Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope. Examples can go on the work's YMMV tab.
"Nothing rhymes with that. What is he going to put there? Coachable?Poachable? No. No. He's either going to rhyme it with itself, or he's going to come up with this horrible forced rhyme that won't fit at all unless he twists the words beyond recognition."
A Music Trope. It's when you hear a rhyme in a song, or read it in a poem, and you're compelled to cringe at how painfully it's forced in. Maybe the sentence was rearranged into grammatical nonsense to accommodate it, or the rhythm was broken, or maybe it verges on nonsensical. Maybe words had to be intentionally mispronounced to make it rhyme, or an unlikely metaphor invented. In any case, they were really better off not bothering to make it rhyme. Bonus points if it doesn't even quite rhyme, or if they're just repeating rather than rhyming. It's common for amateur poets to do this, since they often rigidly adhere to an "ABAB" rhyme scheme, forcing them to twist their verse into grotesque contortions.
This is at least partially the fault of the English language itself, as it's generally harder to find rhymes in it than other languages. Also, sometimes the difference between accents may make a rhyme painful in America that isn't in Britain or Australia, and vice versa.
Here is a list of technical names for rhymes that may cause this trope (They're all legitimate, mind you.):
oblique: a rhyme with an imperfect match in sound. (one/thumb)
assonance: matching vowels. (shake/hate)
consonance: matching consonants. (rabies/robbers)
half rhyme: matching final consonants. (bent/ant)
identity: rhyming a sound with itself or a homophone. (foul/fowl, grace/disgrace)
A common source of Painful Rhymes is the Stock Rhyme, such as girl/world, which is painful primarily because it's overused. An extreme case is the Mid Word Rhyme.
Sublime Rhyme is not the opposite of this trope, so don't get confused.
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T-Mobile's 2012 "Test Drive" campaign jingle: "Five, six, West Phoenix," "A thousand-eight, a thousand-nine, Dallas, Denver, Anaheim," et cetera, with bonus scansion failure and Ac CENT Upon The Wrong Syl LA Ble.
It's The Legend of Zelda, and it's really rad! Those creatures from Ganon are pretty bad! Octorocks, tektites, and leevers, too, But with your help, our hero pulls through! Yeah! Go, Link! Yeah! (Wikky-wikky-wikky-wik)
The General of Car insurance fame just cannot rhyme at all.
For the best insurance rates in town Call 1-800-GENERAL now!
That was its jingle for a while, but when it decided to get a new one that focuses on serving its customers online, General still couldn't fix its rhyming problems
For the best insurance rates online Go to the General and save some time!
The Puffs tissue commercials. They'll try to make it all rhyme, and then one line (typically at the end) will be jarring as it won't rhyme and will have a completely different rhythm/metre than the others, because they suddenly realise they have to cram a lot of information into only one line of verse.
From a Siemens jingle. The singer does her best to hide that there really isn't a rhyme.
Harness the power The time is now
And from an old Wuzzles commercial:
"I got a Wuzzle "I'm gonna snuggle "Funny yessiree "'Cause he's part elephant "And part kangaree "Oh! Roo!"
Lampshaded at the end of a Best Buy Holiday 2013 commercial, where "triumph" is "rhymed" with "pie-umph."
Lampshaded in Fables: Frau Totenkinder's spell/Takes a normal message and turns it into doggerel.
Etrigan The Demon, in The DCU, traditionally speaks in rhyme. Under a skilled writer, such as Alan Moore (who set the rule that The Demon must speak in Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter), his speech is great, even lyrical at times. Under not-so-skilled writers... it's this trope.
In Spanish translations at Editorial Vid/Novaro (Latin America) and Zinco (Spain) it is ALWAYS this trope.
Etrigan: In orifices best left unsayed, he'll go 'round stuffing hand grenades!
Take Up to Eleven in My Brave Pony: Star Fleet Magic II, where there is an entire chapter written in rhymes. Ironically, it may be the best chapter in the entire story.
In The Prayer Warriors, during "The Evil Gods Part II", the author does away with the poorly translated Latin prayers and moves on to this. As IHeartThomasBrown says in the MST, "Tommy-boy, I think you should cross out "songwriter" from the list of possible career choices for you. Just saying."
In all the word roams a sword. Making those over there goes. And all will see likes to see me. Tonight we will live in Christ.
Irreconcilable Differences has Ryan O'Neal's character directing a hilariously awful musical version of Gone with the Wind, with his girlfriend and "actress" (Sharon Stone) playing Scarlett and singing lines like:
This Civil War ain't gonna get me down I'm taking my act to a brand new town This belle rings in Old Atlanta I'm gonna find myself a brand new Santa!
In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, there's the Knights of the Round Table, whose "shows are for-mid-able, but many times we're given rhymes that are quite un-sing-able".
"The King Of The Forest" manages to rhyme "brontosaurus" with "king o' the fores'", "hippopotamus" with "top to bottom-us" and "elephant" with "cellophant".
Though the lyric doesn't appear in the film, the full version of "If I Only Had a Brain" has the rhyme "Perhaps I'd deserve you/and be even worthy urve you".
In Zero Effect, Zero stumbles upon a poem written by his client when he went to college, rhyming "Towards" with "Birds", which makes him rather angry.
The Avengers end credit song "Live to Rise" has only three rhymes, at most, that don't sound too forced. The less polished lyrics pile on especially hard during the second verse.
What if the one thing that I missed Was everything I need to pass the test And if I fail, what happens then Can I still count on you as a friend
Both verses rhyme "alone" and "go," and the chorus rhymes "rise" and "die."
The entirety of "T.U.R.T.L.E. Power" by Partners in Kryme, which played during the credits of the first live-action Ninja Turtles movie. Awkward sentence-warping, full lines of nonsense, predictable rhyming pairs, wonky metaphors, and the mislabeling of Raphael as the leader (probably for the sake of rhyme/meter... not like they really adhered to a meter anyway) - it's pretty painful. But for some, it hurts so good. Probably the worst is this couplet:
Now this is for real so you fight for justice Your shell is hard so you shout "They can't dust us"
It makes more sense (and becomes less painful) if you realize the sentence continues on the next line.
Your shell is hard, so you shout, "They can't dust us Off, like some old coffee table"
Then Snufkin said: "You could write a poem about this. What about: Floating on this eerie water Far away from bricks and mortar." "Saw a mermaid— didn't caught her", suggested Sniff, blowing his nose. "That's not true, not grammar, and it doesn't even rhyme properly", said Snufkin, and the subject dropped.
In the P. G. Wodehouse book Uncle Fred in the Springtime the Duke has a particular hatred for the song The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond because it attempts to rhyme "afore ye" with "Lomond" and he plans to toss eggs at the gardener who keeps whistling it under his window.
In Wolves of the Calla, fifth in The Dark Tower series, "The Rice Song" is essentially made of this. King describes some of the rhymes in it as "rape rhymes" (one can only hope this is a technical term), "words that didn't rhyme at all but were forced to for a moment within the borders of the song". The words Eddie can make out follow:
Come-come-commala Rice come a-falla I-sissa 'ay a-bralla Dey come a-folla Down come a-rivva Or-i-za we kivva Rice be a green-o See all we seen-o Seen-o the green-o Come-come-commala!
Come-come-commala Rice come a-falla Deep inna walla Grass come-commala Under the sky-o Grass green n high-o Girl n her fella Lie down togetha They slippy 'ay slide-o Under 'ay sky-o Come-come-commalla Rice come a-falla!
Some older works can sound this way, depending on the time period. The Canterbury Tales contain several instances (typically at least one per page) of rhymes that worked back in the fourteenth century with a British accent, but not in Modern English.
Lampshaded in the Illuminatus!-trilogy when it is revealed that dolphins are masterful poets; unfortunately as advanced as Hagbard Celine's supercomputer FUCKUP is, the best it can manage in translating their language belongs to this trope.
In The Name of the Wind, the main character mocks someone by pointing out how godawful it is. Many times. With FEELING.
And to be fair, he should know, because there are a number of times where he breaks into rhymed verse in the middle of a conversation, though one was with a member of the Fae and the other was probably intentional.
Protagonist Stile intentionally used assonance in his fight with the White Adept in Blue Adept. Stile swapped out words in his spells ("Form a pyre/burn like fir") so that the spells would immediately fizzle out, roving what he could do to White if he really wanted to. Subverted in that full Adepts can't hurt each other, one-on-one (he didn't know this until White told him), so the full spells may have done less damage.
The Blue Ribbon Day, by Katie Couric. Nearly every page has at least one. One of the worst examples would be:
So the two go together the day after school. With Miss Rigg's supervision (you know, that's the rule), they got out their beakers and their Bunsen burners and decided to find out if they were fast learners.
The FN'MTV 2009 New Year's special "A Miley-Sized Surprise" featured an ongoing rhyming narration overlapping this trope with Totally Radical in lines such as "OMG! In the house with Miley C!" The beginning has some especially horrifying examples.
I whistled for a cab and when it came near The license plate said "FRESH" and there was dice in the mi'r.
Several black dialects actually DO pronounce the word "mirror" shortened as "meer".
Red Dwarf plays the trope for laughs with Rimmer's Villain Song (each chorus line ends with 'Rimmer' or something which rhymes). The deleted final verse discusses how they've almost run out of rhymes to use.
Also Lister is writing a song about Kochanski, but the only rhyming word he can think of is Underpantski!
Lister is also responsible for "The Indling Song":
Our love I tried to kindle, Like firelight it dwindled, Now I wonder when this wind'll, Ever stop.
I hear that train comin', comin' round the hill. I hope that is my train - I better check my schedule. Oops, that was the train to Appleton, but it's going to Circle Pines. And I've got about twenty minutes to kill; It's a good thing I brought some magazines (pronounced with an "eye" sound).
Sesame Street had Ernie sing the following song during a mini-musical about the seasons:
"Three cheers for summer! There's fishing and swimming!" The beaches are open for men and for wimming!"
On Survivor, the rhyming "tree-mails" announcing challenges are always chock full of forced rhymes and awful meter. You'd think after twenty seasons, the mail-writers would get pretty good at it, but apparently not.
The song What Kind of God from the second episode of Mongrels contains this gem that must be a parody:
Kali: Who brings toddlers to weddings? God: I shall smite them! Kali: Wasps? God: Oh, why did I cre-ite them?
Due to the fact that the songs are all improvised, this happens a lot on Whose Line Is It Anyway?. One hilarious example was during a "Greatest Hits" game about doctors. Chip's attempt to fit a rhyme by cramming it in with a lengthy, rhythm-shattering sentence is so bad it causes Wayne to completely lose it:
Your headache's as big as the nation, That's why I'm writing this prescription. And I am just gonna give you these pills So you won't have a predilection to take another one!
