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Bad Lip Reading is a YouTube channel that takes film segments, footage of politicians, and music videos of pop songs and writes new dialog designed to match the lip movements of the people in the video, with little to no regard for making sense. In the case of music videos, they produce complete original songs, and substantial editing of the original video is also involved. They got their start in March 2011 with "Gang Fight", a Gag Dub of Rebecca Black's notorious viral video "Friday", which took a song about having fun on the weekend and made it into a song about gang warfare and chicken. Most of their works execute a similar dramatic shift in style and tone from the original.Thanks to an anonymous interview, we now know that BLR is produced by a single man in Texas, a "music producer, songwriter, and musician," but his identity remains a mystery. His songs are being sold completely legally on iTunes (being original works) but the videos may yet fall victim to copyright claims (as "Dirty Spaceman" and "(Rockin') All Nite Long" already have). A few, like "Trick the Bridesmaid," are based on public domain works and so safe from takedowns.
AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: Although most of their lyrics are quite natural, BLR is sometimes guilty of this, as in this line from "Russian Unicorn":
I want to shave that mustache and then have gelato!
From Black Umbrella:
"I'ma get dumb and bang a wizard!"
Accidental Misnaming: Poor President Obama gets called two different names by two different debate commentators: "Ahmed" by Jim Lehrer and "Percy" by Bob Schieffer. Lehrer also calls Mitt Romney "Matt."
Actually Pretty Funny: Michael Buble loved "Russian Unicorn." Gotye and Josh Hutcherson thought "Kicked Your Monkey" and "Hunger Game" respectively were good enough to pass on via Twitter, and Miley Cyrus actually tweeted "Black Umbrella" to Snoop Dogg.
Judging by the comments, Ron Paul supporters, a notoriously touchy contingent, appeared to have this reaction when he got the BLR treatment. Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain all loved their videos, too.
Harry from One Direction thought Shadow Pico was hysterical as well, and linked to it on his personal Twitter.
An NFL fan actually made a giant orange peanut and brought it to a Minnesota Vikings game, where he asked Adrian Peterson to sign it. Peterson gladly accepted.
Adaptation Distillation: Some of BLR's videos are taken from more than one song. For instance, "Morning Dew" is taken from three songs, "The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars, "Alejandro" by Lady Gaga and "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
Mitt Romney is very good company, despite being a racist cannibal.
Petey in "MEDIEVAL LAND FUN-TIME WORLD" EXTENDED TRAILER seems like some shy, Adorkable nerd who thinks he's an evil stud-muffin, but a few scenes after his introduction he reveals he put kitten meat in everyone's burgers. An extended scene even has him taunt a nauseous Eddie by sending him a picture of himself holding up a cat with the caption "Dessert?".
The zombies are very polite, and seem to just want to talk or even sing, until the Full version of "Carl Poppa" is released which reveals they still eat people.
Zombie: (singing) I'm gonna say "Hi" to the guy with the knife! (Daryl tries to stab zombie) Zombie: Hi!
Also seems to apply to Rick Perry in his soundbite, where he spontaneously lists food and proclaims that he is "bored by famine."
Obama in Trick the Bridesmaids lists food America has been short on.
The Yeti, who even gets called out on it.
Bob Schieffer seems to have a thing for bacon-crusted rolls, comparing them to crack-filled sandwiches. This is followed by Mitt Romney proclaiming his love for ground meaton spinach and "scum brownies".
Deconstructed with Jacob Black. Apparently, even werewolves have problems with soul food, especially if it's made with porpoise meat.
Give Herman Cain a large plate of McDonald's special, and he'll sing, sing, sing about it.
Adrian Peterson has exotic interests in food which includes egg rolls, cookies, stingrays, and double-sided Scooby-Snacks. He also has a thing for orange peanuts, and publicly accepted an interviewer when she offered one.
Peter Parker ate Gwen's pig, Mr. Peaches, and feathered duck, Ruffles. He likes juicy pork.
