[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_bad-michael-jackson-7647469-1787-2560_4749.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The King Of Pop.]]

->''"I’m starting with the [[TitleDrop man in the mirror]]''\\
''I’m asking him to change his ways''\\
''And no message could’ve been any clearer''\\
''If you wanna make the world a better place''\\
''Take a look at yourself, then make a change"''
-->--''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90C-Wx_uGdM&spfreload=1 Man in the Mirror]]''

Originally a member of the Creator/{{Motown}} act Music/TheJacksonFive, '''Michael Joseph Jackson''' (29 August 1958 - 25 June 2009) debuted as a solo artist in 1971 -- the year he turned thirteen. His full-fledged solo career took off in the late [[TheSeventies 1970s]]. Though songs from his first serious solo effort, ''Music/OffTheWall'' (1979), were extremely popular, he reached unprecedented superstardom in 1982 with his album ''Music/{{Thriller}}''. ''Thriller'' is still the best-selling album of all time today, and won a total of 8 Grammy Awards.

Jackson was, perhaps, the definitive celebrity of TheEighties; his unusually elaborate music videos were something of a KillerApp for the emerging MTV (he was also one of the first African-American artists to receive heavy rotation on the channel). By the end of the decade, he had another successful album in ''Bad'' (the first album to yield five number one singles on the Billboard charts), a [[Film/{{Moonwalker}} direct-to-video movie]] and even [[VideoGame/MichaelJacksonsMoonwalker video games]].

A few weeks before Jackson was to launch a 50-show farewell concert engagement in London, England, he died due to an overdose of propofol (a hospital-grade anaesthetic) on June 25, 2009, at the age of fifty. (Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who administered the medication to Jackson, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in November 2011. Jackson's family sued tour organizer AEG for negligence, but lost that case in 2013.) Jackson's memorial service that July 7 was broadcast live around the world; he is interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. Later that year, the first of many posthumous Jackson-related projects, ''This Is It'', compiled from rehearsal footage of the aborted London shows, was released.

Not for nothing... he's the [[Pantheon/{{Music}} King of Pop]]!

TropeNamer for MichaelJacksonsThrillerParody, TropeCodifier for MoonwalkDance.

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!!Studio Discography:

* 1972 - ''Got To Be There''
* 1972 - ''Ben''
* 1973 - ''Music And Me''
* 1975 - ''Forever, Michael''
* 1979 - ''Music/OffTheWall''
* 1982 - ''Music/{{Thriller}}''
* 1987 - ''Music/{{Bad}}''
* 1991 - ''Music/{{Dangerous}}''
* 1995 - ''[[Music/HistoryPastPresentAndFutureBookI [=HIStory=]: Past, Present And Future, Book I]]'' [[note]]The first half of the album is a compilation[[/note]]
* 2001 - ''Music/{{Invincible}}''

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!!Posthumous Discography:

* 2010 - ''Michael''
* 2014 - ''Xscape''

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!!Provides examples of:

* AlbumFiller: Or more specifically, a noted lack thereof early on. In later interviews towards the end of his life, he specifically noted this trope as the impetus to his work on his three biggest albums ''Off the Wall'', ''Thriller'', and ''Bad''. He stated he asked himself, "Why can't there be an album where '''every song''' could be released as a single?" He seems to have done well with his goal there: ''Music/OffTheWall'' was the first album ever with four Top Ten singles, Music/{{Thriller}} had '''seven''' Top Ten singles (of nine total songs on the album), and ''Bad'' was the first album to have five Number Ones in America. In fact, 10 out of the 11 songs on Bad were released as singles (''Speed Demon'' being promo only), which is still the record for the most singles from an album.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: How he looked as his vitiligo began to lighten his skin.
* AnimalMotifs: Tigers.
* AncientEgypt: The setting of the "Remember the Time" music video.
* AngryBlackMan: Rarely ever acted like this in real life, but he does in his videos for ''They Don't Care About Us'', ''Scream'' and ''Bad''.
