TheHero is squaring off with the BigBad. His [[ThemeMusicPowerUp theme song]] picks up and all doubts are cast out of your mind as he moves in to attack. Some asskicking is ''[[MusicalSpoiler assured]]'' once that starts playing. But all of a sudden... No! The hero is soundly defeated! It looked like such a sure thing! It looks like today is The Day the Music Lied.

The name of this trope is a reference to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_the_Music_Died The Day the Music Died]], as recounted by Don [=McLean=] in the 1971 song "American Pie".

If played for laughs, expect it to be accompanied with a RecordNeedleScratch or a [[LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand fading to bass]] or even a duck call for extra humiliation.

Compare CatScare for when dramatic tension is build up with music only for a harmless outcome. Related to the HopeSpot.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' uses it a few times:
** The first highly memorable time happens when Ichigo first encounters Aizen - he got through the windup and rushes in for the attack, swinging his blade at the height of the music - and both are abruptly stopped by Aizen with a single finger.
** Five years later, after many a ShounenUpgrade, Ichigo finally turns the tables on him - stopping first his sword [[CallBack in nearly the same fashion]] and then his massively powerful Black Coffin spell, both times interrupting Aizen's theme song on the height of it's OminousLatinChanting.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'':
** Episode 3, to some extent: Viral launches a volley of missiles at the Gurren Lagann and the battle music immediately goes silent even though the GL is barely damaged ([[spoiler:it was a distraction for Viral to get lost]]).
** Episode 8 ''subverted'' this: [[spoiler:Kamina is caught by Thymilph's spear]] and screams his head off. Cue the sad music and his teammates going MassOhCrap... [[NotTooDeadToSaveTheDay until he turns out to be alive.]] [[spoiler:For another five minutes]].
** A more comic example is found the uncensored version of [[HotSpringsEpisode Episode 6]], when Simon and Kamina are trying to peak at the girls. Simon ends up launched up far enough to see over the wall, starting up a piece of triumphant music used several times throughout the early part of the series... until he falls about three second later, cutting the music off.
* ''Manga/HajimeNoIppo'' does it in Ippo's Title fight against Date.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' does this a few times, particularly with Usopp.
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' plays this trope for laughs whenever the titular characters try to digivolve while hungry.
** One notable serious example is in episode 26 of the first series, during Myotismon's first confrontation of the Digi-Destined. All of the Digi-Destined's Digimon attack Myotismon as "Brave Heart" plays. This music abruptly stops when Ikkakumon's Harpoon attack hits Myotismon and creates an explosion, seemingly taking him out, only for Myotismon to jump out of the cloud of dust and saying "Do you think you've won?", before proceeding to beat up the Digi-Destined's Digimon.
** The second ''Digimon'' movie, ''Our War Game'', has another serious example. "Brave Heart" starts playing as Agumon and Gabumon Warp Evolve into War Greymon and Metal Garurumon. When Infermon evolves into Diablomon and attacks Patamon and Tentomon as it's evolving, the music cuts out. When the two Ultimates/Megas go on a RoaringRampageofRevenge, the music picks back up, only to start skipping on "show me your brave heart", signaling the connection's lag and War Greymon's weakening before it completely cuts out when Taichi crashes the computer.
* Played with in ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs''. During her first battle with the [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Wolkenritter]], Nanoha is trying to use [[WaveMotionGun Starlight Breaker]] to open the way for reinforcements for her friends. During the charging, the music plays to the fullest... until [[BodyHorror a certain hand rises from her chest]], [[GameBreakingInjury absorbing her magical power]]. [[SubvertedTrope The subversion?]]. She ''still'' shoots. And it was ''[[Awesome/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs glorious]]'', accompanied by the music playing to the fullest again.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' does this occasionally, for example during Ash's final battle against Brandon when Charizard loses against Dusclops.
** The most notable example is in the Japanese version, when "Mezase Pokémon Master" plays during Ash and Pikachu's battle against Gary and his Electivire, when this song gets abruptly interrupted when Gary's Electivire suddenly uses Protect to defend against a Volt Tackle from Pikachu, before taking it out with a Thunder Punch.
