[[quoteright:330:[[WesternAnimation/CorpseBride http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bonejangles.png]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:330:[[Creator/DannyElfman It's a dead man's party]]; [[Music/OingoBoingo Who could ask for more...]]]]-]

->''"With bony hands I hold my partner,\\
On soulless feet we cross the floor.\\
The music stops as if to answer\\
An empty knocking at the door.\\
It seems his skin was sweet as mango\\
When last I held him to my breast,\\
But now, we dance this grim fandango\\
And will, four years until we rest."''
-->-- '''Olivia's poem''', ''VideoGame/GrimFandango''

What do the dead do? Why, dance, of course. ({{Vampire|Dance}}s and [[WesternAnimation/TheSkeletonDance skeletons]] especially, it seems.) It's the hidden language of the soul (whether they have a soul or not). And if the dead aren't immediately [[ZombieApocalypse chowing down on you]], they may end up leading you in a jaunty tune. This probably stems from the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danse_macabre Danse Macabre]], a medieval allegory about how death unites everyone, how no matter your station, everyone does the "dance of death." And [[WhoWantsToLiveForever who doesn't want to dance]]? So if you're a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent bloodsucker]], a [[DemBones bag of bones]], or the [[TheGrimReaper bleak bringer of biolysis]] [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal you can still boogie]].

People who are hanged by the neck are sometimes mentioned to dance "the hemp fandango", "[[Literature/{{Discworld}} the sisal twostep]]" or "the gallows jig", a quite-literally-GallowsHumor reference to the way people would thrash at the end of the rope (usually as a result of the condemned strangling to death rather than having their neck snapped by the fall).

May or may not be related to the band Music/DeadCanDance, and has nothing to do with DeaderThanDisco. See also MonsterMash, SkeletalMusician, MummiesAtTheDinnerTable and ILoveTheDead. If the dead in question are zombies, then there's a good chance of them performing a MichaelJacksonsThrillerParody.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'': [[DemBones Brook]], natch. Much of the Thriller Bark arc, actually.
** In particular the zombie hordes of Thriller Bark and their [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh9m9un744w "Zombie Night"]] [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment disco number]].
* The theme song for ''Manga/HakabaKitaro'' talks about ghosts dancing.
* ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' has this trope show up ''twice'', although considering the show is about dancing and can be darkly bizarre at times that might not be too surprising. The first time is in an episode based on the ballet ''Giselle'', where a ghost of a woman that committed suicide dances against Rue and later Princess Tutu for the right to take Mytho to the Underworld. Later on, in the Depths of Despair, skeletons dance ballet -- not to ''Danse Macabre'', as you might expect, but ''Dance of the Dying Swan''. You also might count Drosselmeyer, who occasionally does brief dance steps and is quite dead.
