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Greek Chorus

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Nothing could be worse when critics sing in verse.

Silas: That old shack, well it went tumbling right off that cliff.
Steve: With Frank James still in it?
Silas: Yes sir.
Dwight: But... Frank James is still alive, living in Missouri. Showing folks around the family farm for 25 cents a tour!
Silas: I didn't say he died in the fall, now did I?

A minor character or group of minor characters who offer commentary and/or opinions on the actions of the main characters, usually by Breaking the Fourth Wall and addressing the audience directly. Often, they say what the audience thinks (or should think). While a lead character can do this himself, it doesn't make him a Greek Chorus; a proper Greek Chorus differs by being removed from the action and thus able to view it with something approaching objectivity. The role is frequently played by Those Two Guys. It's one use for the First-Person Peripheral Narrator.

Strictly speaking, an omniscient narrator usually wouldn't qualify as a Greek Chorus. However, the lemony type who repeatedly breaks the Fourth Wall and makes asides to the audience to the point that they're a "character" unto themselves might reach the point where they overlap with it. If the narration is revealed to be by an actual main member, retroactively telling the story to someone else, it may count, but the important qualifier is that their opinions are objective and express what the audience would think (if they are retroactively self-deprecating of even their own actions, etc.).

Named for the choruses of ancient Greek theatre, who did exactly this. Aristotle discussed them in Poetics and warned that they should be used as little as possible, because (in modern paraphrase), what they do is, by definition, commentary, not story — and so the story-teller should avoid being sidetracked by using more than it needed to help the story. If you were looking for actual choruses in the Greek language, that might fall under Gratuitous Greek.

The Snark Knight, if not the main character, often fits this role. See also Fourth-Wall Observer.

Compare this to MST, when the comments come from outside the story.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • DEVILMAN crybaby has one of these in the form of a gang of delinquents who frequently rap about what's currently happening with the plot.
  • The Durarara!! anime features segments with online chatrooms with unidentified people casually discussing various events and rumors related to the plot. This seems to function as a Greek Chorus, except for the fact that over time, the audience will realize that several main characters are the participants in these conversations, and some of the conversations are spoken in deliberately misleading voices to keep you guessing as to who's who.
  • IDOL x IDOL STORY!: Superstar idol Aria Otoboshi and her producer Kaede Kokonoe have decided to put on a Reality TV-style audition for an idol unit, pitting sixteen candidates against each other and whittling them down until only five remain. Aria and Kaede watch the proceedings through a series of security cameras, commenting on everything from the conference room.
  • A debatable example is Neya from Infinite Ryvius: For most of the show she is mostly there to echo and accent the feelings of the cast.
  • In Pokémon, Ash's friends will frequently take the role of a Greek Chorus during battle scenes between Ash and another trainers, commenting on the 'surprising' nature of certain moves or counter-attacks.
  • Director Kunihiko Ikuhara is fond of adding Greek Choruses to his works in order to comment on and foreshadow plot points.
    • In Revolutionary Girl Utena, the Kashira Shadow Players (or Shadow Play Girls) act as this. Their shadow plays usually parallel the events of the episode, with varying degrees of subtlety. Once, though, they actually invite some characters (Utena, Anthy, and Akio) to see one of their plays, a subtle-as-a-kick-to-the-head story about Anthy and Akio's past. Additionally, when the shadow play (each of which ends with a question) is performed near Utena, Utena answers the question that is posed at the end.
    • The Idol Singers Hibari Isora and Hikari Utada, aka Double H, from Penguindrum serve the same function, with their Once an Episode PSAs on the subway referencing events in the plot.
    • Sarazanmai has Sara Azuma, the local idol of Asakusa, who provides commentary on the theme of each episode through the fortunes and news she broadcasts on her TV show.
  • The character Manzo the Saw when serving as narrator of Samurai Champloo. Often explains the history and culture behind the show's Anachronism Stew concepts.
  • Alpha Q is a Greek Chorus of one after his death in Transformers: Energon. He keeps assuring the audience at the beginning that something cool will happen. Something cool does indeed happen: the end of the series.
  • In Umi Monogatari, the shrine maiden comments on the plot at times while almost never being directly involved, and her song delivers clues to the show's resolution.
  • EDENS ZERO has Xiaomei, the self-proclaimed narrator of the story. She shows up periodically to directly address the reader and offer some vague hints about events or revelations to come.
  • Bofuri: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense.: Every episode ends with a snippet of an IM conversation between various New World Online players talking about what insane thing the Lethal Joke Character protagonist did this week. There's also periodic appearances by the dev team, who introduce several patches just to nerf her personally for game balance until she turns herself into a kaiju in the last episode and they give up entirely because her sheer game-breaking nonsense is becoming a selling point for the game.

