open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Violinist of Hameln: Since it's a series with Magic Music, music can tame the savage beast and then some.
- In Today's Cerberus, Cerberus falls asleep when she hears good music, just like in the original Orpheus myth.
- Macross Delta: Central to the series' premise: a Hate Plague known as the Var Syndrome causes a subset of people to suddenly turn psychotically violent and try to slaughter anyone around them. The only known cure is the singing of a group of Idol Singers, which calms those afflicted. Thus the formation of the Walkure and Delta Squadron, a combination concert group and combat squad to counter the Var outbreaks.
- Inverted in an Italian Donald Duck Comic where Donald encounters an Eldritch Abomination-type monster which dreams about the world so long as it remains dormant. Because its tastes are so alien, a beautiful singing voice will actually annoy it to the point of waking up and cause The End of the World as We Know It, but it finds a truly awful singing voice soothing and sleep-inducing.
- Hobbes stops the Clawracks in Retro Chill by singing "The Best Song Ever" (an actual song by Chris Rice).
- In Hope for the Heartless, when the Horned King hears for the first time Avalina's beautiful piano playing and singing, he notices that it has a soothing effect on him. He makes her to play to him for an hour daily. This months-lasting routine helps the girl to get inside the lich's scary and cold shell.
- Four years earlier, when Avalina encountered for the second time her future Cool Horse, she realized that he acted savagely because of the loss of his rider. She managed to get near him by singing "Adiós" by Jesse y Joy.
- In The Bridge, the Sirens normally trigger a Hate Plague with their singing. However, when Aria Blaze was being attacked by Kaizer Ghidorah, she subconsciously managed to sing a song that calmed him down. Even she has no idea how she did that. It is revealed that she sung a song her mother Hymnia used as a lullaby, which draws on The Power of Love.
Films — Animated
- In The Book of Life, Xibalba lets Manolo challenge him to a wager at which he is allowed to pick the task. The dirty cheater chooses bullfighting — which he knows Manolo hates. As if that weren't bad enough, the task is that Manolo must defeat every single bull every Sanchez before him has ever faced — all at once. And when Manolo succeeds at that, Xibalba combines them into one mega-bull and still the hero does not flinch, instead playing an apology song.
- In Cat City, Lazy Dick is caught by vampire bat Banditos, who prepare to suck his blood. As a last request, Dick asks them to let him play a final song on his trumpet. He's so good at it, that not only the entire gang joins him (playing on their weapons), but their leader is moved to tears, and decides to spare him.
- In The Mousehole Cat Mowzer's singing tames the Great Storm Cat.
- At the climax of Moana, the main character manages to return Te Fiti's stolen heart to her and transform her back from the terrible lava monster she's become. This process involves Moana singing directly to the goddess about who she truly is.
Films — Live-Action
- The Monster in Young Frankenstein can be attracted to and lulled by music.
- In Bringing Up Baby, the tame leopard Baby can be subdued by singing "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby"
- In Help!, Ringo is threatened by a tiger which can be tamed by singing the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
- Inverted in The Three Stooges short "Idle Roomers", which features a Wolf Man who is relatively tame until he hears music. The stooges, mistakenly believing in this trope, decide to play music when confronted by him, activating the Wolf Man's Berserk Button.
- The Island of Doctor Moreau (1996): The title character momentarily soothes the rebellious man-animal hybrids with his piano playing. But when Dr. Moreau decides to follow this up by activating their pain implants, he discovers the hard way that they've already been removed.
- Dance of the Dead(2008): The zombies are entranced once the band starts playing music, making it easier for the group to escape.
- The killer in The Hills Run Red is shown to be momentarily calmed when the nursery rhyme "Hush, Little Baby" is sang to him. When another character attempts to repeat the process later, she realizes that she doesn't know the lyrics. The killer then mocks her for it, indicating that it wouldn't have worked for her in the first place.
- White God: Lili calms down the rampaging pound dogs led by her former dog Hagen by playing Tannhauser on her trumpet. Hagen had previously heard her practice the song while living with her.
- In The Fellowship of the Ring, Tom Bombadil's singing subdues Old Man Willow and causes him to release the hobbits.
- In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lay of Leithian, when Beren and Lúthien shapeshift into Morgoth's lair, Lúthien sings a song so beautiful that Morgoth and his entire court fall into a deep sleep. Morgoth is so deeply asleep that Beren is able to carve out a coveted Silmaril from Morgoth's massive crown.
- Harry Potter: Fluffy the giant three-headed guard dog is lulled to sleep when music is played (a harp or a flute in this case), as a nod to Greek Mythology.
- In A Clash of Kings, Sandor Clegane a.k.a. The Hound hides in Sansa Stark's room, drunk and badly wounded mentally and physically. When she comes in, he holds a knife to her throat and threatens to kill her unless she sings. She sings such a sweet song of mercy and peace that he cries. Apparently her song lulls the beast inside him to sleep and touches something human in him, possibly preventing him from raping and/or killing her.