And then there was Wayne's Let's Make A Date competitor who was also a politician running for office and his love poem/campaign speech:
A woman like you is so first-rate
That's how I acquaint you to this beautiful state
I'd love to run my hands through your rich, lush foliage
And to be your man, it would be my priv-o-ledge.
This trope is taken to the logical extreme in this clip when Drew cannot think of a line quickly and splutters something out for Ryan to deal with later.
At one point, Colin has to come up with a rhyme for "fire extinguisher". His response? "Ginga-ginga-gingajer."
Intentionally in the closing credits of Murder Most Horrid: "And you wake in the night, wipe the sweat from your forrid/Murder most horrid". The final season included variants, some of which were smoother ("And you wake in the night, your face flushed and florid") and some of which were worse ("And you wake in the night, wearing something you've borrid").
And finally gave up completely with "La, la, la, la... lorrid".
In series 6 of Knightmare, Treguard's closing verse in series 6 required him to rhyme 'foul' with 'hour' every week. Earlier series also had a Previously On delivered in verse, which usually had at least one painful forced rhyme. Lampshaded in one recap:
They perished, all: though what a pity It does help rhyme this awful ditty.
Their house is a museum When people come to see 'em They really are a screa-um, The Addams Family!
Almost a requisite if you're going to write rock and roll.
Pink Floyd's Wearing the Inside Out has a rather painful one. At one point, "Rain" is rhymed with "Again", but is pronounced it "uh-gehn", even though "uh-geyn" is a perfectly legitimate pronunciation in British English. Considering Pink Floyd is an English band, it's hard to see why they didn't pronounce it like that.
B.O.B's "Mellow Fellow" As evidenced by its beginning lyrics:
Hello, I'm just a Mellow Fellow! Just give me a bud and a cigarello! And I'mma keep it ghetto! Cuz I stick with it just like velcro!
Two people crazy in love Into one another like a hand in a glove
The frighteningly bad pop dance song "Max Don't Have Sex With Your Ex":
Max, don't have sex with your ex It will make your life complex, My Max, baby, take it easy Max, don't have sex with your ex It will knock you off your legs Oh, Max, stay cool and just relax
Tom Lehrer was a master of these... but rather than making you cringe, they make you laugh because they're just so 'out there' that it can't be taken seriously. Expect many a Collective Groan from audiences on his live recordings.
When you attend a funeral It is sad to think that sooner or l... ...ater those you love will do the same for you And you may have found it tragic Not to mention other adjec... ...tives to think of all the weeping they will do ... You will all be escorted to your respective Valhallas Go directly there, Do Not Pass Go, do not collect two hundred dollahs ... When the air becomes uranious We will all go si-mul-taneous Yes, we will all go together when we go!
"The Folk Song Army" provides another good example:
The tune don't have to clever And it don't matter if you put a coupla extra syllables into a line. It sounds more ethnic if it ain't good English And it don't even gotta rhyme. (spoken) Excuse me, rhyne.
"The Elements" was written to incorporate the then-known elements of the periodic table into the Major General's Song from The Pirates of Penzance. Just as in the real periodic table, a space is left at the end for discoveries after the time of writing. Lyrically, this resulted in:
These are the only ones of which the news has come to Haahvard,
And there may be many others, but they haven't been discaahvard.
The heavy Boston accent on "Harvard" and "Discarvard" still fails to subvert this.
The rest of the song manages to have the name of each chemical element once, and only once, arranged in an order that made each line rhyme — usually not painfully.
What's wrong with the world Mama? People livin' like they ain't got no Mamas
It actually sounds like "People livin' like they ain't got no llamas"...
But if you only have love for your own race Then you only leave space to discriminate And to discriminate only generates hate And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah.
Also, "Don't Phunk with My Heart" is pretty close to 100% this trope. For example:
Why are you so insecure When you got passion and love her You always claimin' I'm a cheater Think I'd up and go leave ya For another señorita You forgot that I need ya You must've caught amnesia That's why you don't believe
(Note that "believe" is pronounced "be-leev-uh", to make it rhyme with "amnesia")
"Imma Be" has a particularly jarring example: the words rhyme (mostly), but the final line immediately falls apart if you think about it.
Imma be brilliant with my millions Loan out a billion and get back a trillion Imma be a brother, but my name ain't Lehman Imma be ya bank, I be loaning out semen.
"The Time (Dirty Bit)" has quite a few. For example, will.i.am rhymes "go" with "control". Then he does this:
Yeah, hot in here (pronounced "her")
The temp-pit-ture (temperature)
But worst of all is apl.de.ap's verse. What other word comes to mind with the rhyme in the first line?
"We ain't messin' with no maggots!
Messin' with the baddest!"
"Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri
I have grown too strong To ever fall back in your arms
and in the chorus
You're gonna catch a cold From the ice inside your soul So don't come back for me Don't come back at all
I've learned to live half-alive And now you want me one more time
(The soles of your shoes) Are all worn down The time for sleep is now But it's nothing to cry about Cuz we'll hold each other soon In the blackest of rooms
Lee Ann Womack's I Hope You Dance is almost solely composed of these:
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder Get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger May you never take one single breath for granted God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens… (Time is a wheel in constant motion, always rolling us along) (Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone?)
"Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics: is it supposed to rhyme or not?
Sweet dreams are made of this Who am I to disagree? I travel the world and the seven seas Everybody's looking for something. ...
Some of them want to use you, Some of them want to get used by you Some of them want to abuse you, Some of them want to be abused...
They headed down to, ooh, old El Paso That's where they ran into a great big hassle Billy Joe shot a man while robbing his castle Bobbie Sue took the money and run. Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas You know he knows just exactly what the facts is He ain't gonna let those two escape justice He makes his livin' off of the peoples taxes.
I ain't askin' for much. I said, Lord, take me downtown, I'm just lookin' for some tush.
The last word gets pronounced as "touch" instead of the word it's supposed to be in order to force a rhyme.
Neil Diamond's "I Am I Said":
"I am", I said To no one there And no one heard at all Not even the chair.
Dave Barry, in a column which would led to a massive amount of hate mail from Neil Diamond fans and provide the seed for the famous Bad Songs Survey via readers who agreed with him, complained about the lameness of this line:
Is Neil telling us he's surprised that the chair didn't hear him? Maybe he expected the chair to say, "Whoa, I heard THAT." My guess is that Neil was really desperate to come up with something to rhyme with "there", and he had already rejected "So I ate a pear", "Like Smokey the Bear", and "There were nits in my hair."
According to Martin Pearson, Neil Diamond's "Play Me" contains the worst rhyme in the history of modern music:
The line comes later in the song; it goes "Songs she sang to me, songs she BRANG to me.'" Ugh! It's "brought", you horrible little American!
LFO's "Summer Girls" is quite possibly the worst example of this in history, considering most of the song is just plot relevant lyric + random thing which rhymes:
Fell deep in love, but now we ain't speakin' Michael J. Fox was Alex P. Keaton.
There was a good man named Paul Revere I feel much better, baby, when you're near
Practically every line in the song qualifies, but this one deserves special mention for being completely nonsensical and still having to mispronounce a word:
When I'm around you my heart is buzzing like a hornet Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole lot of sornets
This is probably a deliberately poorly written song, perhaps a case of Refuge in Audacity in its forced rhyming and ridiculousness.
In "I've Just Seen a Face" (originally by The Beatles), Paul McCartney attempts to rhyme "aware" and "her." (He also rhymes face/place, girl/world, falling/calling, day/way and sight/quite. All the lame rhymes in one bundle.) There are multiple covers by him, and he's attempted more than one method of trying to make the rhyme work... <sigh>
Interestingly enough, in a Liverpudlian accent, "aware" and "her" do rhyme. But of course, Paul tries to sing it with a more neutral accent...
Another one in "It Won't Be Long": "It won't be long / 'Till I belong to you."
Those kind of pale in comparison to George Harrison's incredibly forced rhyme in Old Brown Shoe: "I may appear to be im-per-fect / My love is something you can't re-ject"
Topped himself later on with: "For your sweet top lip I'm in the queue / Baby, I'm in love with you"
Similarly, his "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" has "I don't know how you were diverted / You were perverted too / I don't know how you were inverted / No one alerted you."
And then narrowly averted in Sir Paul's solo career, where most people hear, "But if this ever-changing world in which we live in/ makes you give in and cry..." whereas it's actually "world in which we're livin'", which is not quite as painful.v
In George Harrison's "It's What You Value", he rhymes "compared" with "blurred".
The majority of Fall Out Boy's "I Don't Care", in which they not only try to rhyme "tolerance" and "pants", but also this gem:
I'm the oracle in my chest, Let the guitar scream like a fascist.
Also, from "The Carpal Tunnel of Love":
And we shake shake shake the hips
Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" tries to rhyme "China" and "Alabama". Seriously.
Aside from a touch of Intercourse with You, the entire point of Robby Roadsteamer's "Banana" seems to be finding things that almost-but-not-quite rhyme with the title (such as "slammer", "Panera", "Pantera", and, somehow, "Dragon's Lair").
Weezer's "Everybody Get Dangerous" suffers a lot from this, but the most cringe-worthy is in the very first two lines, where "younger" is rhymed with "fun, yeah".
"Troublemaker" is even worse:
Marrying a beeyotch Having seven keeyods
"Muddy Water" by Trace Adkins has the chorus:
Baptize me in that muddy water Wash me clean in amazing grace I ain't been livin' like I oughtta Baptize me in that muddy water
And what's worse is that, in the right accent, those two would be a perfect rhyme! Water and "otter" basically.
Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang" rhymed "thing" with "gang", implying that they went out of their way to say "thang", something no real country singer would do no matter how thick their accent was.
A song by the Miami Boys Choir:
"Please let me be in the choir/ And I hope that my voice will not tire"
Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad by Meat Loaf has more forced rhymes than actual rhymes. A complete cataloguing would excessively lengthen this article; suffice to say, the very first quatrain rhymes "nowhere" with "inside of here" and "the way I feel" with "make me leave here".
"Pass the Mic" by the Beastie Boys, as well as Rhyming with Itself for "commercial", includes a rhyme of "on and on to the early morn", which along with "on and on to the break of dawn" is one of those rhymes that stopped being used once rap music escaped from New York.
Justified. A later lyric to that song is "Let's rock this joint in the old-school way."
Supertramp's "Breakfast in America", which is a great song, still contains some awful rhyming: girlfriend/girlfriend, breakfast/Texas and dear/millionaire.
Truth be told, it was written by Roger Hodgson when he was fifteen; probably his first ever composition. Supertramp kept the lyrics intact as the naivety of the lyrics suited the song better than any more complex or cynical lyric.
Elton John's "Nikita" rhymes "world" and "cold". Yuck.
"Daniel" has "traveling tonight on a plane" with "heading for Spain", and "never been" and "ever seen".
Uncle Sam's "I Don't Ever Wanna See You Again" has the following. The word "addressee" always made me cringe. I forgot until I looked it up for this trope that it didn't even rhyme.