* ''Manga/SailorMoon'', [[spoiler: Galaxia orders mind controlled Uranus and Neptune to kill Usagi and the Sailor Starlights, and as they prepare to do just that an ominous music is playing. Which suddenly cuts out and gets replaced by their theme music when they throw their [[MindControlEyes disguise]] and blast Galaxia. And then *that* music cuts out too when the attack proves to be utterly ineffective.]]
* In ''MacrossFrontier'', Sheryl falls into the cockpit of a VF and takes off to join the fight, her theme music starting up as she lifts off. Five seconds later, it comes to an abrupt halt as she's shot down.
* In the ''Manga/{{Bakuman}}'' anime, after Mashiro makes Azuki cry by asking her if they have to wait until their dreams come true to see each other, he tells Takagi he wants to submit something to the Tezuka Awards, and dramatic music plays, as it does when the characters get an idea or renewed determination. After Takagi suggests that he be more patient and make a good submission, the music fades as Mashiro apologizes. Then again, after Takagi learns that their first submission, The Two Earths, was not even chosen as a finalist, he decides to go with Mashiro's plan.
* In ''Manga/CromartieHighSchool'', "[[NoNameGiven Fred]][[{{Queen}} die]]"'s leitmotif is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_skhTIY_Ik this song]], usually played up to the 3rd or 4th drum roll whenever he suddenly appears. Once, he startled someone, who shut the door on him, cutting off the music before the second bar was finished.
* In ''HeartcatchPrecure'', Cure Blossom and Cure Marine decide to confuse the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Desertian of the Week]] by running around it in circles really fast. At first, Cobraja, the one who made it, seems concerned... until he looks ahead as the music comes to a droning halt as Blossom and Marine have slowed down, eyes swirling and admitting that was a dumb idea.
* Episode 55 of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' Brotherhood: [[spoiler:Fuhrer Bradley is MIA after his train blew up, the good guys have taken over the enemy stronghold, and everyone congratulates each other over their victory as uplifting music plays in the background. Then Bradley calls, announcing his return. Cue music cut and collective OhCrap from ''everyone''.]]
* The [[WhamEpisode very well known third episode of]] ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'': [[spoiler:Mami was fighting quite joyously to the tune of her {{Leitmotif}} Credens Justitiam. When the witch, [[KnightOfCerebus Charlotte]] appeared, the music changed to the fast paced battle music Venari strigas as Mami seemingly delivers a CurbStompBattle. The music turns sinister when the witch reveals its OneWingedAngel form. It completely ''stops'' when the witch [[GutPunch bites her head off]] and proceeds to devour the rest of her corpse.]]
* ''Manga/ShamanKing'' has a notable example in the Japanese version of the anime. All the main characters(bar one) have gathered together to defeat Hao, and we are treated to an almost full rendition of one of the ThemeMusicPowerUp songs as the characters bind him in place and recalls their friend. Then they finally fire their supposed finishing blow, complete with Hao's only real friend shouting out his name in alarm... Then the theme song abruptly stops as Hao breaks the bind with ease and send the supposed finishing blows off target without trying.
* ''Manga/SoulEater'': After Kid finally gets to fight the Flying Dutchman after he'd been running from him most of the episode, action music starts playing... then Crona [[ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks throws Ragnarok at it]] [[DynamicEntry from offscreen]], cutting off the music and the Dutchman's head at the jaw.
* Played rather humourously in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OWSC6IkG0g&t=4m13s this]] scene from ''Anime/{{Grenadier}}'', which pits sweet-as-a-nut TechnicalPacifist Rushuna against an entire gang of bounty hunters. {{Badass}} killing machine? Uh... No, not exactly.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''WebAnimation/TurnaboutStorm'': [[VisualNovel/AceAttorney Phoenix]] finds what it seems to be a massive hole in the prosecutor's case, and confidently objects as the triumphant ''[[ThemeMusicPowerUp Pursuit ~ Cornered]]'' starts playing -- Only for then to be interrupted by [[StunnedSilence an stunned courtroom]] and ChirpingCrickets. Turns out his outburst was [[CriticalResearchFailure critically wrong]] on one rather important detail.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' pulls something similar. As the team morphs for the first time in the film, we are treated to a pumped-up version of the [[ThemeMusicPowerUp theme song]] and obligatory [[AssKickingPose posing]], after which it is revealed that the bad guys have ''fled the scene'' during all the buildup. Even the post-reveal ''guitar riff'' sounds disappointed.
