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Involuntary Dance

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DJ Octavio, Splatoon 2

A condition where a dancing person must continue to dance and has no way to stop moving. In some cases the victims begin to dance voluntarily but find themselves unable to stop; in others, they were forced to dance against their will. In both cases, the victim is at the mercy of someone or something else (a villain, a curse, an artifact, or similar) that compels this dancing. If an object or trinket controls the dancing, they may be freed if they can get rid of it, but sometimes it's not so easily shaken, and other times even that won't help.

The victims may be forced to dance for the following purposes:

  • Incapacitation: The dance hinders the victims' action or renders them helpless.
  • Playing with Puppets/Hypno Fool: The dance is intended to humiliate the victim or make them look foolish.
  • Torture: The dance will exhaust the victim. In extreme cases, the person is forced to dance until they die in a prime case of The Not-So-Harmless Punishment.
  • Aesthetics: The person controlling the dance wants to see the other person move in a way that visually appeals to them.

Can be a form of Ironic Hell or Laser-Guided Karma (to say nothing of Cool and Unusual Punishment). Relatively popular in children's entertainment because it seems like a relatively harmless means of restraint, comparable to Tickle Torture. Mind-Control Music often, and The Music Meister always, causes this trope.

Often a version of People Puppets, and overlaps with Mind Manipulation. Not to be confused with Bullet Dancing (a series of reflex leaps isn't quite what this trope is after).


    open/close all folders 

  • In 4 Angies, Nina will dance uncontrollably at the sound of fast-paced music, the basis of her spinning "Nina Twister" move.
  • In Season 10 episode 12 of Happy Heroes, Big M. at one point uses Doctor H.'s machine to make Smart S. do a ballet dance against his will - complete with him spawning a ballerina dress out of nowhere. Seconds later, he does the same thing to Careful S. and his duplicates, also with spontaneously-appearing dresses to fit.
  • Miniforce X: In "The Suspicious Shoes", the main villain's plot revolves around selling shoes to the populous, only to later activate them to force them all to dance uncontrollably.
  • Motu Patlu: In "Magical Flute", among the loot that John the Don's minions stole from a store is a magic flute that, when played, causes anybody within hearing range to dance uncontrollably. Naturally, John utilizes the flute in yet another of his villainous schemes.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Tibbie's Magic Train in Flying Island: The Sky Adventure can play music to make people dance against their will. In that season's 19th episode, she stops Wolffy with this ability when he infiltrates the room used for producing rainbows.
  • Pucca: In "The Dance of the Ruby Slippers", the titular cursed shoes forces anyone who wears them into dancing uncontrollably.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ah! My Goddess: Mara's Weaksauce Weakness is rock music, which causes the demoness to dance uncontrollably.
  • In Anpanman, both Taikoman and Jongara-kun's music is so compelling that anyone that hears it will dance against their will.
  • Zero the Glint from Battle Spirits Saikyo Ginga Ultimate Zero hypes up the spectators in this way before summoning his yellow Ultimate.
  • Code Geass: One of the bizarre tasks Lelouch compels some drug dealers to do for his Playing with Puppets moment. It's a pretty horrible thing he did, considering that the person who he compelled to dance will have to dance until he dies.
  • Crayon Shin-chan: The 14th movie features Kidnap and Replace. The difference is that the duplicate likes dancing to music. And when the duplicate dances, so does the kidnapped and captured original.
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Tin Labyrinth have the effects of the Computer Virus being installed on the robotic despot, Professor Napogistler, who then starts an impromptu, out-of-control tapdance (to the tune of "Ito-ito maki", a Japanese children's song). And then the virus' effects takes over Napogistler's minions, causing an entire army of hostile robots to dance as they go haywire (including a robot pilot in it's cockpit, resulting in the plane crashing).
  • The Para Para Brothers from Dragon Ball GT use a stereo to cause their opponents to uncontrollably mimic their dancing, leaving them open to attack.
  • Flint the Time Detective: Jitterbug's song and Jitterbug-Master's ray can make people dance against their will.
  • In HappinessCharge Pretty Cure!, this is the effect that the Hawaiian Alohaloe attack that Cure Princess uses in her Macadamia Hula Dance form: making everyone, friend and foe, dance the hula. Unless you're Cure Fortune.
  • The Japan Animator Expo short Babu and Bubulina features a retelling of The Red Shoes with its own unique twists. The shoes are possessed by a ghost named Audrey and will keep dancing as long as she wills it, much to the dismay of Bubulina, though, she's not completely hostile.
  • Jewelpet Twinkle☆: "Tinkle Tinkle Sanbala" is a magic spell that makes everyone dance samba. The spell was used on Mushroom Men, so yeah, it's... Mushroom Samba.
  • The Laughing Salesman: One episode of the reboot has Moguro make a deal with a mother who projects her dream of becoming an idol onto her daughter. He gives her a special ring that allows her to make her daughter do whatever she says at her idol audition, on the condition that she follows the strict time limit. She doesn't. The result is her daughter continuing to dance even after her audition is finished uncontrollably, forced to perform in the way of oncoming traffic. Luckily, in an act of kindness, the salesman saves her at the last minute and gives her mother a shot at her dream herself instead.
  • The Legend of Zelda (Akira Himekawa): In the adaptation of Majora's Mask, this is the punishment of the original incarnation of Majora. A traveler who seeks to obtain the dark beast's power uses enchanted music to force it to dance itself to exhaustion until death.
  • Magical Circle Guru-Guru has items and spells which have this power. Nike and Kukuri also enter a village where everyone is forced to move in a dance like manner by monster. Once the monster is defeated everyone's back to normal, though the mayor takes a while.
  • My Bride is a Mermaid: To stop the fight between two Yakuza groups, the mermaids Sun & Lunar sing a song that causes everyone to dance uncontrollably. For 50 solid hours.
  • One Piece
    • Brook seems to have gained this ability. He caused the Bobardment Squad of the New Fishman Pirates to dance around as if they were at a festival.
    • Also happens in a back-up feature to one of the movies, where Jango hypnotizes an entire island into dancing.
  • Papuwa: Nikko Monkey King's drum is compelling and it is Not Hyperbole for Shintaro. Played with when it turns out to be hyperbole for everyone else.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • "Abra and the Psychic Showdown" had Sabrina's Abra (who had evolved into Kadabra), curb stomps Pikachu before forcing it to dance with its psychic abilities, just to add to its humiliation. Then Ash escaped from her with the help of a mysterious man, who also displayed telekinesis by controlling Ash's body in a similar manner.
    • Team Rocket's Mark Three Manner Minder, a machine in "Outrageous Fortunes" that allows them to control anybody who wears it, eventually flies onto Jessie and Meouth has a little fun controlling her body.
    • The mini-movie "Gotta Dance!" revolved around Meowth's newest invention, "The Dancin' Pokébaton", which causes all Pokemon who listen to it to uncontrollably dance.
    • Teeter Dance, which in the games just confuses the target, consistently has this effect except in "Pikachu's Big Sparking Search".
    • Clemont's Not-A-Very-Good-Dancer Automated Good Dancing Device does this for the purpose of teaching the user to be a better dancer, but unfortunately, as it speeds up, it's prone to malfunctioning...
  • Powerpuff Girls Z: A Saturday Night Fever-esque monster uses Hypno Ray to cause people in the dance hall to dance in sync with him.
  • Princess Tutu: Drosselmeyer's Author Powers are most apparent when Tutu ascends to the author's universe and ends up becoming a marionette which dances ballet at his will.
  • Queen's Blade: In Grimoire, Despina, an Expy of the Pied Piper, once used to use her flute to hypnotize rats into dancing. Now, she uses it to do the same to women she finds attractive and make them join her harem.
  • Ranma ½: The anime-only twins Linlin and Ranran's most powerful move. The twins play the theme tune which causes the opponent to dance uncontrollably, and while they dance Linlin and Ranran use a dragon-shaped flamethrower to burn the opponent.
  • Rave Master: The villain's girlfriend asks for a certain music to be played that makes all the males dance so that she can fight with Elie uninterrupted.
  • Sailor Moon Super S:
    • A mow puts a tutu on Sailor Moon and makes her spin uncontrollably.
    • Palla Palla of the Amazoness Quartet briefly does this to the Sailor Guardians using a Voodoo Doll of Sailor Moon, forcing all of them to twirl around in midair for her childlike amusement.
  • Samurai Pizza Cats: Big Cheese builds a Monster of the Week that can bang out a hypnotic drum beat, thus bringing the dance craze to the city.
  • Shugo Chara!:
  • The Snow Queen: In the episode based on "Red Shoes" which ends with disastrous consequences.
  • Stitch!:
    • Experiment 258 (Sample) has gained this ability. Also, after the failure of the week, Delia punishes Hämsterviel by hanging him with thread and forcing him to dance.
    • In order to capture Stitch, Experiment 610 (Witch) magically forced Stitch and his friends to dance, which would have tired them out if Yuna hadn't distracted her.
    • The show also reveals Experiment 123 (Carmen)'snote  ability to be this.
  • Sugar Sugar Rune: A Dance Candy comes in handy when you want the mandragora to willingly come out from the ground without screaming.
  • Tsuritama: Humans under the influence of the aliens' Mind-Control Device. This can result in some very bad things, such as losing control of their boats and accidentally launching missiles from a battleship.
  • Twin Princess of Wonder Planet: Fine or Rein presses one of the three buttons on the Feather Myuugram to make it play music. Anyone standing in front of the Myuugram will be forced to dance depending on the music the Myuugram plays. This is one of Fine's Supers in Magical Chaser: Stardust of Dreams.
  • The Urusei Yatsura chapter "Passion of the Red Shoes" centers on a pair of cursed red high heels which cause Lum to dance uncontrollably.
  • The application of Mind-Control Music to this is common in Violinist of Hameln and its sequel Shchelkunchik. Often combined with Naked People Are Funny.
  • The one in Wagamama Fairy Mirumo de Pon! can be handed over; if a victim manages to touch an unaffected person, the person will start dancing instead.
  • In the Mushroom Samba episode of Yume no Crayon Oukoku, one mushroom happens to be a "dancing mushroom".
  • Zatch Bell!: Yopopo can cause the opponent to mimic his dancing by using his spell, Shin Yopopoi Topopoi Supopopoi.
  • Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh: There is a Monster of the Week which affects people and the Humongous Mecha alike.