Bobby B credits his gut to beer and powdered donuts.
At the meta level - Nicki Minaj brings up the name "Alejandro" in "Dirty Spaceman", and 2 videos later, "Alejandro" becomes the first Lady Gaga video used by BLR.
A minor one in "The Walking and Talking Dead"; A woman points a gun at Rick and tells him she's taking away his banjo in the second scene. In the fourth scene, Rick mentions a woman thug stole his banjo.
In "The Hunger Games", Katniss tells Prim to face the fact that she's the devil. In "More Hunger Games", when Haymitch says the blood coming from Katniss' neck is "beautiful", Prim says "Yes. And I need it. And your soul, obviously."
Mika Samuels still says gibberish in her second appearance.
Lizzie Samuels is a demon girl in "More The Walking (And Talking) Dead."
In "More Hunger Games", a little girl cheerfully tells Katniss that she's going to crush her trachea. And then there's Prim, who is apparently the devil.
Crossdressing Voices As noted earlier, BLR is all the work of one man, which means he ends up gag-dubbing with female voices a lot. Though there's probably some studio trickery involved, his female singing voice is pretty convincing.
Fake Shemp: "Yeti" has added footage of Chris Martin running after the Yeti. Since they couldn't get the real Chris Martin, they used a lookalike wearing his outfit from the video, who is almost always filmed from behind (except for one quick shot incorporating green-screened footage from "The Scientist")
Foreshadowing: One of the things said by Gary LeVox near the end of "Asian Baby", the first BLR based around Justin Bieber and Rascal Flatts' "That Should Be Me," is "Cheese fries, next time," said directly to the viewer. The second BLR based around "That Should Be Me?" The food-themed "Hot Jumping Beans".
The still of Ludacris and his "magic goose" in "Magic Man" (shown right after the "Gang Fight" Call Back). It's shown just long enough to register, but the pause button is needed to make out the funnier details.
Happens again in "Dirty Spaceman", with a reflection of the Dirty Spaceman in the tv screen before it's switched on, and will.i.am edited to look like a pink bunny at 3:23.
Yet again in "Morning Dew," with a monkey appearing on Jay-Z's shoulder at 1:41. The still of Jay-Z edited to look like Han Solo might also count, but it's up for a bit longer than most such shots. There's also a shot around 3:23 where Bruno Mars holds up a picture he drew of a pink ice castle, a green hotdog, and 'three light snacks.'
There are a few quick shots in the buildup part of "Shadow Pico" that shows Louis turning into a vampire.
Those signs added to "MEDIEVAL LAND FUN-TIME WORLD".
Gagging on Your Words: Barack Obama can't quite bring himself to say "Elvis Presley had sex appeal" as part of his being sworn in as president.
Genre Shift: BLR has shifted from music videos to politicians to movies and TV shows.
Girlfriend in Canada: Gale tells Katniss that if she sold her pet iguana named Frank, she'd be able to have a boyfriend. Katniss claims very suspiciously that she does have a boyfriend...named Frank.
Glamour Failure: Being afraid to make eye contact is a sign that you're an android, as is a lack of defecation.
A Good Name for a Rock Band: In "Paul Ryan's Video Diary", Paul Ryan mentions that his band can't use the name "Steak Baby" anymore, so he rattles off some other names they've been considering. Among these are "Porky Puff", "Joy Nuts", "Booty Reactions", "Tree Pie" and "Slutnick".
G-Rated Sex: Katniss just plants one on Peeta in "Hunger Games".
Peeta: And that's how babies grow?
Katniss: You got to be kidding.
Peeta: It's not?
Terry gives Susie a face lick in "Medieval Land Fun-Time World." She tastes goooood.
Petey: Kind sir, I'm the evil stud muffin. Eddie: Really? Petey: You bet. I got girls in my dreams.
Jo-Jo likes to get freaky, you know what I mean?