* Zombie protagonist Ayumu in ''LightNovel/IsThisAZombie'' has been shown on a couple occasions to be a surprisingly good breakdancer.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'': During the "Judgment Day" arc, the {{Necromancer}} villain Sabbat creates a bunch of zombie EliteMooks who proceed to attack Judge Dredd's strike team while dancing and singing about how they love murder.
* ''ComicBook/{{Zombo}}'': There are multiple sequences of singing and dancing zombies. Zombo himself has got some moves too.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Creator/TimBurton's ''WesternAnimation/CorpseBride'' has the awesome song "Remains of the Day," where the dead sing ''and'' dance. It's even the trope picture.
* Similarly, ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'' has TheUndead (along with [[MonsterMash all the other monsters]]) dancing, especially the protagonist Jack Skellington.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheRulesOfTheGame'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzQxiu_0pnQ has an actual]] ''danse macabre''.
* Appears, naturally, in ''Film/TheSeventhSeal''.
* ''Film/LoveAndDeath'', Boris dances with the Grim Reaper at the conclusion.
* ''Film/{{Beetlejuice}}'' (as you might expect) ends with a dance number featuring a living prima donna supported by a team of ghostly footballers.
* At the end of the John Travolta movie ''Film/{{Michael}}'', the archangel softshoes off into the end credits with a ghost as his partner.
* Woody Allen's film ''Film/EveryoneSaysILoveYou'' features a scene set in a funeral parlor where a recently-deceased grandfather's spirit steps out of his body and leads a troupe of fellow ghosts in dancing to the song "Enjoy Yourself (It's Later than You Think)."
* In ''Film/WeekendAtBernies II'', despite being dead, Bernie dances when he hears music as the result of a voodoo spell.
* At one point in ''Dead and Breakfast'', the zombies surrounding the protagonists stop their assault to break into song and dance, line dancing while a zombified Zachariah And The Lobos Riders play "We're Comin' To Kill Ya".
* ''[[Film/TheIncrediblyStrangeCreatures The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed Up Zombies]]'' is a musical with zombie dance numbers. Except they're not really zombies, and... oh, just read the movie's page.
* Dancing often features in the FireAndBrimstoneHell seen in some of Creator/GeorgesMelies's films, usually because his Satan and minions are clearly having AHellOfATime. Heck (no pun intended)--the short film ''The Infernal Cake Walk'', with assorted demons cheerfully tripping the light satanic with the titular dance, is completely devoted to this trope. [[OlderThanTheyThink Did we mention it's from 1903?]]
* In ''Film/{{Fido}}'', a living woman and her family's [[ItMakesSenseInContext pet zombie]] share a dance set to the Squirrel Nut Zippers' "Put a Lid On It".
* In ''Film/CarnivalOfSouls'', the protagonist discovers that [[spoiler:the footloose dead take the loss of their dance partners SERIOUSLY.]] Shudder.
* In ''Film/AChristmasCarolTheMusical'', Marley's ghost and his fellow wandering spirits do this towards the end of the "Link By Link" musical number.