    Comic Books 
  • The Little Archie story "The Long Walk" has three of Betty's toys — a naive panda teddy, a conceited sailor figure, and a wise witch doll — provide rhyming commentary on her day.
  • In Lucky Luke, the two middle Daltons William and Jack usually function as this to their brothers Joe and Averell, who are more fleshed out as individuals, commenting on the nature of their plans and the world they inhabit. Which helps to explain why even Goscinny and Morris on several occasions forgot whether William was shorter than Jack or vice versa.
  • Cain and Abel were brothers who hosted the "Mystery" line of comics for DC in the 1960s and '70s. They were brought back by Neil Gaiman for The Sandman (1989) to provide some commentary about Morpheus and his realm.
  • In Pretty Deadly, the narrative is told and commented on by a butterfly and a skeleton rabbit (known as Bones Bunny) who live in Death's garden.

    Fan Works 
  • The students at Skyhold Academy are "a Greek chorus of Squee," according to the authors. It applies to all of them to an extent, but most especially to the ones who call themselves the 'Partners in Crime,' as they have side stories of their own which showcase them observing and commenting on the antics of their teachers (who are the actual focus of the series).

    Films — Animation 
  • The Muses in the Disney version of Hercules also take the "chorus" part as its more musical meaning (giving exposition through song at multiple points), and the "Greek" part as its more Greek meaning.
  • The slugs in Flushed Away dabble with this. Most of the songs they perform are reminiscent of what's going on in the story at that moment, to the point that it starts to feel like narration. For example, they sing a parody of "Bella Notte" in a scene where Roddy and Rita are falling in love.
  • Alan-a-Dale (voiced by Roger Miller) in Disney's animated version of Robin Hood (1973). He introduces himself to the audience at the end of the opening titles, and explains that what we are about to see is the animal kingdom's version of the Robin Hood story. From then on, he largely acts as narrator: only entering the actual action during the fair and the prison break.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • C3P0 and R2-D2 in Star Wars, who get to introduce the characters and plot. While Threepio can be counted on to fret about why people are doing something and what's going wrong.
  • The comic relief pirates Ragetti and Pintel in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
    Pintel: [watching Norrington, Will and Jack fight whilst Elizabeth is screaming and throwing rocks] How'd this go all screwy?
    Ragetti: Well, each wants the chest for hisself, don't 'e? Mr. Norrington, I think, is trying to regain a bit of honor. Old Jack's looking to trade it, save his own skin. And Turner there, I think 'e's trying to settle some unresolved business twixt him and his twice-cursed pirate father.
    Pintel: Sad.
  • The Oompa-Loompas in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory who sing meaningful songs about the Fatal Flaws of each of the children as they meet their fate within the factory.
  • The film Mighty Aphrodite, despite being set in the present, features an actual ancient Greek chorus that the main character has conversations with. This may be the only time you'll ever hear an ancient Greek chorus shouting, "Don't be a shmuck!"
  • Not Another Teen Movie featured various random Genre Savvy characters who made snarky comments in regards to the trite teen movie cliches/conventions the main characters were expressing.
  • Gonzo (playing Charles Dickens) and Rizzo the Rat in The Muppet Christmas Carol, who frequently segue off into discussions about literary and film conventions, and how they apply to the scenes we've just witnessed.
  • The narrator of 300, who doesn't bother to hide his bias favoring the Spartans. Sensible, considering that he was one himself and telling of the tale to other Spartans.
  • The DJ from The Warriors, who provides updates on the Warrior's progress across the city, and on the other gangs' attempts to take them out.
  • Stubby Kaye and Nat "King" Cole as the Balladeers in Cat Ballou. They stroll through the action, playing banjos and singing about what has just occurred, and what is about to happen.
  • The band in There's Something About Mary, who sing about the various tries to woo the title character.
  • In Stardust, the princes who were slain linger behind as ghosts, unable to pass on to the afterlife until the next heir to the throne is found. Being unable to interact with the physical world, either, they can only observe and comment on whatever unfolds before them.
  • The two local farmers watching the movie crew and their shenanigans in State and Main.
  • Four guards comment on Lord Washizu's fortunes in Throne of Blood.
  • The cowboy at the bar in the bowling alley in The Big Lebowski who occasionally bowls with the Dude and seems to know everything about him. Subverted in that the Cowboy thinks the story is a Western, when its actually a parody of Film Noir.
  • The Criminologist ("THAT MAN HAS NO NECK!") in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, who narrates the tale of the newly engaged couple, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, who find themselves lost and with a flat tire on a cold and rainy late November evening, somewhere near Denton in 1974.
  • Corey Feldman's character (you heard me) in The 'Burbs. He's the local delinquent, who observes and comments on his neighbors investigating the newcomer to the block (who they think is a killer) and ends up inviting over his friends to take part.
  • The theater servants in the film of the musical The Phantom of the Opera. They say nothing, but their reactions are enough and get shown regularly.
  • Back to the Future Part III: Word of God describes the three old-timers, played by western veterans Dub Taylor, Harry Carey Jr., and Pat Buttram, who hang out at the 1885 saloon as this. They comment on how Marty and his actions are being perceived by the average townsman (although unlike many examples, they let Marty hear them).
  • Who's Singing Over There?: The Gypsy musicians, quite literally: Several times throughout the movie, the two of them break into a sad song about the state of the world, commenting the events of the movie so far.
  • Mary Poppins casts Dick Van Dyke in such a role as Bert the chimney sweep, both for the mood and plot of the film.
  • While the singing fishermen from Blow The Man Down, never actually describe the plot, their singing is a good indicator of the mood for a given section of the movie, and they seem to be hovering in the background during key events without the other characters acknowledging their presence.
  • Blue Story has a man rapping between scene transitions to offer more insight into characters' feelings or more background to the situation.
  • In Tales of Halloween, Adrienne Barbeau plays a radio DJ whose comments provide a strangely appropriate commentary to events going on in the town, despite not knowing what is happening outside the studio.
  • In Shredder Orpheus, Axel narrates and comments on the story, and he, Scratch, and Razoreus often act as observers watching Orpheus's story, rarely actively participating in it.