* TheBabyTrap: "Billie Jean", Inspired by all the times he saw girls try this on his older brothers during the "Jackson 5" years.
* BadassBaritone: Particularly at James Brown's funeral, on the track ''Who Is It?'', and some close friends have implied this to be true in private. An unfortunate example is the tapes from his death trial involving Murray where he is obviously inebriated due to drug usage.
* BeingWatched: Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" as well as his own "Who Is It?" video has a face in the wall of the main character's apartment. The face seems to imply he knows what his lover has been doing to him. The lover in the short film is a high profile prostitute.
* BrokenAesop: The video for "The Way You Make Me Feel": keep following and harassing a girl, and she'll fall in love with you.
* BrotherSisterIncest: Latoya Jackson plays Michael’s love interest in the video for “Say Say Say.” [[DownplayedTrope In the video, however, they are not (apparently) related, and thankfully they only flirt]].
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Eccentric he may have been, but damn could the man sing and dance!
** Wesley Snipes [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPjkgTA2J8Q said]] that he once spent three hours speaking with Michael “about metaphysics, psychology, ‘how the black man is treated,’” saying, “people don’t know about Mike on the real, Mike had a consciousness that could blow your mind and he could recite things that could blow your mind as well.”
** Michael was talented in many facets -- he was also heralded as 'King of Style' by various fashion magazines and was a constant trendsetter, had an extensive art studio consisting of his own artwork and sculptures (which he planned to unveil right before the 1993 allegations), and was a very shrewd businessman who bought the entire Music/TheBeatles catalogue right under Paul [=McCartney's=] nose in 1985.
** His I.Q was stated to be 108 as a child, 119 as a teen, and 164 as an adult -- 4 points higher than AlbertEinstein and Bill Gates.
** He has a legitimate black belt in karate during his schooldays.
** When Michael was sued in 1993 for alleged plagiarism by a songwriter, he revealed that his [[http://www.starpulse.com/news/Brad_Washington/2012/11/03/michael_jacksons_1993_mexico_depositio songwriting and music I.Q were off the charts]] and that he was actually [[http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/the-incredible-way-michael-jackson-wrote-music quite the musical genius]].
*** The [[http://lacienegasmiled.tumblr.com/post/77598143356/demo-of-beat-it-composed-using-only-michael 'Beat It' demo]] is the best example showcasing his talent in songwriting. He was only 23 at the time he wrote it, too.
** After MJ's legendary moonwalk in Motown 25, Creator/FredAstaire said of him: ''"Oh, God! That boy moves in a very exceptional way. That’s the greatest dancer of the century”''. He also claimed that Michael was worthy of being his 'descendent'.
** Fact is, the entire Peter Pan image was initially fabricated by MJ's management and bolstered and twisted out of proportion by the media. Michael was not an eccentric ManChild, he was just putting on a facade.
* TheCameo: There is nothing to say here besides, well... ''VideoGame/SpaceChannel5''. Especially Part 2. Yes, that really is his voice.
** He also appeared as himself in ''[[Film/MenInBlack Men in Black 2]]'', and as a hidden boxer in ''VideoGame/Ready2RumbleBoxing: Round 2''.
** He also had a role in ''Miss Cast Away'', made in 2004. He was prominently featured on the cover as a selling point (but then, according to reviews, it had nothing else to offer).
* CelebrityStar: ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stark_Raving_Dad "Stark Raving Dad"]] has Homer meeting a man named "Leon Kompowsky" who thinks he's Michael Jackson. The voice actor credited with the role was "John Jay Smith," but aside (ironically) from his singing it is Jackson's actual voice -- he was a huge fan of the show who also co-wrote [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_the_Bartman "Do the Bartman"]] under a pseudonym.
** And even though he didn't sing it, the episode also gave us one of the show's Crowning Moments of Everything in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alTfC-L2W1c "Lisa, It's Your Birthday".]] He apparently didn't do the singing parts because Sony would not allow him to, though another story floating around is that Michael wanted to prank his family with the sound-alike singer (Kipp Lennon).
