Music: "Weird Al" Yankovic
I am Weird Al, and I dare to be stupid!
"He who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life."
Alfred Matthew Yankovic (born October 23, 1959, in Lynwood, California), is a musical humourist with a career spanning over thirty years.
Al got an accordion and lessons for his seventh birthday; according to him, his parents made the decision because "The world needed one more accordion-playing Yankovic" (the first being polka legend Frankie Yankovic; the two are not related). When he went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for an architecture degree, he worked for the school's radio station as a disc jockey, where he got the nickname "Weird Al".
He sent three songs to the Dr Demento
Show, "Belvedere Cruisin'", "Dr. D Superstar" (never aired), and "My Bologna", a parody of "My Sharona" by The Knack. The Knack's lead singer, Doug Fieger, heard "My Bologna", contacted Al, and got "My Bologna" released as a single. After a modest start, including a disastrous opening for Missing Persons
, Weird Al released his first album on Scotti Bros. Records in 1983. Al hit it big with his second album, with "Eat It" (a song and music video parody of Michael Jackson
's "Beat It") peaking at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Al hasn't looked back since. Most of his albums during the 80s and 90s went platinum and in 2014 Al shrewdly used Viral Marketing
to saturate social media with publicity for his album Mandatory Fun
and was rewarded with the album debuting at number one on the Billboard 200, his first number one album ever. This raised his profile to the point that an online petition to have Al play the 2015 Superbowl half-time show gathered over 125,000 signatures. (Despite this, Al would be the first to admit he was never seriously in the running due to behind the scenes politics - the gig eventually went to Katy Perry
.) Al has won four Grammys in his career, three for various albums and one for a video.
In 1989, Weird Al starred in the film UHF
, and he had a short-lived CBS
"kids' show" in the 1990s, The Weird Al Show
. He provided the voice of the Squid Hat on The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
(as well as being the announcer in the fighting game based on the show). He has been involved with the Transformers
franchise twice: his song "Dare To Be Stupid" was played in the 1986 movie
, and he provided the voice of Wreck-Gar in Transformers Animated
. He had a cameo (as himself) in the Scooby-Doo
crossover episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold
, where he defeated the Joker with his accordion
. He's also voiced the character Cheese Sandwich in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
episode "Pinkie Pride", because this article wouldn't be complete until we mentioned that.
Usually releases a new album and goes on tour once every 3-4 years, thus John Garabedian of Open House Party
has stated that "Every album is his comeback album, and then he goes away until the next one..." This trend may change in the future as with the release of Mandatory Fun
, Al has fulfilled his record contract and plans to go with completely digital releases in the future, giving him the opportunity to release new songs as they're completed instead of waiting until he has enough material for a full album.
Unlike other parodic artists, Al and his band (who have been together since the 80s)
from the second album on (the first album used accordion on every track in keeping with Al's trademark talent) have kept extremely close to the original melodies and instrumentation of the parodied song. The most extreme example is in "Trapped in the Drive-Thru", based off "Trapped in the Closet" by R. Kelly
. To those not in the know, it sounds exactly like the original.
Al is very sympathetic to geek communities and frequently gives them recognition in his songs
Responsible for the "Weird Al" Effect
, where a parody remains popular long after the original, and his habit of using pop cultural metaphors (AKA "Pulling a Weird Al"
) led to his being the former trope namer for that.
Since there are a lot
of songs floating around LimeWire and other peer-to-peer networks falsely attributed
to Al, The Not Al List
was created to catalog these. A lot of these songs are raunchy, offensive, and the lead vocal vaguely sounds like Al, but since Al is the most-visible parody musician
, his name gets attached to them, despite having subject matter and lyrics he would never touch. Even with the occasional subtext, he still aims to be (in his words) a "more or less family-friendly" performer.
The best way to tell if a given parody song is his is to look for music videos of them on YouTube
. Take your heart medication first. Wouldn't want to die laughing.
Studio album discography:
- "Weird Al" Yankovic (1983)
- "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D (1984)
- Dare to Be Stupid (1985)
- Polka Party! (1986)
- Even Worse (1988)
- UHF – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff (1989)
- Off the Deep End (1992)
- Alapalooza (1993)
- Bad Hair Day (1996)
- Running with Scissors (1999)
- Poodle Hat (2003)
- Straight Outta Lynwood (2006)
- Alpocalypse (2011)
- Mandatory Fun (2014)
- Another One Rides the Bus (1981)
- Selections from Straight Outta Lynwood (2006)
- Internet Leaks (2009)
Compilation album discography:
- Greatest Hits (1988)
- The Food Album (1993)
- Permanent Record: Al in the Box (1994)
- Greatest Hits (Volume II) (1994)
- The TV Album (1995)
- The Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic (2009)
- The Compleat Al (1985)
- UHF (1989)
- The "Weird Al" Yankovic Video Library (1992)
- Alapalooza: The Videos (1993)
- "Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ultimate Collection (1993)
- Bad Hair Day: The Videos (1996)
- "Weird Al" Yankovic: The Videos (1998)
- "Weird Al" Yankovic Live! (1999)
- "Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ultimate Video Collection (2003)
- The Weird Al Show - The Complete Series (2006)
- "Weird Al" Yankovic Live! - The Alpocalypse Tour (2011)
"Weird Al" Yankovic is the Trope Namer for:
Tropes associated with "Weird Al" Yankovic include:
- 419 Scam: In "Lame Claim To Fame", he claims that the email he got from the Nigerian prince certainly sounded legit.
- Actually Pretty Funny: When Al asked Kurt Cobain for permission to parody one of his songs, Kurt asked what it would be about. When Al said it was making fun of the fact that people had difficulty understanding Kurt speaking, he said “Oh, sure, of course, that’s funny.” He also hinted that a food-based parody of the song would be boring, especially considering that Al had done a lot of them in the past (and, coincidentally enough, an earlier food-based parody had been nixed for reasons relating to the message of the original).
- Aerith and Bob: In "Albuquerque", the two sons, Nathaniel and Superfly.
- Affectionate Parody: Most of his original works fall under Affectionate Parody. It helps that he always asks permission from the source artist to do a parody of one of his/her/their songs (even though legally he's not required to do so).
- Michael Jackson gave Al permission to parody any of his work that he wanted for the rest of his life. The only condition was that Al not record a version of his "Black or White" parody (titled "Snack All Night") as he felt it would cheapen the message of the song. Al agreed and plays the song only at his live shows.
- The only song for which he didn't have permission was "Amish Paradise", but there was nothing malicious about it; a miscommunication led Al to believe he actually did have permission, and by the time it was cleared up, it was too late. Coolio (the original artist), got over it and gave Al a hug. As Al put it, "I doubt I'll be invited to Coolio's birthday party, but at least I don't have to wear a bulletproof vest to the mall anymore."
- With Lady Gaga, he announced that his 2011 album was delayed after he was given a flat "no" by her manager when he sent her a recording of "Perform This Way", a parody of "Born This Way" which was intended as the leadoff single. After several hours of Internet Backlash it was revealed that the manager never gave her the song to listen to out of the assumption she would hate it. This of course, turned out to be completely untrue and upon actually hearing it Gaga not only loved it, but considered it an expansion of her original song; while the original was a straight-up celebration of alternative lifestyles, Gaga considered the parody a celebration of her own Cloud Cuckoolander-ness.
Lady Gaga: I actually really appreciate the philosophy behind the song. It's actually very empowering, I think. And he's, in a way, although he's parodying the song, he's kind of standing up for me. And I never would have said no to that. And I never did say no to it.
- The only Weird Al parody that isn't affectionate is the early 1980s demo "It's Still Billy Joel to Me", which may be part of the reason it didn't appear on his debut album. (Billy did eventually give him permission to use "Piano Man", which became the Spider-Man-themed "Ode to a Superhero".)
- Al has said that "Achey Breaky Song" is pretty harsh, apologized to Billy Ray Cyrus for it and donated the song royalties to the United Cerebral Palsy Association. That song actually bashes several artists, though Billy Ray Cyrus gets the worst of it. Al recalls being asked by Donny and Marie to play the song on their talk show. The looks on their faces made it clear that they hadn't heard the lyrics which include "You can torture me with Donny and Marie." As mentioned earlier, the singer preferred them, among other artists, to Billy Ray. (He would eventually parody one of Billy Ray's daughter's songs, giving the world "Party in the CIA".) Donny would later appear in Al's White and Nerdy
- "You're Pitiful' a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" received Blunt's approval and was all ready to be included on "Straight Outta Lynwood". But at the last minute, Blunt's label, Atlantic Records, stepped in and said Al could not put the song in the album. So instead, he released it for free on the internet. And then performed it in concert, slowly peeling off layers of clothing (in parody of the original song's video), one article of which was a t-shirt saying "Atlantic sucks" (and later "Atlantic still sucks").
- His White and Nerdy video has Al defacing their Wikipedia page with a big YOU SUCK on it. As of 2014, that page is still locked to prevent vandalism.
- As of 2015, it is unlocked, but there is a note stating basically: if you want to vandalize this page as per this song, think again or your IP will be banned.
- Huey Lewis brutally murdered him with an axe in an homage to American Psycho in "retaliation" for, "I Want A New Duck".
- Eminem gave Al permission to parody "Lose Yourself" ("Couch Potato")...but then refused to give him permission to do a music video to the song.
- Kurt Cobain was contacted by Al on the set of Saturday Night Live (due to failing to reach the band by conventional means). When Al stated he wanted to do a parody of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Cobain quickly agreed, though initially he inquired if the song would be about food, a trademark theme of Al. Al instead explained that the song would be about Cobain's incomprehensible lyrics, to which Cobain replied "Oh, sure, of course, that's funny." He reportedly fell about laughing when he saw the video for the parody version and later considered the parody as a sign that they had "made it" as a band.
- Album Title Drop: "Nature Trail to Hell" In 3-D!
- All of Them: In "Jerry Springer": "Baby, I've been sleepin' with your sister." "Which one?" "All of 'em!"