  • The Oompa-Loompas from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which fits in quite nicely because they are a chorus. They sing meaningful songs about the Fatal Flaws of each of the children as they meet their fate within the factory.
  • Illium by Dan Simmons plays with this in its intro. The story begins with the narrator laying out the basics of the story in dramatic fashion, much in the same style as an actual Greek Chorus ("Sing, O Muse..."). Then it's revealed that the narrator is, in fact, the main character speaking in the first person and that he has, in fact, been resurrected from the dead specifically to tell you the story. He actually lampshades the trope:
    If I am to be the unwilling Chorus of this tale, then I can start the story anywhere I choose. I choose to start it here. [And the plot begins]
  • The teenage boys in The Virgin Suicides, who reflect the audience's confusion about the why of the suicides, and also share some of the grief over them.
  • In The Penelopiad, the maids who are executed by Odysseus serve this role. They critique Odysseus and Penelope's actions in prose and verse, and are especially bitter towards Penelope for allowing them to be killed (when many of them were actually serving as double agents on her orders). At the end, they are transformed into owls.
  • In Bored of the Rings, Lavalier (parodying a similar scene with Galadriel in Lorien) recites an ancient Elvish lament, which is followed in the text by a translation. The lament, which starts out in gibberish Elvish modeled closely on Tolkien's original ("Dago, Dago, Lassi Lima rintintin / Yanqui unicycle ramar rotoroot...") ends with the repeated line "Honi soit la vache qui rit, / Honi soit la vache qui rit", which the subsequent text translates as "We are the chorus, and we agree. We agree, we agree, we agree."
  • In The Tower Patrolmen Barnes and Shannon, two characters Adapted Out of The Film of the Book, The Towering Inferno fill this role. They stand around outside, commenting first on the nature of the party and its VIP guests, then observing the rescue efforts from afar, commenting on how likely they look to succeed and speculating on factors related to the disaster, and about what's its impact will be no matter how many of the people in the penthouse are saved.
  • Ultra-annoying side characters Peeper and Greasy, at the Super Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. They even run a semi-legal campus radio station to broadcast their usually-offensive thoughts, and they provide the running commentary for the battles during the end-of-term Combat Finals. Unfortunately, they're utterly focused on the breasts of the hotter girls on campus, with the protagonists being some of their favorite targets.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Andrew filled this role in "Storyteller". However, like most tropes in the show's later days, it was pretty ruthlessly deconstructed: Andrew realized he was putting a rhetorical spin on death and suffering for the sake of his own vanity (he's talking to a camcorder throughout the episode).
  • A Bound and Gagged Lorne found himself in this position on Angel's "Spin the Bottle". The events are being retold to an actual audience, so we know he gets free at some point, but the slowness of his rescue is commented on frequently. At the end of the episode we see that the whole time the bar was totally empty. Mind Screw, anyone?
    Lorne: [still tied up] I know I'm supposed to be unconscious right now, but can you believe these mooks?
  • In Breaking Bad, real life band Los Cuates de Sinaloa are this, exactly once. The oddity of it braces the viewer for the next phase of Walter's Protagonist Journey to Villain.
  • Jimmy Olsen and Perry White fill this role in Lois And Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, spending undue amounts of time commenting on the titular power couple. They even lampshaded this in one episode, when Jimmy complains about never having their own plotlines — only for the scene to instantly switch back to Lois and Clark.
  • Lizzie McGuire's animated self who observes things and pushes her main self on in zany fashions.
  • Doctor Who
    • In the First Doctor story "The Gunfighters" we have Lynda Byron performing "The Ballad/Of the Last Chance Saloon". Somewhere along the way, she segues from Greek Chorus to All-Knowing Singing Narrator, as the song starts referring to things that haven't happened yet.
    • In the later serial "Vengeance on Varos", this role falls to married couple Arak and Etta, who are watching the events of the episode on television.
  • Early in the fourth season of Hannah Montana, Rico had one in the form of a gospel choir that followed him around and sang about his words and actions.
  • Future!Ted in How I Met Your Mother often qualifies, providing a great deal of snarky, hindsight-enhanced commentary on his and his friends' actions. He often freezes the entire universe so that he can basically say "lol no" whenever a character makes an inaccurate prediction or does something that is going to eventually bite them in the ass.
  • Waylon Jennings as The Balladeer in The Dukes of Hazzard, particularly in the one episode where he appears as a character.
  • In The Wire, political consultant Norman Wilson plays this role to the Carcetti and political storylines as well as the serial killer hoax, once City Hall has been brought into the loop. Notably, David Simon specifically names him as this in the DVD commentary.
  • Augustus Hill In Oz. A prisoner who uses a wheelchair who also serves as the show's surrealistic narrator, breaking the fourth wall by talking to the audience about the themes of each episode (often serving as a vehicle for beliefs of the show's creator). He also introduces every prisoner, and informs us of their crime and sentence. This continues even after he's killed.
  • Dear White People: Rashid, an African exchange student, often comments on the peculiarities of American culture and most poignantly its dual obsession with and terror of addressing race.
  • In Trust the mini-series about the real-life kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III, has Fletcher Chase. Throughout the show he gives different monologues directed towards the audience, typically about how crazy rich people are.
  • The Cosby Show does a riff on Little Shop of Horrors in the episode "Nightmare on Stigwood Avenue," in which Vanessa, Pam, and Charmaine serve as an omniscient singing trio narrating Rudy's dream.
  • The Do-Wop Penguins and The Ruby Reds from The Noddy Shop commentate on the action in the story (mostly alerting everyone to the goblins' presence) and introduce the Noddy stories.
  • Succession: Frank, Karl, and Gerri act as a trio after the events of "Connor's Wedding". Several of their shared scenes are about shaking their heads at the siblings' foolhardy actions and offering insight from the senior/board member perspective. Matsson mockingly calls them "village elders".

