Suspiciously Similar Song / Other Media

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  • "Dumb Ways To Die" sounds like "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down".
    • And Royal Caribbean's "Wash Your Hands" public-service announcement (played on ships in the line) itself sounds and looks suspiciously similar to Dumb Ways To Die. (Yes, different ad agencies did each.)

    Fan Works 

  • Dead Ringers managed to avoid this trope a surprising amount of the time despite being completely based on impressions and parodies, as most of its regular targets were also BBC productions. They did use Suspiciously Similar theme music for some of their one-off sketches, though, such as when they put one of the BBC's most well-known political interviewers into a superhero story to form The Continuing Adventures of Paxman.
  • American Top 40: A Suspiciously Similar version of "Afternoon Delight" (by the Starland Vocal Band) was used as a cue from 1977-1978.
  • The radio countdown show Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 uses bumpers that are Suspiciously Similar versions of country songs. This carried over from when Kingsley hosted American Country Countdown, which uses original-tune bumpers now that Kix Brooks hosts it.
  • Mitch Benn's songs on The Now Show are generally to tunes that sound like the songs he's parodying, since the UK doesn't have a "fair use" exception for parodies.
  • For a while during commercial breaks on Radio Disney the hosts talked over a song suspiciously similar to Rage Against the Machine's "Killing In the Name" (of all songs!).
  • Many radio station jingle packages will contain cuts that are very closely based on actual songs. For example, cut #20 from JAM Creative Productions' "Music Jam" package is an obvious tribute to The Jacksons' "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)". The similarity was lampshaded when this jingle was resung for New York's "Jammin' Oldies" station in the late 90's, as their version used a Michael Jackson soundalike vocalist.