Healthcare Motivation: The deleted scenes of "MEDIEVAL LAND FUN-TIME WORLD" reveal that Eddie is trying to run the park because his daughter needs "toe surgery".
Hotter and Sexier: BLR's naughty reinterpretations of Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and Michael Bublé have left many YouTube commenters finding them more attractive than before, despite all video clips being taken straight from the original videos.
Due to the fact that the whole thing is Word Salad, a lot of things make no sense, or make sense but are brought up for no reason.
One example subverts this; Petey says at the table while everyone eats "How did you find the kitten meat?". This time, it's not just random insanity. Petey really did use kitten meat to make the dinner. Naturally, the others are disturbed, and Eddie and Bobby are sick immediately afterwards.
Whoever the song "Beard With Glue" is about. He sneaks off and punches little orphaned Brazilians, and he drowned his friends in blood. He's so bad that a bullfrog hates him and James Blunt hopes he falls on his burger and fries.
Gotye kicks monkeys, has wonderful dreams about strangling people, works with the Sith, and if you don't buy his song on iTunes, he'll use your goat, whatever that means.
The girl at the end of the "More Mitt" video. She interrupts Mitt's speech to call out "I wish you would drown".
Possibly also Mitt Romney himself. He tied up a chicken and gave a whipping to a disabled, he ate Fifi, and he will force spiders and badgers on his enemies. He might also be mildly racist.
Edward Cullen. In "More Twillight", he suggests making stew out of Bella's dead rabbit, forgets to buy Bella's Christmas present, and slaps a fish for some reason, and in the first video he screams at Bella for eating a leftover piece of cake.
Joe Biden said in a debate that "poor people can suck it!". Paul Ryan claims he's made out of ice.
One of the NFL coaches calls himself a jerk because he told a girl to pick up her floor bags because she ain't living in Southeast Asia.
A midget told Lady Gaga to speak with an accent, so she did, just so she could steal his Porsche while he was tied to a stake. In the rain.
Michael Buble soils his underwear and first tries to blame it on some guy before blaming it on the girl he's singing to, and in The Stinger he reveals that he poisoned his dog.
Kick the Dog: Cinna smiles cruelly as he asks Katniss who would stop them trying to get together, seeing as her father is dead
Literal Music Video: Although not strict literal music videos, many of the lyrics are inspired by things going on in the video, like in "Black Umbrella (The Right Stuff)": "Dude's so crazy, he tryin' to sell me hubcaps." and "Please help me down from this swing"
"Kicked Your Monkey" does this deliberately to fill a segment left lyric-less in the original.
"Lines, lines, intersecting. Ooooh, lines, lines, intersecting now with paint."
"I play all the parts and sing all the vocals. Even the girl parts are me. It's a party-trick of mine: I can do a girl voice. I used to call up my friends and speak in the girl voice and they wouldn't know who it was. It's just a thing I can do. But there's also some electronic trickery involved."
Noodle Incident: It took forever to get a ghost out of Nicki Minaj's house, that stupid poltergeist!
Barack Obama's college had one man who made goats tell time (Trick the Bridesmaid)
No Plot? No Problem!: As each episode is pure Word Salad, almost every video is this. It's rare to so much as find two related conversations in different scenes of the same video.
"MEDIEVAL LAND FUN-TIME WORLD" EXTENDED TRAILER is the sole aversion of this, where it's quickly established that it's about Eddie Stark trying to run a Medieval Theme park, which could become the best of its kind in the world were it not for the fact that most of the employees "work as hard as a bucket of apples". As such, while it is as disjointed as one would expect from a regular trailer, it is possible to identify actual plot threads and character types from the pieces shown.
No True Scotsman: will.i.am would like you to know that you'll never find a human that steals school supplies. But if you do, let him know who, and he'll beat 'em down.
One of Us: In-Universe. Mitt Romney is apparently quite a gamer.
