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Character Signature Song

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"I'm bathed in the rainbow. The city's my paradise. What? You don't know this song?"
Kisarah referencing her ending theme from Aggressors of Dark Kombat, NeoGeo Battle Coliseum

A subtrope of Signature Song. While the article Signature Song is devoted to the most famous and recognizable songs by real life musicians, this article is devoted to the signature songs of specific individuals and fictional characters.

As a Running Gag some characters tend to be singing or humming the same kind of song whenever they appear in view, on screen or within earshot. The song might not have been written by them personally, but they like singing it anyway. In this sense it becomes one of their characteristic trademarks. Sometimes other characters might get annoyed.

Not to be confused with an actual Signature Song (the most well known song by a musician) or a Leitmotif (an introductory melody heard whenever a specific character appears).


    open/close all folders 

  • Pokémon: The Series: Most of these are from the "XY&Z TV Anime Character Song Project Collection" series of albums.
    • Perhaps the most famous would be Jigglypuff's iconic song.
    • The Team Rocket trio has "Team Rocket Forever", "Look Forward, Team Rocket!", "Team Rocket's Team Song", and "Double Trouble" in the dub.
      • Meowth specifically has "Meowth's Song", "Meowth's Party", "Polka O Dolka", and "Meowth's Ballad".
    • Brock has "Brock's Paradise" and "Two Perfect Girls" in the dub.
    • May has "I Won't Lose!" and Dawn has "By Your Side".
    • "Squishy's Song" for Bonnie and Squishy.
    • "Brilliantly" for Clemont.
    • Serena has "DreamDream".
    • Even Pikachu has his own song, with the lyrics of course being in Pokémon Speak.
    • Pretty much any of the openings in both the original and the dub count as Ash's song.
    • Misty has two songs in the dub: "Misty's Song" and "Misty Most of All".
    • So far, Tracey, Max, Goh, and Ash's friends from both Unova and Alola are the only main characters without character songs.
  • Macross has a few of these that also intersect with Signature Song as some of the songs mentioned have been released in Real Life:
  • Macross Plus: VOICES for Myung Fan Lone, Information High for Sharon Apple. The former plays a large role in the plot, with snippets of it being sung by her despite her aversion to singing and her using it to snap Isamu out of Sharon Apple's trance during the climactic fight. The latter is more used to highlight Sharon's alien nature as a virtuaroid.
  • Macross Frontier: Ranka Lee has Seikan Hikou. She performs it multiple times In-Universe, there are multiple covers of it both In-Universe and out, and it is so associated with her that Freyja later sings it in her own show, inspired by Ranka to become an Idol Singer (among other singers).
  • Macross Delta has a few:
    • Freyja Wion's Rune ga Pikatto Hikkatara. It's all but explicit that the song was written for her specifically, given it refers to a sparkling Rune (which she alone as a Windermerean possesses) and her catchphrases, and her Signature Scene flying with Hayate in his Siegfried has her singing it.
    • Kaname Buccaneer's AXIA. In-Universe, it actually originates from Kaname's solo career before Walkure and comes up as one of her few successes from that career despite it being an Old Shame for her. It also plays an important role in the plot, with Messer using it to stave off Var Syndrome (and implicitly to listen to Kaname's voice).
    • Mikumo Guynemer's Ikenai Borderline. She sings this initially during her Big Damn Heroes moment as part of Walkure, and Walkure later attempts to sing it again in episode 13 before the Fold Bomb detonates on Ragna, forcing them to evacuate.
    • Walkure also has Bokura no Senjou collectively, with Freyja and Mikumo having their own versions of it and the entire group singing it during their battles more than any other song.
  • Brook from One Piece became a famous musician in the Time Skip, but he's always best known and associated with "Binks' Brew", a famous sea-shanty In-Universe. He often hums or sings the opening chorus, even in battle.

    Comic Books 
  • Suske en Wiske: Tante Sidonia often sings or hums the song "Ons Hutje Bij De Zee" (The Dutch translation of the song "Our Cottage By The Sea")
  • Tintin: Bianca Castafiore is usually seen and heard performing the Jewel aria from Charles Gounod's opera Faust.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts: Schröder has no specific signature song, but he is always playing some piece by Ludwig van Beethoven on his piano whenever he is in frame.

