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Mocking Sing-Song

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I told him that I was talking to a boy from school. I thought this would be the end of it, but I'd forgotten Tiffin is eight. "Maya's got a boyfriend, a boyfriend, a boyfriend!" he sang all the way home.

When one character is trying to think of a Freudian Excuse or has experienced a humiliating incident, or is just minding his own business, another character will immediately mock him to the tune of "Ring Around The Rosie".

There also seems to be a recurring taunt in fiction, where a character puts both hands to the side of their face, with their thumbs at their cheeks, then wiggle their fingers and go "Nana Na Nana Na" to the same tune. Sometimes another tune will used instead, but the tone will still be one of mocking another.

It seems this trope is done mostly by immature characters.

Also a rather common playground thing in Real Life in some places as well.

Will occasionally overlap with Blowing a Raspberry or Crowd Chant. For musically mocking a character about a relationship or crush, see Kissing In A Tree. See also Playground Song. Not to be confused with Mocking Music, which is when an annoyingly appropriate song plays on the radio.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon:
    • Digimon Adventure:
      Biyomon: Go-ma-mon's em-bar-rassed!
    • Digimon Adventure 02: A Mexican girl does it, and Yolei lets out a "nyah nyah" after she and teammates destroy a bunch of control spires.
    • Digimon Tamers: Takato has a dream about a battle in the rain and tries to tell his friends about it the next day. They don't believe him.
      Kazu: Maybe you made your own cold puddle! Poor little sleepyhead / made his own waterbed! *runs off laughing*
  • In the ADV dub of episode 5 of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji looks at Rei, wondering why she doesn't have any friends. His brand new friends, Toji and Kensuke, think Shinji's ogling her instead.
    Kensuke: He's ogling Rei!
    Shinji: I-I am not!
    Kensuke: Aw, come on! We-saw-ya-loo-king~!♪
  • Pokémon: Team Rocket teases Pikachu by opening and closing a door on their shockproof machine, punctuating this with the classic "nyah nyah na nyah nyah!"

    Comic Books 
  • In The Smurfs comic book story "Smurf Soup", Gargamel sees that Bigmouth the ogre has turned ugly because he ate the Smurf soup. The Smurfs get a little sing-songy just to taunt Gargamel into having Bigmouth physically abuse him.
    Bigmouth: You're the one who told me to eat Smurf soup!
    Gargamel: But I didn't know it would have that effect!
    Smurfs: ♪♫ Yes, he did know! Yes, he did know! ♪♫
    Bigmouth: Ha ha! I've got you! And now you're going to do that thing... that trick, like Papa Smurf says, that afterwards makes you like before!
    Gargamel: The antidote? But I don't know it!
    Smurfs: ♪♫ Yes, he does know! Yes, he does know! ♪♫

    Comic Strips 
  • Matt Groening must like this trope because, besides The Simpsons, he also used it in his Life in Hell comic, where Binky somehow thought it would be cute to sing to his date, "Someone's got a run in her pantyhose."

    Fan Works 
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Empath And The Golden Magic Bird", Nat, Snappy, and Slouchy tease Sassette with "Sassette's in love with Empath" repeated over and over when Sassette calls Empath a "big lover Smurf", presumably after Sassette has been kissed by Empath when she was temporarily an adult Smurf and Empath had the hots for Sassette.
  • In The Loud House fanfiction The Nightmare House, Mr. Coconuts taunts Luan in her nightmare by chanting, "Luan isn't fun-ny!".