    Myths & Religion 
  • Trope Namer / Trope Maker comes from the Ancient Greeks of-course, and The Muses of Classical Mythology - The nine goddesses of the arts - and narrators of Greek Plays. Actors portraying the Muses would start off as narrators, then slip into the play as minor background characters and sing, dance, add commentary to the audience, often in unison.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In Professional Wrestling the color commentators serve as the Greek Chorus, modeled after real Sports Casters, but also commenting on the drama and story-lines, and sometimes being made a part of them.

  • Spiritualized's "I Think I'm In Love" brings in a gospel choir to comment on J Spaceman's attempts at positive thinking.
    I think I'm in love (Probably just hungry)
    I think I'm your friend (Probably just lonely)
    I think you got me in a spin now (Probably just turning)
    I think I'm a fool for you babe (Probably just yearning)
    I think I can rock and roll (Probably just twisting)
    I think I wanna tell the world (Probably ain't listening)
    I think I can fly (Probably just falling)
    I think I'm the life and soul (Probably just snorting)
    I think I can hit the mark (Probably just aiming)
    I think my name is on your lips (Probably complaining)
  • Hector Berlioz's "dramatic symphony" adaptation of Romeo and Juliet begins with a vaguely neoclassical chorus (with contralto soloist) that narrates and comments on the scenes from Shakespeare's play which are musically depicted in subsequent movements (most of which are instrumental). However, this chorus exits before any of the action happens.
  • In the music video for Chance Calloway and AJ Rafael's cover of "I Know Him So Well" from Chess (1984), a Greek Chorus of mermen show up at emotional peaks to shred awesomely on their guitars.

  • Sportscasters sometimes adopt this approach, alternately involving themselves with the event through sideline interviews, or standing aside to comment on the action and build up viewers' excitement.