Early one morning while you were asleep I received a letter, but there was no addressee
Ever hear "Talk Like a Pirate Day" by Tom Smith? It boasts the pain-inducing rhymes of "yourself, I bet" with "alphabet", and "mains'ls" with "brain cells". Ouch.
Autopilot Off's "Divine Intervention" has this gem:
To ride along The horizon When these days are gone It's what we've become
Alan Jackson has some painfully bad rhymes in a lot of his songs. One big example is "Where I Come From", which has such gems as "turnpike"/"midnight", "Ventura"/"finger", "dinner"/"soprano", "Kentucky"/"thunder" and "Tulsa"/"salsa".
He also tries to rhyme "ice" and "about" in "Good Time".
And several from "Country Boy", including "Ashpalt"/"Red dirt", "close"/"road", and well, every freaking rhyme in the song except "butt"/"rut".
Speaking of Alan Jackson, he co-wrote Randy Travis' "Better Class of Losers", which rhymes "sweet" and "suite", a very rare example of using homophones as rhymes.
Kanye West - "Flashing Lights" It might even work if he didn't try so hard.
She don't believe in shooting stars But she believes in shoes and cars Wood floors in the new apartment Couture from the store's departments.
Or this bit from "American Boy"
What's your persona About this Americana Rhymer, am I shallow 'Cause all my clothes designer?
Hell, a large chunk of Kanye's songs come under this trope. Which makes it all the more puzzling why so many consider him a genius...
Another homophone rhyme: "Me and You" by Kenny Chesney rhymes "too" and "to" in the chorus.
Reba McEntire's "Every Other Weekend" is by no means a bad song, but every single stanza and the chorus end with "again"/"weekend".
Ne-Yo in "So You Can Cry": "I won't attend your pity party/I'd rather go have calamari."
Really gotta concentrate And now we're gonna consummate So, let's conversate
I would just like to point out that somebody actually wrote this line. And decided to call the song "Sexify My Love". More like, "Wreck-ify My Language"...
One of Mitch Benn's satirical songs on The Now Show mocks the then-Poet Laureate Andrew Motion for claiming that nothing rhymes with "Wilkinson". As with the Lehrer examples, outrageous forced rhymes are used for comic effect:
Andrew Motion's changed his mind He's far too busy milkin' son- orous words and syllables to find A rhyme for Jonny Wilkinson.
Another one from the first series of Mitch Benn's Crimes Against Music:
Everybody knows ain't nothing rhymes with orange, Doesn't matter how much imagination or inj- -inuity you use even words thar are foreign, j- -ust let it go, ain't nothing rhymes with orange.
"Motorway Food" rhymes "ag'ny" with "lasagny".
Ty Herndon's "In Your Face" has several: "Libra"/"Reba"/"over-eager", "rejection"/"left me", and "artist"/"party"/"sparkle".
Can't believe it's taken this long for Bob Dylan to get a mention. Okay, "knowed"/"road" (from "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright") is different from most examples on the page in that the rhyme is fine, it's the grammar that's wonky. But his song "Hurricane" looks as though it could have been written by McGonagall:
"It's my work", he'd say. "I do it for pay. And when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way Up to some paradise Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice And ride a horse along the trail." But then they took him to the jail- House Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.
From the same song as above:
We want to put his ass in stir We want to pin this triple mur-der on him He ain't no Gentleman Jim!
Dylan mangled many a meter, though (with clever prosody) he made it work, surprisingly often. Except the times he didn't. For those not familiar with the story from "Motorpsycho Nitemare" please understand, key facts have been omitted. True, but—I don't want to quote the entire thing—so, trust me that It Makes Sense in Context, sorta:
I said, "I like Fidel Castro, I think you heard me right" And ducked as he swung At me with all his might Rita mumbled something 'Bout her mother on the hill As his fist hit the icebox He said he's going to kill me/If I don't get out the door In two seconds flat "You unpatriotic, Rotten doctor Commie rat."
The chorus in "I Wanna Be Your Lover" is either an example or Refuge in Audacity: "I don't wanna be hers/I wanna be YERRRRRS!"
"It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" is a good example too:
A question in your nerves is lit Yet you know there is no answer fit To satisfy, insure you not to quit To keep it in your mind and not fergit That it is not he or she or them or it That you belong to
The Steve Miller Band's "Abracadabra" has quite a few awful rhymes, but the worst part has to be the chorus:
Abra-abra-cadabra I wanna reach out and grab ya Abra-abra-cadabra Abracadabra
In Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car", almost all the rhymes are slant rhymes, and Tracy works hard to make them sound like they rhyme. Well, until we get to this one, which pushes it a bit too far:
I know things will get better You'll find work and I'll get promoted We'll move out of the shelter Buy a big house and live in the suburbs
Dead Kennedys' "California Uber Alles":
It's the suede-denim secret police! They have come for your uncool niece!
Welcome to an empty fortress A mighty wreck that once was proud Ate alive by oxidation Abandoned by a crew of cowards
Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" rhymes the title with "fool ya". (And also "do ya", "to ya", "overthrew ya", "knew ya", and "outdrew ya", but the painfulness of these is well within the ambit of personal taste — unless the song is being sung by somebody who insists on pronouncing "do you", "to you", etc. 'properly'.)
3OH!3's song "Don't Trust Me". It's bad enough when they try to rhyme "teeth", "need", "east", and "cheeks". "Whoa-oh" is a pathetic rhyme for "ho". But "vegetarian" does NOT rhyme with "fucking scared of him".
The rap verses of Blondie's "Rapture" are probably supposed to seem a little silly, but:
Rapture Be pure Take a tour through the sewer Don't strain your brain Paint a train You'll be singing in the rain Said don't stop to the punk rock
And yes, "sewer" is pronounced like "sore" to rhyme.
The chorus of Thin Lizzy's "Romeo And The Lonely Girl":
Oh, poor Romeo Sittin' out on his own-ee-o
Third Day, an otherwise very talented contemporary Christian band, rhymed "Leavin'" with "seasons" in the song "I Will Be True".
Joni Mitchell's late '60s hit "Both Sides Now" totally falls apart in the last verse by trying to rhyme "strange / changed / gained":
But now old friends are acting strange They shake their heads, they say I've changed But something's lost and something's gained ...
The problem is that MANY people pronounce "yarmulke" as "yam-a-kah", hence the rhyme.
Along with quite a few other songs, "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles seems to run out of rhymes ending in "ay" halfway through the chorus, resulting in the most painful rhyme ever (and biggest ever cop-out) at the end: "today"!
I'm not gonna write you a love song 'Cause you tell me it's Make or breaking this If you're on your way I'm not gonna write you to stay If all you have is leavin' I'ma need a better reason To write you a love song today
I don't want to see a ghost, It's the sight that I fear most, I'd rather have a piece of toast, Watch the evening news.
The chorus to America's "Sandman", where "man" is rhymed with "sandman", which in turn is rhymed with "abandoned".
And the ever unfortunate chorus of "Horse with No Name" which is perfect rhyme at the expense of fracturing grammar badly
In the desert, you can remember your name 'Cause there ain't no one for to give ya no shame.
Britney Spears "Baby One More Time" contains three lines that sound like they rhyme, but none of them do exactly. (Though this is is arguably a subversion of the trope, because they sound fine in the song, and most people probably wouldn't even notice unless they were analysing the lyrics):-
When I'm not with you I lose my mind Give me a sign Hit me baby one more time
This isn't the last time she's done it either. In "Scary," A bonus track on "Femme Fatale," she rhymes "scary" with "hypnotherapy."
Last week, I sawr a film As I recall it was a horror film
"Jesse's Girl", by Rick Springfield, is an especially egregious offender:
You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot
"Black Friday Rule" by Flogging Molly has some rhymes which, though they seem odd when written down, make sense in the singer's cod Irish accent (eye/destroy, you/truth). There's no excuse for this lyric, though:
Well I lost me a wife, so I found me a plane Flew all the way to California
It's pronounced as "Californ-ee-eye-ay", in case you're wondering.
Avril Lavigne's "I'm With You":
It's a damn cold night Trynna figure out this life
"Sk8er Boi" has "heard" and "world", which are assonant (like the above) and would be forgivable... if she didn't sing the line like she was drunk in an effort to force them to rhyme.
Know why I SAY THESE THINGS? Cause LADIES' SCREAMS Keep creepin in SHADY'S DREAMS And the WAY THINGS SEEM I shouldn't have to PAY THESE SHRINKS These EIGHTY G'S A week to say the SAME THINGS TWEECE! ...Twice. Whatever.
The chorus of "The Riverboat Song" by Ocean Colour Scene features this predictable rhyme:
Anyway, for all the sings you said, Tell me why does the river run red? Anyway, for all the things you've seen, Tell me when will the river run green?
This song also repeatedly rhymes "double" with "trouble".
In the bridge of "Breaker" by Accept, the second line seems to be there only for the purpose of rhyming with the previous one and doesn't make sense in context:
Icicle brains Bicycle chains
Then, there's the chorus:
He's a breaker He will take ya
Sugarcult uses a lot of pervasive rhymes (with "Memory" being one of the worst offenders, abusing heart/start/apart to death). Still, none of those are as cringe-inducing as "Pretty Girl," which not only changes its rhyme scheme halfway through the song, but the second verse does, well, this:
She's beautiful as usual with bruises on her ego, and Her killer instinct tells her to be aware of evil men.
"Riot" tries a bit too hard to rhyme "riot" with "fight."
U2's already been mentioned above, but they deserve another mention for this verse from "All Because of You"— and yes, Bono does indeed pronounce "tortoise" to rhyme:
I like the sound of my own voice I didn't give anyone else a choice An intellectual tortoise Racing with your bullet train
Fairly standard pronunciation of "tortoise" in British English. Still painful though.
Especially since it puts the stress on TOISE instead of TOR-, where it belongs. Rhyming and scantion both weep here...
Wengren:Is there a significance to "Devon, one of eleven"? Draiman:Uh-huh, big family. * cutaway* "When I was first doing the scat version, the whole song all the way trough, almost every word of it was 'Eleven, Eleven, Eleven' 'cause not too many things rhyme with the word".
Yes, this lyric was painful because the subject had to be named "Devon" for some reason. Also note that the actual person the song was based on went unnamed.
Supposedly, 1 of 11 people with suicidal thoughts will actually go through with it and succeed note people often either come to their senses or have someone else intervene before going through with it. And even when they DO try it, many suicide methods aren't 100% successful. Also, according to The Other Wiki, suicide is the 11th highest cause of death in the US and the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention has 11 goals aimed at preventing suicides. The last two probably don't have anything to do with the song, but it's pretty weird how often 11 shows up.
Prayers in my pocket And no hand in destiny I'll keep on movin' along With no time to plant my feet
Points to Arctic Monkeys in "Cornerstone" for rhyming "smoke alarm" with "broken arm".