* In ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' the theme charge of the [[TheCavalry Rohirrim]] cut short the moment the line met the [[WarElephants műmakil]]. Not pretty.
* ''Film/ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld'': During Scott Pilgrim's first encounter with Gideon Graves, he dispatches Gideon's mooks accompanied by an up-tempo version of [[ThemeMusicPowerUp Sex Bob-omb's signature song]], then leaps in for the kill ... only to be soundly smashed down by Gideon. Appropriately, the music segues straight into a video-game "you lose"-style 8-bit riff.
* In ''Film/{{Seabiscuit}}'', during the historic match race against War Admiral, Seabiscuit jumps out to an early lead. After a while, though, he begins to slow, accompanied by mournful music, allowing War Admiral to catch up. But Seabiscuit slowing was a BatmanGambit on the part of his jockey, George Woolf, and (injured) regular jockey, Red Pollard, who knew that the horse would push himself harder if the other horse was matching his speed. It worked, and Seabiscuit won. This was, as Laura Hillenbrand's book described, TruthInTelevision (well, except for the music).
* As SF Debris noted in a review, Flash Gordon's theme-music usually plays when he's losing a fight.
* In ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'', [[spoiler: when Anna asks Hans to kiss her. Hans leans in, both pucker, the romantic music swells... But then the music stops, Hans pulls back, and delivers his [[WhamLine wham line]]:]]
--->[[spoiler:'''Hans:''' Oh, Anna...''if only there was someone out there who loved you.'']]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/KamenRiderAgito'' pulls something like this. Sometimes, in the middle of a ThemeMusicPowerUp, an enemy will counter Agito's finisher. When that happens, the music stops mid-song.
* Happens all the time in ''Series/TheAmazingRace'', most often playing the "elimination" music right before a team is told that it's a non-elimination leg.
* A gag used in ''Series/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', when Arthur and Ford are trapped in the Vogon airlock, about to be blown into space. Ford says "No, wait! What's this switch!" accompanied by a hopeful swell of music... only he's just being a jerk. There's no switch, and they do get blown out of the airlock.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Is sometimes [[InvokedTrope invoked]] when a heel is in the ring either mocking an absent babyface or ranting about [[NothingCanStopUsNow his/her supposed invincibility]]. In the middle of the segment, the face's distinctive music will hit and the heel will affect an OhCrap expression...only to start laughing when the supposed entrance of the face is merely 1) a fake-out orchestrated by the heel or 2) one of the heel's minions dressing up as the face for mockery. (See {{Edge}} and {{Lita}}'s wedding for an example of the former and Michelle [=McCool=] calling Mickie James a fat "piggie" for the latter.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Crocomire in ''Super {{Metroid}}''. After it falls into an acid bath which dissolves its flesh, its skeleton crashes through the wall and the boss music starts up again... then the skeleton collapses.
* In ''YsVITheArkOfNapishtim'', after you defeat the first boss, it gets up again and the boss music restarts, but is interrupted when Olha kills it with an Emelas arrow.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', Puppet Ganon has one of these. Upon the defeat of the giant puppet, the standard victory fanfare begins and the puppet rises towards the ceiling. Then, the music changes tune slightly, and Puppet Ganon morphs into a giant spider.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'', Link and Zelda celebrate the PowerOfFriendship after defeating a boss. The camera slowly pans around them, the background fades to white, happy music flares up...then the band stalls when the background returns to normal and you see the NotQuiteDead boss simply limp out of the room back to his master.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', the same thing happens with Armagohma. Link destroys it, the epic victory music plays, Link does that badass sword sheathe and... Armagohma's not dead. The music promptly dies, though what's left of the monster is laughably easy to defeat.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'':
** A lowly villain brings forth a couple of monsters, the characters pull out their weapons, and battle music starts... then the monsters fall into a pit. Cue the music [[LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand faltering out]].