One Steve Limit: Leaving out the Nicki Minaj bits in "Magic Man" while she gets due focus in "Dirty Spaceman" seems influenced by this trope. Averted with two Justin Bieber videos out (though the second seems like a deliberate followup to the first).
Only Sane Employee: Eddie Stark in "Medieval Land Fun-Time World". He's trying to get the theme park ready for its opening, but everyone else works as hard as "a bucket of apples".
In the Newt Gingrich clip, Michele Bachmann comes across as this during the debate.
Eddie Stark certainly appears to be this in "MEDIEVAL LAND FUN-TIME WORLD" EXTENDED TRAILER.
Rick spends the end of The Walking (and Talking) Dead trying to get the governor to stop singing.
Tyreese from More The Walking And Talking Dead is the first person in BLR history to get annoyed by the spontaneous topic change.
Our Zombies Are Different: The zombies in The Walking (and Talking) Dead series can speak and occasionally try to sing, especially in the second video.
Parody: Or satire, depending on your point of view. Either one is protected under United States fair use law and BLR makes an effort to present the video clips differently from the original video, potentially to avoid copyright violations. Whether this works is yet to be determined.
"Gang Fight" fast forwarded through the part of the "Friday" video where Rebecca Black sang the infamous "Yesterday it was Thursday..." lines and goes straight to the rapper in the car, apparently because they didn't write anything for that part of the video. This makes "Gang Fight" about 40 seconds shorter than the original video.
The images for "Everybody Poops" are (until the end) flipped from the original version of "Boom Boom Pow" and the part where Fergie sings "People in the place..." is used twice in "Everybody Poops" so she can be seen singing "When I'm on the pot..." twice.
Clips from rap videos are inserted into "Black Umbrella (The Right Stuff)" and "(Rockin') All Nite Long", both parodies of songs not containing any rapping. Of special note, the clips of Wiz Khalifa come from "Black and Yellow" which actually were black and yellow but have been tinted blue here.
"Magic Man" actually omits all of Nicki Minaj's footage from the original, in favor of the apparently random BeeGees clips from "Too Much Heaven".
"Dirty Spaceman" is edited so that it appears you are watching the video via a monitor on the ship of the Dirty Spaceman.
It didn't stop UMG from taking it down, though.
Putting certain words on screen may also be an effort to ensure the videos are recognized as parody.
"Russian Unicorn" appears to be the least altered from the original, although it does have the usual BLR trope of putting certain phrases on the screen.
At the other end of the scale, since "Morning Dew" has clips from three videos, it would be the most altered of all the BLR vidoes.
Like "Everybody Poops", "Beard With Glue" flips the original video for "You're Beautiful" (unlike the above mentioned, however, this stays the same for the entire video). It also adds around another 40 seconds to the video by reversing the part where James Blunt empties his pockets, making it look like after he puts everything out, he puts them back into his pockets, and then puts them out again. The video also uses a similar "watching from a screen" technique like from "Dirty Spaceman", except there are multiple screens, as shown in the beginning and end.
"Kicked Your Monkey" does this very subtly, adding a strobe effect to just the border, which melds perfectly with the new Eurobeat sound so you don't even notice it's there at first. The random triangle shapes created by the "lines, lines, intersecting" on the walls also flicker with light in time to a quick series of synth notes (that are also heard at the end, with random paint splotches appearing over Gotye and Kimbra in perfect sync with the notes).
"Time to Rock" adds a blue tint and a smoky effect to the inside of the limousine to fuel the implication that the Double Take girls are currently high as kites. It also adds some rather unflattering stills of the girls to make them look even more high.
Rule of Funny: The only way to explain the random lyrics that are sung when the video is not currently focused on the singing. For example, in "Black Umbrella", the lines about the Padawan and Tiny Timmy Tokyo both come up when the camera is not on Miley Cyrus' face.