- All or Nothing: In "I lost on Jeopardy!": "That's right, Al! You lost! And let me tell what you didn't win! You did not win a 20 volume set of Encyclopedia, A case of turtle wax, And a supply of Rice-A-Roni, A San Francisco treat. But that's not all, You made yourself look a jerk in front of millions of people. And you brought in shame and disgrace for your family names for generations to come! You don't get to come back tomorrow, And you don't even get a lousy copy of our game! You are a complete loser!!!"
- All-Star Cast: Invoked. His music videos are slowly growing into into this, but it really shows in the video for "Tacky" which guest stars Jack Black, Margaret Cho, Kristen Schaal, Aisha Tyler, and Eric Stonestreet
- Animated Music Video: Several, including "Skipper Dan", "Another Tattoo", and "Party in the CIA". It's become quite popular lately for professional (and non-professional) animators including Bill Plympton and John Kricfalusi to create their own music videos for his songs.
- Anti-Christmas Song: "The Night Santa Went Crazy" and "Christmas at Ground Zero".
- Anti-Love Song: He's got five great ones: "Since You've Been Gone", "I'm So Sick of You", "You Don't Love Me Anymore", "One More Minute", and "I Was Only Kidding".
- Appropriated Appellation: While attending Polytechnic, some of his classmates referred to him as "Weird Al" because of his looks. He went on to use it as his DJ handle when he took over the night shift of the school's radio station.
- Arc Number: 27.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "One of Those Days" is about this. A good illustration:
The bank called me up and told me I'm overdrawn,
Some freaks are burning crosses out on my front lawn,
And I can't believe it! All the Cheetos are gone!
- "Confessions, Part 3" is all about this. Apparently having a babymama on the side was forgivable, but eating the last of the Rice Krispies was the last straw!
- Plentiful in "Virus Alert"
Then cause a major rift in time and space,
And leave a bunch of Twinkie wrappers all over the place!
They're out to get me
They wanna control me
They wanna destroy me
They're tryin' to kill me
- As Himself: In the series finale of Johnny Bravo, he played himself alongside Don Knotts as himself and Gary Owens reprising his role of the Blue Falcon.
- Asshole Victim: The entitled douchebag Al plays in the "First World Problems" video gets hit by a car at the end because he's too busy texting to pay attention to the road.
- Author Appeal: Most of his parodies are about TV, movies and food.
- Awesome but Impractical: Al doesn't perform the song "Hardware Store" because he isn't sure he could pull the coda off again, especially live.
- Similarly, "Albuquerque" - he saves it for the encore, as it wrecks his throat and makes it difficult for him to sing anything else afterward.
- Badass Boast: Al's rap parodies tend to be full of these, in keeping with the spirit of the artist being parodied. "It's All About the Pentiums" is a great example. "White and Nerdy" combines this with equal amounts of Self-Deprecation.
- "Word Crimes" has "'Weird Al' Yankovic has a big dictionary."
- Bad Santa: "The Night Santa Went Crazy".
- Badass Bookworm: "That Boy Could Dance".
He was kind of a jerk, he was kind of a bore.
But the women would scream when he walked in the door.
'cause one thing I could tell you for sure — that boy could dance
- Bait-and-Switch Comparison: From the December 1998 edition of "Ask Al":
Stacy of Louisville, Ky asks: Do you like Barenaked Ladies?
'Yes, very much. And I'm a big fan of the band, too.
- Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Referenced in "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me": "And by the way, your quotes from George Carlin aren't really George Carlin…"
- Bestiality Is Depraved:
- "Virus Alert" lists, among the other consequences of the virus, making you physically attracted to sheep.
- The spoken interlude of "Jerry Springer" also mentions this. "That goat doesn't love you!"
- In "CNR", Charles Nelson Reilly "made sweet, sweet love to a manatee." Rather than thinking it depraved, the singer is very impressed.
- Big Eater: Not Al himself, but some of his songs are about this (most obviously, "Fat", "My Bologna", and "Eat It") enough to compile an album in the early 90s. The trope is both played straight and inverted with his song called "Grapefruit Diet", which is about needing to lose weight after eating a lot of food.
- Big "Shut Up!": During his "interview" with Eminem when his guest's Verbal Tic got out of hand, y'know what I'm saying'?"
Al: "YES, I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, OKAY?!?!?!?"
- Bilingual Bonus:
- "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi" uses Yiddish to make puns such as "The parents pay the mohel and he gets to keep the tip."
- "Perform This Way" has « Excusez-moi, qui a pété? », which means "Excuse me, who farted?"
- "Taco Grande", much like the song it parodies, is filled with Gratuitous Spanish. While Al's simple phrases are mostly things about foods he wants and paying for them, Cheech Marin's cameo in the bridge is a lengthy recommendation and description of a particularly hot dish and the side effects of eating it, ending by asking if the stupid customer can understand what he's saying.
- One of the images in the Mandatory Fun booklet has Al triumphantly holding a wrench in the style of old Chinese Communist posters. The Chinese text beneath him says, "I'm not wearing underwear".
- Black Comedy: "Mr. Frump in the Iron Lung" which should not be funny but really is. In fact, lots of Al's songs fall into this. "I Remember Larry" recounts how the singer was bullied (sometimes quite viciously and dangerously) and how he killed the bully. "You Don't Love Me Anymore" is a ballad about all the ways his girlfriend has tried to kill him. "Christmas at Ground Zero" is about nuclear war, and "The Night Santa Went Crazy" details Santa Claus going on a killing spree at the North Pole. Sometimes it's just a line or two instead of a whole song; "Another One Rides The Bus" is about Al on a ridiculously overcrowded bus and he sings "I haven't been in a crowd like this/Since I went to see The Who!"
- Bland-Name Product: Taco Belle, Starbux, Toysaurus and Homey Depot among others in the music video for "I'll Sue Ya".
- Also pretty much every product shown in the "Whatever You Like" video, which is interesting, since many real-world products are named in the song.
- Blatant Lies: "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long". The title/chorus might be just six words, but the filler's certainly not. A common fan debate is whether the song's title and lyrics are actually "(This Song Is Just) Six Words Long", which makes seven words.
- Blind Without 'Em: His eyesight was extremely poor until he got Lasik surgery in 1997. By then, his glasses had become such an iconic part of his look that fans were disappointed.
- Bowdlerise: When "The Saga Begins" was sent to Radio Disney in 1999, he wanted the song to entertain the kids who were Star Wars fans, but Radio Disney felt uncomfortable with the lyric in the second verse about Anakin Skywalker ("Now do you see him hitting on the Queen...?") and wanted to have the part of the second verse removed, since "to hit on" meant something sexual and age-inappropriate. Al, however, had another idea: rather than let them remove the part of that verse that has the lyric and ruin the song, he had to record the whole song from scratch as before, but this time rewriting the lyric in the second verse and changing it to "Now do you see him talking to the Queen...?" Surprisingly, Radio Disney approved of the idea.
- A worse example would be his performance of "Couch Potato" on Nickelodeon in 2003, in which the line "TiVo now thinks I'm gay" was censored by having his band shout "Hey!" over "Gay".
- Brain Bleach: "My Own Eyes" is all about this, talking about things the singer wishes he could unsee.
- Brand Name Takeover: Arguably the reason so many non-Al songs are attributed to him. There are thousands of amateur parody artists out there (all you need is an idea and a recorder to make one), but Al is the big guy on the block - no other parody artist comes close to his success. His name has probably become so synonymous with song parodies that this trope kicked in. Al doesn't like it for the reasons explained in the lead.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: See Motor Mouth below for the example.
I lost one of my socks in the drier
I can't find my wallet and my hair is on fire
- Brick Joke: After 11 minutes of insanity, the song Albuquerque finally winds its way back to the original point: AL...HATES...SAUERKRAUT!.
- In Al-TV 2K, during his interview with Michael Stripe he asks him to say something and he'll make a song using only that sentence, resulting in "Cell Phones". Later in that special, he sings the song to Snoop Dogg.
- Buses Are for Freaks: Invoked in "Another One Rides the Bus".
- Butt Monkey: Ruben Valtierra is often put down by everyone else, probably due to the fact that he was originally added purely to handle keyboard duties on tour while Al (who usually does them on albums) handles other duties. Mostly just played for comedy, though it's notable that he wasn't credited or appeared at all on any albums before Alapalooza and didn't appear in the band group photo until Running With Scissors (where he appeared face-down, with scissors sticking out of his back).
- His first non-concert appearance in Weird Al's works was the video for "Headline News", in which he portrayed Crash Test Dummies pianist Ellen Reid. A noble start.
- Call Back: One of "Al'"s costumes in "Perform This Way" has a hat with a train on it; this hat was also seen in "White and Nerdy".
- May also be a Shout-Out to Peter Gabriel and his seminal "Sledgehammer" video.
- A lady wearing a hat with a train on it is also in one of the vintage stock video clips in "Dare to Be Stupid".
- The Cameo:
- In Al's work:
- Al works his mentor, Dr. Demento, into many of his videos.
- "I Lost On Jeopardy": The music video takes place on a reproduced version of the 1964-75 set and features both Art Fleming and Don Pardo reprising their roles plus cameo appearances by band members, family members, Demento, and even the guy who sang the song Yankovic was parodying (Greg Kihn).
- Seth Green, Key And Peele, and Donny Osmond make pretty hilarious cameos in the music video of "White and Nerdy"; Weird Al later returned the favor.
- Drew Carey shows up in "All About the Pentiums".
- Dick Van Patten shows up in a lot of his videos.
- Florence Henderson in "Amish Paradise".
- Heather DeLoach reprises her role as "Bee Girl" (from Blind Melon's "No Rain" video) for the opening of the "Bedrock Anthem" video.
- Robert Goulet plays piano in the video for "You Don't Love Me Anymore".
- The video for "Foil" has Al hosting a cooking show which is directed by Patton Oswalt (who is also secretly one of The Reptilians). And then he's latter sedated and taken away by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant.
- The video for "Tacky" brigs together Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal and Jack Black!
- Al in other works:
- Camera Abuse: Al breathes on the lens in the middle of "Eat It", accidentally punches it while fist-pumping in the segment spoofing Billy Idol in the "UHF" video, and licks it near the end of the video for "Smells like Nirvana."
