main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Trivia: Michael Jackson
  • Ascended Fanon: Jackson's PR team would often confirm the more ludicrous (and false) rumors about him, such as the hyperbarbaric oxygen chamber and buying the elephant bones. However, according to his brother Jermaine, Michael wasn't aware of this campaign and he didn't approve of it when he found out.
    • He approved "Weird Al" Yankovic's parodies and Alien Ant Farm's cover of "Smooth Criminal", among other things, because he did have a healthy sense of humor about his work. Yankovic and Jackson got along rather well — not only did he allow Yankovic to parody his songs, but also to use the set for the "Bad" video for "Fat". To return the favor, Yankovic made a cameo in Jackson's "Liberian Girl" music video. There is an interview with "Weird Al" Yankovic in the early nineties where Al said that Jackson liked his work and tried to get him to tour with him once (which Al didn't do because he was filming a movie).
      • MJ only denied an Al parody once — "Snack All Night" for "Black Or White" — and it wasn't a full refusal, he just asked Al not to put it on an album (he was fine with Al singing it at live shows instead.) as Jackson thought the message of the original song was too important to be parodied. In fact, Al was given blanket permission to parody any of his songs, with the exception of "Black or White." Al has since credited this refusal for preventing him from having the first single from Off the Deep End be another Jackson parody and making him wait to see what would be the next big thing, leading to "Smells Like Nirvana".
  • Author Existence Failure: Just as he was about to put on This Is It, a massively hyped series of London concert tours and his first significant concert event in 10 years.
  • Breakthrough Hit: The album Off the Wall, which codified what made him famous in The Eighties.
    • Ten years earlier, "I Want You Back"—the Jackson 5's debut on Motown Records—hit #1 and was followed by three more #1 singles. Michael's pre-Off The Wall hits included "Got To Be There," "Rockin' Robin," and the chart-topper "Ben."
  • Creator Breakdown: The new material on HIStory came in the wake of the 1993 child molestation allegations, and much of it is very bitter and/or depressing as a result. "D.S.", a bludgeoning attack against the investigating District Attorney Tom Sneddon, is probably the most extreme example.
  • Executive Meddling: Among others, this was the reason:
    • HIStory and Blood On The Dance Floor were released with other songs from older albums (a much criticized move), against Jackson's wishes.
    • Sony cut the Invincible promotional effort short in the spring of 2002 after spending $20 million on it by their estimation with little return. It probably didn't help that Jackson informed Sony he would quit doing business with them just before its release. Also, he refused to do an U.S. concert tour to support it, took a long time to record it, and the costs of production totaled about $30 million. He probably assumed that two Madison Square Garden concerts/tributes to himself and a subsequent TV special edited together from them were enough, and they might have been if they hadn't been held on Sep. 7 and 10, 2001 — just before much bigger news for all media to cover broke.
  • Executive Veto:
    • Michael Jackson wanted Bad to feature "Streetwalker" instead of "Another Part Of Me". ("Streetwalker" was added to a 2001 re-release.) It came down to a tie-breaker vote when putting together the album: Producer Quincy Jones preferred "Another Part of Me". They eventually brought the choice before Jackson's manager Frank DiLeo who, and as Quincy tells the story, shook his butt more vigorously to "Another Part of Me", hence it made the album.
    • When shooting the music video for "Cry", the director intended for Michael to not be in it because it was supposed to be focused on the American people and if he appeared, the camera would have to focus on him and it would break the flow. Michael thought otherwise at first, but he ended up accepting the decision.
  • Fan Nickname: Positive ones are "MJ" and "Bambi"... but the most infamous one is "Wacko Jacko", due to Michael's increasingly bizarre and erratic antics and appearance.
    • Michael's children are collectively known as "MJ3" (due to all three having some variation of "Michael Jackson" as part of their names) or "P3" (Prince, Paris, and Prince II.)
  • Friend To All Animals: Michael would get in trouble for feeding the rats and mice who lived in his home as a kid.