Arctic Monkeys are masters of the bizarre rhyme, especially in their earlier work when they leaned more heavily on Alex Turner's Sheffield accent and did things like rhyme "problem" with "Rotherham", or, on "When The Sun Goes Down":
Oh, 'e must be oop to summat What are the chances, sure it's more than likely I got a feeling in my stomach
Don't forget "Fire and the Thud"
And does burden come to meetchya (meet you) If I've questions of the feetcha (feature)
Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" uses "time"/"mine" twice, along with "seas"/"breathe", but the lines everyone jumps on are in the climactic call and response:
What about animals We've turned kingdoms to dust What about elephants Have we lost their trust?
She waits at backstage doors For those who have prestige Who promise fortune and fame A life that's so carefreenote Even "A life of endless ease" would have been an improvement.
"Little Susie" is a festival of poor rhymes and forced ones.
"Beating her voice in her doom/But nobody came to her soon"
"Oh the blood in her hair.../A mystery so sullen in air"
"The girl that now is dead/So blind stare the eyes in her head"
"How much can one bear/Rejecting the needs in her prayers" (Which doesn't even make it clear who the "one" is — the girl, a bystander, or God?)
ZZ Top's "I'm bad, I'm Nationwide". It'd be fine if the singer just pronounced "nationwide" with a twang, like "nationwadd", even, but he pronounces it straight.
"'Cos the gentlemen are calling and the snow is softly falling on her petticoats And she's standing in the harbour and she's waiting for the sailors in the jollyboats See how they approach"
And at the end: "So be kind to your mother/ Though she may seem an awful bother". This is, however, slightly better than the bit in "Sons and Daughters" where they try to rhyme "dirigible" with "untraceable".
This one is particularly subjective. The offending words both end in a "bul" sound.
They have a knack for this sort of thing... take the following example. Owch.
Meet me on my vast veranda My sweet, untouched Miranda.
Although Colin Meloy us usually an adept songwriter, in live performances he acknowledges that he hasn't always written the best songs; he pays tribute to the "worst song [he's] ever written":
You think you've got it bad Try having Dracula for your dad..
It's probably intentional, as one of Chuck Berry's trademarks is playfully stretched rhymes, but this bit of "Rock And Roll Music" still sort of stands out:
I must admit they have a rockin' band Man, they were blowin' like a hurricane
The interesting thing is you'd sort of expect he'd drop into a southern accent for "baynd", but instead "hurricane" is pronounced "hurry can".
Dethklok does this intentionally on "Birthday Dethday":
Now you're old and full of hatred Take a pill to MASTURBATRED Children point at you and scream Because they will become that thing
Another memorable case comes from "Hatredy":
I hate this audience
Regardless of applaudience
Several in The Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew's "Super Bowl Shuffle", but Jim McMahon probably has the worst:
I just throw my body all over the field I can't dance but I can throw the pill
Wonderful one from The Flaming Lips' "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1", particularly to a British listener note in the British pronunciation of "vitamins", the first syllable rhymes with "sit", not "site":
She's gotta be strong to fight 'em So she's taking lots of vitamins
"She Don't Use Jelly" has an example, but it may be deliberate, since they managed to work in a famous Least Rhymable Word:
But she don't use nothin' That you buy at the store She likes her hair to... Be real or'nge
ABBA have quite a number of them, often because Bjorn and Benny were unaware of the fact that certain Swedish grammar doesn't translate directly into English.
"The Winner Takes It All" is chock full of bad couplets, some which don't rhyme e.g. "I've played all my cards, and that's what you've done too" and some which do: "A big thing or a small, the winner takes it all". Bjorn defended the lyrics by saying he was drunk when he wrote them, and was too emotional about the subject matter to go back and change them.
Annihilator's song 'Army of One'. A song that namechecks various heavy metal bands to cite as influences includes the painfully forced rhyme:
Priest, Metallica, Megadeth Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath
Collide by Howie Day comes off as this when read, but the singer makes it work. Gives a nice bit of Fridge Brilliance:
Even the best fall down sometimes Even the wrong words seem to rhyme.
"Down" by Jay Sean has this:
I'll take you away, hey Turn this place into our private getaway
A vintage example crops up in Porgy and Bess's "It Ain't Necesarily So":
Oh Jonah he lived in de whale For he made his home in dat fish's abdomen
Later in the song:
I takes my gospel whenever it possible...
Actually, this song is rife wid'em. "Liable/Bible", "Goliath/dieth", "Chillun/villain", etc.
Stephin Merritt (of the Magnetic Fields and other projects) is very fond of these rhymes. "I Don't Believe You" has "I had a dream and you were in it/ The blue of your eyes was infinite", but even better, from "You Must Be Out Of Your Mind":
I want you crawling back to me Down on your knees, yeah Like an appendectomy Sans anesthesia
Another, from The Future Bible Heroes' "Hopeless":
Because it's hopeless All of our dreams are dying of overdoses All of our plans are lying in ten-car road wrecks
In The Magnetic Fields' "Zebra", "The Louvre" is rhymed with "maneuver" and "hoover", but instead of butchering the French pronunciation, the other two words are mispronounced ("manoov" and "hoov"). Which even sort of makes sense in-character, since the song is from the point of view of a pretentious and spoiled upper-class housewife. The printed lyrics take this further by using the spelling "maneuvre" and "hoovre".
The epitome of bad rhymes can be found in a song by children's singer Joe Scruggs called "In the Freezer" that was about a snowman being kept in a freezer
So we asked our mom And though it did not please her She said we could keep Our snowman in the freezer
Which was bad enough, but towards the end, it says:
We watch him as he sits there Next to the frozen squash 'til Dad shuts the door And says "It's starting to defrost."
I live by the sword I take my boys with me where I go because I'm paranoid
The "w" in "sword" is pronounced.
Darren Hanlon, in "(There's Not Enough Songs About) Squash"
Without sounding too peculiar If it's the cardiovascular You're after, then you can't beat squash
Usher's "OMG". It's bad enough that he is desperate enough to rhyme 'pow pow pow' with 'wow oh wow', but then he rhymes those with 'style' and 'out'. 'Out'? Okay, slant rhyme. But 'style' is simply unforgivable.
Amy Winehouse rhymes 'players', 'say' and 'millionaire' in "Fuck Me Pumps", with millionaire pronounced 'millio-naya' to fit:
You don't like players That's what you say-a But you really wouldn't mind a millionaire
Cobra Starship fails to realise that rhyming "Seven" with "Seven" is REALLY ANNOYING.
Marillion's "Emerald Lies" actually ends with:
And the coffee stains gather 'til the pale kimono Sets the wedding rings dancing on the cold linoleum
This is simultaneously excruciating and wonderful, as the listener realizes that this may be the only song in history not only to end with the word "linoleum", but also to "rhyme" it with "kimono." And to top it off, it does it with a melodramatic, Wagnerian cadence.
Angelspit's song Juicy has a rather painful example in the first two lines. "Spin a dice and it's Vegas rigged/A glass full of conobine, you're off your head." The way he sings it, it does work... kinda.
Gucci Mane himslef qualifies. Especially in the song Traphouse, where he proclaims his love of shooting "Dices".
"I got to many vices, I love to smoke weed, love to shoot dices."
From Peter Cetera and Amy Grant's "Next Time I Fall In Love":
Next time I fall in love I'll know better what to do Next time I fall in love Whoo ooh ooh ooh, ooh ooh
Granted it does rhyme, it just also makes it sound as though it got recorded before the lyrics were even finished. What really sells is that most of it is vocal filler until they get to the inevitable "The next time I fall in love, it will be with you."
In "That Song", Canadian rock band Big Wreck feature a really awful usage when they change the pronounciation of "dumb" to rhyme with "room". Seriously, could no other word have been used there?
And it might sound doom So just leave the room
Three Days Grace's "Break". Technically, the line in question does rhyme, but still...
If you can't stand the way this place is Take yourself to higher places
Roger Miller pulls one in "Dang Me" which is totally forgiven for humor value:
They say roses are red, violets are purple Sugar's sweet, so's maple syruple
Wckr Spgt's version of Andy Kim's "Rock Me Gently", where for some reason all of the original verses get replaced with deliberately bad rhymes that revolve around emphasizing the "-ed" part of past tense verbs:
Seen ya dressed, seen ya naked I've seen potatoes They baked
"One Tribe" by The Black Eyed Peas tried to rhyme "amnesia" with "evil". Seriously...
AC/DC may be a fantastic band, but this rhyme from "First Blood" felt a little forced...
Some like it hot Some like it quite not so hot
Johnny Mercer's version of "Glow Worm" includes this howler:
You got a cute vest-pocket Mazda Which you can make both slow or "fazda."
Lyricist Sammy Cahn gave us several classics, including "Let It Snow", "High Hopes", "Call Me Irresponsible"... and this:
How lucky can one guy be? I kissed her and she kissed me. Like the fella once said, Ain't that a kick in the head? The room was completely black. I hugged her and she hugged back. Like the sailor said, quote, "Ain't that a hole in the boat?"
Todd in the Shadows said that the first verse of Flo Rida's "Club Can't Handle Me" features "the worst succession of non-rhymes I've heard since the second verse of Steve Miller's 'Take the Money and Run'":
Hey, I own the light and I don't need no help Gotta be the feeling that Scarface player Stuntin' go wild can't handle this plan Life of the club arrogant like yeah!
Tarja Turunen, in her post-Nightwish song "Underneath", pronounces "worry" to rhyme with "sorry".
Wouldn't that work if you were Canadian?
Since most of the country doesn't have a strong accent, no it wouldn't.
War's "Why Can't We Be Friends" pulls this off a couple times: in the next-to-last verse, they rhyme "bright" with "about", while in the final verse, they rhyme "CIA" with "mafia". Yes, pronounced "maf-eye-ay".
The humor in Adam Sandler's "Thanksgiving Song" comes from these being intentionally invoked — with most of its couplets the first line is about Thanksgiving, but the second is usually a silly non sequitur that happens to rhyme.
Turkey for me, turkey for you Let's eat the turkey in my big brown shoe Love to eat turkey all night long Fifty million Elvis fans can't be wrong (later) Thanksgiving is a special night Jimmie Walker used to say "Dy-no-mite!" That's right!
In The Year 2525: Ten/Head.
Rod Stewart's "Maggie Mae" has the lines:
I laughed at all of your jokes, My love you didn't need to coax.
Perfectly fine rhyme, but look at the tortured syntax in that second line.
May work better if parsed as
My love, you didn't need to coax.
