Tropes present in R. Kelly's work
- Award Bait Song: "I Believe I Can Fly" from Space Jam and "Gotham City" from Batman & Robin
- Controversy-Proof Image: See above. He still has number 1 albums after the allegations of rape.
- Dream Team: With Phoenix. Started with the 2013 Coachella surprise, leading to a new version of the band's "Trying to Be Cool" with Kells adding his verse.
- Also with Lady Gaga, on their collaboration "Do What U Want". Kells and electro-pop work well.
- Follow the Leader: He is sometimes accused of sounding like Aaron Hall. Also, "Gotham City" was a rather blatant attempt at recapturing the success of "Kiss From a Rose" from Batman Forever.
- Hip Hop Soul
- Intercourse with You: Given that he's an R&B singer, almost inevitable. "Sex Me", "Ignition", "The Zoo", etc.
- Large HamMy mind's telling me NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO/ But my body/ MY BODY'S TELLING ME YEEEE-HEEEEEEEEES!
- New Jack Swing
- Retraux: His album Love Letter has a few Motown style songs.
- The Tyson Zone: Part of the inaugural class by Trope Namer Bill Simmons.
R. Kelly in Media
- Chappelle's Show featured a parody of the song "Ignition", and its remix, titled "Piss on U", featuring Dave exemplifying Kelly's waste-based recreation. Chappelle joked that Kelly approached him between episodes, saying "How you gonna make a video about peeing on somebody?", to which Chappelle responded "How you gonna make a video about peeing on somebody?".
- On his DVD commentary, Chappelle says the sketch was motivated by how surprised he was that everyone was focused on the age of Kelly's alleged victim, while to Chappelle the urine aspect was the most fascinating part of the scandal as it had never before entered his head that such a thing could even be conceived as sexual.
- The Boondocks featured the trial of Kelly (in Woodcrest, as opposed to his and the Freemans' native Chicago) as the setting for its second episode, "The Trial of R. Kelly".
- South Park featured an episode with Kelly, Tom Cruise, and other celebrities, figuratively and literally Trapped in the Closet. As per the music video, Kelly seems a bit trigger happy.
- In the Fighting Game Community, particularly Street Fighter players, the term "R. Kelly" is slang referring to a Perfect, due to the "P" icon and the solid yellow life bar.
- In his comedy standup, Aziz Ansari has a small segment on R. Kelly and his live shows, and does a good impression of him. Aziz calls him a "brilliant singer/crazy person."
- He's mentioned in Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop":Probably shoulda washed this, smells like R. Kelly's sheets