Secret Identity: As noted above, the man behind BLR is hiding his real name, reportedly "because he doesn't want the levity of the Bad Lip Reading series to impact his more serious work."
Seinfeldian Conversation: Up to Eleven in various videos. As most videos are Word Salad, the average conversation flits between various meaningless out-of-context topics. In The Walking (and Talking) Dead and Twilight III, there are even songs about pointless topics.
Sequel Escalation: "Yeti" broke new ground by adding whole footage cut from cloth; "Edward and Bella" and "Hunger Games" actually shake off some of the Word Salad Lyrics and manage to turn out continuous back-and-forth dialogue. "Paul Ryan's Video Diary" goes one step further by replacing the background, completely changing the context.
"MEDIEVAL LAND FUN-TIME WORLD" cranks this Up to Eleven, with signs and hands added all over the place, changing the context despite playing up the Flanderisation. In the Deleted Scenes, Eddard even uses an iPhone.
"More The Walking (and Talking) Dead" and "More Hunger Games" still remain plotless altogether, but various scenes appear to have at least some context behind them.
Shown Their Work: Yes, that is a real graph of the inverse cosine in "Black Umbrella (The Right Stuff)".
Their Jay-Z sounds good enough that you'd swear it was him.
Their Miley Cyrus voice is pretty darn good too, especially in the talking segments (the diet Snapple part and "And I'm pregnant").
Why is Wiz Khalifa edited into Taylor Swift's video? It might be because the Pittsburgh Pirates logo on the T-shirt he's wearing has been altered to replace the word "PIRATES" with "TAYLOR." But BLR didn't do that. It was shown that way in Khalifa's original video (The Pirate's face was also altered).
When BLR added their own hands to footage of Lady Gaga in "Morning Dew", there was a tattoo of a peace sign on the left wrist. Lady Gaga actually has a tattoo like this.
Star Wars comes up again in "Yeti", with a Wookiee costume used for the Yeti itself. Also, Chris Martin watches LOST all day.
Yet another Star Wars reference in "The Walking (and Talking) Dead", where the Governor mentions that he always wanted a Wookiee, but he found out they weren't real. (Thanks for nothing, George Lucas.)
"Beard with Glue" could also count, being devoid of the usual hiphop flavor.
"High School" starts a new trend by using movie footage.
"Shadow Pico" takes it even further by posing music video footage as movie footage into a Real Trailer, Fake Movie. Also, most of the dialogue is lip read as some sort of foreign-language sounding gibberish.
"THE NFL", of course, is the first-ever reading consisting of sports footage.
Spoken Word in Music: Every song, save for a select few, features a spoken word section, but "Trick the Bridesmaid" is almost exclusively this (save for the chorus).
Stealth Pun: Carl Poppa, a song that makes frequent mention of the fact that Walkers keep stumbling over things in their way, is part of an album called Walkers be trippin'
The Stinger: After every video, a short part of the video is played again, except with vastly different and equally nonsensical lyrics.
Stock Femur Bone: Implied. Femur's are the only bones Carl mentions in his full length song despite also saying they had tons of bones.
Stockholm Syndrome: Averted in the extended version of La Bibbida Bibba Dum from "The Walking (And Talking) Dead", when the Governor mentions that the girl in his basement probably thinks he's a creep.
It says a lot that this is averted except (arguably) in two cases - Gary LeVox (voiced similar to Larry The Cable Guy even though his real voice is more like the one used for Justin Bieber here) and Michele Bachmann (whom you'd probably expect to sound like a guy anyways).
Half the characters in "Medieval Land Fun-Time World" have very different voices, while the other half are more faithful. Terry speaks in street parlance, Susie has a very husky voice, whereas Petey and Bobby have ridiculously high-pitched voices.
We Sell Everything: Subverted. When Katniss and Peeta respectively request Walrus meat and "a car made of dead folks" when asked if Haymitch can get them anything, he says he doubt those things can be bought. But he'll try.