Video Game: Just Dance

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, well, 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 main series:
  • Just Dance
  • Just Dance 2 — Introduced duet routines, Downloadable Content, medleys, a Nonstop Shuffle feature, and colored gloves on the dancers' left hands.
  • Just Dance 3 — Introduced Dance Crews (4-player routines), Mashups (routines that include bits and pieces of past routines), alternative modes, Sweat routines (meant specifically for workout), the Just Create feature (which allowed players to create their own dances), and was the first installment to be available for PS3 and Xbox 360.
  • Just Dance 4 — Introduced Battle Modes, Dance Quests, the Party Master Mode feature, and was the first installment to be available for Wii U.
  • Just Dance 2014 — Introduced a six-player mode, On-Stage Modes, the World Dance Floor feature (in which one can dance at the same time as others around the world), and was the first installment to be available for Xbox One and PS4.
  • Just Dance 2015 — Introduced Trio routines, Mashups and Alternates with specific motifs, and the Community Remix and Just Dance VIP features.
    • Alongside the standard version, there is also a Chinese version that adds five songs by local artists.
  • Just Dance 2016

The spinoffs:
  • Dance on Broadway
  • Just Dance Kids
  • Michael Jackson: The Experience
  • Just Dance Summer Party
  • The Smurfs Dance Party
  • Just Dance Wii (Japan)
  • The Black Eyed Peas Experience
  • ABBA: You Can Dance!
  • Just Dance: Best Of (Europe)
  • Just Dance: Greatest Hits (North America)
  • Just Dance Wii 2 (Japan)
  • Just Dance: Disney Party
  • Just Dance Kids 2014
  • Just Dance Wii U (Japan)
  • Just Dance Now (Smartphone app)

The surprise success of the first game, that even Ubisoft admitted wasn't expected, caused a revival in dance game releases, not only for the Wii, but also Dance Central, Dance Paradise, and Dance Masters for the Xbox 360 Kinect, and Singstar Dance for the Playstation 3.

Now has a Shout Out page.

Compare We Cheer, Dance Dance Revolution.

Provides Examples Of:

