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Headscratchers / Pitch Perfect

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  • Why wasn't Fat Amy arrested too? Both Beca and her broke the window and were fighting.
  • Beca's railing against how predictable the endings of most movies are would seem to most to be a case of Foreshadowing but then the movie ends in basically the most predictable way imaginable. Underdog Bellas win Nationals after finally coming together as a group, the douchebag Treblemakers are redeemed, and boy gets girl. Why?
    • Jesse points out that sometimes a predictable ending can be good in a film, it was foreshadowing, Beca was being really stuck up at the time and the point was that the endings of films don't have to be realistic, they are films after all.
    • But the argument wasn't about them not being realistic. It was about them being predictable, and thus, to Beca, boring. Beca being the primary POV character, the one we're meant to identify with and root for, her words would be the ones to foreshadow something, not Jesse's. The notion of foreshadowing an extremely predictable ending seems a little redundant. You foreshadow unexpected events, not expected ones.
      • Beca's lines weren't meant to get us to cheer on her notion that endings are boring and predictable. It was meant to provide insight into her outlook and demeanor before her Character Development takes place. When she learns to embrace herself and the people around her, she comes to terms with the fact that the predictable ending ( underdogs win, aloof character learns the value of friendship, guy gets girl) was the one that she secretly wanted but wouldn't let herself have.
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    • The line ending being the best could also be interpreted as a bit of meta about the film itself which picks up the pace very quickly in the last twenty minutes to assault the audience with musical numbers and character development.
  • Speaking of Foreshadowing that seemingly goes nowhere, doesn't Aubrey's rule against hooking up with The Treblemakers seem like the sort of thing that would precede her falling for one of the Trebles?
    • A deleted scene, the Confessional, actually reveals that she's been harbouring a secret lust for one of the Trebles for the past four years. Chloe tells her to let it go. The Treble in question is Unicycle, whose lines and development were mostly cut so it's likely the audience wouldn't have gotten the line anyway.
      • Building on this, Aubrey is a well-known control freak so if she couldn't have the Treble she wanted it stands to reason that she wouldn't want the other girls to have one of the members either. Nice? No, but not unrealistic for her character.
  • The riff-off rules are still confusing. Each group supposedly jumps in by matching a word in the previous songs lyrics. Up until the last song, each group actually sang the word they were matching. When Beca jumps in with "No Diggity," she matches and sings "it" when Jesse sings "Feels Like the First Time." When the MC disqualifies them, he says, "Tough blow, girls. The word you needed to match was 'it,' and you sang 'it.'" There seems to be no consistency in the ruling. Of course, it's a movie, but still.
    • "You needed match was 'it', but you sang 'it's'" The phrase she started with is "IT'S going down".
      • Considering "it's" in this case is the contraction for "it is," I think Aubrey definitely had grounds for a complaint...
      • When the Jesse breaks into "I'll Make Love to You" with "Feels Like the First Time" the line Stacey is about to sing is "And I'll hold you tight, baby, all through the night." Jesse breaks in with "And I guess it's just the woman in you." If the idea is to match the word about to be sung, then Jesse in fact didn't do that, and the Trebles should have been disqualified, not the Bellas.
      • ...And and And are definitely the same word.
      • Definitely misheard that, then. It sounded to me as if he was just emphasizing the "t" sound. Thank you for clearing that up.
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    • When exactly did the BU Harmonics get eliminated? Are we supposed to assume there's a rule that says they have to participate in every category or else they're cut off?
      • They actually participated in No Diggity, and the Treblemakers didn't. Both the Bellas and B.U. sang a song that didn't count so they got kicked out for the same reason the Bellas did.
  • Why exactly does the International Championship of Collegiate Acapella have approximately zero teams that look like they might be from somewhere other than the US?
    • This is actually true of the real life ICCA's. There is currently only one round for non-US groups (which seems to be limited to UK groups), and as such the current competition structure only allows one non-US group to progress to the finals. "International" in this case basically means US + UK.
    • There is an international division to the actual ICCA's if I'm not mistaken. It mostly consists of UK groups but groups in the US largely dominate the competition. They're music schools (like USC and BYU) cater heavily to vocal performance and a capella.
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    • There could be teams from Canada. Also Fat Amy is from Tasmania.
      • And Lily is Japanese but they're both in an American acapella group from an American college.
      • Is she stated to actually be from Japan, or is she Japanese-American? Otherwise Amy's still the only non-American member.
