Music: Carpenters

"Every sha-la-la-la, every whoa-whoa, still shines..."
—"Yesterday Once More"

Carpenters (absolutely not "The Carpenters") was a brother-and-sister pop duo, Karen and Richard Carpenter. Karen started out as the drummer but was gradually phased off the instrument once it became clear she had a superlative singing voice; Richard wrote the material, played piano and provided backing vocals.

They were active from 1969 to 1983, in which Karen died. During this time, they were prolific. They had numerous hits, only a few of which are commonly known to people who weren't there in The '70s. Hits include "Close to You," "Sing," "Yesterday Once More," "We've Only Just Begun," and "Superstar."


  • All Drummers Are Animals: Erm... Karen Carpenter? A trope can't get more averted than this.
  • Downer Ending: Karen's death from Anorexia Nervosa at 32, but it actually opened up awareness of the disease.
  • Hating On Monday: "Rainy Days and Mondays"
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: After Karen broke up with him, songwriter Tom Bahler wrote what would eventually become a Michael Jackson hit, "She's Out Of My Life."
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: a major component of their fame. Most of their singles involve Richard and Karen overdubbed numerous times on backing vocals, often using chords most rock bands have never even heard of.
  • Shave and a Haircut: At the end of "Piano Picker".
  • Silly Love Songs: another major selling point.
  • The "The" Title Confusion: Karen and Richard as individuals are (some of) the Carpenters in the same way that you and your immediate family are (some of) the <Your Last Name>s, but the name of the duo is specifically and deliberately "Carpenters" without a definite article because Richard thought it was cooler that way.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Karen Carpenter is often portrayed this way.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: In the song "I Believe You". The first time you hear what appears to be the final verse that slows down and stops a bit, you think it's over but then, BAM! A repeat of the bridge and the final verse again, this time once more.
    • Same with "(They Long to Be) Close to You": After they say "Close to You" one last time, the song plays out slowly to end and you think it's over, until BAM! the last few lines of the chorus play again until fade. Notorious for catching disc jockeys off guard when the song started back up a few seconds into whatever was coming after it.

Alternative Title(s):

The Carpenters