1980s ska band Madness used Refuge in Audacity and cockney accents to more or less get away with
I like driving in my car Even with a flat ty-ah
The Cranberries gave us
People are strangers People in danger People are strangers People deranged are
The handshake Seals the contract From the contract There's no turning back The turning point Of a career In Korea, being insincere
"It's Raining Again" by Supertramp opens with an "End/Friend/Mend" sequence, but that's just setting the scene for "C'mon, you little fighter/No need to get uptighter". According to The Now Show Book of World Records entry for Worst Rhyming Couplet In Pop, "after writing this, they probably high-fived and went to the pub. What they should have done is enrolled in a remedial songwriting course at their local techical college."
The winner of the book's Worst Rhyming Couplet record is Snap! for the jaw-dropping combination of painful rhyme and tasteless hyperbole that is:
I'm as serious as cancer, When I say rhythm is a dancer.
Interpol in their song "Obstacle 1" has a very jarring two lines that for some can completely ruin the song because of how shoehorned it sounds:
It's in the way that she posed, It's in the things that she puts in my head Her stories are boring and stuff She's always calling my bluff
While Chameleon Circuit's Doctor Who songs are usually very well done, they do tend to cheat on the rhymes, trying to rhyme "Luke" with "use" and "TARDIS" with "Daleks" (which is less painful with a British accent but still not technically a rhyme) in "Journey's End". Possibly the most egregious example is in "Gallifreyan History 101" where they try to rhyme "Doc" with "box", shortening the Doctor's name in a way that would be unacceptable outside of song for an amost-rhyme.
The Kelly Family's "Fell In Love with an Alien" tries to rhyme "Romeo" with "homey boy".
Lee Ann Womack's "Buckaroo" contains this couplet, which requires truly heroic amounts of country twang to pull off. She gives it a fair try.
I need a man who can tame a wild musTANG Who knows the difference 'tween love and lusTING.
Kid Rock's "All Summer Long" contains many of these, the most painful of which being:
"Sipping whiskey out the bottle, not thinking 'bout tomorrow"
Fort Minor's "Remember The Name" is bad about this: Almost every pair of words that seem to be intended to rhyme don't normally, though words get mumbled to accommodate on occasion. Alone/know him is an offender.
Mike Shinoda has a reputation for really odd rhymes, "Reading My Eyes" by Xero being a song where pretty much every line is shoehorned in order to fit the fast meter of his rapping, where he makes bizarre boasts about being the 'microphone molester' and 'bitchslapping your soul'. In "High Voltage", he makes the incomprehensible boast about having rapped since before the world began, and "twist my cords like double helixes". The ultimate shoehorned line in this song is "I've put a kink in the backbones of clones with microphones, Never satisfied my rhymes Jones"
"Check It Out" from will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas fame and Nicki Minaj is full of particularly forced rap rhymes (e.g. interest, nemesis, emphasis, and "simple bitch"), but this one really stood out for how hard will.i.am had to struggle to make it sound like it rhymed:
I'm a shot caller, get up off my collar, You are Chihuahua, I'm a Rottweiler.
In "Firework", Katy Perry tries to rhyme "aah" and "sky":
''Make 'em go aah, aah, aah As you shoot across the skaa-aah-aye...
And in her "TGIF", none of the rhyming triplets in the chorus actually rhyme. Choice examples include attempting to rhyme "bars" with "boulevard" and "dark" with "menage-a-trois."
She also tries to rhyme "car" with "floor", doesn't even remotely go together.
Most of Katy Perry's songs in general have painful rhymes.
Stereophonics' "I Could Lose Ya" is full of lines that don't really rhyme, although to be fair many of them are facilitated by Kelly Jones' natural accent. The first verse rhymes "theater" with "pier" and "shoulder" with "jumper", and later there's:
Drip drip the rain upon my window Wanna lay down still and just be near you Get the keys and take the Karmann Ghia Along the coast to buy a couple of beers
"Break Down Here" by Julie Roberts has this is the chorus.
I'd sure hate to break down here. Nothin' up ahead or in the rear-view mirror.
The Black Keys' side project Blakroc has the single "Ain't Nothing Like You", which attempts to ryhme "of" with "been": "I been accused uh/The same thing that you buh"
"Fuck You" by Cee Lo Green rhymes "sorry" with "Ferrari" and "Atari":
Yeah I'm sorry I can't afford a Ferrari But that don't mean I can't get you there. I guess he's an Xbox And I'm more Atari But the way you play your game ain't fair.
We started out together/Our expeditions linked But every student has a theory/The best he's ever thinked
The chorus of Belle and Sebastian's "Funny Little Frog" attempts to rhyme "court" and "throat" with "poet". The strange thing is that "throat" is stretched to two syllables but "court" isn't:
You are my girl, and you don't even know it
I am living out the life of a poet
I am the jester in the ancient court
You're the funny little frog in my thro-at
Microdisney's "A Friend with a Big Mouth" contains a serious case of assonance with its attempt to rhyme 'sing' and 'hill': "When you turn to kiss her, birds begin to sing, louder and louder, they're rolling down the hill". This might have been invoked intentionally given that the listener often expects the last line to be "They drown out everything".
Just strut in my birthday suit, and let everything hang loose
Rebecca Black doesn't bother keeping up any sort of rhyme in "Friday" — except that she manages to rhyme "bowl" and "cereal". Almost. The bridge also rhymes "Friday" and "excited".
The Irish folksong "I Am a Rambling Irishman" contains this verse:
When we arrived on the other side
We were both stout and healthy
We dropped our anchor in the bay
Going down to Philadelphia"
Trout Fishing In America's "Pico de Gallo" sticks "o" or "-io" sounds at the end of nearly every line to force the rhyme; e.g., "Don't get it in your eye-o / Unless you wanna cry-o / So come on, don't be shy-o / It's pico de gallo".
The examples from George and Ira Gershwin's "'S Wonderful" include:
's what I want
The all-time classic 'Bette Davis Eyes' by Kim Carnes has one of the worst rhymes in history, right there in the chorus:
And she knows just what it takes to make a pro blush
Temposhark's Don't Mess With Me. The first two lines of this part of the bridge are a good rhyme, but where is the logic in the second two?
In my crown, I am king
I love their endless worshipping
I am raw, a dinosaur
But I will never be extinct
Dialect songs tend to be big offenders, from "Where Do You Work-a, John?" ("Joe go away, John he's-a stay") to Dean Martin's "Mambo Italiano" ("E lo che se dice you get happy in the pizza when you/Mambo Italiano") to "Josephine, Please No Lean On the Bell:"
When you come-a from work and you want-a the sup , I m-a cook-a the nice macaron . Then you make-a sit down, then you make the get up For your feller he call on the phone.
She was sharing her spin-dry with a guy in a tie-dye When she saw my reflection in the chrome I knew that she'd seen me, 'cos she dropped her bikini The one that I got her in Rome ... When she finished her laundry she was all in a quandry And made for the street like a hare Her escape was so urgent, she forgot her detergent And dropped all her clean underwear
With swords drawn, held high, our whips and armour shine. Hail to thee, our infantry, still brave beyond the grave all sworn eternal vows, the time to fight is now... Gone are the days when freedom shone, now blood and steel will flow, in the light of the battle's wake, the sands of time will shake.
I drove my tractor through your haystack last night, I threw me pitchfork at your dog to keep quiet ... If I cleaned my act up would you change your mind? I'll give up drinking scrumpy and have lager and lime.
Lil Wayne's rap in Kevin Rudolf's "Let It Rock": "And I sing about angels like Angela / and Pamela / and Amanda and Samantha." (To be clear, he pronounces "Angela" to rhyme with "angel", then pronounces a bunch of other girl's names to rhyme with that by putting the acCENT upon the first sylLABle.)
A gross and borderline unforgivable few examples in Ciara's Goodies. In it she rhymes "goodies" with "it" and "bothered". Read on if you dare...
I bet you want the goodies
Bet you thought about it
I got you all hot and bothered
Maybe cause I talk about it
I'm not changing stories
Just respect the play I'm calling
The Far East Movement's "Like a G6" is full of these. Particularly notable is the chorus, sampled from Dev's "Booty Bounce".
Poppin' bottles in the ice, like a blizzard.
When we drink, we do it right, gettin' slizzered.
Sippin' sizzerp in my ride, like 3-6.
Now I'm feelin' so fly, Like a G6.
One of the members forced the word "style" to rhyme with "Cristal" (i.e. "Ladies love my style"). Todd in the Shadows pointed out that it sounded too much like he was trying to use the word "stall" (as in a toilet.)
Their song "Rocketeer" isn't much better, as it rhymes "planet" with "grab it". The chorus, by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, rhymes "here" with the titular "Rocketeer". But worst of all...
The Def Leppard album Hysteria is loaded with painful rhymes. To give just one example, the chorus of the title track pairs the word "hysteria" with one imaginary word and two real words that are slightly mangled in the vocal delivery to try to make them sound like plausible rhymes:
A truly startling number of hymns have an awful time coming up with rhymes for "love". It is constantly paired with "prove" or "move" or other similar words. This possibly stems from the brief period, around the 1500's in which "Prove" and "Move" were pronounced essentially as they are today, but "Love" was pronounced with the same vowel that is in the word "Foot" today (kinda like it still is in Liverpool.) It's not exact, but it's a lot closer than the modern pronunciations.
Charles Wesley has managed to use "prove"/"love" in nearly every hymn he wrote. Many of his other hymns have painful rhymes: "heav'n"/"giv'n", "lamb"/"claim", etc. Dude wrote the lyrics to over 2,000 hymns. They can't all be winners.
"O Come, O Come Emmanuel" has a verse that rhymes "high" and "mightily"/"misery". Perhaps in older times, it rhymed, but these days and in North America, not so much.
On the subject of Advent carols, "The First Noel" is chock-full of words, rhymes and rhythms stretched to breaking point: "I-in fi-ields whe-ere they, la-ay keeping their sheep, on a cold winter's ni-ight that wa-as so deep." Stretching 19 syllables out to fit 25 beats is painful enough, let alone the lackluster choice of rhyme.
"The Holly and The Ivy". "deer" with "choir"?
Similarly, a number of hymns rhyme "blood" with "good". It probably worked in the 17th century.
There are a lot of really beautiful Scottish folk songs that have entered the international repertoire of singers who aren't even necessarily folk singers. Trouble is, a lot of them have lines that only rhyme if they're sung with a Scottish accent (e.g. "eye" to rhyme with "he", "so" to rhyme with "day" and so on), and most non-Scottish singers can't sustain that accent for an entire song. This can lead to awkward results, such as a singer suddenly slipping into broad Scots for the duration of one line or even one word, and then slipping back into their normal accent for the rest of the song...
"Elenore" by The Turtles is deliberately written in this style; it's all part of the joke. Notable in that it's the only Hot 100 Song ever to rhyme "et cetera" in the lyrics (with "better", if anyone cares).