    Comic Books 
  • In Action Comics #592, a character called Sleez (yeah, that's his name) hypnotically induces Big Barda to dance for him. Among other things...
  • Archie Comics: In issue #268 of Archie Comics Annual, one segment has Archie unable to stop dancing after a school dance, causing hinderances in his daily life, even rendering him unable to fall asleep.
  • In issue #110 of The Avengers, Magneto learns how to control minds using the iron in people's brains and soon gets Wanda Maximoff under his control. She's then made to dance for his amusement in front of the other Avengers.
  • In the first issue of Brit, the villain Master Mind takes control of hundreds of people on a stretch of highway and forces them to dance.
  • DC Super Hero Girls (2019): In issue #2 of the Infinite Frenemies run, Livewire uses a special frequency at a school dance to force everyone to dance uncontrollably. The heroines end up becoming dance battlers to combat the threat and put a stop to her scheme, though Bumblebee has a little trouble getting used to it.
  • In Doctor Who Magazine, The Sixth Doctor uses a pied piper ploy in order to make a group of renegade robots dance themselves away from a city.
  • Johan and Peewit: The book that was also The Smurfs' first appearance is about a magic flute that causes involuntary dancing... up to the point that the victims fall unconscious. The climax has Peewit and the bad guy, both with magic flutes, fighting by forcing each other to dance, until one of them falls down.
  • The Maestro, a minor foe of the Justice League of America, could cause his victims to dance uncontrollably.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Issue #66's "Rain, Rain, Go Away" (DC run) had a sea monster influence a fisherman to write a pop song that makes everyone in Townsville do a rain dance which floods the city enough for the creature to invade it. (Buttercup is the only person not partaking as she was already sick of the song from minute one.)
  • One of Rocket Kelly's adventures had him come up against a group of inexplicably-sentient musical instruments (lead by the Minstrel of Death, a grand piano) whose music forced anyone who heard it to dance. Well, anyone except the tone-deaf pilot Punchy, who proved instrumental in the Minstrel's defeat.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Sabrina has several spells that can induce this, usually in the form of prank-like punishments for those who have wronged her.
  • Shazam!: In Whiz Comics #151, Captain Marvel deals with a dancing plague that forces the afflicted into dancing non-stop.
  • Dansen Macabre, enemy of Spider-Man, has the ability to hypnotize others into dancing for her. Moreover, she can also inflict death upon those who watch her dance.
  • Speed Force: The Music Meister, adapted from Batman: The Brave and the Bold below, makes an appearance in which he does this to Superboy complete with an Evil Costume Switch.
  • Super-Hip (DC Comics) magically acquires an electric guitar which causes whoever hears it to dance uncontrollably whenever he plays rock and roll.
  • Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen: In issue #88, Rock N' Roll Superman, this happens to Superman after being exposed to an old Kryptonian siren song called the "Krypton Crawl". After writing it down in order to help Jimmy become a successful musician, he is overcome with the urge to dance and is unable to stop. However, this all turns out to be falsified when it's revealed that it was the work of Red Kryptonite instead.
  • Zita the Spacegirl: Piper's eponymous flute can make listeners dance themselves unconscious.

    Fairy Tales 
  • Being compelled to attend the revels of The Fair Folk every night was one folk theory about TB: the victims wasted away because they got no sleep at night.
  • The Brothers Grimm's tale "The Jew Among Thorns" includes a fiddle which compels people to dance when they hear it played.
  • Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Red Shoes", where a girl is punished for her vain pride over her beautiful shoes by having the shoes force her to dance uncontrollably.
  • In Joseph Jacobs's Kate Crackernuts, The Fair Folk force the prince to dance until collapse, and then they force him to dance some more.

    Fan Works 
  • The Infinite Loops: One of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Loops has Twilight Sparkle use the Disco Phial (see Video Games), given to her by Smaug, on Nightmare Moon. Then she notices that everyone else is being made to dance as well.
  • The Life and Times of a Winning Pony: Ponies who hear a rusalka’s song are forced to dance with it until they miss a step and the rusalka kills them, or until it gets bored and kills them anyway.
  • Olive's Last Partner has shades of this with getting rid of the Skips, which requires the victim to be quarantined and to skip in circles for a week until they are cured, with no urge to use the bathroom, eat, drink or sleep. Oscar invokes the trope by using his Speed-up-inator gadget on Olive and Ms. Baker to make them skip faster in time so that they're cured in a couple hours rather than a whole week.
  • Harry Potter fa* The Retelling of Pokémon Colosseum: In this fanfic, the Dance Battler Miror B. has a special hypnotic music player that forces everyone else to dance as well.nfic This Means War has Harry play a prank on the Weasley boys which involves magically forcing them to sing and dance in front of the school to Y.M.C.A.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Used several times in Fred Astaire's movies:
    • In Flying Down to Rio, he apparently can't stop his feet from moving when he hears the band practicing, even though he's in the middle of lecturing the Chorus Girls on the importance of concentration.
    • In Top Hat, Jerry claims to be suffering from a medical condition that causes this. He tells Dale hopefully that the nurses always cure it by putting their arms around him.
    • In Carefree, Tony hypnotizes Amanda, and she dances with him in a trance.
    • In the Show Within a Show in The Barkleys of Broadway, Josh is forced to dance by a pair of magical shoes (a Shout-Out to The Red Shoes — the movie had come out the previous year).
  • Aladdin:
    • Genie says that he can't make people fall in love. Not that Genie doesn't try, but the princely entourage, gifts, and forcing Aladdin to dance don't help at all.
    • Earlier in the film, during the "Friend Like Me" sequence, Genie uses puppet strings to attach themselves to Aladdin and help him dance along to the bombastic number, in a further demonstration of his phenomenal cosmic power.
  • In Beetlejuice, the Maitlands try to scare off the Deetzes and their dinner guests by possessing them and forcing them to dance and lip-sync to "Day-O".
  • In Don't Worry Darling, Jack is forced to dance by Frank for the amusement of the party guests.
  • Ella Enchanted: Ella is "blessed" with the gift of obedience. Because of this, she is compelled to sing and dance for the entertainment of some giants after some of them yell out for her to do so.
    • Later, she's made to do hokey pokey for the Big Bad once her secret is revealed to him.
  • Ghostbusters (2016): In the climax, the possessed Kevin uses his powers to force the entire police force and millitary to tango in the streets.
  • Godmothered: Eleanor uses magic to force Mackenzie to dance with Hugh.
  • In the second sequel to Halloweentown, Return To Halloweentown, Marnie is briefly subjected to this by Splendora while being educated on the effects of the Gift, which allows the user to control just about anyone.
  • Hocus Pocus: After the witch sisters spontaneously perform at a party, they curse the attendants to dance until they die. The sisters' deaths ended the spell, as the last scene of the movie is the people leaving the party, exhausted but still alive. Done again in the sequel to Blondie's "One Way Or Another".
  • K12: After trapping the students inside a ballroom, Leo uses a spell to force all in attendance to dance with one another during the "Recess" segment of the film.
  • The Lair of the White Worm. Lady Sylvia Marsh is the vampire priestess of the title monster. When she hears a particular kind of music she starts dancing (a reference to how snakes are supposed to be charmed by music).
  • Legend. While Lily is trapped in Darkness' lair, he sends a dancing mannequin in a black dress to seduce her. The mannequin Mind Controls her into dancing with it, eventually transforming her with an Evil Costume Switch/Evil Makeover.
  • The Luck of the Irish: Kyle finds that he is unable to stop dancing whenever he hears Irish music, a side effect of him turning into a leprechaun.
  • The Mask: The title character sings the "Cuban Pete" song and everyone in the audience (mostly composed of cops aiming their weapons at him) starts dancing (except for Lieutenant Kellaway).
  • From Oz the Great and Powerful, after the Wicked Witch of the West makes her first public appearance: "May I have this dance?"
  • The climax of Ruby Sparks has Ruby forced to... do several stuff, including a striptease.
  • The main characters in A Simple Wish are forced to dance by the villain.
  • Happens during the credits of Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams on a willing subject when Carmen allows herself to be controlled by a gadget that does all the dancing for her. However, it's inverted when it turns out it was all natural talent and there were no batteries in it in the first place.
  • Suspiria (2018): After getting caught by the other matrons and breaking her leg (which is then undone), Sara is subjected to dancing her part of Volk under Blanc's spell.
  • Teen Beach Movie: As Mack and Brady find themselves trapped in a movie musical, the film's plot begins to change them as they begin to start singing and dancing uncontrollably, most notably in the number "Can't Stop Singing".
  • The human victims of the demon Grimdo in Ultraman Taiga The Movie: New Generation Climax, after being exposed to the demon's presence on a Shock Site. One of the human characters, Pirika, gets electrocuted while holding her tablet, and immediately breaks out into an impromptu break-dance routine (while screaming for help all the way), until the arrival of Daichi Ozora with his X-Devizier finally erase the demon's hold on her.
  • Van Helsing: Dracula hypnotizes Princess Anna after capturing her and she's made to dance with him at his ball. However, even after she snaps out of it, her body is still forced to go along with the dance until Helsing swoops in to save the day.

