[[caption-width-right:300:Best-selling album in the world. There's probably a copy of it nearby your house!]]

->''"No mere mortal can resist... the e-vil of the Thrillerrrr!"''
-->-- '''Creator/VincentPrice'''

'''''Thriller''''' is the sixth studio album by Music/MichaelJackson, released in 1982. It went on to become the best-selling music album in history, selling over 65 domestically and 110 million copies world wide. Seven of the nine tracks on the album were released as singles, with each one reaching the Top 10 on the ''Billboard'' Hot 100. Three of the singles, "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" were accompanied by music videos that elevated the record to its iconic status. Although Jackson was already world famous since the 1970's and music videos already existed as a promotional tool both he and the medium became a dominating force in the music industry. "The King Of Pop" broke down racial barriers via his MTV appearances, won eight [[UsefulNotes/GrammyAward Grammys]] including the 1984 ''Album of the Year'' and even met US President UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan at the White House.

Magazine/TimeMagazine included the album in their [[TimeAllTime100Albums 2006 list of 100 timeless and essential albums.]] and Magazine/RollingStone placed it at #20 in their [[Music/RollingStone500GreatestAlbumsOfAllTime 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time]] list. Since 2007 "Thriller" has been included in the Library of Congress' UsefulNotes/NationalRecordingRegistry of "historically, culturally and aesthetically significant recordings". In 2009, the iconic music video in which Jackson dances with zombies was included in the National Film Preservation Board's UsefulNotes/NationalFilmRegistry for the same reasons.

Also for a nice bit of [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Heartwarming]], not long after Jackson's death was announced in that same year, many fans around the world honoured him by performing the dance number.

TropeNamer for MichaelJacksonsThrillerParody.

!! Tracklist:


[[folder: Side One ]]

# "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" (6:02)
# "Baby Be Mine" (4:20)
# "The Girl Is Mine" (3:42)
# "Thriller" (5:57)


[[folder: Side Two ]]

# "Beat It" (4:17)
# "Billie Jean" (4:57)
# "Human Nature" (4:05)
# "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" (3:58)
# "The Lady In My Life" (4:57)

!! ''Wanna Be Tropin' Something''

