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Vice-President Matthews (eulogizing)Who first sang that song?... Let's keep it that way.
: Mrs. Sherman told me Charlie had a favorite song, one that cheered him up... President Haney:
Please God, don't let him quote lyrics. Matthews:
...Muskrat Susie, Muskrat Sam. Do the jitterbug out in Muskrat Land. And they shimmy, (voice cracks)
and Sammy's so skinny.
Bob and Alice are talking, and you the viewer can't help but notice that there is something weird with Bob's dialogue. When he finishes speaking it turns out that Bob was using the lyrics to a well known song to make his point. Alternatively, Bob could have been singing, but the fact that the song was mainstream was hidden due to the fact that the song could have been reworked or sounded more appropriate to the character's situation than it actually was. Either way, the writers have made a joke by subtly slipping a popular song into the events of a show and then revealing it. Writers, like all people, just love to play with words.
This is a favorite trick of time-travelers or ambassadors to alien civilizations, who will break out song lyrics whenever they need to say something vaguely intellectual-sounding. This often seems to manifest as a game of dueling aphorisms with a local philosopher, who will always end up being impressed with such an obviously learned man. See I'm Mr. Future Pop Culture Reference
. This is also a common trait of the Pop-Cultured Badass
and the Cloud Cuckoo Lander
Obviously, if the viewer knows the song well, they'll see the joke coming, but the joke is intended for a larger audience who are aware of the song but wouldn't know the lyrics by heart. If it appears in a children's show, it likely doubles as a Parental Bonus
When used in Fan Fiction
, this is Song Fic
. Not to be confused with That Reminds Me of a Song
, "One Song To The Tune Of Another"
or "singing the wrong lyrics
". Also has no relationship to a certain Magical Girl
open/close all folders
- "CRAAAAAAAWLIIIIIING IN MY SKIIIIIIN", the refrain of Linkin Park's "Crawling", has become a Stock Phrase for mocking Wangst. Sometimes it's followed by the next line: "these wounds, they will not heal". Or a paraphrase or snowclone of it.
- The first run of Toonami ended with a speech containing a paraphrased line from "The End" by The Doors.
- Old joke:
Man: Doctor, doctor! I keep singing The Green Green Grass of Home.
Doctor: Hmm, sounds like you've got Tom Jones
Man: Is it common?
Doctor: It's not unusual.
- Other old joke:
A: That's right, that's right, that's right, that's right...
- This Commercial by Nortel features a CEO giving a rather bizarre inspirational speech to his company, which turns out to be The Beatles' "Come Together".
- One advert for Virgin Media has the narrator reciting the lyrics to "Our House" by Madness.
- A State Farm ad has a customer and a rep unconsciously quoting "Any Way You Want It," until the customer notices. "We just had ourselves a little Journey moment there."
- This Fiat Punto advert.
- My Immortal:
He suddenly looked at them with an evil look in his eye and muttered Well If you wanted Honesty that’s all you haD TO SAY! .
"That's not a spell that's an MCR
song." I corrected him wisely.
- A few mangled lines from songs are snuck into the dialogue in Decks Fall Everyone Dies.
- In Drunkard's Walk II, during a discussion about Doug's Pinball Gag combat (it's magic), one character asks "How do you think he does it?" and a second responds "I don't know." A third continues "What makes him so good?... Well, it's obvious that he's a pinball wizard. And that there has to be a twist." Neither of the other two gets it.
- This quote from Gibbet (Willow) of My Mëtäl, a My Immortal Heavy Metal Parody by Monica Gilbey Bieber, as an added explanation of how Gibbet would show up one chapter after Ignacďo confesses to Rainblood that he killed Gibbet. This is in reference to the scene in My Immortal where Willow is brought back to life without explanation.
- Hilariously, Avenged Sevenfold is considered a poser (My Metal's equivalent of a prep) band in this fanfic.
- Also, Rainblood/Chäntal mentions that he's not a vampire, but he feels like one when Tom asked him/her how s/he drank all the blood of a lady in the movie theater. Just like Avenged Sevenfold, Falling in Reverse is also, hilariously, a poser band in this fanfic.
Films — Animation
Gingerbread Man: Do you know the Muffin Man?
Farquaad: The Muffin Man?
Gingerbread Man: The Muffin Man.
Farquaad: Yes... I know the Muffin Man. Who lives on Drury Lane?
Gingerbread Man: Well... she's married to the Muffin Man.
Farquaad: The Muffin Man?
Gingerbread Man: The Muffin Man!
Farquaad: She's married to the Muffin Man...
Donkey: You love this woman, don't ya?
Donkey: You wanna hold her?
Donkey: Please her?
Donkey: Then ya gotta, gotta try a little tenderness!
- In The Emperor's New Groove, in Yzma's lair, lines from a certain song from The Wizard of Oz appear:
Pacha: (reading labels) Lions... Tigers... Bears...
(Pan to the spot for the potion they're looking for, which is empty)
Yzma: (from off-screen) Oh my!
- In Rio 2, Nigel accidentally attends a Carnival audition. He then proceeds to do a dramatic performance of "I Will Survive", turning that into a Villain Song (not that it isn't adequate).
Films — Live-Action
- In Tropic Thunder, Kirk Lazarus quotes the theme song to The Jeffersons as part of an inspirational speech. He's immediately called out on it.
"Don't make it any less true."
- Done deliberately throughout Moulin Rouge! as part of the concept. Christian hastily composes a poem for Satine, and even before the music cues, it is clearly Elton John's "Your Song". Zidler tries to convince the Duke to stay with what, before the farce of a song starts, may be the most lascivious recital of lyrics from "Like A Virgin" I've ever heard. And the central theme of the story is simply the final line of Nat King Cole's "Nature Boy".
- In The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, the titular character Clive Candy (actually a General at this point in the movie) is referred to by Spud as "the Wizard". This turns out to be a Shout-Out when Spud tells his men that they have to rush to Candy's HQ "because of the wonderful things he does."
- Mel Gibson's character in Conspiracy Theory uses "Everything you do is magic" lyrics to propose to his Love Interest — crash and burn too.
- From School of Rock:
- Jack Black's character, trying to bluff his way through a conversation with teachers while posing as a substitute, starts reciting snatches from Whitney Houston's "The Greatest Love of All". Someone asks "Isn't that a song?", and he denies it.
- His Rousing Speech concludes "We roll tonight to the guitar bite, and for those about to rock, I salute you", from AC/DC's "For Those About to Rock".
- xXx 2: State of the Union:
Wars come and go, but my soldiers stay eternal. Gibbons:
I like that. Who said it? Jefferson? Patton? Darius Stone: Tupac
- Becomes a Brick Joke at the film's dénouement when the President quotes Stone in turn, during a press conference.
- In a sequence of Ocean's Twelve, Ocean and Rusty start talking Spy Speak with a contact. Linus tries to join the conversation... by reciting Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". It translates to calling the contact's niece a cheap whore. Or so they claim; in reality they're just playing a prank on him.
- In Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Ted's attempt at 'philosophising' with Socrates is to recite the line "All we are is dust in the wind". It works.
- In Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Bill and Ted go to heaven and are asked the meaning of life. They recite the chorus from Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." Again, it works. Earlier, after beating Death at a variety of games, as he's leading them from Hell to Heaven, Bill says to Ted, "Ted, Don't Fear The Reaper." (referring to the Blue Oyster Cult song) to which Death replies, "I heard that!"
- In The World's End Gary King has the tendency to do this, quoting Happy Mondays ("Twist the melon!") during a fight and Primal Scream's "Loaded" during the film's climax.
- Spice World: Bus driver played by Meat Loaf: "I love those girls, and I'll do anything for them... but I won't do that."