  • Often happens in the Give Yourself Goosebumps series, and usually these are the worse And I Must Scream type of endings you can get into. For instance, in Trapped in the Circus of Fear, you risk getting trapped by a musician (who is actually a good man, but is cursed by the evil ringmistress) who then plays an enchanted tune from his violin forcing you to dance. If you haven't collected a bullwhip, you'll end up dancing for all eternity.
  • Nintendo Adventure Books: In "Pipe Down!", Princess Toadstool gets a pair of sneakers for her birthday that turn out to be cursed. She's compelled to dance while wearing them, and can't take them off no matter what she tries. They turn out to have been sent by Ludwig van Koopa as part of a plot to draft the princess into his basketball-themed ballet.
  • Sorcery!: The JIG spell, by playing a bamboo flute, allows you to give enemies the uncontrollable urge to dance a merry jig. It is easy to exhaust a creature or provide time to escape this way.

  • The 39 Clues: In "Outbreak", there's a disease that causes people to uncontrollably dance. It spreads to most of the Cuban population, as well as Ian, Cara, Hamilton, Jonah, and briefly, Dan and Nellie.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of... Magic II: As long as someone is wearing the titular Blue Suede Shoes, they can't stop dancing, and they won't let the wearer dance what they want. Eventually, the protagonist figures out a solution to the overwhelming effects — he and his partner must wear one shoe each.
  • Goblin Slayer: There exists a spell for this that Female Wizard is able to learn in one of the side-stories.
  • Harry Potter: The Dancing Feet Spell (Tarantallegra).
  • In a Homer Price short story everyone in town gets infected with a patter song-and-dance and has to start singing & dancing it. Homer realies the only cure is another song - one by Mark Twain ("Punch Brothers, Punch!"), which one forgets as soon as one tells it to someone else.
  • In Incarnations of Immortality, Death once collected a soul at a party where someone had broken out a badly-enchanted guitar and pair of dancing shoes. They conferred superhuman playing and dancing skill respectively, but made no allowance for the performer having had enough, and the out-of-shape woman who tried the shoes suffered a fatal heart attack.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's The Lark and the Wren, Rune forces the elves to dance to her fiddle.
  • The end of Nikolai Gogol's "The Lost Letter": the only thing that remains following his ordeal is the fact that once a year, on the date he met the group of demons, his wife has an uncontrollable urge to dance and does, with no way of stopping her.
  • Merida: Padraic attempts to hypnotize Merida into doing a jig through the power of his limited magic locket. However, her Heroic Willpower is strong enough to resist it before she goes through with the suggestion.
  • Puddle Lane: In The Magic Box, the title item plays music when a Big Red Button is pushed, and forces everyone to dance happily. Sarah tries this on the sleeping elderly Mr Gotobed, who enjoys his dance. When the nosey Mrs Pitter-Patter presses the button herself, the box sings a special song for her, and she is the only one who is made to dance.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun: In "The Dicks They Are a Changin'", Harry joins a CD club and when the family puts in the first CD, they find themselves dancing uncontrollably to "Electric Avenue." Sally and Dick are particularly dismayed by this and Dick decides to make a tactical retreat, cuing the family to dance down the stairs in unison and Tommy, bringing up the rear, to do a spin.
  • Batman (1966). Played with in "Pharaoh's in a Rut" when King Tut makes Batman (whom he thinks has been driven insane by torture) dance for his amusement. Batman starts dancing the Batusi to the show's theme music until he's standing before a couple of minions whom he then punches in the face.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Musical Episode "Once More, with Feeling" involves a demon who makes the residents of Sunnydale (including the Scooby Gang) reveal their innermost feelings in song and dance. Those unable to contain these feelings are compelled to dance until they burn up completely.
  • Cheers: At one point Sam threatens Carla with turning on the bar jukebox and playing "Make Me Wanna Shout", which causes Carla to dance to it... until she gets within arms reach of the jukebox.
  • The Criminal Minds episode "The Lesson" has an UnSub who dislocates people's limbs in order to make living marionettes. One creepy scene has him manipulating a woman he has captured to dance like a marionette.
  • The Doodlebops: Dee Dee comes into possession of a pair of magical red tap-dancing shoes that make her a better dancer after she wishes that she could dance forever like the girl in her storybook. By the time she's onstage for her performance, she finds that she isn't able to stop.
  • The Electric Company (2009): In the episode "Trouble Afoot", Manny switches Hector's sneakers with ones that sabotage his movements, causing him to uncontrollably burst into dance-like movements, in particular, triggered by a wrong password attempt on the device keeping them locked onto his feet.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder: While under the influence of Vicky's mind control devices, Viv and Roy's parents are forced into backup singer mode to compliment the former and Crocker's Villain Song.
  • The Fresh Beat Band:
    • Happens in the episode "Rock The Luau", where Marina finds that she cannot stop dancing whenever she hears Hawaiian music while the band is getting ready to perform at a luau.
    • Similarly, in the episode "Loco Legs", Shout catches a case of the titular disease that forces his legs into dancing at random, and the majority of the episode is spent helping him to try and control it.
  • In the Friday the 13th: The Series "The Maestro", the cursed antique of the week was a music box who's melody forced the listener to dance themselves to death. Death occurred either though strain on the body or dancing into deadly situations, such as out a window.
  • iCarly: In "iDream of Dancing", this is the focus of Sam's nightmare.
  • This is the schtick of the Groovy Guru on Get Smart. Dancing is the first effect of his mind-controlling music.
  • Johnny and the Sprites: In the episode "Johnny's Gotta Dance", Lily casts a spell on Johnny's shoes in order to help improve his dancing ability. However, the spell goes wrong, and he's left unable to stop dancing for the duration of the episode.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Fourze: When Fourze was bound by a magic contract with the Student Council President, his attempt to attack the president resulted in dancing.
    • Kamen Rider 555: In the "Hyper Battle Video" special, Faiz's new weapon, a Boombox, can force everyone around it to sing and dance.
    • Kamen Rider Geats: Kamen Rider Na-Go's Spectral Effecter has the power to manipulate music to give it emotion-altering properties, sometimes making people excited enough to the point where they can't stop dancing.
  • Knightmare: The 'DANCE' spell. Also inflicted, a few series later, by Elita's Pan pipes.
  • Lab Rats: Leo is given a pair of anti-gravity shoes (seeing a pattern yet?) that his bully ends up stealing. However, when he does, Chase takes control of the shoes and forces him to dance. Apparently wearing Tricked-Out Shoes is a gamble.
  • LazyTown:
    • In the episode "Remote Control", Robbie Rotten makes Sportacus dance the "cha cha cha" with help from a remote control that controls everything.
    • Happens again in a episode called "Defeeted", where Robbie tricks Sportacus into wearing remote controlled boots. Later, when Sportacus is performing a stunt, Robbie activates the shoes and makes him trip and dance everywhere. When put on auto-mode, they're capable of making Sportacus mimic Stephanie's dance moves in "Always A Way", and later, when Robbie's tricked into putting them on himself, they make him dance to the Dance Party Ending song, "Bing Bang".
  • Lost Girl: Vex pranks The Morrigan this way; while she's in the midst of seducing a handsome toyboy, The Morrigan suddenly finds herself dancing to M.C. Hammer's "Can't Touch This" while the smirking toyboy records it on his mobile.
  • An episode of M.I. High has a villainess make her dancers wear vests which makes them do her will. Oscar ends up putting one of these on and ends up being ordered to dance around a room until Carrie gets it off him.
  • My Hero (2000): Mrs Raven hypnotizes Arnie, Ella, Piers and Stanley into performing "YMCA" and "The Birdie Dance" (and other hypno-foolish things) by Trigger Phrases.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers:
      • The episode "Different Drum" features a monster who controls people to dance.
      • In season 3 we have Dischordia, a monster who can make people dance uncontrollably with her singing. She had the Rangers exhausted dancing and she nearly succeeded in having Tommy give her his Power Coin.
    • Power Rangers Ninja Steel: Badpipes functions similarly to the mows who came before, using his bagpipes to hypnotize people into dancing. However, he's not the only example in this episode. Near the end, Monty makes a pair of automatic dancing shoes for Victor. Unfortunately for him, they end up malfunctioning and the shoes go haywire, forcing him to dance non-stop.
  • In the Star Trek episode "Plato's Stepchildren" this happens to the crew, resulting in one of the first interracial kisses on US television.
  • Supernatural: "Out With The Old" features a pair of cursed ballet shoes. Once you put them on, you could not stop dancing and would dance faster and faster until your ankles snapped and your feet would be torn from your body. Even more insidious, just being near the shoes made you want to put them on.
  • Super Sentai:
  • In the That Mitchell and Webb Look S1E3 sketch "The Green Clarinet", a mysterious stranger gives Alan an instrument that makes people sing and dance... and reveal embarrassing truths about themselves.
  • That's So Raven: In the episode "Opportunity Shocks", Raven ends up wearing light-up clothes. When they start to short-circuit in the middle of a Dance-Off, the shocks force her body into moving in a sporadic fashion, eventually ending up with her being made to look like she's breakdancing.
  • The Thundermans: One episode of the show includes a plot where Phoebe and Cherry are made special shoes that are meant to improve their dancing by Dr. Colosso. However, after finding that credit for his remix was stolen, he retaliates by hacking the shoes and forcing both to dance uncontrollably, wreaking havoc on the set they were supposed to be dancing in.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In the episode "A Piano in the House", a player piano had the ability to bring out what's Beneath the Mask of a person listening to its music. One of the people affected secretly loved to dance, so she danced along to the music.
  • Ultraman Mebius: Under "Hamelin Project", the earth defense team creates a Mind-Control Device that can make a monster follow orders, which can be as complicated as dancing. The episode goes wrong when another monster takes control of the device and gain command of yet another monster.
  • In the Australian version of Disney Channel's Waktu Rehat (As The Bell Rings), the episode "Dance Fever" features the titular disease, which has the power to make anyone who catches it dance uncontrollably.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Gabrielle develops an uncontrollable urge to dance, which is detrimental as she and Xena find themselves in a Footloose-esque plot in a town that has put a ban on dancing.