** The game uses a variation earlier: enemies jump out, the characters get into their battle stances, but the action bar never shows up. Instead the music stops and the enemies' boss shows up to [[UnexpectedGenreChange challenge you to a race]].
* ''AceAttorney'': "'''[[color:red:OBJECTION!]]''' ...[[ThemeMusicPowerUp I was hoping to come up with a question]] [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome while I was objecting]], Your Honor... [[LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand I didn't]]."
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue''. The {{butt monkey}} ninja has an awesome over the top theme that activates when you use Furinkazan which basically makes you super fast and near impossible to hit. Cue [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U158VC5u6kk epic facepalm]].
* In the first ''VideoGame/MarioParty'', one board has Bowser giving players black stars. At first it might seem that they count because of the fanfare... Then they [[LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand Let The Air Out Of The Band]] to let you know you were forced to pay for nothing.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' does this with the TrueFinalBoss fight. [[spoiler: The song starts off very slow and ominous sounding, before swelling into an ''epic'' reprise of "Reach Out to the Truth," the original battle theme. It seems like a ThemeMusicPowerUp, but the fight actually ends with the boss ''killing your entire party''. It's the only battle in the entire game that is ''impossible'' to win outright.]]
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Uninvited}}'' game, when you meet the Scarlet O'Hara lookalike, the music sounds VERY upbeat. As if you're going to have a pleasant time. Doing anything aside of a select few will cause her to reveal her face as she rips you apart while said music turns into utter horror. This is noteworthy because usually dangers in the game were accompanied with an eerie music, rather than such upbeat music.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'': the final boss is defeated and the game's theme music starts up (just as it did in the previous game). [[spoiler: It keeps playing as Serah has a vision of the future and dies. It isn't until Mog dies and it becomes apparent that something is ''extremely'' wrong does the upbeat pop song stop.]]
* ''VideoGame/KirbysEpicYarn'' has a moment like this at the end; [[spoiler:Kirby and Prince Fluff have defeated Yin-Yarn, and Magic Yarn appears afterwards and they start dancing to cheerful victory dance music. Then, just before they finish their dance, the music stops as his knitting needles come alive, enlarge themselves, and use the Magic Yarn to bring him BackFromTheDead, and that's where we cue some OhCrap faces from the two. Talk about your VictoryFakeout...]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' has what seems to be a CrowningMomentOfAwesome after the final boss's first four forms, complete with victory music playing and you starting to do your victory howl, when suddenly the music stops as the boss comes up from behind and proceeds to strip you of your Brush Techniques again!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'' often starts playing emotional music during scenes that are set up to be misleading either to the audience or characters. Such as Tomoya starting to tell Tomoyo that Sunohara loves her, or when Kyou pulls Tomoya aside to show him a love letter, the assumption being that it's from her to him. The music starts in both cases only to get cut short by Sunohara butting in to say he wants to fight Tomoyo or an irritated Kyou explaining it was from some boy to Ryou.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''{{Homestuck}}'':
** After the protagonist John discovers that Fruit Gushers are a Betty Crocker product, he begins to have a [[HeroicBSOD mental breakdown]] - until the music [[RecordNeedleScratch squeals to a halt]] with the flashing words [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002879 THIS IS STUPID]].
** Happens in [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002655 the flash animation]] where the Wayward Vagabond has a RaceAgainstTheClock, where he has to escape [[ExactTimeToFailure with only seconds to spare]]. He almost makes it out in time, but slips on a ladder, while the music in the background slows to a halt.\\
\\
However, this one's subverted (and promptly [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]], of course), as the very appropriately epic song [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome "Explore"]] accompanies the End of Act 2 immediately after.
-->''You attempt the rare and highly dangerous 5X CLIFFHANGER COMBO, and fail.''
-->''We are doing it, man.''
-->''We are making this happen.''