- In The Last Days, the band formed by the main characters has the ability to bring out the giant worms lurking under the surface of New York City, allowing them to be killed.
- In The Wheel of Time, the Finn can be charmed by music.
- Flood by Andrew Vachss. Burke and Flood go to meet a snuff-film producer called Goldor with the intention of getting information from him. Things go wrong and Flood kills Goldor. After Burke has finished destroying the evidence and creating an alibi, he enters the Abandoned Warehouse where he's staying to find Flood doing a martial arts kata, recreating the kicks that killed Goldor again and again. In order to end her Heroic B.S.O.D., Burke plays "Angel Baby" by Rosie and the Originals on his car's cassette player and invites Flood to dance.
- Here and there in Dinoverse characters can get dinosaurs they've met to relax and like them better by psychically projecting music.
- Inuit throat-singing calms the monster in The Terror, but as the spirit-governors who communicate with the creature have their tongues removed, the monster has to literally breathe down their throat. Nerves of Steel is a job requirement.
Live Action TV
- Doctor Who:
- In "The Lazarus Experiment", the Doctor plays a modified organ to defeat the Monster of the Week.
- In "A Christmas Carol", Abgail's singing calms both the storm and the flying sharks inside it, letting the spaceship land safely.
- In "The Curse of Peladon," The Doctor sings a Venusian lullaby to soothe the monster terrorizing the kingdom.
- Merry, the Queen of Years, has to sing to keep the old god "Grandfather" peaceful.
- On Top Gear, Matt Smith's practice runs on the guest lap had been full of driving errors but Clarkson was impressed by his intensity. On the video of the actual lap, Clarkson wonders aloud whether he's still channelling all that aggression. Cut to the inside of the car and:
Matt Smith: Right... stay calm, concentrate... I'm siiinging in the raaain...
Mythology and Religion
- In 1st Samuel of the Old Testament, King Saul was afflicted by "an evil spirit of the Lord" and asked for a musician who could cause that spirit to depart from him. David was that selected musician, and so often played for King Saul when he was afflicted. However, on a few occasions, the "evil spirit" got the better of King Saul, causing him to throw a javelin at David which he avoided.
- In Greek Mythology, Orpheus was able to get past Cerberus (the guard dog of the underworld) by playing music to soothe it.
- In Japanese Mythology, the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu was in a mix of a snit, fume and a snotty, bratty-like frump. To get her out of the cave she had hidden herself in (and, therefore get summer back), a whole set of activities were devised - including music. But, only the Sumo with the music really worked. Not so much calming the beast as trying to apply antidepressants to the fuming, injured ego, but the principle is the same.
- In the Old Norse legend of the Niflungs, related in Prose Edda, Poetic Edda and Völsunga saga, King Gunnar of the Niflungs is thrown into a Snake Pit by his treacherous brother-in-law Atli and his sister Gudrun gives him a harp which he plays with his toes. His music puts all the snakes to sleep except one, which remains awake and kills him.
- The bard's fascinate ability in Dungeons & Dragons does this. "If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and listens to the song, taking no other actions, for as long as the bard continues to play and concentrate."
- Pokémon: the move Sing makes the target fall asleep if it is accurate. The Pokémon Lullaby from the Poké Gear works by decreasing the chance of Random Encounters.
- Inverted with the Poke Flute and Blue Flute, which awaken sleeping Pokemon.
- In Dragon Quest, the Fairy Flute is the only reliable way to defeat the ridiculously overpowered Golem boss, which puts it to sleep.
- Super Paper Mario: Piccolo can be used to put the Underchomp to sleep, making the boss battle incredibly easy.
- This concept may have originated in Super Mario Bros. 3, where the music box power-up puts Hammer Bros., piranha plants and other wandering mini bosses on the map to sleep.
- In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, the flute you obtain from the Palace on the Sea is required to get past the River Devil in Eastern Hyrule.
- In Bloodborne, the music box can be used during the Father Gascoigne boss fight to temporarily subdue him.
- Referenced in Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! in the Fracture Hills by the bagpipe-playing satyrs. In the final cutscene, the earth-shapers can be seen covering their ears from the music with one of them losing his red eyes and deciding to dance along.
- To quote one of the satyrs:
"Music can calm the savage beast. And bagpipe music can break solid rock!"
- To quote one of the satyrs:
- "Music tames the savage beast..." is written on the back of the cover of Gitaroo Man.
- In Jables's Adventure, the dreaded SCUBA bear is said to be invincible and chases after Jables. However, after evading the bear and receiving a strawberry from the lady in the house, Jables is suddenly inspired to sing the Strawberry Shortcake theme song. This song calms the bear, which makes it safe to swim back past him.