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: "Good morning starshine!...The Earth says hello!"
- From Cannibal The Musical:
: Hey, do you guys think it's true, that she's a trapper horse? Frank Miller
: A horse is a horse
. James Humphrey
: Of course. Alferd Packer
: Of course.
- Across the Universe does this multiple times with various Beatles songs, "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" being perhaps the most obvious. One can expect to find this trope in any Jukebox Musical.
- In the made for TV Dinotopia movie, one of the castaway brothers (who really doesn't give a dang about the local ways and culture) uses the opening lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody to answer an essay question regarding the meaning of a particular section of the Dinotopian philosophy. Afterwards, his teacher and a number of scholars are chattering about how deep it was.
- This. Peter Sellers meets The Beatles in the land of Richard III.
- A running gag in The Other Guys is Captain Mauch repeatedly quoting TLC lyrics. Gamble and Hoitz repeatedly attempt to call him out on it but he remains oblivious.
- In Meet the Parents, when Greg is asked to say grace at dinner, he tries to improvise a prayer, and comes up with the lyrics to Day by Day from the musical Godspell.
- In Roxanne, when asked to say something romantic, Chris quotes the opening lines to "Close to You" by The Carpenters, and is immediately called out on this.
- In Easy A, Olive receives a greeting card that plays Natasha Bedingfield's "Pocketful Of Sunshine", and then the song becomes a huge earworm for her. Later on, when she's lying to her best friend about having spent the weekend with a college boy, one of the lyrics slips into the conversation:
Olive: He's charming... You know, he's a real gentleman. You know, and it feels like - It feels like I got a love and I know that it's all mine.
- In an odd example, all that's left of the "Admiral Boom" song in Mary Poppins is a wax lyrical from Bert.
Bert: The whole world gets its time from Greenwich. But Greenwich, they say, gets its time from Admiral Boom.
- The Master of Disguise does this:
- After the killer in Shriek if You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth is revealed to be an evil identical cousin.
- In Charlie's Angels Full Throttle the Angels decide to pose as night club dancers.
Natalie: Do a little dance?
Dylan: Make a little love?
Alex: Get down tonight.
- In Wrongfully Accused, Ryan tells off Cass, who's been romancing him but he suspects called the police on him:
: The Beatles
said it best. She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, listen, Michelle ma belle, this nowhere man is the walrus, koo koo kachoo!
- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Some of Lord John Whorfin's more eccentric pronouncements are actually song lyrics, e.g. "I feel so broke up, I want to go home" from The Beach Boys song "Sloop John B".
- In Horse Feathers, Wagstaff, during his first address as President of Huxley College, briefly lapses into the old vaudeville song "Any Rags?"
- In Glen or Glenda?, the weird narration in the Nightmare Sequence is a mangled quotation of the lyrics to "The Green-Eyed Dragon," a reference that will mystify most viewers.
- In Rock of Ages, after Drew sings half of "Don't Stop Believing", he finishes with "And it goes on and on and on." Later on, Lonny exclaims "We built this city on rock and roll!" as part of a protest, just before the protesters begin singing "We Built This City" by Starship.
- Vincent in Twins does this when flirting with Linda, pretending he's reciting poetry that he wrote. When Linda's sister Marnie tells her they're just old song lyrics, she says she already knows.
- Forrest Gump: When Forrest meets John Lennon on the Dick Cavett Show Forrest claims that in the land of China people hardly got nothing at all. To which Lennon replies: "No possessions?" Gump looks up bewildered, but continues: "They never go to church", to which Lennon again replies: "No religion too?" Whereupon the host says: "Must be hard to imagine", but Lennon reassures him: "It's easy if you try, Dick."
- In the Arthur C. Clarke/Stephen Baxter book The Light Of Other Days, about a society where privacy is becoming obsolete, a girl is seen wearing a T-shirt with the words 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town'. The protagonist doesn't know what it means, but she explains it to him later in case the reader didn't catch it: "He sees you when you're sleeping..."
- The Discworld novel Hogfather has some fun with the lyrics of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town": Quoth the Raven tells Susan "You'd better watch out"; Death, in his role as Hogfather, is able to ensure some kids see him, because I know when they are peeping, and he asks if checking the list twice is sufficient. In the same book, the magical and dizzyingly fast sleigh ride prompts Albert to mutter sarcastically "Oh, what fun."
- In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel The Eleventh Tiger, the Doctor and his companions are staying at a 19th century gongfu school. (Note that Ian and Barbara are from ten years before the song came out, but the Doctor clearly recognises the accidental reference):
[Ian:] "One minute those kids are just running around chaotically, but the next minute they're all focused, and everyone's kung-fu fighting."
"Those kids are as fast as lightning," Barbara added.
The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "Are they indeed? And was it, perchance, dear boy, a little bit frightening? Hmm?"
- In the Fifth/Seventh team-up Cold Fusion, Chris Cwej is posing as an Australian, and describes living in a close-knit community in a sunny suburb, where everyone pops in and out of each others' houses, before concluding "With a little understanding, you can find the perfect blend and that's when good neighbours become good friends". Real Australian Tegan doesn't get the reference, having come from a time before Neighbours began, but does spot he's talking nonsense.
- And in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Camera Obscura, the Doctor quotes "All Along the Watchtower" while trying to escape a creepy Eldritch Location with a man who literally stole his heart:
‘“There must be some way out of here,’ said the joker
to the thief”.’
- Sabbath (the aforementioned thief) has his own moment of doing this, for no particular reason at all: he's usually The Stoic, and he's from the 18th century. But he gets into an alarmingly perky and cheerful mood and starts quoting from The Wizard of Oz.
"‘Because,’ said Sabbath. ‘Because because because because because. Because of the wonderful things I does.’"
- Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency has a scene involving a horse in a bathroom.
"A horse?" he said again.
"Yes, it is," said the Professor. "Wait—" he motioned to Richard, who was about to go out again and investigate— "let it be. It won't be long."
Richard stared in disbelief. "You say there's a horse in your bathroom, and all you can do is stand there naming Beatles songs?"
- In The Book Of Awesome, the final two paragraphs of "Taking your shoes of on a long car ride" match the lyrics of Buddy Holly's Rollercoaster.
- The Dresden Files
- In Ghost Story, Dresden tries to console Molly by saying "for everything there is a season", but Molly cuts him off by telling him to stop quoting the Bible at her. Harry counters he was actually quoting the song Turn! Turn! Turn! (admittedly the latter is based on the former).
- In another book he makes Toot-Toot a Major General in order to psych him up. The little faerie can't believe it and asks for confirmations. Harry replies, "Yes, yes, a Major General."
- Near the start of Whispers Underground, during a murder investigation, DI Stephanopoulos comments "Well, our victim had a thirst for knowledge. He was a student at St Martin's College."
Live Action TV
- In the Selfie episode "With a Little Yelp From My Friends", Henry encourages Eliza to make friends with co-worker Joan, telling her to do her research. He unknowingly (probably, given his age) quotes a Biggie song, which Eliza enthuastically finishes for him.
Henry: Do your research. If you want to connect with Joan, find out what her interests are.
Eliza: Who she be with?!
- One of the many "Sorkinisms" Aaron Sorkin uses as Running Gag, involves a character going on a tangent about themselves and their credentials—inevitably topping the mini-monologue off with "And I'm never-never sick at sea!"
- Margaret once lapses into this when she's excited about musical guest James Taylor coming to the White House.
Margaret: I've always loved "Jelly Man Kelly". He's the man who likes jelly the most. He likes it on toast. Then there's Jenny Mulhenny...
- In the episode "To Kill a Chupacabraj", of Workaholics Ders addresses the people waiting in small-claims court, initially mistaking them for the jury.