  • In the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, the choruses usually represent women or old men who do nothing except commenting on what's happening. There are exceptions to this, especially The Suppliants by Aeschylus, in which the chorus represents the protagonists, and The Eumenides, also by Aeschylus, in which the chorus represents the antagonists.
  • Inherit the Wind has the reporter E. K. Hornbeck providing commentary... in verse. He is a Deadpan Snarker who ends up in conflict with both of the play's main characters - Henry Drummond accuses him of being a mean-spirited cynic and he is openly derisive towards Matthew Brady's religious views.
  • Crystal, Chiffon and Ronnette in Little Shop of Horrors are an interesting example, going back and forth between standing outside the action and commenting on it to the audience, and interacting with the other cast members using no special out-of-character knowledge. In some productions (and the film version), you can keep track by the costumes; when they're characters the girls wear worn-down clothing appropriate to residents of Skid Row, and when they're a Greek Chorus they've changed into sparkly dresses.
  • The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Allegro relies heavily on its Greek Chorus to voice characters' thoughts, particularly during the protagonist's childhood when he is neither seen nor heard.
  • In Mamma Mia!, this trope is taken literally: citizens of the Greek island where the main characters live often provide a chorus for the songs. They also make their own opinions on the action obvious on occasion.
  • Marat/Sade: The Herald and the vocalists, Cucurucu, Polpoch, Kokol, and Rossignol, who comment on the debates between Sade and Marat and the actions of the principal characters with rhyming dialogue and intermittent song interludes.
  • The Bird Girls from Seussical The Musical play this role, actually narrating the story more than the Cat in the Hat, despite his self-assigned role as narrator.
  • In Noah Smith's stage version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, two characters designated in the script as the Butler and the Maid provide scene-setting narration and portray all the minor characters. They also act as a Greek chorus to Jekyll in the first act, expressing his hopes and hesitations at the decisive moments, and to Utterson in the second, giving voice to his struggle to comprehend the events he's become enmeshed in.
  • Trouble In Tahiti has a jazz vocal trio described in the Dramatis Personae as "a Greek Chorus born of the radio commercial." Their odes to Suburbia ironically contrast with the play's action.
  • The Dreamers in The Secret Garden, a chorus of ghosts who haunt the house.
  • The Love Of The Nightingale has two, a male and female. The male chorus are the ones recounting the plot. The female chorus is Procne's tribal women companions who warn her of danger.
  • Those Two Guys Salarino (or Salerio) and Solanio in The Merchant of Venice extract plot details from other characters and discuss plot-relevant offstage happenings (Bassanio's departure, Shylock's attempts to take legal action, etc).
  • The Players in Pippin, who introduce the play to the audience and guide Pippin through the spectacular finale (too bad for them it doesn't go as they planned). The majority of them are Monster Clowns trying to manipulate Pippin into suicide - the Leading Player in particular is the true villain of the play.
  • In Eurydice, a Perspective Flip of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, a group of stones fill this trope. They offer commentary on the story and advise the characters throughout the play, encouraging them to become unfeeling and cold like the stones themselves are.
  • In How I Learned to Drive, most of the characters, in fact all except for protagonist Li'l Bit and her abusive Uncle Peck, are represented by a chorus that takes on their roles in turn. In the first scene the "Female Greek Chorus" plays both Li'l Bit's mother and Uncle Peck's wife.
  • A Greek chorus is used in Mac Wellman's play Bad Penny, commenting on the action entirely in cryptic language and stock phrases. They are suggested to be otherworldly in some way.