* AlbumFiller: Michael set out to avoid this, wanting to make an album where ''every'' song could potentially be a single. It paid off.
* AllJustADream: The music video of "Thriller", where Michael's girlfriend imagines being chased by zombies. Then it turns out it was just a nightmare. [[OrWasItADream or was it?]]
* AndStarring: Horror movie icon Creator/VincentPrice during "Thriller" and Music/PaulMcCartney duets with Michael in "The Girl Is Mine".
* ArtisticLicenseHistory[=/=]WritersCannotDoMath: "''The funk of forty-thousand years''" is a wonderful lyric, but has a lot of fridge logic in that it pretty much exceeds human civilization - longer than any surviving tomb could stand.
* BadassPacifist: Michael in "Beat It" who breaks up two fighting rival gangs and has them all join together in a dance.
* ChangedForTheVideo: The music video of "Thriller" has all the choruses moved to the end of the song instead of between verses, with Creator/VincentPrice's [[AWildRapperAppears rap]] coming before the choruses. The bridge is also omitted.
* ContinuityNod:
** The line "Billie Jean is always talking" in "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'".
** Jackson and Music/PaulMcCartney share a duet during "The Girl Is Mine". Both singers sang earlier together on the single "Say Say Say" on Macca's album ''Tug Of War'' (1982).
* CreepyCemetery: In the music video of "Thriller" zombies apparently dig themselves up from their graves for no reason at all.
* CrossOver: Music/PaulMcCartney duets with Michael during "The Girl Is Mine".
* DarkerAndEdgier: Compared to Jackson's previous joyful dance output the three Top 10 hit singles of the album were all paranoid songs about escaping from stuff in the dark ("Thriller"), street gangs ("Beat It!") and a woman claiming that he fathered her child ("Billie Jean").
* TheDeadCanDance: There are slow zombies, fast zombies, and then there are ''[[OurZombiesAreDifferent funk zombies]]''.
* DuelsDecideEverything and EducationalSong: "Beat It!" informs street gangs that fighting is not the answer.
--> ''You wanna stay alive, better do what you can''
--> ''So beat it, just beat it''
--> ''You have to show them that you're really not scared''
--> ''You're playin' with your life, this ain't no truth or dare''
--> ''They'll kick you, then they beat you''
--> ''Then they'll tell you it's fair''
--> ''So beat it, but you wanna be bad''
--> ''Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it''
--> ''No one wants to be defeated''
--> ''Showin' how funky strong is your fight''
--> ''It doesn't matter who's wrong or right''
* ElectronicSpeechImpediment: Squeaky voices near the end of "P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing)".
* EpicRocking: The 6:02 "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
* EverythingsDeaderWithZombies: The music video of "Thriller" starts off with a werewolf, but in the middle zombies turn up.
* EvilLaugh: Vincent Price does a great one at the end.
* FaceOnTheCover: Michael, in close-up, sitting up on the floor.
* FaceRevealingTurn: One of the most famous instances of this trope.
* FakingEngineTrouble: PlayedWith in the ShowWithinAShow. Michael's character says he's out of gas, while in the woods with his girlfriend.
--> '''Michael''': Honestly, we're out of gas.\\
'''Girl''': So what are we gonna do now?\\
''cut to the two of them walking down the road''\\
'''Girl''': I'm sorry I didn't believe you.
* FollowTheLeader: "Thriller" changed the music industry in many ways. By becoming the best-selling record of all time all pop musicians, including Michael himself, tried in vain to surpass it. The use of innovative and amazing music videos to promote the singles also set a trend that is still felt in pop music today. If an artist wants his hit single to be commercially succesful he is forced to make a music video for it. Of course, this has lead many people to be far more interested in the visuals than the actual music, an evolution many musicians and music fans regret.
* GenreRoulette: Pop, soul and R&B. "Beat It!" has an electric guitar solo by [[Music/VanHalen Eddie Van Halen]], which brought in countless rock fans.
* GirlsAreReallyScaredOfHorrorMovies: In the music video of "Thriller" Michael's girlfriend is so frightened that she leaves the movie theatre.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Near the end of the music video of "Thriller", when Michael's girlfriend thinks she's safe again Michael turns to the camera with glowing eyes and an evil stare.
* GrowOldWithMe: "The Lady In My Life".
--> ''And even when we're old and grey''
--> ''You'll always be the lady in my life''
* HairTriggerTemper: "Beat It".
--> ''The fire's in their eyes and their words are really clear''
* InJoke: When Michael leaves the film theater in the music video of "Thriller" someone on screen says: "See you next Wednesday." That's the title of a fictional film that crops up in several movies by the video's director, Creator/JohnLandis.