Ders: I have but one word: justice. Just-us. Its just us on this planet, Earth. We're alone, so we need to trust each other. Trust us. Rhymes, so you know that its real. Which brings me to the question, are we human, or are we dancers?"
- An ad for the TV show Bridezillas had the brides and their families getting ready for a fight and the family starts singing the song "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister.
- From Absolutely Fabulous:
Life is a mystery, we all must stand alone. I hear him call my name and it feels like home. Saffy:
That's lovely, who wrote it? Eddy: Madonna
- From Doctor Who, "The Christmas Invasion":
It's too late. The Doctor:
It's never too late, as a wise person once said. (to himself) Kylie
, I think...
Just tell her about it. Tell her everything you feel. Dr Cox:
...Should I give her every reason to accept that I'm for real? JD:
First of all, no-one understands relationships like Billy Joel, okay? Uptown Girl
got me through high school.
- In another episode Turk starts quoting the "Safety Dance" when Carla asks how he would react if their child were to take up dance classes and be mocked by his friends for it. When she tells Elliot, Elliot chastises her for forgetting the time she told Turk the Commissar was in town.
- Another classic Turk Moment:
Dr Cox: Name a test, any test that you would use to check for Lupus.
Turk: Lupus? ...Does she live on the second floor? Does she live upstairs from you? I think you have seen her before.
- Later, JD consoled a woman whose husband was dying with the theme from Facts of Life.
- In another example of a song being disguised as a different type of song; at the Janitor's wedding in the final season, Ted sings a beautiful acoustic love song which turns out to be "Hey Ya".
- 3rd Rock from the Sun
- In one episode where Dick got called up for jury duty and was eager to go, Nina and Mary told him not to bother. Dick made a point about how he has a sense of duty and can be relied upon:
Dick: Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, all you've got to do is call, and I'll be there.
Nina: (dismissively) Yeah, yeah, yeah...
Dick: Yes I will.
- Another episode had someone asking Dick what he wanted, to which he very hammily shot back, in dead seriousness: "Fame! I want to live forever — light up the sky like a flame!"
- Another time, after a failed bank robbery which had Sally dressed like a biker, Tommy dressed like a sailor, and Harry dressed like a Native American, they greeted Don (in uniform) and Dick (dressed like a construction worker, since he had just gotten back from a gay bar). Everybody keeps saying "Hey!" back and forth to the tune of "Macho Man".
- Either Del or Rodney on Only Fools and Horses, trying to be inspiring: "You've got to have a dream. If you don't have a dream... how're you going to have a dream come true?" (The other one just gives him a look.)
- NewsRadio: Every year when the annual bonuses are delivered, Matthew gets no bonus, known around the station as "The Shaft". Naturally, the guys tease him by reciting lyrics from "Theme from Shaft".
Dave (reading card from the box): Uh, "Who's the black private dick, a sex machine to all the chicks"?
Bill: I thought we'd get a kick out of that.
- On Not Only... But Also a spoof of A Man for All Seasons had a scene with Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon delivering dialogue consisting entirely of lyrics from popular songs of the day.
- An occasional joke on Not Going Out.
Barbara: Listen. When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, what will I be? Will I be pretty? Will I be rich? Here's what she said to me.
Lee: I'm guessing it was a no.
- [in an episode in which Tim and Lee have just played a gig of very unrock songs]
Lucy: I don't think the crowd liked the Elaine Paige and Barabra Dixon number much.
- House frequently quotes "You Can't Always Get What You Want". Most notably in the first episode:
As the great philosopher Jagger
said; You can't always get what you want.
Cuddy: By the way, I checked out that philosopher you mentioned and it turns out that you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you'll get what you need.
- It should be noted that "You Can't Always Get What You Want" eventually became the theme song for House's vicodin addiction.
- Weird Science had an episode where Lisa the genie fell in love with one of the guys and became a Clingy Jealous Girl. He tells her "When you love someone, set them free", which causes Lisa to start deleting herself. Instantly his friend interrupts, saying "Don't listen to him! He's an idiot spouting bad song lyrics!"
- The season 3 finale of Battlestar Galactica has a number of characters who turn out to be Cylons start mumbling the same bits of nonsensical poetry as a sign of their mental breakdown. Towards the end of the finale, the lines come together and are revealed to be All Along the Watchtower. The effect of Season Three's finale's reveal was weakened by the fact that the song is relatively well known, since the original was by Bob Dylan, achieved huge popularity as a cover by Jimi Hendrix, and was popular again in the early Noughties following another cover by Dave Matthews Band (as well as covers by Neil Young, Ben Harper, Lenny Kravitz, and many, many others). "There must be some way out of here" and "I can't get no relief" may be relatively unnoticeable, but dialogue that includes "Said the Joker to the Thief," even out of context, raises a few eyebrows.
- All Along the Watchtower became a kind of significant Leitmotif for the Final Five Cylons at the end of Season Three and throughout Season Four. The song actually becomes vitally important to the series overall: Hera draws a series of dots which are revealed to be the notes to the song when Kara remembers it as a song her father used to play when she was a child. Kara also uses the line "there must be some kind of way out of here" in the series finale, using the notes of the song as coordinates.
- According to the commentary, in the finale, when Adama asks Kara where the coordinates have taken them, her reply was to have been "Somewhere... all along the watchtower. Luckily, Katee Sackhoff recognized the narminess of the line and refused.
- Lampshaded on 30 Rock:
- In the third season of the Australian Thank God Youre Here, Shaun Micallef, responding to the question "Have you ever been to London?" replies "I've been to London, I've been to Birmingham, I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me."
- The 2009 series of BBC documentary Springwatch was home to a bizarre series of these. Chris Packham had taken out a bet with a friend that he could slip the name of a Smiths song into every episode. The last episode featured Kate Humble reporting that Bill Oddie had called to congratulate him on this feat, to which Chris deadpans to camera, "William, it was really nothing."
- Shows up on Mystery Science Theater 3000:
Old Sage-Type Guy: My daughter, you will find that you can't always have what you want.
Servo: But if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.
- In The Stand, Randall Flagg introduces himself, "Pleased to meet you, Lloyd. Hope you guess my name," to indicate that he is more or less the devil.
- An episode has Ross taking a phone message for Rachel from a guy named Casey. While on the phone, he asks if Casey is spelled "like '-at the bat' or '-and the Sunshine Band'?" After he hangs up:
Ross: Who's this Casey?
Phoebe: Some guy she met at the movies.
Ross: What does he want with her?
Chandler: I'm guessing he wants to do a little dance...make a little love...and, basically, get down tonight.
- There's another time when Joey tries to stall answering the question "Why?"
Joey: Because... because... because... because... because...
- Years later, as Jimmy Kimmel got all three leading ladies together, at a certain point the dialogue gets... familiar.
: It's like we always say: "So no one told you life was gonna be this way." *claps*
- Used by Mock the Week when Diana Ross was given custody of Michael Jackson's children:
Hugh: Do you think if they're naughty, she can just tell them "Stop! In the name of love!"
- A round on Whose Line Is It Anyway? involves the participants holding a conversation purely in song titles.
- In the 3D episode of Chuck, in trying to think fast, Chuck calls himself a drummer and then says: "I'm the little drummer boy... Come they told me... ba... rumpa... bombom..."
- One episode of The Goodies started off by quoting the White Rabbit's song from Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland. Bill and Graeme are sitting around the office:
Graeme: He's late.
Tim: (walking in) I'm late.
Bill: For a very important date.
Graeme: No time to say hello.
Tim: (leaving) Goodbye.
Graeme and Bill: (together) He's late, he's late, he's late, eeh eeh!
