"I told him that I was talking to a boy from school. I thought this would be the end of it, but I'd forgotten Tiffin is eight. "Maya's got a boyfriend, a boyfriend, a boyfriend!" he sang all the way home."When one character is trying to think of a Freudian Excuse or has experienced a humiliating incident, or is just minding his own business, another character will immediately mock him to the tune of "Ring Around The Rosie". There also seems to be a recurring taunt in fiction, where a character puts both hands to the side of their face, with their thumbs at their cheeks, then wiggle their fingers and go "Nana Na Nana Na" to the same tune. Sometimes another tune will used instead, but the tone will still be one of mocking another. It seems this trope is done mostly by immature characters. Also a rather common playground thing in Real Life in some places as well. Will occasionally overlap with: Blowing a Raspberry. For musically mocking a character about a relationship or crush, see Kissing In A Tree.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Digimon Adventure:
Biyomon: Go-ma-mon's em-bar-rassed!
- Digimon Adventure 02: A Mexican girl does it, and Yolei lets out a "nyah nyah" after she and teammates destroy a bunch of control spires.
- Digimon Tamers: Takato has a dream about a battle in the rain and tries to tell his friends the next day. They don't believe him.
Kazu: Maybe you made your own cold puddle! Poor little sleepyhead / made his own waterbed! *runs off laughing*
- Digimon Adventure:
- Pokémon: Team Rocket teases Pikachu by opening and closing a door on their shockproof machine, punctuating this with the classic "nyah nyah na nyah nyah!"
- In The Smurfs comic book story "Smurf Soup", Gargamel sees that Bigmouth the ogre has turned ugly because he ate the Smurf soup. The Smurfs get a little sing-songy just to taunt Gargamel into having Bigmouth physically abuse him.
Bigmouth: You're the one who told me to eat Smurf soup!
Gargamel: But I didn't know it would have that effect!
Smurfs: ♪♫ Yes, he did know! Yes, he did know! ♪♫
Bigmouth: Ha ha! I've got you! And now you're going to do that thing... that trick, like Papa Smurf says, that afterwards makes you like before!
Gargamel: The antidote? But I don't know it!
Smurfs: ♪♫ Yes, he does know! Yes, he does know! ♪♫
Films — Animation
- Thumper does this to Bambi to encourage him to make a jump during Bambi II.
Thumper: You're too afraaaiiid, you cannot juuummp, na na na na na, na na na na na..."
- The Land Before Time V: Ducky teases a Sharptooth (read: Giganotosaurus) this way (before that, Cera shook her tail at it):
Ducky: The log is gooooone! / You cannot get acroooooss!
- Followed by Petrie adding "Me think you a stinker!" And then it somehow jumps all the way across the chasm. And they have to start running again.
- The "Hook is a codfish" scene from Disney's Peter Pan.
- From Hercules:
Pain and Panic: Our hero's a zero! Our hero's a zero!
- The Lion King:
- The Hyenas: "No king, no king, la la-la la-la la!"
- At the start of the stand off between Simba's pride and Scar's old pride in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Timon and Pumba shake their fannies at the enemy lions and say "Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!"
Films — Live-Action
- From Rookie of the Year:
Henry Rowengartner: Pitcher's got a big butt! Pitcher's got a big butt!
- In A League of Their Own, Evelyn's bratty son Stilwell likes to taunt the Peaches with finger-waggling and a chant of "You're gonna lo-ose."
- Miss Congeniality: After She Cleans Up Nicely:
You think I'm gor-geous. You wanna kiss me. You want to hug me.
- It gets a Meaningful Echo at the end of the film.
- In Animal Crackers, Ravelli threatens to reveal Chandler's past identity, taunting him: "Abie the fish man! Abie the fish man!" (In the script of the original play, the taunt was "He's Ivan the Fish-Peddler.")
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: Captain Jack Sparrow tries to exploit Davy Jones's prohibition from setting foot on land.
Jack: I got a jar of dirt! I got a jar of dirt!
- In Stuart Little, Stuart shouts, "Hey, Smokey!" in a sing-song voice before he can kill Snowbell and before he whacks Smokey off with a branch.
- In The Smurfs 2, the Smurfs theme song is used by Smurfette and Vexy in this fashion when they mock Azrael's failure to catch them.