* {{Claymation}}: In the video for ''Speed Demon'', Michael encounters several claymation characters and ends up on the run from them. When he enters the wardrobe, he becomes one himself -- a motorcycle-riding rabbit named Spike.
* ClothesMakeTheLegend: White socks, short trousers, black trilby, and single sparkly white glove; also a red leather jacket, military jackets, etc. And let's not forget his "Smooth Criminal" attire.
** His vests and floppy hats during the Jackson 5 period, too.
* ConceptAlbum: ''Music/OffTheWall'' is about the ups and downs of partying while ''Blood on the Dance Floor'' as an EP (without the remixes) could very well be a concept album on inner demons such as lust, addiction, jealousy, and masochism.
* ConceptVideo: Most of his music videos, which he preferred to call "short films".
* CoolShades: Ray Bans aviators.
* CrucifiedHeroShot: Jackson often did this at the end of performances for his more inspirational, “world-saving” songs, such as “Man in the Mirror,” “Heal the World,” and “Earth Song.”
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJqIEU6RfUo This performance]] of “Earth Song” [[ExaggeratedTrope takes this trope]] UpToEleven, helping feed accusations of having a [[MessianicArchetype Messianic complex]].
* CultOfPersonality: After the huge success of ''Thriller'', much of Jackson's subsequent career was spent building up one (initially with help from the media), portraying himself as an eccentric yet pure-hearted humanitarian and the greatest entertainer in the world. The VocalMinority of his fans, along with his estate, family, and certain collaborators, continue to encourage and maintain it.
* CuteKitten: On the 25th anniversary edition of ''Thriller'''s cover, Jackson is holding a tiger cub.
* DadaAd: See OurFounder below.
* DanceBattler: In ''Film/{{Moonwalker}}''.
** Also in ''Beat It'', where he defuses gang fights by stepping in and starting to dance, and in ''Bad''.
** His appearances in ''SpaceChannel5'' and its sequel, which is a game of dance battles.
** ''CaptainEO''
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Bad'' was supposed to give him an "edgier" image, but it didn't take. Later albums did delve into this trope more effectively (i.e. "Who Is It" from ''Dangerous'').
* DeadArtistsAreBetter: Following his death, many people considered him to be a genius who was unfairly ridiculed and persecuted. Never mind that right up until his death was announced, they were likely happily mocking him along with everyone else. Many "new fans" only discovered his work after his death.
* TheDeadCanDance: His ''Music/{{Thriller}}'' video is the TropeCodifier, with many subsequent "zombie dances" [[MichaelJacksonsThrillerParody mimicking moves from the video]]. Done again in ''[[Film/MichaelJacksonsGhosts Ghosts]]''.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: The videos for "Scream", "Stranger In Moscow" and the TalkyBookends of "Bad".
* DistinctDoubleAlbum: ''[=HIStory=]'', one disc being old "greatest hits" material, the other being new music.
* DolledUpInstallment: The "This Is It" song that was released at the same time as the ''This Is It'' movie. It was originally recorded in 1983 under the title "I Never Heard" and it was chosen because it happened to have the phrase "This is it" opening each verse.
* TheEighties: Jackson was ''the'' '80s pop star. ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII'' goes so far as to imply that he and President Ronald Reagan ''were'' the '80s.
* EpicRocking: ''Dangerous'' has ten songs over five minutes long (though "Will You Be There" stole some Beethoven for its intro). Disc two of ''[=HIStory=]'' has three numbers over six minutes (including "Earth Song"), and ''Invincible'' opens with the 6:25 "Unbreakable".
** Would also draw out live performances, fake-ending them several times, similar to James Brown.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: Bubbles, his pet chimp.
* EverythingsBetterWithSparkles: He wore silver sequins on his glove and socks for this reason; with sparkly white socks, viewers could pay attention to his dance moves more easily.
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning: He employed this often in his music videos and dance routines.
