Character Signature Song

A subtrope of Signature Song. While the article Signature Song is devoted to the most famous and recognizable songs by real life musicians this article is devoted to the signature songs of specific individuals and fictional characters.

As a Running Gag some characters tend to be singing or humming the same kind of song whenever they appear in view, on screen or within earshot. The song might not have been written by them personally, but they like singing it anyway. In this sense it becomes one of their characteristic trademarks. Sometimes other characters might get annoyed.

Not to be confused with an actual Signature Song (the most well known song by a musician) or a Leitmotif (an introductory melody heard whenever a specific character appears).


Examples of this trope can be found in:

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    Comics 
  • Suske en Wiske: Tante Sidonia often sings or hums the song "Ons Hutje Bij De Zee" (The Dutch translation of the song "Our Cottage By The Sea")
  • Tintin: Bianca Castafiore is usually seen and heard performing the Jewel aria from Charles Gounod's opera "Faust".
  • Peanuts: Schröder has no specific signature song, but he is always playing some piece by Ludwig van Beethoven on his piano whenever he is in frame.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • M: in Fritz Lang's "M" (1931) Hans Beckert always eerily whistles Edvard Grieg's "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" when he goes somewhere.
  • Turkish Delight (Turks Fruit): Olga's father enjoys singing along with Johann Strauss' "Radetsky March", only adding the words "Tits & Ass" to the refrain.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey: Hal 9000 will forever remain associated with the song "Daisy Bell".
  • Casablanca: "As Time Goes By"
  • A Clockwork Orange: Despite being a Beethoven fan Alex is seen singing "Singin' In The Rain" twice. It's this that causes him to be recognized by one of his former victims.
  • Kick-Ass: Hit-Girl is associated with the songs "Banana Splits" and "Bad Reputation" mainly because they were played in two of her Signature Scenes.

    Live Action Television 
  • Sesame Street:
    • "C Is For Cookie" by Cookie Monster.
    • "I Love Trash" by Oscar the Grouch
    • "Rubber Duckie" by Ernie
  • The Muppets: Kermit's "It's Not Easy Being Green".
    • The Swedish Chef is also seen and heard humming the same melody whenever he is cooking.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Carlton adores dancing to Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual".
  • Happy Days: Richie Cunningham likes to prepare for dates by singing Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill".
  • How I Met Your Mother: Robin Scherbatsky's own song "Let's Go To The Mall" which she sang when she was still an Idol Singer.
  • A minor example, that only shows up in one episode, in Selfie, CEO Sam Saperstein has a karoake party every year, participation is mandatory, and he always sings "Wishing Well", complete with a wig and backup dancers.
  • Barney & Friends: Barney's "I Love You," which doubles as the show's ending song.

    Western Animation 
  • Goofy usually hums "The World Owes Me a Living".
  • The Three Little Pigs in the Disney short cartoon sing "Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?" throughout the entire cartoon.
  • Looney Tunes: Michigan J. Frog's "Hello My Baby" from the short One Froggy Evening''.
  • The Huckleberry Hound Show: Huckleberry Hound enjoys singing "Oh My Darling Clementine".
  • South Park: Cartman was zapped in the debut episode to sing "I Love to Singa", much to his own annoyance.
  • Family Guy: Peter Griffin is obsessed by "Surfin' Bird" by the Trashmen.
  • Futurama: Fry is sometimes heard singing "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina & The Waves.
  • The Smurfs: In the 1980s TV cartoon series the Smurfs are often singing the "La La La La La" song.
  • Several '50s Tex Avery shorts featured a Southern Wolf character (voiced by Daws Butler using a similar voice he would later use for Huckleberry Hound) who always whistled the Civil War-era folk hymn "Kingdom Coming (Year of Jubilo)".
    • Because of this, fans have nicknamed him Jubilo Wolf.
  • In Total Drama All-Stars the Big Bad Mal loves to whistle "In the Hall of the Mountain King".