  • In Henry V, a character simply known as the Chorus comes onstage, generally at the beginning of each act, and describes the current situation of the play. The Chorus also closes the play by explaining that Henry VI would lose everything that Henry V had gained.
  • A chorus consisting of the women of Canterbury provide the commentary during Murder in the Cathedral, foreshadowing Thomas Becket's conflict with King Henry II and his murder.
  • The stage version of Aladdin has Babkak, Omar, & Kassim narrating the events and setting up the scenes of the play. They were originally written as supporting characters for Aladdin in the film, but dropped from there.
  • The stage version of A Christmas Carol will sometimes include Charles Dickens as a character, narrating the events, setting up scenes, and sometimes interacting with the other characters.
  • As Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O'Neill is a retelling of The Oresteia by Aeschylus set in an 1860s New England town, the various townsfolk fill the role of a Greek chorus, commenting on the events of the play and the main characters' behavior.
  • In Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, the play is opened, commented on, and closed by a character designated as the "Chorus".
  • The Firebugs, a play by Max Frisch, includes a chorus of bungling firemen who speak in verse and comment on the main story.
  • In Hamilton, weirdly enough it's a villain (albeit one who never directly interacts with the main characters) who plays this role: after "You'll Be Back", where King George sings about the revolutionary war from his perspective, his next two songs pretty much stick to commenting on the state of America depicted in the musical at the time, from his own quite unique perspective:
    Oceans rise, empires fall
    Next to Washington they all look small!
    All alone, watch them run
    They will tear each other into pieces, Jesus Christ this will be fun!
    [..] President John Adams... good luck!
  • There is a Greek Chorus in The Hunchback of Notre Dame consisting of the extras, the statues atop Notre Dame, the gypsy king Clopin, and occasionally, the main actors themselves (including Frollo and his brother Jehan in The Bells of Notre Dame) narrating the events of the story to the audience.
  • The Ring of the Nibelung: the leitmotives work as the equivalent of the Greek chorus. Advances in composition and music during the Romanticism era lead Richard Wagner to develop this musical technique. Wagner was a Fan Boy of old Greek dramas, especially those of Aeschylus. Thus, he devised a way to make his operas a seamless and endless flow of music, where commentary about the events happening on stage (much like in the Greek chorus of old) was done by recurring musical phrases: the leitmotives.
    • In a more literal way, the Norns at the prologue of the final opera (Götterdämmerung) work as a traditional Greek chorus: they mention events that so far have happened in the Ring cycle, and they don't interact with any other character in the operas.
  • The Delta Nu girls from Elle's old sorority in Legally Blonde serve as this as she journeys to Harvard, acting as a Guardian Angel to her (but somehow are still able to appear to Paulette during Bend and Snap, despite them just being in her mind). The real Delta Nu girls end up appearing to support Elle during her big trial, with Elle originally confusing them for her imaginary Greek Chorus.
  • Officer Lockstock and Sally from Urinetown. Lockstock narrates the play and Little Sally comes up to ask him Audience Surrogate questions with them both acknowledging that they're in a play.
  • The Fates in Hadestown often sing in the background of songs, commenting on the state of affairs of the heroes, and are represented most as the voices in the back of everyone's minds.
  • In Esther, Jean Racine had the Jewish girls sheltered by the titular characters serve this role, describing the plight of the Jews under Haman and their praises to the Lord.
  • In Eurydice, the Stones act as a chorus that comments on the action and Eurydice's thoughts.
  • L'Orfeo has the shepherds, nymphs, and Underworld spirits lend commentary to the action at hand, particularly when they praise Orpheus's musical talent and ingenuity or lament how cruel fate can be.
  • Orpheus: A Poetic Drama has a chorus commentate on events throughout the story and act as several minor characters.

