->''The warden said, "Hey, buddy, don't you be no square\\
If you can't find a partner use a wooden chair"''
-->--Music/ElvisPresley, "Jailhouse Rock"

Just because something is nonliving doesn't mean it can't be part of a song. This trope happens mostly in musicals and operas, when a character interacts with an inanimate object during a musical number. It exists partially to make a scene look more realistic. For instance, which would be more effective: a character who is carrying a broom and instantly stops using it just to sing a song, or a character who is carrying a broom, starts singing and incorporates the broom into the song? Most musicals would choose the latter.

This trope exists in two forms:
* The character uses, say, a broom for its intended purpose, but doing it to the beat or rhythm of the music.
* The character dances with or plays with the broom during the song.

Note: This trope incorporates inanimate objects as part of the choreography of a musical number. If a number uses such objects as musical instruments or use them for percussive reasons, it is not this trope, it is an example of EverythingIsAnInstrument.



* This trope is basically the premise of "Happy Working Song" from ''{{Enchanted}}''. Think about it.
* The Hollywood interpretation of "The Telephone Hour" in ''Theatre/ByeByeBirdie'' is particularly fond of having the teenagers dance with their telephones. ItMakesSenseInContext.
* Doesn't Creator/AngelaLansbury do something like this with dresses in ''BedknobsAndBroomsticks''?
* Played with in ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast''. Of ''course'' the household objects all have rhythm. They're all *alive*.
* Creator/FredAstaire and Creator/GeneKelly also like to play with this. You name it, one of them has done a full dance number with it.
** Creator/GeneKelly's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlkrN4DXvO0 dance with a mop and a broom]] in ''Thousands Cheer''.
** Gene Kelly dancing with a newspaper in ''Summer Stock''.
** Creator/FredAstaire [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pjlrrMvdtw dancing with a hatrack]] in ''RoyalWedding'', and with a Dirt Devil [[TheDeadRiseToAdvertise after he died]].
** Donald O'Connor also has done this. He can dance with anything. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW02c5UNGl0 Even a wall.]]
* [[{{Hairspray}} Yay! Teenage council members spraying showers of hairspray!]]
-->'''Amber:''' You sprayed my eye! I told you not to do that!
-->'''Link:''' *sprays in her face*
** And don't forget the first part of "Good Morning Baltimore", when Tracy gets ready for school to a drum rhythm that she's apparently hearing in her head.
** Let's face it, ''Hairspray'' does this a *lot*.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOtMizMQ6oM The dentist song]] from ''Film/LittleShopOfHorrors''. You figure it out.
* At least in the movie, ''TheMusicMan'' has "Marian the Librarian", which features people reading books and dancing at the same time.
* In TheMovie of ''Theatre/OnTheTown'', when Gabey (Creator/GeneKelly) loses Ivy in the DreamBallet, he uses her "Miss Turnstiles" poster as a substitute dance partner.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Series/{{Scrubs}} pulled this in the intro to the second episode - as JD finds his feet, everything "clicks" in time with his music. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arPNf6aXAYI And yes, there is a broom]].
** A later episode had JD being put on the spot to do something "special" for Dr Cox, who is so sure he had something planned he refuses to leave until JD reveals it. As JD taps his pen on the counter trying to think of something, the sounds of activity around happen to sync up perfectly into a little tune, which Dr Cox takes as JD's doing and leaves, satisfied. JD [[LampshadeHanging notes the implausibility]] of what just happened.

* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVsLMxam21I This video]] of KristinChenoweth's "Glitter and Be Gay" in ''{{Candide}}'' shows you that you can never do too much with your jewelry.
** There's also a number where [=Patti LuPone=] and three men toss a money bag to each other to the rhythm of the song.
* During the "Consider Yourself" number in ''Theatre/{{Oliver}}'', most prominently in the film, everyone does this with whatever it is they happen to be doing. Except maybe Dodger and Oliver.
* In the musical ''Chicago'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD2BIxAv4U0 Velma Kelly apparently loves to dance with chairs.]]
* Creator/StephenSondheim loves this trope. He uses it in most of his shows, you just have to look for it.
** In ''Theatre/SundayInTheParkWithGeorge'', George paints to the rhythm of "Color and Light". Dot puts on makeup to the rhythm of same.
** In some productions of ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'', the final note of the show is punctuated by the slamming of a door. Probably one of the most epic moments in the whole play.
*** Mrs. Lovett also kneads dough to the rhythm of "The Worst Pies in London".
** Subverted in the revival of ''{{Company}}''. When the actors aren't engaging in musical number, they make other uses of the orchestral instruments they carry around. Including the piano. ''Especially'' the piano.
*** Well, any Encores production of a show will do something similar, given that they have to carry those black binders around everywhere.
** ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods'' does this twice in the prologue. Once when some cookies get passed from Red Riding Hood to the Baker to his wife to the basket and back to Red, or something along those lines, all to the tempo of the music (and then Red makes real use of the cookies in the middle of a line). The second time happens when Cinderella is twisting her stepsister's hair to the beat. She keeps following the beat, thus making the hair too tight. Her stepsister, needless to say, is less than pleased.
* ''Theatre/KissMeKate'''s "I Hate Men" involves Kate smashing something at the end of almost every line. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmekN39mnFY Observe.]]
* The Crapshooters' Dance from ''Theatre/GuysAndDolls'' is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: a bunch of gamblers shooting dice, set to music.
* In ''SouthPacific'', Nellie Forbush dances with a hat at one point.
* Linus and his blanket from TheMusical version of ''[[{{Peanuts}} You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown]]''.
* "One Boy" in ''Theatre/ByeByeBirdie'' has Rosie dancing with Albert's baggage.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Many of the minigames in ''VideoGame/RhythmHeaven''.
* In ''VideoGame/MOTHER3'', you can tap buttons on the controller in time with the music to score combos just after your attack. This grows more difficult, however, as [[UncommonTime odd time signatures]] are introduced.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DhKV5HzqKa68 This video]] has a man dancing with a metal hoop. It somehow manages to be one of the most [[CargoShip bizarrely romantic]] modern dances in the history of modern dance.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* TheSimpsons: In the episode 'Bart After Dark', the musical number 'We Keep The Spring in Springfield' includes such effects as Moe banging bin lids together, someone 'boing'ing Bumblebee Man's antenna and Lenny smacking someone in the head (accidentally) with a sledgehammer.
* On the ClassicDisneyShort "How To Dance", Goofy uses a dresser's mannequin to practice dancing. Being Goofy, the mannequin proves less than cooperative.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' short "Mouse in Manhatten", Jerry dances with a placecard holder shaped like a doll. When their dancing carries them to another one, he tosses the first one aside and starts dancing with the next, then does the exact same thing again upon [[RuleOfThree encountering a third]].
* WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb try this while cleaning the bathroom with their toothbrushes after getting sent to reform school in "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted". They're interrupted mid-jam by the drill-sergeant, who bellows "NO FUNKY RHYTHMS!" An even bigger example would be in "Dude, We're Getting the Band Back Together", while they were recruiting the drummer of their parent's favorite band. He insisted he'd lost his sense of rhythm after falling asleep in a metronome factory, but Phineas and Ferb broke out into song to show him he still had it.