- In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:
- Will recites a few lines of the show's theme song in formal-sounding prose to a judge. "Your honour, in West Philadelphia born 'n' raised, on the playground was where I spent most of my days".
- Also when Will announces his marriage to Lisa; his Uncle Phil, Aunt Vivian and his mother ask how he manages to make a living.
Will: We're survive on love.
Vy: What's love gotta do with it?
Geoffrey: (walking past them)
Gotta do, gotta do with it.
- In an early episode Will and his uncle get in an argument and end up quoting lyrics from Smith's early hit "Parents Just Don't Understand."
Will: You'll ruin my rep!
Uncle Phil: You're only sixteen, you don't have a "rep" yet!
- This was a favorite technique of the writers of The Bob Newhart Show. In one episode, the guys get drunk and Emily offers to make them coffee. One says, "I love coffee." A second adds, "I love tea." Then Mr. Carlin says, "I love the Java Jive, and it loves me." From another episode, Bob denies being afraid of death, saying, "I am strong, I am invincible …" at which point another character cuts him off with, "You are woman. Let's hear you roar."
- In a first season episode of Veronica Mars, "Lord of the Bling", Veronica explains her connection to a missing teenager with the words "We used to be friends...a long time ago." Immediately afterwards, the theme song starts playing - the opening line? "A long time ago, we used to be friends…" Also, in the second season episode "The Rapes of Graff", Veronica claims she once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
- In the short-lived Pepper Dennis, Pepper tries to advise a would-be Runaway Bride with the lyrics to D.H.T's "Listen To Your Heart".
- In an episode of Heroes where Hiro Nakamura was put on trial by his own mind, he tried to defend his meddling with history by saying he had been 'setting right what once went wrong'
- Used in Men Behaving Badly when Tony is persuading Gary he should get back together with Dorothy.
- An episode of Home Improvement had Wilson dishing out some famous quotes about love. Tim responded with: "'Everybody... loves somebody sometimes.' Martin, comma, Dean."
- Another episode had Wilson musing, on the subject of Tim compromising with his wife, "You have to give a little, take a little..." Tim responds, sardonically, "Yeah, and let your poor heart break a little." Then, he realizes what the next line in the song is, and they figure it's not so bad an idea after all, as they sing together, "That's the story of, that's the story of love..."
- One episode of WKRP in Cincinnati has Herb recruiting staffers to sing a jingle for a funeral home client.
Herb: Bailey...sing something.
Bailey: Oh, I can't sing.
Herb: Everyone can sing.
Venus: Go on Bailey, sing. Sing a song.
Les: Sing out loud, sing out strong.
Herb: Sing of good things, not—-
Venus: (Cutting him off) Herb!
: I can read her like a book. Daisy
: Never judge a book by its cover. Tim
: He who dares, wins. Daisy
: Look before you leap. Tim
: Do you believe in life after love
That's a song. Tim
- The DVD Commentary for LOST, "A Tale of Two Cities" (which is basically a producer and an actress cracking jokes - they even call it "our Mystery Science Theater 3000"):
Elizabeth Mitchell: Well, maybe, maybe the glass just started it. It was his impressive glass acting. It's kind of like a microwave in there, heating up... [laughs]
Damon Lindelof: ...behind the glass. Juliet might, might as well walk over and just push the popcorn button, 'cause it's getting hot up in there.
Elizabeth Mitchell:[laughing] So take off all your clothes. [Lindelof chuckles]
- Kirsty Wark's signature gag on Dead Ringers; for example: "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and they're like, 'It's better than yours'. Damn right it's better than yours. More on that story later."
- The Adventures of Pete & Pete. "Apocalypse Pete". A particularly hammish crossing guard orders a speeding remote-control car to "Stop in the name of love". It Makes Sense in Context.
- One episode of Skins has Freddie meeting with a guidance counselor who reveres Michael Jackson and gives lyrics from his songs as advice. Freddie catches on quickly enough; when asked what would Michael say about him, he suggests that he's "Bad" and should "Beat It". (Michael would actually tell him that he's "Gotta Be Startin' Somethin'" - not quite a Michael Jackson song (that was "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"), but close enough.) And set up for a Crowning Moment of Funny later when Freddie visits him again; he turns, stares at the Thriller cover for inspiration… and gets nothing. The guidance counselor is played by Will Young, who sung one of the greatest Michael Jackson songs ever that wasn't actually a Michael Jackson song ("Your Game").
- Deliberately invoked in-universe. The Middle Man gave us at least one conversation per episode between Wendy and Noser that consisted entirely of song lyrics.
- In Being Human, when George finds out that his dad has died, Annie tries to give a eulogy and ends up with the lyrics to Fight For This Love by Cheryl Cole.
- A running gag in Miranda involves her inability to restrain herself from doing this, and she almost always ends up lapsing into singing the rest of the song in places like a job interview, psychiatrist's office and a funeral.
- This old MTV promo, with Steve Buscemi. All the way.
- On Boy Meets World, Mr. Feeny does this with a KC And The Sunshine Band song. Oddly, the joke is not the reference, but Mr. Feeny's deadpan delivery.
Mr. Feeny: Mr. Matthews I have no idea what you're talking about, and that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh, I like it.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- Quark, talking about the Dominion War, says, "War? What is it good for? You ask me, absolutely nothing."
- In the episode "In the Cards", Jake and Nog had been collecting several things, including Dr. Bashir's teddy bear, for the senior staff in exchange for items they were giving to a man named Dr. Geiger. At one point Jake suspects that Kai Winn is up to something and plans to confront her about it, introducing Nog to the expression "beard the lion in its den." This leads to the following exchange:
Nog: Lions and Geigers and bears...
Jake: Oh, my.
- On an episode of Yes Dear, Jimmy and Christine are trying to write poems for each other. After several minutes of struggling, Jimmy starts reading his poem, which soon turns out to be Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer". As it turns out, Christine wrote the exact same thing.
- Happens occasionally on Spicks And Specks. In one memorable example, Darlene Love started telling a story about the time she almost had sex with Tom Jones. Reginald D. Hunter chimed in "From what I hear, that's not unusual."
- In the Pretty Little Liars episode "Over My Dead Body," a nearly carbon monoxide-poisoned Emily has a dream (or does she?) that she's having a conversation with the late Alison; when Emily asks who "A" is, Alison - taking a line from the show's signature tune, The Pierces' "Secrets" - tells her that "Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead."
- In The Carol Burnett Show's parody of Gone with the Wind, Rat recites the lyrics to "Dixie" to express his desires to go back to a peaceful time before the Civil War. Sissy tells Rat that his speech sounds catchy, and that he should set it to music. Three more examples from the same sketch: early on, when Starlet meets an old suitor, she announces, "Why if it isn't Billy Joe McCalister! I thought you jumped off the Tallahatchee Bridge!" Later, when Starlet learns that a Yankee soldier is approaching Terra, she exclaims, "What the heck did you do, Melody? Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree?!" Brashley mentions that Rat had "stopped off at the Camptown races, and as you know, that track's five miles long. He's out there betting on a bob-tailed nag, and I put two bucks on the bey myself. Of course it only paid two-sixty to show, so, doo da, doo da..."
- Mork and Mindy, when Mork impersonated a priest, he offered this advice to a lady in church.
Mork: You can't hurry love. You just have to wait. It don't come easy, it's a game of give and take.
Woman: That's beautiful, Father. Psalms?
- Castle, at the end of the episode "Last Call", Castle insists on sharing a bottle of expensive whiskey with Beckett, Captain Montgomery, Ryan and Esposito. When Beckett insists that she still has some paperwork to file, Castle says, "C'mon, Beckett, It's nine o'clock on a Saturday...well, nine-fifteen." Castle, Ryan and Esposito start singing "Piano Man", and Beckett caves in and joins them on the second stanza ("He says 'Son can you play me a memory?'...").