    Films — Animation 
  • Thumper "teases" Bambi in sing-song to encourage him in his jumping training during Bambi II. When Bambi suddenly does jump, the sing-song comes to a halt with a yelp.
    Thumper: You're too afraaaiiid, you cannot juuummp, na na na na na, na na na na na..."
  • The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island: Ducky teases a Sharptooth (read: Giganotosaurus) this way (before that, Cera shook her tail at it):
    Ducky: The log is gooooone! / You cannot get acroooooss!
  • Peter Pan has a scene where Peter Pan forces Captain Hook to say he's a codfish, while Wendy, John, Michael and the Lost Boys sing "Hook is a codfish, a codfish, a codfish!" in this manner.
  • In the climax of Hercules, when Hercules loses his strength after a deal with Hades, Pain and Panic start singing "Our hero's a zero! Our hero's a zero!" in this manner.
  • The Lion King:
    • The Hyenas' reaction to Scar announcing his plan to kill Mufasa is to sing "No king, no king, la la-la la-la la!".
    • At the start of the standoff between the Pridelanders and Outlanders in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Timon and Pumba shake their fannies at the enemy lions and say "Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!"
  • The Prince and the Pauper: When Captain Pete realizes that the "peasant" he kicked out of the castle was really the Prince in pauper's clothing, one of his guards mocks him for it before Pete shuts him up.
    Guard: You threw out the Prince?! (singing) You're gonna geeeet it! You're gonna geeeet it! Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-ny—(Pete grabs him by the throat)
    Pete: Not if he doesn't come back... alive!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • From Rookie of the Year:
    Henry Rowengartner: Pitcher's got a big butt! Pitcher's got a big butt!
  • In A League of Their Own, Evelyn's bratty son Stilwell likes to taunt the Peaches with finger-waggling and a chant of "You're gonna lo-ose."
  • Miss Congeniality: After She Cleans Up Nicely:
    You think I'm gor-geous. You wanna kiss me. You want to hug me.
  • In Animal Crackers, Ravelli threatens to reveal Chandler's past identity, taunting him: "Abie the fish man! Abie the fish man!" (In the script of the original play, the taunt was "He's Ivan the Fish-Peddler.")
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: Captain Jack Sparrow tries to exploit Davy Jones's prohibition from setting foot on land.
    Jack: I got a jar of dirt! I got a jar of dirt!
  • In Stuart Little, Stuart shouts, "Hey, Smokey!" in a sing-song voice before he can kill Snowbell and before he whacks Smokey off with a branch.
  • In The Smurfs 2, the Smurfs theme song is used by Smurfette and Vexy in this fashion when they mock Azrael's failure to catch them.
  • In the Audience Participation album for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a member of the audience goes "nya nya nya nya nya" after Frank N. Furter uses the "sonic transducer" to freeze Brad, Janet, and Dr. Scott so that they couldn't move their feet (or wheels) in the laboratory.
  • A slight variation in Miracle on 34th Street; when the district attorney calls "Objection" at one point during the hearing, the judge sing-songs, "O-Ver-ruled."
  • The Warriors: "Warriors, come out and play."
  • Look Who's Talking Too has the egg cell going "neener neener neener" to the swarm of sperm cells when they find themselves blocked off from access to her by a diaphragm.
  • In Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, young Freddy Kruger is teased by his fellow classmates with "Son of a hundred maniacs!" when he takes a mouse out of the classroom's cage and smashes it with a hammer.

  • In Arthur's Valentine, Sue Ellen criticizes the Valentine Arthur leaves in her desk; Buster announces that Arthur left it, and the class sings "Arthur loves Sue Ellen!"
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Vice Principal Nero constantly does this to put down his students, another sign of his Manchild behavior.
  • Sheila Tubman in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume taunts Peter Hatcher and his friend Jimmy Fargo by singing they've got the cooties, until they both turn the tables and sing "Sheila's got the cooties!"
  • In Forbidden, when Maya tells her little brother that she was late to pick him up because she was talking to a boy from school:
    I told him that I was talking to a boy from school. I thought this would be the end of it, but I'd forgotten Tiffin is eight. "Maya's got a boyfriend, a boyfriend, a boyfriend!" he sang all the way home.
  • Peeves the poltergeist from Harry Potter does this on multiple occasions. One example is in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when Harry asks Luna Lovegood to a ball. When Peeves overhears this he flies of to let the whole school know that Potter "lurves" Loony.
  • Shirley Jackson called this the "da-da, da-da-da" or "I've got a secret" melody and wrote about the first time she heard one of her daughters sing it along with other typical childhood stuff turning up ("o-u-t spells out", skipping, candy cigarettes, chocolate apples, baseball cards, etc).