    Music Videos 
  • "Do It Again" by The Chemical Brothers: Two brothers use the hypnotic music to help them acquire money from a bank.
  • Steam Powered Giraffe, while performing the song "The Sound of Tomorrow". The Jon would start playing and the other bots would dance uncontrollably, much to their dismay. Can be seen here [1].
  • "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" by The Offspring: A plant goddess gives the peasant a magical guitar, with which he causes a scarecrow and townsfolk to start dancing uncontrollably. When he becomes selfish, the plant goddess punishes him by first forcing him to dance alone to the music, then dragging him into the ground through a whirlpool.
  • "Where Them Girls At" by David Guetta: The video shows giant bubbles which contain the song's beats, drifting across the streets of Los Angeles. When people burst the bubbles, they start dancing uncontrollably.
  • According to the lyrics, it is what's happening in the clip for "Dr. Beat" by Miami Sound Machine:
    I've got this fever
    That I can't control
    That I can't control.
    Music makes me move my body
    Makes me move my soul
    Makes me move my soul.
  • The music video for Fatboy Slim's "Ya Mama (Push the Tempo)" has a music that causes people to dance uncontrollably (either full body or their arms flailing around). When someone puts the cassette carrying the music in a huge boombox, the result is a riot.
  • In the music video for Avicii's "Levels", an unknown substance causes its victims to dance uncontrollably.
  • Zigzagged in the full video for Poets of the Fall's "Drama for Life," where a singer is the People Puppet of his Mad Artist Ghost in the Machine, but as per the lyrics, the singer has resolved a Battle in the Center of the Mind by striking a compromise and becoming a Willing Channeler, exploiting and refining his one-time Enemy Within's loose choreography into something more precise.
  • Kate Bush's "The Red Shoes" is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's story of the same name. In the video she is tricked into putting on a pair of red ballet shoes which cause her to dance uncontrollably.
    She gotta dance, she gotta dance
    And she can't stop 'till them shoes come off
    These shoes do, a kind of voodoo
    They're gonna make her dance 'till her legs fall off
  • "Love the Way You Move" by Slightly Left of Centre features some pretty funky Red Shoes developed by Soviet Super Science. The scientists first test it out on a robot, which explodes from the overload of funk. Next, they genetically modify a bear-wrestling Husky Russkie into a Super-Soldier, who ends up dying when the dial gets turned up. The only one who is able to withstand the dancing shoes at their maximum setting is Vladimir Putin, who calmly dances and gestures for the lead scientist to turn up the funk three times, the last one requiring a three-man lock from the science team. He keeps dancing until the world explodes in a funky pink explosion while a cosmonaut on the moon salutes them.
  • The music video "Doo Doom Chit" by Crayon Pop features a cat doll that plays a saxophone with the power to force the girls into dancing at random.
  • In the "Party Rock Anthem" music video by LMFAO, after waking up in a hospital as a result of partying too hard 28 days prior, Redfoo and Sky Blue find that their music has started a Zombie Apocalypse with the entire world being overrun by Shufflers who are obsessed with party rocking and dancing all day nonstop. Even the musicians become infected midway through the video.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Norwegian elves can teach to a fiddler the Elf-king's tune, which can make old and young, and even inanimate objects, dance. It cannot be stopped unless the player plays the tune backwards, or that someone comes behind him and cuts the strings of his fiddle.
  • The Strömkarl has eleven different measures, to ten of which alone people may dance; the eleventh belongs to the night spirit his host. If any one plays it, tables and benches, cans and cups, old men and women, blind and lame, even the children in the cradle, begin to dance.
  • In Ireland, it was believed that fairy changelings often produced a set of small bagpipes from under the clothes and played dance music upon them, till the inmates of the cottage dropped with exhaustion from the effects of the step dancing they were compelled to engage in.
  • The Fair Folk's dances are very, very, very dangerous. Mortals who see them are often caught up in the dancing and are unable to stop. The lucky ones don't crumble into dust when it finally ends. One folk explanation of tuberculosis was that its victims were forced to dance every night at the fairy hills, and wasted away for the lack of sleep.
  • In the Swedish legend of the Hårgadance a mysterious fiddler turned up one day in the village of Hårga during a celebration and started playing a song on his violin that made everyone dance enthusiastically. Too late, the people realized that the man, who they now saw had a goat's leg, was the Devil himself. They were unable to stop dancing and kept doing so while the fiddler led them up the nearby Hårgamountain. There, he kept playing until everyone had been killed and their bodies torn to bits by the intense dancing. The top of Hårgamountain is still flat to this day because of the wild dance.
  • Sir Thomas Wallace of Craigie and Walter Whiteford come across a house in which the wife is brewing ale. The wife serves Sir Thomas a drink, however she is terrified of the Laird who looks like the Devil and refuses him entry. The Laird responds by taking a "pin" and reciting a charm he placed it above the doorway, resulting in a spell that forced the wife to dance and sing uncontrollably. The workers return from the fields and they too are in turn bewitched as they pass under the "pin", until the Laird removes it and is invited to drink by the relieved householders.
  • Oberon's magic horn causes this.
  • Scandinavian elves are capable of dancing a man to death.
  • Slavic mythology has a rusalka, a water-nymph. Also known as a wili.
  • The Pied Piper was hired to get rid of the rats in Hamelin. When the townsfolk refused to pay him, he played his music for the children of the town, leading them dancing away from the town, never to be seen again.

