A specific type of Street Performer
, the Organ Grinder is a Street Musician
who would make a living turning the crank on a self-performing organ (sometimes mistakenly called a hurdy-gurdy), usually with a trained monkey on a leash dancing around—alternatively, the monkey is the one turning the organ, and the human is just there to hold the leash.
More or less a Dead Horse Trope
these days, but expect them to pop up in stories set in the 19th and early 20th century. (They've actually been banned in quite a few cities, both because of complaints about the excessive noise they make and because of copyright violations by some of the musicians.)
See also One-Man Band
. Not related to putting someone's privates in a meatgrinder.
- Drocell Keinz in the anime adaptation of Black Butler was first introduced carrying an organ grinder which played My Fair Lady.
- Princess Tutu gave us Edel. Her organ grinder was also a portable jewelry display case since she sold the trinkets.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Link learns the Song of Storms from such a guy.
- The organ grinder is one of the most nefarious enemies in the old text-adventure game Beyond Zork.
- Looney Tunes: Bugs Bunny pretended to be the monkey working with an organ grinder in one of his cartoons, after he caught the real monkey pocketing the profits.
- An organ grinder occasionally shows up in Cow and Chicken, though the monkey has since decomposed into a skeleton and the machine is literally grinding organs into powder. (It's uncertain as to whether the machine is grinding the musical instrument or body parts.)
- Monkey from Dexter's Laboratory had an enemy who was a hypnotic organ grinder.
- In Hey Arnold! Helga gets bit by an organ grinder's monkey.
- An organ grinder appears in the "Rhapsody In Blue" segment of Fantasia 2000.
- In the Droopy cartoon Dixieland Droopy, Droop practices being a jazz band conductor to a record, but after he's kicked out of his home, he looks for other places to play the record, and one of them is an organ grinder's organ.
- The Popeye cartoon "Organ Grinder's Swing" has Wimpy being one of these.