- In the Audience Participation album for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a member of the audience goes "nya nya nya nya nya" after Frank N. Furter uses the "sonic transducer" to freeze Brad, Janet, and Dr. Scott so that they couldn't move their feet (or wheels) in the laboratory.
- A slight variation in Miracle on 34th Street; when the district attorney calls "Objection" at one point during the hearing, the judge sing-songs, "O-Ver-ruled."
- The Warriors: "Warriors, come out and play."
- Face/Off: "THE NEXT HUNDRED YEARS!"
- Look Who's Talking Too has the egg cell going "neener neener neener" to the swarm of sperm cells when they find themselves blocked off from access to her by a diaphragm.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: Vice Principal Nero constantly does this to put down his students, another sign of his Manchild behavior.
- Sheila Tubman in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume taunts Peter Hatcher and his friend Jimmy Fargo by singing they've got the cooties, until they both turn the tables and sing "Sheila's got the cooties!"
- In Forbidden, when Maya tells her little brother that she was late to pick him up because she was talking to a boy from school:
I told him that I was talking to a boy from school. I thought this would be the end of it, but I'd forgotten Tiffin is eight. "Maya's got a boyfriend, a boyfriend, a boyfriend!" he sang all the way home.
- Shirley Jackson called this the "da-da, da-da-da" or "I've got a secret" melody and wrote about the first time she heard one of her daughters sing it along with other typical childhood stuff turning up ("o-u-t spells out", skipping, candy cigarettes, chocolate apples, baseball cards, etc).
- In Happy Endings, Max makes fun of Brad for having a work wife by chant/singing 'Brad's got a work wife', Dave goes off-book by singing it like he's in a hair band, which Max eventually admits is better.
- Rachel on Friends, "The One With All the Poker".
I have got your mon-ey / And you'll never see it / And your fly's still o-pen / Ha! I made you loo-ook!
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Spike in "Becoming, part 2":
Some-one was-n't wor-thy!
- Xander to Buffy in "Ted":
You've got pa-ren-tal issues! You've got pa-ren-tal issues! [when Willow stops him] Hey, Freud would've said the same thing! Only he might not have done that little dance.
- Joyce in "Faith, Hope and Trick" after silencing Buffy's mocking comments toward Mr. Snyder:
I think what my daughter is trying to say is… nyah nyah, nah-nyah nyah!
- Spike in "Becoming, part 2":
- Possessed Sam taunting Jo in the Supernatural episode "Born Under A Bad Sign":
My daddy shot your daddy in the he-ad.
- Used occasionally as Losing Horns on some Game Shows (Cram, Just Men!, and the Davidson run of The Hollywood Squares).
- In one episode of The Golden Girls, Dorothy returns home from a date angry at Sophia, and asks Rose to give them some privacy so they can talk alone. Rose heads down the hall singing "Somebody's gon-na geeeet it".
- The Big Bang Theory has Sheldon doing this to Leonard in one episode.
Amy: Two dates to a wedding? How times change!
Sheldon: Ha ha! You have to go to a wedding!
- The backing vocals of Emilie Autumn's "I Know Where You Sleep" evoke this. In the context set up by previous songs on the album, it conjures up a chorus of dead little girls taunting the man who killed them.
- The lead singer of The Waitresses' "I Know What Boys Like" does "nya nya nya nya nya" during the bridge and at the end of the song while mocking the boys that she teases with her charms throughout the rest.
- The female backup singer of the Thompson Twins' "Sugar Daddy" does "nya nya nya nya nya nya nya" at the end of the chorus.
- In an interview with KISS, after the interviewer asks Gene Simmons if he would have any kids, Paul Stanley lets out a "Do do do do do" to the tune of Ring around the Rosie, and everyone (including Gene) starts laughing.
- The Hammond organ plays this several times at the end of Toby Keith's "How Do You Like Me Now?!"
- The line "Sister's got a boyfriend" in "American Kids" by Kenny Chesney is done this way.
- "Don't Rush" by Kelly Clarkson and Vince Gill uses the progression unintentionally on the line "Stopping every minute just because we're in it."
- "William's Doll", a song based on the children's book of the same name from the album Free To Be...You And Me, has "A doll, a doll, William wants a doll" sung in a sing-songy manner to mock the title character for even wanting a doll.