  • The Thrilling Adventure Hour: "Ladies and Skeleton", a segment of "A Halloween Beyond Belief" episode, features Frank and Sadie Doyle confronting a Calaca. Here, the Calaca is described as a monster that kills via Involuntary Dance and, in the past, it killed and has since enslaved the spirit of Frank's first love. His victim gets away and, when it appears to take her back, speaks with a stereotypical accent with rattling noises in the background to suggest the bones. The Calaca can only be killed by a silver bullet. Frank utilizes a previous episode's Chekhov's Gun, literally the gun wielded by famed playwright and werewolf hunter Anton Chekhov, to dispatch it.

    Puppet Shows 
  • There is an episode of Dinosaurs in which Robbie is involuntarily doing the mating dance anytime he is around a girl he likes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The spell Otto's irresistible dance forces the victim to dance for a short time, and do nothing else. It's quite high-level because it allows No Saving Throw, though it still won't work on those immune to mind-affecting effects.
    • The bard spell jig of the waves from Stormwrack is less powerful; it only lasts as long as the caster concentrates, and the victims can still mostly act despite the dancing, although they move in a random direction each round.
    • The Boots of Dancing are a cursed item that act like another kind of useful magic boots until the wearer is in combat. Then he starts dancing against his will, and the boots can't be removed without magic.
    • Grigs can play a tune on their fiddles that causes other creatures to dance uncontrollably.
    • Each week, the korred have a holiday where they dance and play music. Anyone who interrupts the dance must start dancing themselves, losing 1-4 Hit Points per minute until they die, are restrained or the korred leave the area.
    • Basic D&D monsters includes the tarantella, a Giant Spider whose venomous bite would cause the victim to dance uncontrollably. And then those watching said victim can be compelled to join.
    • Of course, any spellcaster can induce this through your average mind-control magic if feeling cheeky. The suggestion and mass suggestion spells, for example, last for hours, and having the victims dance can easily be the first choice of a Quirky Bard.
  • Warhammer:
    • The Masque of Slaanesh in Warhammer/Warhammer 40,000 is a daemonette of Slaanesh who angered her master and was cursed to dance for all eternity. Anybody who sees her dancing is forced to dance along, even to the point of dying from exhaustion.
    • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: One piece of Ritual Magic can Invoke this on a victim, who's forced to dance until they die from the strain. Worse, the curse spreads to everyone who sees the dancer, and all victims remain entirely aware of what's happening to them.