- At the end of an episode of Gilligan's Island, the Skipper, following yet another failed escape plan, laments in despair, "I get the feeling we're gonna be here for a long, long time," quoting part of the closing theme tune lyrics.
- Frequently happens on The Muppet Show. Examples include:
- In an episode of Veterinarian's Hospital, the crew works without a roof on a weatherman, who constantly takes their cues to sing songs.
Nurse Piggy: Dr. Bob, it's getting worse; it's beginning to hail!
Dr. Bob: Hail?
Weatherman: The gang's all here!
- Storage Wars has Barry quote The Who at one point when describing a locker. This is pretty in-character for him, so no one else comments on it.
- On Homicide: Life on the Street, Gee, trying to heal a rift between partners Pembleton and Bayliss, says, "All we are is dust in the wind." Pembleton replies, "Never figured you for a Kansas fan."
- Monty Python's Flying Circus: In the sketch "The Mouse Problem" the "growing social problem of people wanting to be mice" is discussed. At a certain point the following conversation takes place which will go over the heads of most non-English speakers who've probably never heard of the nursery songs "Hickory Dickory Dock" and "Three Blind Mice":
Mr A's Voice: "Well, er, then you steal some cheese, Brie or Camembert, or Cheddar or Gouda, if you're on the harder stuff. You might go and see one of the blue cheese films... there's a big clock in the middle of the room, and about 12:50 you climb up it and then ...eventually, it strikes one... and you all run down."
Cut to a large matron with apron and carving knife.
Linkman's Voice: "And what's that?"
Mr A's Voice: "That's the farmer's wife."
- 'Allo 'Allo!:
- In the episode "Nouvion Oars" René receives a secret message in code: "The cow is ready to jump over the moon and Jack and Jill are standing in a bucket". (For our non-English speakers: these are references to the children's nursery rhymes "Hey Diddle Diddle" and "Jack and Jill (Went Up The Hill)").
- In another episode, Rene asks what happened to the town's elderly, grey-haired mayor. Edith replies "The old grey mayor is dead!"
- In the Angel episode "I Fall to Pieces", Cordelia glumly asks Doyle what the point of falling in love is. His response gradually morphs into Barbra Streisand's "People". She's unimpressed.
- Note: For this category we only list sketches or spoken word interludes on musical albums to be counted as an example of Waxing Lyrical.
- Frank Zappa:
- During the song "Punky's Whips" Terry Bozzio is voicing his obsession for Punky Meadows and at one point says (not sings): "Oh, Punky, isn't it romantic?" While he says that a small musical snippet from the 1930s song "Isn't It Romantic?" can be heard in the background.
- Joe's Garage: During "Sy Borg" Joe is having sex with a robot, but gets too excited, causing the robot to malfunction and shout: "You're plooking too hard! Plooking too hard on me!" This is a reference to the 1966 song "Pushin' Too Hard" by The Seeds.
- Occurs on occasion in the puntacular Sunday strips of Pearls Before Swine, where the setup for the jokes can lead to strange reconstructions of song lyrics. For example, Pig tells Rat about how he entered a bread-kneading competition at a fair, lost, and didn't even get to keep the bread dough that he kneaded. Rat responds by saying that if you're persistent enough, you can keep the dough, which prompts him to conclude with this gem:
- In one Sherman's Lagoon strip, Sherman the shark announced that he was collecting (Easter) eggs. Sea turtle Fillmore pointed out that someone else was appointed to collect the eggs, and exclaimed, "Doesn't anyone know who they're supposed to be?" Of course, as soon as Sherman referred to himself as the "eggman," we all knew that walrus would show up in the last panel.
- Gottlieb's Mayfair, based on My Fair Lady, is peppered with references to the play's various songs, including:
- A street sign for Your Street ("The Street Where You Live")
- A dancing couple asking "dance all night?" ("I Could Have Danced All Night")
- Eliza's father has a card in his hatband reading "Reminder: Get Me To The Church On Time"
- A very common gag in Milton Jones's shows; particular highlights include "Is this a photo of you with REM?" "Yes, that's me in the corner" and this gem:
I had a Siamese twin, you see, but we were separated a couple of months before I went onto the comedy circuit. In fact he earned a little money from doing this really bad impressions of me, but then he became an astronaut. I saw him again recently. He asked me how I'd been. I said, well, at first I was afraid, I was petrified, thought that I could never live without you... by my side. But I spent so many nights, thinking how you did me wrong, and I grew strong... So now you're back. From outer space.
- Absolute Power
- In the first episode Sandy is accused of taking the petty cash, and stormed out. When they find out it was really stolen by the chairman of the Conservative Party and she returns, Charles greets her with "Ah, Sandy. You came and you gave without taking, but we sent you away."
- In episode 2 of season 3, Charles declares He's Back after being lovesick with "I'm reviewing the situation, I'm a bad 'un, and a bad 'un I shall stay."
- When Pip Bin, Mr Gently Benevolent and Harry Biscuit are in space in Bleak Expectations, Harry keeps quoting "Space Oddity". When he thinks Pippa is leaving him for Mr Benevolent (again), he does the first few lines of "I Will Survive".
- Happens occasionally on The Now Show; one particular example came when the audience question was "Who would you give an honour too?" and someone wrote "I would give a KBE to Shalamar, to make him a knight to remember." (Hugh: "I think I was far away enough from the actual tune there that we don't have to pay royalties.")
- In the first episode of the 2010 election special series, The Vote Now Show, they looked at the various government inspectors the Conservatives would abolish, including one who checks premises for illegal performing animals. The conversation between the inspector and a suspect quickly becomes "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear".
- The second-to-last episode of The Vote Now Show, in what became a mini-Running Gag:
: I believe that the children are our future. Treat them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside... Steve Punt
: Jon, has someone bet you that you can't get the lyrics to a Whitney Houston song into tonight's show? Jon Holmes
: Yes. Mitch Benn
has, and he now owes me five pounds.
- I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue
- There's a round based on this. For instance, the following dialogue between Graeme Garden (as a doctor) and Barry Cryer (as his patient):
: I hope you won't want to give me a jab, because I'm terrified of needles. Graeme
Baby. Take off your coat. Real slow. Barry
: But it hurts when I move my arms. Graeme
: Baby. Take off your shoes. Barry
: I can't bend over, it hurts... Graeme
I'll help you take off your shoes. Baby. Take off your dress. Barry
: Now, I can explain about the dress... Graeme
Yes, yes, yes. Barry
: Doctor, do you want me to undress completely? Graeme
: You Can Leave Your Hat On
- If one of the teams is putting on an Italian accent for 86 Chicken Cross Lane (a game in which they construct a letter from a historic personage word by word), it will inevitably morph into "Shaddap You Face".
- The original radio version of Dead Ringers uses the same gag as the TV version, only with Radio 4 newsreader Charlotte Greene: "I'm Charlotte Greene. Say it loud and there's music playing, say it soft and it's almost like praying. More on that story later."
- In Old Harry's Game Olympic Special, Thomas finds himself trying to comfort Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn: Where did I go wrong?
- The title character of Lenin of the Rovers, Russian footballer Ricky Lenin, does this quite often.
Ricky: Look, Ray, I don't care too much for money. Because, you know, money can't buy me love.
Ricky: Terry! Don't be a hero! Don't be a fool with your life!
- Eventually, the rest of the cast starts joining in.
Ricky: Hey, that's neat. That's neat. That's neat, that's neat, that's neat, that's neat.
Terry Trotsky and Stevie Stalin: I really love your tiger feet.
- A number of The Beatles titles are buried in the dialogue of the Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama Fanfare for the Common Men.