- Canada, Eh?: Parodied in "Canadian Idiot," which is a satire on American nationalism.
- He's also quite fond of Canada, being one of the few artists that actually tours the country instead of just making "obligatory" stops in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
- Canadian Equals Hockey Fan: In "Canadian Idiot", he sings, "Don't wanna be a Canadian idiot! Don't wanna be some beer swillin' hockey nut."
- Captain Obvious: In "Albuquerque," while flesh-eating weasels are assaulting Al's face, he meets a girl, who says "Hey. You've got weasels on your face."
- Careful With That Axe:
- During the bridges of "Jurassic Park" and "Nature Trail to Hell" and the end of "Cavity Search."
- The guitarist in "Eat It" actually explodes!
- "Albuquerque", but a box of one dozen starving, crazed weasels will do that.
- "Bite Me", the infamous hidden track on Off The Deep End is eight seconds of Al screaming bloody murder proceeding 14 minutes of silence.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Though he's still undeniably a comedian, many of his recent songs ("Don't Download this Song," "TMZ," a good portion of Mandatory Fun) have elements of social satire, as opposed to his earlier "pick a silly topic and make the song about that" style.
- Classically Trained Extra: "Skipper Dan" is built on this trope. It's the tale of a former up-and-coming, critically-acclaimed Broadway actor... who is stuck giving shows on the "Jungle Cruise" at Disneyland.
- Cloning Blues: The premise of I Think I'm a Clone Now.
- Commissar Cap: One of the images for the Mandatory Fun album shows Al wearing a commissar cap.... while exposing his Goofy Print Underwear with his pants around his ankles.
- Conspiracy Theorist: The entire second verse of "Foil" talks about The Illuminati finally being primed for world domination, black helicopters coming from across the border, the government's refusal to admit to faking the Moon landing. Just in case aliens get involved, he's got a Tinfoil Hat to protect him, and someday he'll prove there's one giant conspiracy.
- Conspicuous CG: The video for "Perform This Way" features Weird Al's head pasted over a woman's body. The effect works for the most part, but it looks just slightly off...
- Continuity Nod: "School Cafeteria," the B-side to Al's debut single "My Bologna," includes the lyrics "the cook still hasn't got the knack," a play on the band The Knack and their album Get The Knack which includes "My Sharona," making both sides contain an homage to the same band.
- Cover Drop: The cover art for Bad Hair Day is featured in the "Amish Paradise" video.
- Cover Version: Al very rarely plays straight covers with the lyrics unchanged, but there are a few exceptions, most notably the theme song of George of the Jungle on his album Dare to Be Stupid. He also is known to play Elvis Costello's "Radio Radio" in concert when there are technical difficulties, and played an obscure New Wave song, "I Got Your Number (Written On the Back of My Hand)" by The Jags, during his college coffeehouse days.
- Crossdresser: Often cross dresses in his music videos.
- Just listen to "Truck Driving Song".
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: The director for Al's cooking show in "Foil" reveals himself to be part of The Reptilians after The Men in Black drag Al off the set.
- Curse Cut Short: The last part of "Another Tattoo", at the very end, is the closest he ever comes to swearing in a song (as in, Seven Dirty Words levels of swearing). The line in question? "Ow! Motherf..."
- From his "interview" with Uma Thurman:
"WHAT THE FUUDGESICKLE?!?"
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: To himself in "One More Minute".
I'd rather spend eternity eating shards of broken glass
Than spend one more minute with you
I'd rather rip out my intestines with a fork
Than watch you going out with other men
- A Date with Rosie Palms: He seems to love this joke.
Cause I'm stranded all alone
In the gas station of love
And I have to use the self-service pumps
- From his first children's book When I Grow Up, one of the main character's many dream jobs is "master debater."
- He also claimed that he got "great pleasure" from watching Uma Thurman's movies. But not like that.
- The suggestive butter-churning in the "Amish Paradise" video.
- Deadpan Snarker: Watching Al in candid interviews where he drops the act reveals a subdued, deadpan humor and dry, sharp wit. A good example of this is the VH-1 Behind the Music special.
- Deconstruction: Not by him, but with his participation: the Behind The Music featuring Weird Al — who's never had any real career adversity (by music-industry standards) or scandal — deconstructed entertainment behind-the-scenes shows.
Weird Al: "And then... my fourth album only went Gold instead of Platinum! *sobs* I had to get the medium-sized Jacuzzi!!"
- A Degree in Useless: The aspiring actor in "Skipper Dan" who ends up hating his life as "a tour guide on the Jungle Cruise ride."
"I shoulda listened when my grandfather said
'Why don't you major in business instead?'"
- Department of Redundancy Department: "Sports Song" can basically be summed up by saying we're great, you suck, you really suck, and in case you missed it, YOU SUCK.
- Die Laughing: In the video for "Party in the CIA", some of the agency's enemies have caught up with Al, and Al dies this way.
- Digital Head Swap: Most notably in the video for "Perform This Way", a parody of Lady Gaga.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: Averted. Al doesn't have that many problems with people downloading his songs, and instead has many more problems with false attribution, the type that labels him as the author of such songs as "Wienie in a Bottle", "Elmo's Got a Gun", and others that he wouldn't be caught dead singing.
- He parodied the phenomenon with "Don't Download This Song", which, ironically, was DRM-free when most online retailers were stuck with it and can be downloaded legally for free.
- Al also has a habit of leaking one or more songs from his upcoming albums early, usually by posting it to YouTube or some other such site.
- And now for some Irony. YouTube seems to have blocked one person's upload of his music videos in the U.S. due to copyright concerns from Sony... said person is Weird Al himself.
- Al also mentions in the DVD Commentary for The Weird Al Show coming across a fansite that was distributing episodes of the show, saying that he was fine with it as long as they stopped after the official DVD release by Shout! Factory.
- Al himself authorized his album Alpocalypse to be streamed over the internet a week before its release date.
- Disney Acid Sequence: During the instrumental in the middle of the video for "Jurassic Park." This may be a parody of the music videos from the 60's (the era that "MacArthur Park," the song being parodied, was released).
- Disproportionate Retribution: In "One More Minute", a malt shop was burnt down just so the song's narrator doesn't want to remember his ex.
- In "I Remember Larry" he apparently responds to Larry's constant pranks by murdering him
- Disturbed Doves: These show up in the music video for "If That Isn't Love" during a couple of repeats of the chorus.
- D.I.Y. Disaster: "The Plumbing Song".
When I flush the john, it turns the shower on!
- The Dog Bites Back:
- The last verse of "I Remember Larry". The singer ends up tying Larry's mouth with a rag, "[dragging] him by the ankles to the middle of the forest and [stuffing] him in a big plastic bag".
- The end of "I Was Only Kidding".
- Don't Explain the Joke: In "Sports Song", among the Sophisticated as Hell trash talk, Al twice explains he isn't being literal:
We’re gonna kick your collective posterior
Of course you realize we’re speaking figuratively
We’re gonna grind up your guys into burger meat
Again, of course, we’re speaking in the figurative sense
- Doo Wop Progression: The chorus of "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me" uses it.
- Downer Ending: More than a few of the music videos.
- "Party in the CIA" readily comes to mind, as the protagonist is captured and is about to be executed.
- Averted by "TMZ", which is more of a downer song with a sort of heroic The Dog Bites Back ending.
- "The Night Santa Went Crazy". Depending on which version you listen to, it ends with Santa Claus either in jail for several hundred years, or dead.
- Drives Like Crazy: The subject of "She Drives Like Crazy" (Al's Trope Namer parody of Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy").
- Drunken Song: "Feel Like Throwin' Up," a parody of Bad Company's "Feel Like Makin' Love" from an early food medley recorded in the same Cal Poly bathroom as "My Bologna."
- Early Installment Weirdness: His self-titled first album. Al played accordion on every song (helped by guitarist Jim West not being present for the recording sessions, and thus featured nowhere on the album), the parodies weren't as close in sound to the originals as they would later be, and only one of the non-parody songs is a style parody.
- The Eighties: The "Dare to be Stupid" video.
- Epic Rocking:
- "Albuquerque." Emphasis on "epic".
- "Trapped in the Drive-Thru," "Genius in France," and "Jackson Park Express" also qualify.
- Expospeak Gag: "Mission Statement" is a series of buzzwords and vaguely positive-sounding metaphors that all roughly translate to "we need to make more money".
- Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: The music video for "Smells Like Nirvana," in one hilarious moment:
It's hard to bargle nawdle zouss???
With all these marbles in my mouth
- And according to the insert for the CD, those are the actual lyrics.
- Evil Lawyer Joke: From "Jurassic Park":
A huge tyrannosaurus ate our lawyer
Well, I suppose that proves
They're really not all bad
- Facial Dialogue: "Jackson Park Express" is about the narrator seeing a woman on a bus. The song is nine minutes long, but describes the "conversations" taking place between a man and a woman discussing the hypothetical process of forming a romantic relationship, engaging in sexual activity, breaking up, and moving on with their lives. All this is implied to all take place over the course of a few seconds.
- ...and that it's all one-sided and all in the narrator's head (and the woman in question probably sees him as a creepy guy staring at her).
- Fan Flattering: Al and his band (though the band features more prominently; Al only plays accordion) recorded the song "Al's Band". The third to last stanza has:
Straight Outta Lynwood we hit top ten
White And Nerdy went platinum too
We really hope that someday we might do it again
If we do we know that it’s all thanks to you
All thank you's to you
And you're welcome too
Come and see us play when you can
Then you can see for yourself what is
Making all of this happen
You're the reason why we play
- Fat and Proud: "Fat", of course.
- Fat Slob: "Inactive" is about a lazy slob who's completely given up on exercising and keeping himself healthy.
- Filk Song: A good portion of his catalogue; though Al doesn't consider himself a filker, many of his songs qualify and have been sung in filk circles. Some examples:
- "Ricky", a parody of Toni Basil's "Mickey", is this for I Love Lucy.
- "The Brady Bunch", a parody of Men Without Hats' "The Safety Dance", is this for the TV series of the same name, Take That aside (see below).
- "Isle Thing", a parody of Tone-Lōc's "Wild Thing", is a lesser example of this for Gilligan's Island.