  • Giselle: A girl who is jilted and dies before her wedding night is turned into a wili and seeks revenge upon men by dancing them to death.
  • Happens to Paul during the climax of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals thanks to the work of the alien spores of the hive mind behind the strange behavior displayed by the residents of his hometown, causing him to put up one last fight to prevent himself from becoming one with the hive. If only he succeeded...
  • Hunter × Hunter: In both musicals, Hisoka uses his Bungee Gum strings to make the characters dance.
  • In The Magic Flute, Papageno's magic bells cause Monostatos and his servants to stop attempting to capture Papageno and Pamina and start dancing.
  • In the 2017-version of Portal 2: The (Unauthorized) Musical, GLaDOS does this to Chell, Wheatley and the other cores during "I'm Alive". She treats them like People Puppets, forcing them to dance with her and bow to her. They are visibly distressed by this, going as far as to pull, push and pound on their own legs in an attempt to get them unstuck from the ground.
  • Twice Charmed: Franco, a wicked fairy godfather, does this to the Tremaines whilst pulling off a musical number.
  • In A Very Potter Musical, Voldemort and Quirrell use the Imperio spell to make Harry dance during the song "Dance Again".
  • Some stage adaptations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz contain "The Jitterbug," a Cut Song from the 1939 movie during which a literal bug sent by the Wicked Witch stings the heroes and forces them to dance a frenetic jitterbug. (Even in the final cut of the movie, a throwaway line from the witch actually alludes to the Deleted Scene in question; she mentions having "sent a little insect on ahead to take the fight out of them.") In Andrew Lloyd Webber's incarnation, the witch herself casts a spell that forces the characters to dance until they drop.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Agents of Mayhem: Pierce's Mayhem ability summons a boombox that causes all surrounding enemies to dance, leaving them completely open.
  • Ape Escape series
    • In 3, the character gains Arabian-esque outfit and the control of a genie who can teleport and make monkeys dance.
    • In Pumped & Primed and Million Monkeys, Leo does some funky dance steps and causes everyone to be incapacitated by the light of the disco ball.
  • The Blackout Club: DANCE-FOR-US, one of the Daimons, has been known to possess children to make them dance.
  • In the Borderlands DLC "Claptrap's New Robot Revolution", when Commandant Steele is brought back to life as a half-Claptrap cyborg, she finds out, much to her frustration, that The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body and she can't stop herself from dancing near-constantly as Claptraps tend to do. The other dead bosses that were similarly brought back to life don't have this problem for some reason.
  • The third game in the Bust a Groove series, Dance Summit 2001, has an ending where one of the characters makes a wish to make the entire universe dance nonstop, rather like the goals of Purge from the aforementioned Space Channel 5, only successfully.
  • Constructor has Hippie Undesirables, which can be sent to a rival's territory to stage an impromptu street dance party, causing all characters that enter the area to start dancing. Cops will be unable to grab the Hippie for the same reason. Very useful just after damaging one of the rival's buildings with the Hippie preventing construction workers from fixing the damage before the building blows.
  • In Crusader Kings II, a rare event can get your character infected by the dancing plague, which can cause you to die of exhaustion.
  • Cute Knight: Satyrs usually steal all the player's equipment if they're enchanted from losing all their Mana to the Saytr's Mana Burn-ing pipe music attack. But, if the player has nothing equipped, the enchantment, "forces you to dance until you are exhausted", leaving the player with 10 Hit Points.
  • The eponymous Dancing Monster is a princess who was transformed into a monster and forced to dance, making it hard to shoot the weak points and break the curse.
  • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls: With the "Dance" ammo, Komaru can use her hacking gun to make Monokumas dance involuntarily, keeping them from attacking or moving. It's especially effective against Siren Monokumas, since it also causes them to play a song that will distract the other Monokumas in the area and lure them over.
  • Darkest Dungeon: The Squiffy Ghast wanders around the caverns, constantly playing its fiddle accompanied by a limitless liquor supply. Any adventurer who encounters the Ghast risks being driven to insanity by hearing its cursed music, and it's said that those who dance to its tune are doomed to dancing with it forever.
  • Darkstalkers: Lilith's Super Move, Gloomy Puppet Show; Lilith tosses a top hat at her foe, if it contacts them, they find themselves on a platform, dancing helplessly as Lilith's player taps buttons.
  • Drinking the Blackreach Blonde beer in Deep Rock Galactic will cause the player to start dancing as jukebox music plays in the background as well as the player gaining rainbow lights similar to a disco ball. The effect doesn't last long.
  • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Para Para Boogie from Dragon Ball GT appears under the name "Dancing Parapara" as a Super Skill. Like its debut appearance, its main purpose is to leave the opponent wide open to either a follow-up attack or an allied fighter.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • The series has an ability called Entice Dance/Lure Dance/Sultry Dance that causes the target to uncontrollably break out into a jig. Play VIII and Monsters: Joker (or newer) to see how it works.
    • In the roguelike spin-off Mystery Dungeon series, said ability causes a negative status effect called "Dance" that prevents a character from taking most actions.
    • Dragon Quest XI has this come up as a local issue plaguing one of the towns you’ve previously visited, when a curse has forced the young adults of said town to dance non-stop day-and-night.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online: Compared to tabletop D&D, DDO also adds an Otto's resistable dance (allows a saving throw, but much lower level), and sphere of dancing, an area-of-effect crowd control spell that creates a disco ball and techno music. Most monsters remain vulnerable to dancing, even at high level, and all have a special dancing animation to account for it.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: "The Dancer's flute" is said to have this power.
  • In Enchanted Portals, the second phase of the fight against the Cow has them break out a set of turntables and a disco ball, to play music that causes the player character to dance. All you can do during this phase is move left and right while evading the sections of the floor that open beneath you, until the Cow puts the equipment away and starts up the third phase.
  • Evil Genius: Eli Barracuda plays a boombox with hypnotic suggestion that causes people around him to uncontrollably break out into dance.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Weaponized in Fortnite with the Boogie Bomb, an "explosive" weapon that forces anyone caught in its radius to dance for a few seconds. Including yourself and your teammates, so do be careful when throwing it not to get caught in the blast and sniped while helpless.
  • Goat Simulator: One of the special Mutations is Deadgoa7. This mutation's special ability involved everyone nearby entering their dance animation no matter what they're doing at that moment.
  • Henry Stickmin Series: Henry's infamous Distraction Dance compels everyone who sees it into dancing with him. However, usually the game doesn't recognize this as a viable solution and even expresses its confusion at what just happened.
  • Heroes of the Storm:
    • Similar to Sona from League of Legends above, E.T.C. has an ultimate that forces nearby enemies to dance for a while as he jams his guitar. He himself also cannot move during the show, but at least his team mates still can.
    • A talent upgrade at lv20 lets him powerslide while doing it to catch stragglers. An alternate upgrade causes him to use it upon death, rocking on from beyond the grave.
  • A House of Many Doors: By invoking the Favour of The Fifth Ode to Bezheleheth, one can literally become music, forcing absolutely everyone to move to the music and dance along.
  • Identity V: One of Vera's skins is based on the aforementioned Hans Christen Anderson fairy tale, The Red Shoes, complete with the titular accursed shoes, though the description assures that once the curtains fall, she can finally take them off.
  • Indivisible: Zahra's Iddhi Meter ability allows her to force the enemies to dance, leaving them unable to attack.
  • Inkulinati: The attacks of musical skeletons cause enemy units to be struck by the danse macabre, which forces them to dance in place and, if struck again in this condition, randomly move a space to the side while taking damage.
  • Killer Instinct has this as a finishing move if you beat an opponent without losing you first health bar. It's hard to say if it's truly involuntary for some of the victims....
  • King's Quest III: To Heir Is Human: Manannan's idea of punishing Gwydion is to force him to do the Y.M.C.A. dance.
  • Klonoa Beach Volleyball: Joka's Special Attack, Chaotic Dance; after he hits the ball, Joka's opponents will suddenly start dancing, and eventually trip.
  • League of Legends: Sona's ultimate is a wave of sound that causes targets to dance uncontrollably for several seconds, long enough for your team-mates to land a killing blow (or escape, depending on the tide of battle).
  • LEGO Adaptation Game:
    • LEGO The Lord of the Rings: Equipping a treasure called the "Disco Phial" allows you to see in the dark, while causing everyone in the immediate area to dance uncontrollably — which can be a pain if you're in multiplayer mode and your partner does this. It also changes the music to an electronic Voice Clip Song using lines from all three movies. This continues until you put the Phial away.
    • The Hobbit has the Mithril Rhythm Stick, which plays a dubstep remix and causes players to dance. Using this and the Dazzle Wig and Mithril Dance Boots treasures together will give you the "Lord of the Prance" achievement.
    • Earlier, in LEGO Indiana Jones, The Ark Of The Covenant holds a disco ball induces this on the Nazis and forces them into a dance, though some are noticeably more happy about it than others ... that is, until a powerful spirit is awakened that promptly destroys them all.
    • In LEGO Dimensions, The Second Doctor has the ability to make anyone in the vicinity dance when he plays his recorder. That's ... probably not the work of Gallifreyan technology.
    • LEGO Batman: In Beyond Gotham, The Music Meister naturally has this ability, as he does in the source material, able to inflict this on hapless civilians.
    • LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has it as a Force power to make people dance uncontrollably, whether light or dark side, and several quests require making groups do just that.
  • Lost Saga: Capoeira's "Atabeque" makes your opponent dance towards you.
  • Mega Man Star Force: Cygnus Wing attacks the Amaken Science Centre causing people to dance uncontrollably in the Space Simulation, with the limited oxygen supply in the space suits threatening the lives of his victims.
  • Michael Jackson's Moonwalker has Michael's Dance Magic Smart Bomb special, which causes all enemies to dance along with him before disappearing.
  • Miitopia: The "Dance" status effect leaves the target in a dancing trance, leaving them unable to take any action.
  • Ninjala: Opponents can be hindered by this through Shinobi Disco Gum Ninjutsu.
  • Onechanbara Z Kagura With NoNoNo!: NoNoNo's power forcibly make zombies and other abomination dance with her.
  • Paper Mario: Color Splash: Roy's Bill Blaster can fire yellow paint, which, if it comes into contact with someone, excites them to the point where they are overcome with the urge to dance uncontrollably.
  • Persona 4: Dancing All Night: The villain's plot revolves around using a song to force Shadows to bond and dance with her. While the main cast isn't affected, it very nearly works on Yu and Naoto early on.
  • Pikmin 4: The Groovy Long Legs enemy can achieve this through gasses that it spews below itself, putting the Pikmin who come in contact with it into a trance, causing them to dance uncontrollably in a process Olimar dubs the "Endless Dance".
  • Pizza Frenzy: The Croon-a-Tune Mushroom is said to be able to make whoever eats it burst into song and dance.
  • Pokémon Sword and Shield: It's said that those who hear the beat of Gigantamax Rillaboom's drums are compelled to dance uncontrollably.
  • Odile from Pop'n Music 17 THE MOVIE however, isn't as lucky. Once she put on her cursed slippers, she hasn't been able to stop since, and wears a Broken Smile wherever she goes.
  • Quest for Glory I: At night, you can find a group of faeries gathered near a ring of mushrooms. They want you to dance for them, and you can do so voluntarily in a serene and graceful way. Telling them "No" or walking into their ring of mushrooms will make them angry, and they will force the hero to dance wildly until he dies.
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction introduces the Groovitron, a miniature disco-ball shaped device that forces every enemy on the screen to dance until it runs its course. Notable in that every species and even significant NPC has a unique reaction to it— you even get a skill point for targeting everything that can dance.
    • In the sequel game, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, you disguise yourself as Dr. Nefarious at one point. While disguised, you can give various orders to the robots working under you, one of which is, "Dance."
  • Realms of Arkania: Star Trail had a spell that would render an opponent into a wild dance, incapable of doing anything when the caster's friends move in for the coup de grace.
  • Karen, a direct expy of the Hans Christen Anderson character, from Revolve 8, shares the same fate as her fairy tale counterpart, only she really doesn't mind the curse of her non-stop dancing shoes because she just loves to dance that much.
  • Roblox: The Deluxe Dance Ray has the effect of making those hit with its beams freeze in place before dancing uncontrollably for a total of ten seconds.
  • Saints Row IV has the Dubstep Gun, where if it's fired, every nearby person and even the cars will dance. Even the corpses dance if the gun is pointed at them!
  • Sega Superstars Tennis: Amigo's Superstar State, Bamboleo de Maracas, forces the enemy into a stunned dancing state if they touch one of his maracas. Ulala's Morolian Invasion also has this effect if any of the aliens on the other side of the court are touched.
  • Senran Kagura Estival Versus: One of Haruka's potions has this effect on the drinker. When Minori gives it to the shinobi, thinking it's an antidote, things don't exactly go as well as she hoped...
  • Space Channel 5: The whole plot is about the villains getting people into and Ulala rescuing them from this trope. In the first game it's an alien invasion. In the second game it's robots controlled by a Gadgeteer Genius who's enslaving people so they can serve as a power source for his dance-powered laser.
  • Spider-Man (2000): The What If? mode features a captured Black Cat, who apparently can't stop dancing... for some reason.
  • During the final phase of Splatoon's final boss fight, the Squid Sisters play Calamari Inkantation, causing DJ Octavio to suddenly start dancing. Though he still launches his mechanical fists and any other weapons he still has, Octavio will continue to dance until he is beaten. The song is just that good. This happens again in Splatoon 2 and depending on how you interpret the nature of the song, his Villainous Breakdown in Splatoon 2 implies that he is feeling the positive effects of that heavenly melody, and is desperately trying to resist its power in vain.
  • Saturn Dyer in Star Gladiator has a super move that forces his opponent to dance along with him... only to receive a whack on the head once they are done!
  • The ending to Star Wars: DroidWorks has you reprogram an army of assassin droids into dancing droids.
  • Super Hero Squad Online: Several power attacks will make enemy characters dance for a few seconds, leaving them vulnerable to attack while preventing them from attacking you.
  • Edel Bernal from Super Robot Wars Z is in fact an Artificial Human with a Trigger Phrase implanted. The creator reveals this as he commands his puppet to bark and dance in the middle of the final battle.
  • Luigi's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Ashley in the fourth game use an Area of Effect power inducing several side effects to players caught in it, one of them forcing the characters to perform a taunt.
  • Merasmus the Magician from Team Fortress 2 randomly casts curses on players, one of which is "DANCE OFF".
  • One of the enemies in the original ToeJam & Earl is a hula dancer that will make Toejam and Earl dance uncontrollably for a few seconds if they get too close to her. There's also the Boombox item, which will distract Earthlings by making them dance.
  • Merlin Prismriver from the Touhou Project has the power to play music that both forces people to dance uncontrollably and lose the ability to speak coherently.
  • Turok: The ever-popular "Disco Mode" cheat code in the first game would make all the regular enemies dance and never attack you. Including the dinosaurs.
  • Victor Vran: Going too close to the dancing skeletons makes Victor stuck in a dancing animation identical to theirs (which is... the Gangnam Style dance), which makes him unable to attack (though he still can move). The effects disappears after a couple of seconds if he manages to go far enough (easier said than done, since they follow him).