- In Finians Rainbow, Og the leprechaun is trying to explain that he now knows What Is This Thing You Call Love?, and Finian plays along with the quotation of Silly Love Songs:
Og: Does an optical illusion feel an, oh, such a hungry yearning burning inside of him, under the hide of him? Does an optical illusion feel the beat-beat-beat of the tom-tom in the roaring traffic's boom, in his lonely room?
Finian (His scholarly interest is enlisted): Hmmm. Do you also feel like the promised kiss of springtime that trembles on the brink of a lovely song?
Og: Yes, and what's worse, smoke keeps coming out of me eyes.
Finian: You go round and round like an elevator lost in the tide?
- In The Complete History of America (abridged), Jefferson and Madison are brainstorming the beginning of the Bill of Rights. After throwing out each other's first ideas as "too liberal" or "too conservative" suggestions, Jefferson suggests, "Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother, you're staying alive, staying alive," to which Madison says, "No, that's too seventies."
- In an indirect example, the stars of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages are this; a small town girl, trying to escape her lonely world, and a city boy born and raised in south Detroit.
- A running gag in The Case of the Tale Told by an Idiot, a Macbeth/Film Noir mash-up by Bruce Kane. The Femme Fatale, Nola, is described in the words of "Whatever Lola Wants" and "Copacabana". Her accomplice's confession at the end keeps lapsing into "You Made Me Love You". Macbeth's soliloquies (in addition to the ones Shakespeare gave him) are "I'm Forever Chasing Rainbows", "Night and Day", and "Three O'Clock in the Morning".
- Many units in Warcraft III will spout song lyrics as their Stop Poking Me lines.
- By extension, Starcraft as well.
- On particular note was Lt. Duran from Brood War, who was prone to (of course) reciting Duran Duran lyrics when poked.
- In Warcraft II, the cheat code to instantly research all magic spells was "every little thing she does".
- In Sam and Max: Ice Station Santa, Sam and Max confront a giant Maimtron robot that randomly drops appropriate pop-song lyrics into its dialogue. Sam can distract it by asking it questions like "Why do fools fall in love?" and "Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?"
- The Maimtron is reactivated in What's New Beelzebub with the words, "Did you think I'd crumble? Did you think I'd lay down and die? Oh no. Not I. I will survive. I will survive."
- Later in Sam & Max: What's New, Beelzebub?, they meet Satan who quotes the two lines everyone knows from Sympathy for the Devil.
- They also find a radio at one point in Moai Better Blues, where if you return to a particular channel several times you get these lines: "Hello, hello, hello?" "Is there anybody out there?" "Just respond if you can hear me." "Is there anyone at home?"
- In The Devil's Playhouse, the Maimtron army march to war against Maxthulthu while chanting, "If you liked it than you should have put a ring on it, if you liked it than you should have put a ring on it..."
- Hotel Mario has Mario telling one of the Koopalings: "Hey you! Get off of my cloud!"
- Jolee Bindo spent twenty years on Kashyyyk. Why?
Jolee: I did it all for the Wookiees.
Jolee: The Wookiees!
- In the handheld versions of The Urbz: Sims in the City, after you best the Red Man at a fiddling contest:
Player Character: I told you once, you son of a gun, I'm the best there's ever been!
- In Metal Gear Solid 3, if the player starts the game by saying "I like MGS2!" in the opening screen, Snake will be wearing a mask in the opening cutscene and greet the Major by saying "Can you hear me, Major Tom?"
- Kingdom of Loathing does this all the time. For example, pretty much every cake-based food item in the game references lyrics from a song by CAKE.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, there is a guy running around in Hyrule Castle Town. If you talk to him, he says: "I'm late! For a very important date!".
- Some of the clothing\instrument descriptions in Rock Band, unsurprisingly.
- In Monster Hunter 3U, talking to one of the Moga Village fishing boat captains when you have both Shakalaka party members with you results in him reciting a short (and hilarious) homage to a famous Mary Poppins song.
- In Episode 3 of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Strong Bad's character, Dangeresque, begins doing this when his father, "Dadgeresque," is killed.
Don't do this dad, you have to hang on! Did you ever know that you're my hero? We've only just begun! You're the wind beneath my wings! Umm... She Bop?
- Super Robot Wars UX:
- In Scenario 12, Soushi uses quotes from the opening and ending song lyrics of Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor note . Later in Scenario 25, Tsubaki will use another quote from another Fafner ending song "Separation" note . Lyrics from Fafner In The Azure: Heaven and Earth are quoted by Shou in Scenario 29 note , while Ryuubi Gundam or Chousen Qubeley quotes the main song lyrics in Scenario 47 note .
- In Scenario 34, Doctor West will quote the lyrics of the 1979 anime Cyborg 009 note .
- During Scenario 43 of the Union Route, Fei-Yen HD, Sheryl Nome and Ranka Lee will sing the lyrics of the opening song "Tori no Uta" from Dancougar Nova together note .
- At one point in UX, Aira uses the lyrics from "Proud", an in-anime song from Kurogane no Linebarrel note .
- Shou uses the lyrics to "Fly Dunbine", the opening song to Aura Battler Dunbine, in Scenario 46 note .
- Shinn Asuka will quote lyrics from the ending song "Life Goes On" from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. note
- In Super Robot Wars Original Generation, Irm will sometimes quote the Ultraman Taro opening theme when he attacks.
- A frequent gag including Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. Including:
Marik: Let's see how you like my Cage of Doom!
Yami: Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage.
Vic Mignogna: Let's dance!
Yami: I don't feel like dancing. No sir. No dancing today.
Téa: We didn't start the fire! It was always burning since the world's been turning!
Yugi: Hey, Joey, how'd it come to this? I mean, after all we've been through? Two of a pair, now on opposite sides.
Joey: Yeah, from the very start with honor we've dueled 'n stuff. Watched each other’s backs and, you know, battled with pride.
Yugi: We’re closer than brothers. And now we have to fight each other.
Yugi and Joey, singing: And we trust our fate to the heart of the cards!
Tristan: No matter what!
Yugi and Joey, singing: Let the game begin.
Tristan: No matter what!
Yugi and Joey, singing: May the best man win.
- Any time Rickrolling comes up in an Internet discussion, there's a good chance that someone will mention how Rick Astley's never gonna give you up and never gonna let you down. You wouldn't get it from any other guy. It's now possible to recite lines that are simply a similar form of exaggeratedly romantic promises, and get your audience to Rick Roll themselves.
- The Descendants loves this. To date, it's used Hurt by Trent Reznor, A Lifetime by Talking Heads and Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones.
- The Sympathy for the Devil one is arguable, because the characters were quoting the Show Within a Show.
- TV Tropes: In addition to trope names, tropers will often disguise quotes from the song or show they're discussing as banter-like natter.
- Unskippable's Grandia III episode:
- As far as I know there's only been one.
- Singular sensation.
- An episode of ENN has the newsreaders reciting the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
- This News Biscuit article, "Mild alarm caused by kung fu fighting outbreak" ("it was a little bit frightening" said one witness)
- Homestar Runner
- In a really old version of the character page, Marzipan's description stated that "She loves horses and her boyfriend, too."
- "3 Times Halloween Funjob" has Strong Sad dressing up like David Byrne, and sure enough there's an Easter Egg with the inevitable reference to the lyrics of "Once In A Lifetime".
- The last update to the site (until April Fools' Day of 2014, at least) was a "Decemberween costume special" that had The King of Town dressed up as Heat Miser from The Year Without a Santa Claus. When Homestar confused it for a "Devil Don King", he was corrected, followed by the KOT saying "I'm Mister Heat Blister, I'm Mister Hundred and One!"