- "Jurassic Park", a parody of the Jimmy Webb-written "MacArthur Park", is this for... well, you know.
- "Bedrock Anthem" is this for The Flintstones, while at the same time parodying the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge" and "Give It Away".
- "Yoda" (parodying The Kinks' "Lola") and "The Saga Begins" (parodying Don McLean's "American Pie") are examples of Star Wars filk songs, dealing with The Empire Strikes Back and The Phantom Menace, respectively.
- "Ode to a Superhero", parodying Billy Joel's "Piano Man", is this for the first Spider-Man movie.
- Also "Gump", a parody of the Presidents of the United States of America's "Lump", which is about... yeah, you guessed it.
- First World Problems: The name of the song from his Mandatory Fun album, in which he rants about the most insignificant of such problems.
- Flaming Emblem: Done in the "White and Nerdy" video which is a parody of Chamillionaire's "Ridin'" where he's eventually standing on a blacktop in front a a flaming version of his logo. In Al's video, the flaming logo is of Pac-Man.
- Food Songs Are Funny: Many examples. Enough to fill an entire compilation album (appropriately named "The Food Album") and then some. You could say that this trope is his bread and butter.
- Football Fight Song: "Sports Song" is done in the style of one.
"We're great, and you suck!"
- Four More Measures: Lampshaded in "You're Pitiful".
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In "CNR", Charles Nelson Reilly goes onstage and starts attacking Weird Al's band, then smashes the "screen".
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- At the beginning of "Word Crimes", a dictionary's pages are turning through the A's. The definition of "Accordion" has a picture of Al next to it. On a shot of a piece of homework paper, the homeroom teacher is listed as "Mrs. Krabappel". On the graphic for the lyric "lost cause", which uses a promo graphic from LOST, the print next to the ABC logo reads "learn your [ABC]s, doofus" instead of the network slogan.
- In the video for "White and Nerdy", the line "I'll ace any trivia quiz you bring on" begins with a closeup of a Trivial Pursuit card with amusing questions. "A&E: What's the deal with Lindsay Lohan? I mean, seriously?"
- After Al starts singing about The Illuminati in "Foil", there's a few red frames of Al's face looking the worse for wear - see Subliminal Seduction.
- Frivolous Lawsuit: "I'll Sue Ya" is based entirely upon this.
- The Fun in Funeral: Mentioned in Tacky.
I would live-tweet a funeral
Take selfies with the deceased
- Funny Background Event: Pretty much every music video has something funny go on behind the action, like the basketball players in "Smells like Nirvana."
- Fun With Palindromes: The lyrics of "Bob" (a style parody of Bob Dylan) are all palindromes.note
- Game Show Appearance: The subject of "I Lost on Jeopardy." Amusingly, he later appeared on Rock & Roll Jeopardy! in 2001 and lost.
- However, he fared much better on a Celebrity Edition of Wheel of Fortune in May 1994. Appropriately, he won $27,800 on his first appearance, and $2,700 more on the "Friday Finals" tournament at the end of the week.
- The lyrics and video for "CNR" fittingly give many nods to Match Game, arguably Charles Nelson Reilly's most well known gig.
- Gem-Encrusted: Like a swimming pool.
- Genre Roulette: His band is good enough to play any type of music and Al himself can sing in a multitude of styles, able to pull off rock (both classic and modern), country, pop, reggae, boyband, soul, rap, folk and more vocals. There is a reason they have sometimes been referred to as "The world's greatest cover band".
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Although he's a mostly family-friendly singer, lyrics in several of Weird Al's songs go into grey territory. Notable examples include "You Don't Love Me Anymore", which talks about a woman having sex with an entire hockey team, and "Headline News" which mentions the Lorena Bobbitt incident.
- In the music video of "Amish Paradise", watch the guy churning butter after the girl walks by.
- The singer of "The Truck Drivin' Song" mentions wearing nipple rings and crotchless panties.
- In "One More Minute", the narrator is in "the gas station of love", and he has to use the "self-service pumps".
- His polka medley on Straight Outta Lynwood includes "Candy Shop" by 50Cent. Yeah...
- "Word Crimes" has numerous examples. "Your participle's dangling" (with appropriate visual), "some cunning linguist", and the video ends with "'WEIRD AL' YANKOVIC HAS A BIG DIC... TIONARY".
- "Jackson Park Express" has "I like your boobs" and "I want you inside me."
- "Gump" features the line "His girlfriend Jenny was kind of a slut."
- The video for "I Lost on Jeopardy" includes the answer, "This German baroness could suck the chrome off a fender."
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: In spite of being more than somewhat risqué (see above), neither Al's parodies nor his polka medleys ever contain really explicit language, and will often Bowdlerise the original lyrics to remove them.
- Grammar Nazi: See here and here.
- Let's not forget this part of "Close But No Cigar"
She was gorgeous, she was charming
Yeah, she was perfect in every way
Except she was always using the word 'infer'
When she obviously meant 'imply'
And I know some guys would put up with that kind of thing
But frankly, I can't imagine why
- The entirety of "Word Crimes" focuses specifically on this trope.
- Gratuitous French: Parodied in "Perform This Way"
And for no reason now I'll sing in French
Excusez-moi, Qui a pété? (Translation: Excuse me, who farted?)
- Gratuitous Italian: Parodied in "Lasagna". Al attempted to play it straight by having the song be written completely in Italian but realized 99% of the audience wouldn't understand it. Instead he made the song about Italian foods with the rest consisting of Italian phrases and expressions.
- Greatest Hits Album: The Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic, Greatest Hits, Greatest Hits II, and Permanent Record, a four-disc box set of Weird Al's favorite tracks from "My Bologna" to his then-latest single, "Headline News" (which was only available on that box set and Greatest Hits II).
- Green Eggs and Ham: Sung to the tune of U2's "Numb", but refused by the Seuss estate.
- Happiness Is Mandatory: His album Mandatory Fun has Al on the cover standing in military dictator garb with an army at his beck and call.
- Handyman: "Handy" is all about being one, though louder and less laid-back.
I'm so handy
You already know
I'll fix your plumbing when your toilets overflow.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: The heartbeat monitor in "Like a Surgeon".
- Hell of a Heaven: "Everything You Know Is Wrong" has someone violating Heaven's dress code, and getting stuck with the room next to the noisy ice machine for all eternity. (Suggesting that Heaven is a mid-priced hotel.)
- Here We Go Again: From the last verse of "I Lost on Jeopardy":
- Hitler Cam: Used in "One More Minute" at the end, where Al rips out 'his' (plastic) heart.
- Hollywood Nerd: Al played this image up early in his career with the large glasses, white guy Afro, and cheesy mustache. Once he ditched these, around the time "Running with Scissors" came out (although a few videos before then didn't have them), it was suddenly discovered that Mr. Yankovic is actually very good-looking to go along with his geeky charm.
- Hollywood Silencer: A sound effect in "Party In The CIA"note . Lampshaded by the lyric "And my silencer was on".
- Home Porn Movie: Here. Compare the "White and Nerdy" video
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: "Christmas at Ground Zero".
"What a crazy fluke/we're gonna get nuked/on this jolly holiday!"
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Amish Paradise contains the line "I know I'm a million times as humble as thou art!"
- Al once made a cameo appearance on Some Jerk with a Camera to rant about how much he hates celebrity cameos.
- In the video for "Word Crimes", a song about proper grammar, one of the degrees on the wall is a "Bachelor of Writing Good".note
- Don't Download This Song, a song scolding the listener for downloading songs rather than buying CDs, is only available as a download.
- I Am Not Shazam: "Perform This Way"note has the line "I'm Frankenstein, I'm Avatar". Not an Example of Cowboy Bebop at His Computer though, as it was deliberately invoked.
- Iconic Outfit: Earlier in his career, there was a particular pair of horrendously ugly pants given to Al that he wore at every concert (which can be seen on his first album cover). He eventually ditched them. Later, he was known for his large collection of Hawaiian-print shirts and Vans sneakers. He still pulls these out, though not as frequently.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: In "Tacky"; both described in the lyrics and worn in the video.
- Incendiary Exponent: Parodied in "Perform This Way"
I'll wrap my small intestines round my neck
And set fire to myself on stage
- Incredibly Lame Fun: "Hardware Store"
- Infant Immortality: Averted in "Albuquerque".
"You know, I'd never been on a real airplane before ... And the little kid in back of me kept throwin' up the whole time ... And, oh yeah, three of the airplane engines burned out / And we went into a tailspin and crashed into a hillside / And the plane exploded in a giant fireball / and everybody died"
- Inherently Funny Words: Frequently among his lyrics. Some of Al's favorites include "weasel" and "uvula".
- Also, "plumber" and "bowling."
- And occasionally "poodle."
- Ink-Suit Actor: His roles on Transformers Animated, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Also appeared as himself on The Simpsons. Of course.
- In the Style of...: At least half of Al's non-parodies mimic the style of another significant musician, perhaps the most famous being "Dare To Be Stupid", his take on Devo. In addition, every album but the first and fifth contains a medley of then-recent hit songs performed as a polka.
- "Dog Eat Dog" parodies Talking Heads, and even includes modified versions of lines from "Once in a Lifetime". Al even puts on a David Byrne-style giant suit when performing this song live.
- "Trigger Happy" is a take on the style of of every Beach Boys song ever. Except for the ones he later homaged with "Pancreas".
- "Bob" is a bunch of palindromes sung like Bob Dylan. The video even parodies "Subterranean Homesick Blues".
- "CNR" is a style parody of The White Stripes.
- "Close But No Cigar" is an absolutely spot-on pastiche of the band CAKE's signature style, including blurty trumpet, ad-libs (yelled off-mic), and rampant Vibra-Slap abuse.
- "You Make Me" is a parody in the style of Oingo Boingo, complete with various percussion, a prominent horn section, and distinct guitar solo, all sounding quite Boingo-esque.
- In a lot of cases, his "style parodies" are a result of not getting permission to do a parody of an actual song by the band. For example, after Trent Reznor refused to let him do any Nine Inch Nails songs, Weird Al came out with "Germs," which clearly borrows from several NIN songs (especially "Terrible Lie" and "Mr. Self Destruct").