"For The Singer Of R.E.M." by fIREHOSE: The rhymes themselves are serviceable, it's just that it makes use of monorhyme and tends to use the same few words as rhymes over and over... However, as though to make up for that, there's also a fair amount of internal rhyme:
Here’s a version of tradition you can put in your drawer
In the desk where next to your chair’s the handle to your door
Dismantle the door handle, put the parts into your drawer
Say some words then make a sign, now open up the drawer
The drawer can’t tell you more
Than to deal with the door
My Darkest Days has come to the party with their song "Porn Star Dancing", which attempts to rhyme beg, legs, and stage.
Due to their fondness for Word Salad Lyrics, Train, especially since their comeback in 2010, has many of these.
"Hey, Soul Sister". This stanza may not be the most painful as the words do, for the most part, rhyme, but they're still painful.
The way you can cut a rug,
Watchin' you's the only drug I need
I'm so gangsta, I'm so thug,
You're the only one I'm dreamin' of!
I'm so obsessed,
My heart is 'bout to beat right out my untrimmed chest!
I hopped off the plane at L.A.X with a dream and my cardigan
Welcome to the land of fame, excess, (whoa) am I gonna fit in?
A few lines later...
This is all so crazy!
Everybody seems so famous!
My tummy's turnin' and I'm feelin' kind of homesick!
Too much pressure and I'm nervous!
"Who Put the Mush (in the Mush-A-Ring-A-Doo-Dah)" is a parody of "Who Put the Bomp" by Scottish folk group The McCalmans, about how the singer's girl left him for being a folkie. It includes the line "She liked rockin'/But I liked Dick Gaughan".
Michael Franti & Spearhead's "I'm Alive." Not only does it have a shout out to "Hey, Soul Sister" mentioned above, but it also has the singer compare his the woman he's singing to's relationship to this:
He went and got a rent-a-boy to help him with his luggage Not to mention helping with his tuggage and his pluggage He paid the boy to come to Europe just for the weekend To handle all his junk and then, uh, massage him in the Greek end.
Lampshaded in Ane Brun's "Where Friend Rhymes With End"
My friend, you left me in the end ... I can't believe I'm writing a song where "friend" rhymes with "end"
How did they raise the stones so high Completely without THE technolo-gye We have to-dye?
Robert Palmer gave us this groaner from "Hey Julia":
You're a strain on my eyes-es And you're full of surprises
One thing that might lead to this a lot is cultural differences. Something that might rhyme with British pronunciation might not in, say, American English, which will make the rhymes sound forced or painful.
In a time of secret wooing Today prepares tomorrow's ruin Left knows not what right is doing My heart is torn asunder
Changes in pronunciation over time also result in this. The final couplet of Shakespeare's Sonnet 116, for example, rhymes "proved" with "loved," which rhymed in his day ("prə'-ved" and "lə'-ved" respectively) but not in the present.
Most all of Ogden Nash's poetry uses these, but much like Tom Lehrer below, they usually add a sense of playfulness to the poems. See "The Tale of Custard the Dragon":
Ink and Blink in glee did gyrate Around the dragon that ate the pirate.
Nash did object, however, to the kind requiring the poetic pronunciation of "wind" as "wined."
In his satirical epic poem Don Juan, Lord Byron often used rhymes for comedic effect, sometimes with Lampshade Hanging. One of the most flagrant (other than rhyming "Ju-an" with "new one"), was this one:
But, oh, ye lords of ladies intellectual, Inform us truly, have they not hen-peck'd you all?
At the start of the poem, he also took a swipe at his personal enemy, Robert Southey, who was the current Poet Laureate, by rhyming "Laureate" with "Iscariot". That one was so bad, he even expressed doubts about it in a footnote.
Granny had room. In her heart, mind, and house For a tattered and torn rag doll named Clouse Old picnic baskets and yes—even a mouse.
(If you're wondering how this scans, you're not the only one.)
William Topaz McGonagall, self-acclaimed poet and tragedian, and Trope Namer for Giftedly Bad, wrote entire volumes of poetry that just about rhymes but doesn't scan, and has all the emotional resonance of a steamroller. Most famous is his "The Tay Bridge Disaster", which ends:
Oh! Ill-fated bridge of the silv'ry Tay I now must conclude my lay By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay That your central girders would not have given way At least many sensible men do say Had they been supported on each side with buttresses At least many sensible men confesses For the stronger we our houses build The less chance we have of being killed.
Equally hilarious is his Address to the Reverend George Gilfillan, which such immortal lines as:
All hail to the Rev George Gilfillan of Dundee, He is the greatest preacher I did ever hear or see. ... He has written the life of Sir Walter Scott, And while he lives he will never be forgot, Nor when he is dead, Because by his admirers it will be often read ... Rev George Gilfillan of Dundee, I must conclude my muse, And to write in praise of thee my pen does not refuse...
Robert Browning's excellent poem "The Pied Piper of Hamelin", which practically begs to be read aloud for fun energy and its many excellent rhymes, uses several such rhyme-pairs, as if to torment the reader.
So, Willy, let me and you be wipers Of scores out with all men — especially pipers! And, whether they pipe us free from rats or from mice, If we've promised them aught, let us keep our promise!
Aleister Crowley'sAscension Day and Pentecost is an Affectionate Parody of Browning (as well as a colossal Take That to Christianity) but it is also a colossal exercise in excruciating rhymes. The author claimed that he made a list of every word in the English language that was said to be "unrhymable" and found a rhyme (of sorts) for every single one of them. Some choice examples:
We ll have the ham to logic s sandwich Of indignation: last bread bland, which After our scorn of God s lust, terror, hate, Prometheus-fired, we ll butter, perorate With oiled indifference, laughter s silver: Omne hoc verbum valet nil, vir ! ... (I promise Mr. Chesterton Before the Muse and I have done A grand ap-pre-ci-a-ti-on Of Brixton on Ascension Day.)
In Chesterton'sReturn of Don Quixote, those last two rhymes were why Browning was included in John Braintree's list of Victorian Giants who ought to have met up with Jack the Giant-Killer.
Anne Bradstreet, a 17th century American colonial poet, wrote a sonnet that rhymed "forever" with "persevere", which, according to a footnote, was pronounced with a short E on the final syllable at the time. Forced rhyme for some people.
Although Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, one of the most famous Hispanic poetesses in the world, wrote quite a bit of excellent poetry in her life, she did slipped in this kind of rhyme a couple of times. One of her poems, for example, resorts to writing "cruel" as "cruël", an archaic Spanish trick to add an extra syllable.
That's not really archaic Spanish. All the diaeresis means is "pronounce these vowels separately", and it's not that unusual to see "cruel" pronounced as "croo-el", especially in British works.
The word "cruel" is pronounced with two syllables in all varieties of modern spanish. Pronouncing it as rhyming with "fell" or "fool" which it seems the above troper is suggesting it should be pronounced would elicit only derisive laughter from actual spanish speakers.
Or in Good King Wenceslas, to rhyme with "fuel." (which it still doesn't).
William Shakespeare is now guilty of this at times: namely, all the uses of words like "banishèd" (rhyming with "dead") at the end of rhymed lines in Romeo and Juliet. Back then, if something ended in 'ed' it was always pronounced with the "èd"; if Shakespeare wanted to say it as we do, he would have spelt it "banish'd".
"Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing over 7,000 Pounds" by James McIntyre:
Wert thou suspended from balloon, You'd caste a shade, even at noon; Folks would think it was the moon About to fall and crush them soon.
E. E. Cummings had his share of clunkers and painful rhymes, but at his best, he uses this trope for satire.
what does little Ernest croon in his death at afternoon? (kow dow r 2 bull retoinis wuz de woids uf lil Oinis
Emily Dickinson. Yeah, yeah, classic poetry. But just read a few of the most famous ones, and you'll notice an annoying tendency for the words to look like they rhyme without actually rhyming at all. As well as rhyming words with themselves.
This is called slant rhyme, and it's legit. Of course, it's also entirely possible that she was just using it as an excuse not to think of better rhymes. That said, "chill" and "tulle" still aren't even close.
Oh, once there lived in Kankakee A handy dandy Yankakee, A lone and lean and lankakee Cantankakerous Yankakee...
A note: Slant rhymes are almost always, if a poet is using them right, meant to be jolting. Messing with people's expectations is one of the things that can distinguish poetry from nursery rhymes and ad jingles.
These cringe-inducing lines nominally written about Sir John Hill the apothecary:
For physic and farces His equal there scarce is; His farces are physic, His physic a farce is.
The Passionate Shepherd To His Love by Christopher Marlowe not only tries to rhyme "love" with "prove" and "move", but also "roses" with "posies" and "falls" with "madrigals". If that last one doesn't seem like such a big deal, in a follow-up poetic parody by a different poet "madrigals" is made to rhyme with "canals", which further compounds things.
Considering that was over 400 years ago (before the Great Vowel Shift), are we sure those weren't perfect rhymes back then? (The "love"/"prove"/"move" thing wasn't unique to Marlowe: William Shakespeare did it too.) When Pope (much later) rhymed "tea" with "say", it wasn't a mistake; it really did rhyme.
At one point in the very odd comedic poem Greybeards At Play, G. K. Chesterton randomly rhymes "Hanno" with "piano." The next stanza is also pretty painful (probably intentionally), despite being an apology for doing it:
Forgive the entrance of the not Too cogent Carthaginian. It may have been to make a rhyme; I lean to that opinion.
Stevie Smith's poem The Jungle Husband uses painful rhymes deliberately for a comic effect.
At least one translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, among other crimes, rhymes "unstable" with "unnavigable", "most" with "lost", "bent" with "punishment", "binds" with "winds" (as in, the thing that blows, not the kind of "winds" that would actually rhyme), "alone" with "down", "floods" with "Gods", "food" with both "flood" and, later, "mud".
In The Pirates of Penzance, there is a song "When Frederick was a little lad", in which Ruth describes the troubles that resulted when she confused the similar-sounding words "pilot" and "pirate". They're never actually rhymed with each other, which would be really painful, but that doesn't mean the audience gets off lightly: instead, Ruth pronounces them with unnatural emphasis — "pi-lot" and "pi-rate" — with rhymes to match. (Not to mention the bit where she rhymes "what you people call work" with "maid-of-all-work".)
Also in The Pirates of Penzance, "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General" has Stanley singing:
In short, when I've a smattering of elementary strategy, You'll say a better Major-General has never... (tries to think of word) sat a-gee! [note: This means to ride a horse.]
Rhyming "die" with "sympathy" (an accepted, if obscure, pronunciation) is bad enough in Patience, but not as bad as when Bunthorne reprises the song in the finale ultimo:
In that case unprecedented, Single I must live and die— I shall have to be contented With a tulip or lily!
Tolloller and Mountararat: 'Neath this blow, worse than stab of dagger, though we mo- -mentarily stagger
Iolanthe also has this gem, lampshading the whole mess in the score:
Strephon: A Shepherd I Chorus: A Shepherd he Strephon: From Ar-ca-dye Chorus: From Ar-ca-dee
Additionally, Iolanthe features Private Willis's famous chorus:
I often think it's comi-cal That Nature always does contrive That ev'ry boy and ev'ry gal That's born into the world alive Is either a little liber-al Or else a little conserva-tyve!
