->''"Most of the prophets of the past millennium were more concerned with scansion than accuracy. You know, '[[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe And thee Worlde Unto An Ende Shall Come, in tumpty-tumpty-tumpty One.]]' Or Two, or Three, or whatever. There aren't many good rhymes for Six, so it's probably a good year to be in."''
-->-- '''Aziraphale''', ''Literature/GoodOmens''
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Whenever characters are reading from an ancient prophecy or magical spell, it will rhyme, as if every ancient scroll and tome was written by Dr. Seuss. Even funnier, the translation makes it rhyme ''in English'', regardless of what culture it came from. It's like an attempt at GratuitousIambicPentameter, running headlong into MundaneMadeAwesome.

That foreign-language PropheciesRhymeAllTheTime is one of the most blatant forms of either ConvenientlyPreciseTranslation (if the characters actually translate it or use TranslatorMicrobes) or TranslationConvention (if they don't). In [[RealLife reality]], it's hard work to translate a rhyme in one language into a rhyme in the other, not the kind of thing that you could easily do on the fly.

Mind you, the translators of the classical poets like Homer, Virgil, the author of Beowulf, or Dante often find it worth the effort to make their translations rhyme. But the harder you work at something like this, the more you sacrifice things like keeping the actual meaning of the prophecy intact. And surely most prophecies are vague enough already without translating them in a way that carries their meaning even farther away from the exact events that fulfill the prophecy. In that sense, if you hear a translated prophecy that rhymes, you should be worried that it was an especially ''In''conveniently ''Im''precise translation. Remember, a poem is a toy, but a prophecy is a tool.

Possibly justifiable, as rhyming when translated into the language spoken by the people who have to do something about it, and not in any language existing at the time the prophecy was written, is a clever way to prove that it's a real prophecy. But that only works if it's a [[LuckyTranslation sufficiently straightforward translation]] to show that the prophet did it rather than the translator.

The trope probably originates from the Delphic Oracle in ancient Greece, where it was standard practice for the priests attending the oracle to render her visionary ravings into elegant hexameter verse for petitioners. More generally, in pre-literate societies poetry was an important mnemonic tool - prophecies that rhyme or scan stand a far better chance of being remembered precisely than prophecies which do not, and precise wording is generally very important where prophecies are concerned.

As if to enforce the trope, some characters [[RhymesOnADime break out in rhyme]] when they receive prophetic visions.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'' is an {{egregious}} user of this trope; all of the prophecies rhyme, even if they're translated from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. ''[[WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries Yu-Gi-Oh!]] [[TheMovie The Abridged Movie]]'' [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] this with Yugi actually asking if the prophecy was written by Dr. Seuss.
* The 4Kids dub of ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'' had the witches-in-training chant a rhyming couplet stating their spell's intention, rather than a string of magical words ending with a command as in the original. Amusingly, this is just what Comicbook/DoctorStrange does when casting spells.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Lampshaded in Issue 1 of ''ComicBook/GoldDigger'', where one character translates an ancient message in rhyme, and is called on it.
* Similarly lampshaded in an issue of Creators/{{DC}}'s old ''ForgottenRealms'' comic, in which a character coming out of a trance and wondering what happened is laconically informed that he was just "spouting prophetic poetry. ''Bad'' prophetic poetry, at that."
* In ''[[{{Comicbook/Fables}} Fables]]'', Ozma made a prophecy about Bigby & Snow's children. Some people have questioned if it was a real prophecy, but most think it is since she mentions all seven children(most people think they only have six, since they've hidden Ghost's existence).
-->"The first child will be a king, the second child a pauper. The third will do an evil thing, the fourth will die to stop her. The fifth will be a hero bold, the sixth will judge the rest. The seventh lives to ages old, and is by Heaven blessed."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Lampshaded in ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'': Hades sweet talks the Fates into telling him the future and they consent. On hearing the first few lines of the prophecy, Hades comments it.
-->'''Fates:''' In eighteen years, precisely, the planets will align ever so nicely...\\
'''Hades:''' [[LampshadeHanging Oy, verse.]]
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon 2000}}'': "Disturb not the harmony of fire, ice, or lightning, lest these titans wreak destruction upon the world in which they '''clash'''. Though the water's great guardian shall arise to quell the fighting, alone his song will fail; thus the Earth shall turn to '''ash'''." Et cetera.
* Lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie'' early on.
-->'''Vitruvius''': ''"...and be the greatest, most interesting, most important person of all times. All this is true... because it rhymes."
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[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The prophecy in ''Film/TheDarkCrystal''.
* From ''Film/TenaciousDInThePickOfDestiny'': "From where you came you shall remain \ until you are complete again". It was originally in Latin too.
* Played straight, subverted, ''and'' lampshaded in the film version of ''Film/TheChroniclesOfNarnia: Literature/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe''.
-->'''Mr. Beaver:''' When Adam's flesh and Adam's bone/Sits at Cair Paravel in throne/The evil time will be over and done.\\
'''[[DeadpanSnarker Susan]]:''' You know, that doesn't really rhyme...\\
'''Mr. Beaver:''' You're kinda missin' the point.
* ''Film/BloodSuckingPharaohsInPittsburgh'' takes Egyptian hieroglyphs and achieves a rhyming prophecy in English. [[spoiler:Then again, since the note was written by the killer, who claims she was trying to lure them in, this might not be surprising]].
* ''Film/{{Neverwas}}'' justifies Gabriel Finch's prophecies all rhyming because he recounted them for years to an author who used them for a children's fantasy book. Likely, they rhymed more and more as he repeated them.
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[[folder:Gamebooks]]
* In Book 4 of the ''Literature/LoneWolf'' series ''The Chasm of Doom'', Lone Wolf can meet a mysterious old man, [[spoiler:Gwynian the Sage of Varetta]], who gives him a Scroll with an ominous prophecy foreshadowing the true nature of the threat in the book. Fortunately, this is one of those prophecies that ''can'' be foiled. Said prophecy of course rhymes.
-->''When the full moon shines o'er the temple deep,\\
A sacrifice will stir from sleep\\
The legions of a long forgotten lord.\\
When a fair royal maid on the altar dies,\\
The dead of Maakengorge shall rise\\
To claim their long-awaited reward.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* No one who has ever had anything important to say in the ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' books has had the ability to avoid saying it in rhyme.
* In the first ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' book, the translation of the Book of the People inexplicably rhymes.
* Literary: Averted in the ''[=DragonCrown=]'' War series by MichaelStackpole. In the first, a prophecy is made in Elven, then translated into English. It doesn't rhyme in the slightest, in either language, nor was it expected to.
* Perhaps one of the most famous is the Ur-quote from Lovecraft's Necronomicon: "That is not dead which can eternal lie, / And with strange aeons even death may die."
** It twisted the history of and etymology of the English language so that it would rhyme.
* Spoofed in ''Literature/GoodOmens'', as seen in the page quote.
* Not only does the prophecy in ''Literature/TheDarkangelTrilogy'' rhyme, but it is also revealed a couple of stanzas at a time in each volume.
* The two prophecies central to ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising'' series, each of which are some twenty lines long, read like this.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''
** The inscription of the One Ring: "''Ash nazg durbatulūk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulūk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul,''" which rhymes "find them" with "bind them," and (depending on your definition of "rhyme") "them all" with itself. "One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them." Considering that Tolkien was explicitly invoking the TranslationConvention for his work, this suggests that it's a rhyme in at least ''three'' languages (our English, the Black Tongue, and the Westron language the notional "real" text was translated from).
** Also, ''All that is gold does not glitter'', about the return of the King (though that was more of a hopeful poem than a prophecy as such).
* Ithlinne's Prophecy in Andrzej Sapkowski's ''Franchise/TheWitcher Cycle'' is, in its pure form, a partial example, consisting of both non-rhyming and rhyming parts. However, the Black Sun Prophecy, which foresees "sixty women of crowns of gold who will fill the rivers with blood", might be just a power play of sorcerers wanting to remove unwanted heiresses and it doesn't rhyme. Geralt [[DeadpanSnarker expresses sarcastic disbelief]], because all the prophecies worth the name rhyme.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia''
** The prophecy rhymes... supposedly: "When Adam's flesh and Adam's bone, Sits at Cair Paravel in throne, The evil time will be over and done." Susan calls this out in the movie ("You know, that doesn't really rhyme.").
** Both prophecies, in fact: "Wrong will be right, When Aslan comes into sight, At the Sound of his roar, Sorrows will be no more, As he bares his teeth, Winter shall meet its death, And when he shakes his mane, We shall have spring again."
* Whenever a prophecy is delivered in ''Fool'', regardless of who is delivering it, it rhymes, much to Pocket's increasing ire and bemusement.
* In Steven Brust's ''Literature/{{Dragaera}}'' novels, a poem describes the Cycle of how the seventeen Houses take turns ruling the Empire. Not only does this rhyme tell what's yet to happen in future history, but what's ''already'' happened, over and over again, in the past. The Cycle turns almost entirely by natural processes (each House has genetically-determined preferences of rule and blind spots), and it's been clear what happens when for nearly two thousand centuries, so this could have sprung up later rather than being a prophecy. Comparing the English poem to what it refers to, it actually looks like a translation where some lines were changed for the sake of preserving rhyme, as some don't properly describe their House's role, or their House... or even their ''animal''.
* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] and parodied in Creator/JohnMoore's ''Literature/HeroicsForBeginners''. The hero meets a mysterious fortuneteller, but complains that her prophecies don't rhyme. Exasperated, she whips up a quatrain on the spot (or tries to ... she has to send him a message later with the last line).
* Every prophecy in ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' and the sequel series, TheHeroesOfOlympus, rhymes, except for one conspicuous aversion in ''The Son of Neptune''. As it turns out, with enough dakka, one can ignore all the traditions one wants.
* A rare aversion in ''Literature/HarryPotter'', no less. Twice, Professor Trelawney has delivered prophecies, neither of which exactly rhyme, though they contain repeated phrases: Once concerning Peter Pettigrew/Wormtail in ''Prisoner of Azkaban'', and again, nearly twelve years prior concerning Harry and Voldemort.
* Parodied in ''TheRook'' where the Checquy encounters many false prophecies that, "inevitably rhyme but don't scan."
* The witch that foretells Arrow-Odds fate at the beginning of ''Literature/TheSagaOfArrowOdd'' delivers her prophecy in alliterative verse.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder'' features an Egyptian curse in rhyming English. The tablet with the cryptic solution also proves to rhyme in English.
* Averted in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' and ''Series/{{Angel}}''. Prophecies are not unusual in either show, but they rarely rhyme; indeed, they're usually just a line or two of prose.
* Averted in ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'':
--> "As long as the Mother Confessor's pure heart beats, [[BigBad the Keeper]] is doomed to fail."
* Played with in ''Series/DoctorWho'', the poem about the good man that goes to war. Though technically prophetic, poem is actually historical, relating to an event that had already happened (relatively speaking) rather than what will happen in the (again, relative) future. Though as with all things Doctor Who, TimeyWimeyBall makes a hash out of that particular point.
-->''Demons run when [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E7AGoodManGoesToWar a good man goes to war]].\\
Night will fall and drown the sun\\
When a good man goes to war.\\
Friendship dies and true love lies,\\
Night will fall and the dark will rise,\\
When a good man goes to war.\\
Demons run, but count the cost;\\
The battle's won, but the child is lost.''
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''. Averted with Bajoran prophecies, with the notable exception of Horran's Seventh which begins, "He will come to the palace, bearing no malice, carrying a chalice, filled with sweet spring wine."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* In ''Theatre/OnceUponAMattress'', both the Marriage Law and the curse on King Sextimus are stated as rhyming couplets.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryI'' has the following prophecy, which does outline what you need to do through the game:
-->''Comes a hero from the east\\
Frees the man from the beast\\
Brings the child out from the band\\
Drives the evil from the land''
** ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryII'' also has a rhyming prophecy. Interestingly, there are two translations of the prophecy, with totally different meanings, and they both rhyme.
* Shows up in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' as Goombella spouts off lines from the legend of the titular door.
-->''To find the treasure of yore\\
take the [[MineralMacguffin seven Crystal Stars]] to the Thousand-Year Door.\\
Hold the Magical Map aloft before\\
the entrance to the Thousand-Year Door.\\
Then the stars will light the way\\
that leads to the stones of yesterday.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Averted in ''Webcomic/{{Digger}}'', where they may not even be a complete sentence.
* In ''Webcomic/RustyAndCo'', Madeline's quest hooks, courtesy of Derek the Cleric.
-->'''Mimic:''' Am I on Creator/DrSeuss's Candid Camera?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'': "The Gem was born of evil's fire;/the Gem shall be His portal./He comes to claim, He comes to sire/The end of all things mortal."
* It also happens in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' when Kim is trying to protect a young prince from the descendants of the Royal Families treacherous knights: "Awaiting the light of a full harvest moon;/Rodigahn's foe will soon face his doom/In the shadow of the palace we will not be deterred;/the monarchy ends with Wallace The Third."
* The [[LighterAndFluffier toned-down]] children's TV series of ''WesternAnimation/WatershipDown'' turned WaifProphet Fiver into an OracularUrchin whose every prophecy RhymesOnADime.
* Parodied in a live-action segment in the ''Series/SuperMarioBrosSuperShow''. Luigi made his brother disappear. The spell to bring him back (according to the GuestStar) was something like "Ping-ping pear... wing-wing wear... make old Mario... Re-a-pear!"
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' has this prophecy regarding Main/KingArthur claiming Excalibur; "Isle of towers, glass and stone / The lady waits for him alone / Ebon glass in emerald frame / Pure white lilies speak her name / Blood red bane in dragon stone / Excalibur waits for him alone."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Very few people know that the prophecies of UsefulNotes/{{Nostradamus}} rhyme in French, because they definitely do not in English. Note that Nostradamus' French is archaic and barely counts as French, even for its time. It's one of the reasons that people can so easily lend meanings to his words.
* While ancient Greeks generally didn't use rhymes, the prophecies issued e. g. by the Oracle of Delphi frequently took the shape of verse.
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