** In [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=005596 the 4/2/11 update]], where [[spoiler: John and Rose square off against their parents' killer, a suitably epic remix of Chorale starts up, a big Round 1 appears at the top of the screen - and then John is stabbed through the chest, at which point the music '''stops'''.]][[note]]Of course, this example could also count as a MusicalSpoiler. Chorale is one of the songs related to Rose (although it was originally Jaspersprite's {{Leitmotif}}), [[spoiler: and she continues the battle after John falls.]][[/note]]
** [s]: Wake is another example. After the first half of the flash depicting [[spoiler: Aradia's Resurrection]], the flash skips ahead about an hour, and tracks the confrontation between [[spoiler: Vriska]] and [[spoiler: Tavros]]. The music rises up... [[spoiler: Only for Vriskas expression to change into a sneer, as she slaps Tavros in the face, grabs, him, and impales him on his own lance.]] The Music promptly stops, only to return a second later as the corpse falls down into the dark, while [[spoiler: [[CrossesTheLineTwice Vriska waves goodbye to him.]]]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Team Four Star's ''WebVideo/DragonBallAbridged'', when Yamcha arrives to fight the Saiyans. He gives his fellow warriors a roguish grin, heroic music begins to swell in the background, he starts his {{rousing speech}}, and "[[ActionBomb SKREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!]]" ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui0mRLYZwYc&feature=related#t=6m10s BOOM]]''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In pretty much every ''{{Popeye}}'' cartoon, Popeye will [[PowerUpFood eat spinach for some instant muscle power]], with an [[ThemeMusicPowerUp accompanying Theme Song]]. However, the ThemeTune is abruptly interrupted when the can of spinach is taken away somehow (such as by an explosion, or some moving machinery). In one cartoon (''How Green Is My Spinach''), Popeye ate some other assorted vegetables but failed to get the desired effect (since DangerouslyGenreSavvy Bluto invented a formula the wiped out the world's spinach), and in another (''A Date To Skate''), Popeye ''just plain forgot it.''
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' pulls it off in the Season two Finale. Aang is rising into the air in all his Avatar State glory, glowing with holy light, and BAM. Sizzle. Azula shoots him in the back with lightning, and he sort of twitches. Then he falls over.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'': When Korra starts trying to meditate, music starts to play for a second or two before being abruptly cut-off when she gives up on it.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague: [[{{OVA}} The New Frontier]]''. {{Superman}}, being Superman, rouses and unites a divided group of superheroes, then, with heroic music playing in the background, charges off to scout and engage the enemy...only to be hit with an energy beam so powerful it knocks him several miles back and into the sea, pretty much removing him from the movie (Supes doesn't save the day in this one).
* In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie'', "The Touch" initially plays when Optimus arrives on Earth to kick Decepticon butt, but at the end of the song, he is mortally wounded in a fight with Megatron.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'': Stinkmeaner possesses Tom and tries to get his revenge on Robert...but then Huey and Riley jump in and Huey tosses Robert his [[WeaponOfChoice belt]] as the [[ThemeMusicPowerUp show's theme starts.]] The three of them proceed to [[CurbStompBattle get their asses kicked]] while the music is playing.
* A nonviolent version on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Abe Simpson is about to perform an act called the "Funky Grampa" - and just as he starts up the singing and dancing, he promptly falls asleep.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Stanley's Cup," the kids' team is slaughtered by the professional team, only for "We Are the Champion" to start playing. PlayedWith by the implication that the other team might have been the HeroOfAnotherStory, congratulating themselves in the same way you would expect at the end of any sport movie.
* A variation occurs in ''CodeLyoko'' episode "[[CodeLyokoS4E2 Double Take]]". [[spoiler:When the gang notices "Jeremie" is acting strange and accurately conclude he's a specter, Odd attacks it on the assumption XANA is behind it. When the specter fights him off, XANA's theme swells up as the gang prepare for battle... And then the real Jeremie calls to reveal he created his doppelganger himself.]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/DangerMouse'' has all the music in the world wiped, causing Danger Mouse to ask "But how are we meant to do our missions? We do all our missions to music."
[[/folder]]

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