- Journey's scatting at the end of "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" does sound sing-songy, given that it happens at the end of the sung lyric, "Now it's your turn, girl, to cry."
- P.D.Q. Bach's "Echo Sonata for Two Unfriendly Groups of Instruments": The second entrance of the brass consists of "Nanny-Nanny Boo Boo". (Their first entrance consists of a sequence of outright sour notes.)
- In "Nuttin' for Christmas", the chorus ("I'm gettin' nuttin' for Christmas!") is sung to a variation of "Nanny-Nanny Boo Boo", and is punctuated with an instrumental version of "Nyeah-nyeah!"
- Goldberg, being a big hockey fan, was thrilled with the "Gold-berg" chants in WCW, until he found out they were piped in.
- One that more closely resembles the "Ring Around the Rosie" tune, Samoa Joe's opponents are often met with the taunt "Joe's gonna kill you! Joe's gonna kill you!" Same goes for Tazz,Amazing\Awesome Kong\Kharma and a few others. Bray Wyatt has even gotten this kind of support recently.
- In Lego City Undercover, the criminals on Albatross Island taunt the guard with "nya nya nya nya nya nya" when they escape from their cells.
- In Spyro the Dragon games, dragon egg thieves sing "na-na-na-na-na" at you as they run away. Definitely a Most Annoying Sound, as some of them are very hard to catch.
- In Mario Kart Wii, Baby Mario does this when he hits someone with an item.
- Baby Daisy says "Nyah Nyah" when she passes another racer.
- Princess Peach in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. "La la la la la la!"
- Mario Party 8 also has Peach's taunt "I am the princess!" in a sing song voice.
- Mario Tennis Open has Baby Peach saying "Nyah nyah!" as her taunt.
- In Mario Kart 8, Cat Peach says "Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!" sometimes when passing another racer.
- In Quest for Glory IV, in one case when you meet the Leshy, it sings, "Nanny, nanny, nanny, Nan," while avoiding you.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series: "Mako's a freaky fish guy!"
- "We're tormenting you!"
- Parodied on the Rifftrax to The Matrix Reloaded:
(during their sex scene) "Neo likes Trinity, Neo likes Trinity!"
- The Angry Grandpa videos have this sometimes. Angry Grandpa destroys bathroom:
- "I want em' out my house! I want em' out my house!"
- Angry Grandpa HATES the Nyan Cat:
- "I'm gonna break this motherfucker!"
- In the Dead Rat Prank video, Bridgette taunts Michael by singing "I got you back!" In a sing song voice.
- The Simpsons:
Milhouse: I checked around. The girls are calling you Fatty Fat Fat Fat, and Nelson's planning to pull down your pants, but nobody's trying to kill you.
- "Lisa's Date with Density":
Mr. Dewey Largo: Miss Simpson, do you find something funny about the word "tromboner"?
Lisa Simpson: No, sir. I was laughing at something outside.
Sherri: She was looking at Nelson!
Class: (sing-song) Lisa likes Nelson!
Milhouse: She does not!
Class: (sing-song) Milhouse likes Lisa!
Janey: He does not!
Class: (sing-song) Janey likes Milhouse!
Uter van Finkle: She does not!
Class: (sing-song) Uter likes Milhouse.
Mr. Dewey Largo: Nobody likes Milhouse! Lisa, you've got detention!
- When Mr. Burns loads the SNPP softball team with ringers in order to win a bet with a rival, Homer is replaced in left field by Darryl Strawberry. Bart & Lisa give him a "Darrr-ylll" chant in the hope that he'll quit so Homer can get back on the field.
- In "Cape Feare," Bart takes shelter in the monkey bars during recess because he fears that someone at school wants to kill him.
Bart: Ah... that's good.
* Nelson pulls down Bart's pants*
Group of Girls: *Cue singsong chant* Fatty fat fat fat, fatty fatty fat fat!
- When Ned is coaching Bart's peewee football team, Homer chants, "Flannn-ders" at him to make Ned lose his cool.
- The Simpsons Movie: Lisa has a perfect moment with Colin before they escape the dome. And then...
Bart: Lisa has a boyfriend, that she'll never see again!
- In another Simpsons episode, Terri & Sherri give Lisa body image anxiety by chanting, "Lisa has a big butt! Lisa has a big butt!"