[[folder:Folk Lore]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danse_Macabre Dances of Death]]
* Tales of music animating the recently dead and causing them to dance can be found from Europe to the Far East. Almost all versions feature a husband going into haunted ground (ghosts or elves) in order to retrieve the dancing body of his late wife.
* Taoist exorcisms can involve a dance called the Step Of Yu [[InvertedTrope to remove nearby ghosts]].

* ''Literature/NightfallSeries'': Vampires constantly throw elaborate balls.
* In Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/TheGraveyardBook'', on one night a year, the dead "dance the Macabray" (''danse macabre'') with the living. Even TheGrimReaper, the Lady on the Grey, dances with the main character. The only one who doesn't dance is Silas because he is [[LiminalBeing neither living nor dead]].
* In one of the books in the ''Literature/TheHollows'' series, Piscary's Pizzaria is turned into a vampire dance club.
* On the Literature/{{Discworld}}, [[AC:Death]] is usually a rather austere figure but he also respects tradition...
** At the end of ''Discworld/ReaperMan'', he shows a sentimental side [[spoiler:to someone who is dead]].
--->'''Miss Flitworth:''' I take it you do dance, [[TheGrimReaper Mr. Bill Door]]?\\
'''Mr. Bill Door:''' [[AC:Famed for it, Miss Flitworth.]]
** He is also strongly hinted to make a habit of joining in the Mardi Gras-expy festivities in the [[TheBigEasy New Orleans]]-expy city of Genua, at least after the events of ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'' have provided him with [[HollywoodVoodoo a top hat]].
* In ''Literature/JohnnyAndTheDead'', bag lady and time-traveller Mrs. Tachyon leads the ghosts in a re-enactment of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video.
* Creator/RichardMatheson's short story "Dance of the Dead" has a group of young people in a post-WorldWarIII future visiting a nightclub where corpses are made to "dance" through the use of a nerve-gas spray.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danse_Macabre "dance of death"]] was a popular medieval genre for literature/prints and depicted dancing Death leading a train of people from all classes and walks of life: the implication being that at death everyone is equal.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', specifically ''Dead Beat,'' it is stated that zombies ''need'' music to stay animated. Specifically, they need a drumbeat to trick them into thinking that their heart is still beating. One of the book's Necromancers accomplishes this with a tricked-out vintage Cadillac featuring a monstrous subwoofer. For very big zombies, [[Awesome/TheDresdenFiles polka music works.]]
* Kalman Mikszath's novelette, ''The Deaf Blacksmith Prakovsky'' has a brief mention of three musicians who accidentally walked in on a ball of dead people. The first sign of something being amiss is the people thanking the DOCTOR for helping them make it to this wonderful party.
* In ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant: Death Bringer'', the eponymous Skeleton Detective himself shows off his dancing skills at the Requiem Ball.
* ''Literature/TheHauntingHour'' features "The Halloween Dance", a story concerning a gathering of the undead who have a party in the world of the living, and then conclude the night with a dance that manages to slow down time. [[spoiler:The DeadAllAlong protagonist attempts to reverse the dance to prevent his death, but it doesn't work out the way he hoped.]]
* The Creator/GregWeisman novel, ''Rain of the Ghosts'', ends with Rain dancing at a party with her grandfather's ghost.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Film/WhenGoodGhoulsGoBad'' was a made for TV Halloween movie by R.L. Stine, the dead rise from the grave on the night of Halloween and everybody thinks it's a ZombieApocalypse. But no, it's just the reanimated corpse of a goth kid from the 1980s who wants to finally display his statue celebrating Halloween and then have an undead dance festival. Really.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode "Hollywood AD" invokes this trope. It is a fairly odd episode, even for ''The X-Files'', but in it, Mulder proposes that the undead are motivated to fulfill the same drives as the living, and that they might eventually get to dancing, and laughing, and love. After he and Scully walk away, and just before the credits, you see a (fake) cemetery full of the dead dancing to some lively tune.
* In ''{{Series/Lexx}}'', "the dead do not enjoy dancing"... until they're transformed into '''[[EpilepticTrees actual epileptic trees]]'''. Then they cheerfully sway back and forth, praising Oberon the Fairy King to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." [[spoiler:It's Lexx]].
* Every episode of ''Series/StrangersWithCandy'' would end with everyone in the episode dancing happily, and the series finale, after Jerri and the teachers rioted and destroyed the school, was no different. Except everyone was looking a little translucent this time.
* The ''Series/MastersOfHorror'' episode, "Dance of the Dead", written by Richard Matheson and based on his short story above.
* Vampires dance in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'''s musical episode.
** And in [[Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer The Movie]], what does Lothos want to do on the night he and his minions finally launch their full-scale assault on Hemery High? He wants to "''dahnce''! [[EvilLaugh AH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAAA!]]" (And sure enough, the school dance features - among other things - a vampire deejay playing HeavyMetal records.)
** ''Series/{{Angel}}'' also dances, horribly, in a mental scene. Wesley also dances in the same episode, equally horribly. But he's human.
* Played for horror in ''Series/{{Carnivale}}'' when a female carnie is murdered so the ghosts of the miners haunting a town can have someone to dance with.
* The Grim Reaper in ''Series/HorribleHistories'' always dances to the "Stupid Deaths" opening jingle, and even gets a team of Thrilleresque zombie backup dancers in the Scary Special song.
* ''Series/{{Pixelface}}'': In "Bored to Undeath", the characters end up luring the zombies out of the console by running them through Kiki's dance training routine, then have Aethelwynne lead them Pied Piper-style with a portable stereo as they dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller".



