- "And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
'Cause you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you'll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you"—Mariah Carey, "Hero"
Discography (Studio Albums)
- 1990: Mariah Carey
- 1991: Emotions
- 1993: Music Box
- 1994: Merry Christmas
- 1995: Daydream
- 1997: Butterfly
- 1999: Rainbow
- 2001: Glitter
- 2002: Charmbracelet
- 2005: The Emancipation of Mimi
- 2008: E=MC2
- 2009: Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel
- 2010: Merry Christmas II You
- 2014: Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse
"I had a vision of tropes, and it's all that you've given to me":
- Affair Hair: Jay-Z raps about this in "Heartbreaker."
- Alter Ego Acting: Bianca in the "Heartbreaker" video.
- Animal Motifs: She loves to incorporate butterflies in her photoshoots.
- Breakup Song: Quite a few, actually. Many (like "Love Takes Time") have a regretful tone, but "Someday" is an example of the don't-want-you-back type.
- Death Song: "One Sweet Day," "The Wind," "Bye Bye," and "The Wind."
- Downer Ending: Mariah even said that Rainbow was her first album with a happy ending.
- Mariah Carey ends with "Love Takes Time," a song about the loss of a lover and how love takes time to heal.
- Emotions ends with "The Wind," a song about a friend who died in a drunk-driving accident.
- Music Box ends with "All I've Ever Wanted," a song about a person longing for someone they can't have.
- Daydream ends with "Looking In," a song about how Mariah has to hide her real self from the world and how she's actually insecure and fearful on the inside.
- Butterfly ends with "Outside," a song about how Mariah feels ostracized for being biracial.
- E = MC Hammer: One of her albums was titled E=MC2.
- Follow the Leader: Talent Show contestants as we know them today wouldn't have existed without her, Whitney Houston or Céline Dion.
- Glurge Addict: Listen to her album names: Charmbracelet, Glitter, Butterfly, Rainbow...
- Incredibly Long Note: All the time.
- Taken to the extreme in her match with Jim Carrey on Celebrity Deathmatch.note Jim almost got her with a sleeper hold, but Mariah got up, walked to the center of the ring, and just proceeded to sing the highest, longest note she could, cracking the In-Universe TV cameras and causing Jim's head to swell up and explode, giving her the win.
- Intercourse with You: "Touch My Body."
- Melismatic Vocals: Possibly the Queen of this trope who spawned countless imitators...most of them a lot less skilled. Paula Abdul even said that a surefire way of getting kicked off American Idol is to do a Mariah Carey song, since it always involves Hopeless Auditionees screeching their lungs out thinking it'll impress the judges.
- Ms. Fanservice: After her divorce.
- New Sound Album: Butterfly.
- Actually, all, if not most of her albums, count as this. Sometimes they go back to the previous genre she's already covered, but, surprisingly, she has fresh(ish) material/overall genres with each album release.
- Product Placement: In a very dated example, "Shake It Off" mentions "the Calgon commercial."
- Parodied on a TV sketch comedy show, where Mariah's unique form of soulful groaning was matched to the ideal commercial product - an emetic syrup used to relieve stubborn painful constipation.
- Protest Song: "There's Got To Be a Way."
- The Rival:
- Subverted. Her most famous "rivalry" was with Whitney Houston, but this was created entirely by media hype, due to Mariah being seen by some as an imitator. However, the two ladies got along just fine in real life, and performed a duet together in the song "When You Believe" on the The Prince of Egypt soundtrack.
- It's played straight with Madonna, however. They've had bad blood for over twenty years.
- Her rivalry with Jennifer Lopez stems from an alleged stealing of a sample that Carey was going to use but that Lopez had used for her song, "I'm Real". And so it began.Michael K.: After she took everyone to Costco by screaming out a high-note that sounded like a forklift, her longtime nemesis JLo clapped politely and made a face that said, “My hex is working.◊”
- Carey also said that it was part of her ex-husband Tommy Mottola's doing, since he was the head of Lopez's record label at the time.
- Carey had a brief spat with Christina Aguilera back in the early to mid '00s due to a misunderstanding. It led to a back and forth trade of jabs through the press before both settled the dust and made peace.
- Her feud with rap diva Nicki Minaj. The two did collabo together back in late 2009 for a track on Mariah's then album Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel called "Up Out My Face". However, the friendship was over a few years later when it was announced that Minaj would be joining Carey on the judging panel of American Idol, much to the dismay of Carey. Reports were released right away of tension on the set of "Idol" between Carey and Minaj and the two feuding. Then came an infamous video from TMZ.com that recorded the two lashing out at each other on the set. The two decided to stay neutral while shooting the show, for the most part - ultimately, both left the show after one season.
- She's Got Legs: And doesn't she know it.
- Silly Love Songs: Take your pick. A great majority of her work falls somewhere in this category.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Part of her five octave vocal range with her speaking voice being low and huskey and being able to use the whistle register in her songs.
- Take That:
- Three Minutes of Writhing: Most of her post-Daydream videos.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Not to the extent of R&B singers like Anita Baker, but she does use this cliche in quite a few of her songs.
- Oddly enough, she did them pretty often (with layered belts to disguise this) in her early career, before she moved onto more contemporary r&b, where now she just layers belts over the chorus. For a prime example of her doing this today, there's "I Wanna Know What Love Is" (notable because it changes down half an octave), but back then, the song "Whenever You Call" uses this trope three times. "We Belong Together" also counts as an example but it's pulled off rather well.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: "Hero," of course. See the quote at the top of this page.