* EverythingsDeaderWithZombies: ''Thriller'' features not only dancing zombies, but Jackson himself becoming a zombie.
* ElvisLives: ''Thriller'' could oddly enough be made into a conspiracy theory, making him still around as a zombie in some fan-fiction.
* TheFaceless: Having a self-image problem, he often hid his face behind a hygienic mask and large sunglasses when going out in public. Though some have said that he did this because his lighter skin made him more sensitive to sunlight.
** His children also apply, as he hid their faces with carnival masks when in public, and a blanket on his youngest son (who'd be nicknamed "Blanket").
* FacelessMooks: His background dancers in "They Don't Care About Us" from ''This Is It''.
* FaceRevealingTurn: The music video for "Thriller" has possibly the most famous (and often parodied) use of the trope of all time.
* FormerChildStar: It looked like he was on his way to avoiding this until the whole "Wacko Jacko" thing. He was also close friends with a number of ex-child stars such as [[Film/HomeAlone Macaulay Culkin]] and Creator/ElizabethTaylor.
* FunnyAfro: His and his brothers' hairstyle in the last years of the Music/TheJacksonFive. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nb1u7wMKywM See them in the "Blame it on the Boogie" video.]]
* FriendlyRivalry: With {{Music/Prince}}. It's debatable as to ''how'' friendly it was, but it's telling that the title track of ''Bad'' was originally conceived as a duet between the two; the video would have had them squaring off with each other as rival gang leaders.
* TheGeneralissimo: Jackson’s motif for the ''[=HIStory=]'' album, but even for years prior to this album, he was known to wear fancy military attire.
* GiantSpider: ''This Is It'' features a giant black widow spider in the ''Thriller'' segment. Not only is one on screen (this would have been in 3D, no less), but one scurries on stage that opens up to reveal Jackson.
* GrandFinale: ''This Is It'' ''was'' going to be a GrandFinale for his career; [[{{Retirony}} he died before it could start]].
* GreenAesop: "Earth Song" and Jackson's final message in the ''This Is It'' film.
* GuestFighter: In ''Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Part 2''. Let's be honest, [[MundaneMadeAwesome we all wanted to use him beat the crap out of scary Russian Boxers, Shaq and Bill Clinton.]]
* HydePlaysJekyll: In ''Music/{{Thriller}}''.
* IntercourseWithYou: A few songs seem romantic, but are clearly this trope. (''Invincible'''s "Break of Dawn" at least doesn't hide it, [[LyricalDissonance despite the sombre mood]])
** Subverted with "The Lady in my Life,". It was one of two tracks not released as a single from Thriller, and has uncharacteristically sexual lyrics.
* LicensedGame: ''VideoGame/MichaelJacksonsMoonwalker'', his appearance in ''VideoGame/SpaceChannel5'' and most recently [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jackson:_The_Experience a dancing/karaoke game]] developed by Creator/{{Ubisoft}} in light of the RhythmGame craze.
* ListSong: "Why You Wanna Trip On Me" is a list of things Michael thinks people should worry about more than his personal life. "Earth Song" has a similar list near the end of the song of things Michael thinks we should worry about involving the Earth's ecology.
* LoudOfWar: The video for "Black or White" opens with a father insisting his son turns his music off, only for the son to set up a ridiculously large guitar amp and crank it all the way to "[[UpToEleven Are You Nuts!?!]]", with rather destructive effects.
* LyricalDissonance: "The Girl Is Mine" is light light light '80s pop about two guys fighting over a girl who is probably playing them both for someone less obsessive than either of them. "Billie Jean" is an upbeat dance number about an obsessive fan.
* MassiveNumberedSiblings: Seventh of nine; Marlon had a twin who died at birth.
* MediumBlending: The claymation, blended with real backgrounds and people, in the video for "Speed Demon".
* MetalScream: "Dirty Diana" has some surprisingly epic ones toward the end.
* MichaelJacksonsThrillerParody: Trope Namer.
* {{Mondegreen}}: Michael's yell ''"shamone"!'' is actually the word ''come on!''.