[[folder:Music and Music Videos]]
* Music/{{Voltaire}}'s "Day of the Dead". It's a lively tune about someone visiting Mexico during el Día de los Muertos (November 1, or the Day of the Dead/All Souls' Day), with expected results.
* Saint-Saëns's instrumental "Danse Macabre", based on a French poem by Henri Cazalis about Death using his violin to raise the dead and make them dance. The Skeleton Dance is based on this.
** Music/IronMaiden's "Dance of Death" has a narrator speak of their experience joining in a festival straight out of the medieval Danse Macabre archetype. Given the band's penchant for literary, historical, and musical references, it's a good bet they were well aware of Saint-Saëns's piece.
*** Music/AvengedSevenfold's "Dancing Dead" describes a similar scene. Interestingly, on the same album, they cover an Music/IronMaiden song ("Flash of the Blade"), and [[FanNickname A7X]] is also very fond of academic, literary, and biblical references.
* The Kingston Trio's "Zombie Jamboree".
* Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt Kickers's biggest hit, "The MonsterMash", which is FrankensteinsMonster inventing a dance craze.
* As mentioned in the caption above Music/OingoBoingo had a "Dead Man's Party." Elfman's involvement in composing for the Burton works mentioned in "Film" adds additional cool.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UbGtjnluyY The Net Provides.]]
* "[[DemBones Skeletons]] on Parade" by Music/{{Ludo}}, apparently a reference to the Day of the Dead
* The Music/InsaneClownPosse's "The Headless Boogie" (a SpiritualSuccessor of sorts to "Monster Mash").
* ''Halloween Treat'', which was a Halloween-themed Disney clip show put together in 1982 for the then-debuting Disney cable channel, had a Dixieland jazz theme song with a "Gothic" sort of shuffle that in addition to being about equal parts goofy and ghoulish ("Tricks and treats to try tonight/....Your spirit's gonna howl tonight") is pretty danceable and is almost a guaranteed EarWorm.
* Music/SoundHorizon will have you know that Thanatos, dour god of death or no, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc_2WRLdD1c is not against a good dance party.]]
** In addition, since the album following that one, Marchen, was effectively a ConceptAlbum all about revenge from beyond the grave, this trope was perhaps inevitable in the live performance of it. It's particularly pronounced in "A Fairytale of Light and Darkness" and "The Song of Dusk."
* Toni Childs has The Dead are Dancing, with a repetitive chorus about how the dead are dancing in the town.
* Tom Petty's Zombie Zoo is superficially about a goth girl dancing at the Zombie Zoo.
* The old hymn "DemBones".
-->''Dem bones better get up and dance around\\
Dem bones better get up and dance around\\
Dem bones better get up and dance around\\
Now hear the word of the Lord''
* The Vocaloid song Shikabane no Odori, which translates to dance of the corpses.
* "Move Your Dead Bones," a song from the movie ''Film/BeyondReAnimator''. Both the original video and Zarla's popular flash cartoon feature this.
* "[[Music/MichaelJackson Thriller]]" is probably the most famous example in music.
** "Ghost" pulls it off as well, though sadly less impressive.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG1NrQYXjLU Billy Idol is the all-dancing King of the Apocalypse]].
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNwCojCJ3-Q Meow]].
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FufL80hJsP8 "Bones"]] by The Killers is probably close enough.
* {{Music/Gorillaz}}'s "Clint Eastwood" features dancing zombie apes.
* Music/LindseyStirling is attacked by zombies and makes them dance to her violin in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dfZ9BXaNyE&feature=plcp the video]] for "Moon Trance".
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hMagNuhLkk Cities in Dust]]" by Music/SiouxsieAndTheBanshees, during the bridge.
* In "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPOM0IUsd_0 Dance In The Graveyards]]" by Music/DeltaRae, some DarkIsNotEvil necromancers (or possibly death spirits) call up spirits of the dead for one last dance with their loved ones.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* There's a ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' strip that invokes this by way of {{Woolseyism}}. In [[http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1988/11/17 the original]], Calvin and Hobbes play cowboys, and when Hobbes "shoots" Calvin, he gives him a "[[IncrediblyLamePun Death Rattle]]." In French, the translator changed it to, "It's the Danse Maraca-bre!" Feel free to groan, or ''[[GratuitousFrench gémir]].''

%%[[folder:Oral Tradition]]
* Ogden Nash's "Fossils" is all about this:
-->''At midnight in the museum hall,\\
The fossils gathered for a ball''

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* [=Lucha Libre=] great Wrestling/LaParka, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiaKubaqvFw as seen here.]]