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Happy Endings, Max makes fun of Brad for having a work wife by chant/singing 'Brad's got a work wife', Dave goes off-book by singing it like he's in a hair band, which Max eventually admits is better.
  • Rachel on Friends, "The One With All the Poker".
    I have got your mon-ey / And you'll never see it / And your fly's still o-pen / Ha! I made you loo-ook!
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Spike in "Becoming, part 2":
      Some-one was-n't wor-thy!
    • Xander to Buffy in "Ted":
      You've got pa-ren-tal issues! You've got pa-ren-tal issues! [when Willow stops him] Hey, Freud would've said the same thing! Only he might not have done that little dance.
    • Joyce in "Faith, Hope and Trick" after silencing Buffy's mocking comments toward Mr. Snyder:
      I think what my daughter is trying to say is… nyah nyah, nah-nyah nyah!
  • Possessed Sam taunting Jo in the Supernatural episode "Born Under A Bad Sign":
    My daddy shot your daddy in the he-ad.
  • Used occasionally as Losing Horns on some Game Shows (Cram, Just Men!, and the Davidson run of The Hollywood Squares).
  • In one episode of The Golden Girls, Dorothy returns home from a date angry at Sophia, and asks Rose to give them some privacy so they can talk alone. Rose heads down the hall singing "Somebody's gon-na geeeet it".
  • The Big Bang Theory has Sheldon doing this to Leonard in one episode.
    Amy: Two dates to a wedding? How times change!
    Sheldon: Ha ha! You have to go to a wedding!

  • The backing vocals of Emilie Autumn's "I Know Where You Sleep" evoke this. In the context set up by previous songs on the album, it conjures up a chorus of dead little girls taunting the man who killed them.
  • The lead singer of The Waitresses' "I Know What Boys Like" does "nya nya nya nya nya" during the bridge and at the end of the song while mocking the boys that she teases with her charms throughout the rest.
  • The female backup singer of the Thompson Twins' "Sugar Daddy" does "nya nya nya nya nya nya nya" at the end of the chorus.
  • In an interview with KISS, after the interviewer asks Gene Simmons if he would have any kids, Paul Stanley lets out a "Do do do do do" to the tune of Ring around the Rosie, and everyone (including Gene) starts laughing.
  • The Hammond organ plays this several times at the end of Toby Keith's "How Do You Like Me Now?!"
  • The line "Sister's got a boyfriend" in "American Kids" by Kenny Chesney is done this way.
  • "Don't Rush" by Kelly Clarkson and Vince Gill uses the progression unintentionally on the line "Stopping every minute just because we're in it."
  • "William's Doll", a song based on the children's book of the same name from the album Free To Be...You And Me, has "A doll, a doll, William wants a doll" sung in a sing-songy manner to mock the title character for even wanting a doll.
  • Journey's scatting at the end of "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" does sound sing-songy, given that it happens at the end of the sung lyric, "Now it's your turn, girl, to cry."
  • P.D.Q. Bach's "Echo Sonata for Two Unfriendly Groups of Instruments": The second entrance of the brass consists of "Nanny-Nanny Boo Boo". (Their first entrance consists of a sequence of outright sour notes.)
  • In "Nuttin' for Christmas", the chorus ("I'm gettin' nuttin' for Christmas!") is sung to a variation of "Nanny-Nanny Boo Boo", and is punctuated with an instrumental version of "Nyeah-nyeah!"
  • The movement "Tuileries" from Pictures at an Exhibition depicts children playing in the titular gardens by evoking this melody.
  • Alice Cooper's "Inmates (We're All Crazy)" has the refrain "we're all crazy" sung in this style.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Goldberg, being a big hockey fan, was thrilled with the "Gold-berg" chants in WCW, until he found out they were piped in.
  • One that more closely resembles the "Ring Around the Rosie" tune, Samoa Joe's opponents are often met with the taunt "Joe's gonna kill you! Joe's gonna kill you!" Same goes for Tazz,Amazing\Awesome Kong\Kharma and a few others. Bray Wyatt has even gotten this kind of support.
  • Among the many crowd chants and crowd songs associated with Bryan Danielson, perhaps none embody this trope more than "You're Gonna Get Your Fucking Head Kicked In!".

    Video Games 

  • Every once in a while on Negativland's "Over the Edge" weekly show on KPFA, this gets played on a DTMF tone generator (a device that creates the sounds heard on telephone touch-tone dial pads). You can play with one here.