    Web Animation 
  • AstroLOLogy: In "Breaking Some Moves", after pushing his body to its limits by dancing for hours on end to practice for a dance competition, Aries shows off to the judges and starts dancing uncontrollably. The judges are delighted because his dancing in this state is more varied than what he does normally.
  • RWBY: Pietro mentions that one of the inventions he's been working on are "shoes that make you dance", a possible homage to The Red Shoes in a continuation of the series' tendency to use Fairytale Motifs. We don't actually get to see them in action but Nora seems a little too excited to try them on anyway.
  • Sunset Paradise: In a two-parter episode, Meggy is hypnotized by the Funky Force into becoming a dancing Manchurian Agent sent to assassinate the mayor while uncontrollably busting a move.


    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Critical Role: A charmed campfire causes this to happen to Scanlan and Vax'ildan.
  • Flander's Company: This is the primary superpower of wannabe supervillain Kevin (along with creating his own music and light effects). His "groove" is so intense that when he starts dancing, others feel compelled to follow. He mostly aims at incapacitating, though he uses the power once to drag an opponent through a window. Unfortunately, a strong-willed enough enemy (like Sadoman) can break the influence, and then it gets painful for Kevin.
  • In Noob, Tenshirock the Hacker's favorite means of making a player's life hell is to block their avatar in dancing mode. And if the player happens to have gotten on his bad side recently, they'll be lucky if their avatar is wearing anything else than underwear (webseries and novels) or a silly costume (comic) during the process.
  • In a fan-animatic for "Say My Name" from the musical adaptation of Beetlejuice, Betelgeuse does this to Lydia briefly to have her dance in sync with him, foreshadowing her later idea of getting the Deetzes to do just the same.