%%[[folder:Sound FX]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' there's a necromantic spell called "Vanhel's Dance Macabre", which makes the undead units it's used on move faster, presumably by making them dance.
** There's also a short story set in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' world called ''Totentanz'', in which a [[OurLichesAreDifferent Liche]] ( one of the Nine Lords of Nagash) has a wager with an Arabyan vizier as to who dances better, a living human (performing the Dance of Seven Veils), or the chosen [[UnDead wights]] of the Liche who dance to a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamade chamade]], and all join in...
* ''MagicTheGathering'' has a card named [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=184612 Dance of the Dead]], which raises a creature from the grave.
** Also, the much more unsettling card, [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=97116 Macabre Waltz]]. "All dead move to the hollow rhythm of necromancy."
** [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=6087 Death's Duet]] is yet another. "Life has always been a dance. It is only fitting that death sing the tune." Despite the flavor text, the card art depicts two nearly skeletal zombies dancing.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Munchkin}}'' enemy "Mr. Bones" is depicted as a dancing skeleton with a cane and a hat.
* From the Papers & Pencils blog: The [[http://www.paperspencils.com/2013/05/14/deadly-dungeons-20-dancing-skeleton-room/ "Dancing Skeleton Room"]], an encounter scenario involving benign skeletons who are interested in nothing but dancing ceaselessly.

* In Carl Orff's opera ''Der Mond'', the dead not only dance, but play ninepins and sing drinking songs.
* ''Theatre/EvilDeadTheMusical'', especially the number "Do the Necronomicon."
* The song "When the Night Wind Howls" from ''Theatre/{{Ruddigore}}''.
-->''For then is the spectre's holiday\\
Then is the ghost's high noon!''
* Creator/CirqueDuSoleil examples:
** A dance performed by cheerful skeletons opens the second act of ''Theatre/{{KOOZA}}''.
** Dancing ghouls appear in the "Thriller" sequences of both ''Theatre/MichaelJacksonTheIMMORTALWorldTour'' and ''Theatre/MichaelJacksonONE''.
* ''Theatre/TanzDerVampire'''s title actually refers to a social event, but the vampires dance several times throughout the whole show. The best examples of this are [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9Tl42ShXhQ Carpe Noctem]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP1D1znWkKY Act II finale]].
* In the final scene of ''Theatre/TheConsul'', Magda (soon to be dead) has a vision in which her mother (already dead) dances with John (not dead yet but obviously doomed).
-->'''The Magician''': Choose a partner. The dance is on.
* In Music/StephenSondheim's version of ''Theatre/TheFrogs'', Dionysus is surprised at how much dancing the dead do. Hades agrees "We do a lot of that down here." The chorus explains further:
-->They do an awful lot of dancing, the dead
-->It's very comforting perpetual serenity and such
-->It's very comforting and yet you can put up with just so much
-->They do an awful lot of dancing, instead
-->Down here, among the dead!
* ''Theatre/{{Elisabeth}}'': The dead do dance in Alle tanzen mit dem Tod (Everyone Has Danced With Death), and it's implied that the company - including Lucheni, the narrator - are either ghosts or the reanimated dead, used to tell the story; in several scenes where there is a pause, background characters typically slump down on the spot, looking like discarded corpses.
* Theatre/ShrekTheMusical: During the song "Donkey Pot Pie," the remains of Dragon's previous victims get up to dance with Donkey.