    Web Original 

     Web Video 
  • The Angry Grandpa videos have this sometimes. Angry Grandpa destroys bathroom:
    • "I want em' out my house! I want em' out my house!"
  • Angry Grandpa HATES the Nyan Cat:
    • "I'm gonna break this motherfucker!"
  • In the Dead Rat Prank video, Bridgette taunts Michael by singing "I got you back!" In a sing song voice.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Lisa's Date with Density":
      Mr. Dewey Largo: Miss Simpson, do you find something funny about the word "tromboner"?
      Lisa Simpson: No, sir. I was laughing at something outside.
      Sherri: She was looking at Nelson!
      Class: (sing-song) Lisa likes Nelson!
      Milhouse: She does not!
      Class: (sing-song) Milhouse likes Lisa!
      Janey: He does not!
      Class: (sing-song) Janey likes Milhouse!
      Uter van Finkle: She does not!
      Class: (sing-song) Uter likes Milhouse.
      Mr. Dewey Largo: Nobody likes Milhouse! Lisa, you've got detention!
    • When Mr. Burns loads the SNPP softball team with ringers in order to win a bet with a rival, Homer is replaced in left field by Darryl Strawberry. Bart & Lisa give him a "Darrr-ylll" chant in the hope that he'll quit so Homer can get back on the field.
    • Bart's first day of kindergarten is chronicled in "Lisa's Sax," and things start to look up for him when he wins classmates over by clowning around on the playground. When principal Skinner shows up he sings "Skinner is a nut! He has a rubber butt!" When Skinner cues him to apologize, he follows it up with what's implied to be his first utterance of "Eat my shorts!", then follows it up by singing "Butt-man!".
    • In "Cape Feare," Bart takes shelter in the monkey bars during recess because he fears that someone at school wants to kill him.
    Milhouse: I checked around. The girls are calling you Fatty Fat Fat Fat, and Nelson's planning to pull down your pants, but nobody's trying to kill you.
    Bart: Ah... that's good.
    * Nelson pulls down Bart's pants*
    Group of Girls: *Cue singsong chant* Fatty fat fat fat, fatty fatty fat fat!
    • When Ned is coaching Bart's peewee football team, Homer chants, "Flannn-ders" at him to make Ned lose his cool.
    • The Simpsons Movie: Lisa has a perfect moment with Colin before they escape the dome. And then...
      Bart: Lisa has a boyfriend, that she'll never see again!
      (Lisa punches his lights out)
    • In another Simpsons episode, Terri & Sherri give Lisa body image anxiety by chanting, "Lisa has a big butt! Lisa has a big butt!"
    • In yet another, Lisa is being taunted after the other kids steal her shoes. "Lisa has cooties! Lisa has cooties!" Principal Skinner just happens to come on the PA at that moment calling Lisa in to the nurse's office for a lice inspection...just before she gets hit with a soccer ball and bites her tongue as a result.
    • In "The Last Temptation of Homer", this is also done, this time with fish while Homer is hallucinating: "Homer loves Min-dy! Homer loves Min-dy!"
    • When Bart taunts Lisa for having to eventually go to an "awful" college in "Brawl In The Family": "You're going to Stanford! You're going to Stanford! You're going to Stanford!..." Homer joins in.
    • In "Yokel Chords", Bart makes up a story about Dark Stanley, a school chef who went on a murderous rampage because kids made fun of him for not graduating from college. "Stanley, Stanley, no degree! Two credits short at MIT!"
  • An early episode of Family Guy has a flashback in which Peter is teasing Bob Funland about his deceased mother with "Bob misses his mommy! Bob misses his mommy!"
  • In his less sociopathic moments, Cartman of South Park likes to mock people with sing song. "Stan wants to ki-iss, Wendy Testabuuurger!" And then there's the "Muh muh muh" noises he makes in the movie when mocking Kyle. In "Red Hot Catholic Love," Cartman's band fares better than Kyle anticipates, and Cartman gloats in a similar fashion.
    • In "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy," Hall Monitor Cartman finds Ike's picture of his teacher in the school hallway, and discloses this as he returns the picture to Ike in front of Ike's entire class. The other kids mock Ike, laughing and chanting "Ike has a crush on teacher! Ike has a crush on teacher!"
    • The episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die" contains another one of Cartman's most infamous examples once Scott learns the truth about Cartman's chili.
  • Arthur:
    • At the beginning of "Arthur's Family Vacation", Arthur's daydreaming about joining Buster at Camp Meadowcroak for another summer when D.W. bursts into his room chants the tune at him. "Guess what, Arthur? You can't go to camp! You can't go to camp! We're going on vacation! We're going on vacation! We're going on vacation..." There are also a couple of music cues which use the same tune. One is lighter and bouncier and use for humor; the other is slower and more somber and accompanies some of the characters' more disappointing moments, including the scene where D.W. tells Arthur about the family vacation.