    Western Animation 
  • The Addams Family: In the episode "Sir Pugsley", Wednesday finds that whenever she hears her victory music, she can't stop dancing. However, when Pugsley finds a way to exploit this to his advantage, he uses the music to drive his sister out of control, and leave him easily able to win the jousting competition she initially cheated to win.
  • Adventure Time: The piglets put this spell on Jake and the Mushroom People in "The Pods".
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: Evil Jimmy gets his hands on a mind control device and uses it on Carl and Sheen to, well...
    "Ain't no lovin' my maaaan~ Shoo-wop, shoo-wop~"
  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots: Sheila in "Dances with Dingoes" causes others to dance with her a magical dance capable of summoning a powerful demon.
  • The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3: The Doom Dancer Music Box made anyone who could hear it dance uncontrollably. This became a plot point as Koopa, who had a cold, couldn't hear it and thus wasn't affected when Bully tried it on him.
  • The Adventures of T-Rex: Mind-Control Music makes everybody obsessed with dancing.
  • In the Aladdin: The Series episode "Never Say Nefir", a dancing rhinoceros is destroying the city of Getzistan every night because of the magic shoes that force him to dance uncontrollably whenever he hears music. Sultan's contractor Nefir is the culprit, and he later put magic shoes on Genie in an attempt to destroy the city twice as fast. Aladdin and his friends play soft music (making them dance away softly) and Nefir has his imps play louder and faster (making them dance too fast), which cause their shoes to explode. The next day, Nefir and his imps are forced to dance with the shoes in the floor show.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: During a brief Good-Times Montage in the episode "The Law", Gumball and Darwin have fun with Donut Cup by using his stun gun to make Bobert dance with the power of electricity.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Music Meister has the power to not only make those affected by his hypnotic voice sing uncontrollably, but dance as well, making his first appearance by forcing a group of superheroes and villains to jumpstart a spontaneous musical number under his control. He later plans on extending this to the entire world via a satellite.
  • Beetlejuice: Using the same possession technique from the film and musical, BJ does this to the partygoers to the song "Stick Them In Your Hat". They're noticeably better sports than the others.
  • Blaze and the Monster Machines: In the episode "Royal Rescue", Crusher puts on a music helmet that he thinks will make him brave, when in reality, it forces him to dance uncontrollably to the soundtrack it puts on.
  • On the Classic Disney Short "Trick or Treat", Witch Hazel casts a spell on Donald Duck's feet after he swallows the key to the pantry where he hid all the Halloween candy. The spell makes his feet dance and kick in an attempt to make him cough up the key, while the witch accompanies using her broom as a banjo.
  • The Cuphead Show!: Miss Chalice does this to Porkrind by means of possessing him in her ghost form.
  • Darkwing Duck: Comet Guy has a Weaksauce Weakness: the sound of a bell makes him dance, and he cannot stop dancing until he hears a whistle.
  • DC Superhero Girls:
  • Descendants: Wicked World: Mal has a spell that can induce this, and even uses it at one point to choreograph an entire dance number.
  • Elena of Avalor: Elena accidentally manages to do this with magic towards her friends, forcing them to dance ballet in midair in the episode "Elena's Day Off".
  • Ever After High: Melody Piper, daughter of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, has the ability to hypnotize and manipulate the movements of others with her music. Sometimes unintentionally.
  • George of the Jungle (2007): Every time Ape hears the sound of Mitch's bongos he dances uncontrollably, which results in mass insanity and the destruction of their Tree House.
  • The Jetsons: In the episode, "Dance Time", George attains a pair of automatic dance shoes which do all the dancing for them, but they're not without their fair share of bugs, which cause the footwear to frequently malfunction, much to the wearer's chagrin.
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 132, Kaeloo forces Mr. Cat to join her and the others in having fun by turning on some Zumba music. He ties himself to a tree in order to escape, but the ropes break and he soon finds himself involuntarily doing Zumba with them.
  • Kim Possible has an episode where she and Ron end up hypnotized and being ordered to dance by Señor Senior Junior.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: The Dubstep Bees have venom that causes the victim to dance until they drop dead, or convince the Bees to sting them a second time, neutralizing the first sting. As Kipo discovers when she accidentally insults their queen (and shifting to Mega Jaguar just makes a fifty-foot purple jaguar stagger awkwardly around on her hind legs.)
  • Let's Go Luna!: Luna's number one weakness is that she involuntarily starts dancing whenever she hears music. Downplayed in this case since Luna's involuntary dancing is just a reflex rather than another character's doing.
  • The Looney Tunes Porky Pig short "The Wearing of the Grin", two Leprechauns make Porky wear Green Shoes that make him dance an Irish jig uncontrollably. Fortunately for Porky, it was All Just a Dream. (Well, maybe...)
  • The Loud House: When Zack attempts to hypnotize Lincoln into doing his magic act for a talent show, he ends up putting the school secretary in a trance instead, made to dance mindlessly until she's snapped out of it.
  • An episode of Make Way for Noddy has Sly and Gobbo sell the inhabitants of Toyland a dust which everyone puts on their feet that makes them dance whenever Sly and Gobbo play music from a box. This allows them to commit crimes in Toyland while everyone is dancing.
  • The Mask: The Mask's power of spontaneously causing people to dance from the film carries over into the cartoon as well. When he's cornered by some hillbillies, he compels them to square dance instead, and when some henchman are sent to expel him from a musical's stage, he makes them do the can-can with him instead.
  • A Mickey Mouse Works short called "Goofy's Radio" had Goofy get stalked by a killer mountain lion who compulsively dances whenever they hear music, so the only thing keeping Goofy from getting eaten is his radio.
  • Mike, Lu & Og: In "Flustering Footwear Flotsam", Og wears red tap shoes that for some reason, cause him to dance non-stop.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Guitar Villain's primary attack on civilian victims is to make them dance against their will to his rock tunes.
  • Motorcity: This is one of the first things Tooley does with the people wearing Kane Safety Suits. Later, this happens to him when he's in a suit that was hacked by the Burners.
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey: During Adam and Jackie's showdown in "Cheer Pressure", Adam refused to dance, but his legs did not. Apparently, the music got to him, and before he knew it, he had turned the basketball court into his dance floor.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "The Cutie Pox" is an illness which causes random cutie marks to appear all over the ponies' bodies, forcing them to continually perform the talents that came with them. One of the marks which afflicts Apple Bloom is a red shoe (representing tap dancing), a Shout-Out to The Red Shoes.
    • In "The Magic Duel", Trixie makes Pinkie Pie dance with a spell.
    • An interesting variation occurs briefly occurs in "Three's a Crowd". Near the end of Discord's song "Glass of Water", he makes Twilight Sparkle dance with him.
  • Nate Is Late: In episode "The Faun", Malika is bewitched by a faun's Magic Music to party with them, and she keeps dancing non-stop until the spell is lifted, at which point she slumps down, exhausted.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: When King Julien's "groove" is magically transferred to Skipper, he starts dancing uncontrollably. Later he becomes a Dance Battler.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In "Out of Toon", Dr. Doofenshmirtz attempted to create a ray that would dry his clothes after his dryer broke, but instead made one that made anything hit with it dance. As Perry the Platypus tries to destroy the ray, it goes out of control and hits Doofenshmirtz and Perry, causing them to dance together.
      Dr. Doofenshmirtz: To add insult to injury, the platypus is leading.
    • In The Stinger of the episode, "Mind Share", the shoes that Doofenshmirtz was using to make him a better dancer backfire on him, forcing him to dance uncontrollably to a modern-dance song when the girl they were made to impress was only interested in square-dancing. Feeling lied to, she runs off.
    • After the intermission of The Best Live Tour Ever, Doofenshmirtz shows off his Audience-Controllinator and selects some members of the audience to come on stage to test it. He commands them to dance, which apparently works, but not on the entire audience.
    • In the episode "Nerdy Dancin'", this happens to a willing participant where Phineas and Ferb decide to help Jeremy dance with an exoskeleton that will allow him to dance whilst copying Ferb's movements. However, when Ferb ends up swatting a bee during his performance, he ends up being forced to mimic the motion as well. Fortunately, the audience takes this as a revolutionary dance move.
  • Pinkalicious & Peterrific: In "Dancing Shoes", Pinkalicious' mom accidentally buys her a pair of magical dance shoes. Pinkalicious puts them on, and she is rendered unable to stop tap-dancing. However, her tap dancing made her soccer team win the game. She eventually got them off by putting them back in their box.
  • In a Pinky and the Brain segment of Animaniacs, both mice are subjected to Pavlovian conditioning, and every time Brain hears a gong, he sings "I'm a Little Teapot" complete with actions, while Pinky does That Russian Squat Dance whenever a bell rings. Both are unable to control it and it ends up thwarting Brain's latest plan to Take Over the World.
  • PJ Masks: In the short, "Super Cat Speed", Romeo's new invention is a ray that forces people to dance non-stop.
  • Popeye the Sailor: In "The Green Dancin' Shoes", Olive Oyl is forced into this by the titular footwear.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: In the special, "Dance Pantsed", Mojo creates an evil video game with pants-designed controllers resembling DanceDanceRevolution, with their hidden purpose being to roboticize the girls and force them to kidnap various hostages. Later on, while they are somewhat freed from the robot shell, the pants are still able to incapacitate them by forcing them to Running Man away from the scene. Good thing they have Eye Beams.
  • In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Rude Boy and the Ska-Tastics hypnotizes party goers at the local nightclub to dance to their music.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Duffless": In a Dream Sequence, Bart wins first prize at a Science Fair with a Go-Go Ray which makes people dance.
    • "The Debarted": Bart puts pieces of metal in Principal Skinner's shoes, then uses magnets under the school stage to make him move and dance around.
    • "Last Tap Dance in Springfield": Professor Frink puts a clap-activated device in Lisa's dancing shoes to give her dancing skills. But when the audience at her dance recital applauds her dancing she dances more, and they applaud more, and she dances more-more, and they applaud more-more, etc.
  • The Smurfs has the Jitterbug disease and Smurfette's dancing shoes.
  • In the pilot of Sofia the First, Amber purposely gives Sofia trick shoes which make her dance oddly. They are not clingy themselves, but it is hard to take them off while forced to do a leg lift.
  • Star Beam: The Shoe-Can-Does are a pair of robotic footwear that the titular character uses to make her a better dancer. They work well enough at first, but when they start to malfunction, they become a hinderance to the heroine whenever they pick up music. Not even her Transformation Sequence can get them off.
  • Strawberry Shortcake: In the Berry Bitty Adventures episode, "The Berry Bitty Dance Disaster", Apple creates a pair of shoes that can dance to any type of music. But when they malfu— Hey, wait a minute...
  • Tak and the Power of Juju: Party Juju has the power to induce this, purely out of his love for partying.
  • Teen Titans: Cyborg is subjected to one as a bear in "Bunny Raven".
  • Teen Titans Go!:
    • During Beetlejuice's appearance, he ends up doing this to the classic "Banana Boat Song" to the Titans as well as some monsters in their way, making them beat themselves up by the end.
    • In another episode, the Titans, sans Raven, are forced into becoming a dancing demon's backup dancers after having performed the forbidden dances.
    • In an earlier episode where some goop from a monster seemingly infects the Titans' costumes, actually a ploy by Raven's magic, they do this to the heroes while "wearing" them.
  • Total Drama: In "Aftermath Aftermayhem", Noah is forced to do this as his task for the Second Chance challenge.
  • Totally Spies!:
    • An episode has an evil footwear designer demonstrate his power over the critics he's captured by forcing them into this via controlling the boots they're wearing, which also seem to enhance their strength. Later, Alex puts them to good use after disabling the control chip inside.
    • A minor example in another episode where a two-left-footed dancer has Alex's leg switched for his so he can dance to his fullest potential. However, Alex finds that he seems to still have some degree of control over his original leg, using it to force her into a brief dance on her own, and later with him. This weakness isn't brought up again though.
    • Again in an episode where a villain uses a dance-like exercise video to hypnotize students into following its commands, though the ones controlled are aware of its effect initially. This ends up working on Sam too, of course.
  • Wonder Pets!: In one episode, Ming Ming puts on a pair of magic slippers that won't stop dancing.
  • Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!: In one episode, Widget makes a mechanized set of dance pants that will give her dancing ability, however this backfires when she isn't able to stop them and the remote that turns them off isn't as effective as she hoped.

    Real Life 
  • There has been documentation of a phenomenon dubbed "dancing mania" or "dancing plague" throughout the 14th and 17th centuries of Europe, where groups of people suddenly found themselves dancing uncontrollably, many succumbing to exhaustion. Many reports of the time described these as the result of anything as mundane as high fever to supernatural as Demonic Possession or cult initiations, while most modern analysts believe them to be the result of mass hysteria and psychosomatic "illness".
  • This suggestion is common in stage hypnosis.
  • Tarantulas got their name from the Tarantella dance. Sufferers of spider bites believed that dancing would combat the venom (in reality, the bites in question mostly came from Lycosa Tarantulas, which are not true tarantulas and whose venom is mostly harmless to humans). This led to an odd hysterical behavior known as Tarantism, where spider bite sufferers would dance in a frenzy until collapsing from exhaustion.


Video Example(s):


The Power of Dance

While trying to invent a ray that would instantly dry his clothes, Dr. Doofenshmirtz inadvertently created a ray that could make anything it zaps dance uncontrollably. Unfortunately, he and Perry the Platypus end up getting zapped by it.

How well does it match the trope?

4.69 (26 votes)

Example of:

Main / InvoluntaryDance

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