- Whenever someone on a message board or any sort of site says something that also happens to be the lyrics to a song, the next few posts are usually continuations of the lyrics.....
- Linkara tends to do this quite a lot, most often when a comic's dialogue gives him a decent opening. This is usually an excuse to play the song, no matter how otherwise irrelevant, over the opening title card or closing credits. He will also occasionally play a clip from the song immediately after reciting the verse if he thinks viewers might not get the reference. He seems to know an awful lot of songs.
- After a chapter of Dive Quest that's been particularly harrowing for both of them on a personal level, Tislomer and Babrakus start reciting lines from the Dropkick Murphys' "Forever".
- In Suburban Knights, some of The Nostalgia Chick 's elven montages feature lyrics to 'One Week' by Barenaked Ladies and Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.
- Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG:
390. My character's background must be more in-depth than a montage of Queen lyrics.
- In the DVD-R Hell review of Bibleman, archvillain Doctor Insano delivers a "We Will Meet Again" speech from behind bars.
- Mr. Mendo does this a lot, usually as a Couch Gag. At various times, he's introduced himself as:
- TV Trash's The Rowdy Reviewer does this when reviewing The Groovenians. After a character says "Tomorrow is another day", he follows it up with "And I'm thirsty anyway, so bring on the rain."
- In Death Note: The Abridged Series (Kpts4tv) Da Chief declares "I won't let you down... or give you up... but I might run and round and desert you."
- The Nostalgia Critic concludes his review of Jingle All the Way with this, as a threat to Santa:
Critic: You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I'm telling you why. THE NOSTALGIA CRITIC IS COMING TO YOUR HOUSE!
- Happens occasionally in Todd in the Shadows' videos, usually using lyrics from the song he's reviewing.
(Top 10 Best Songs of 2012) Todd
: (on Gotye
) We can let him have another hit! He's so talented! ...You didn't have to cut him off!
(Top 10 Best Songs of 2013) Kyle
: Get out there and be the best...hooded silhouetto of a man
that you can be!
- The Simpsons
- The episode "Bart Gets an Elephant" has a scene where Homer crashes the family car into a statue of a deer, leading to a Crowning Moment of Funny as the characters inadvertently recite the opening line of "Do-Re-Mi" from The Sound of Music.
Lisa: A deer!
Marge: A female deer!
- Homer also mourns his loss of the freedom he had in his youth, "I used to rock and roll all night and party ev-e-ry day. Then it was every other day. Now I'm lucky if I can find one night a month in which to get funky."
- From the rock and roll fantasy camp episode when Homer is forced to leave:
Mick Jagger: Cheer up Homer, it's only Rock 'n' Roll Camp.
Homer: But I like it...
- Homer's attempt to put off telling Apu that he knows about Apu's affair:
Homer: So, if you take that bottle down, and pass it around...
Apu: Yes, yes, I know. There will be 47 bottles of beer on the wall!
- And when Homer pretends to be a robot in a robot fighting competition ("I, D'oh-Bot), he defeats one robot using a buzzsaw by using its own weapon against it, leading to this commentary:
He's killing him softly with his saw. Announcer 2:
Killing him softly? Announcer 1: With his saw!
- When the Springfieldians decide to keep their beloved burlesque house, Reverend Lovejoy (indirectly) quotes the Crosby, Stills, and Nash song, 'Our House':
Lovejoy: This house is a very, very, very fine house.
- In "Bart Gets Hit By A Car" Bart goes to Hell and meets the Devil, who says: "Please allow me to introduce myself".
- In "Lisa the Vegetarian" Paul McCartney says he enjoys being in "Apu's garden in the shades". (A reference to the Beatles' song "Octopus's Garden"). Also when he hears Lisa ran away from home he says: "She's leaving home?"
- South Park
- In "Red Man's Greed" the citizens of South Park are all being evicted by an oppressive Native American casino. They rise up and march and sing as one. The song includes lines such as "We are strong" and "No one can tell us were wrong" and sounds like an inspiring protest song... 'til it turns out they're singing "Love Is A Battlefield".
- In "Kenny Dies", Cartman appears before Congress, and after making his speech, says "I'm not the best speaker. Maybe I can put it best in the words of a timeless song." He then proceeds to lead Congress in "Heat of the Moment."
- The boys warn the police that criminals are going to be at the monster mash in "A Nightmare On Face Time."
Sgt. Yates: How many people at the Monster Mash?
Officer: Most of the town, sir. It's a graveyard smash.
Officer 2: Look, whatever we do, we'd better hurry. It gets on in a flash.
- Family Guy
- The episode "Running Mates" where Peter runs for head of the PTA had him just reciting sitcom lyrics in his speech:
- "Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog."
- Also, when Peter's dad vanishes at the baseball game after going to "buy some peanuts and Cracker Jack", Brian responds with "I don't care if he never gets back." *Beat* "I wasn't being cute, I really hope he's dead."
- In the episode where Lois becomes a model, Peter asks her "So don't you wanna go back and do your little turn on the catwalk? On the catwalk? Yeah, on the catwalk? Do your little turn on the catwalk?"
- In the Return of the Jedi parody, when Leia strangles Jabba, his subtitles may read "Help, I'm being strangled!" but his Jabbaspeak is the lyrics to Lady Marmalade. Later, when C-3P0 is regaling the Ewoks with stories, he is telling them the opening theme to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
- When Carter Pewterschmidt suffers a heart attack, he exclaims "I’m having a heart attack-ack-ack-ack! You oughta know by now!" before losing consciousness.
- In "Foreign Affairs" Bonnie gets in a relationship with another paraplegic. Joe says that he truly loves her and proves it by standing (with help from Quagmire). The other paraplegic states that he would do anything for love, but he won't do that.
- Lois tells Stewie to behave on Christmas as Santa is watching.
: What the devil do you mean, "watching"? Lois
: Well, honey, Santa's making a list and checking it twice. Meg
: He sees you when you're sleeping. Chris
: And he knows when you're awake. *Beat
* I almost caught him last year. But he's magic!
- The Venture Bros.:
Dr Venture: You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute.
The Monarch: Yeah, well get used to it.
Dr Venture: I want to tell her that I love her, but the point is probably moot.
The Monarch: ... Are you reciting Jessie's Girl?
- Also at the start of "Ghost Pirates of the Sargasso", we see Major Tom's last conversation before his spaceship crashes; the conversation is mostly David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and "Ashes to Ashes".
- As well as Hank reciting The Doors lyrics while tripping on Molotov's spy poison, and several gags done with the ageing rockstars that seem to constitute most of The Guild's leadership. Venture Bros does this a lot actually.
- The Powerpuff Girls
- An entire episode of this joke. "Meet the Beat-Alls", in which most lines of dialogue were from Beatles songs. It was nominated for an Emmy. And neatly subverted at the end:
Blossom: Well, it's like the song goes - the love you take is equal to... equal to... oh, who cares, it's by some dumb old band anyway.
- Another episode that wasn't even remotely Beatles-related threw one in, too:
Princess: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody!
- Before the narrator gives his end of episode Catchphrase in "Knock it Off"
Narrator: I guess the love you take IS equal to the love you make!
- Futurama, "Xmas Story":
Robot Santa: You've been very naughty, Fry and Leela. I checked my list.
Fry: Well, check it twice!
Robot Santa: I perform over fifty mega-checks per second!
- "The Sting":
Fry: How big's the honeycomb?
Hermes: Honeycomb's big, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Bender: It's not small?
Hermes: No, no, no.
- Near the end of "Three Hundred Big Boys", when the piles of war plunder catch fire, Richard Nixon yells "The loot! The loot! The loot is on fire!"