    Video Games 
  • Lazarus and Eliza in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Eliza is a mainstream newscaster, whereas Lazarus is a radio talk show host who deals with conspiracy theories. More often than not, their broadcasts will deal with the current situation at hand with the player.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Melee: On the Corneria stage, Fox and Falco can give the rest of the Star Fox team a call to give their piece. This functionality is retained when the stage returns in Brawl, for Nintendo 3DS, and Ultimate. Slippy Toad will also chime in during one of the event matches, where he reveals that he invented the Cloaking Device item.
    • Brawl:
      • Along with the aforementioned Corneria calls, the Lylat Cruise stage has a similar sequence that can be performed by Fox, Falco, and Wolf. This is retained in for Wii U and Ultimate.
      • On Shadow Moses Island, Snake can contact Mei Ling, Otacon, or Colonel Roy Campbell (or Slippy Toad) via codec for information on each specific fighter. Though this is retained in Ultimate, only the fighters that appeared in Brawl have calls due to the death of Roy Campbell's Japanese voice actor in 2012; fighters added in for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U or later, as well as fighters that were present in Melee but absent from Brawlnote , will get no response.
    • for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U: In the Wii U version, Snake's codec calls are replaced with Palutena's Guidance where, on the Palutena's Temple stage, Pit can contact characters from Kid Icarus: Uprising (and some other games) to converse about other fighters. Given the nature of the Kid Icarus setting, this would make it an almost literal Greek Chorus. Fighters added via Downloadable Content, however, do not have new calls recorded, Palutena shocked that she doesn't have any data on them and Viridi concluding that they're intruders from another dimension.
    • Ultimate: While no new stages with similar functions were added, all previous functions return. Palutena's Guidance adds new conversations for the base roster's newcomers, as well as the DLC roster from the previous game and veterans absent from the previous game. Some conversations from the previous game are also edited, while others have been completely revamped (DLC characters added to Ultimate itself, save for Piranha Plant, only get the same generic "Who is this?" response present in the previous game). This isn't the case of Snake's conversations, due to the passing of Roy Campbell, meaning that attempting to perform a call for information about a character who wasn't in Brawl won't work.
  • In the DS version of Disgaea, once you win (or get a Non Standard Game Over), an option appears to turn on a prinny commentator, who often makes snarky comments on the game's goings-on.
  • Pods 042 and 153 in NieR: Automata appear in a variety of metatextual scenes together from Route B onwards. These scenes even occur in a loading screen at one point!
  • In Mass Effect 3, there are Privates Westmoreland and Campbell, the two female Normandy crewmembers guarding the War-Room, who often comment about the events in the story as they occur.
  • The singing Trow in The Bard's Tale pop up regularly, deliver An Aesop song about a character who's just died in a particularly nasty way, and then disappear just as quickly. Granted, this is a game where the fourth wall's already been sledgehammered to rubble, and the Lemony Narrator also fits the role.
  • A literal one comes in the form of Zeus and Prometheus in Immortals Fenyx Rising, as they comment upon Fenyx's findings, often trading barbs with one another.
  • In Disco Elysium this role is filled by the detectives skills represented by voices in his head. In particular the voices of Ancient Reptilian Brain, Limbic System, and Spinal Cord, who aren't associated with skills provide commentary on the detective's actions, especially when he's dreaming.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa: Every time a game's protagonist goes to sleep, we see a Monokuma Theater, in which Monokuma tells a strange parable about the events of the day, or what's happening while we sleep, or something else entirely.