    Films — Animated 
  • Happy Feet: Every Emperor penguin has a "Heart Song" that they sing while searching for their mate. The only penguin that doesn't appear to have a song is Mumble who can't sing at all (though fans have speculated that his dance solo to "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder makes that his Heart Song). Mumble's parents have "Kiss" by Prince and "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley as theirs and his love interest Gloria's song is "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind & Fire.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • M: Hans Beckert always eerily whistles Edvard Grieg's "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" when he goes somewhere.
  • Turkish Delight (Turks Fruit): Olga's father enjoys singing along with Johann Strauss' "Radetsky March", only adding the words "Tits & Ass" to the refrain.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey: Hal 9000 will forever remain associated with the song "Daisy Bell".
  • Casablanca: "As Time Goes By"
  • A Clockwork Orange: Despite being a Beethoven fan Alex is seen singing "Singin' In The Rain" twice. It's this that causes him to be recognized by one of his former victims.
  • Kick-Ass: Hit-Girl is associated with the Dickies' cover of the Banana Splits theme and Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation," mainly because they were played in two of her Signature Scenes.
  • Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen: Carla Santini is associated with the song "Never Leave You (Uh Oh)" by Lumidee.

  • Nanny Ogg of Discworld has "The Hedgehog Can Never Be Buggered At All". She's also been known to sing "A Wizard's Staff Has a Knob On the End", but she's the only person who sings the Hedgehog Song, and the other characters live in constant fear that she might be about to do so.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Arrested Development, Gob's favorite song is "The Final Countdown" by Europe, which he plays at all of his magic shows.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Carlton adores dancing to Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual".
  • Happy Days: Richie Cunningham likes to prepare for dates by singing Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill".
  • Grey's Anatomy
    • Lexie Grey and "Breathe (2 AM)" by Anna Nalick. She sang this song in the season 7 episode "Song Beneath the Song" and it's been used in a promo of her showing up in Meredith's beach afterlife when Meredith gets COVID-19 in season 17.
    • Similarly, the song "The Story" for Callie Torres. She sings this song as a solo in "Song Beneath the Song" to get herself to wake up after a car accident, and her cover of the song plays in the season 14 finale "All of Me", as Arizona is getting ready to move to New York with Sofia, where Callie moved to at the end of Season 12; the show also hints at them reconciling.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Robin Scherbatsky's own song "Let's Go To The Mall" which she sang when she was still an Idol Singer.
    • Barney has at least two, "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit" and The "Awesome" song from his video resume.
    • Marshall's is "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by the Proclaimers.
    • The Mother's is "La Vie En Rose". It's the first song Ted ever hears her singing and Future Ted mentions that she sang it to their children every night to get them to sleep.
  • A minor example, that only shows up in one episode, in Selfie, CEO Sam Saperstein has a karoake party every year, participation is mandatory, and he always sings "Wishing Well", complete with a wig and backup dancers.
  • Data's brother Lore from Star Trek: The Next Generation is fond of singing "Abdul Abulbul Amir". The song almost doubles as his Tuneless Song of Madness, though he sings it quite well.
  • The remake of Survivors had one episode revolving around a society in the post-apocalypse world that had reinvented slavery. The head slaver whistled a brief snatch of "Jupiter" from the Planets Suite whenever he walked in or out of a scene.
  • ER: Susan Lewis' favourite song is "Blackbird" by The Beatles, which becomes an important recurring motif throughout the storyline about her sister and niece in season 2. One episode is even titled after a line in the song, "Take These Broken Wings".
  • LazyTown:
    • Robbie Rotten's theme is "Master of Disguise", but thanks to Memetic Mutation, "We Are Number One" from the semifinal episode "Robbie's Dream Team" replaced it.
    • Stingy has "The Mine Song", which had also become a meme.
    • Gizmo Guy is Pixel's theme song.
    • Stephanie has multiple.
  • The eponymous hero of Moonlight Mask has his own which he is heard singing at the start of the Opening Credits just before the Theme Tune itself kicks in. The third episode has him sing it to disperse a pack of mooks as they go looking for him, allowing him to capture one of them.
  • The Good Life: Tom habitually whistles the bridge from "Over the Rainbow".
  • Stranger Things:
    • Max’s favorite song is "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" by Kate Bush.
    • Will’s Survival Mantra is the lyrics of "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" by The Clash.
    • Hopper’s theme is "You Don’t Mess Around With Jim" by Jim Croce.
    • The Mind Flayer has "Every Breath You Take" by The Police.


    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street: Almost every main muppet character on the show has one:
    • "C Is For Cookie" by Cookie Monster.
    • "I Love Trash" by Oscar the Grouch
    • "Rubber Duckie" by Ernie
    • "Elmo's Song" by Elmo
    • "Doin' the Pigeon" by Bert
    • "ABC-DEF-GHI" by Big Bird
    • "Batty Bat" sung by The Count
    • For the humans, "People in Your Neighborhood" by Bob
  • The Muppets: Kermit's "It's Not Easy Being Green".
    • The Swedish Chef is also seen and heard humming the same melody whenever he is cooking.
    • Kermit's own nephew, Robin, is forever associated with his put-to-music version of the A. A. Milne poem "Half Way Down the Stairs".
  • Barney & Friends: Barney's "I Love You," which doubles as the show's ending song. For the other dinos, Baby Bop has "My Yellow Blankey", BJ has "BJ’s Song", and Riff has "I Hear Music Everywhere".

    Western Animation 
  • Goofy usually hums "The World Owes Me a Living".
  • The Three Little Pigs in the Silly Symphonies short cartoon sing "Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?" throughout the entire cartoon.
  • Looney Tunes:
  • The Huckleberry Hound Show: Huckleberry Hound enjoys singing 'Oh My Darling Clementine".
  • Dora the Explorer: Map and Backpack have their own theme songs. For Map is "I'm the Map" and for Backpack its "Backpack,Backpack."
  • Like Dora, In Go, Diego, Go!, the expies of Map and Backpack, Click the Camera and Rescue Pack have their own theme songs as well.
  • South Park: Cartman was zapped in the debut episode to sing "I Love to Singa", much to his own annoyance.
  • Family Guy: Peter Griffin is obsessed with "Surfin' Bird" by the Trashmen.
  • Futurama: Fry is sometimes heard singing "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina & The Waves.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Kim Possible: "Say the Word"
    • Ron Stoppable and Rufus: "Naked Mole Rap"
    • Drakken: "Lather, Rinse, and Obey"
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, many characters have their own songs in the series and in fanworks:
    • Pinkie Pie: "Smile".
    • Rarity: "Art of the Dress" and "Generosity".
  • Popeye: Popeye often sings or scats his own theme song, "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man".
  • The Smurfs (1981): The Smurfs are often singing the "La La La La La" song.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Garnet: "Stronger Than You", with "Here Comes A Thought" a close second.
    • Pearl: "Do It For Her"
  • Several 50's Tex Avery MGM Cartoons featured a Southern Wolf character (voiced by Daws Butler using a similar voice he would later use for Huckleberry Hound) who always whistled the Civil War-era folk hymn "Kingdom Coming (Year of Jubilo)". Because of this, fans have nicknamed him Jubilo Wolf.
  • In Total Drama All-Stars, the Big Bad Mal loves to whistle "In the Hall of the Mountain King". This is possibly an obscure reference to the film M, as noted in that folder.
  • Chip Skylark from The Fairly OddParents! has "My Shiny Teeth and Me".
  • Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls has "We’ll Meet Again" by Vera Lynn.


Video Example(s):


"Greasy Sweet"

Being a high-profile celebrity and supercriminal, Dimitri has his own self-made heme song, a disco diddy called "Greasy Sweet". While samples of the song can be heard in his club and during his Boss Fight in Sly 2, players can unlock a music video of it if they 100% Sly 3.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / CharacterSignatureSong

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