From Princess Ida, as the three sons of the King of Hungary go into battle:
Oh Hungary! Oh Hungary! Oh doughty sons of Hungary! May all success attend and bless your warlike ironmongery!
The Pirate Queen has several such cringers:
"I'll be there though I know that it's madness... (blah blah and then...) from the depths of my sadness"
"I should be free, free to be Grace/ So I can feel the wind on my face"
Of Thee I Sing has the Senate of the United States slipping into Scottish dialect just to sing a rhyme:
Jilted, jilted, jilted is she— Oh, what is there left but to dee?
Then there's this lovely bit from the patter section of "Love Is Sweeping The Country":
Florida and Cal- Ifornia get together In a festival Of oranges and weather.
An infamous example is "On the Street Where You Live" from My Fair Lady, which rhymes "bother me" with "rah-ther be."
Conversely, there are several rhymes in My Fair Lady that work with an American accent but not the English accent of the character. (Rhyming "en masse" with "glass", for instance.)
This gets lampshaded in the song "Show Me", when Eliza Doolittle sings, "Haven't your lips/Hungered for mine?/Please don't explain/Show me!" She pronounces "Explain" as "Ex-pline", intentionally falling back on her old flower-girl accent.
Alan Jay Lerner committed another one in "Come Back To Me", otherwise the best song in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever:
Have you gone to the moon? Or the corner saloon And to rack an' to 'roon'?
That's qualifies as a printed (in the score) Lampshading as far as I'm concerned. ("roon" is supposed to be "ruin" of course
Here's the ring to prove that I'm no joker Thare's 3 ways that love can go That's good, bad or mediocre
How has Sweet Transvestite not been mentioned yet?
If you want something visual That's not too abysmal We could take in an old Steve Reeves movie.
The song "Castle on a Cloud" from Les Misérables has a painful non-rhyme (that is, the line isn't supposed to rhyme, but manages to sound as if it was supposed to and didn't):
There is a room that's full of toys, There are a hundred boys and girls.
Also in Les Mis, depending on pronunciation, this rhyme can be quite painful:
Little dear, cost us dear Medicines are expensive, M'sieur
Another Les Mis example comes from "Who Am I
If I speak, I am condemned If I stay silent, I am damned.
"On My Own" has a couple of these:
In the rain, the pavement shines like silver All the lights are misty in the river
Without him, the world around me changes The trees are bare and everywhere the streets are full of strangers
Wicked contains a few very noticeable clunkers. Special mention should go to "Where so many roam to, / We'll call it home, too" in "One Short Day", and "Dreams the way we planned 'em, / If we work in tandem" in "Defying Gravity".
In "Popular" Galinda corrects the rhyme in a lyric:
Instead of dreary who you were - well, are There's nothing that can stop you from becoming popular - lahr
Don't forget Boq speaking to Nessa at the Oz Dust dance:
Hey, Nessa Listen Nessa I've got something to confess - a Reason why,
In "The Wizard and I", Elphaba sings:
Folks here to an absurd degree Seem fixated on your verdigris'
"The Windy City" from Calamity Jane: "Mean wear sideburns, and they oughtta, 'cause a haircut costs a quarter."
"Can I Get a Napkin Please", the song for Improv Everywhere's Food Court Musical, has a couple right in a row: "Got a bunch with your lunch? Got a stack in your pack? Got a couple in your duffel? Got some extras under textbooks?" While the song and performance is awesome and hilarious, these lines come across as totally forced and lame. What the hell do duffels and textbooks have to do with a food court? Thankfully, these lines were cut from the video.
Don't talk about love Or you'll have to say "fits like a glove", Or "as certain as push comes to shove You will pine for the woman you're constantly thinking of." And don't mention your life Or you'll have to say "cuts like a knife", Or refer to the heartbreak and strife When you find that you're missing your wife.
The song "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" from Kiss Me Kate is full of intentionally humourous bad rhymes for Shakespeare plays.
Cole Porter, in general, has written many deliberate mispronunciations of words (and outright non-existent words) into his songs, although not always for the sake of rhyming. "Friendship" from Anything Goes has several of these, including the following "rhyming" couplet:
When other friendships have been for-gate Ours will still be great!
"Paris Makes Me Horny" from the stage version of Victor/Victoria has a lot of terrible rhymes. One could make the argument that the singer (Norma, a rather terrible lounge showgirl singer) would think they are clever. Then, again, it's a Leslie Bricusse lyric, who's been known to write some terrible rhymes before ... tellingly, this song is so poorly regarded that it was cut from at least one subsequent production.
"Impossible" from Cinderella rhymes "pumpkin" with "bumpkin". This feels especially painful during the reprise, when Cinderella still calls herself a bumpkin despite her new Pimped-Out Dress making her look like anything but.
The 1997 TV version of the musical (starring Brandy and Whitney Houston) both featured and lampshaded this trope. When the Fairy Godmother (Houston) first appears, she sings in rhyme, and recites, "Fol-de-rol and fiddle-dee-dee, fiddley-faddley-foodle / All the dreamers in the world are...dizzy in the noodle!" Cinderella (Brandy) replies "That's horrible." The Fairy Godmother, thinking she's talking about the rhyming, defends herself, saying that it's difficult to come up with a spur-of-the-moment couplet. Cinderella was actually referring to the sentiment...although the poetry's not great, either.
A lesser known one comes from Chess, in which the opening number (or closing, depending on your production) contains this little gem:
Chess displayed no inertia, Soon spread to Persia, Then West!
Also, though less severe:
This grips me more than would a Muddy old river or reclining Buddha
We dine well here in Camelot We eat ham and jam and Spam a lot
Though everything they rhyme with Camelot is pretty terrible, the worst possibly being "We're opera-mad in Camelot, we sing from the diaphragm a lot!"
Bonus points should be given to "Something Sort of Grandish" from Finian's Rainbow, which not only intentionally mispronounces words but abbreviates them or makes them up entirely:
Something so dareish So I don't careish, Stirs me from limb to limb. It's so terrifish, magnifish, delish. To have such an amorish glamorish dish.
In "Drop That Name" from Bells Are Ringing, Ella tries to twist "Rin-Tin-Tin" to rhyme with every celebrity's name. She doesn't see how to rhyme it with "Raymond Massey," but fortunately she comes up with the name of anotherHeroic Dog.
In the stage version of Beauty and the Beast, there is an added song after "Be Our Guest" called "If I Can't Love Her" which gives us this rhyme:
Long Ago I Should Have Seen All the Things I could Have Been
In The Desert Song, "One Good Boy Gone Wrong" rhymes "saphead" with "trappéd."
One Touch of Venus features such strained rhymes as warm/ignor'm ("The Trouble With Women"), Rahway/mah way ("Way Out West In Jersey") and memoirs/them was ("Very, Very, Very"). Of course, Ogden Nash was responsible for these lyrics.
In Jerry Herman's Mame, from the song "We Need a Little Christmas":
So, climb down the chimney It's been a long time since I felt good-neighbor-y Slice up the fruitcake It's time we hung some tinsel on that bayberry bough
Made even more unfortunate by the fact that the "good-neighbor-y" line is sung by Mame's Japanese manservant, Ito, in an apparent stereotypical Asian Speekee Engrish mispronunciation of "good-neighborly".
Jesus Christ Superstar got a new Swedish translation in 2008 and pretty much every single song had examples of this. For instance in Heaven on their Minds one line goes "You have put them under hypnosis/ they're saying Jesus is the son of God''. In Swedish this means rhyming hypnos with Guds son.
The poems on the tags of some Beanie Babies can lapse into this. An egregious example is "The End" the Bear, whose poem tries to rhyme "to an end" with "everyone".
Sing it, Fallout 3 fans: "They have things like the atom bomb... so I think I'll stay where I om...civilizatiooooonnnnn, I'll stay right heeeerrreee!!!"
Shantotto once rhymes a word with her LAUGH. If it's not forced I don't know what is.
Another thing that she seems to have some kind of issue with is meter. To wit:
Shantotto: I don't make threats! If there's no result by the time I'm done researching the ultimate spell, it's too late for regrets!
In the search-and-find game Penny Dreadfuls: Sweeney Todd many of the songs in the cut scenes tend to fall victim to this. Nice melodies, sure; okay singing, sure; smooth lyrics...eh. It's hard not to cringe at lines like "Joanna, I felt you watching over me / As I fought the perils of the sea / And almost drowned in my own misery".
Persona 3 has the epic opening song, 'Burn My Dread'. There is a really weird pronunciation of the word 'despair' (dis-pie-air). When you listen to the full version, you realise they're trying to rhyme 'despair' with 'Hell's fire'... which is right at the other end of the track, and not included in the opening video at all.
The Idolmaster features the song "READY!!" which features the refrain "Are you ready? / I'm [a] lady!" which sounds incredibly forced to a native English speaker. In Japanese however, which has no R/L distinction, the words turn into homonyms, making it a much less grating pun. A rare case of the singers' usually fantastic English diction actually working against them somewhat.
Fallen London uses the concept for humor in the flavor text which indicates progress in writing a commissioned poem. It's an epic - four hundred stanzas. And it's about mushrooms. "The work advances. Are you actually going to rhyme 'mushroom' with 'room'? I mean actually?"
Echidona, that's what I'm representin' Never seen a mic-hog spit like a menace
A double cross spot-thief that's out for my jewels I'm feeling her in mysterious ways That's why I stay on point like every single day I gotta protect this place, I do it for my race
Since Child Of Light has all its dialogue in rhymes, there are bound to be a number of these. Examples include rhyming "delicious" with "ravenous".
Yahtzee decided that the reboot of Wolfenstein was such a boring game any normal review of it would also be boring, and so performed most of his review of the game in limerick form. Since it's played for laughs, the ridiculous rhymes come off as more hilarious than painful.
"I know what you're gonna say: "Yahtzee! You sleek internet paparazzi! Surely it's always fun To stick the butt of a gun Up the arse of a goose-stepping Nazi!"
He also lays into Child Of Light for using this too often, as it completely disrupted any immersion he may have otherwise had.
Strong Bad: Oh, cute, CUTE and cute. You're like the poet laureate of...
Ultra Fast Pony. Spike writes a poem with an abundance of rhyming with “who”, then he forces “here we go” into this rhyme scheme by pronouncing it “here we goo”. He cringes slightly as he reads this part aloud.
In Mondo's video "Back of the Line," we have Tim Cook trying to rap at the beginning, even though everyone wants the ghost of Steve Jobs to do it (who later shows up after this epic fail).
Tim Cook: Hey there Apple fans, it's your main man, Cook
Uh, saying rhymes, on... on time... uh... oh ho, books.