        • She's American. Her passport as seen in the third film has her birthplace as Area 51.
    • There could be only a few non-American teams—how popular is collegiate acappella outside the USA? I'm coming at this from the perspective of a color guard girl who's competed in Winter Guard International, which I believe has teams from five other countries.
      • Also, when does a team look 'non-American'. They could simply be from Europe; most western European people do not look that different from Americans - globalization and all that.
    • Most other groups (including all non-US teams) aren't important to the story so they're not shown. The two non-Barden groups we see are in the regionals and semifinals, both of which are most likely geographically based so they'd be colleges relatively close to Barden.
  • How did Lilly make the Bellas in the first place if no one can hear her sing?
    • The Bellas seemed to have taken virtually every female performer who wasn't just outright terrible during the auditions. Presumably, this relates to Aubrey's statement that they needed eight new members this year.
    • It was probably between her or the sobbing girl who tried out.
  • This is just me being nitpicky, but why is The Breakfast Club soundtrack in a college radio station's current playlist? I work in one (as the go-to music guy, actually, so I get especially pedantic about this type of thing), and in any other college station, any CD from the 1980s would be in some type of retro section, not in the featured music section, which is where Beca seems to pull it from (IE: the newest music in a college station is put near to the board so as to emphasize their play over anything else).
    • Maybe it's the "recently played, to be refiled" pile?
      • Perhaps one of the D Js hosts an 80s/oldies show?
  • I get that the Bellas are the protagonists and therefore we're supposed to root for them and be glad when they win. (Um, spoiler I guess?) But why are they considered so much better than the Trebles in the finals? Besides Chloe's bass notes, what's so game-changing about their performance? (I'm not by any stretch a music person, so there may be some subtlety I missed.)
    • I'm by no means sure about this interpretation, but could it be that The Bellas' performance is just more inclusive of more of its group members' talents and more upbeat in general? The Treblemakers' performance is good, but only three people get any kind of solo at all and the rest of the group just performs percussion. The Bellas manage to get seven or so people solo lines, if not whole verses. Also, the fact that the Bellas's performance has lots of places where songs overlap (in contrast to the Treblemakers', which only uses one song at a time) makes it much easier for multiple voices to stand out at once. I'm basing this on the fact that the Bellas' former standby, more or less a three-person show with the rest of the group backing up one soloist at a time, is considered much worse than their final performance. Basically, the film presents the groups' efforts to perform songs "straight" as more staid and boring than remixes, which are the protagonist's specialty (and, admittedly, more interesting in the movie).
    • Pretty much every reason imaginable: It thematically makes the most sense (It represented Aubrey taking Becca's suggestion, it got more members of the group involved and one of the themes was that a capella is about people coming together harmoniously), out-of-universe it clearly sounded better, and in-universe the judges and audience that heard them before would be impressed that they completely changed their routine from the last 12 performances, it's something
    • OP of this headscratcher in response to the two comments above:
      1. But the Treblemakers, not being the protagonists, don't have as many developed characters. Note that for both the Bellas and Trebles all the developed characters get solos and none of the non-developed ones do.
      2. In universe, the Bellas changing up their set is not that big a deal since the Trebles do this all the time already - it's part of Beca's argument that they should change their set too. So the Bellas, by that logic, are given bonus points for copying an already successful strategy?
      3. The Bellas layering multiple songs in their performance could be a good answer. We're never told the rules of the competition so we don't know whether they're bending or breaking them.
      • It's in the rulebook to use multiple songs
      • ^ Obviously they can use multiple songs, I'm talking about layering them, so you have part of a song and part of another going on at the same time, going back to the first song during a third, etc.
    • Don't forget that the film is basically set up for the Bellas to win. If multiple solos are considered better, then the Bellas will have multiple solos and the Treblemakers won't be able to for reasons entirely out of their control (i.e. line allotment).