- In the second straight to DVD movie, "The Beast With a Billion Backs", Prof. Wernstum orders some tentacle-resisters to "Stop! In the name of love!"
- Also from "I Dated A Robot".
George Michael's Head: Please pick me up before you go-go?
- Also this from "Bender's Game":
Elevator Steward: Maintenance shaft 7 serving...
Professor: Shut your mouth.
Elevator Steward: I'm just talking about the shaft.
- Still in "Bender's Game":
You're suffering from a breakdown. Now stop, hammertime. (activates the "treatment", which is basically hitting the patient with a hammer.)
- In "The Tip of the Zoidberg", The Professor tells Dr. (John) Zoidberg to flee by saying, "Go Johnny, Go!".
- Variation: In the American Dad! episode where Roger poses as a college professor, his opening lecture quotes from the spoken introduction of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy". ("Electric word, 'life', it means forever, and that's a mighty long time...")
- Kim Possible:
- Rocko's Modern Life
- In Monkey Dust, several of Clive's many excuses for being late.
- 29 years before the Futurama example above, the Stop Motion Christmas Special Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town worked in a similar gag while still averting a Title Drop.
Kris Kringle: You better watch out. You better not cry, you better not pout.
Kris Kringle: I'm telling you why! Because I came to town.
- The first episode of the eminently forgettable Family Dog had exactly one funny moment, when one character says to the Butt Monkey dog, "It just goes to show you, you can't always get what you wa-ant."
- Robot Chicken
Principal: (shocked) The leader of the band!
Student: His blood runs through my instrument! (plays the saxophone as blood spurts out)
- In Metalocalypse, Senator Stampingston introduces Dethklok to the Tribunal using the lyrics to the theme song.
Skwisgaar Skwigelf, taller than a tree. Toki Wartooth, not a bumblebee. William Murderface. Murderface. Murderface. Pickles. The drummer. Doodily doo...ding dong doodily...doodily doo. Nathan Explosion.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
- Transformers Animated: "I am Wreck-Gar! I dare to be stupid!" Also a Mythology Gag, since that song was featured in Transformers: The Movie.
- In one of the climactic battles of Transformers Cybertron, Optimus orders his troops into battle formation with the command, "Come together, right now! Over me!" The Cybertron dub had a lot of those.
- An episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force combined this with The Power of Rock with the Foreigner Belt, which gave its wearer super-powers triggered by reciting the titles of Foreigner songs.
- From the villain roll call in The Last One:
Ignignokt: Just say 'here', and we'll consider that short for 'Here I am, rock you like a hurricane'.
: You do as the Scorpions
have before you!
- On Tiny Toon Adventures, when Babs arrives at New York, she says "New York, just like I pictured it. Skycrapers and everything", a line from the spoken section of Stevie Wonder's "Living in the City".
- The Warners watched a pretentious French film with dialogue from the original lyrics to "Frere Jacques" and "Alouette".
- In "Woodstock Slappy", when the festival gathers right outside Slappy's tree and she wonders aloud what's going on, Skippy says "There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear." Slappy is unamused.
- In "Deduces Wild", the Warner's scavenger hunt list gradually turns into "The Twelve Days of Christmas".
- In "This Pun For Hire", Yakko asks Hello Nurse "What's your story, sister?". Dot takes it as her cue to quote the opening lines of "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves" before Yakko explains that he wasn't talking to her.
- Jackie Chan Adventures
- In one episode, Jackie explains that he's in a western town because "I've been working on the railroad." The people he's talking to get angry, and he adds "All the livelong day?"
- In another, the thunder demon Tchang Zu is revived, only to discover that his former realm is now part of Hollywood:
Tchang Zu: My palace! These humans have paved my paradise and constructed a...
- In Christmas is Here Again, Buster the fox refuses to follow the others into the Big Bad's hideout.
Paul Rocco: Let him stay. He only gets us into trouble anyway.
Buster: He's right. I'm troubled waters, see. Now be a bridge and ease my mind.
- The Flash pulled one on Justice League Unlimited, when asked where Batman was:
"He's running late. Batmobile lost a wheel and Joker got away." (the League members cast pained expressions at Flash) "Well, that's what I heard."
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Bird in the Hoof," Fluttershy realizes, "I'm late! For a very important date!" Bonus points for her being reminded by a rabbit with a pocketwatch.
- Referenced on Hey Arnold!, where his grandma says Arnold "was born on the backseat of a Greyhound Bus, going down Highway 41." Grandpa Phil points out that's "from an old hippie song".
- On an episode of Squidbillies where Krystal wins the lottery and Dan Halen pretends to be in love with her to get to her money.
- "Krystal, I want to know what love is, I know you can show me. I feel like making love to you. Love in an elevator, lovin' up as I'm goin' down."
- In an episode of Arthur, while giving some advice, Binky Barnes starts reciting the lyrics of the show's actual theme song ("You gotta listen to your heart/Listen to the beat/Listen to the rhythm/The rhythm of the street"). He then notes that it's just something he heard somewhere.
- Inverted in the Schoolhouse Rock sketch "The Preamble", in which much of the song is just the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States set to music. And it is awesome.
- In an episode of Bump in the Night, Mr. Bumpy, Squishington and Molly Coddle are in a contest to see who can freak each other out. Squishington "averts" to a sight behind the door:
Squishington: Get back! Get back to where you once belonged!
- Though the CD didn't come out until about two seasons later, Code Lyoko's William says "Being sensible is just not sensible". Yumi points out that it came from the Subdigitals (then the Subsonics, but they changed the name to avoid copyright from another similar band).
- There is a time and a place for this sort of wordplay; at an inquest asking you why you shot a man dead is not it.
- A dark (and likely unintentional) example appears in Wonderful Tonight, the autobiography of Pattie Boyd (ex-wife and muse of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton). Ringo Starr refused to believe that his wife, Maureen, was having an affair with George until George announced that he was in love with Maureen in front of an entire dinner party—including their spouses. According to Boyd, Ringo worked himself into a state and went around for the rest of the night muttering, "Nothing is real, nothing is real."
- While not exactly trying to pass them off as "regular conversation", ESPN's Chris Fowler reveals in an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine that he had one of his groomsmen incorporate song lyrics into his speech at Fowler's wedding. The groomsman introduced it as "a reading from the great American poet James Hetfield". (The song in question was "Nothing Else Matters".)
- Happens on Not Always Right a few times.
- After the 2014 Oscar ceremony, when his song "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 lost the Best Original Song category to "Let It Go" from Frozen, Pharrell Williams expressed his feelings:
"When they read the results, my face was … frozen. But then I thought about it and I just decided just to … let it go."
- Herman Cain used a quote in one of his speeches, which he attributed to a ‘poet’, and in a later speech he claimed it was from ‘the closing song to the 2000 Olympics’, unaware that it was taken from The Power of One, used in the ending of the American dub of Pokémon 2000. The internet did. Later, when he dropped out of the Republican Party’s primary elections for the 2012 presidential elections, he used the same quote in his concession speech, saying, ‘I believe these words come from the Pokémon movie,’ trying to pass it off as an indication of him being a family man.
Cain: Life can be a challenge. Life can seem impossible. It’s never easy when there’s so much on the line. but you can make a difference: with courage, you can set things right. The gift to dream, and make dreams real, is yours and mine.
- An anecdote from the New York Times "Metropolitan Diary" of September 28, 1998:
They didn't need the coming revival of On the Town
to inspire them—Sidney Sandler gave his prescription information to the order taker for the AARP Pharmacy Service in Pennsylvania. He followed this with his address and ended with "New York, New York." The following exchange ensued, short but a delight to both participants. Order taker
: "It's a hell of a town." Mr. Sandler
: "The Bronx is up." Order taker
: "And the Battery is down."