  • The Order of the Stick: The Demon Cockroaches follow Xykon and Redcloak around providing comic relief. They actually do get directly involved with the main action in later strips, where one of them tries to talk the Monster in the Dark out of a Heel–Face Turn, warn the others about O-Chul's escape, and then gets skewered by the paladin's improvised spear. Even before that Miko used one to light a fire (they can do that) to make an escape. Belkar also lit a fire with one, to cook stew.
  • Neko the Kitty often uses a character situated outside the panels to deliver an extra gag. In later strips, this has been Neko commenting on the action whether he appears in the strip or not.
  • Roll and Protoman in their coffee breaks for Bob and George. Once Roll complained about being a plot device after realizing they had just explained the significance of the last comics. Then again, the series as a whole has No Fourth Wall, characters who Rage Against the Author, the Author himself as a main character, and pretty much everyone gets in on the act of commenting about plot lines, Plot Holes, (there are none) the yearly attack by some random villain, the various holiday and anniversary party strips... Can your entire cast qualify for a Greek Chorus?

    Web Original 
  • Novel AI has HypeBot, which occasionally generates commentary on whatever stories you're doing and likes to make suggestions what to do next. Because it's just as much of an AI as the story generator, though, it can be prone to the same bizarre quirks and assumptions, such as forgetting what applied to who or being tone-deaf about the current scene.
    Story character: You, the filthy wretch who killed my daughter, are being taken to the arena to fight to the death against another prisoner.
    HypeBot: Wow! The arena sounds like fun!

    Web Video 
  • Freshy Kanal: In "Loki vs. Count Olaf", Lemony Snicket appears between Loki and Count Olaf's second verses to comment how Olaf has been burned by Loki's disses, but Olaf is not going to give up.
  • World War II: Every episode begins with host Indy Neidell in a Newhart Phonecall with an unknown entity (jokingly said to be the ghost of Conrad von Hötzendorf in a livestream) usually for the purposes of foreshadowing the events of the episode. They are aware of things that have yet to unfold in the regular episodes such as in Episode 035 - "Norway is Burning", covering April 1940, the introductory phone call has Indy being foretold about upcoming events in the life of British Major-General Carton de Wiart.
    Indy: Man, the future sounds adventurous.

    Western Animation 
  • The Little Fish in Bubble Guppies talk about the lunch segment puns and give the answers to questions.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Kang and Kodos from some of the later Treehouse of Horror episodes, where they appear in a final scene and give a quick remark on the preceding story.
    • Sideshow Mel often fulfills this role in large crowd scenes, loudly and loquaciously proclaiming the people's collective opinion.
  • In an episode of Phineas and Ferb, the band "Love Handel" follows a delivery driver around, singing songs about everything he's doing, and near the end of the episode, they reference their transformation from "a pop-metal band into a rousing Greek Chorus".
  • Dmitri and Sviatoslav, the clock bats in Count Duckula would often comment on the proceedings and make terrible jokes on the theme.
  • The Badly-Drawn Brothers in Avenger Penguins would give their pondering reflections on the story.
  • The whole purpose of the character Kiwi in Chowder.
    Mung: Okay. Well, I'm open to suggestions.
    Kiwi: End the show now. [flaps his arms]
  • It was a Running Gag on the Marvel / Sunbow animated series of The '80s like The Transformers, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Inhumanoids, and Jem that most news broadcasts about the story's events were done by a Geraldo Rivera Expy named Hector Ramirez.
  • Johnny Gomez and Nick Diamond in Celebrity Deathmatch are rare main character examples, as their purpose is to provide humorous commentary on the death matches which are the real focus of the series. While Nick would sometimes get involved in a death match himself, Johnny only ever got into one over the course of the series, and even then he mostly just provided commentary on his own fight.
  • Sheriff Callie's Wild West has a trio of singing prairie dogs, who provide musical commentary on events at the beginning, middle and end of every episode. This usually involves them popping out of nowhere and is never addressed by the characters themselves.
  • A few episodes of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy will periodically cut to Sir Raven, a raven dressed like a Quintessential British Gentleman, who provides commentary on the episode's events. He's a Large Ham who keeps shouting repetitions of things he just said in order to get his point across.
    Sir Raven: Let's watch a clip. WATCH! A! CLIP!

And thus ended the trope page.


Video Example(s):


Delta Nu arrives

As Elle laments her boyfriend moving on to Vivienne, she imagines her former sorority girls as a greek chorus.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / GreekChorus

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