    • It's really simple though, the Bellas were better.The Treblemakers did a really good high energy set, but it wasn't at all innovative or unique. The Bellas actually used parts of at least six songs,(Price Tag, Don't You Forget About Me, Party in the USA, Turn the Beat Around, Give Me Everything, Just the Way You Are) but they were done so seamlessly I actually had to watch the scene a few more times to catch all of the various songs and which portions of the song that they were singing at the time. That mash-up/mix-up would have been an insane feat for someone using equipment to create. Their choreography while occasionally hard to see because of the way it's framed is actually really good on top of the fact that the arrangement is insane. Most people learn songs with sheet music or by ear, but still rely on the memory of the way a song was originally written. So they actually had a much harder job because other than what they practiced they had no reference point to fall back on. (Try singing a song you know by heart and skip portions of it, it screws with your brain.) The Treblemakers did a straight up set, but the Bellas utilized every advantage of their team and performed a variety of genres (all pop but different kinds.)In addition, they had a natural advantage - any judge who had seen them perform before was expecting them to do the same set. It doesn't matter that the Treblemakers also changed their set because the judges know they always do. It's not about fairness in that point, but the judges' expectations. and how they perceived the two groups. (It's like a C student becoming an A student. If you compare them to an A student, you almost always value the C student's improvement more than someone who is consistently good. It's not fair, but true.)Lilly's beat boxing was insane, five of them had solos (more had solo parts) and they had vocal skips, electronica accents, and bass in an all-female group. Aside from the fact that it's a movie - if you compare the two performances, the Bellas actually won because they earned it.
  • How is carrying a high school-labeled bag evidence that the Footnotes lead singer is a high school student? It's not like parents are forced to return that sort of thing once a kid graduates, or maybe he's got a younger sibling?
    • It's not, but once Benji noticed the bag and reported it, whoever's in charge of the competition presumably investigated the kid and found out he was indeed in high school. True, many people still carry/wear things from high school long afterward, but carrying a high school bag to a college event is slightly suspicious.
  • Do real-life acapella competitions have actual commentators? It's a little odd and makes no sense to have commentators talking while the performances are happening. Who watches acapella competitions just to listen to the commentary and not the actual music? At first I thought it was John and Gail being their arrogant selves but during the sequel at the Worlds, you see plenty of commentators from different countries attending it, implying the same.
    • In the sequel John and Gale were doing a podcast, I presume the others were too? If anyone who speaks the languages can confirm this, please do. As for the first film, the only real explanation is the film is a comedy, and they wanted to keep the laughs going through the songs, especially when the Bellas performed the same song for the second or third time.
    • They do, it's weird.
  • After Amy gets hit with the burrito and her Bella uniform shirt covered in resultant mess on the way to the semi-finals, how is her shirt completely clean for the performance?
    • Wouldn't be weird to think each of them had a Bella uniform extra shirt, I've heard of performers doing that in case of emergency. And Aubrey looks like the kind of person who would be prepared for any emergency.
  • During the campfire scene in Pitch Perfect 2, how is it that all of the Bellas seem to understand the significance of "When I'm Gone"? Only Chloe and Aubrey saw Beca's audition in the first film, and the song (if I recall correctly) never made a reappearance beyond that. This especially goes for Flo, who wasn't even in the first one.
    • It might have become part of the Bellas legend: this chick who doesn't even audition with the right song but is allowed to join, rises to the top and leads the group to glory.
  • Benji joins the group less than a week before the finals and he's given an important solo, why? It's not like you can argue his voice is similar to Bumper's, because it's not.
    • Mostly because Jessie seemed to have taken the lead of the group after Bumper left, Benji's his friend and from the beginning he wanted him in, as we see by his reaction when he finds out he's in the Troublemakers. As for why the other guys probably didn't see any problem with it; if you pay attention to the audition scene, everyone's positively impressed by Benji's singing, except Bumper, who makes a "ugh" face (probably because he considers Benji a dork). From that we can assume he was the main reason Benji didn't get in the group in the first place, as being the leader, his opinion had more weight. With Bumper gone, no one would have an issue with it because they know through the audition and because Jessie vouches for him, that he has at least a soloist-level of talent, which is what they need.
    • This is actually a dip into realism for a moment. In actual choirs if someone with a big part drops out it's often easier to bring someone in to learn the relatively simple melody of a solo rather than take someone with a smaller but more intricate part away from what they're doing and messing up the harmony.
  • Why is Benji backstage wearing a headset and why does he follow Becca, when she runs off? The competition wasn't at Barden and there was no indication he had anything to do with any of the groups in the competition. Also, he'd never been shown to be talking to Beca prior to this. He was simply Jessie's roommate and wanted to join the Treblemakers, so why did he care she ran out and why would he think she'd stop for him? The whole point seems to be so that he could see the backpack, but why did that have to be him?
  • Where did all of Beca's tattoos go in the 2nd film? She only has the headphones on her wrist left while the rest have vanished.

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