  • He Also Did: Played the Scarecrow in the 1970s urban The Wonderful Wizard of Oz update The Wiz starring alongside Diana Ross, Nipsey Russell, Lena Horne and Richard Pryor.
  • Incestuous Casting: His love interest in the music video for Say, Say, Say is played by his sister LaToya.
  • Loony Fan: Billie Jean was reportedly inspired by a fan who claimed Michael was the father of one of her twins, when Michael ignored her she sent him a photograph of herself and a gun, that she told him to use on himself on a certain date. Michael was so scared of her he carried this woman’s photo everywhere, memorizing it in case he ever saw her.
    • After the song came out another mentally unstable fan would change her name to Billie Jean and spend her entire life stalking him, staging regular break ins to both Encino and Neverland, suing him for spousal support and even after his death, suing and demanding custody of his children.
  • Mistaken for an Imposter: In 2008 while at a Halloween party with his kids, people thought he was a Michael Jackson impersonator and played Thriller when he walked in.
  • Mistaken Identity
    • Michael once had the police called out in 1989 because he was wearing a disguise while shopping for a ring and they suspected he was a possible thief.
    • Michael was detained while driving his Rolls Royce in 1981 because they thought his car looked “stolen.” Michael later told his mother he was just excited to have been inside a police cell.
  • Name's the Same: MJ shares the same as a writer of another song he did, "Blame it on the Boogie;" a rapper whose stage name was OhNo and various sports players.
    • So basically, a lot of people have the name Michael Jackson!
    • One of the writers of the Jackson 5 song shared the name with the actor for Barney.
  • One of Us: His arcade machine collection is a sight to behold.
    • Stan Lee has said that Michael was a friend of his and described him as “one of the nicest guys ever.” Not only that, Michael even once had plans to buy Marvel because he was such a huge fan of the company.
    • In one interview, when asked who was his favorite superhero, he mentioned Batman and Morph.
    • The music video for "Scream" has, in order of appearance: a Cool Starship, anime clips, and him and his sister Janet playing futuristic Pong.
  • Photographic Memory: Many people claim he had a photographic memory. He could remember names, stories, info relating to encounters with people many years before.
  • Promoted Fanboy: His biggest idol as a musician and dancer was James Brown. He eventually got the chance to share the stage with him.
  • Reclusive Artist: Notoriously so from the 1980s onward, becoming a well-crafted part of his public image.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: Akon said was a reason for the This Is It series of shows was that Michael's kids had never actually seen him perform. (He stopped touring after 1997 and made few appearances afterward.)
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Michael is King of an African village in Gabon on the Ivory Coast. They claim he’s had his DNA tested and has been found to have descended from the area.
  • Troubled Production: Invincible, as noted above in Executive Meddling.
  • What Could Have Been: This is It in spades; some of the more elaborate things that would have been in the final show are only talked about. In particular, a scene is shown of Michael's outfit for Billie Jean being designed is shown, and the designers promise that it will be the most epic rendition of the outfit the world has ever seen. The final outfit isn't shown or worn by Michael at all. As well as the entire show.
    • J. K. Rowling turned down his offer to make a musical adaptation of of Harry Potter.
    • Michael originally wanted Whitney Houston to sing the duet "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" off the Bad album but her label wouldn't allow it, fearing she would be overexposed. Barbra Streisand turned him down.
    • Serious Effect, a New Jack Swing track Michael had recorded with LL Cool J for the album Dangerous in 1991. Due to said album running nearly 80 minutes with 14 full tracks, Mike ended up shelving the song for special edition releases in 1993 and 2001, only for the song to get shelved indefinitely (the first time due to Jackson's child molestation allegations, the second due to both growing tensions between Jackson and Sony, and Def Jam vetoing the release of the song).
    • In 2002 he had planned to produce and star in the movie The Nightmare of Edgar Allan Poe, about the last years of the (Caucasian) writer, and had written music for the film as well.

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy