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Cheap Heat

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It's in the title!

"I must be in Quahog, because all I see is a bunch of hicks!"

As a pro wrestler, there are a few ways you can get the crowd invested in what you do. You can dazzle them with your incredible acrobatics, brutalize your opponent with anything at hand, project the aura of an unstoppable badass, work to tell a story through your matches, or even develop your character through interviews and promo segments.

Or, you can take the easy way out and get some Cheap Heat.

Cheap heat (known as cheap pops for faces) is generated when a wrestler appeals to the audience directly. For a face, this means you talk about what a great crowd they are, how awesome their local sports teams are, and so on. It can be much more fun for a heel, however, as you mock all the town's dirty laundry. Is the local baseball team a disgrace to the city? Make fun of them, and loudly support their rivals. Has a local celebrity done something embarrassing? Talk about it early and often. Are you in New Jersey? Ask them what exit they get off of to go home. And do it all with a shit-eating grin on your face, letting them know you know you're pissing them off and are enjoying it; that'll make it sting even more.

Mind you, cheap heat is not the exclusive preserve of pro wrestling; comedians, bands, and politicians make extensive use of it, as do writers who want us to cheer for (or boo) a particular character. Expect people to get the location of where they are completely wrong, which generally doesn't go down too well, but this is understandable when they're on tour traveling from one identical hotel to the next occasionally being pushed out onto a stage which looks a lot like the one last week...and the week before that.

Cheap heel heat tends to involve lots of Take That! and You Bastard!. Compare City Shout Outs, when a live performer appeals to the audience by saluting their city, and Local Reference.


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    Pro Wrestling 
  • Scott Steiner was infamous in WCW for getting a cheap pop from mentioning something famous from the town the event was in... then immediately saying it sucked and that the audience were white trash fatasses for liking it. More often than not, the wrestler he would be facing would be a favorite in that town, and he would earn further heat by bashing them.
  • Mick Foley is famous for his cheap pops, RIGHT HERE... On TV Tropes Wiki! *goofy grin, thumbs up* His career retrospective set was even titled Hard Knocks and Cheap Pops. This reputation was also exploited to hilarious effect after Mick took a Heel turn. He would do the grin, thumbs up and cheap pop to get audience cheers...and then immediately insult the town and look surprised as to why he was getting booed. One promo had him do this three times in a row, with his new Heel persona desperately confused as to why he was being booed after saying how great it was to be in such a shitty town.
  • Rey Mysterio Jr. often shakes hands with as many of the audience as he can during his entrance. He always does so with anyone who is wearing a Rey mask. He also comes to the ring wearing multiple masks so that he can give extra ones to audience members. It's also common for him to wear superhero costumes when a superhero movie is currently popular with kids. His own existence in WWE made the show very popular with Latino audiences.
  • For the benefit of those with flash photography, WWE wrestlers Edge and Christian had their Five Second Poses, which, at first, were goofy, time-wasting poses done to try the audience's patience. Later, as they started to get more over as heels, they had more elaborate ones mocking local figures (their infamous Fat Elvis sketch, at a Raw show in Memphis, was something to behold).
  • What I'd like to have right now, is for all you fat, ugly, out-of-shape, jealous of Rick Rude, TV Troper troglodytes... keep the clicks down, while I take my robe off and give the ladies a good look at what a real computer programmer looks like.
  • Sometimes using a specific move in the right place can gain cheap heat or pop. Trish Stratus' final match in her home-town of Toronto, Canada (against Lita) had arguably the biggest ever pop for a women's match when she finished by using Bret Hart's signature Sharpshooter to win the title.
  • Perennial WWE champ John Cena has a large collection of throwback sports jerseys, and used them to good effect when he was Pretty Fly for a White Guy. As a heel, he'd make sure to always wear the jersey of a local team's rivals, but after his Heel–Face Turn, he switched to wearing the jersey of a hometown team.
    • If John Cena were in the dark match to "send the crowd home happy", he would often add some cheap heat in the form of thanking the crowd for their support, singing "Rocky Top" with the Tennessee crowd to piss off Michael Cole, etc. and so forth...
  • The "home team's jersey" / "rival's jersey" cheap heat may be as old as the commercialisation of jerseys themselves. Amongst other notable examples:
    • Owen Hart wearing the jersey of the (theoretically) hated Toronto Argonauts at the 1998 Breakdown show in Hamilton, Ontario. Unfortunately, since most of the crowd had driven down from Toronto, that just made Owen even more beloved than he already was.
    • Bret Hart getting one of the biggest pops in the long history of wrestling in Toronto by revealing a Maple Leafs jersey during his first appearance in Canada with WCW.
    • Bret, Owen, and Davey Boy Smith - normally associated with Calgary - getting cheap heat from an Edmonton crowd by donning Oilers jerseys.
    • Various wrestlers have praised Manchester United whenever WWE visits Manchester, UK. This usually backfires, as WWE crowds tend to be disproportionately comprised of Manchester City fans.
    "I heard a rumor that you play football here in Manchester, (Manchester had just won, massive pop.) Oh, well that leads to another question, is the team any good?" (Further pop for Mick Foley.)
    • Kelly Kelly seems to have adopted a variant of Cena's old look.
    • A related real-life example would be the late golfer Payne Stewart, who, due to his NFL sponsorship, eventually started wearing attire matched to the colours of the local NFL team. As the last golfer on tour to wear a traditional golf outfit, the results were often humourous.
      • Golfer Ben Curtis does a similar thing, wearing a polo shirt in the local NFL team's colors and the team's logo. The NFL sponsored him after he won the Open decked out in orange for his Cleveland Browns.
    • Edge states in his autobiography that he and Christian would do this constantly while touring, and wondered that the fans would never learn that they were heels and would mock their town. He showed a picture of a room in his house, lying on a carpet of NHL jerseys.
      • To elaborate, one thing Edge and Christian did a lot was have one of them appear in the home town's jersey, let the crowd cheer him on for a little while, and then have the other appear in a rival jersey and "tackle" the snot out of the other one in an embarrassing way.
    • Perenial WCW jobber Norman Smiley was reinvented around the turn of the century as "Screamin' Norman", whose gimmick was that he was in the hardcore division despite not being at all 'hardcore', so he wore football, hockey or whatever pads to the ring, thus taking the 'wear the hometown Jersey' thing to ridiculous extremes by wearing the whole damn outfit. Needless to say, he was cheered.
    • An enforced example of this is during a WWE Raw in 2009 that was forced to move to the Staples Center after its original venue for the show, Denver's Pepsi Center, was rendered unavailable due to the Nuggets making the NBA playoffs and having a home game scheduled on that day. At the beginning of the show, Vince McMahon ran down Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Nuggets, and he even featured a fake Kroenke whom he proceeded to beat up. The main event featured a 10-man tag team, with the face team in Lakers jerseys and the heels in Nuggets jerseys, with the faces winning in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Kurt Angle once turned a rabidly pro-hometown-boy Pittsburgh crowd against him by declaring, "If you were to give America an enema, Pittsburgh is where you'd stick the hose."
    • This line was first said, word for word, by Bret Hart during his infamous 1997 heel run.
    • Angle also did the hometown jersey thing, and so did then-champion Ken Anderson, the day before Super Bowl XLV. Angle is from Pittsburgh, Anderson from Green Bay.
  • This is significantly downplayed in CMLL, as one of the promotion's rules is that luchadors aren't allowed to insult the fans attending Arena Mexico shows. The shows of their main building which is run at least once a week. Dr. Wagner Jr and LA ParK once got themselves fired for violating this rule even though their returns from the last time they got fired were an important part of that year's Aniversario, the most important CMLL show of any year. That said, indirectly insulting the audience is acceptable, provided one wishing to do so can find another luchador they can appropriately insult by proxy without overtly stating This Loser Is You. El Legion de Puerto Rico, Los Boricuas and Comando Caribeño were all formed around times slews of Mexican boxers were being beaten by Puerto Ricans and all at some point or another involved a Mexican luchador rejecting his nationality in favor of the "Puerto Rican" identity of "Comandante Pierroth". CMLL actually hosts boxing matches in Arena Mexico sometimes when lucha libre is happening in other buildings, so everyone knew it was deliberate.
  • WWE's Chris Jericho had been directly calling the audience hypocrites and suck-ups during one of his last WWE runs.
    • In a delicious addition, for the first several promos of Jericho's return to WWE in 2012, Jericho would come down to the ring to his music, get in the ring, and then... say NOTHING! Since Jericho's mic work is such a high quality of his persona and his character, Jericho could get Cheap Heat without saying ANYTHING AT ALL.
    • In May 2012, Jericho stepped on and kicked a Brazilian flag during their first show in Brazil. Flag desecration is a misdemeanor offense in Brazil and he was legitimately forced to leave the country immediately or face arrest.
    • CM Punk has also started along the same route, calling the audience and commentators hypocrites. He states that if he had used his tactic against Edge to win the championship instead of Jeff Hardy, he would have been a hero.
      • CM Punk went up a notch. In Chicago, his home town, CM Punk made his entrance to cheers, he then stood in the middle of the ring and praised his home city's beauty, and remarked how proud he was to be born there...he then proceeded to say how, as much as he loves his hometown, he hates the inhabitants of Chicago, and called them pill popping losers with fat children and a corrupt political system, giving him massive heat and proving that CM Punk is the greatest Heel ever.
      • Of course, that didn't stop Chicago fans from unanimously backing Punk at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view in July 2011, as the majority of the fans supported their hometown hero as if the previously mentioned heel promo didn't happen.
      • When Punk turned heel in 2012, he was doing every cheap heat tactic from wearing rival Sports team clothes in other cities, to even going as far as making fun of Jerry Lawler's then recent nearly fatal heart attack and Paul Bearers death during his Wrestlemania feud with the Undertaker. Even despite all of that, he still had a seizable portion of the audience cheering him.
  • "FINALLY... The Rock... has come back... to TV Tropes!"
  • Jeff Jarrett had a great one at a show in Melbourne, Australia. After spending a while doing the usual heel ragging on the country, he announced "But there's one good thing about Australia - I've found a sport here that I love. It's called Rugby League!" (For the uninformed, Melbourne is the traditional home of Australian Rules Football, and has a big rivalry with Sydney, traditional home of Rugby League).
  • Even non wrestling fans remember Sgt. Slaughter waving the Iraqi flag. Could there be cheaper heat? Ironically, it almost cost him his life and the company a lot more — Slaughter remarks on that to this day when discussing that 1991 phase of his WWE career. It got so bad that the house shows between when he won the WWE title and lost it to Hulk Hogan would often have two main events: Slaughter's title defense would go on mid-way through the card so they could get him out of there before he would literally get killed! (A more standard "send the crowd home happy" main event would soothe some of the anger).
  • Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels get somewhat discounted heat in Canada when they play on the infamous Montreal Screwjob, especially in Montreal itself.
    • Also, Earl Hebner gets this same type of reaction.
    • If you call full-on X-Pac Heat "discounted"..."You Screwed Bret" is a common chant north of the border when HBK visits.
    • Less true now that Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels have formally reconciled all differences (including a DVD release of the two interviewed together).
  • Speaking of Sgt. Slaughter, on an episode of Raw he guest hosted in Canada, he made a bunch of jokes at the country's expense. Towards the end, he apologized for all of it, claiming that it was all just for fun, and said he'd like to introduce "The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be...". Cue Bret Hart's music... and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan comes out waving the American Flag. The crowd's reaction was negative.
    • First, Slaughter was about to salute the Canadian flag, but instead covered it up with a red X.
    • Then, he made fun of the Canadian history, followed by the pledge of allegiance.
    • His next act was to bring out Celine Dion to sing the national anthem, but instead brings out Jillian Hall instead.
    • Then, he gives an opportunity to the Calgary Kid to become a WWE superstar. However, after joining WWE, he reveals himself to be the American wrestler The Miz.
  • An example of how cheap heat attempts can still fail if you don't read the crowd right. 2008 House show in the Quad Cities for TNA featured 'Sheik Abdul Bashir' coming out with a rant at the audience, as well as two campaign signs: one for John McCain, one for Barack Obama (this was during the general campaign). He seemed to be trying to get the crowd to react, but was using...something foreign-sounding. He went to the back, came out with the advised shit-eating grin, and was showing off the McCain campaign sign. The crowd (half of which probably is from Illinois, and the other half's in a reasonably Democratic part of Iowa) lustily boos. He then attacks/defaces/tears up the ad. Crowd cheers him well into his match. Oops.
  • The ultimate heel move ever was done by Santino Marella when he claimed that he had finally found a new favorite basketball team and removed his shirt to unveil an Oklahoma City Thunder Seattle, whose beloved Sonics had been moved to OKC and became the Thunder. Those who didn't boo lustily seemed to have had the air taken out of them, as it was as too soon a moment as there ever could be.
    • There was also the time he defended the honor of his "sister" Santina from The Great Khali's advances.
      Do you think she is a lady of the night? Or a graduate of the University of Texas?
  • Cheap Heat/Pop can also be easily gained by both male and female wrestlers just by flashing a smile or ripping a shirt off.
    • See John Cena pull his shirt off, hear women go crazy.
      • Of course, the reverse also happens with Cena: See John Cena throw his shirt into the crowd, see the "We Hate Cena" contingent throw it right back into the ring at him!
    • The whole reason Divas seem to do so many splits etc. etc. when they enter the ring.
    • CM Punk and his signature smirk have also been known to send female fans into epileptic fits.
    • Val Venis covering himself with a towel.
    • Jaider Lee peeling off his leggings.
    • And who can forget, every time Hulk Hogan's ripped off his shirt during his entrance?
  • One really ill-advised way to get cheap heat is to rub the death of a loved one in somebody's face. Randy Orton pulled this on Rey Mysterio Jr. months after Eddie Guerrero died, stating Eddie was in Hell. Tazz on commentary even seemingly broke character in stating this was going too far. Michael Cole pulled this on Jerry "the King" Lawler, saying Jerry's deceased mother would be disappointed in his loss to WWE Champion The Miz. While getting the fans to hate you is what a heel needs to do, disrespecting the dead will get you the wrong kind of heat.
  • Ron Killings (AKA R-Truth and K-Kwik) managed an Epic Fail when he forgot where exactly he was wrestling. He ended his Audience Participation entrance with a resounding "Green Bay, Wisconsin - whassup?"...which did not get the reaction he wanted, given he was in Milwaukee. Hilariously, the crowd not only booed him, they actually started a Milwaukee chant.
    • Even Michael Cole joined in on the chant, possibly to get the crowd to stop booing R-Truth.
    • He probably made the mistake because it was the day after Super Bowl XLIV, where the Green Bay Packers won.
      • John Cena also got in on teasing R-Truth about it later. Smackdown was in Green Bay the next night, and Packer Clay Matthews was deputized as an emergency Special Guest Referee in that main event.
      • This got turned into a Brick Joke later, when the WWE came back to Milwaukee, several WWE Superstars went on Twitter to remind him that they were in Milwaukee, not Green Bay. Even Michael Cole said that. And, during his match, R-Truth actually grabbed a Microphone to tell his Imaginary Friend "Little Jimmy" that he knows they're in Milwaukee!
  • Mentioning the crowd or a sports team before the match?! Try using a local product DURING it. WWE House Show in Hershey PA. Rosey is fighting Simon Dean, pre-match Rosey offers Simon a Hershey's Bar, crowd cheers. During the match Simon is whipped in to the corner, Rosey opens the candy bar and crams it RIGHT DOWN SIMON'S THROAT! The crowd EXPLODED (Simon had refused the bar during the pre-match saying "That Chocolate will never touch these lips")
  • Giving out cheap pops is the gimmick of Home Town Huck of Nickelodeon's Thumb Wrestleing Entertainment. He gives pops to a bunch or random towns whenever he performs, and is generally considered the hero of the Dexteras.
  • Oddly inverted in WCW's treatment of Ric Flair, who, when wrestling for the company, would always be booked to look like a totally weak idiot whenever wrestling in the Carolinas where he would otherwise enjoy massive popularity.
  • Unintentionally hilariously invoked by Matt Striker at WWE's TLC 2012 PPV, where, as an in ring interviewer, asked Antonio Cesaro about his response to the negative reaction Cesaro's victory seemed to inspire in the audience. The audience, who hadn't been showing much reaction at all, immediate started booing, almost as an afterthought.
  • During a WWE house show in Munich, Germany, John "Bradshaw" Layfield got cheap heat by goosestepping around the ring and doing the Nazi salute. This caused considerable controversy both in Germany (where the Nazi salute is illegal) and in the US.
  • At the end of Extreme Rules 2011 John Cena announces Osama bin Laden's death. The next night on Raw The Rock had his birthday party where part of the night centered on this historic occasion, making him look like the biggest superstar to ever grace the ring, times a thousand.
  • Sucio Dutch Mantel claims to be the first wrestler from the Forty Eight States who went to Puerto Rico and talked trash about the island. Whether him being first is true or not, what can be confirmed is that he couldn't walk on the streets without being pelted with rocks, cups and sparks during his first WWC run.
  • Lorelei Lee tends to gift a lucky fan with a cowboy hat before stepping in the ring.
  • In addition to high fives, Josie once resorted to letting a fan slap her butt for a cheap pop in United States Championship Wrestling, leading a crowd that was initially tepid towards her to eventually cheer for Josie over popular heel MsChif.
  • Josie similarly got cheap heat in Southern All-Star Wrestling(SAW) by bailing from the ring and insisting someone massage her shoulder where it had been attacked by Lexi Lane before she got back in.
  • Cheap pop was taken close to its logical conclusion in the Pure Wrestling Association where Brian Kendrick and especially Paul London went well out of their way to high five as many people as possible before their matches, going through bleachers and even up stairs to the various balconies.
  • The Royal Rumble has its own form of Cheap Heat. A common tactic is to bring out a fan favourite wrestler from the past as a surprise entrant. The crowd goes mental for them. Whoever eliminates that wrestler from the Rumble gets instant boos and is set up as a heel you want to see eliminated from the match.
  • In Progress Wrestling there's Zack Gibson, he's from Liverpool, and Progress mainly do shows in London so his gimmick is that he's a Liverpool FC fan, and he's a huge heat magnet because of it. It comes across as him being a Foreign Wrestling Heel despite living and being born in the same country the promotion is active in.
  • The Darling Sugar Creature brought a bazooka that fires sweets onto WSU shows, which she proceeded to shoot into the crowd. Her pops were worthy of a main event.
  • Perhaps the cheapest pop at a show full of them, the unauthorized ROH event A Night Of Hoopla, was Matt Taven collapsing onto three fans in the "front row" following a chop from Eddie Edwards, who then took one of their cameras to take pictures of Adam Cole posing on/holding down Taven and then chased down Taven's valets, who strangely seemed to be camera shy, managing to snap a closeup of Seleziya Sparx for the thrilled group. Fans were then encouraged to hold Taven still for further abuse and assist Edwards in offense by performing Irish whips on him.
  • Colt Cabana attempted a cheap pop at Absolute Intense Wrestling's Hell On Earth XII by telling the ring announcer Cleveland was his "winter home". Most of the fans had a mad on against the city of Chicago at the times since the Cubs won The World Series.
  • Hayley Shadows works for Christian Wrestling Association International, while proudly declaring herself "Not saved!"
  • Lucha Libre has quirks of its own and they tend to be quite formulaic: Let's say you're a foreigner perfomer (not necessarily the evil kind) in tour within some mexican big promotion. Here's the set of rules you need to follow to turn mere cheap heat into Supernova:
    • Be American by birthnote . Tellin' you this because Brits, Canucks, Italians and Nipponese are revered around there.
    • Be ripped as hell or just plain powerhouse-brawlernote .
    • Make your ring entrance unforgettable by playing aloud some 90s/early aughties saccharine pop tune and throw some tortillas and nopales (The paupers´ —if they're lucky enough— only source of food.) to the audience as you go.
    • Talk crap and a half about any of the legendary luchadors, André the Giant, or foot ball note  in general.
    • Squish your opponents easily, cheat on every single match or be part of a tag team where you're not playing The Ricky Morton and let your partner die alone.
    • ...and please, pretty please with a cherry on top... be oblivious of the fact México is part of North America!!!
    • Want to take it all back and pop-it-up? Learn some Spanishnote !
  • At WWE Super Show Down in Melbourne, Australia, Elias' attempt to get cheap heel heat actually backfired and got him cheered: He made reference to Collingwood choking in the previous week's grand final. The problem was that Collingwood is just one of nine Melbourne-based AFL teams, and everyone who doesn't barrack for them absolutely despises them, so they were HAPPY that they choked. (He may have had more success if he'd mocked Melbourne Storm for choking, but it's doubtful given that most of Melbourne doesn't particularly care about Rugby. Moral of the story: Research the local sporting culture before you try this (or, if you asked local-born Buddy Murphy for advice, make sure he wasn't ribbing you!)
  • Elias was more successful in an appearance with Kevin Owens in Seattle on the Oct. 1, 2018 episode of RAW. Owens and Elias said Bobby Lashley and John Cena being a tag team didn't make sense- "just like having a basketball team in Seattle." Cue merciless, ferocious booing for six minutes that was so loud that Owens and Elias had difficulty finishing their promo. Elias poured even more oil onto the fire by following it up with saying "Now, Oklahoma City, now I get that". OKC is, of course, where Seattle's beloved Super Sonics were moved to in 2008 and renamed the Thunder.
  • A rare case where a wrestler tried this and it didn't work: Sinn Bodhi faced Kassius Koonz on the September 17, 2016 episode of WCWC (West Coast Wrestling Connection in Oregon)on PDX-TV. Late in the match, he had Koonz in a fireman's carry and imitated John Cena's "You Can't See Me" utter silence.
  • Notorious Nadi makes a point to knock the hats off the heads of as many fans as she can before reaching the ring.
  • When "The Librarian" Peter Avalon comes to the ring in All Elite Wrestling, either for a match of his own or to support Leva Bates, he loudly shushes the audience and takes shots at the host town, mostly mocking their major league sports team(s).
  • Black Rose attempted this during the COVID-19 Pandemic. If she had just tested negative on her COVID test she'd playfully pull down nearby face masks unconcerned with whatever pathogens might be coming but if the test hadn't been immediately recent she'd instead demand space and masks up for everyone except herself and other wrestlers. Among other reasons she cut it out because this cheap approach utterly failed at generating heat.
  • Tessa Blanchard brought infamy the already controversial Women Of Wrestling promotion wasn't used to when she blocked off a fan's oxygen supply for cheap heat.

  • A Southwest Airlines ad had a band playing a huge crowd that loved the show...until the lead singer yelled "THANK YOU DETROIT! WE LOVE YOU!" The crowd falls silent...and his guitarist says "Detroit was last night..."

    Anime & Manga 
  • As fitting for a pro-wrestling series, Tiger Mask uses it from time to time. The most notable user, however, is the protagonist himself the two times he's walking into Tiger's Cave traps that are very likely to kill him and insults and ditches his JWA friends so they won't suffer if he does indeed die, but is so bad at it that the first time Baba sees through it after calming down and the second time nobody believes him (fittingly, before his Heel–Face Turn his gimmick was of being greedy, outright inviting the fans to hate him and come to see his matches in the vain hope of seeing his defeat and thus increase his purse).

  • Used by Doug Benson in Last Comic Standing: in a joke involving one of those "The end is nigh" types asking him if he's going to Hell, "Sorry, I'm not headed in that direction... but if I were going to Bakersfield - BOOM! Local reference, right outta the gate!" In another show he came out with "Anyone here from Canada?" *large part of the crowd cheers* "Canada sucks!" *crowd laughs*
  • Lenny Bruce's routine "The Palladium" describes a terrible American comic who is bombing on stage at the Palladium in London, England. Out of sheer desperation for any kind of reaction from the crowd, he yells "Screw Ireland!" Someone in the crowd says, "That's the first funny thing you've said all night!"
  • Billy Connolly once mocked the idea in his stand-up act; after eliciting cheers just for mentioning a place name, he shouted for the audience to stop and to have some higher standards, saying he could get an ovation just for reading from an atlas.
    • Billy Connolly however is infamous for his world tour where he explores the local area, meeting people, getting to know the history of the area and finding out just what people are passionate about in the area. He would then incorporate these experiences into his set creating a unique experience for the town.
  • At Opie and Anthony's Traveling Virus Comedy Tour's 2006 stop in Philadelphia, comedian Bill Burr found himself in front of a drunk, unruly crowd of about 10,000 people. Having just watched the previous acts get heckled mercilessly, including the previous comedian, Philadelphia's own Dom Irrera, getting booed off the stage, he got about three jokes into his own act before the heckling started. Discarding his prepared material, Burr then proceeded to spend the remaining twelve minutes of his act insulting Philadelphia and the audience, digging out every bit of the city's dirty laundry he could think of, counting off the remaining minutes on his act as he went. This page links to a video of the entire 13-minute rant, a transcript, and Burr's own blog post on the event.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Billy Madison utilized the Cheap Pop version when his ending speech resulted in Stunned Silence.
    Billy: Knibb High football rules! (Audience cheers)
  • Kayfabe: A Fake Real Movie About A Fake Real Sport has it being used by the main heel, Randy Tyler, as part of his gimmick. His final match opens with him explaining to the crowd how to perform basic hygiene, since they obviously haven't gotten the hang of it.
  • This is Spın̈al Tap provides one of the most examples of this trope: "HELLO CLEVELAND!" This joke has been a common one amongst musicians, and has replicated by residents of other localities named "Cleveland" (for example - residents of Cleveland, Yorkshire, England in the UK will occasionally quip "Hello Cleveland Shopping Centre!")

    Live-Action TV 
  • Daniel Tosh: "Hold on now, Irvine. I just say the name of whatever town I'm in there to make you feel special."
  • Part of the premise of Still Standing (the CBC travel/stand-up series, not the sitcom). Host Jonny Harris travels to small Canadian towns that are facing hard times (i.e. all of them), and does a travelogue on each, interspersed with jokes from a stand-up routine personalized and performed for that town.
  • Referenced/invoked in the opening credits to That '70s Show. HELLO, WISCONSIN!
  • On one episode of The Glass House, Wil said that the next story "comes to us from the great state of Victoria!" and once the crowd was done cheering, he laughed and just said 'Suckers'.

  • This is Truth in Television with live gigs by musicians. Sometimes, there are local jokes and puns — at live shows in Connecticut, a pun made from the state's name and a powerful (or common, if you're British) swear that also means "vagina" is made pretty much always.
  • Some attempts at this by musicians have occasionally resulted in mixups.
    • In 2008, Usher greeted fans at a show in Maidstone, UK with "Hello, Manchester!" - managing to be out by nearly 200 miles.
    • Kaiser Chiefs once greeted a crowd in Budapest, Hungary, with "Hello, Bucharest!" - the capital of Romania. This may have been a joke, though.
    • This happens habitually in George, Washington. Due to its massive outdoor ampitheatre, many traveling bands and tours book their "Seattle" shows there, despite the city being a good 3-4 hour drive away from Seattle, over the mountains and in the middle of the desert.. "HELLO SEATTLE" greetings from the bands are unavoidable, yet still groan-worthy. Was once lampshaded by Marilyn Manson, who made it a point to illustrate he was the only act on Ozzfest that actually knew where the hell they were.
    • The Chainsmokers got the name right but the spelling wrong, ending one Pittsburgh show with a backdrop that read "Thank you Pittsburg".
    • Lampshaded by The Protomen in their live performances; during a show in Portland, OR, for instance, KILROY declared that the audience is the best they've ever played for, then added "Just don't tell Richmond, VA that we said that. It would make things awkward."
    • On his live album Back to the Bars, Todd Rundgren teases a Cleveland audience by going through a guessing game of which city he's in (Enid, OK etc) before gleefully announcing "Oh I remember, it's Cleveland, Ohio!"
    • This happens habitually in Ireland. A ton of concert promoters specializing in big-name artists, especially those organizing festivals, tend to prefer larger outdoor venues in many cases. While the Aviva Stadium and Croke Park in Dublin are used for outdoor concerts, when a tour that usually stops in outdoor venues makes a stop in Ireland, the promoters tend to book the "Dublin/Ireland" shows for them at horse racecourses (e.g. Punchestown Racecourse) and country estates (e.g. Slane Castle), even if they're very far away from Dublin. "Hello Dublin!" greetings from artists when the concert's not taking place in the city tend to be a sore spot for Irish concert-goers.
  • On Marilyn Manson's live album The Last Tour on Earth, the recording of "The Dope Show" was done in Cleveland, leading to the line "The drugs, they say, are made in California" to be changed to "The drugs, they say, are made right here in Cleveland" leading to the predictable pop.
  • Iron Maiden shows have had Bruce Dickinson yell to the crowd "Scream for me, (place of the gig)!"
  • A number of radio edits tend to feature local shout-outs. If not a local city, then the local sports team or even the name of the station.
    • "Lucky Man" by Montgomery Gentry originally had the line "Last Sunday when my Bengals lost, Lord, it put me in a bad mood" due to Author Appeal. Later edits were made for every team in the NFL, and played in those teams' respective markets (e.g. "Last Sunday when my Lions lost" played on Detroit station WYCD).
    • Tracy Lawrence's "Used to the Pain" has the lyric "I can listen to 'most any song the DJ has to play", which got edits replacing "the DJ" with the name of the station playing the song.
    • Taylor Swift's "Tim McGraw" had some edits where "Someday you'll turn your radio on" in the final chorus became "Someday you'll turn [name of station] on". Similarly, for play on the countdown show Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40, it became "And turn the Bob Kingsley countdown on".
    • Craig Morgan's "Little Bit of Life" had edits where the line "A little bit of radio going boom, boom, boom" replaced the word "radio" with the name of the station. This also got turned to "A little bit of Kingsley" on Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40.
    • When David Ball's song "Riding with Private Malone" was on the charts, he did a live performance on WSM, and he replaced the line, "But it picked up that oldies show especially late at night" with, "But it picked up WSM especially late at night." WSM played this version most of the time even though it was a live version with only David playing the guitar rather than the studio recording.
    • Used in Brad Paisley's "American Saturday Night" - the regular version involves a Shout-Out to Saturday Night Live.
    • The Uncle Kracker song "Smile" features the line "You make me spin like a record..." It is followed by a line referencing the station on which the song is playing; for example, "You make me spin like a record/on Mix 93.3."
    • The Taio Cruz song "Break your Heart" has the line "They call me heartbreaker-" which is sometimes replaced with the station the song is on, for example, "It's 107.9!" When it is replaced, the song doesn't make much sense.
    • In the One Republic song "Good Life" the line "Paris to China to Colorado" was changed to "Paris to China to Carolina" in North Carolina. (Similarly, in the Bay Area one can hear "Paris to China to San Francisco" on the radio - a variation that actually keeps the rhyme.)
    • Several songs, such as "The Heart of Rock & Roll" by Huey Lewis and the News and "You and I" by Lady Gaga have the state/nearest big city added into key parts of the song ("You and I" refers to a specific person from Nebraska.) on Top 40 radio for cheap pops.
      • In a related example, some stations snip in a sound clip of Shania Twain saying the name of a popular DJ on the station over "Brad Pitt" on the radio edit of "That Don't Impress Me Much".
    • LMFAO had some fun (or work, rather) with their semi-hit "I'm in Miami Trick" by making several recordings of the song with different city names instead of Miami. They even released a promo CD of these edits called I'm in Your City Trick. There are 51 versions of the song on this CD.
      • At least one of which refers to a fictional place — they edited together "I'm On Saints' Row, Bitch" for Saints Row: The Third.
    • Basically the only reason that the 1959 single "High School USA" by former Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps guitarist Tommy Facenda became a Top 40 hit was that Facenda recorded the song 28 times to rattle off the names of high schools in 28 different areas (the version featuring high schools in the area of Virgina that Facenda grew up in was the original). Airplay and sales for these versions in these areas were rolled into one on the Billboard Hot 100, rocketing what was basically a novelty song into the Top 30. note 
    • "We Built This City" by Starship originally had snippets of a (fake) San Francisco radio broadcast, although this was subject to change based on what city the song was played in.
    • Terri Clark's 2003 hit "I Wanna Do It All" had edits that replaced the line "See the Yankees play ball" with a local baseball or football team. An edit also existed for the syndicated show ZMAX Racing Country which swapped out some lyrics to name-drop its hosts Paul Schadt and Cathy Martindale or make Shout Outs to racing venues.
  • This feature had been a staple of major AM Top 40 radio stations in the 1970's. WLS in Chicago was common for these. Many stations also do the same kinds of plugs, which attempt to convince listeners in their market that Rihanna's favorite station ever is Bismarck, North Dakota's "Mix 99.9" (or other community nowhere near a major market).
  • "Small Town Radio" by Texas country singer Todd Fritsch replaced the original line ("That's the rest of the story, good day / And just before you go / I'd like to thank you all for listening to small town radio") with Shout Outs to various small-town radio stations which were playing the song.
  • In live performances, Harry Chapin would often substitute the callsign of a local radio station in the final verse of "W*O*L*D*".
  • Phil Collins did this in all his concerts, claiming that all of his bandmates hail from whatever city they're playing in. (Daryl Stuermer sometimes takes mock exception to this, pointing out that he in fact hails from Milwaukee.)
  • Justin Moore's "Small Town USA" had such an edit in the song's second chorus, where the line "David Allan Coe and a six-pack of Lite" is replaced with the name of the station playing the song.
  • In Green Day concerts, Billie Joe changes any lyrics that namedrop their homeland (for instance, in "Holiday", "the representative from California has the floor", and in "Youngblood", "she said 'fuck you, I'm from Oakland') with wherever the show is.
  • In live performances, Journey would replace the reference to Detroit in "Don't Stop Believin'" with the name of whatever city they were in.
  • Lee Greenwood has recorded a slightly-rewritten version of "God Bless the USA" called "God Bless You Canada", basically keeping everything the same except the title and a few Shout Outs to Canadian locales in the second verse. He didn't even alter the chorus except for the Title Drop, ruining the "today/USA" rhyme from the original. It's gained some popularity as an anthem for Canadians, however.
  • Bruce Springsteen:
    • He parodied this with the joke song "In Michigan," performed at two shows in the state, where every line ends with "in Michigan," but do not describe actions that would make residents of the state proud.
    "I got drunk and puked up my guts in Michigan."
    • An example not connected to the audience, but to the performer: expect a big cheer every time the lyrics of a song reference New Jersey (e.g. Jungleland, Wrecking Ball, Sandy).
    • In live performances of American Land, he often swaps out one of the nationalities mentioned in the final verse based on where he happens to be performing to get a cheer.
  • Parodied by folk singers Lou & Peter Berryman when they're performing outside their home state of Wisconsin; they explain that rather than write songs about every place they visit they've written a single song with placeholders that can be filled in as appropriate — which they then perform without replacing any of the placeholders.
    I'd love to wake up where the [state songbird] sings
    Where they manufacture [the names of some things]
    There, on the bumper, a sticker so clear
    An "I", and a heart, and then "[your state's name here]".
  • A strange example in Simon & Garfunkel's reunion Concert in Central Park (1982): when they get to the lyric "Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike" in "America", there's a big roar from the crowd, as if S & G had included the line for the purposes of this trope. (Meanwhile, Garfunkel's completely unmemorable not-a-Paul-Simon-song "New York" got very little response.)
  • Eminem:
    • In live performances of "Stan", Eminem substitutes the name of the city where Stan met him (in the original song, Denver) with the city he's playing in. (Its Sequel Song "Bad Guy" maintains the Denver lore, as a Denver Broncos cap plays a significant role in the story.)
    • Eminem's also known for very high-effort cheap heat in freestyles performed in various other countries, where he'll write using local references. (e.g. His 2009 Tim Westwood freestyle referenced several UK news stories from the late-2000s, like a scandal wherein it was discovered Nurofen Plus was abusible, and included a reference to the 90s British kids TV show Rosie & Jim.)

  • Every episode of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue opens with the chairman saying "You join us today in the fine city/town of..." and then making jokes about the town's claims to fame.
    • Later incarnations of the live stage version of the show (which reprised the funniest moments from the show's history) opened the second half by having several pre-recorded jokes read out by presenters from radio stations local to that night's venue.
    • The show also sometimes gets some cheers for "localised" rounds, whether it's Complete Quotes based on proverbs from the area or Mornington Crescent variants such as Mornington Royal Crescent in Bath, or Morningside Crescent in Edinburgh.
  • The whole point of Mark Steel's in Town, in which Mark Steel tours the UK, learning as much as possible about each town, and then turning it into a comedy routine that provokes roughly equal amounts of laughs, cheers, gasps of outrage, and rueful "Yeah, we know" noises from the local audience. (And on a couple of occasions, someone in the audience arguing the point).

  • A few of the lyrics in The Mikado reference politics and figures tangential to the play; in some performances, especially in regional theater, these are adapted to contemporary or local references.

    Web Original 
  • In an article comparing the comedic abilities of the 2004 Presidential candidates, Seanbaby commented on John Kerry's (staggering lack of a) sense of humor by noting that one entry in his Letterman Top Ten list included no joke other than name-dropping Sammy Sosa. Seanbaby identifies regional sports as one of those crowd-pleasing subjects that gets a big reaction with no punchline, and adds that if Sosa were having a bad season, the gag could have easily been replaced with: "Anyone here from NEW YORK!?"

    Web Videos 
  • On YouTube, it's common to ask for Thumbs Up in comments so one can achieve the glorious position of Top Comment on a video.
  • On Game Grumps, Dan once told the story of when Steel Panther was playing at the Hustler store in Los Angeles, and tried to get a reaction from the crowd by saying something to the effect of "Everyone says New York has the best pizza. But no one's got pizza like L.A. pizza!" No reaction. Turns out, not every big city has an iconic pizza that the locals think is the best in the world.

    Western Animation 
  • "I will not say 'Springfield' just to get applause..."
    • One episode had a guest appearance from Bob Hope. He asks the Mayor's name right before going on stage just so he can insert it into a stock joke: "How about that Mayor Quimby? His golf ball spends more time underwater than Greg Louganis."
    • "We were driving down ROUTE 401!"
    • When Spinal Tap played Springfield, they were careful to write the name of town on the back of their guitars for quick reference.
  • Parodied in the pro-wrestling send-up episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender with "Fire Nation Man", who waves a flag around, talking in a bad Russian accent, and then sings something which was probably not actually the Fire Nation anthem.
  • Family Guy - Peter takes Cleveland to a wrestling match, in order to try and get Cleveland to actually express some anger after being cheated on by Loretta. Randy Savage is in the ring haranguing the crowd: "I must be in Quahog, because all I see is a bunch of hicks!"
  • Discussed in the Duck Dodgers episode featuring Dave Mustaine, where one of Dodgers' lessons on being a rock star is "If you're not sure where you are, just say 'Good night Detroit!' There's a 47% chance you're right".


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Cheap Pop


The Acclaimed in Minneapolis

The Acclaimed visit Minneapolis, mocking the crowd, their politicians and their musicians.

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5 (10 votes)

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Main / CheapHeat

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