* MoonwalkDance: Didn't invent it, [[TropeCodifier but popularized it]], performed it at every live concert, and it became one of his immortal trademarks.
* TheMovie: ''Film/{{Moonwalker}}'' and/or ''This Is It'' can apply.
* {{MTV}}: Contrary to popular belief, "[[http://www.mtvmusic.com/jackson_michael/videos/26708/billie_jean.jhtml Billie Jean]]" was ''not'' the first video by an African American artist shown on MTV, but its success helped bring down the channel's color barrier, and from there, Jackson became one of the biggest video stars in the early '80s. The "[[http://www.mtvmusic.com/jackson_michael/videos/26726/thriller_long_vers_.jhtml Thriller]]" clip, in particular, was the most elaborate music video made up to that point (1983) and was regarded as a genuine event.
* NeverSpeakIllOfTheDead: Michael spent the last two decades of his life being [[MemeticMolester the butt of molestation jokes]], among other things, with his musical career being largely ignored. Even though he was seen a bit more positively when the child molestation charges were dismissed in 2005, it wasn't until after he passed away that these negative comments about his personal life almost completely disappeared. If you don't believe us, count how many times it's mentioned on this very page.
* NewSoundAlbum: ''Off the Wall'', a pop-R&B album, was this to his previous solo work as a "bubblegum" child act. From that point on, his work followed the trends of pop music in general.
* NiceHat: His black Trilby. In several concerts, he threw it into the audience.
* NoAnimalsWereHarmed: A disclaimer at the end of the music video for "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7z_w83fSjM Earth Song]]" says that no animals were harmed during the making of the video, though an unnamed poacher had killed an elephant within a mile of the shot.
* ObsessionSong: "Baby Be Mine", "Billie Jean", "The Girl Is Mine", "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Dirty Diana", "Streetwalker", "Can't Let Her Get Away", "Remember the Time", "Who Is It", "Give In to Me", and "Dangerous".
* ObliviousToHisOwnDescription: Cartoon screenwriter Creator/MarkEvanier [[http://www.newsfromme.com/2009/06/25/michael-jackson-r-i-p/ recalls]] a time he was invited to Neverland Ranch to discuss a proposed {{Celebrity Toon|s}}. Michael Jackson mentioned that he was familiar with Evanier's work on a previous show, remarking, "I love ''ComicBook/RichieRich.''" Evanier, looking around the mansion, returned, "Michael... you ''are'' Richie Rich."
* OddFriendship: Cultivated quite a few over the years, including a close one with Marlon Brando.
* OneOfTheKids: He identified strongly with ''Literature/PeterPan'' and preferred being around children since, as he saw it, they liked having fun, didn't talk to him about adult things that made him feel uncomfortable, and were less likely to judge him for what the media said about him.
* OneManSong: ''Ben''.
* OneWomanSong: ''Billie Jean'', ''The Lady In My Life'', ''Liberian Girl'', ''Dirty Diana''.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: His youngest son, Prince Michael Jackson II, is known as "Blanket".
* OurFounder: The trailer for his ''[=HIStory=]'' album shows him heading an army and erecting a giant statue of himself. That statue trick (it served as the cover of the album, and actual replicas of it were circulated on his tour) was criticized even by his fans as being too SmallNameBigEgo.
* ParodyAssistance: He was a strong supporter of WeirdAlYankovic, letting him use the “Badder” set from ''{{Moonwalker}}'' to film the “Bad” parody, “Fat.”
* PassThePopcorn: Sorta does this in the "Thriller" video. An animated gif featuring this scene has become a ''massive'' meme.
* PepTalkSong: "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", "Keep the Faith", and "On the Line".
* PersonalArcade: Michael had a giant arcade in his home, with dozens of video games and pinball machines. It was recreated for an exhibit in Beverly Hills; you can take a virtual panoramic tour of it [[http://www.pinsane2.com/pinorama/events/MJ_09/kr/michael_jackson_arcade_entry.html here.]]
* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything: One reason his SmallNameBigEgo reputation worsened in his final decade (1999-2009) was that he didn't tour, performed live very rarely, and only produced one full album in 2001; all his other releases were compilations of older material with a few new songs thrown in (one on ''Number Ones'', more in the box set). This is another reason the term "self-proclaimed King of Pop" was thrown around a lot when he was mentioned in the media; he wasn't doing much to maintain his throne.
* PopStarComposer: In the mid 2000s, it was discovered that Jackson had a hand in composing some of the soundtrack of ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic the Hedgehog 3]]'', with most evidence pointing to the fact that most of the songs are either uptempo or {{Suspiciously Similar Song}}s of tracks from his ''Dangerous'' album. He is not credited in the game itself, with the official reasons being that he disliked the low-grade sound equipment used to make [[UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis Sega Mega Drive]] music, but given that he had [[MemeticMolester somewhat bigger things]] to worry about in early 1993, it's easier to see the true reasons behind his abandoning the project. He later lent his voice and likeness to another Creator/{{Sega}} project, ''Space Channel 5'', but it's not known if he provided any music.
** Despite evidence of his involvement, there has been no actual confirmation of what songs, if any, that he composed made it into the game. That said, technically it was his personal songwriter at the time, Brad Buxor who composed the songs during his involvement.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbVM-l2Oku4 Shortly after his death, it was revealed that he did work on ''Sonic 3''.]]
* PrecisionFStrike:
** During the 2nd chorus of "Scream":
-->"Stop pressuring me, stop pressuring me, stop ''fucking'' with me."
** The very last line of "Earth Song": “Do they give a ''damn''?!”
* ProperlyParanoid: Some of his most popular [[SignatureSong signature hit songs]] had this atmosphere.
* PunBasedTitle: ''[=HIStory=]'', which can be interpreted as "history" or "his story".
* {{Retirony}}: He died only 18 days before the first of the ''This is It'' series of concerts, which he had implied would be the last of his career.
* TheRival: The aforementioned Music/{{Prince}} was often presented as this in the press. Music/MCHammer thought himself this in the early and mid-'90s, and repeatedly tried to call Jackson out, though it seems to have mostly one-way. Jackson reportedly enjoyed the MJ call-out at the end of ''2 Legit to Quit'', in which a Jackson stand-in makes the titular hand gesture.
* TheRockStar: Even now he's still known worldwide.
* RummageSaleReject: Some of his costumes looked like this. And still managed to look cool.
** See the episode of ''Series/TheGoldenGirls''.
* SelfBackingVocalist: You can pick up his own distinctive voice in the backing vocals to a majority of his songs, starting as early as "Got to be There" and "Rockin Robin". He also commonly provided his own backing "vocal instrumentation" with beatboxing and the like (as in ''Tabloid Junkie'').
* ShoutOut: Jango from ''Manga/OnePiece'', a CaptainErsatz of Jackson. In the German dub he was even named ''Jacko''!
** And when he walks, it looks like he's moon-walking forwards.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonColosseum'' and ''[[VideoGame/PokemonXD Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness]]'' both feature Miror B., an antagonist who has excellent dancing skills, a glove on his left hand, and an afro in the shape of a Poké Ball (also the same colours as a standard Poké Ball - red and white), who loves using Ludicolo. Ludicolo ITSELF is a reference to Michael, but Miror B. takes this to [[UptoEleven 649]].
** Also, most of his music videos are shout outs. Music/{{Bad}} is a shout-out to Cool from ''Theatre/WestSideStory'', "Smooth Criminal" is a shout out to Fred Astaire.
*** Even "Beat It" is reminiscent of ''Theatre/WestSideStory'': What if Tony had stopped the fight?
** VideoGame/LaMulana: The "Dancer" you have to scan in the Temple of Moonlight uses one of Jackson's poses.
** [[BattleArenaToshinden Battle Arena Toshinden 3]]: Kayin Amoh and his foil Ten Count. One is a weathered young man whose life as a bounty hunter has given him nothing but grief and knowing the bitter and sick after-taste of violence, while the other is a fairly insane sharp dressed hitman who delights in his career like a superstar and uses an undercover name based off of one of his methods to delightfully kill people. Both of them are respectively based off of ''Beat It'' and ''Smooth Criminal'', even right down to the wardrobe and their clashing character themes.