- For similar reasons, he did the song "Traffic Jam" in the style of Prince, who has consistently refused to let Al parody any of his songs.
- "Wanna B Ur Lovr" is thought by many to be another Prince hit, but is styled more along the lines of Beck; Al claimed that the song is himself "trying to sound like Beck trying to sound like Prince."
- "If That Isn't Love" is mostly a style parody of his close friends, the boys of Hanson, but there's definitely a few jabs at Justin Bieber in there too.
- "Mr. Popeil" is a style parody of The B-52s, with Al's female backing vocalistsnote doing a perfect imitation of Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson and Al himself doing the Fred Schneider part.
- In a slightly less musical example, Carnival of the Animals, Part Two (the B-side to Peter and the Wolf) includes recited poetry in the style of Ogden Nash.
- Other examples:
- "Velvet Elvis" = The Police (particularly "Driven to Tears")
- "Frank's 2000' TV" = REM
- "Everything You Know Is Wrong" = They Might Be Giants
- "Why Does This Always Happen to Me"= Ben Folds Five (to the point where Ben Folds himself plays piano on the track)
- "Skipper Dan" = Weezer
- "Ringtone" = Queen (with the intro nearly matching that of "Don't Stop Me Now")
- "Craigslist" = The Doors (more specifically, main verse="20th Century Fox/Soul Kitchen", chorus="The Changeling", and spoken-word interlude="The End". Ray Manzarek, the Doors' keyboardist, plays keys on that track).
- "I'll Sue Ya" = Rage Against the Machine, and the chorus closely resembles the one from "Bombtrack".
- "Mission Statement" = Crosby, Stills and Nash.
- "Lame Claim to Fame" = Southern Culture on the Skids (the opening riff in particular is directly inspired by "Camel Walk").
- "First World Problems" = The Pixies.
- A rare producer-based instead of artist-based example is "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me", which emulates Jim Steinman's production style to a tee.
- Less likely, but still possible: "When I Was Your Age"=early Alice Cooper, "Young, Dumb & Ugly"=AC/DC.
- Intimate Marks: The video for "Tacky" has Kirsten Schaal living up to the title by wearing a top with hot pink handprints over the breasts.
- It Came from the Fridge: The aptly titled "Livin' in the Fridge" provides the page quote.
- It's All About Me: "Waffle King", "Why Does This Always Happen To Me?", and "If That Isn't Love" all feature this trope in different ways.
- It Will Never Catch On: Al's first show with his band was opening for Missing Persons. It was a disaster, with people booing them offstage and Al wondering if he should give up music.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Played for Laughs (obviously) in "Party in the C.I.A."
- Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: "Don't Download This Song"
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: "Don't Download This Song"
- Jumping the Shark: A line in "Couch Potato" says that King of Queens did this. In the first minute. Because Richard Simmons wasn't in it.
- Karmic Death: "I Remember Larry" which has Larry being murdered by the target of many of his malicious gags, with the target making it sound like it was only another malicious gag.
- Kissing Cousins: "Complicated Song" includes a man inadvertently dating his cousin.
- Larynx Dissonance: Not exactly explicit, but it wouldn't be that much of a stretch for the narrator of "Truck Drivin' Song" to be a female with a very low voice, a la Dr. Girlfriend.
- Kitschy Local Commercial: The "Handy" video is done in this style, mainly by way of hammy acting and deliberately bad special effects.
- Last-Second Word Swap: At the end of the "Word Crimes" video:
"Weird Al" Yankovic has a big dictionary.
- Limited Wardrobe: Al has almost always been seen wearing a loud Hawaiian shirt, black trousers, and brightly-patterned Vans shoes since the 1980s. Until Al had his vision corrected with LASIK eye surgery in the 1990s, his distinctive large wire-rimmed eyeglasses were also part of his trademark look.
- List Song: Lots. Hardware Store, eBay, Bob (a list of palindromes done in the style of Bob Dylan), Virus Alert, I'll Sue Ya...
- A lot of the songs on Mandatory Fun fall under this, mostly due to its rushed production. note
- Literal Metaphor: On Jerry Springer, that bitch Woofie really is a female dog.
- Lobotomy: in the song "I Can't Watch This," he proposes that getting one will improve the appeal of HBO, the Playboy Network, Showtime, and MTV.
- Long Runners: He's been around for quite a while. As one [adult swim] Eye Catch observed, if you went back to 1984 and told people that Weird Al was still relevant in 2006 while Michael Jackson had flamed out, they likely wouldn't believe you.
- And after 30 years in the business, and in an musical landscape where sites like YouTube have made comedy music commonplace, Weird Al's savvy marketing ploy for Mandatory Fun (debuting each song on a different website) combined with a brilliant batch of music scored him and his bandmates their first-ever #1 album.
- Long Runner Line Up: Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, Jim West, and Steve Jay have been with him for almost as long. This is an unusual example in that these three are almost totally overshadowed by Weird Al himself.
- Love Martyr: "You Don't Love Me Anymore" takes this trope to extremes.
- Lyrical Dissonance:
- "Christmas At Ground Zero".
- "Good Old Days", a James Taylor-esque folk ballad about childhood. However, this particular childhood involved torturing rats with hacksaws, burning down a corner store and brutally beating the shop owner, and taking a girl from highschool to a dance, and shaving her bald and abandoning her in the desert.
- The last verse of "I Remember Larry"
- "Weasel Stomping Day"
- "The Night Santa Went Crazy"
- "One of those Days" combines this with Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking.
- "Skipper Dan"
- "You Don't Love Me Anymore"
- "Party in the CIA"
- "Trigger Happy"
- And then there's "Happy Birthday" - keeps peppy all the way through, but hits serious dissonance at 26 seconds in.
- "Bohemian Polka", which takes Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody about a man facing execution and turns it into, well, a polka.
- All the polka medleys dip into this to varying degrees, but it's most glaring when he uses particularly violent songs such as "Hey Joe" or "Pumped Up Kicks" and throws in whimsical-sounding stock gun sound effects.
- The original "Dare to Be Stupid" averts this trope. But then Al performed that song with backing from a...string quartet?
- MacGyvering: "Handy" is about a Mr. Fixit who mentions this particular skill by name.
- Major Injury Underreaction: In "A Complicated Song", he is merely frustrated about being beheaded.
- M. C. Escher: In "White and Nerdy", Al cites him as his favorite MC.
- Manipulative Editing: Al TV's fake interviews, where Al adds weird questions to a famous person's answers (original / edited). And sometimes, the interviewee acts weird enough to help!.
- Man on Fire: One runs around behind Al during the "Smells like Nirvana" video.
- The Men in Black: Two agents come and drug Al, then drag him off the stage at the end of the video in "Foil".
- Al becomes one of them in the video for "Party in the CIA," and the song is from the point of view of a CIA agent.
- Meatgrinder Surgery: Both the lyrics and the video (moreso the latter) for "Like a Surgeon."
- Meet Cute: Parodied in "Albuquerque." Al meets the girl of his dreams, while being mauled by starving crazed weasels that he inexplicably bought at a donut shop. They immediately become a couple.
- Memetic Badass: In-song example—Charles Nelson Reilly.
- Mind Screw: "Everything You Know Is Wrong", among others.
- Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: Or, as he likes to put it, "Close But No Cigar."
- Minsky Pickup: He throws this into several of his polka numbers.
- Misplaced Sorrow: "Why Does This Always Happen to Me?" is all about this.
- Mood Whiplash:
- A perfect example is on the album "Straight Outta Lynwood," after his Rage Against the Machine parody "I'll Sue Ya." After an angry song like that one, there's an abrupt guitar chord, which is directly followed by a one-second pause going into "Polkarama," which has the Dance Craze "Chicken Dance" as an intro. Of course, THAT goes into a polka cover of "Let's Get it Started" by The Black-Eyed Peas.
- A similar example is on the album "Running With Scissors", where the Nine Inch Nails style parody "Germs" is followed by an intensely happy polka (the first track in the medley being the Spice Girls, for crying out loud). Mood Whiplash at its finest, folks.
- In "Your Horoscope for Today" the prediction for Sagittarius begins like this:
All your friends are laughing behind your back.
(beat) Kill them.
- "Foil" starts out as a typical Lorde parody about food before suddenly taking a left turn into Conspiracy Theorist territory. The video emphasizes this, with a television director played by Patton Oswalt who reacts negatively to the new topic. He's in on the conspiracy.
- Moon Landing Hoax: Al is convinced that the government staged it in "Foil". In the video, there's footage of the landing being interrupted by stagehands clacking the marker and moving a boom mic out of the camera shot.
- Morally Ambiguous Ducktorate: Given the content of the song "I Want A New Duck," one presumes a duck of less-than-ideal behavior was already being dealt with.
- Motor Mouth: The middle of "Hardware Store". He speaks at a rate of 242 words per minute, or all of the below in 30 seconds and in one breath.
They've got Allen wrenches, gerbil feeders, toilet seats, electric heaters
Trash compactors, juice extractors, shower rods and water meters
Walkie-talkies, copper wires, safety goggles, radial tires
BB pellets, rubber mallets, fans and dehumidifiers
Picture hangers, paper cutters, waffle irons, window shutters
Paint removers, window louvers, masking tape and plastic gutters
Kitchen faucets, folding tables, weather stripping, jumper cables
Hooks and tackle, grout and spackle, power foggers, spoons and ladles
Pesticides for fumigation, high-performance lubrication
Metal roofing, waterproofing, multi-purpose insulation
Air compressors, brass connectors, wrecking chisels, smoke detectors
Tire gauges, hamster cages, thermostats and bug deflectors
Trailer hitch demagnetizers, automatic circumcisers
Tennis rackets, angle brackets, Duracells and Energizers
Soffit panels, circuit breakers, vacuum cleaners, coffee makers
Calculators, generators, matching salt and pepper shakers...
- Let it be known that the aforementioned listing is the main reason Al won't do the song on tour. He apparently doesn't think he can do it again.
- Also in the middle of "Your Horoscope for Today," also all in one breath:
Now you may find it inconceivable or at the very least a bit unlikely that the relative position
of the planets and the stars could have a special deep significance or meaning that exclusively applies to only you,
but let me give you my assurance that these forecasts and predictions are all based on solid, scientific, documented evidence,
so you would have to be some kind of moron not to realize that every single one of them is absolutely true.
Where was I?
- Mockumentary: Two, actually. There's the rare "The Compleat Al," made to help promote the Dare To Be Stupid album, and the Disney Channel combination Mockumentary / Rockumentary "There's No Going Home", which was included as an Easter Egg on the Running With Scissors album.
- There's also the 1985 book The Authorized Al, released as a companion piece to The Compleat Al.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually matches the song or style he's parodying, sometimes skewing a point lower, so generally from 1 (e.g. "You Don't Love Me Anymore") to 5-6 (e.g. "I'll Sue Ya", "Germs"). "Bite Me" is the exception - it meets the criteria for a 10.
- Mondegreen: Done In-Universe in the song "Trapped In The Drive-thru"
I hopped up and said, "I don't know, do you want to get something delivered?"
And she's like, "Why would I want to eat liver?
I don't even like liver."
I'm like, "No, I said 'delivered'."
She's like, "I heard you say liver."
I'm like, "I should know what I said."
She's like, "Whatever... I just don't want any liver."
- Mouthful of Pi: In White and Nerdy the title character claims to know Pi to a thousand places.
- Mouth Screen: "Dare To Be Stupid" and "Bedrock Anthem" featured Al's mouth, even scenes of him performing in Chin Face.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Lots, but "Hardware Store" sticks out most.
- The subject of Waffle King presents his waffle recipe as this.
- I present to you the tale of his trip to Albuquerque.
- "Trapped In The Drive-Thru". Al said he picked getting fast food as the topic of the song because it was the most banal thing he could think of.
- Behold! The most epic shredding ever!note
- "The Biggest Ball of Twine In Minnesota".
- Mundane Utility: The main character of "Everything You Know Is Wrong" is given the chance to go back in time. He decides to go back to the previous Thursday so he can pay his phone bill on time.
- Mystery Meat: "School Cafeteria"
- Naughty Birdwatching: "Melanie".
- Nerdgasm: The singer in "Hardware Store".
- Nerds Are Virgins: The singer of "White and Nerdy" spends his nights with a roll of bubble wrap...
- The subject of "You're Pitiful" is a 42-year old example. He wears a "homemade Star Trek uniform" and "never had a date he couldn't inflate."
- Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: ...and he does vector calculus just for fun.
- Nice Guy: Although fair-use law regarding parody mean Al doesn't need anyone's permission, he makes sure that he does have permission from an artist in order to poke fun. This has worked out for him in several ways, with the originals artists often contributing resources to the final project to thank him for his politeness.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Many of his songs, mostly the ones involving talk shows, are LOADED with this!
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The UHF video, in which the parodied musicians include Robert Palmer (''Addicted to Spuds" never got its own video), Prince, and The Beatles.
- Nose Nuggets: "Gotta Boogie". ("Gotta boogie on my finger and I can't shake it off!")
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: In the booklet that came with Permanent Record, Al notes that the song "Midnight Star" (about ridiculous tabloid headlines) contained mostly real headlines from various tabloids. He specifically noted that he held onto one about The Incredible Frog Boy from the Weekly World News for years.
- Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Part of the reason the singer in "Hardware Store" is so excited.
- Now How Much Would You Pay: Called out verbatim in "Mr. Popeil."
- Off the Rails: In the video for "Foil", Al is doing a commercial for aluminum foil wrap, then starts talking about conspiracy theories that his Tinfoil Hat will protect him from. The director is visibly upset because he's secretly one of The Reptilians, so he has the Men in Black carry Al off.
- Off with His Head!: the singer in "Complicated Song" gets his head knocked off after standing up on a roller coaster.
- Once an Album: Almost every albumnote contains one polka medley of songs popular at the time note , and one song in any style ripping on TV shows popular at the time. There's also always at least one song about food.
- Since 1999, every album has included bonus video content that can be viewed on a computer (if not also a DVD player), though Alpocalypse had it as an extra DVD packaged with the CD.
- Only a Flesh Wound: From Trigger Happy
Oh, I accidentally shot Daddy last night in the den
I mistook him in the dark for a drug-crazed Nazi again
Now why'd you have to get so mad?
It's just a lousy flesh wound, Dad
You know I'm trigger happy, trigger happy every day
- Parody Assistance: Sometimes Al gets more than just permission to parody an artist's songs. Michael Jackson donated the subway set used for "Badder" (the kid version of "Bad" filmed for Moonwalker) to Yankovic for his parody "Fat", Ray Manzarek of The Doors played keyboards and bass on "Craigslist", and Mark Knopfler would only allow Al to parody "Money for Nothing" if he was permitted to do the guitar work himself.
- Ben Folds played piano on "Why Does This Always Happen To Me"... which is a parody of Ben Folds songs. "Genius in France", a style parody of Frank Zappa features Frank's son Dweezil on guitar.
- Though more of a stretch, singer and voice coach Lisa Popeil has done female backup vocals for Al since 1983. The first song to feature her? "Mr. Popeil", a song that makes fun of her father's products and brother's infomercials in the style of The B-52s.
- James Brown arranged for Al to record the music video for "Living With a Hernia" using the backdrop where he performed the original "Living in America" song in Rocky IV.
- On Al's 2011 album Alpocalypse, he did a style parody of Hanson called "If That Isn't Love." Al and the Hanson brothers are friends, and Taylor Hanson plays keyboards on the song.
- The "Smells Like Nirvana" video actually had some of the actors from the original "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video including the janitor.
- Imagine Dragons assisted with the creation of "Inactive", a parody of their own song "Radioactive", to help reproduce as authentic a sound of the original as possible.
- Peacock Boy: "Perform This Way" (he also wears it in the actual music video)
- Poe's Law:
- Some people believed that "Don't Download This Song" was actually trying to spread the message that Digital Piracy Is Evil.
- At least one faction of gun nuts takes "Trigger Happy" literally.
- "Foil", if the YouTube comments are anything to go by.
- Poke the Poodle: "Young, Dumb & Ugly" is a song about this.
- Posthumous Narration: In "Melanie".
- Precision F-Strike: In "Jerry Springer"; appropriately, Yankovic himself doesn't use the word, but guest vocalist Tress MacNeille does during a portion of the song parodying a typical episode of the show:
- ...and even then it's a pun, because Woofie literally is a bitch.
- Yankovic himself finally gets one in with the comparatively mild "You cheap bastard!" during the outro of "Don't Download This Song".
- He also lets out an uncensored "shit" in "Dead Car Battery Blues", an early demo recording from apparently before he dedicated himself to being a more-or-less family-friendly performer.
- An implied one appears in the liner notes to "Mandatory Fun", which says "AFP appears courtesy of herself". Anyone familiar enough with Amanda Palmer should know what the F stands for.
- Produce Pelting: According to Al, when he opened for Missing Persons in 1982, the audience threw "anything that wasn't nailed down" at him for 45 minutes.
- Professional Wrestling: In "Jurassic Park", one of the T-Rex's jump off of a turnbuckle with the WWF logo on it.
- Pun: Real life example: one of his long time band members goes by "Bermuda" Schwartz.
- Another possible example in "I Remember Larry," after he talks about tying the titular pranker's mouth with a rag and leaving him for dead:
If the cops ever find him, who knows what they'll say
But I'm sure if ol' Lar were still with us today
He would have to agree with me - it was a pretty good gag!
- Most of "Party at the Leper Colony", but especially:
There's a guy in the hot tub, I don't know who
Wait a minute, it looks like Stu!
- From "Perform This Way," regarding Gaga's meat dress, which the woman in the video also wears:
I'll strap prime rib to my feet, cover myself with raw meat
I'll bet you've never seen a skirt steak worn this way
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I! HATE! SAUERKRAUT!"
- Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Briefly worn after he got Lasik. He still uses glasses with fake lenses whenever he performs "Fat" to help the fat mask stay on better.
- Quirky Curls: One of the few male examples. Despite rumors to the contrary, it is not a perm; he's naturally just that curly (although he has teased it up on occasion to achieve something close to a Funny Afro).
- Rant Inducing Slight: "First World Problems" contains a long list of utterly trivial annoyances that induce mouth-foaming rage in Al.
- Random Events Plot: "Albuquerque."
- Rap Rock: "It's All About the Pentiums" parodies a rock remix of "It's all about the Benjamins".
- There's also Bedrock Anthem, where he parodies the beginning of "Under the Bridge", but then changes to a parody of "Give it Away".
- "I'll Sue Ya", since it's a style parody of Rage Against the Machine.
- Reality Warper: The titular computer virus from the song "Virus Alert".
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Al gets a doozy of one from Don Pardo at the end of "I Lost On Jeopardy" which crosses over into Disproportionate Retribution.
"That's right, Al. You lost! And let me tell you what you didn't win! A 20 Volume set of the Encyclopedia Internationals, A case of Turtle wax, And a years supply of Rice-A-Roni, A San Francisco Treat. But that's not all, You made yourself look like a jerk in front of Millions of people. And you brought shame and disgrace for your family name for generations to come. You don't get to come back tomorrow. You don't even get a lousy copy of our home game. You are a complete loser!"
- His uncharacteristically nasty mock interview with Kevin Federline.
- Reckless Gun Usage: The singer in "Trigger Happy" accidentally shoots both his father and his cat.
- Refrain from Assuming: Usually his parodies turn the original title phrase into something wacky and indicative of the parody's subject matter. If he can't manage that, this trope usually ensues.
- Replacement Goldfish: Part of the numerous minor confessions in "Confessions Part 3" listed killing his girlfriend's goldfish and replacing it.
- Reports Of My Retirement Were Greatly Exaggerated: When it was reported that Mandatory Fun (His contract with Volcano expires after its release) would likely be his last album, many people took it to mean that he was done making music. In reality it meant that he plans on releasing music in an untraditional manner and not the traditional album.
- Retconning the Wiki: The music video for "White And Nerdy", in which he replaces the entire text for Atlantic Record's wiki page with huge type reading YOU SUCK!!!!! This was a personal Take That from Al for slights the company had done him in the past. His fans thought it was so funny, they started doing it for real, resulting in That Other Wiki having to lock the Atlantic Records page.
- Rhyming List: "Hardware Store"'s list of everything the store has in the back.
- Ridiculous Future Sequelisation: "Theme from Rocky XIII".
- Ripped from the Headlines: "Headline News" has three verses describing the American kid who got caned in Singapore, the Nancy Kerrigan incident, and Lorena Bobbitt.
- And new verses (from the 2007 tour) about Paris Hilton's DUI and Britney Spears's going commando and head shave.
- "Midnight Star" contains several headlines from actual supermarket tabloids including one about "The Incredible Frog-Boy!"
- Rockers Smash Guitars: At the end of the "Smells like Nirvana" video, Al smashes his guitar, the audience smashes plates on a guy's head, and then Al pushes a plunge-detonator to demolish a building. He also used to smash his accordion at the end of his polka medleys in concert when they ended with The Who's "My Generation".
- Rule 34: In 2014, pictures were released portraying two women dressed (and undressed) as characters from UHF - including one with an Al wig, glasses and Hawaiian shirt.
- Running Gag: The number 27, poodles, hamsters, spatulas, food, and TV.
- Also, a hatred of Prince, especially in his fake interviews.
- Runs with Scissors: The title and image art of his album "Running With Scissors."
- Saw "Star Wars" Twenty-Seven Times: From "Cable TV,"
My friends are getting kinda worried,
They think I'm turning into some kind of freak.
Aw, but they're just jealous, 'cause I've seen Porky's,
- Self-Backing Vocalist: A large amount of the time. Notable exceptions include female vocals, lines low enough to be sung by Steve Jay, and several songs such as "Trigger Happy" and "Don't Download This Song".
- "Since You've Been Gone" is a bunch of Weird Als singing a cappella (except for the bass line, which is Steve Jay).
- Self-Deprecation: Al has admitted (re: "Skipper Dan") that he feels a certain sympathy with actual Disney Jungle Cruise tour guides, as his own live shows can get repetitive for him. This makes the following line a bit of a Take That Me:
- The name of one of his albums: Weird Al Yankovic Even Worse.
- Self-Parody: Not Al himself, but his music video for "Mission Statement", which combines every meaningless business platitude under the sun into a Crosby, Stills & Nash pastiche, features whiteboard art from TruScribe, a company famous for laboriously illustrating similar lectures and advertisements on behalf of economic firms and the like.
- Serious Business: Going through the drive-thru is very serious and don't you dare forget the onions.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: "Mission Statement" is all about using all sorts of overly-sophisticated corporate buzzwords.
- Shaped Like Itself: "That snorkel's been just like a snorkel to me!"
- Shave and a Haircut: Often appears near the end of the polka medleys.
- Shoulders of Doom: When performing "Dog Eat Dog", a style parody of Talking Heads, Al wears a suit with massive shoulderpads as a spoof of David Byrne's Iconic Outfit. He also wears it briefly in the "UHF" video.
- Shout-Out: These lines from "Amish Paradise":
- According to Word of Al, "Slime Creatures from Outer Space" includes a line from an SCTV sketch and the vinyl of Dare to Be Stupid had "More Songs About TV and Food" etched into the inner groove.
- One of the last lines of "CNR" is "'Cause you can spit in the wind or tug on Superman's cape", a shout-out to the Jim Croce song "You Don't Mess Around with Jim".
- "Amish Paradise" also includes the line "But I ain't never punched a tourist even if he deserved it", a reference to the movie Witness, in which Harrison Ford is a police detective placed undercover in an Amish community to protect a murder witness and punches out a tourist who steals his hat.
- There is even a Shout-Out to Al out there. Chamillionaire's remix of "Ridin'" called "Ridin' Overseas" mentions "White And Nerdy". (1:59 in the linked video)
A year later, after "White And Nerdy",
On the grind, still tryin', still flyin' birdies.
- Running With Scissors has two shout-outs to Monty Python. "The Truck Drivin' Song" is one to "The Lumberjack Song" (both are about a man in a masculine occupation who likes to dress in ladies' clothing) and "Albuquerque" has a donut shop that has no donuts (referencing the "Cheese Shop" sketch). Monty Python and the Holy Grail also gets a mention in "White and Nerdy," and is also referenced in "Trigger Happy" with the line "it was just a lousy flesh wound."
- As mentioned above, Shaped Like Itself line in "Albuquerque" is a reference to the Cheech and Chong song, "Basketball Jones."
- The gargling-while-singing and exaggerated gulping on "Smells Like Nirvana" are an homage to Spike Jones, to whom Al is something of a Spiritual Successor.
- His polka medleys are all tributes to Spike Jones, in that they're travesties of popular songs rather than parodies.
- "Perform This Way" has a shout-out to Madonna's "Express Yourself", due to the perception of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" being a Suspiciously Similar Song. The video even has a Madonna lookalike dressed in the style of her Blonde Ambition concert tour costume.
- At one point, the video for "Word Crimes" shows some doodles including Pac-Man and Trogdor.
- There's also visual references to Doge and the "Use your brains, morans!" picture.
- There's also a grammar exam for Mrs. Krabappel's class.
- The computer virus described in Virus Alert is described to perform increasingly implausible unpleasant things to the life of everyone it comes in contact with, much like the Bad Times virus hoax.
- The song "Tacky" includes the line "If I'm bitten by a zombie, I'm probably not telling you." In the video, Al accompanies this line with a dance move taken from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video.
- One of the two handymen dancing in the backgrounds of the "Handy" music video wears Mario's red-overall-blue-dungarees combo.
- Shown Their Work: About the songs and artists he parodies.
- "Trigger Happy" and "Pancreas", his Beach Boys homages; the former song has elements of "Fun, Fun, Fun", "Catch A Wave", "No-Go Showboat", "Surfin USA", and "Little Deuce Coupe" in it; the latter has elements of "Our Prayer", "Do You Like Worms", "God Only Knows", "I Know There's An Answer", "Wind Chimes", "Heroes and Villains", and "Good Vibrations", all in one song.
- In live performances of "Skipper Dan", Al even uses the two-fingered style of pointing at things required of actual Disneyland cast members.
- Al actually walked around a clothing department store for hours taking careful notes on various fabrics and fashions as research for the lyrics to "King Of Suede."
- "White And Nerdy" is the most accurate depiction of a subject that, he, of course, didn't have to do any research for.
- Sidekick Song: "Al's Band".
- Signed Up for the Dental: According to "Party In the CIA", they have a better dental plan than the FBI.
- Sitcom Archnemesis: Prince is a regular target in Al's works, as he is the only artist who has consistently refused permission for any parodies of his songs, allegedly due to the Purple One having No Sense of Humornote . The antagonism is played for laughs by Al, and typically consists of throwaway song lyrics or quick jokes in interviews.
''You should never / Write words using numbers
Unless you're seven / Or your name is Prince."
—Lyrics for "Word Crimes"
- Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon: In "Lame Claim To Fame", with 6 degrees, no less.
I know a guy who knows a guy
Who knows a guy who knows a guy
Who knows a guy who knows Kevin Bacon
- Small Reference Pools: In addition to the part about parody musicians, there are a number of people to this day (as evidenced by the comments left on videos on YouTube) that don't realize that about half of Al's output has been original songs, due to his biggest hits all being parodies.
- Something Blues: "Buckingham Blues" and "Generic Blues".
- Something Completely Different: Most of his songs are parody versions of well-known pop/rock songs, or silly polka pieces. "Albuquerque" is a ridiculously long combination of song and spoken-word story; it's completely original and thoroughly absurd even by Al's standards.
- Song Parody: What he's best known for making.
- Sophisticated as Hell: "Sports Song" is a reimagining of the classic college fight song, except with lyrics that directly insult the opposing team. After giving a number of different wordy explanations of how much better the home team is than the visitors, it sums up the argument by repeating "We're great, and you suck!" Several times.
Oh, and if somehow we are still failing
To effectively articulate the points at hand
Allow us now to summarize them in a manner
That your feeble brains can understand
We’re great (We're great!)
And you suck (You suck!)
We're great (We're great!)
And you suck (You suck!) [etc.]
- Sound Effect Bleep: Al's rendition of "Closer" during "The Alternative Polka":
I want to (POINK!) you like an animal!
I want to feel you from the inside!
I want to (CLANG!) you like an animal!
- Special Effect Failure: Done deliberately in several videos (for example, during the second chorus in "Jurassic Park").
- Spell My Name with an "S": He doesn't like it when people pronounce his last name "Yank-o-VITCH" (or spell it with an 'H'). His band elaborates in "Al's Band".
- Spelling Song:
- Spiritual Successor: Face to Face with "Weird Al" Yankovic, a Web Original which sees Al "interviewing" celebrities, is this to Al TV.
- "Handy" is this to "Hardware Store". And more directly to the unreleased "I'll Repair For You".
- Spoofed with Their Own Words: Weird Al usually thinks up silly imagery to put into his song parodies, but in "Perform this Way," most of the lyrics mention things Lady Gaga has actually done, like being born out of an egg on stage.
- Stalker with a Crush: "Melanie". Complete with peeping into her bathroom with a telescope and being willing to jump out a 16 story window for her love. Even being dead cannot stop him.
- Stealth Pun: "Polka Face" uses a section of Frankie Yankovic's "Tick Tock Polka" as a bridge. The next song in the medley? Tik Tok.
- Stepford Smiler: at the end of the "Skipper Dan" animated music video. Keeping the same tone as the rest of the song, it's one of the saddest examples ever animated.
- Stock Scream:
- There's a portion of "Jurassic Park" that involves a lot of screaming, mainly stock screams.
- During the "Perform This Way" video, after the line, "I'll poke your eye out with a dress like this." S/he hits a backup dancer with the spiky dress and, well... "AAUGH!"
- Stylistic Suck: "Girls Just Want To Have Lunch". See Writer Revolt for details.
- Subliminal Seduction: Parodied (of course) in the backmasked phrases in the songs "Nature Trail to Hell" and "I Remember Larry (Respectively: "Satan eats Cheez Whiz!" and "Wow, you must have an awful lot of free time on your hands.")
- The video for "Foil" intercuts the line "Be aware" with single frame shots of Al covered in blood.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Al does this a couple of times to get around cursing, like in this couplet from "I'm So Sick Of You":
You don't have an ounce of class
You're just one big pain in the neck!
- Also "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long":
I know if I put my mind to it
I know I could find a good rhyme here note
- From "It's Still Billy Joel to me"
- Used for a different purpose in "Word Crimes":
You should never
Write words using numbers
Unless you're seven
Or your name is Prince
- Take That:
- "One More Minute" was written to get over an ex, and he rips her picture in the video.
- He does a lengthy one against Atlantic Records over his James Blunt parody "You're Pitiful," which eventually led to Wikipedia being forced to lock Atlantic's entry due to excessive vandalism. (Which was caused by Al pretending to deface that entry in his video for "White and Nerdy".)
- "Don't Download This Song", mentioned above.
- There's also the unreleased "It's Still Billy Joel to Me" (parody of "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me"), which is no more than one long attack on Billy Joel.
- Al generally tries to avoid blatantly making fun an artist who has given him permission to parody their work, but sometimes he does his fair share of good-natured ribbing, example include the above mentioned "It's Still Billy Joel to Me," "Smells Like Nirvana," and "Perform This Way."
- "Brady Bunch" and "Achy Breaky Song" are thematically similar, in that Al would rather do literally anything than watch/listen to the aforementioned subjects (The Brady Bunch and "Achy Breaky Heart", respectively). In the case of the latter, Al chose to donate the single's grosses to a charity of Billy Ray Cyrus' choice after deciding the song was on the harsh side.
- "My Baby's In Love With Eddie Vedder" is more sarcastic than harsh, and Al even apologizes in the liner notes.
- "I'll Sue Ya" is about Al's string of frivolous lawsuits. "I sued Delta Airlines, 'cause they sold me a ticket to New Jersey. I went there, and it SUCKED!"
- When he comes to Ben Affleck, there's silence in the spot where normally he gives the reason for the lawsuit. Finally he just asks "do I even need a reason?"
- Al rags on Pauly Shore every once in a while.
- Apparently, even if you're "the prettiest girl on the planet", he'll break up with you if you own a DVD of Joe Dirt.
- Usually, his Al TV fake interviews with music celebrities are Affectionate Parodies with just some light ribbing. His Kevin Federline interview, however, is just nine minutes of Al completely ripping into his music, his personal life, and him in general.
- "TMZ" manages to be a Take That to both the website and the bad celebrity behavior that ends up on it.
- One of the negative effects listed in "Virus Alert" is that it will "make your TV record Gigli".
- There's a brief, easily missable one towards Alanis Morissette in "Word Crimes," specifically her song "Ironic." Just pay attention to the animation on screen when Al is talking about what irony is and isn't.
- He was also more than happy to break the rhyming scheme just to take a shot at Prince, mentioned in the Sitcom Archnemesis entry above.
- The music video for the mid-80's "Christmas at Ground Zero", made up almost entirely of appropriated stock footage, has a young Ronald Reagan standing in front of a Christmas tree and warmly saying, "Well, the big day's only a few hours away now... I'm sure you're all looking forward to it as much as we are." Jeez.
- Technology Marches On: Invoked.
- "It's All About the Pentiums" almost squeaks by, because so many of the specs Al boasts about are either still a long way from becoming the norm (a hundred gigabytes of RAM) or just absurd by any era's standards (a flatscreen monitor 40 inches widenote )... the only line that's completely unsalvageable even with creative editing is... well, the title line. The Pentium brand was discontinued in the mid-2000s.
- Similarly, "When I Was Your Age" references fax machines and "Nintendo" (aka video games) as fancy new technology he didn't have growing up. To a lesser extent, water beds have fallen well out of popularity.
- On Bad Hair Day, Al has a song called "Phony Calls", about the old pastime of prank phone calls - a practice which has been practically killed for the amateur by caller ID and star-69.
- On "White and Nerdy", Al says "My MySpace Page is totally pimped out. Got people begging for my top eight spaces". Back in 2006 when the song was released, MySpace was the top social networking site. However, it was eventually superseded by Facebook- which engages in no such ranking- and now MySpace is much more of a niche site that has nowhere near as many users.
- An In-Universe example in "First World Problems", where the singer becomes angered that somebody actually called him on his cell phone, as texting has become the norm in recent years, and barely anyone actually uses their phone to make phone calls anymore.
- "Frank's 2000-Inch TV" is deliberately meant to sound ridiculous— that set would be some 166 feet high, or as tall as Seattle's Pacific Tower building. Technology likely won't march that far.
- Teen Genius: Al was one growing up, not only graduating high school at the age of sixteen, but was also valedictorian.
- The Oner: The "Tacky" music video. Which is an Homage to the song it's parodying, Pharrell's "Happy", as most of the segments of his "24 Hours of Happy" are Oners.
- The Show Must Go On: Al went ahead with a concert just hours after learning his parents had passed away in their home from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, explaining later that performing would take his mind off the tragedy, at least for a little while. However, he did cancel the meet-and-greet and autograph sessions afterwards, to give him some time alone.
- Tinfoil Hat: The second verse of "Foil" focuses around fashioning an aluminum foil hat to protect himself against thought control rays and psychotronic scanning.
- Toilet Humor: Many songs, especially in early albums, have gratuitous fart or belching noises added. In some cases this is done to provide an alternate interpretation for the lyrics.
- Toilet Seat Divorce: Apparently the Columbia Record Club is too big of a commitment for Al.
- Too Much Information: The other major component of the humor in "Confessions Pt. III".
I haven't changed my underwear in 27 days!
- Trash of the Titans: "Trash Day" is about this.
- Trekkie: "White and Nerdy":
''The only question I ever thought was hard
Was do I like Kirk
or do I like Picard
- Trivially Obvious: Used in "Your Horoscope for Today" to parody the overly-vague predictions of actual horoscopes.
The stars predict tomorrow you'll wake up, do a bunch of stuff, and then go back to sleep.
- Turn Your Head and Cough: In the song "Living With A Hernia," the narrator goes to see his physician, Dr. Jones, who we are told takes off the narrator's pants and tells him to cough.
- Triple Nipple: "CNR" claims that Charles Nelson Reilly had a third nipple on the back of his neck.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Appropriately used in "Truck Driving Song". Lampshaded in "I Need a Nap":
- Also occurs in some of his parody songs, but those were based on songs that also had one.
- Umpteenth Customer: From "Hardware Store:
"Every twenty-seventh customer will get a ball peen hammer free!"
- Uncanny Valley: Weird Al's Perform This Way, as his face is digitally subbed over a female dancer. The effect is seriously creepy in a hilarious sort of way, which is certainly intentional, considering who he's parodying.
- Uncommon Time: "Genius in France" shifts time signatures and rhythms incessantly, naturally enough since it's a style parody of Frank Zappa (and quite an impressive one at that).
- Understatement: This bit of "A Complicated Song":
I gotta tell ya, life without a head kinda makes me irritated
What a bummer
- Uniformity Exception: In the video for "Party in the CIA", all the CIA agents are in black and white, except for Al.
- Useless Spleen: "Pancreas" has the line "My spleen just doesn't matter."
- Viewers Are Morons: "I Can't Watch This", and some of the other songs about TV to a lesser extent.
- Wacky Sound Effect: Present in a few songs, but noticeable in the beginning of the video for "Eat It".
- Hand farts courtesy of "Musical Mike" Kieffer are common, and he can be seen performing in the videos for "I Love Rocky Road" and "Headline News".
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never do find out if Al got his snorkel back or not in "Albuquerque".
- In the uncensored version of "The Night Santa Went Crazy" (in which Santa is killed in the shootout), no mention is made of Vixen and Donner's fates.
- When I Was Your Age: The subject of the song of the same name, full of ridiculous claims such as working twenty hours a day in a coal mine, or walking naked to school through a blizzard.
- Wiki Vandal: He pretends to replace the entire Atlantic Records Wikipedia entry with the phrase "YOU SUCK!" in 72-point letters during the video of "White And Nerdy."
- As mentioned above, the real Wikipedia entry for Atlantic Records had to be locked because of legions of ticked-off Al fans doing the same thing.
- Word Salad Lyrics: If an artist is known for obscure lyrics, you can bet Al will have something to say about it in his parody. Notably, "Bob" parodies Bob Dylan's style by having Fun With Palindromes, and "Smells Like Nirvana" is all about how the singer doesn't even know what the words are but that's OK since it's a Nirvana song.
- Yes Virginia: Now Santa's Doing Time. In a Federal prison, for his infamous crime.
- Or... Yes, Virginia: Now Santa Claus Is Dead. Some guy from the SWAT team blew a hole through his head.
- Yiddish as a Second Language: "Pretty Fly For A Rabbi," among others.
- You Don't Look Like You: Al looks almost nothing like the above image nowadays, thanks to laser eye surgery and an image change. Some early videos ("Ricky", "UHF") foreshadowed his modern appearance.
- Al himself has relayed a story of a television appearance he had soon after the surgery and shaving off his moustache (The Drew Carey Show, season 4 episode 4, "Drew Between the Rock and a Hard Place"). The people at the TV studio wanted him in his "classic" look, and got him prop eyeglasses and a fake moustache. Al described the experience as surreal, "like I was wearing a Weird Al Halloween costume". See it here.
- Averted, however, with an appearance on How I Met Your Mother — the segment Al appears in takes place in 1985, and he looks almost exactly like he did in those days.
- Your Head Asplode: Al's head explodes while holding out the last note to the opening theme of Spy Hard, a Shout-Out to the rumor that Tom Jones passed out while holding the last note of the opening theme of Thunderball.
- You Watch Too Much X: Al has described himself as watching too much television. Also the focus of a few songs, like "Cable TV".
- Al has a song about television on nearly every album. Enough for his label to compile them into a full-length album of its own.
- Hell, the song "Jerry Springer" is basically all about this trope.
- So is "Couch Potato", probably even more so.
- And "Syndicated Incorporated".
- Don't forget "I Can't Watch This".