[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/LuigisMansion'': Floating Whirlindas. They're just dancing and minding their own business... '''VACUUM TIME!'''
* In ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVI'' you can enter the Underworld and play a bone xylophone to make all of the demons dance, including some skeletons doing a Rockette/line dance thing! See it in all its glory [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkP5OtN0aCw here]]!
* In ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland2LeChucksRevenge'', you get a hint for a future puzzle by watching your parents' skeletons dance while singing "Dem Bones" during a concussed hallucination.
* ''VideoGame/MrBones'' was a UsefulNotes/SegaSaturn platformer/rhythm game about a skeleton army raised by an evil necromancer. The only one not under his sway is the titular Mr. Bones, the resurrected corpse of a blues musician who is free from the mind control because he has music in his soul. The object of the game is to get through the haunted woods and put on a music and dance show that puts music in the souls of the other skeletons to free them. I'm not making any of this up.
* The Wii Game ''Battle of the Bands'' has as a playable band: Scariatchi - a trio of Mexican skeletons who rose to play latin music and boogie.
* As do the Sanbone Trio from ''VideoGame/GitarooMan''. They'll make music with ''your'' bones.
** You know a game's good when you're in danger of being flamenco'd to death by rib bones. Only to be saved by a talking robot dog from space. And then beat the flamenco skeletons with a magic guitar.
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' features [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Ghost Dancers]] enemies starting off with ''VideoGame/SuperCastlevaniaIV'' where they also have a boss status in the form of [[IncrediblyLamePun Paula Ghoul]] and [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed Fred Ascare]].
* The Zombie class has their Thrill Dancing attack in ''VideoGame/Disgaea4APromiseUnforgotten'' which summons a mob of dancing zombies that convince the target to join in. Amusingly, it has a S rank for the damage it causes (Which is the highest).
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda''
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', Bongo-Bongo, the boss of the [[BigBoosHaunt Shadow Temple]], beats his hands on the arena in a steady rhythm. What's the arena? [[MeaningfulName A giant drum.]]
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', the [[NightOfTheLivingMooks Redeads]] in Ikana Castle will start dancing (either an endless pirouette or ThatRussianSquatDance) if you put on the Captain's Hat, Gibdo Mask, or Garo Hood.
*** There's also Kamaro, the ghost of a dancer who regrets that he never got to teach his dance to anyone before he died.
* A "good" death in ''[[VideoGame/TheSims The Sims 2]]'' lets TheGrimReaper hand you an UmbrellaDrink, while two "Hula Zombies" accompany you in traditional dance. Death is a tropical vacation, provided you've lived your life right.
** In ''The Sims 3'''s "Supernatural" expansion pack, zombies will climb their way onto your lawn during a full moon, and occasionally bring along a stereo for them to dance along to spooky music.
* Deep inside a castle in ''VideoGame/TheBardsTale'', you run into two groups of zombies [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment having a dance-off]]. The moment they notice you, however, they drop everything to fight you.
-->'''Zombie dancer:''' [[DancingIsSeriousBusiness You got served!]]\\
'''The Bard:''' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7hI1STc1ps What the hell?!?!]]
* ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxBeyondTimeAndSpace'': Sam & Max once investigate "the Zombie Factory", which turns out to be a nightclub for zombies created by a vampire. Open Mic Night is every night!
* The gamestop pre-order promo for ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' is a bonus level of dancing skeletons. They also sing "Dem Bones."
* The Dancing Zombies boss in ''VideoGame/MonsterParty''.
* The Dancing Zombie from ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies'' [[SummonBackupDancers summons a quartet of "backup dancer" mooks]] to guard him as they boogie toward your front lawn.
** Also in that game, if you grow the Tree of Wisdom high enough, it will unlock a cheat code of "dance" that makes several classes of zombie "dance" toward your position instead of walking.
* ''Burn, Zombie Burn!'' has a "Dance Gun" weapon that allows you to force the zombies to dance. While they're doing this, they won't attack you, giving you plenty of time to mow them down with a chainsaw, TNT, or other weapons.
* One of the playable characters in ''VideoGame/BustAGroove 2'' is Bi-O, a zombie who could do ''Thriller''-esque moves.
* ''VideoGame/Spyro2RiptosRage'' has a mission where you must collect all these bones to repair a caveman's skeleton friend. Once you collect them all he gives you an [[MacGuffin Orb]] and the skeleton forms together and dances [[EarWorm (The music it dances to rather catchy too)]]. A similar mission also appears in ''VideoGame/SpyroYearOfTheDragon''.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', besides having dance animations for every playable race including the undead Forsaken, has an odd encounter in one of the Razorfen dungeons where the [=PCs=] walk in on a skeleton dance party. [[BallroomBlitz The skeletons are not amused.]]
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'', this is about half of what goes on in Spookyraven Manor's Haunted Ballroom.
* Referenced in the title and an in-game poem in ''VideoGame/GrimFandango'', but only as a metaphor.#
** "In life his skin was sweet as mango / when I held him to my breast / but now we dance this [[TitleDrop Grim Fandango]] / and will for years before we rest..."
* In ''Videogame/AloneInTheDark1992'', a group of ghost ballroom dancers guards the pirate's key, and you must play the Danse Macabre (Dance of Death) record on the gramophone to make them dance and move away from it.
* ''Videogame/DiscworldII'' opens with a song and dance routine performed by skeletons.
* ''VideoGame/JudgeDreddDreddVsDeath'': In the Mega Mall level, there's a hilarious bit in the nightclub where the zombies are ignoring the people trapped inside and happily dancing to the music as long as you don't disturb them.
* Played somewhat straight in ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', because a number of Ghost-type monsters can learn the moves Swords Dance and/or Rain Dance.