    • In "Surprise!" Francine embarrasses Catherine by getting on the microphone at her sweet sixteen bowling party and announcing "Catherine loves Shawn!", then making kissing noises into the microphone. Catherine retaliates by chasing Francine out of the bowling alley.
    • In "Night Fright", Binky has an Imagine Spot where Arthur tells everyone that he has a night light by singing "Binky has a night light!", which the rest of the class also begin chanting.
    • In "Arthur Rides the Bandwagon", Arthur has a nightmare where he has a class picture with a broccoli instead of a Woogle, as he is the only student without one, even as a grownup where he is still being mocked by his former classmates who are singing "Broccoli head, broccoli head! No Woogle broccoli head!"
  • Brattus teases Mr. Bogus this way in the episode "Bogus to the Rescue":
    Brattus: Bogus is a chicken! Bogus is a chicken!
  • One episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had the Shredder make all the adults in New York act like children. A newscaster at Channel 6 went "Nyah nyah, I'm on TV and you're not!" on the air.
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "The Big Cheese", Dexter is rendered incapable of saying anything besides the phrase "Omelette du fromage", and Dee Dee keeps mocking him by singing: "That's all you can saaaay, that's all you can saaay!"
  • In the "Chiller Diller Movie Thriller" episode of Scooby-Doo, Shaggy taunts the villains by singing, "Nah nah, we have Scooby-Dee!"
  • Cosgrove is reluctant to tell Freakazoid! that he has a girlfriend because he's afraid the Freakster will tease him by singing "Cosgrove's got a girlfriend! Cosgrove's got a girlfriend!", and his fears come true when Freakazoid learns the truth.
  • In the "A Little Bit Country" episode of Stuart Little: The Animated Series, Stuart taunts Falcon (before he can kill Snowbell and Monty), "You'll never get me! You'll never get me!" in a sing-song tone while running in circles to distract him, then blowing a raspberry as well.
  • In Pound Puppies, Brattina does this most of the time.
  • One episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "Hurricane Fluttershy", establishes that one of the reasons Fluttershy is unable to fly fast is because she was teased at flight camp as a filly for being a weak flier, with the song "Fluttershy, Fluttershy, Fluttershy can hardly fly".
  • After Geoffrey's crush on Gretchen in the Recess episode "The Pest" becomes well-known to the student body, both Swinger Girl and Upside-Down Girl tease Gretchen by singing, "Gretchen has a boyfriend! Gretchen has a boyfriend!"
    • The rest of TJ's gang finds out Mikey still likes the children's TV character "Bonky", and they try to confront him about it in an effort to save him embarrassment, but he gets defensive, and his backpack full of Bonky toys spills out onto the blacktop, causing a bunch of kids to chant "Mikey loves Bonky" at him anyway.
  • An episode of Beavis and Butt-Head has the two roped into running a teen crisis line. Stewart calls it to talk about his bed wetting problem. Beavis recognizes his voice and starts singing "Stewart wets his bed, dah dah! Stewart wets his bed, dah dah!"
  • On X-Men: Evolution Nightcrawler once said "As you kids in America say: Neener, neener, neener!"
  • The Silly Symphony short Elmer Elephant has the animal kids making fun of Elmer's trunk by chanting "Elmer's got a funny nose, it looks just like a rubber hose".
  • Cow from Cow and Chicken would often sing about things in this fashion, almost always ending with the word "princess".
  • Interestingly, this trope is inverted in the Blue's Clues episode "Magenta Comes Over," where everyone at Blue's house prepares for Magenta to visit, and they break into a little happy song and dance every time the subject comes up.
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 156, Mr. Cat falls in love with a soda can thanks to a Love Potion gone wrong. Kaeloo's behavior makes it very clear that she is jealous of the soda can, and Stumpy sings "Kaeloo has a crush on Mr. Cat!" while making kissing noises.
  • The Porky Pig cartoon "Injun Trouble" (and its remake "Wagon Heels") features Cloud Cuckoolander Sloppy Moe going "I know something, I won't tell, I won't tell, I won't tell...I know something, I won't tell, nya nya nya-nya!"
  • In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius episode "Brobot", Brobot thinks Jimmy has a crush on Cindy and teasingly sings "Jimmy's got a girl-friend! Jimmy's got a girl-friend! Jimmy's in lo-ove! Jimmy's in lo-ove!", to Jimmy's annoyance. At the end of the episode, Goddard plays a recording of that sing-song at Jimmy as a joke.
  • In the Rugrats episode "Under Chuckie's Bed", Angelica does this after telling Chuckie a scary story involving monsters living under beds.
    Angelica: Chuckie's gonna get eated, eated, eated, Chuckie's gonna get eated by the monsters under his bed!



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