this context, the lyrics don't make a whole lot of sense. ([[RuleOfCool Nor does it make sense to be playing and singing a song while trying to catch a bird]].)
* The very strange Creator/HannaBarbera adaptation of ''Literature/CharlottesWeb'' is '''all''' over this trope.
-->"I Can TALK! Just like all the other animals! Let me sing about it for three whole minutes!!!"
* ''WesternAnimation/TheChipmunkAdventure'' had the three main boys as baits for a group of alligators at a volcano on a tropical island. Suddenly, the boys start singing "Wooly Bully" to entertain the natives and alligators as the [[DistaffCounterpart Chipettes]] arrive for the rescue.
* ''WesternAnimation/DorasExplorerGirls'' has several musical scenes within each episode just to take up time. At one point they just start randomly singing about maps for no real reason, when they're ''in a hurry''.
* Parodied as part of an OverlyLongGag on ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', when a stadium full of football players and fans sang the song "Shipoopi" ''in its entirety''. [[SubvertedTrope It actually advances the plot]] when it gets Peter kicked off the team for showboating.
* ''WesternAnimation/GrandmaGotRunOverByAReindeer'', big time. Anything that doesn't have to do with talking about fruitcake, they're singing about it.
* Appears in the various incarnations of ''Franchise/MyLittlePony''; the most recent series, ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Friendship Is Magic]]'', actually {{avert|edTrope}}s the previous trend of having the ponies burst into song OncePerEpisode.
** Thus far, {{Cloudcuckoolander}} Pinkie Pie appears to be the designated song starter, and had this {{lampshade|Hanging}}d with her first cue in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E2ElementsOfHarmony Elements of Harmony]]":
--->'''Pinkie Pie:''' ''When I was a little filly and the sun was going do-o-o-own...''\\
'''Twilight Sparkle:''' Tell me she's not...\\
'''Pinkie Pie:''': ''The darkness and the shadows, they would always make me fro-o-o-own...''\\
'''Rarity''': She is.
** Later, in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E7Dragonshy Dragonshy]]", Twilight asks the others to help Fluttershy across a crevasse, leading to Pinkie instantly bursting into a (very silly) song about jumping across crevasses. This only serves to shorten Twilight's rapidly fraying temper.
** Lampshaded again in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E9BridleGossip Bridle Gossip]]":
--->'''Pinkie Pie:''' And that wicked Enchantress, Zecora, lives there doing her evil... stuff! She's so evil, I even wrote a song about her...\\
'''Rainbow Dash:''' Here we go...
** Later in the episode, when Pinkie Pie has lost her ability to speak due to a curse, she asks Fluttershy, who has been cursed to have a [[BadassBaritone comically deep voice]], to sing it for her.
** It's something of a running gag that although sometimes other ponies will join in on the rare occasions that someone ''other'' than Pinkie Pie starts a song -- to the point of an outright CrowdSong in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E26TheBestNightEver The Best Night Ever]]" -- no-one will ''ever'' join in on Pinkie Pie's songs, and the usual result is the other ponies watching in something between fear and bewilderment.
** Another lampshading in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E18AFriendInDeed A Friend in Deed]]". Part of Pinkie's "checklist" to making a new friend is "sing random song out of nowhere". And the trope's played with in her initial song in that episode, which manages to draw in half of Ponyville (averting the usual course of things) and would perfectly offset the plot ''if there were any plot yet''. As all we see before the song turns out to be a warm-up to the song, the sheer magnitude of the performance comes entirely out of nowhere. That being said, the entire song is one big lead-up to a gag. As the song is about how she's able to bring a smile out of anyone and spends three minutes of the episode proving her point, the gag would be that there is someone present who has a big scowl instead appearing at the very end of the song.
** "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E21OverABarrel Over a Barrel]]" manages to deconstruct this, when Pinkie's performance makes the situation worse. Twice. The first, the buffalo chief and the sheriff say that that was the worst performance they have ever seen, and the chief decides the next day they will stampede. When they do, the chief has second thoughts, and looks like he's not going to go through with it, until Pinkie starts singing again, which causes him to go through with it.
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E8RarityTakesManehattan Rarity takes Manehattan]]", Rainbow Dash [[SelfDeprecation expresses her dislike for this trope]]. [[HypocriticalHumor A musical number begins shortly after]].
* There is an entire episode of ''WesternAnimation/PepperAnn'', "You Oughta Be in Musicals", which revolves around this trope, parodying it to death.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'':
** [[OffToSeeTheWizard "The Wizard of Odd"]]. Coming upon Buford the Lion-Tiger-Bear (oh my!), this exchange occurs:
--->'''Buford:''' Although, that does remind me of a song. '''[[IWantSong I WAAAAANNNNNNNNTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT]]'''....[[AvertedTrope nuthin']].\\
'''Candace:''' Well, at least it was short.
** Parodied as a RunningGag in "Bully Bust", where Buford (yes, Buford again) claims that his family has songs for all kinds of occasions. Candace reluctantly lets him sing one of them to completion.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'' episode "[[MusicalEpisode Zanzibar]]", whenever Rocko mentions something, the townspeople have a song.
-->'''Guy:''' And you know what they say...\\
'''Rocko:''' [[LampshadeHanging It's going to be a song, isn't it?]]
* "Silver and Gold" from the classic ''WesternAnimation/RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer'' ChristmasSpecial qualifies, as it has almost nothing to do with the story, or with the character (Yukon Cornelius) that inspired the narrator (Sam the Snowman voiced by Burl Ives) to sing it.
* Similar to ''Theatre/TheMusicMan'' above, in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' the boys discover that Cartman '''has''' to sing "[[Music/{{Styx}} Come Sail Away]]" to completion if someone else starts singing it in his presence. Naturally, they get a lot of mileage tormenting him with this, and Cartman begins singing the song as quickly as possible to get through it.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DonkeyKongCountry'' episode "Raiders Of The Lost Banana", DK and Candy Kong burst out into a sudden (and very 90's) R&B love song, which fans refer to as "Our Love Is Stronger Than a Golden Banana".