  • 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.
    • "Rasputin" in "2" and the extreme dance for Fine China(and its battle against Gentleman) in 2014 also feature Air Violin.
    • And "Cotton Eyed Joe" has an Air Fiddle!
    • Also in Just Dance 2 (DLC) and Summer Party, "Here Comes The Hotstepper" has an Air Violin.
    • In the third game, the classic routine for "I Was Made for Lovin' You" includes air drums, guitars, and microphones.
  • Amazing Technicolor Dance Floor
  • Art Evolution: From 4 onwards, the dancers became more lifelike, with more realistic hair and clothing textures. Some older routines featured in the Just Dance Now app are also updated to blend in with the newer ones.
  • Bewitched Amphibians: "Love is All" features a frog prince as one of the two dancers, the other being a Princess Classic type who kisses him and turns him human at the end of the instrumental break.
  • Bleep Dammit: The Lazy Song, which is DLC in 4, had this when the word "birthday" was removed ("birthday suit") but not "freaking" ("I'm the freaking man"). Ironically, "freaking" is removed from Gentleman in 2014.
    • "C'mon" censors a whole bunch of words with sexual connotations (including "get it on", "screw", "lollipop", and "hooters"), and "wine", but not "Budweiser". Huh?
    • Why is "drunk" removed from The Other Side in 2014 if Teenage Dream allowed it in 3?
    • Sometimes entire lines are censored, such as in 2015, in which "Bang Bang" had an entire line censored due to an allusion to Auto Erotica, despite "Walk This Way" getting away with a similar allusion.
  • Camp: A notable trend in many songs, such as "Funkytown."
  • Celebrity Power: Two of the three Licensed Games have actual members of The Black Eyed Peas, and ABBA.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Some of the "Duet" and "Dance Crew" songs, but the majority have visually distinctive dancers.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Dance Mashups, which became a thing in the third game, contain pieces of dances from all of the main series games up to that point, although it wasn't until the fourth game that the first's dancers started being included.
    • 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.
    • "Happy" in 2015 features the return of the panda bear from "C'Mon" and "Timber" as one of the many non-playable dancers, and in 2016, it gets a routine of its own in the form of "I Gotta Feeling".
  • Cosmetic Award
  • Cover Version: A few of the tracks in the games (most notably every single Britney Spears song).
    • In the Kids versions of the franchise, almost all of the songs are covers.
  • Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose: The dancer at the beginning of "Firework".
  • Crossover: With the Rabbids (another Ubisoft property) in "Here Comes the Hotstepper" as either DLC of the second game or as a standalone track for Summer Party and "Make the Party (Don't Stop)" in 4.
    • And the Super Mario Bros. theme (complete with the man himself) appears in the Japan version and as DLC for the Wii version of the third game.
    • Just Dance 2015 will feature the Tetris theme as a playable track.
    • The Rabbids show up again in Just Dance 2015 during "Love Is All".
  • Curse Cut Short: Given the E10+ rating of the series, but zigzagged like crazy. Oftentimes, like in Wild Wild West, the lyrics will omit the offending word while the song itself does not.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: Some of the Dance Quests in 4 require you to get a GOOD rating at certain parts of each song. It doesn't count if you get a PERFECT.
  • Downloadable Content: Starting in the second game.
  • 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)"), except that said son was included on disc in every version except for the NTSC Wii Version.
  • 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, with a completely different point ranking system and aesthetic, "Shake Moves" as opposed to Gold Moves, and dancers that don't have the now commonplace gloves. 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.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Every dancer always wears a glove on one hand.
  • Gender Flip: The second dancer in "Gangnam Style" does this repeatedly throughout the song.
    • So does the dancer in "Safe And Sound" in 2014
    • The dancer in "Song 2" as downloadable content from 2 and Summer Party
    • The dancer for "Uptown Funk" in 2016.
  • 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 and 2014 resembles one, complete with life bars and dots to count the number of rounds won.
  • In the Style of...: The Cover Version of "Fame" was recorded "in the style of Irene Cara".
  • 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 artist himself; instead it had someone else was cast as said solo artist (which explains why the featured artist has a different skin color).
  • Licensed Game: For artists as well as other properties.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Just Dance 3 had a special version called Target Edition (also known as Zellers in Canada), which featured B.O.B.'s Airplanes as a playable track. Pre-ordering the game from Game Stop also gave you a special version of the game with a mashup of Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now).
  • 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.
    • For Just Dance 2014, We Can't Stop was accidently released on the PAL Wii store during the first month of the game, then removed. It was leaked again on the Xbox Marketplace for a half hour before it was taken down. Then it appeared on the Wii U store for a few minutes when it was AGAIN removed. With Word of God Ubisoft confirming that the song will not be publicly released, up until it's inclusion as DLC in 2015, it remained impossible to download, unless you already had bought it during the time of the leaks.
  • Multi-Platform: All but the original, 2, Summer Party, and the 3 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.
  • Palette Swap: The pumpkin puppet from "Professor Pumplestickle" was re-used for "This Is Halloween", as Jack.
    • Some of the dancers in the Broadway game.
    • About half of the dancers in "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" in 4.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Instead of just being called "Just Dance 5", apparently Just Dance is going after sports titles, calling its fifth entry "Just Dance 2014.
  • Old Save Bonus: For having save data from the, 2, 3, and 4 (though not for certain afromentioned games for the non-Wii, non-Wii U, and non PS3 users.), you get avatars based on one dancer each from the previous games in the main series in 2014.
  • Once an Episode: There's always at least one Katy Perry song in each of the games (Either on disc or as Downloadable Content).
    • Likewise from 2 onwards, there's a halloween themed song.
    • Plus there's also at least one song in each game that has someone playing an Air Guitar.
  • 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.
  • Pastiche: The song "Let's Go to the Mall", from a joke on How I Met Your Mother, is a parody of 80s bubblegum pop, so the dance in this game is a pastiche of 80s dances.
  • The Points Mean Nothing: While some gamers really don't like this, others love these games for that reason.
    • 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.
  • Polygonal Graphics: The Broadway game.
  • Precision F-Strike: Averted initially by "Starships" in previews for 2014, but fixed on the final version.
  • Product Placement: The on-disc DLC "Safe and Sound" is subsidized by a promotion for the Fructis shampoo in Canada. Conveniently, much of the song's backdrop is plastered in similar colors to Fructis packaging, the routine has a lot of hair action going on, and the words "BOOST YOUR STYLE" show up in the background. It all but screams "shampoo commercial".
    • In 2014, 2015, and Now, there have been two songs tied to Coca Cola, "Movement is Happiness" and "The World Is Ours".
  • Retraux: The routines for "Kung Fu Fighting" and "Move Your Feet" have a distinct 8-bit feeling. The former is reminiscent of a fighting game, while the latter features little Atari-style critters alongside the player.
  • Rick Roll: Shows up in 4.
  • Rotoscoping: In a way. In this case, the dancers are manually painted white before the routines are filmed, and after filming, they're digitally edited, with the outfits being recolored.
  • Rule of Fun: While most people just want to dance, games from 3 onwards take measures to appeal to those who do care about earning points as well.
  • Scoring Points: One of the factors of the game. Not that most people care.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Trying to get 5 stars in a song without pictograms.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out / Reference Overdosed: See ShoutOut.Just Dance.
  • Stock Scream: At the end of 4's "Never Gonna Give You Up", the superhero dancer attempts to fly off, only to fall flat on his face and subsequently let out a Wilhelm Scream.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Pretty much thanks to curse words being censored (it is rated E10+, after all).
  • That Russian Squat Dance: "Rasputin" features this, as does "Y.M.C.A.", which reuses its dancer.
    • It also pops up briefly during "Istanbul" in 4.
  • Tron Lines: Some of the more Electronic-heavy songs' stages look like this.
  • Unexpected Track: One of the games' most noteworthy characteristic is the eclectic tracklists, which, alongside recent pop hits, also tend to include songs by obscure/foreign artists, songs from past decades, and even songs no one would predict, such as the Tetris theme, the William Tell Overture, and Hatsune Miku's memetic cover of Ievan Polkka.
  • 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 players to spin the "Wheel of Gifts" where the order of unlocks is at random, so it all basically comes down to luck, while 2014 replaces the Mojo with coins, which allows players to unlock the content in the order that they would want instead of it being in a fixed order.
  • Wolverine Publicity: One Direction can't catch a break, can they? Not only have their songs appeared in each of the last three "Just Dance" titles, but they are one of the names on the cover of the box for the third year in a row. (Notably for 2015 their name did not appear on the preliminary version of the cover but ultimately ended up on the final box art.)
    • Plus, Katy Perry's name has appeared on the box of every game her music's been in.