    Stand Up Comedy 

  • In the musical Dames At Sea, "That Mister Man Of Mine" has a melody mostly copied from "The Man I Love".
  • The "Nightingale Lullaby" from the musical Once Upon a Mattress includes an obvious pastiche of the Lullaby from Stravinsky's ballet music for The Firebird. It's even written in the same key (and since that key is E flat minor, this is actually significant).
  • "Sunday" from tick...tick...BOOM! is a parody of the song of the same name from Sunday In The Park With George, with the melody turned upside down.
  • Cirque du Soleil:
    • Since its surprise appearance is in service of a gag, it probably needs spoiler tags: in Mystere, an instrumental sound-alike of "Stayin' Alive" turns up.
    • The bungee music ("Il sogno di volare") in Saltimbanco sounds similar to the intro of Mozart's Requiem.
    • The main melody of "All Come Together" from Amaluna is suspiciously similar to the main theme of Withnail & I.
  • The Victorian-melodrama villain's theme in the Show Within a Show in Show Boat sounds like the Russell Bennett version of Mysterioso Pizzicato.
  • Used to dark comic effect in "My Psychopharmacologist and I" from Next To Normal, where a litany of antidepressant medications (and their side effects) is sung to the Suspiciously Similar Version of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music.
  • Kit And The Widow show us here how to do this and make great deals of money in the West End, all while taking unsubtle shots at Andrew Lloyd Webber.
    • Speaking of Lloyd Webber, the theme to The Phantom of the Opera is suspiciously similar to Pink Floyd's "Echoes." Roger Waters considered suing but later said "life's too long to bother with suing fucking Lloyd Webber."
    • Also, as Cracked points out, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar was a reworked version of Mendelssohn's "Violin Concerto," and Puccini's "La Fanciulla del West" became Webber's "Music of the Night."
  • The final refrain of "Letting Go"("not letting go, not letting go, never letting go, never letting go... of you") from Vanities: The Musical resembles the ending of "Friend Like Me" from Aladdin. The verse and pre-chorus of Hey There, Beautiful are an alteration of Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra, although the latter has a longer verse melody.
  • The "Unlimited" interlude from Wicked uses the first seven notes of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz, but with a completely different rhythm. "Defying Gravity", particularly the chorus, sounds suspiciously similar to Michelle Branch's "Everywhere".
  • The theme to Avenue Q, despite being a Sesame Street parody, sounds more like the one to Family Guy, a sitcom parody.
  • Spamalot's "Find Your Grail" copies its tune nearly verbatim from John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads", which itself resembles the folk tune "Auld Lang Syne".
  • In a 2010 version of Much Ado About Nothing, set in the 1980s and featuring David Tennant and Catherine Tate as Benedict and Beatrice respectively, the melody written for "Sigh No More, Ladies" sounds vaguely like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham.
  • In Fiorello!, "Till Tomorrow," the slow waltz number sung at Fiorello's World War I send-off, sounds a lot like "Till We Meet Again," a Real Life hit song of the time.
  • In The Firebird, the theme of the "Infernal Dance" is very close to Chernobog's motif from the "Ronde infernale" of Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov's ballet-opera Mlada.
  • Matilda':
  • In Peter Grimes, the motif in A minor to which Grimes sings "We sailed into the wind" is note-for-note identical to the theme of the second movement of Gustav Mahler's fifth symphony. A major-key version of this motif appears both before and during the storm interlude; the tempo heading for the Mahler symphony movement is "stürmisch bewegt."
    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • When a Web Animation series reaches a certain level of success (typically when it starts selling DVDs), the creator often goes back and removes any copyright infringement that was safe when the series was unknown. Bonus Stage is a good example: Matt eventually removed a multitude of unauthorized cameos from his earlier episodes (such as one by the Homestar Runner cast) and replaced the ska song in the credits with an instrumental facsimile called "Total Soundalike."
    • Speaking of Homestar Runner, one of the earliest Homestar toons ("Marshmallow's Last Stand") featured a snipet of the theme fom The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. When the toon was released on DVD, the audio was changed for legal reasons. Lampshaded by Matt Chapman (as Homestar) in the commentary when he tells Mike Chapman "don't listen to this part, we're gonna change it." when the original audio can be head in the backound.
      • Lampshaded somewhat in the cartoon "On Break", in which Mike and Matt perform an a-capella rendition of "Yakety Sax" that ends somewhat differently from the original song. Afterwards, one of them asks, "Does it end different?"
    • Another would be Zero Punctuation, which originally featured segments of various "appropriate" songs during the opening and closing credits. Lampshaded at the start of the first episode with the new theme music.
  • The intro music to CollegeHumor's retrogaming series Bleep Bloop is Suspiciously Similar version of The Legend of Zelda theme.
    • An episode of CH's animated series Bear Shark featured a Ghostbusters parody, complete with a short bit of legally distinct GB music.
  • Because YouTube is so ridiculously litigious about the use of music in parodies, parodists like Venetian Princess now have to find someone like Steve Goldstein to write a Suspiciously Similar Version for them. Example here.
  • Used regularly on How It Should Have Ended to imitate the themes of the movies they're parodying, featuring "The Stuff" ("The Touch"), and the Terminator beat with an extra note.
  • Improv Everywhere's video of their Ghostbusters operation uses a Suspiciously Similar version of the Ghostbusters theme.
    • Also, rather than use "Who Let The Dogs Out?" for their Invisible Dogs operation, one of their number composed "The Dogs Were Let Out By Whom?"
  • The song in Charlie The Unicorn 3 is a knock-off of "Under The Sea" from The Little Mermaid, but with a middle-eight based on the "Pokérap".
  • Since the Mega 64 crew couldn't use "Walkie Talkie Man" by Steriogram for their Elite Beat Agents skit, Josh Jones, their composer made a similar sounding version with Word Salad Lyrics.
  • The intro of Nyan Cat bears some resemblance with the organ intro of Light my Fire by The Doors. The actual melody part sounds a lot like the theme song of The Smurfs.
  • The video Wiley vs. Rhodes uses melodies very similar to the Merrie Melodies theme "Merrily We Roll Along" in the intro and the Looney Tunes theme "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" in the ending. Justified since the video was a homage to the Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons.
  • A tune that often shows up in The Annoying Orange is really similar to one of the battle tunes from Serious Sam: Second Encounter.
  • The Guild payed homage to Reservoir Dogs in Season 3, Episode 10 "The Return". The Knights of Good carry their computers, slow-motion style, from Vort's van to the LAN battle, all to a Suspiciously Similar Version of "Little Green Bag". It is awesome and hilarious at the same time.
  • Ultra Fast Pony frequently uses copyright-infringing song snippets, but the one time the series does use a substitute (a cheap, a cappella substitute, at that) the characters themselves comment on it.
    Twilight: What, we couldn't get the real music?
    Pinkie Pie: Oh, no way, bro! It's copyrighted!
    Twilight: Never stopped us before.
    Pinkie Pie: Oh, quiet, bro, or they'll hear you!
  • The POP Stations reviewed by Stuart Ashen play awful beeping renditions of well-known music. These include "The Entertainer" and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" to the Super Mario Bros. 1 main theme and many other songs. They rarely go unnoticed by Stuart.
  • Melissa Hunter's Adult Wednesday Addams shorts naturally have a theme that's suspiciously similar to that of The Addams Family. More specifically, it's a close soundalike of the original theme, but In the Style of... Electronic Music, which sort of fits the premise of placing an aged-up Wednesday in modern, everyday situations.