* [[{{Webcomic/Erfworld}} Uncroaked dancefighting.]] To "Thriller", naturally.
* Likewise the hundred dead ninja in ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', dancing to "Thriller", again. Led by [[http://drmcninja.com/page.php?pageNum=1&issue=8 Benjamin Franklin]], of all people. Of course, it turns out to [[AllJustADream just be a dream]], although the ninja zombies do in fact start attacking later on.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', [[spoiler: a dead Tavros breaks into a number of uniquely named dances in front of a flabbergasted Vriska. This is because he gathered an entire army by himself.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In an early and maybe even first version of the trope, in the 1932 WesternAnimation/BettyBoop episode, 'Minnie the Moocher', Betty runs away from home and discovers singing and dancing ghosts and skeletons.
** Also "Betty Boop's Museum" has dancing skeletons from a museum exhibit.
* The old Creator/{{Disney}} short "WesternAnimation/TheSkeletonDance."
* A good chunk of the Creator/VanBeurenStudios Tom & Jerry short "Wot A Night" is centered on a skeleton composer playing a piano song, prompting his other skeleton friends to dance to it.
* The "Night on Bald Mountain" segment of Disney's ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'' features dead spirits dancing and cavorting.
* In the early ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Pinkeye", the boys find themselves cornered by the marauding zombies of the townspeople... who then start dancing in a ''Thriller'' parody while Chef sings about how he will make sweet love even when he's dead.
* The zombies in Miracle City are highly offended when {{WesternAnimation/El Tigre|TheAdventuresOfMannyRivera}} tells them they can't dance. They then prove to him how wrong he is with a spectacular dance number in no way reminiscent of Thriller.
* The dead dance in the ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' episode "Dance of the Undead". Although, [[ScoobyDooHoax they turn out not really to be undead after all]].
* According to the ditty sung by Brom Bones in Disney's animated version of ''Literature/TheLegendOfSleepyHollow'', the reason for the Headless Horseman being so vicious is because he's so scary even the other spooks don't want him around, and they won't let him come to their parties.
* ''WesternAnimation/CountDuckula'', Season 1, Episode 1 sends the Count seeking a magical saxophone in an ancient Egyptian pyramid. When he plays, the previously inactive mummies get up to get down.
* In ''WesternAnimation/OverTheGardenWall'', the residents of Pottsfield celebrate a seemingly endless harvest festival, including dancing around a maypole, and are soon revealed to be costumed skeletons.
-->'''Enoch:''' What a wonderful harvest. And what about you? You sure you want to leave?\\
'''Wirt:''' Me? Yes?\\
'''Enoch:''' Oh, well. [[WeWillMeetAgain You'll join us]] [[WeAllDieSomeday someday]].
* WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}} loves to dance. He and his best friend Lydia dance in several episodes, including the pilot, and quite often while levitating.

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* Don't forget Creator/{{Disney}}'s Ride/TheHauntedMansion rides.
** Similarly, the Dutch amusement park "De Efteling" has a Haunted Mansion with the same theme where the dead dance to the "Dance Macabre".
* The musical piece by Saint-Saëns mentioned above is based on a poem by Henri Cazalis which was in turn based on an old French superstition that said that Death appears at midnight on Hallowe'en and calls forth the dead to dance while he plays the fiddle until the break of dawn.
* Any ballet that features dead characters by default, like ''Giselle'' and ''Dracula''. (Yes, there's been a ballet based on Dracula. Several, in fact.)

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