* LetsDuet: "The Girl Is Mine", between Michael and Music/PaulMcCartney
* LyricalDissonance: "Billie Jean", a super catchy dance number about a girl claiming that Jackson is the father of her child.
* LyricalTic:
--> ''A-hi-hi-hiiii''
* MichaelJacksonsThrillerParody: Trope Namer.
* MST3KMantra: Invoked when Michael and the girl walk out of the movie theatre:
-->'''MICHAEL''': "It's only a movie!"
* MommasBoy: "Billie Jean":
--> ''And mother always told me\\
be careful who you love\\
and be careful what you do\\
'cause the lie becomes the truth.''
* NestedStoryReveal: The music video of "Thriller" is comprised of several stories within a story [[spoiler: [[TheEndOrIsIt Or is it?]]]]
* NoNameGiven: Ola Ray's character in the music video of "Thriller" is credited only as "Michael's girl."
* ObsessionSong: "Billie Jean", where Jackson freaks out about a girl claiming to have been knocked up by him.
* OneWordTitle: "Thriller".
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: In the music video of "Thriller" Michael looks more like a werecat than a werewolf.
* PepTalkSong: "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'":
--> ''So keep your head up high and scream out to the world\\
I know I am someone\\
And let the truth unfurl\\
No-one can hurt me now\\
Because you know what's true\\
Yes, I believe in me\\
So you believe in you''
* PopCulturalOsmosis: The music video of "Thriller" is so iconic that probably more people across the world are familiar with that than the rest of the album, despite it being the best-selling record of all time.
* ThePowerOfLove: "Baby Me Mine", "The Girl Is Mine", "Human Nature", "P.Y.T.", "The Lady In My Life" are all love songs.
* ProperlyParanoid: "Thriller", "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" marked a change in Jackson's lyrics. While his earlier albums where all cheery dance songs or sad break-up songs he started to move into more paranoid songs.
* ProsceniumReveal: Turns out the opening sequence of "Thriller" is a movie, and Michael Jackson is enjoying some while watching.
* QuarrelingSong: "The Girl Is Mine", where Michael and Paul quarrel over the same girl.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Jackson was indeed stalked by a woman claiming that Jackson was [[ArtisticLicenseBiology the father of one of her twins]]. This was the inspiration for "Billie Jean".
* SanitySlippageSong: "Billie Jean", where the protagonist goes insane over the fact that a stalker follows him.
* SelfBackingVocalist: On most of the songs Michael is backed by his own vocals.
* ShapeshiftingLover: Michael turns out to be a werecat in the prologue of the music video of "Thriller". You'd think a guy suffering from chronic lycanthropy would cancel any dates that coincide with a full moon...
* ShoutOut:
** Music/WeirdAlYankovic spoofed "Beat It" and his music video as "Eat It".
** Music/RunDMC: Their song "King Of Rock" from their album ''Music/KingOfRock'' has the line: "It's not Music/MichaelJackson and this is not 'Music/{{Thriller}}'. Funny enough, Jackson himself would sample from this Run-DMC song on his own single "2Bad" from ''Music/HistoryPastPresentAndFutureBookI'' (1995).
** Music/{{Eminem}} referenced the music video for "Billie Jean" by imitating Jackson dancing on the light reflecting steps in his music video for "Just Lose It".
* ShowWithinAShow: In the music video of "Thriller" Michael and his girl watch a horror movie.
* SingerNameDrop: "The Girl is Mine".
--> '''Paul''': "Michael, we're not going to fight about this" \\
'''Michael''': "Paul, I think I told you. I'm a lover not a fighter."
* SpecialGuest: Music/PaulMcCartney in "The Girl Is Mine" and [[Music/VanHalen Eddie Van Halen]] during "Beat It".
* SpiritualSuccessor: "Thriller" would receive one in "Threatened" from ''Music/{{Invincible}}'', also featuring Vincent Price.
** ''Music/{{Bad}}'' seems to be almost the opposite message of "Beat It".
** ''Music/MichaelJacksonsGhosts'' feels like an effort to surpass "Thriller".
* SpokenWordInMusic: Vincent Price's lines in "Thriller" are spoken.
* TalkyBookends: "Thriller" popularized the concept in music videos.
* TheresNoBInMovie: The film that Michael and the girl are watching in the music video of "Thriller", and the lyrics mention "the thing with 40 eyes."
* TwistEnding: The music video of "Thriller" has three of them. [[spoiler: The werewolf transformation in the beginning is actually a movie, Ola Ray being attacked by zombies was AllADream, but in the end Michael is still revealed to have demonic eyes.]]
* ZombieApocalypse: In the music video of "Thriller" zombies rise and leave their graves.
* ZombiePukeAttack: One of the zombies in the music video of "Thriller" has gross stuff coming out of his mouth.