** Chris Tucker does an impersonation of Michael Jackson in ''RushHour''. The two later became friends, and Tucker [[PromotedFanboy appeared in his “You Rock My World” video]].
* SignatureMove: The moonwalk.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Once critics started to praise him post-''Thriller'', Michael got really full of himself. He took the King of Pop nickname so seriously that at times required the press to use the term and during ''HIStory'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3lleSxszPE was promoted]] as some sort of MessianicArchetype, complete with unveiling [[http://www.pophistorydig.com/topics/%E2%80%9Cthe-jackson-statues%E2%80%9D1995/ huge statues of himself.]]
* SnakeOilSalesman: He plays the accomplice of one of these (played by Music/PaulMcCartney) in the "Say Say Say" music video.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: In his last years, he was experimenting with very different styles of music and art. He considered film acting and directing but he was too much in debt to open a film company.
* StalkingIsLove: The music video for "The Way You Make Me Feel" gives off this vibe.
* TheSomethingSong: "Earth Song".
** [[InvertedTrope Inversion]]: “Wanna Be Startin’ Something”
* SpecialGuest: Many of his music videos have celebrity cameos.
* StalkerWithACrush: "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Billie Jean", "Dirty Diana".
* TakeThat: The song "D.S.", from the ''[=HIStory=]'' album. The lyrics say that someone named "Dom Sheldon" is a cold man, but if you listen to the song, he's clearly saying "Tom Sneddon", the Santa Barbara DA who went after him for child molestation back in the '90s and again in 2005 -- in fact, some people believed that Sneddon had a vendetta against Jackson because of this song, and it was at least part of the reason he took him to trial.
* TalkyBookends: Popularized this trope with the "Thriller" clip.
* ThemeNaming: Jackson's children are named Prince Michael Joseph Jackson, Paris-Michael Katherine (after his [[MommasBoy beloved mother]]) Jackson, and Prince Michael Jackson II (a.k.a. Blanket). Paris might have been named "Princess" had Debbie Rowe not objected to it.
* TitleTheAdaptation: ''Michael Jackson: The Experience'' (a video game).
* TropeCodifier: For the modern, plot-driven type of music video (ones previous to him were mostly just shots of the band playing), for the modern style of pop performances (one of the first to have synchronized choreographed dance while singing), and for the modern pop artist image and persona.
* TheTysonZone: A shining example, where basically everything about his life, no matter how weird, was easily believed. To the point [[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity Jackson himself fabricated some rumours the tabloids disseminated in the 80s]].
* UncannyFamilyResemblance: Many of the Jackson brothers looked strikingly alike when they were children. Also, back in the '90s, the RunningGag was that Michael's public appearances were actually his sister [=LaToya=].
** Blanket is basically a light-skinned version of Michael as a child.
* VerbalTic: "HEE HEE!"
** "I don't know!", "CHAMONE!", "WOOH!" and his fairly unique vocal "hiccup" style also qualify.
* WhatMeasureIsANonCute: Subverted with his song "Ben", which, despite being about a rat from a horror movie of the same name, is quite heartwarming.
* WhiteGloves: Wearing a single white glittering glove was a trademark of his, earning him another nickname: "The Gloved One".
* WorstNewsJudgmentEver: An extreme RealLife example, in that his death overshadowed everything from voter protests in Iran to the beginning of U.S. troop withdrawals in Iraq, as well as many other celebrity deaths (with the exception of Billy Mays, whose death caused a ''second'' crash of several news sites within a week).
* YouAreNotAlone: That's one of his songs.
* {{Zipperiffic}}: The red jacket he wore in the "Beat It" video.
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