- In yet another, Lisa is being taunted after the other kids steal her shoes. "Lisa has cooties! Lisa has cooties!" Principal Skinner just happens to come on the PA at that moment calling Lisa in to the nurse's office for a lice inspection...just before she gets hit with a soccer ball and bites her tongue as a result.
- In "The Last Temptation of Homer", this is also done, this time with fishes while Homer is hallucinating: "Homer loves Min-dy! Homer loves Min-dy!"
- When Bart (and then Homer joining in) taunt Lisa for eventually having to go to an "awful" college in "Brawl In The Family": "You're going to Stanford! You're going to Stanford! You're going to Stanford!..."
- In "Yokel Chords", Bart makes up a story about Dark Stanley, a school chef who went on a murderous rampage because kids made fun of him for not graduating from college. "Stanley, Stanley, no degree! Two credits short at MIT!"
- "Lisa's Date with Density":
- An early episode of Family Guy has a flashback in which Peter is teasing Bob Funland about his deceased mother with "Bob misses his mommy! Bob misses his mommy!"
- In his less sociopathic moments, Cartman of South Park likes to mock people with sing song. "Stan wants to ki-iss, Wendy Testabuuurger!" And then there's the "Muh muh muh" noises he makes in the movie when mocking Kyle. In "Red Hot Catholic Love," Cartman's Not Christian Rock band fares better than Kyle anticipates, and Cartman gloats in a similar fashion.
- In "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy," Hall Monitor Cartman finds Ike's picture of his teacher in the school hallway, and discloses this as he returns the picture to Ike in front of Ike's entire class. The other kids mock Ike, laughing and chanting "Ike has a crush on teacher! Ike has a crush on teacher!"
- Brattus teases Mr. Bogus this way in the episode "Bogus to the Rescue":
Brattus: Bogus is a chicken! Bogus is a chicken!
- One episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had the Shredder make all the adults in New York act like children. A newscaster at Channel 6 went "Nyah nyah, I'm on TV and you're not!" on the air.
- In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "The Big Cheese", Dexter is rendered incapable of saying anything besides the phrase "Omelette du fromage", and Dee Dee keeps mocking him by singing: "That's all you can saaaay, that's all you can saaay!"
- In the "Chiller Diller Movie Thriller" episode of Scooby-Doo, Shaggy taunts the villains by singing, "Nah nah, we have Scooby-Dee!"
- Cosgrove is reluctant to tell Freakazoid! that he has a girlfriend because he's afraid the Freakster will tease him by singing "Cosgrove's got a girlfriend! Cosgrove's got a girlfriend!" Guess what Freakazoid does when he learns the truth?
- In the "A Little Bit Country" episode of Stuart Little: The Animated Series, Stuart taunts Falcon (before he can kill Snowbell and Monty), "You'll never get me! You'll never get me!" in a sing-song tone while running in circles to distract him, then blowing a raspberry as well.
- In Pound Puppies, Brattina does this most of the time.
- One episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "Hurricane Fluttershy", establishes that one of the reasons Fluttershy is unable to fly fast is because she was teased at flight camp as a filly for being a weak flier, with the song "Fluttershy, Fluttershy, Fluttershy can hardly fly".
- After Geoffrey's crush on Gretchen in the Recess episode "The Pest" becomes well-known to the student body, both Swinger Girl and Upside-Down Girl tease Gretchen by singing, "Gretchen has a boyfriend! Gretchen has a boyfriend!"
- An episode of Beavis and Butt-Head has the two roped into running a teen crisis line. Stewart calls it to talk about his bed wetting problem. Beavis recognizes his voice and starts singing "Stewart wets his bed, dah dah! Stewart wets his bed, dah dah!"
- On X-Men: Evolution Nightcrawler once said "As you kids in America say: Neener, neener, neener!"
- The Silly Symphony short Elmer Elephant has the animal kids making fun of Elmer's trunk by chanting "Elmer's got a funny nose, it looks just like a rubber hose".
- Cow from Cow and Chicken would often sing about things in this fashion, almost always ending with the word "princess".
- Interestingly, this trope is inverted in the Blue's Clues episode "Magenta Comes Over," where everyone at Blue's house prepares for Magenta to visit, and they break into a little happy song and dance every time the subject comes up.