The Filk Songs found in the comments section of Narbonic and Skin Horse. ("Girl/world" is a repeat offender, given that Helen Narbon is a girl who wants to rule the ... well, you know.) Frequently the bad rhymes are done for comic effect ...
Rhyming "live-action movie" with "David Duchovny"???
Yes, but they're filk songs. (And sometimes they're better than the originals.)
"Super Stupor", a side feature of Randy Milholland's Something Positive, had a brief appearance by a bottom-rung villain named Crimer Rhymer, who normally spoke in very forced rhymes. ("I don't know what you mean / My record from errors is clean.")
During a Keiki story in which the title character is officially proclaimed the smartest persion in Hawaii, Beefer challenges her to come up with a rhyme for "orange." She answers, "The rock guy screamed, 'more grunge!' as he ate an or-ange."
Penny and Aggie features Penny rhyming to Karen that "Boys don't make passes/at girls that wear glasses// But boys think it's way sick/when girls get Lasik."
The Swan Princess gave us this deathless couplet from its Villain Song, "No More Mr. Nice Guy": "Up 'til now I've pulled my punches/I intend to eat their lunches..."
As well as "As soon as my witchcraft has zinged 'em/I'll gain control of the kingdom."
"No Fear": "This plan if applied'll/be simply sucidal"
"Princesses on Parade": "Boy oh boy, these Royal Highnesses/All have pluses, they've no minuses"
Basically if it's a song in The Swan Princess that isn't "Far Longer than Forever", it'll have bad rhymes in it. The "Practice, Practice, Practice" song rhymes "practice" with "attacked us" and "sacked us."
WheeeenCaptain Americathrows his mighty shiiiieeeld / all those who chose to oppose his shield must YIIIEEELD / When he's led to a fight and a duel is due / Then the red and the white and the blue'll come through…
The Incredible Hulk cartoon attempted to rhyme "gamma rays" with "unglamorous".
This line from True Love's Kiss in Enchanted. I mean, it could be intentional, but Jesus:
That's the reason we need lips so much, For lips are the only things that touch...
Not a song, but the Wilderness Explorer motto from Up:
Russell: An explorer is a friend to all / Be it bird or fish or tiny mole! Carl: That doesn't even rhyme! Russell: Yes it does!
The song "Spirit of Adventure" from all the way at the end of the credits has gloriously cheesy rhymes- but then, what else do you expect from a song that rhymes the word adventure three seperate times?
We're PIXIES! We're PIXIES! We're strong like BILL BIXBY!
Pretty much every piece of Mystic Spiral's lyrics in Daria is like this.
Plus, at least one song from the musical episode.
Helen. Oh, Helen. You're so swell-en...
The newest season of Total Drama Island uses this a lot, but it's a bit justified since they make up the songs on the spot, such as Lindsay rhyming 'brain' with 'game' or D.J. and Harold's 'pieces' and 'feet-ses.'
The title theme of Pinky and the Brain rhymes "world" with "unfurled". Not great, but not so bad just yet, especially since the easier-to-rhyme "Earth" is used elsewhere in the song. The really painful part of this is just how much the writers apparently love that rhyme, and constantly use it in other songs on the show (it's always "unfurled"; never any other word). Okay, so "world" isn't the most rhymable word, and yes, it's the final word of Brain's Catch Phrase, but does it need to be rhymed every time the heroes sing?
Dot: I act like a nut so they call me Macadamia I dance like a klutz on a show called Anamania.
Dot: Now please don't mention my brother, the one they call Wakkarino, He's always burping, every hour, so I threw him out of the tower. Wakko: Waaaaooooooh..!
A song in "King Yakko":
Yakko: In dear old Anvilania, everyone's our friend!
Dot: We want to meet you all!
Wakko: And shake you by the hend! [the other two glare at him] Hend! Hend! It rhymes!
Bravestarr has a bad one when describing the title character's arrival and powers
"Then one day, a lawman appeared! With powers of hawk, wolf, puma, and bear!"
Toxic Crusaders, the animated adaption of The Toxic Avenger, has this gem of a description.
"I had no friends, no girls to hug me! So I got radioactive ugly!"
The House of Mouse version of the song "Minnie Mouse in the House" from the "Mickey Unrapped" album (It's sung by the Muses from Hercules in the episode "Where's Minnie?".) Here are two excerpts from the original version of the song:
...Now that Minnie's here, it's a mouse-house party Go tell it to Michael and Mona and Marty Gonna twirl, gonna swirl, gonna ride the groove And when you see her, you've got to MOVE!!!
...Now you know no one will ever dis her If she went away we would really miss her! The dance floor is her heart and soul territory That's her story The story of Minnie Mouse (Minnie Mouse) In the house! (In the house!)
Now here's the House of Mouse version for comparison:
...Now that Minnie's here, it's a mouse-house party If she went away we would really miss her! The dance floor is her heart and soul territory That's her story The story of Minnie Mouse (Minnie Mouse) In the house! (In the house!)
The song would've avoided this problem were if there was a music video set in the titular House of Mouse's Prop Room (especially the fact that the melody of the third verse mentioned above sound an awful lot like "The Crystal Chamber".)
Another House of Mouse example would be the show's version of the song "You Can Fly" from Peter Pan, where one of the song's lyrics apparently pronounced the word "aerodynamic" in a way so it rhymes with "beak."
Intentionally invoked in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Show Stoppers." Scootaloo attempts to write a song for the upcoming talent show, but is only able to come up with lyrics like:
"With our cutie marks, we'll rock Equestria We use our stomachs to digestia."
Also in "Over a Barrel". Pinkie Pie's song hasn't one rhyme in it that isn't at least a little silly.
"We may be divided But of you all I beg To remember we're all hooved At the end of each leg."
Pinkie's cupcake song in "Call of the Cutie" really takes the cake.
"All you have to do is take a cup of flour Add it to the mix Now just take a little something sweet, not sour A bit of salt, just a pinch Baking these treats is such a cinch Add a teaspoon of vanilla Add a little more, and you count to four And you never get your fill of..."
The song "At the Gala" rhymes the words "time" and "divine" near the end, and earlier tries to rhyme "thousands" and "diamonds".
"The Ballad of the Crystal Empire" from the first episode of season three has see/history. The pronunciation is about as forced as it has to be for that to even remotely work.
Admittedly the fact that it was sung rather than spoken eased the forcedness a little.
The "Come Home Perry" song from the Phineas and Ferb episode "Oh, There You Are, Perry" has deliberately cringe-worthy rhymes when Candace has trouble coming up with rhymes for "Perry":
Oh, Perry! I'm allergic to dairy, I'm gonna move to the prairie, And change my name to Larry! ... Phineas:Larry?! Candace: I ran out of rhymes, alright?
Lampshaded in the "Frenemies" song from "Lotsa Latkes", which rhymes "spats" with "ats".
Baljeet: You are pluralising "at"? Buford: Work with me, brain-boy!
Always, we will fight as one! Until the battle's won With evil on the run, We never come undone. Assembled, we are strong! Forever fight as one!
This became more painful after Disney XD cut out all of the theme song except the last two lines, and the part where the singers exclaim, "Avengers Assemble!", in order to make room for recaps and expository voiceovers.
An episode of Fillmore! has a character called Checkmatey who tries to rap every other sentence and creates some truly terrible rhymes in the process. Fillmore eventually gets tired of Checkmatey's grating personality and bad rapping, and as he calls out Checkmatey:
Fillmore: You just rhymed "bomb" with "wisdom"!
This poem written by Sokka of Avatar: The Last Airbender: "My name is Sokka/ It's pronounced with an "-okka"/ Young ladies, I rock ya!" He gets thrown out of the poetry club- not because of the bad rhyming, but because it's meant to be a haiku.
For double irony, his attempt to make one is what threw off his haiku. If he had stopped with "rock" or left out "young", the syllable count would have been fine.
At the end of "Home Cooked Eds," Ed starts randomly talking in rhyme. As he's the group's Dumb Muscle, well...
Ed: Don't even think about it! Wink about it!
Ed: One plus one equals one on a bun!
"Adults Ruin Everything" from the The Fairly OddParents episode "School's Out! The Musical" takes a leaf from Pinky and the Brain's book by using "unfurled" as a rhyme for "world", multiple times throughout the song.
E. Y. Harburg's lyrics yield nothing to Ogden Nash in mangling words for the sake of rhyme.
His rhymes weren't as painful because they were meant to be funny. Many other examples on this page weren't, thus increasing their painfulness.
Rev. Joseph Lowery's invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration included a a few rhyming lines that were a reference to the 1940s song "Black, Brown and White":
We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back When brown can stick around When yellow will be mellow When the red man can get ahead, man And when white will embrace what is right.
It may be worth mentioning comedian Alexei Sayle's solution to the whole problem of poetry being difficult to write because people expect it to rhyme: Simply end every line with the same word.
There was a young lady from Shrewsbury bollocks Who went to the shop for some fish bollocks As she walked in the door shit The shopkeeper said shit What kind of fish would you like bollocks?
As noted above, lots of beginning and amateur poets often stick slavishly to "ABAB" rhyme schemes, which often results in this.
The Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas deserves a special mention here: Sinterklaas gifts are traditionally accompanied by poems of.. let's say... varying quality.
Happens a lot with Christian hymns.
Any song ever that attempts to rhyme "again" with, for example, "rain", when "again" is pronounced "ag'in" or "ag'en".
From Oasis' "Underneath the Sky": "Underneath the sky AGYAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYN". (Only at the end; otherwise it's "again" to rhyme with "friend". There's also one instance of "agayn" to rhyme with "name"... if there's a band renowned for this trope it's Oasis, whose "Sister/missed her/blister" from "She's Electric" is reckoned to the be one of the worst rhyme combos ever, closely followed by "cousin/dozen/oven".)
Stan Rogers rhymes "Pain" with "Again" in The Woodbridge Dog Disaster, but he does so without using the "Agayn" pronounciation.
Keane attempts to rhyme "again" with "same" in...brace yourself..."Again & Again." The wonky rhyme is done with "Agayn", but the same word shortly before it (in the obvious phrase) is pronounced "again", making it especially jarring. And it's still only a half-rhyme.
Anything if it rhymes with "...you see." at the end of the previous or following line.
Justified in "Revelations" by Iron Maiden, on the equal grounds of coming from a song with awesome lyrics (any metal band to quote Chesterton should be awarded a medal), and for coming from a verse that already began as an unlikely prediction ("Bind all of us together, ablaze with hope and free/No storm or heavy weather will rock the boat, you'll see.")
Monty Python's deliberately boring song "Traffic Lights" cuts off before finishing its last and worst rhyme:
I like traffic lights, I like traffic lights, I like traffic lights, Although my name's not Bamber. I like traffic lights, I like traffic lights, I like traffic lights, But only when they're... (Oh, God.)