In 2009, Ubisoft released one of the many dancing games that were on the Wii, perhaps to gain a few decent sales. The game was critically bashed for its movement detection and lack of unlockables... but something happened.It turned out a lot of gamers didn't really care about scoring or unlocking content, they just wanted to dance. Thus the game became a runaway hit, maintaining sales even over a year after its release. Ubi started on sequels and spinoffs immediately. But they didn't blow it like many Wii sequels by giving no marketing. Thus the sequel sold even better than the first.The series and spinoffs include (in release order):
Air Guitar: A Running Gag in the main series which is featured in "Lump", "Louie Louie", and "Funplex (CSS Remix)" in the original, "Girlfriend", "Call Me", "Symphathy for the Devil" (Fatboy Slim Remix), and "Crazy Christmas" (As DLC) in 2, "I Was Made for Loving You" in 3 (which also has air drums, air vocals, and air bass), "So What" and "Livin' La Vida Loca" in 4, and "Get Lucky" in 2014.
Bollywood: Some Indian songs are in the games, and attributed to this place.
Call Back: The Dance Mashups from 3 and 4 contain pieces of dances from all of the main series games up to that point (Although 3 only has pieces of dances from 2, and 3, but not the original).
If you look closely at the dancer's TV head during the chorus of "Video Killed the Radio Star", you can see clips of past dances in the series playing in it.
In a similar manner, the TV in the background of "So What" in 4 also displays earlier dances from time to time.
"Rock Lobster" in 4 contains backgrounds from past games.
"YMCA" in 2014 has the Rasputin, Moves Like Jagger, Viva La Vegas, and DARE dancers, all slightly modified, probably to match the style of the newer games- for example, the Rasputin dancer has a different color scheme and more detail to his clothes.
Camp: A notable trend in many songs, such as "Funkytown."
Early-Bird Cameo: Some of the DLC routines for 4 were included in Dance Mashups before they were even officially released (most notably "Make the Party (Don't Stop)").
Early-Installment Weirdness: The original Just Dance, other than being a motion control-based dancing game, has virtually nothing in common with later games in the series. Case in point: compare this screenshot of the first game◊ to screenshots from 2◊, 3◊, 4◊. and 2014. Someone unfamiliar with the franchise could easily mistake the first game for a cheap knockoff instead of actually being part of the same series!
Exergaming: Has modes for this in Just Sweat introduced in the second game of the main series.
Expansion Pack: Just Dance Summer Party, being comprised of most of the DLC from 2.
Fake Longevity: 2014 has some alternate routines that can only be unlocked during a specific month.
Gender Flip: The second dancer in "Gangnam Style" does this repeatedly throughout the song.
Greatest Hits Game: Just Dance Greatest Hits (Best of in Europe) contains songs from the first 3 games.
Fighting Game: The stage for "Kung-Fu Fighting (Dave Ruffy/Mark Wallis Remix)" is done like this.
The Battle Mode in 4 resembles one, complete with life bars and dots to count the number of rounds won.
Konami Code: Nets you an early unlock of the Extreme Version of "Barbra Streisand" in 3.
Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Michael Jackson: The Experience Did not feature the king of pop (Granted because he was dead prior to the release) instead it had someone else was casted as said solo artist (Which explains why the featured artist has a different skin color).
Lost Forever: Cheetos released a promotion to unlock "You Make Me Feel..." and "Brand New Start" in 4; thing is, the promotion wasn't active after December 2012, and while the former was released as DLC later, the latter was not, making half of it this trope.
Multi-Platform: All but the original, 2, Summer Party, and the 2 Japan games.
Nostalgia Level: Being riddled with bits of dances from earlier games in the series, the Dance Mashups can easily fall into this trope.
Likewise from 2 onwards, there's a halloween themed song.
100% Completion: While it exists in 3 and 4 in the form of getting all of the Unlockable Content, 2014 actually keeps track of how many stars you've earned out of the total amount available to give players a measurable sense of progress.
Somewhat averted in 3 and 4, where the amount of points you earn (and thus how many stars you get) affects how much "Mojo" points you earn, which in turn determines how fast you earn new Unlockable Content. Once you've unlocked it all, this trope kicks back into full gear.
Precision F-Strike: After 4 games of having vulgar language getting censored out, one finally slips past the censors in the line before the beat break in the song "Starships" in 2014. Kind of inevitable, isn't it?
Retraux: The background for "Kung Fu Fighting (Dave Ruffy/Mark Wallis Remix)" has a distinct 8-bit background.
Serial Escalation: The dance routines in each game progressively get more difficult and involved than the last, to the point where someone skilled in 4 or 2014 can go back to the first game and do just about every dance routine in that game without even breaking a sweat.
Tron Lines: Some of the more Electronic-heavy songs' stages look like this.
Unlockable Content: In 3 and 4, earning enough "Mojo" Points (gained by earning stars and completing special conditions in certain songs) unlocks alternate choreographies and Dance Mashups for certain songs, as well as new icons for the player's Dance Card. Earning enough Mojo points to level up in 4 allows the player to spin the "Wheel of Gifts" where the order of unlocks is random so it all comes down to luck, while 2014 replaces the Mojo with coins, which allows players to unlock the content in the order they want instead of it being in a fixed order.