"Once in every show, there comes a song like thisExactly What It Says on the Tin. This is a type of musical number which, naturally, has a small beginning and a big ending. These are usually done by one character in a solo, a solo verse in a duet continuing on to the end, or sometimes the lead part in an ensemble number. It may occur in a musical or just an atmosphere where there's music. Usually done with celebrities or just people who are famous for their singing, since anyone who knows them knows they can sing; they're just waiting for that one money-making note. It can usually occur in one of four forms:
It starts off soft and low, and it ends up with a kiss
Oh, where is the song that goes like this... where it is? Where? WHERE?
A sentimental song that casts a magic spell
They all will sing along, we'll overact like hell
Oh, this is the song that goes like this. Yes it is. Yes it is! YEEESSSS IT IIIISSSSSS!"
—Spamalot, "The Song That Goes Like This"
Type 1:Alice is very talented but shy. She wants to perform, but she's never sung in public before. She's already gotten the courage to get into whatever show she's in. She's practiced her ass off. Now it's time to perform in front of a huge crowd. She starts small and not confident but slowly becomes more sure of her own singing. Before she gets to the end, she's already pulled a Show Stopper.
Type 2:Bob is timid and has yet to come out of his shell. Finally during one of his musical numbers he makes a breakthrough. He starts out small and shy, just being himself, until he finally comes out. By the end of the song, he is belting at full-force. He will probably win an award for this performance.
Type 3:Usually occurs in non-musicals (i.e. movies or TV shows with a lot of music; That Reminds Me of a Song moments) Claire has a perfectly good voice. She's not ashamed of it, nor is she afraid to sing in public. She just doesn't use it. We've known her long enough that we think we know her real personality. Suddenly, for whatever reason, she will start singing (usually when nobody is watching). She will, once again, start small (or at least very soft), and gradually grow. When she reaches the end and we progress to the next scene, everyone is still gaping, thinking "What the hell just happened?" and "I didn't know she could do that!"
Type 4:Can be used by any type of character, representing the birth and buildup of a single thought. The character starts out with the bud of an idea, which they sing in a smaller voice. As they become more sure of themselves, the song grows. In some cases done with an ensemble in the background. Types 1-3 are usually worthy of a standing ovation because they show a character doing something we didn't necessarily know they could do. Type 4, however, is more often used by characters we already knew could sing.
Type 4:Theater Get ready.