- Romeo's Ballad from Final Fantasy V inflicts Stop on enemies.
- This plays a key role in breaking the "spiral of death" in Final Fantasy X. This particular incarnation of Sin will briefly become calm when it hears the Hymn of the Fayth since its own Fayth Jecht always loved that song. In the final push to defeat Sin, people from all across Spira sing the Hymn, distracting Sin long enough for the party and their airship to attack.
- In Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia, EXEC_HARMONIOUS/. is capable of calming those who hear it and making them happy; EXEC_HARMONIOUS_FUSION/. is a variation with similar effects. Both songs are used against bosses for whom such a soothing effect would be beneficial.
- In Five Nights at Freddy's 2, the only way to pacify the Marionette is by winding up a music box that plays the refrain from "Grandfather's Clock".
- In an alternative universe in Nodwick where Yeager never had a certain Artifact of Doom removed from his arm, he tried to distract himself from the urge to start wars it gave him with music. It doesn't seem to help much.
- In Sinfest, Slick tries it on Cerebus.
- Suggested in Irregular Webcomic!, but it ends up as Talking the Monster to Death.
- In The Gamer's Alliance, bards can use their songs of power to calm down beasts. The young bard Arcturius uses his songs several times to to this effect such as when he pacifies the panicking kitsune Haruko.
- In the "Big Trouble" webisode, The League of S.T.E.A.M. put a troll to sleep with a clockwork singing Robot Girl.
- Whateley Universe: While loud noises are a Berserk Button for the saurians-seeming Razorback (Jack Carlyle), music is one of the few things that can calm him, and he is an expert guitarist himself.
- During the Outcasts' trip to Jack's home in Darwin, Australia, Eldritch finds a magical music box note , whose music can calm anyone, which she gives to Razorback to help him stay in control. In a Crowning Moment of Awesome, Razorback then uses this to stop a giant rampaging monster in the midst of a city-wide battle.
- Looney Tunes:
- Taz can be easily calmed with music, whether by instrument or singing. (Just don't try the bagpipes)
- In "Hurdy-Gurdy Hare", Bugs Bunny got a gorilla to stop chasing him by playing the violin. He even calls this trope's name.
- The third Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid cartoon "Congo Jazz" has Bosko do this to the tiger who was chasing him in the beginning. Once he has distracted the tiger long enough, he promptly kicks him off of a cliff.
- Titano in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Monkey Fun".
- The plot of the Tex Avery-directed Chilly Willy cartoon "The Legend of Rock-a-bye Point" concerns a polar bear trying to get fish from a fishing boat, getting the Angry Guard Dog off his back by putting him to sleep with a lullaby, while Chilly sabotages him at every turn.
- In the Tom and Jerry cartoon "Down Beat Bear", the titular bear ends up at Tom's house and Tom tries to call the authorities, but every time the bear hears music he starts to dance with Tom. It's also played with; they make it clear from the beginning that the bear is a trained circus bear and completely harmless.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): Leatherhead invokes this trope by listening to a record player.
- Francis X. Bushlad discovers he has this ability in the Taz-Mania episode "The Pied Piper of Taz-Mania".
- On Celebrity Deathmatch with Paul Reubens vs. George Michael, a hungry tiger is unleshed and Paul Reubens talks George Michael into invoking this trope. It works and the tiger falls asleep ... that is until Paul Reubens utters the secret word of the day, and you can guess what happens next.
- Cow and Chicken has an episode where the two deal with a vicious jackal—that turns into a friendly, refined animal when Cow sings. It's only temporary, as Chicken discovers when Cow steps out, but luckily, his attempt at singing scares the jackal away.
- Ella, from Total Drama, can calm and attract any animal using her beautiful voice. In fact even her team realises the power her singing holds over animals and even requests her to sing to the bear in order to subdue it in "Mo Monkey Mo Problems".
- In an episode of The Smurfs, the Smurflings meet a monster that calls itself "Beastie" who loves their music and follows them everywhere as they play it. Eventually, however, Grandpa Smurf does some research and finds out that Beastie is the literal Savage Beast that inspired the phrase, meaning the Smurflings don't know until it's almost too late that without the music, it will fly into uncontrollable rage.
- In the episode "Song of Celice" of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), the eponymous song is the only thing that keeps a monstrous creature asleep in the caverns deep beneath a city. Since her song unfortunately can soothe/hypnotize anything, it causes her to become the target of Skeletor and Evil-Lyn, who use her to enchant the Sorceress. As a result, the B plot of the episode revolves around He-Man finding a way to deal with the beast when he no longer has any means to soothe it.
- In the 1959 Disney short Noah's Ark, the animals start fighting each other after being cramped inside the Ark for too long. Mrs. Noah calls out this trope by name, inspiring Noah and his sons to form a band to play music. Soon the animals stop their fighting and start dancing.